As of February 2012

Ron Dwyer-Voss, MUPP '91 currently has his own company, Pacific Community Solutions, Inc. (contact info below) This Spring he will celebrate 6 years of running his own company.  After getting his MUPP he spent 15 years in the nonprofit world, mostly focusing on housing, health and community organizing in both urban and rural communities.  He also served two terms on his local school board.  In 2006 he founded Pacific Community Solutions to focus on training and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and local governments, especially applying Asset Based Community Development approaches to their goals and programs.  It has been a lot of fun, very rewarding and allowed him to travel all over North America.  He has also been able to expand his work into public education, mental health, and economic development fields. email:

Brian Hacker, MUPP ‘10 is currently a Researcher for the Center for Neighborhood Technology's Water Program, working on a project to promote sustainable stormwater infrastructure in metro Chicago and the Great Lakes Region. Outside of work, he volunteers in his community as Secretary to the Humboldt Park Advisory Council's Executive Board. Brian's wife gave birth to their daughter, Ola Mae, in May of 2011.

Geoff Graves, MUPP ‘93 has returned to Australia, again, but probably not permanently: After working for the LEED Council of the YMCA, directing the research and development program, he moved to Sydney, Australia in 1994, and became the executive director of the Canterbury Bankstown Economic Development Centre in Sydney’s Inner West. After changing emphasis and working with the NSW State Emergency Management Committee, he wrote all the flood, bushfire, and earthquake Emergency Plans, including the Plan for the Re-Entry of Radioactive Space Debris (!). After the Y2K fizzer, in Jan 2000 he took up a position with the UN in East Timor, initially facilitating the reconstruction of Oecussi, and then serving as Special Assistant to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations. In East Timor, Geoff and wife Rebecca were visited by Chris Hall (MUPP '92?) and a calamitous motorcycle accident. The former event is remembered with pleasure, the latter put him in hospital for months. Upon recovery the family moved to the Middle East, starting with Geoff managing the Palestine Programme for Oxfam GB in 2003, and moving back to the UN-Iraq program where he restored some public services in Kurdistan and built 50 health clinics across Iraq. Daughter #1 (Matilda) was born in Jordan in 2006. When Rebecca was posted to the UN in NYC in 2008 he followed, taking the opportunity to see Kathleen Hoye ‘93 again (and almost, Marilyn Engwall ’93). He consulted for EuropeAID, monitoring and evaluating relief and development projects across Asia (including Oecussi, Timor Leste). While hooked in to the Wi-Fi outside the very Oecusse post office he rebuilt in 2000, he applied for, and got, a position with AusAID, the Australian Government’s Aid Program, managing humanitarian partnerships with UN and NGOs globally. Daughter #2 was born in 2010 in Canberra. All continue well.

Maria Cristina Camargo MUPP '92 works at the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support ServicesWorkforce Division as the Program Evaluation Specialist.

Stephanie (Sievers) Barrett MUPP ’00 works for Bank of America as a Senior Vice President in the Tax Credit Investments group of Community Development Banking. She also serves on the Local Advisory Committee of San Diego LISC and lives in Encinitas, CA.

Mari Gallagher MUPP ‘00 is the recipient of the 2009 UIC Alumni Association's City Partner Award for "outstanding contributions to the vitality of the Chicago Metropolitan Area" and for her work on Food Deserts. She currently serves as Principal of Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group and Founding President of the National Center for Public Research.

Gerardo Lara MUPP ‘04 works for the Department of Labor - Employment and Training Administration (ETA) where he was recently promoted to supervisor. He manages staff who are assigned to various job training programs funded by ETA.   

Courtney Owen MUPP '04 became Courtney Kashima this year after her marriage in May. She joined Farr Associates in October as a senior associate in their planning studio and is excited to be working on truly sustainable planning and urban design.  Courtney is active with the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association and serves as its vice president.

Bob Fuller MUPP ’10 currently splits his time between environmental policy and projects with Alderman Joe Moore's 49th Ward Green Corps and serving as Project Administrator for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society where he is working to redevelop a former firehouse into the historical society's permanent home and museum.

Gloria Mullons MUPP ‘10 is a Resource Coordinator for Family Focus, Inc and has self published a poetry book entitled "My Awakening at 26.”


Bridget Murphy, MUPP ‘10
Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA)
2840 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60618
tel: 773/384-4370 ext. 41
fax: 773/384-0624


Michael McDermott, MUPP ‘07

Michael McDermott is an Associate, Strategic Consulting with Grubb & Ellis.  He is responsible for performing business location analysis, incentives research and negotiation, and portfolio analysis to fulfill client engagements.  Recent projects include business location and logistics analysis for a renewable energy company, multi-state incentives negotiation, and scenario building for a metropolitan real estate portfolio.  He has assisted in the development of proprietary planning tools including the Thinking Tool and Portfolio Pulse. Recently, Mr. McDermott wrote articles on topics such as global logistics challenges and best practices in site selection. 

Michael McDermott
Grubb & Ellis


Jose Torres, MUPP ‘06

After graduation Jose Torres worked as Director of Education and Human Development at Jane Addams Resource Corporation.  He was in charge of the day to day operations of his department including:  grant writing, program evaluation, staff development, and strategic planning.  Jose is currently working as a Research and Planning Associate for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He enjoys playing chess in his free time and is involved in the mayoral elections.

Jose Torres
Research and Planning Associate Archdiocese of Chicago


Helene Berlin, MUPP ‘01
Helene Berlin is currently the Principal of Market & Feasibility Advisors in Chicago.

Helene Berlin, Principal
Market & Feasibility Advisors (MFA)
One South Dearborn, Suite 2100
Office: 312-212-4451
Cell: 312-437-0111


Mari Gallagher, MUPP ‘00

Mari Gallagher, MUPP 2000, was a featured speaker for the Windy City TEDx (technology, entertainment, and design) Conference. The event took place on October 6th at the Museum of Science and Industry for a sold out crowd of 425 people.  TEDx is a global speaking platform using the Internet and videos of speeches to share “ideas worth spreading.” Examples of past speakers include Al Gore and Bill Gates.  Gallagher presented on improving information on food and health for the public good and food deserts. The video can be viewed at


Nasutsa Mabwa, MUPP ’99
Nasutsa Mabwa was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business Weekly 40 Persons Under the Age of 40. The article can be found at the following link:

Nasutsa Mabwa has sold City Hall on her company’s plan to redevelop the former South Works steel mill site, a nearly 600-acre expanse on the south lakefront that has been vacant for almost two decades.

Now Ms. Mabwa needs to sell the rest of the world on the South Shore project, which is estimated to cost $4 billion over 40 years. City officials recently approved McCaffery Interests’ plans for 13,575 homes, 17.5 million square feet of retail/commercial space and a 1,500-slip marina, one of the biggest, most complicated developments in the city’s history.

It’s a huge challenge for the former social worker and urban planner, who got the South Works job in 2006. After finagling a 15-minute interview with Dan McCaffery, president of the Chicago-based developer, Ms. Mabwa kept calling him until he hired her. “She was clearly the most persistent of anyone I’ve ever hired,” Mr. McCaffery recalls.

She’ll need persistence in today’s depressed real estate market to find retail tenants for the centerpiece of the project’s first phase: an 844,000-square-foot shopping center that McCaffery aims to start building in 2012.

But she’s got the work ethic to pull it off, says George Manos, president of real estate at Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp., the owner of the South Works site and a partner in the redevelopment. He recalls receiving work-related text messages from Ms. Mabwa just hours before she gave birth to her son.

Ms. Mabwa grew up in Evanston, where her father, an immigrant from Kenya, taught at Northwestern University. Tragedy struck in 1985, when her father murdered her mother and then took his own life.

“I was forced to grow up very quickly,” says Ms. Mabwa, who went on to Miami University in Ohio and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned a master’s in urban planning. “There was no option.”

Adam Burck, MUPP ‘91
Executive Director of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, Burck and colleague Jamie Simone (MUPP ’04) were approached by Street Films regarding the organization’s bus tracker screens. The two initiated a program that puts bus tracker screens in local businesses that provides real-time information on local bus lines. A two-minute video clip can be viewed here:


John Duffy, MUPP ’83
After graduating from the UIC MUPP program, John returned to Alaska, worked in thPlae private sector for a short white, and then began work at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough as a nning Technician. He has served as the Borough's Planning Director for about 10 years.


Elaine Soloway, MUPP ’77
Soloway has launched her rejuvenated agency, Elaine Soloway Public Relations. She first started the Public Relations agency in 1985 after stints as press aide to Mayor Jane Byrne, communications director for School Superintendent Ruth Love, and account executive for Jasculca/Terman and Associates. She left the industry in 2006 to research, write, publish, and market “The Division Street Princess.” The coming-of-age story of a girl, a store, and an immigrant Chicago neighborhood was named a 2006 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year. Soloway writes blogs “Never Too Old to Talk Tech,” and “She’s Not the Type.” To complement her tech savvy, Soloway worked as a Specialist at the Apple Store in Old Orchard, Skokie, IL.

Help us keep our records current by sending your updated information!

Jodi White Jones, Assistant Dean for Advancement
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
412 S. Peoria Street, Suite 115
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 413-9127
(312) 413-8095 (fax)

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