The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and The Louis Berger Group, Inc. (Louis Berger) have announced the selection of the Louis Berger Graduate Fellows for the 2013-14 academic year. The new fellows are Medha Dixit (Mathura, India), Allison Fahey (Bedford, IN), Rewa Marathe (Indore, India) and Elizabeth Shulman (Bridgewater, NJ).
Now in its fourth year, the Louis Berger Fellows program enables Bloustein School Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) and/or Master of Public Policy (MPP) students to undertake a comprehensive fellowship and earn credit during a professional internship. At the conclusion of their first year of study at the Bloustein School, fellows complete a full-time summer internship as a member of one of the company’s international project teams. The fellowship covers tuition and fees for the second year of study and may include a continuing role with Louis Berger during the academic year.
Louis Berger is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. Established in 1953 and celebrating its 60th anniversary, it has been a devoted and trusted partner to national, state and local governments; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry. The Bloustein School and Louis Berger have a long-standing relationship; many of the school’s graduates are current or former senior managers with the firm, and the company has provided financial and other support to the Bloustein School for more than 10 years.
“The relationship between the Bloustein School faculty and senior leadership at Louis Berger has been strengthened by the development of this fellowship program,” said Bloustein professor and Associate Dean Michael Greenberg. “The fellowships are a generous investment in the future of these students, aimed at developing knowledge and professional skills by jump-starting their careers in a blue-ribbon firm that offers opportunities around the world.”
“The Louis Berger Fellowship has been a resounding success from the company’s perspective, confirmed by the feedback received from students who have spent the past three summers living and working on diverse assignments from Mozambique and Cameroon to Mauritius and the Philippines,” said James Bach, Louis Berger Group Chief Operating Officer and a graduate of the Bloustein School (MCRP ’75). “We look forward to year four with great anticipation.”
Louis Berger brings strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit to its diverse client base, developing innovative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. Louis Berger operates around the world with a commitment to integrity and holds to the highest standards of ethics, quality and accountability, sharing a genuine sense of respect and stewardship for the places where the company works and the people whose lives it impacts. For more information about The Louis Berger Group, Inc., visit www.louisberger.com.
The Fellows selected for the 2013-14 academic year and their summer internship destinations are:
MEDHA DIXIT — (Kuwait City, Kuwait)
Medha Dixit grew up in the small town of Mathura, India, where engineering and medicine were the prominent areas of academic exposure. She was encouraged by her parents, both academics, to explore other areas and developed an interest in urban planning. Having traveled internationally to many places including Australia and France, Medha gained an appreciation and understanding of diverse environments as well as an interest in the differences in policies, urban environments, lifestyles and cultures affecting planning practices. Medha’s interest in the Berger fellowship came from her desire to work in fragile, post conflict and developing nations. As part of her fellowship, she is excited for the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of working in Kuwait on a Traffic Study project which will contribute greatly towards her major in transportation planning. She previously earned a bachelor of architecture and a master of urban design from India as well as a diploma in urban development from France. She is hopeful that her previous experience working as an architect, research consultant and urban designer in India, combined with the new fellowship opportunities, will further her perspective that a holistic and multidisciplinary approach is vital to all planning and development projects within built or natural environments. With her interest in transportation planning, Medha will assist LBG officials who are working with the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works to upgrade Jahra Road and Jamal Nasser Road, the two main arterial roads leading to downtown Kuwait City.
ALLISON FAHEY — (Paris, France)
Allison Fahey completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University–Bloomington, where she received a bachelor of arts in Communication and Culture and a minor in Tourism Management. Having fond memories of the walkability and bikeability of Bloomington, she realized that seeing people out on the streets “out and about”provided a sense of place and community. Her choice to further her study in urban planning came following a move to California, where she again discovered the livability of the town of Coronado, a pedestrian-friendly town that encouraged a healthy and enjoyable way of life and inspired community involvement. Allison moved to the East Coast to join the Bloustein School’s MCRP program while also taking a job with Louis Berger’s proposal team, using her communications skills to help draft materials for proposals, qualification packages and client presentations. There she received an up-close-and-personal view of the technical side of urban planning and how urban planning professionals work to create livable and sustainable communities through design, rehabilitation and improvement of environments such as infrastructure, transportation corridors, utilities and housing. Allison’s goals are to encourage positive change by developing an understanding of how the facets of a community are interconnected and to help others by implementing changes that ensure a better life for all residents. While in Paris, Allison will be working alongside Louis Berger staff to improve Program Management methodology (schedules, budget follow-up, information-sharing, among others) based on her experience with U.S. transportation projects.
REWA MARATHE — (Doha, Qatar)
Rewa Marathe is a native of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. She enrolled in the Bloustein School’s urban planning program following her work and study in architecture in Indore, India and spent five years as an undergraduate working to understand the complex nature of people and their interactions with the buildings they design and work in; she came to Bloustein with the intention of gaining a better understanding of built environments. Her interest in planning is geared toward active design for the general public, in particular furthering how the use of public transportation and urban design can promote human-powered modes of transportation that support healthier lifestyles. While at EJB she has worked with the school’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center on the Sustainable Communities grant project, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In this capacity she has gained insight into planning processes and issues in the U.S. and in New Jersey in particular. She has also been working for Rutgers Center for Green Building, mapping occupant responses for buildings participating in Post Occupancy Building Evaluations. She brings both international architectural experience and cultural sensitivity to the planning process as well as the goal of assisting on projects that will improve a community’s physical, social, and economic infrastructure. In Qatar, Rewa will be working alongside Louis Berger staff in overseeing the continued development of Education City, which aims to combine world renowned educational institutions with social, commercial and cultural facilities and integrating the development with the historical sites in the area. With her interest in physical planning and architectural background, Education City is the ideal project for her.
ELIZABETH SHULMAN — (Paris, France)
Elizabeth Shulman is dedicated to utilizing planning as a way to improve the world. She experienced firsthand how poverty and poor planning affected people’s lives in a six-week post-high school trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. She chose to attend the University of Southern California and work toward a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning as a step toward reinforcing her idea that all places should be developed sustainably. After college she spent a year in Israel and the West Bank where she interned for a non-profit organization, which brought Israeli and Palestinian youth together. There she observed the lack of interest in creating a solid transportation infrastructure that would connect these two areas of conflict. While earning her master’s degree Elizabeth interned with both Morris and Passaic County through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, learning tools of how a region’s government struggles to meet the demands of its residents while trying to maintain a sustainable and environmentally responsible area. While in Paris, Elizabeth will be working alongside a team of Louis Berger port specialists to provide transaction advisory service relating to a major port privatization program in Brazil.
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