Dr. Brettany Shannon

Brettany Shannon, Ph.D., is an urban planning and development scholar who studies how people use digital communications for urban and social placemaking. Her research agenda is broadly defined. She looks at how people can and do use media arts to foster community engagement and participatory placemaking; how real estate developers use websites, social networks, and their constituent media for marketing or to reinforce power; and how people engage with social networks to engage with and represent their cities. Brettany believes digital communications hold promise in that they engage with such planning phenomena as identity, participation, and process, and uphold context as a decisive factor in all. But her research reminds us that technology is a social production, and that just as we extol the virtues of the information age, planners must not forget planning’s complicated history owes in part to its uncritically technophilic tendencies.

In support of her research, she studies community planning, the cultural economy, cultural landscapes, digital media, media arts, public space, the public realm, and comparative urbanism. Brettany received the 2016 John Dyckman Award for Best Dissertation for her thesis, Avoiding Middle-Class Planning 2.0: Media Arts and the Future of Urban Planning, and since graduating she has been the USC Bedrosian Center on Governance's first Scholar-in-Residence where she produced a podcast series, Los Angeles Hashtags Itself, an interview-based look at the intersection of digital culture and urban studies. Finally, she is co-editing a book (Routledge) called Planning for AuthentiCITIES, a look into authenticity's increasing relevance with community development.


Dr. Annette Angus

Dr. Angus is a microbiologist by training and a social activist by heart. She earned her B.S. in Microbiology (2004) from California State University Northridge and her Ph.D. in Microbiology (2009) from UC Berkeley. Her graduate research focused on the intracellular bacterial pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in epithelial cells and was funded funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Annette then moved on to a postdoctoral position with a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA where she studied the symbiosis between beneficial Burkholderia species and legumes. Her work was also awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. After completing her postdoc, Annette began her career in industry at the Procter & Gamble Company as a Scientist II in the Global Microbiology Capability Organization, based in Cincinnati, OH. After surviving a few Midwestern winters, she decided to return her home state and alma mater to pursue other career passions as the Academic Director of the California Alliance, a new statewide initiative to increase diversity in STEM education lead by UC Berkeley. After her time with the California Alliance ended (2016), Annette was ready to return to the lab and joined the Clorox Company as a Scientist in the Microbiology Group of the Advanced Measurement Sciences Department, based in Pleasanton, CA. In her current role, Annette leads complex business projects providing Microbiological guidance on new and existing product formulations, as well as developing innovative method development to support new business ventures. Annette is a proud First-Generation American and the first in her family to earn college degrees. She is passionate about social justice, education reform, good food and travel to new places. 

Britt Card, MPP

Britt is a planner at the City of Pasadena for the city's local transit system, Pasadena Transit. Her duties include scheduling, coordinating with regional providers on transit related issues in the city and coordinating with the City's operation contractor to ensure reliable transit service within the city. Prior to working in transit, she worked in consulting advising on manpower allocation, project budgeting, project management and systems design. She graduated with her Masters in Public Policy from the Price School of Public Policy at University of Southern California.

Jackie Illum, MPL

Jackie is a senior policy analyst at Community Health Councils (CHC) working to integrate the built environment and health systems policy areas. CHC works to promote social justice and health equity, especially in South LA. Prior to joining CHC, Jackie held a position at the USC Price School of Public Policy, managing the evaluation of two large CDC-funded community health projects encompassing a wide range of interventions from nutrition to housing and health care access to improve community health outcomes in low-income communities of color. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, she managed a research lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the department of neuro-endocrinology, focused on childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

She holds a master’s degree in urban planning with a concentration in economic development at the University of Southern California in 2013 and received her bachelor’s degree in behavioral neuroscience from Rutgers University. In graduate school, Jackie studied the intersection of urban planning and public health to address urban health disparities with a special interest in nutrition and physical activity.


Sarah Bedy, mpp

Sarah Bedy has 15 years of non-profit experience with expertise in policy analysis, grant writing, and program management. Her professional focus has ranged from foreign democracy assistance to fair lending advocacy. She is currently the director of an entrepreneurship training program that serves hundreds of incarcerated people each year in Southern California, and is active in Long Beach organizing and politics.