UTD Students Behind the Scenes on City Planning
Eleven students at the University of Texas at Dallas are working behind the scenes with a Richardson City Council member, Amir Omar, to gain real world experience in regional planning and city policy.
The group of students, which meets nearly every Friday morning with Omar, has been working over the past year to research proposed project ideas and develop strategies for improving the city of Richardson.
Some of the ideas presented by the group have been adopted by the city council, such as the Tree the Town initiative, which aims to increase the number of trees planted throughout the city.
Another project, developed by marketing major Melony Danian, works to introduce new Richardson residents to the city and encourage them to shop at local businesses.
Sophomore Zayd Mabruk said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that he became part of the group because he wanted to make a difference in his community.
"I wanted to have a partnership between my university and the city council," he said. "By going out in the community and being a representative of my university, it would reflect well on UTD."
Mabruk, who is also team manager of the group, said he selected students who were interested in more than just resume building. Group members come from a number of different academic backgrounds, ranging from political science to arts and technology, according to the Daily Morning News. None of the students receive a salary or class credit for their work.
Omar said that he enjoyed working with the UTD students because of the energy that they brought to their work.
"People are willing to give up their time if they're working on something they're passionate about, they've allowed me to accelerate the things I'm working on," said Omar.
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