OCS Conference Funding Submission

Event Photo:

The slogan and social media promotion for the conference was "It takes a planner"

Philadelphia City Hall from one side of the Pennsylvania Conference Center

Name: Jake Mericle



Conference Host Organization/Institution: American Planning Association (APA)

Conference/Competition Name: National Planning Conference 2023

Conference Term: Spring Conference Start Date: 2023-04-01 Conference End Date: 2023-04-04

What were your takeaways from this conference/case competition?
The conference was a great way to explore not only Philadelphia, the host city, but also was a great opportunity to discover other paths within the field of planning as well as meeting individuals from across the country and around the world. I really appreciated being able to meet and talk to other planners and planning students about their paths to planning as well as future goals. It helped inform me about my potential future plans.

How will your participation in this conference/case competition support your professional development?
This conference has both expanded and solidified my future professional goals. I am now more sure than ever that I want to go into transportation planning and I am excited to get started. This conference has expanded where I want to look for those transportation planning careers. The list of cities I want to look for jobs to take my experience from this program is growing which helps me be flexible when it comes time to find full-time employment. So no matter where I am, the conference has helped me confirm that transportation is my future.

What are some next steps or action items this conference/case competition inspired?
One session I attended that was very interesting was called, "Understanding the Complexities of Tribal Planning." In the session, the presenters discussed what bodies of law govern Native American tribes and reservations and how those bodies of law govern planning for the tribes. It was really fascinating to hear about this because I feel it has not been something I have learned about in my studies. Next steps after the conference for me include doing my own research into tribal planning and finding ways to incorporate that into class assignments or publish that work through the Wagner Planner.

What are some tips or best practices that you would like to share with other Wagner students who attend a conference/case competition?
For any student wanting to attend a conference, make sure to rest and do not be afraid to talk to strangers. The conference is long and packed with many great sessions. But to make it through make sure you take breaks throughout the day. I had a great time at the conference but when I got back to New York, it took me two full days to feel well rested again. Further, everyone there has your similar interests and they want to talk about it as much as you, so put yourself out there.

Wagner Areas of Impact: Cities, Education, Government, Health, Housing, Inequality, Race, and Poverty, Leadership, Social Innovation, Transportation