Department of City Planning
Intern Profiles

Spring 2016 Intern Profiles

The outstanding team of interns at the DCP make a difference in the Pittsburgh community by working alongside employees on a wide range of real-world projects. Scroll down to learn more about our current interns and the great work they do for the DCP. For more information about any internships click here or Register an account and apply for a position here.

Adam Mark

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh, Masters in Public Affairs, 1st year

Assigned Projects: My assignment is with the Uptown EcoInnovation Project. I am specifically focused on researching ways to incorporate renewable energy into the larger district energy plan for Uptown.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My hope is that my research will lead to implementing some forms of green, renewable energy to both offset fossil fuel power, and to cut energy costs within Uptown.

Aidan Barrett

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh, Accounting Major, Junior

Assigned Projects: One of my assignments is monitoring and recording expenditures for City Planning projects in the City of Pittsburgh, especially for projects related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Another one of my assignments is contracts administration for the Department of City Planning ADA office, such as the contracts for new videos that will be aired on cable television about the department's projects.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My goal is to learn the process of how government projects and contracts get funded and implemented. As an accounting major, I am interested in the budget and financial aspects of government and my goal from this internship is to get hands-on experience about government financing of these projects and contracts.

I believe that this been a very successful internship. This is my second term with the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning and I have gained a lot of experience with budget analysis as well as a first-hand look at what is being planned in the city. 

Annette Ritchie

School/Major: Carnegie Mellon University, Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering major

Assigned Projects: I am assisting Justin Miller on the Uptown Eco Innovation District as Land Use Policy intern. I will imagine new alternatives for the Boulevard of the Allies, research potential programs to raise green building standards, and investigate policies that will both promote development, while protecting the interest of Uptown residents.

Goals/Experience Sharing:  I hope to discover and develop new ideas for the Eco Innovation District team that will make the project distinct while unifying and empowering all those who call Uptown home. I have enjoyed exploring the neighborhood and its potential, and I look forward to getting to know community members better. Meanwhile, free reign over my research has afforded me the opportunity to learn about the current state of planning. By learning fundamental practices and new theories in planning, I have gained insights to my future academic and career goals.

Anthony Pugliese

School/Major: Duquesne University School of Law, Juris Doctor Candidate, 3rd year

Assigned Projects: My main job is to take notes on each case and help enter evidence into the record. After the hearings, I take the information I have gathered and conduct research on local zoning law that pertains to each specific case. Once my research is complete, I draft an initial decision on the case that is then reviewed by the Board members. I also want to practice drafting decisions to help improve upon my writing skills.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My primary goal is to gain experience with zoning and land use law. I assist the Zoning Board of Adjustment with their weekly hearings. So far, I find the work interesting because it’s an area that is relatively new to me. Furthermore, as a Pittsburgh native, it's fulfilling to know the work you do will directly impact the city you live in.

Brett Morgan

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh, Master of Public Affairs, Major: Urban Affairs and Planning

Assigned Projects: ADA Policy & Residential Permit Parking Intern

Goals/Experience Sharing: To gain an understanding of how Pittsburgh can be more inclusive to all of its residents whether through increased accessibility for citizens with disabilities or improved planning strategies regarding parking and public space.

Brooke Lauren Rountree

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh

Assigned Projects: Currently I am primarily working on condensing the addressing process alongside Rebecca Reinhold. I am sifting through addressing files to make sure only what is needed is scanned. I am also checking neighborhood maps and miscellaneous research for Mike and Darrin when asked.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My desire goal is to fully understand the addressing process as well as to make the process swifter and more efficient. Overall I really enjoying working here- I love my colleagues and really feel like I am getting a handle on the office world. 

Clayton Oeth

School/Major: Carnegie Mellon University - Heinz College, Master of Science in Public Policy and Management, First Year

Assigned Project: Bicycle and Pedestrian Office Intern

Goals/Experience Sharing: I would like to get more hands on technical experience with data and actually create some real change with it. It is great to be able to make biking safer in Pittsburgh. 

Emily Galfond

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh, Architectural Design and Urban Planning

Assigned Project: Architecture, ADA. The assignment I focus on is the One Step Project, a program that helps waive fees and facilitate the approval of the removal of barriers and construction of ADA compliant ramps, creating accessible entrances to businesses in Pittsburgh. My job is to aid the project applicant in the approval process as it goes through the Public Works, Historic Review, Zoning, and Permits, Licenses and Inspections Departments of the City of Pittsburgh. I regularly meet with city employees, review construction drawings, and complete legislation so that the process of approving this type of construction is as easy as possible for the applicants.

Goals/Experience Sharing: The One Step Project was one of the many responsibilities I had as an intern here last semester, so I already knew what to expect. So far, it is much more rewarding to work solely on one task because I can focus all of my attention on the applicants and making improvements to the program.

My goal by the end of my time here is to finish coordinating an official monthly meeting with representatives from each department for applicants to present their construction documents and get feedback right away before officially submitting their application. This will greatly improve the speed and efficiency of the application process for everyone involved, which is extremely important for the success of the program.

Working for the Department of City Planning has been an incredible opportunity for me to learn about architecture and urban design in both the public and private sector. I can already see the experiences and knowledge I've gained while working here helping me as I move forward in my career.

Erika Cox

School/Major: Carnegie Mellon, Majoring in Architecture and Ethics History and Public Policy

Assigned Project: Open Space Planning. Evaluate the current Urban Agriculture infrastructure in the city and assist in running the Adopt a Lot program.

Goals/Experience Sharing: I desire to develop stronger communication skill as well as assist the city in creating a strong urban agriculture program. 

Holly Gerber

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, MPA Urban Affairs and Planning 2016

Assigned Project: Working with Joshua, the environmental planner, on storm water management policies and projects. Looking at the establishment of policy on greenways, trails, street trees, and other storm water management facilities.

Goals/Experience Sharing: I like it a lot! This is a great experience, especially getting to go to meetings and seeing how many players have to get their say in before a project can take off. I also didn't know much about storm water management, or trees, or environmental policy at all really, so learning about those things has been great experience.

Jesse Descutner

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh - Urban Studies (Planning) - 2016

Assigned Project:  I am conducting a study to find out what are the best and worst features of urban parking lots. Once I have finished compiling all of this information, the zoning department will review it and consider if there are any changes to be made to the zoning code regarding parking lots within the City of Pittsburgh. 

The other project that I am currently working on is creating handouts that list all of the allowances within specific zoning districts in the city. These forms will be useful for everyone that walks into the zoning department, from those adding a garage to the properties, to developers proposing a large hotel.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My experience thus far has been great; I am learning plenty about the professional world. Despite being an intern, I am doing useful tasks that will have an impact on the city in some way.

Jordan Stanga

School/Major University of Pittsburgh, Architectural Studies, Senior

Assignment Project: Some assignments include constructing a business directory for businesses that are accessible, reviewing architectural plans, processing accela documents, getting a Rug tile project off the ground in senior centers and conducting facility surveys.

Goals/Experience Sharing: I would like to get all of them done, but because there are over 100 facilities that need to be surveyed I hope to at least get 6-10 done while I am an intern. As for accela I have finished processing everything that the ADA is required to look at, and I am making serious strides on the business directory. I hope to have that done by the end of February.

Katie Kienbaum

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh, Economics & Environmental Studies

Assignment Project: I've been helping manage the Adopt-A-Lot program as well as develop the process for handling applications and the associated paperwork and files. I've also been researching City departments and community organizations and their various policies and goals related to urban agriculture.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My hope is that my research will lead to implementing some forms of green, renewable energy to both offset fossil fuel power, and to cut energy costs within Uptown.

Max Cercone

School/Major: University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, MPA program

Assigned Project: This semester I am serving as a land use policy intern with work focused primarily on the Uptown Eco Innovation District.

Goals/Experience Sharing: I hope that I can assist the Department in implementing their strategies for the Eco Innovation District. I believe this is a significant project that can help improve sustainability and quality of life in Uptown.

TszYan Fong

School/Major: Point Park University, MBA Program

Assigned Project: Social Media, ADA. My major assignment is to edit and distribute the news to the major social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. In addition, follow up those comments and research on more relevant information to publish and keep updating the calendar on the ADA department webpage.

Goals/Experience Sharing: My desired goal is to maintain our social media in order enhancing the number of followers on our Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest and reach out more potential people. So far, I enjoy working on this intern and also great experience to learn to build a strong communication skill to the public through our social media. 



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