Meet Your Major

Arts & Humanities

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Certificate in Community Planning
Master of Arts in City and Regional Planning
James Anaston-Karas
Senior Manager, Community Planner, Issues Advocate

James Anaston-Karas received his master’s degree in city and regional planning from Ohio State University in 1983. Since then, he has worked to develop communities in a way that not only benefits residents, but helps protect resources as well. He has experience in public policy, advocacy, and project management.

What made you decide to major in urban planning?

The desire to improve communities and work with people. I enjoyed the physical design and comprehensive planning aspects of the major. [But] the tedious and time-consuming research and calculation could be exhausting. Sometimes, it was too rigorous for the desired application. However, comprehensive due diligence for site design is necessary and invaluable.

Even after three decades of professional experience in the field, I still have the desire to shape and improve the community fabric, and enhance/protect environmental resources.

Has this major impacted your career?

The urban planning major has significantly improved my abilities to problem solve, analyze policy and programs, and geospatially analyze communities to find opportunities and constraints. Because of my major, I can help communities achieve economic redevelopment.

What important skills did you learn from your major? Do you still use them?

I acquired research abilities. I also learned about graphic communication, land use and zoning laws, composing and applying new laws, policies, and ordinances.

Do you have any advice for future urban planning majors?

Regardless of whether you choose to work in the public or private sector, make sure your major program includes urban economics and the business side of master development.