Meet Our New Student Staff
Wondering who those three new faces are at Agriculture Hall? We had the pleasure of asking the new additions to the PLA Department a few questions. Ranging from their role in the Department to academics to personal interests, new staffers - Andrew Busker, Daniel Besinaiz, and Brittany Jeanmaire - share a little about themselves in a Q & A!
Name: Andrew Busker
Title: Landscape Architecture Project Assistant
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Educational / Professional Background: I am a first-year graduate student in the Urban & Regional Planning + Public Affairs double-degree program. In 2015, I earned a B.S. in Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University. I’m also a Certified Park & Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association.
Before graduate school, I worked in the Fond du Lac School District Recreation Department where I developed community recreation programs. My other past work includes providing recreation opportunities for military personnel at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina and instructing youth environmental education classes.
How did you get into your field of research? While I am not currently on a research project, I am interested in the intersection between infrastructure and social equity. A potential research topic I’d like to explore, is how communities can effectively prevent gentrification after revitalizing an area. My other research interests include sustainable infrastructure and smart growth planning.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? UW – Madison has premiere faculty and programs. However, more importantly, this university holds firm to the Wisconsin Idea, and that community-focused value resonated with me. While I’m quite fortunate to be in wonderful, top-tier programs like the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, a strong commitment to the community has always been a priority for me.
Which common phrase or saying best describes you? "Look before you leap." (I love taking risks as long as I calculate the situation first)
What is one thing others around should know about you? While I’m not as outdoorsy as I used to be, I will rarely turn down a hike or a paddle.
Favorite Artist, TV show, book , and movie you’ve experienced within this past year? I saw Judah & the Lion at the Orpheum this past March! The show Altered Carbon on Netflix is amazing. I’m currently going through The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski for leisure reading. Deadpool 2 was the last movie I saw in theaters.
Name: Daniel Besinaiz
Title: Urban and Regional Planning Project Assistant
Hometown: Glendora, California
Educational / Professional Background: I graduated early from the University of Arizona, majoring in Urban and Regional Development and minoring in Sustainable Built Environments. At UA, I was the chair of the Energy and Climate Committee in the Students for Sustainability program on campus, and also worked to engage Arizona alumni members at the UA Foundation.
How did you get into your field of research? I don’t necessarily have a field of research yet, but at UA I began to study the effects of student gentrification, or studentification, around American land-grant universities. I am particularly interested in the intersection of geography and urban planning, and have a strong passion for sustainability and the environment.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? There are several things that attracted me to UW. First, the academic reputation of the school. Second, the potential networking possibilities that I saw here. Third, the weather! I have never experienced real seasons and I knew that I would be able to in Wisconsin.
Which common phrase or saying best describes you? A day without laughter is a day wasted.
What is one thing others around should know about you? I am an incredibly open book. You could talk to me or ask my opinion on almost anything.
Favorite Artist, TV show, book , and movie you’ve experienced within this past year? My favorite artist from this past year, in terms of music, is probably A R I Z O N A, but Jay Balvin and Willy William’s Mi Gente is the best song to come out in the last 12 months. My favorite TV show is Friends (yes, I’m one of those people and no, I’ve never watched Seinfeld). The best book I read this year was La Calle by Lydia Otero and the best movie I watched in the last year is Coco.
Name: Brittany Jeanmaire
Title: Marketing Communications Assistant
Hometown: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Educational / Professional Background: I am a current undergrad, double-majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a Certificate in Digital Studies.
How did you get into your field of research? I grew up watching my mom startup her own small business, so I came to learn the many facets that take place in owning a company. I found myself gravitating towards the marketing and brand appeal side, and eagerly pursued it further on.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? There was quite a lot that played into me ultimately choosing UW–Madison. To quickly sum it up, I’d say there were three major influencers: the Business School’s programs, the beautiful campus (I could go on and on about my love for it), and of course that Midwest charm.
Which common phrase or saying best describes you? "Better an oops than a what if."
What is one thing others around should know about you? I am incredibly inefficient before my first cup of coffee.
Favorite Artist, TV show, book , and movie you’ve experienced within this past year? My favorite artist currently is Rex Orange County. The TV show I can’t stop watching is Nurse Jackie. This past summer I read a fabulous book called Tuesday’s With Morrie. My favorite movie is Begin Again (it is on Netflix and has a great movie soundtrack).