Meet your UPA 2022-23 Student Board:

President: Daniel Milbrandt, MCP

Zachary Jones, MCP

Amanda Wolfe, MCP + Applied Sustainability Graduate Certificate 

Amanda Wolfe is a second year Master of City Planning and Applied Sustainability certificate student. Amanda graduated from Roanoke College with a BA in sociology and a concentration in anthropology. Her undergraduate focus on community development led to serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County in Bridgeport, CT before joining the team at New Life Furniture Bank of MA in Walpole, MA. Amanda hopes to use her nonprofit experience in outreach and community development as a municipal planner upon graduation.

Cathy Fletcher, MCP

Cathy is a second-year master’s student in the Master of City Planning program. Her undergraduate degree was in environmental engineering, after which she worked in environmental risk assessment consulting. She participated in a service year through AmeriCorps with Habitat for Humanity where she worked on their Neighborhood Revitalization Program. There, she realized the interconnectedness of housing issues across other areas, such as transportation, education, job accessibility, and public health. Seeing the quality-of-life inequities across social groups, incomes, and demographics inspired Cathy to learn more about these issues and pursue a degree in city planning. She is currently working for the City of Bridgeport, CT, as a planner, supporting various initiatives laid out in the City’s comprehensive plan, including actions that advance equity and support a healthier and more sustainable city.

Xavier Lopez, MCP

Xuanchang (Oliver) Zhang, MCP

Xuanchang came from Xi’an, China. Graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. During his undergraduate studies, Xuanchang worked as an assistant investment executive at an equity investment firm. After graduating, he returned to China and started a year-long internship at a financial institution. His internship at a financial institution exposed him to several urban investments and local economic projects. These experiences sparked his passion for studying city planning and urban policy and drove him to Boston University. His interests revolve around urban sustainability in city planning, affordable housing, and urban economics. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, his current focus is on housing gentrification and environmental justice that may result under the 15-Minute City Theory.


Meet your UPA Board 2020-2021

Co-President: Arya Alizadeh, MCP

Arya is a second year master’s student in the Master of City Planning (MCP) program at BU. He is a native of Boston and completed his bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University. He has previously worked in politics and energy. His studies concentrate on urban design and transportation, with a focus on airports and adaptive reuse. Beyond the campus, Arya is an avid skier and woodworker. He also enjoys travel and photography.

Co-President: Ashiyana Swar

Ashiyana currently works as a Sales Associate for Cronin Development/The St. Regis Residences in Boston. She is responsible for day-to-day oversight of collecting, analyzing, and summarizing sales and marketing reports, assisting in the execution of purchases and sales agreements, event planning and contribution in production of marketing materials. Born in Nepal and raised in Cambridge, MA, she enjoys traveling and volunteering. Ashiyana is a Master of Urban Affairs candidate with a focus on community development, policy planning, sustainability, and urban design. Unchanged: Ashiyana currently works as a Sales Associate for Cronin Development/The St. Regis Residences in Boston. She is responsible for day-to-day oversight of collecting, analyzing, and summarizing sales and marketing reports, assisting in the execution of purchases and sales agreements, event planning and contribution in production of marketing materials. Born in Nepal and raised in Cambridge, MA, she enjoys traveling and volunteering. Ashiyana is a Master of Urban Affairs candidate with a focus on community development, policy planning, sustainability, and urban design.

David Nolan, MUA

David works as a Transportation Planner at the Cape Cod Commission where he oversees the Cape Cod Traffic Counting Program and the Unified Planning Work Program. He has conducted a Master Bicycle and Pedestrian plan for the Town of Chatham, assisted with outreach and preparation of the Regional Transportation Plan, and managed the creation of the Cape Cod Crash Dashboard. David holds a BA in Regional Planning from Westfield State University and is a master’s candidate in the MUA program. His research interests include transportation equity, alternative modes of travel, and public engagement best practices. Now living on beautiful Cape Cod, David enjoys coaching and playing ice hockey, rollerblading on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, and spending time on the water.

Maria Alejandra Santa, MCP 

Alejandra received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Eafit University in Medellín, Colombia. While pursuing her bachelor’s, she interned at the Colombian Consulate in the City of Boston where she discovered her passion for public service. Her primary interests lie in community development, urban design, open space, and access to public parks. Alejandra is currently pursuing a Master in City Planning with a focus on Urban Policy at Boston University’s Metropolitan College.

Cedric Shan, MUA 

Cedric is currently a full-time Master of City Planning candidate with a focus in transportation/housing policy, urban economics, as well as spatial data analysis and storytelling. Cedric works as a video producer with Currin Media, telling visual stories on social issues, and as a research volunteer with Professor Michael Harsch at Boston University on a book project on local state-building in fragile countries. He has worked in public transportation, international marketing, and media production. Prior to moving to Boston, Cedric has worked as a production analyst under CRRC Group (industry leader in producing high speed rail and public transportation systems), and as an overseas marketing representative for Cradlechem Technology (a regional pharmaceutical company in China). Cedric is a photography lover that also enjoys soccer, travel, and live music. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Global Studies from University of Minnesota.

Corey Coleman, MCP

Corey is a candidate in the Master of City Planning program and Applied Sustainability certificate program. Corey received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Fitchburg State in 2017, as well as earning the designation as a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Honors Scholar. Corey’s interest within the field of city and urban planning developed in his undergraduate capstone when researching refugee camps and their structure in Turkey. Corey is primarily interested in studying the augmentation of planning with technological advancements, as well as harms these augmentations can introduce to the environment.


Meet your UPA 2018-2019 Student Board

Joyce Sanchez President
Joyce Sanchez joined the Humphrey Fellowship Program at Boston University in July 2018 as Senior Program Coordinator. Previously, Joyce worked to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who complete higher education as a College Adviser at the Boston Day and Evening Academy under the CACBU partnership. Joyce obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Minor in Journalism from Georgia Southern University. She was an ambitious undergraduate student who served in several leadership roles such as Service-Learning Facilitator, Alternative Break Student Board Member, Model United Nations Student Organization (Model UN) Delegate, and Founder/President of The 100 Collegiate Women of America, a women empowerment organization devoted to creating leaders, economic development, and serving the community. She also zealously gave her time to volunteering domestically and abroad, graduating with over 250 hours of community service. While at Boston University, Joyce is pursuing her Master of Urban Affairs.

Logan Capone Vice-President

Logan originally hails from Wellington, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from Boston University. Logan is an Master of City Planning candidate in her second year of the program. Logan is an aspiring architect and urban designer.




Natalia ChavezPublic Affairs Officer

Natalia is a Program Assistant at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School and a graduate assistant for Professor Madhu Dutta-Koehler at Boston University. Natalia has worked in public policy, research and analytics, political campaigns, communications, and real estate investments. Prior to moving to Boston from California, she worked as a Research and Policy Analyst at Covered California, the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, and as a Press Aide for the Democratic Caucus of the California State Assembly. Natalia holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Santa Clara University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in City Planning at Boston University.



Claire Moss SecretaryClaire hails from much sunnier Southern California. Today, she is the acting Stormwater/ Project Manager for the Town of Wakefield where she serves as the Town’s point person on stormwater related tasks; outreach, conservation, and water quality management. Prior to her position in town, Claire attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she earned a BS in Public Health and Environmental Science in 2017. Claire’s senior thesis titled “the role of green space in urban planning, a case study: management of stormwater using green infrastructure” sparked her interest in City Planning and brought her to BU’s Masters in City Planning program a year later. Claire attends BU part time as an MCP and public policy and sustainability certificates candidate. Her interests include: water management, facilitating community engagement campaigns, and resilient infrastructure.


Ben Cares Treasurer

Ben currently works in the construction industry as a Design Engineer. A born and raised New Englander with a penchant for dogs and dining, Ben has a well-developed background in engineering, sustainable design, and community development. Ben has held roles as President of Engineers Without Borders at the University of Vermont and as a Traffic Data Analyst within Burlington, Vermont municipalities. Ben is an MCP candidate with a focus on green infrastructure, sustainability, and transportation equity and efficiency.


Michael Zayas International Officer

Michael is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He is currently pursuing the Master of City Planning jointly with the Applied Sustainability Certificate. His academic background is in Business Administration, where he holds a BBA in Commerce and Finance from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and an MBA in Finance from the Interamerican University from Puerto Rico. He has almost three years of full-time work experience in the Banking and Technology Industries. His interests in Planning includes Energy, Sustainability, and Food Systems.


Steven Lassman Social Media and Marketing Officer

Steven comes from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelors of architecture. He is currently working full-time with Dimella Shaffer Architects in Boston. Steven is an MCP candidate in his second year of the program. He is interested in urban design, transportation and housing policy, and sustainable development.




Meet your UPA 2016-2017 Student Board

Luis Quintanilla President

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Luis is an Industrial and Systems Engineer with ten years of work experience in manufacturing, production control and logistics, and new products development. Luis is now a full-time international student at BU, currently enrolled in the MCP Program and he is passionate about efficient and sustainable transportation solutions in urban settings.

Yi Ding Vice-President

A energetic Chinese girl from Beijing, Yi just finished her undergraduate life in Beijing Jiaotong University. She studied transportation in her undergraduate major, and hope to learn more in transportation on MCP program. Yi is now a full-time international student at BU, currently enrolled in the MCP program.

Alejandro Delgado – Public Affairs Officer
Captura de pantalla 2016-10-13 a las 11.29.48 a.m.

Alejandro is a senior executive from Medellín, Colombia with more than 16 years of experience in the use of science, technology, and innovation for community wealth. The scope of his knowledge and expertise includes economic and geopolitical analysis, innovation policy deployment, economic and business development tools, project management, and entrepreneurship. Alejandro is interested in urban economic development through the convergence of technology, sociology, psychology and biology.

Michael Schulte Secretary

Michael is a long time resident of the city, having first moved here to earn his B.A. in History at Boston University. He also enjoys a variety of sports, especially baseball, and gives walking tours as a docent with Boston By Foot. Other hobbies include cooking, sailing, and playing the ukulele.

Yunwen Ou Treasurer

Growing up in a coastal city, South China, Yunwen majored in human geography in undergraduate and worked in transportation department of Guangdong Province for nearly one year. Yunwen is currently a full-time student at BU, pursuing master degree of city planning and interested in environmental planning, especially public health change due to urban development.

Xueer Liu International Officer

Xueer comes from a city whose growth within 30 years represent an age of dramatic urban transformation in China. Then she went abroad and began with experiencing the Neighborhood Unit-style development in New Jersey and collaborative planning in Seattle. After finishing her Bachelor’s in City Planning and Asian Studies in University of Washington, she now is a student in the Master of City Planning program of BU. Her interest lies in urban design and data analysis.

Zhaonan Wang Social Media and Marketing Officer
Growing up in Beijing, China, Zhaonan earned his bachelor degree in GIS (Geographic Information System) at Peking University. Now he is enrolled in MCP (Master of City Planning) program, and expected to graduate in January 2017. His expertise is in data analysis, applying tools like GIS and statistics. Throughout these years, he participated into a few research projects about GIS, remote sensing, climate and sustainability.

Monique Yaptenco BUCPUA Student Ambassador-at-large

Monique grew up in a sleepy college town, living on one of the foothills of a dormant volcano overlooking the campus of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. She is a Masters in City Planning candidate having started her studies in the Fall of 2015. She has a certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA Extension and has worked for the United Nations Secretariat in New York City and the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. She works full-time as BU’s Compliance Coordinator.