Elijah Romulus wanted to find a way to combine his engineering skills with his passion for activism. As a 2017 graduate, Romulus felt UEP helped him think through how he can use his skills in a positive way.
“My faith moves me to always want to do something good, that’s one of my drivers,” Romulus said.
A Haitian-American social activist and a Seventh Day Adventist, Romulus felt many of the department’s goals in social justice align with his own values. Further, Romulus was a Gerald Gill Fellow in his second year, enabling him to work on projects in race and democracy alongside his UEP curriculum.
A a fresh graduate, Romulus was hired by the City of Chelsea as a Planner and Land Use Administrator, bringing his UEP experience into full circle. Romulus had long been interested in gateway cities and former industrial towns similar to his hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts. During a field trip for Prof. Penn Loh’s Environmental Justice class Romulus got a deeper look into the many challenges Chelsea faces.
In his current position at the city, Romulus hopes to view these challenges from a more objective standpoint and believes he can impact the city for the better.
“I’m looking at it (from the perspective of), ‘How can I help?’” Romulus said.
Romulus appreciated, in particular, that many UEP professors did not shy away from speaking about race, ethnicity, as well as social and economic structures in the context of urban planning and policy. Romulus also felt he gained some technical skills such as conducting design reviews and land use assessments.
Romulus is not sure what the future holds for him in the long term. For now, he hopes to put his skills and unique perspectives to good use at the City of Chelsea.