STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 12/15/2009

ALUMNI NEWS: For Love of Cities

Andrea Arnold '02

Before I even knew about urban planning I knew I wanted to make cities vibrant, sustainable and equitable. As a Pike Scholar, I majored in environmental studies and sociology. In the spring of 2001 I studied in San Francisco through Westmont College’s Urban Studies Program, focusing on poverty, race, history, local economy, architecture and culture. That semester was a catalyst for me: I fell in love with city life.

In 2003 I moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Coalition for Smarter Growth, an organization partnering with community leaders, businesses and government officials. I met many urban-planning professionals and discovered how much they cared about cities. During my senior year at Gordon, Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology, encouraged me to pursue graduate education. In the fall of 2008 I began graduate work in city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—one of the best urban-planning programs in the country.

Urban planners are stewards—shaping the built environment, protecting the natural world and establishing communities. At Gordon we learned to integrate our faith with our vocation; I’m fortunate to have been in an academic setting where I could explore my interests and faith alongside Christian scholars, mentors and peers.