USC Price MPL Ambassador Bios
Negin Afarinesh grew up in Orange County, CA and is a second-year Master of Planning student, with a concentration in sustainable land use and transportation. She recently graduated from the UC Irvine with a bachelor’s in Political Science. She currently works as the Strategic Plan Fellow in the Office of Extraordinary Innovation at LA Metro. Negin chose USC for its interdisciplinary curriculum, hands on experience, and vast networking opportunities. She believes being in Los Angeles is the perfect place for anyone looking for opportunities to explore their interests; there is something for everyone!
Jason Cheng is a Master of Planning student focusing in Sustainable Land Use and Real Estate Development. Originally from Hong Kong, he fell in love with Los Angeles’ diversity, creative energy and congestion during his undergraduate years as a journalism major at USC. He decided to return to his alma mater because of the new University Village. Jason wants to work at the intersection of UX design and urban planning, and wants to create innovative and citizen-centered technology for smart cities. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on the Lakers, designing clothing, singing to his dog, Remy, and dreaming about eating HK-style baked pork chop rice.
Daniel Atlai Coronado is a Los Angeles native from the unincorporated area of East Los Angeles. Daniel is a first-year Master in Urban Planning with a concentration in sustainable land use. Daniel’s decision to choose sustainable land use is based on his life experience of growing up in a low-income neighborhood that has been intersected by four freeways to which many of the residents’ health has been affected. Daniel currently interns with Public Matters that work’s with ELARA (East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy), an academy of a local East Los Angeles High School, in exposing high school students to urban planning concepts and issues. Daniel is a strong believer in diversifying the planning field, equitably. Daniel’s career goals are to work at the regional planning level to implement policies and action to better equitably serve underrepresented neighborhoods and communities.
Alex Freedman is a dual Master in Public Policy and Master of Planning student at USC Price. Before USC, he got his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and went on to spend five years working in farm to school non-profits, for a municipal health department, and on farm. His policy interests focus on equitable food systems and urban community development. When not in class, Alex is a organizing member of the Students of Color and Allies Policy Forum (SCAPF) and a member of the Queer Policy Caucus. He also loves going on adventures around LA in search of the best eats and free things to do!
Herry Gulabani is a first year MPL student with concentration in Economic and Real Estate development. He comes from India, where he did his undergraduate in Civil Engineering. He believes that the bond Trojan Family shares, makes everyone feel at home and is a big benefactor for your “Priceful” career. He is a big stand-up fanatic who could talk about comedy for life time.
Zhi Hu is pursuing a Master of Planning degree with a concentration in Economic Development. He graduated from Washington State University with a BA Business Administration. Zhi is involved with the Associated Students of Planning & Development and Graduate Student Government.
Joshua Jeffrey is a first-year Master of Public Administration and Master of Planning student at the University of Southern California. He chose Price for its academic focus in local government, career development programs, and unparalleled professional network. Joshua serves as the Vice President of Administration for the Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council. He is passionate about environmental stewardship, and has worked to expand community access to municipal resources throughout the northeast San Fernando Valley. When he isn’t busy searching for parking at a civic meeting downtown, Joshua enjoys exploring Los Angeles and playing music.
Gregory Kajszo is a second year student pursuing a Master of Planning. He aims to integrate his background in environmental science with his current focus in economic development to improve land use planning in Los Angeles. He is currently working as a consultant for the Southern California Gas Company. Gregory’s favorite books include Diamond Age, House of Leaves, and Anathem.
Kyle McGowan is a first-year MPL concentrating in Transportation and Infrastructure. He received his bachelors from the University of Arizona in Urban and Regional Development in 2015. After graduating, he gained experience in Washington, DC at the George Washington University, working on sustainability issues. Kyle came to Price to study the intersection between transportation systems and land use. He is passionate about using intelligent transportation technologies to create denser, greener, and more livable cities.
Upsana Paul is a first-year Master of Planning student. She was drawn to USC Price for its interdisciplinary curriculum and its policy based approach to planning. Originally from India, Upasana graduated from Jadavpur University with a Bachelors in Architecture and hopes to channel her skills and experiences as an architect, coupled with her love for cities into a fulfilling career in the planning field. In her leisure time, Upasana loves reading books on economics and going on long walks around the city.
Janet Rodriguez is a first year Master of Planning student. Growing up in Los Angeles, she has always been drawn to issues revolving the City. She is interested in environmentally focused sustainable development. She chose USC Price because of the proximity to Downtown Los Angeles, the network opportunities, and the theory to practice nature of the program. She currently works as a graduate research assistant in the USC Center for Economic Development. She is enjoying being part of the price community, and gaining experience and knowledge that will help her in her career.
Nicholas Ryu is a Master of Planning student with a Concentration in Sustainable Land Use (Class of 2018). He is currently interested in planning with a focus on climate change, environmental, and renewable energy policies and programs. He chose USC for graduate school based on the multidisciplinary curriculum, networking, and opportunities to work in the Los Angeles area.
Tanya Shah is a current first year graduate student pursuing her Master of Planning degree, with a concentration in sustainable land use. She has a previous Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. She is really passionate about using sustainable methods and solutions for solving everyday issues. She chose USC Price for the immense resources it offers its students and due to its location in the heart of Los Angeles which provides a great platform to explore all aspects of urban planning. She believes that at USC, you can have it all: a great social environment, amazing academic resources and an amazing weather to enjoy throughout the year!
Douglas Tohom is a native Angeleno that grew up in Echo Park and a 2nd year dual Masters of Public Administration and Master of Planning student, with a concentration in Social and Community Planning. He received a dual bachelor in History and Urban Studies & Planning from the University of California, San Diego (2015). Douglas decided to return to Los Angeles to pursue his Master degrees because he felt passionate about the importance of community and civic engagement in the planning process. He hopes to serve as a link between the planning profession, government officials, developers and community members to empower historically underrepresented populations and create a more equitable city. Outside of planning his passions include working towards issues of educational equity and long-distance running.
Alexander Yee, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, is a second year MPL concentrating in Sustainable Land Use planning. He received his bachelors from Tufts University in International Relations and Chinese, and gained professional experience in Washington, DC working at a large law firm between undergraduate and graduate school. Alex came to Price to study planning because he is interested in urban resilience and climate change adaptation, particularly addressing sea level rise. He is studying the role of cities in implementing adaptation policies and utilizing smart urban design to improve resilience.