Hi, my name is Beth Olberding! I am from Richmond, Virginia and applied to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program because of the opportunities it has afforded me to study and serve in the Peace Corps as part of the Master’s International program. I am serving in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica as a Community Economic Development volunteer (2015-2017). I was drawn to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program because of my interests in both international development and environmental planning. I have been able to pursue both of my interests as a dual Master’s candidate in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and the Master of Natural Resources program. I aspire to work at the nexus of international development and environmental issues focusing specifically on climate change policy.
My name is Henry Ayakwah. I am a Ghanaian born US naturalized citizen. I received my undergraduate degree in Philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. I started my graduate studies in the spring of 2016 in Urban and Regional Planning with international development planning as my concentration. I am interested in studying how rural small-scale farming can improve national economy and sustain the rural domestic economy in third world countries. I aspire to work with international organizations and third world countries in development planning and rural economic sustainability. I hope to connect well developed agricultural practices like those in China and the US with third world countries.
My name is Nicole Boling and I am originally from a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I received my undergraduate degree in Geography from Shippensburg University. After two years as a County Planning Director in Pennsylvania, I relocated to Northern Virginia to continue my career as an urban planner. I am in my first year of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus in Alexandria. I am interested in many aspects of the planning profession; however, I look forward to learning more about community development, sustainability, and urban design. I aspire to be a leader in the field of urban and regional planning and would like to learn how to better connect local communities to the planning process.