As an architectural studies major with a minor in political science, Alexandra DiStefano ’15 is spending this summer in Geneva working with City Hall to conduct surveying work with Development Services Manager Neal Braman. As an intern surveyor, DiStefano is responsible for helping to check the elevation of the streets of Geneva. The local government utilizes elevation data to help determine public works efforts.
“Working as a surveyor this summer provides me a great opportunity to further my development as both an architect and in political science,” says DiStefano, of Greenwich, Conn. “I am getting an inside look at how our environment has changed over time politically. In addition to helping me get a better understanding of politics, surveying is preparing me for my study at Columbia’s Graduate School for Architecture Planning and Preservation.”
In addition to her surveying efforts, DiStefano is working this summer with Sage Gerling of the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center as a member of the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program. The Brownfield program focuses on environmentally contaminated areas and works to rectify the issue with the goal of continued urban renewal. She currently is working on ways to improve the area around North Exchange Street, and hopes to coordinate an afternoon soccer program within that area as well.
DiStefano credits the Colleges and the connection to the local community for helping her to land the internship through the city. Last fall, DiStefano conducted ethnographic research in a political science course taught by Assistant Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav, which guided her research to City Hall where she made the connection for her current work.
On campus, DiStefano has played intramural soccer and participated in Koshare Dance Collective. In addition, since her first year, she been involved with the Art Collective. This year, she helped to organize Blink in The Dark and Arts Fest. In spring 2014, she intends to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, through the Colleges’ affiliated Danish Institute of Study Abroad program.