Student Spotlight: Katia Polster


Degree: Masters of Urban and Regional Planning

Expected graduation: Spring 2018

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why did you choose the School of Social Ecology?

I chose the school because of its accreditation, research opportunities, and the strength of the faculty research.

How did you grow interested in your current field of study?

I was working for newspaper publications in journalism covering urban issues. I first pursued an MBA for social entrepreneurship and changed my Masters to Urban and Regional Planning after taking electives in community-based economic development and social policy and planning at a different university.

What has been your most memorable or significant experience so far at UCI?

There are many: the mentorship program, distinguished fellows program, attending state and national conferences with classmates, engaging with graduate students in other programs as an elected representative of the School of Social Ecology on the AGS Council. I've also worked with students from other UC campuses while representing UCI as Legislative Director on the University of California Student Association board.

How do you envision your degree from UCI opening doors for you or benefit your career?

Completing thesis research at an accredited research campus in Urban and Regional Planning will distinguish me from other candidates in a highly competitive field. It's a pathway to my goal of working in research and development for a regional planning government association.