Saturday, August 22, 2009

Welcome New MUPPs!

Fellow MUPPs,

Please join me in welcoming the new cohort of MUPP students as they begin the next exciting phase of their lives! I had the pleasure of meeting our new colleagues on Thursday, and I can say with absolute certainty that our CUPPA Community is now brighter, more spirited, and stronger with their presence. We're glad you're here!

To our new colleagues: you are now part of an awesome community of engaged scholars and intelligent professionals, and you have joined the largest, strongest Planning network in the country. Please take full advantage of the resources and opportunities that are being made available to you.

To aid in your last-minute preparations for classes next week, I offer a brief to-do list:
  • Double-check your schedule in the self-service application and make sure your finances are in order
  • Log in to Blackboard, make sure the courses you've registered for show up under "My Courses"
  • Browse around each course's Blackboard site and check for a syllabus - particularly check whether or not there is a reading assignment due before the first class
  • If you have not already, get any textbooks that are assigned to your classes either at the UIC Bookstore or online at a site like
  • While you're at it, get a good planner/organizer or invest in a good calendar app for your phone me on this one
  • Fill out your UPPSA Membership Form (email the UPPSA Board if you need one) and either turn it in along with a check or money order made out to 'UPPSA' for (a measly) $15 to Ann Barnds (CUPPA room 225) OR bring it to the first UPPSA General Assembly meeting on August 28 (6pm, basement lounge)
  • Join UPPSA on Facebook and LinkedIn, and befriend all of your UPPSA Board members! (see names below)
  • Visit the NEW UPPSA website, designed by Mike Sobczak, UPPSA Treasurer, at (please note that this is a work in progress and we would like to hear any comments you have about it), as well as the UPPSA Blog
Phew! After you've completed these activities, you'll be as ready as you'll ever be.

Please also keep your eyes peeled for your UPPSA Board members:

Jennessa Berg: Secretary
Katie Bowman: Vice-President
Valbona Kokoshi: APA Representative
Jason Saavedra: President
Annie Shim: Chief Activities Officer
Mike Sobczak: Treasurer
Andy Waggoner: Professional Development Officer

Look for them in class and don't be shy - just introduce yourself! Soon we will have photos and bios up on the website so you can get to know us better.

On a final note, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of my fellow Board members, but particularly Annie Shim, for the hard work put in toward making the First Annual CUPPA Block Party an absolute, irrefutable success! The event was not only a lot of fun, but also exemplified our level of commitment to you as our colleague and as part of our greater Community. This year, UPPSA's official motto is "Make It Happen!" I hope you'll consider joining us in our efforts to Make It Happen for you and your Community.


Jason Saavedra
Candidate, Master of Urban Planning and Policy
President, Urban Planning and Policy Student Association
University of Illinois at Chicago

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