Wetmore Visiting Practitioners

The Wetmore Visiting Practitioner series provides opportunities for DURP students to interact with and learn from both experienced and younger professionals working in urban and regional planning and closely related fields. Wetmore Visiting Practitioners spend a day in the Department, give a general lecture or seminar, attend classes as a guest speaker, and interact with students in formal and informal settings. The Wetmore Visiting Practitioners series is supported primarily by earnings from the Louis B. Wetmore Endowment for Planning Practice.

2008-2009 Visiting Practitioners

Teresa Córdova October 2, 2008

Dr. Teresa Córdova is Vice-Chair of the Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Board of County Commissioners, a member of the Bernalillo County Board of Finance, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority and the Mid Regional Council of Government, Metropolitan Transportation Board. She is also Associate Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico, where she teaches Foundations of Community Development, Community Planning Methods, Political Economy of Urban Development, Community Economics, Planning and Organizing and a Seminar on Thesis and Professional Projects.

Dr. Córdova was the founder and director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning, a Center within the School of Architecture and Planning, which enables students to engage in research and policy analysis on issues affecting traditional communities in New Mexico. She sits on numerous boards and steering committees of government agencies, community development corporations, planning organizations, and campus committees.

She is the President of the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, which serves the South Valley near Albuquerque. She works closely with the Environmental Justice Movement and publishes on global/local relations, grassroots activism, and issues of community development. Dr. Córdova, who received her Ph.D. from University of California Berkley, also publishes in the field of Chicana Studies and education.

Schedule of Events with Teresa Córdova

  • Wetmore Lecture: Practice, Politics, and Planning, 12:30-1:45 pm, TBH 225

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning) and the College of Fine and Applied Arts’ Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art series. For more information, contact Professor Elizabeth Sweet, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, esweet1@illinois.edu, 217-333-9069.



Mike Shiffer November 3, 2008

Dr. Mike Shiffer is a Clinical Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He also provides consulting services related to the mass transit industry. He was formerly Vice President for Planning and Development at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) where he led the strategic and operations planning efforts of the second largest public transit system in the U.S. Before moving to CTA, Shiffer was an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at UIC. His academic research has focused on how information technologies can better inform deliberation, decision-making and public debate with a focus on spatial information. Prior to joining UIC, Shiffer served for nine years on the MIT faculty where he was Principal Research Scientist and a Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Shiffer received his Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Master's of Urban Planning from DURP at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign he also holds a B.A. in Geography from DePaul University.

Schedule of Events with Mike Shiffer

  • Wetmore Lecture: Technology and Mass Transit Planning: The Old and the New, 4:00-5:30 pm, Temple Buell Architecture Gallery, Architecture Building

      How can “smart” buses and rail stations digitally feed the planning process? How do dynamic maps and other spatial multimedia tools support active plans for infrastructure development? Throughout the history of our urban areas, technology has influenced mass transportation. Yet, now with constrained budgets and growing demand, large transit systems face significant challenges. New applications of information technology present a significant opportunity for strategic decision support and improved planning processes. Using history as a guide, this presentation describes how agencies have leveraged data sources, multimedia tools and visualization techniques to reshape planning. The results translate into more agile complementary networks of bus and rail transit that have the capacity to adapt to changing land-use patterns and customer demands.

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Professor Zorica Nedovic-Budic, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, budic@illinois.edu, 217-244-5402.



Rynne Suzanne Rynne December 1, 2008

Suzanne Rynne, AICP, MUP '04, is Manager of the American Planning Association’s Green Communities Research Center and a Senior Research Associate. She is the project manager for a research project on integrating energy and climate change issues into planning practice, which, in collaboration with the Environmental & Energy Study Institute, will result in an online, searchable database of case studies, as well as a Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Report, scheduled to be published in 2009. She is also the project manager for the complete streets research project, and regularly contributes to other ongoing projects. Additionally, she is the co-editor of PAS Memo, a bimonthly electronic publication for subscribers to APA’s Planning Advisory Service.

Prior to joining APA’s research team, Ms. Rynne was a project manager and community planner with a consulting firm in California. She also has a variety of environmental and planning experience in the public sector, having worked with several government agencies at the federal, state, and local level. Ms. Rynne has authored articles for several publications, has been a course instructor and workshop instructor, and has spoken on panels at various conferences on topics related to planning and sustainability. Ms. Rynne holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Schedule of Events with Suzanne Rynne

  • Wetmore Lecture: The American Planning Association’s new Green Communities Research Center, 12-1:00 pm, Temple Buell Room 225

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Professor Rob Olshansky, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, robo@illinois.edu, 217-333-8703.



Elsie Harper-Anderson March 9, 2009

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson is currently serving as the Ariel Investments Visiting Research Fellow at the Chicago Urban League. She is also founder and CEO of Regional Economic Policy Research L.L.C. Prior to her appointment at the Chicago Urban League, Dr. Harper-Anderson worked as an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan where she taught courses in economic development, program evaluation and quantitative methods.

Dr. Harper-Anderson’s research focuses on the connection between macroeconomic change and minority labor markets. Dr. Harper-Anderson also conducts research on enhancing the connection between workforce development and economic development in urban areas. Her current study examines the role of African American entrepreneurs and workers in the professional services sector of the Chicago regional economy.

In addition to a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, she also holds M.S. in Public Management and Policy from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation examined the role of globalization in the distribution of high-skilled jobs among African Americans in the San Francisco Bay area. Prior to her post at Michigan, Dr. Harper-Anderson taught at the University of California, Berkeley in the City and Regional Planning, and the African American Studies departments, and at Ball State University in the Urban and Regional Planning department. She has also worked as a Social Scientist for Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland, California and in various consulting and community development positions in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

Schedule of Events with Elsie Harper-Anderson

  • Wetmore Lecture: The Future of African Americans in the Professional Service Sector of Chicago: Capturing Opportunities Facing Challenge, March 9th, 12-1:00 pm, Temple Buell Room 225

The Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning) and by the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts. For more information, contact Prof. Elizabeth Sweet, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, esweet1@illinois.edu, 217-333-9069.



John W. Frece April 8, 2009

John Frece has been recently appointed by the new administration in Washington to lead the Development, Community and Environment Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, better known as USEPA’s Smart Growth Office. He leads an office of 20 staff that coordinates several funding programs to state and local governments, oversees the national Smart Growth Network, sponsors the annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference, conducts research (or provides grants or contracts for research) and conducts technical assistance at the state and local level, including as a 50% contributor to the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

Previously, John W. Frece was the Associate Director of the National Center for Smart Growth and an adjunct professor in Urban Studies and Planning, before which he worked for seven years on the staff of former Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening, where he was a coordinator, adviser and chief spokesman for Maryland's Smart Growth initiative. For more than two decades prior to that, Frece was a newspaper reporter covering politics and government for the Baltimore Sun, United Press International and the Reston Times. He is co-author of My Unexpected Journey: The Autobiography of Governor Harry Roe Hughes (The History Press, 2006), co-editor of Incentives, Regulations and Plans: The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning (Edward Elgar, 2007), and author of Sprawl & Politics: The Inside Story of Smart Growth in Maryland (forthcoming, SUNY Press, April 2008). He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Schedule of Events with John Frece

  • Wetmore Lecture: Smart Growth and Community Design: 10 Lessons, 4-5:30 pm, Temple Buell Room 223
  • Informal reception: 5:30 PM, Temple Buell Room 223

The Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning) and by the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts. For more information, contact Prof. Arnab Chakraborty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, arnab@illinois.edu, 217-244-8728.



Pam Thompson April 14, 2009

Pam Thompson is an economic development analyst for the City of Dallas. She manages three tax increment finance districts for the city, helping to bring over $50 million in new taxable value to her districts, including Buzz condos, the Beat at South Side Station and La Reunion Town Center. Her projects are walkable, sustainable, environmentally-friendly urban infill residential and mixed use developments.

Before joining the city in 2006, Pam worked for seven years as an analyst for the real estate research company M/PF Research in Dallas, Texas and went on to receive her Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She is currently a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute. She believes that planners, architects, engineers, bankers, and developers should work together to understand each other’s roles in improving the built environment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Schedule of Events with Pam Thompson

  • Wetmore Lecture: Question Everything...Or, How Not to Get Promoted, 12:30-1:50 pm, Temple Buell Room 225
  • Lunch: 2-3:00 PM, Temple Buell Hall Atrium

The Wetmore Lecture is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Louis B. Wetmore Fund (Department of Urban & Regional Planning). For more information, contact Prof. Mary Edwards, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, mmedward@illinois.edu, 217-333-3211.