The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Katie Bussell

Name: Katie Bussell
Undergraduate Major: Geography and Environmental Studies
Hometown: Aurora, IL

How did you discover urban planning?
I sort of fell backwards into it. When I first started my geography degree I was adamant I would not go into urban planning, but the more I learned about it the more I realized it combined my desire to help protect and preserve the environment through mitigating our carbon footprint and creating more green space in our cities.

Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
The program here at Utah has a great ecological planning program, and the Center for Ecological Planning and Design, which coordinates numerous events on campus and has great research opportunities. You can also choose to specialize in various tracts here, or combine a specialization, so you can really tailor your education to what you are interested in. Also, having grown up in the Midwest, being surrounded by mountains was a good selling point!

What are your career goals?
As of right now I would like to go into ecological planning, maybe at a planning firm or with the local government, to create more greenspace in cities. Another one of my interests would be disaster planning, specifically using ecological methods to help mitigate disasters.

What would you tell prospective students about the MCMP program?
Its a great program, and the faculty here really works with you to make sure you feel prepared going into your first year. They are also very welcoming and want you to succeed, which is what sold me on this program.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
I used to dance and almost did it professionally!