Student Spotlight, Anna Maki, University of Utah
Anna Maki is a second-year masters student in the City and Metropolitan Planning department at the University of Utah. She currently works as a graduate research assistant for the university, and as a transit community outreach and marketing intern at Park City Municipal Corporation. Anna is serving as president of Point B, UU's student transportation group, for the 2022/23 academic year, and has also worked as an active transportation intern for UU's sustainability office. She earned her BS in environmental studies from Utah State.
Tell us about yourself?
I moved from Boise, Idaho to Utah in 2013 and have lived, and adventured, in Salt Lake City for the past five years. I’m currently in my second year of the Metropolitan Planning (MCMP) program and am working as a research assistant creating a walkability audit with an instructional module to be taught in the U’s classrooms. I’ll also be collaborating with the Wasatch Front Regional Council on conducting a walkability and urban design audit in South Salt Lake.
What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?
I grew up with great access to the outdoors, which generated an interest in sustainability, accessibility, and bicycling. This in turn led me to an active transportation internship with the University of Utah’s Sustainability Office during my first year in the MCMP program, where I worked on creating a new Transportation Equity program called "U in Motion." This experience, and the amazing individuals I worked with, led me to want to change 'alternative transportation' to as valid a form of transportation as cars.
You're currently serving as president of the student group Point B – What are your plans for the group this year?
Point B has started off with promising support within the MCMP program as well as a strong leadership team that has collaborated on this year’s projects. This year’s events will include a speaker series, a walkability audit, and collaboration with the Sustainability Office. While we have many goals for what we want to accomplish, our focuses this year are on social justice, education, networking, and socializing.
After graduation, what future work do you envision doing in transportation?
I envision advocating for and designing more complete streets through a social justice lens, whether through the public or private sector. I hope to continue being a part of an ever-evolving active transportation field, play a positive role in exponentially expanding cities, and maintain remarkable access to the outdoors.
This is an installment in a series of monthly Student Spotlights we're shining on students and alumni that are involved with National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) universities. NITC is a university transportation consortium funded by the U.S. DOT, and is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Arizona, and University of Texas at Arlington.