Student Leader Chronicles: SNU bridges the gap between school and community

Ryan Forst's picture

Great things are happening here at the Congress for the New Urbanism! Last week this salon series profiled the recently established Students for the New Urbanism (SNU) University of North Carolina group. Well, this week we have even more good news to share with you readers: Arizona State University (ASU) has officially formed a SNU group too! In this post, student founder Maggie Soffel and group advisor Aaron Kimberlin share some thoughts with us about the group’s recent formation, its purpose, and its future.

Both Maggie and Aaron take pride in the fact that the SNU group will be ASU’s first urban focused group. They see it as a way to bridge the wide gap between ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning and the greater Phoenix area. This gap was one reason why Maggie thought a SNU group was necessary. The road to formation turned out to be rather simple. When asked the question what challenges did you face establishing the group Maggie replied, “there were not many, it was really easy.” Reflecting on the group’s formation, Maggie’s advice to those starting their own SNU group is to find an advisor with a big heart who supports the cause. Aaron, a CNU member, fits that description perfectly!

Now that the group is established, Aaron and Maggie are focusing their efforts on reaching out to the other professional organizations for partnerships. They see collaboration as the key for their group’s future success, and they hope to work with other organizations on research, fundraising, competitions, and events.

If you think a Students for the New Urbanism group could fill a void at your school or for more information on Students for the New Urbanism contact Caitlin Ghoshal. Also, make sure to visit the Students for the New Urbanism webpage!

The author thanks Aaron and Maggie for their contribution to this post. Aaron Kimberlin is the Assistant Director of Community Engagement at ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning and holds a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Meanwhile. Maggie Soffel is pursuing ASU’s Master of Urban and Environmental Planning.


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