MEET JOYCE PAN HUANG (MUPD, ’16)
I enrolled in the program with a desire to practice in the city upon graduation. Because I am a transplant, I wanted to become more connected with the people and projects based around real urban issues in Cleveland. I didn't want my education to be simply theoretical, but to be grounded in reality. Levin College provided me with the opportunity to participate in meaningful work with real clients.
- Master of Urban Planning and Development, Cleveland State University
- Bachelor of Science, Sociology, Minor in Program in the Environment, University of Michigan
Where are you currently residing?
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Where are you from?
Rochester, New York
Position Title: Urban Planner and Industrial Development Manager
Place of Employment: MidTown Cleveland, Inc.
Job Duties: As the urban planner for MidTown Cleveland, Inc., I work with our team to implement placemaking projects, community development and real estate projects along the stretch of corridors between Downtown/Campus District and Fairfax/University Circle. I also work in economic development. As an industrial development manager, I work to provide one-on-one business outreach to connect manufacturing firms with city, county, and nonprofit resources that support their growth and retain their business within the city of Cleveland.
Describe your volunteer experience:
I've volunteered as an English practice partner with international newcomers for Global Cleveland, the board secretary for an affordable housing initiative on the near west side, and a committee chair at my church on the near west side of Cleveland. I am fairly involved in the Asian American community in Cleveland, contributing to projects related to the AsiaTown neighborhood.
Why did you decide to attend Levin?
Since moving to Cleveland in 2007, I have grown to really love and enjoy the city. I enrolled in the program with a desire to practice in the city upon graduation. Because I am a transplant, I wanted to become more connected with the people and projects based around real urban issues in Cleveland. I didn't want my education to be simply theoretical, but to be grounded in reality. Levin College provided me with the opportunity to participate in meaningful work with real clients.
How did your experience at Levin influence your career path?
I started the program with a strong desire to work in community development and neighborhood planning. Levin provided me a strong base of topics— not only the ones related to my interests, but also in economic development, real estate and market development, and urban design. The culmination of this training honed my thinking in regard to my practice with declining cities, making me a more nuanced community development practitioner.
What piece of advice do you have for current Levin graduate students?
Get involved with as many projects inside and outside of Levin. The College produces amazing research for the civic community at-large. There are many opportunities to learn about how things work and to meet inspiring leaders in the community. Cleveland has a welcoming network of researchers, thinkers, and practitioners who work together to make the city a more livable, equitable place. It's a great way to meet like-minded people and get connected.
What inspires you about Northeast Ohio? Why?
The underdog mentality! The people of Northeast Ohio have so much resilience despite the tough times and negative perceptions of the city. I've learned so much from the people I've met here about what it means to persevere and keep fighting the good fight, even if no one else thinks you can do it.
In your opinion, what’s Northeast Ohio’s best-kept secret?
There are so many! My friends are often surprised when they come here because the quality of life is so high. My answer for today is the Metroparks: They connect 100+ miles of trails from the eastern hills of the Western Reserve to the rocky areas west of the river, from our precious waterfront on Lake Erie to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We're lucky to have such accessible green space for recreation and peace of mind.