Margaret Ross-Martin

San Antonio, Texas

I love that planning is an interdisciplinary field. I have classmates with diverse interests that range from transportation to housing to economic development.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

I chose Cornell for many reasons. I liked that the M.R.P. curriculum is both rigorous and flexible, and allows me to take advantage of other departments and resources on campus. I was also drawn to CRP's social justice orientation and low tuition relative to the other programs that I was considering.

What inspired you to join the field of city and regional planning?

I love that planning is an interdisciplinary field. I have classmates with diverse interests that range from transportation to housing to economic development. This is what makes planning so dynamic — we can better understand and shape the built environment when we consider its various elements in relation to one another.

What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?

CRP is such a welcoming, collaborative, and tight-knit community. Shout out to the social chairs in the department, who do an amazing job developing a range of inclusive programming throughout the semester.

What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?

I love to move my body! Running, practicing yoga, lifting weights, and hiking up that dang hill. I also love to throw dinner parties and cook big meals for lots of friends.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

Did you know that Louisiana loses a football field of land every 90 minutes? And that while there's a plan for restoring this loss, there's not enough money to pay for it? For my capstone project, I am looking at the potential for innovative financing — like impact bonds and investments — to fill the gap.