Montreal, Quebec, Canada
College:College of Community Innovation and Education
Degree Program:Urban and Regional Planning MS
Montreal native Jasmine Blais was recruited as an undergraduate student for the UCF women’s rowing team. After earning her associate’s degree in fine arts from Dawson College in Montreal, Blais moved to central Florida to begin both her collegiate rowing career and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on biology and sociology, with a minor in urban and regional planning. During her undergraduate studies, Instructor Roberta Fennessy inspired Blais to continue studying urban planning, and, recently, Blais earned a Master of Science degree in urban and regional planning.
Blais enjoyed her program because the curriculum covers multiple topics that are essential for urban planners to understand and master. She says that the teachers encourage them to think outside of the box and apply theoretical knowledge to real-life projects. In addition to Professor Fennessy, Blais points to Claire Knox, PhD as having a positive impact due to Dr. Knox’s extensive research experience and drive for success. Blais worked with Dr. Knox in disaster resiliency research, analyzing After Action Reports to examine the state of community resilience in 22 Florida counties directly affected by Hurricane Irma.
Additionally, Blais appreciates that UCF as a whole is forward-thinking and that the level of diversity and innovation motivated her to strive for the best. She also says that she was inspired most by coworkers and fellow students who work relentlessly to pursue their dreams and are passionate about what they do, saying, “I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who will lift you up and encourage you to be better academically and professionally. My mother, the youngest of 14 children, is also a great source of inspiration. Seeing my mother working hard growing up instilled the same kind of work ethic in me, and she is one of the reasons why I have accomplished so much up to now.”
That sense of work ethic informs Blais’s advice to her peers, which is: never fall behind. She points out that graduate school is quite different than undergrad, and that your organizational skills will be put to the test.
Blais interned at the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council in downtown Orlando, where they cover projects in eight counties in East Central Florida, including Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia. She was also a Graduate Assistant at UCF’s Graduate Student Center, which provides a space for graduate students to gather for professional development, workshops, presentation rehearsals, and thesis or dissertation defenses. Additionally, Blais was a member of the Urban Knight Planning Association, and a member of the Orlando Rowing Club. Blais graduated in May 2019 and plans to stay in the United States to gain more experience in the field of urban and regional planning.
- Graduate Assistant at UCF's Graduate Student Center
- Interned at the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
- Member of the Urban Knight Planning Association
- Member of the Orlando Rowing Club
After graduating from law school, while working in Virginia as a criminal defense attorney representing juveniles, Melanie Palacios Soderstrom witnessed firsthand the many injustices within the legal system. Though she...
A passion for helping others and a deep understanding of the cultural disparities in mental health care are what drives Omelia Dhanraj to work hard on her education. Coming from...
After growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, and completing her undergraduate degree in-state, Kayla Lustosa wanted the opportunity to live somewhere new and challenge herself to become more independent. She moved...
As a first-generation student, Torres recognizes the importance of education, though she also sees the obstacles the system may present. As well as a desire to help people and a...