This past summer, we launched the Civic Innovation Lab Associates program and welcomed our first cohort of Civic Innovation Lab Associates. The program is an extension of the Civic Innovation Fellowship in that it recruits people literate in public interest technology, who are looking to build their portfolio and gain exposure to municipal work. Over the summer, Associates helped us address community needs and data inquiries via our Research and Data Assistance Requests (RADAR) program.
This fall, we welcomed two new Associates to our team with Summer Associate HaoChe Hung staying on to continue this wonderful work! We are pleased to introduce Erik Brown and Sujin Shin — it’s been a pleasure getting to know Erik and Sujin, and we hope you have fun learning about them!
My name is Erik Brown, and I am completing my Bachelors in Computer Science and American Studies alongside my Masters in Data Science at Fordham University in the Bronx. My concentrations in Power, Politics, and Institutions and Urban and City Informatics reflect my interest in how data science tools and techniques can empower people in urban settings to learn about and participate in their political systems. I am excited to work with the other associates and learn more about civic tech.
I grew up in Elmont, on Long Island, New York, and have been fascinated with the city’s operations and history since moving here to study in undergrad. My urban analytics journey started with several classes on New York City, with particular emphasis on the Bronx. It then spiraled into my professional experience as I interned with the current Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine’s successful campaign, and worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society to guide a group of High School students in a research project about coastal resiliency in the five boroughs. Having observed firsthand how hard people work to improve New York City, I am inspired to support them and use my skills as a part of BetaNYC.
My name is Sujin Shin, and I’m currently a Master’s of Urban Planning student at Hunter College where my studies focus on Transportation Planning and GeoInformatics. I am originally from Nashville, Tennessee and moved to NYC a few years ago.
My interest in helping to create more equitable, livable cities began as an undergraduate student when I spent a semester living in Barcelona and a year in Seattle. After undergrad, I spent a few years working in local government and in the non-profit sector, but it was not until moving to San Francisco I discovered the world of tech. After living in San Francisco, I took courses in Python and GIS, began to study software engineering, and am now a fullstack software engineer.
I’m excited to be working with BetaNYC as an Urban Lab Associate and to become more involved in the NYC Civic Tech community.