"I've been interested in transportation in cities since I was little. I grew up with a bus stop outside my house in Denver and saw how important public transit was for people to get to work. I chose Chicago for grad school, in part, because I was fascinated by the L system. While I was at UIC, I got really into the funding and finance side of transportation, which brought me to CMAP.
"I like my job because it involves working with municipal staff on ground-level projects and helping them access the information they need to fulfill their community goals. In the Northern Lakeshore Trail Connectivity Plan, it was important to include feasible steps toward constructing project recommendations. The communities already have grant applications in, only a few months after plan adoption, and they're ready to implement.
"I feel fortunate that I get to work with all these different kinds of communities and understand them on a deeper level. Each community has a spectrum of perspectives and priorities, and I enjoy helping them come to consensus on a plan for the future."
Jen graduated with a master's in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of work, they enjoy walking and biking around their neighborhood and hiking with their dog in Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve in Lake County.