ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative has announced the 2017 participants in the ULI/Randall Lewis Health Mentorship Program, which is generously supported by Randall Lewis, a ULI trustee.
The program supports learning and sharing about health and real estate among graduate students by providing a complimentary registration to the 2017 ULI Fall Meeting in Los Angeles, as well as a $2,000 travel stipend. Participants are matched with ULI full members and will attend a product council meeting and the Building Healthy Places Interest Forum. Following the Fall Meeting, ULI will share takeaways from each participant’s experience.
The graduate student participants selected for 2017 are as follows:
Master’s student, real estate and infrastructure
Johns Hopkins University
Dawit Beru works in the real estate and community development field and is a student in the MS in real estate and infrastructure program at Johns Hopkins University. A Washington, D.C., native and first-generation American, Beru is interested in sustainable design and affordable housing development. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and spent five years as a retail planning consultant for airport modernization projects before shifting his focus to residential development.
Mentor: Christopher Kurz, president and CEO, Linden Associates Inc. (Small-Scale Development Council, Blue Flight)
Master’s student, urban and regional planning
Alyia Gaskins is the assistant director of programs/health at the Center for Community Investment. Prior to joining the center, she worked as a senior associate at the National League of Cities (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families supporting mayors and city leaders in engaging residents, building multisector collaborations, and advancing policies to build healthier, more equitable communities. Gaskins began her career as a policy and program associate at D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center. Gaskins has a BA in medicine, health, and society from Vanderbilt University and a master’s of public health from the University of Pittsburgh. She is pursuing a master’s of urban and regional planning from Georgetown University, with a concentration in housing, community, and economic development.
Mentor: Clare De Briere, founder, C+C Ventures (Urban Revitalization Council, Gold Flight)
Lorenzo Antonio Gonzalez
Medical degree candidate, University of California, San Diego
Master’s student, planning, University of Southern California
Lorenzo Gonzalez has worked on various projects that focus on advancing access to higher education and health equity throughout his career. During the last four years, Gonzalez has been caring for the binational San Diego/Tijuana community. He has been recognized by the city of Santa Ana for his contributions on the Wellness Corridor, is currently involved with Community Health Councils on developing healthy environments in South Los Angeles, and is a Land Use Health Ambassador for Physicians for Social Responsibility. Gonzalez credits his current success to his Mexican immigrant parents who instilled in him a work ethic around sacrifice, resilience, and passion. He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Chapman University. He is currently finishing his medical degree from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in planning from the University of Southern California.
Mentor: Christopher Bodnar, executive vice president, CBRE (Health Care and Life Sciences Council)
Master’s student, real estate
As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar during her undergraduate career, Ashley Pollock was introduced to the various elements that make up the built environment. Her personal motivators and goals have led her down the path she is currently pursuing, which involves obtaining an interdisciplinary PhD that combines urban design and planning as well as sociology and real estate. These fields, in her mind, together can offer holistic solutions to revitalizing dying cities and communities. As a student member of both ULI and the U.S. Green Building Council, Pollock has begun to lay the foundation for gaining an understanding of the current problems that stifle cities/communities and ways they are currently being addressed and solved. A unique feature of Pollock’s outlook on the world stems from her experience growing up on the south side of Chicago and witnessing the degradation of both the built environment and the people living within that environment.
Mentor: Teri Frankiewicz, vice president of community development, Crown Community Development (Community Development Council, Silver Flight)
Rodolfo L. Rodríguez
Masters student, Urban Planning and Public Health
University of Colorado Denver
Rodolfo Rodríguez serves as an aide to At-Large Councilwoman Robin Kniech in Denver, Colorado, where he supports the councilwoman in spearheading policies that dissolve structural inequities across Denver. Simultaneously, Rodríguez directs a research project through the University of Colorado at Boulder that explores how to transform Denver’s neighborhoods through community engagement, architecture, urban planning, enhancing public health, and social equity. Over the past decade, he has spearheaded healthy communities work across the United States and in Nicaragua and Mexico, while pursuing a “health focused” architecture track at the University of Texas, and advancing his studies in urban planning and public health at the University of Colorado.
Mentor: Colleen Carey, president, the Cornerstone Group (Sustainable Development Council)
ULI will accept applications from graduate students for the 2018 ULI/Randall Lewis Health Mentorship Program in spring 2018. Please visit uli.org/healthmentors for more details. Interested in becoming a mentor? Visit the ULI Navigator to apply.