Student spotlight: Katy Hendricks

To highlight some of Project Cities' star students and faculty, PC staff sat down to interview Katy Hendricks. As a recent graduate with her Master of Public Administration, Katy recently accepted a position with a consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

Katy worked with the Town of Clarkdale on its employee handbook project, a collaborative effort with three other graduate students to take a deep dive into the Town of Clarkdale’s employee handbook. For her work, Katy researched and provided recommendations for Clarkdale’s ADA and leave policies. Bridging capacity is vastly important for the Town of Clarkdale, “I imagine the small part I was able to contribute to my project growing into an entirely new handbook, created to empower, instruct, and meet the unique needs of Clarkdale employees. The Clarkdale town leadership are incredible and inspiring, and I know their desire for a sustainable Town will drive them to continue this project forward. It’s exciting to think that I was able to contribute even a small piece to this project.”

The following dialogue and summary come from an interview with Katy about her experience in the Project Cities program.

Question: How do you imagine sustainable development, and what do you like about this concept?

Answer: “I imagine sustainable development to be forms of development that keep future generations in mind during the development process. Instead of repeating unsustainable practices from the past, this form of development is constantly evolving and striving to meet needs in a way that is both positive now, and positive in the impact it makes.”

Question: What would your primary focus be out of these, and why?

Answer: “While each SDG is important, my primary focus in both this project and in terms of my hopes for future work is goal 11, or sustainable cities and communities. The ability to help form communities that are able to provide and maintain safe and secure livelihoods to its citizens is vital to sustainability, and my education and experience at ASU has helped prepare me for future work towards this goal.”

Question: What does sustainability mean to you?

Answer: “To me, sustainability is creating an environment that meets the needs of society in the present, while also striving to protect the needs of society in the future. Sustainability understands that the present and the future are both of the utmost importance, and fosters a mindset that helps us consider both when making important economic, social, and environmental decisions.”

Question: What are you passionate about? What motivates you to study and work for your interests?

Answer: “Ever since beginning my program at ASU, I have become increasingly passionate about community development. Building and maintaining sustainable communities is more important now than ever, especially as we face mounting social, economic, and environmental stressors. However, even in the face of these issues, I see community leaders and members who are passionate about their communities and seeing them thrive, which motivates me even further to take what I learned at ASU and apply it to my future work.”

As a recent graduate, Katy recommends for future students, “Be open to new experiences and eager to learn! You’re going to have the opportunity to meet incredible people with amazing experience who want to help you learn, do everything you can to absorb what they teach you, and ask as many questions as you can. This program is such a unique experience, and will definitely make a big impact on both your academic life and experience.”

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter