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Urban Planning Alumni Panel

March 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Panel Members:

  • Khalilah Burt Gaston, MUP ‘08
    Vanguard Community Development Corporation (Detroit, MI)
  • Deirdre Groves, MUP ‘09
    The Collaborative Group (Birmingham, Michigan)
  • Robert Linn, MUP ‘11
    Data Driven Detroit (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Elizabeth Luther, MUP ’09
    Michigan Community Resources (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Taylor Traub, MUP ’12 and MA ‘11
    Robert Charles Lesser& Co (Washington, DC)
  • Joshua Brugeman, MUP ‘09
    Clean Energy Coalition (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
  • Khalilah Burt Gaston, MUP ‘08
    Vanguard Community Development Corporation (Detroit, MI)

    Khalilah Burt Gaston was named Deputy Director of Vanguard Community Development in April 2012. In this capacity, Ms. Gaston helps to provide strategic direction for the organization, manages a 12 member team and oversees all internal operations. Ms. Gaston joined Vanguard after 13 years of building her career in real estate and community development.

    From 2009 through early 2012, she was the Development Specialist for the State of Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority where she was responsible for leading all real estate development projects for the Authority including the acquisition of the Farwell Building to support the Capitol Park Redevelopment Initiative. Prior to joining the state land bank, Ms. Burt Gaston was with the Downtown Detroit Partnership for four years.

    Khalilah Burt Gaston received Bachelors of Arts in Sports Management and Communication degree and a Master’s of Urban Planning degree and from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she was recognized by the University of Michigan/Urban Land Institute Real Estate Forum, Network of Commercial Real Estate Women and the Center for the Education of Women for her academic accomplishments.

    Elizabeth Luther, MUP ’09
    Michigan Community Resources (Detroit, Michigan)

    Elizabeth serves as a Planning and Technical Program Manager at Michigan Community Resources (MCR). She joined MCR’s staff in December 2010 and has devoted the majority of her time to the Detroit Works Project planning team, ensuring that participants’ opinions and ideas were injected into technical work along the way and into the final Detroit Future City report. Under the umbrella of the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign, she also provides high-quality planning and technical assistance (primarily related to vacancy, housing condition, housing market, and neighborhood stabilization issues) to Detroit’s nonprofit community organizations and residents.

    Prior to joining MCR, Elizabeth led economic development and community planning processes for the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission in Benton Harbor, and held a fellowship at the Chicago Transit Authority. In graduate school, she worked on projects in Detroit and Ann Arbor addressing neighborhood commercial corridors, vacant property inventories, neighborhood indicators, non-motorized infrastructure, and the City’s system of community development corporations.

    She received a B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame in 2004, and graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2009 with a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

    Robert Linn, MUP ‘11
    Data Driven Detroit (Detroit, Michigan)

    Robert Linn is a GIS Data Analyst at Data Driven Detroit (D3). Since joining the Community Development team at D3 in April 2011, he has used a mixture of spatial and tabular data analyses to oversee or assist economic forecasts, apportionment plans, parking studies, market studies, and land use and neighborhood planning efforts. Currently, he is overseeing a parking study for Quicken Loans, a housing demand forecast for Midtown Detroit, Inc., and economic and demographic market studies for Eastern Market Corporation.

    While he is away from his desk, Robert works as an occasional contributor to Next City magazine, recently published a comprehensive guidebook to Detroit (Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit), manages a small housing development company, and recently received funding to build and oversee and outdoor theater in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood.

    Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts (2009) and Master of Urban Planning (2011) from the University of Michigan.

    Taylor Traub, MUP ’12 and MA ‘11
    Robert Charles Lesser& Co (Washington, DC)

    Taylor Traub is an Associate with Robert Charles Lesser & Co. and will begin working in their Bethesda, MD office in the coming weeks. RCLCO helps developers, financial institutions, institutional investors, and public-sector entities make sound decisions about real estate strategies.

    He recently accepted the position after graduating from Michigan’s MUP program in December 2012. During his time at Michigan, Taylor’s research focused on real estate and economic development, and worked with Professor Larsen and Professor Dueweke on this past fall’s ‘Detroit Climate Action Collaborative’ capstone project.

    His work experience includes time with AECOM Economics and Rossetti Design Associates. While at AECOM, Taylor co-authored multiple market analyses and impact studies pertaining to mixed-use sports and entertainment districts. At Rossetti, Taylor leveraged data in order to enhance the firm’s design process.”


    March 22, 2013
    4:45 pm