November 2017
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Mapping the MAS Intern Landscape


Guest post by Jarrett Ley, MAS Intern

Every season brings new interns and this summer is robust at MAS. We’ve been setting up shop all around the office, filling in work-spaces and learning the ways of MAS. Moving from south to north, I’ve mapped out the MAS intern-landscape.

Stationed in Pod 1 outside of the conference room, we find two graduate school colleagues: Chris Penalosa and Brandie Moreno. Chris and Brandie are in their second year as urban planning students at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and are both serving as Editorial Interns. Together they are bringing their knowledge of communication design and architecture to the emerging discourse on resilience. Earlier this year they worked together on compiling the notes from SIRR convenings, their work continues as Brandie explores opportunities for community engagement in the implementation of SIRR’s report while Chris edits The Nature of Cities blog.

Across the way in Pod 2 is this summer’s Community Engagement Intern, Mari Giurastante, who is supporting initiatives such as MASterworks. Mari is preparing to finish her undergraduate degrees in Urban & Regional Studies and Anthropology at Cornell University. It was at Cornell that she developed her interest in the role of public arts in community development and livability.

Walking up the hall, past the lobby, and around the bend, you can find Francine Morales hard at work as this summer’s Historic Preservation Intern in Quad 1. Francine just graduated from the Pratt Institute with a M.S. in Historic Preservation and is bringing her passion for excavating an historical understanding of place to her research on historic homes and the contemporary discourse surrounding civic buildings in the city.

Also in Quad 1 is one of our Design and Planning Interns, Florence Haung. Florence recently graduated from Columbia University with a M.S. in Urban Design, and notes the emphasis on urban context of New York as an influence on her own work with public space here at MAS.

Jumping to Quad 2, we find two other Design and Planning Interns—Ana Fisyak and Cassandra Ballew, who bring their collective expertise in architecture design and public space to their mapping of conditions in East Midtown as well as their design research on Penn Station.  It was the necessity of their collaboration that brought Cassandra from her previous set up in Pod 6.  She just completed her M.S. in Urban Planning at Columbia University, while Ana is currently pursuing a M.S. in Sustainable Planning & Development at the Pratt Institute.

With that, I return to my own desk in Quad 4 where I recently completed work on this year’s Gala and am currently working with Mather High School as the President’s Intern. I graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in Art & Art History this spring. It was there that I designed an LGBTQ homeless youth center, an interest which I continue to explore here at MAS through my research on social justice issues for this year’s MAS Summit for New York City.

If you are in undergraduate or graduate school and are passionate about MAS’s mission to fight for a more livable, resilient New York – consider applying for the next round of internships in the Fall!