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teaching experience & education

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my biography

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Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA)

Ric joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Policy in July 2016.

After receiving a B.S. in Economics from Grand Valley State University in 1984 and a M.A. in Urban Studies from Temple University in 1987, Ric took several courses in a Ph.D. Program in Political Science before leaving for other career pursuits in the technology industry.  His professional career began in desktop publishing, and this led to Internet technologies as they developed in the early 1990s. Ric worked with several Internet startups between 1995 and 2001, while utilizing his urban policy background to work on regional workforce development issues. This eventually led to teaching at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College prior to enrolling in the program.

Ric’s fields are Urban Economic Development and Urban & Regional Planning, and his research interests are in the area of human capital development and the economic geography of creative industries. His dissertation title is Growing an Industrial Cluster?: Movie Production Incentives and State Film Industries.

Ric was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Planning at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC in 2014-15, where he taught introductory planning, planning methods, community development and economic development at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


my education

Ph.D., 2017, Public Policy, Georgia State University/Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Joint Ph.D. Program with Andrew Young School of Public Policy & Georgia Tech School of Public Policy
  • Major field: Economic Development Policy
  • Minor field: City and Regional Planning
  • AYSPS Dean’s Scholar Fellowship, 2008-2011
  • AYSPS Dissertation Fellowship, 2013

M.A., 1987, Urban Studies, Temple University

  • Fields included Public Administration & Urban Politics

Ph.D. student, Political Science, Temple University

  • coursework completed, fields included Public Policy, Urban Politics & Political Philosophy

B.S., 1984, Grand Valley State University

  • Economics, Minor in Journalism

my teaching experience

2016-2017 Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

  • Courses taught:
    • Environmental Policy
    • Theory of Public Administration
    • Public Policy Development and Process

2014-2015 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Planning, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

  • Courses taught:
    • Town, City and Regional Planning
    • Planning Techniques
    • Community Development
    • Planning Studio in Economic Development

2009-2014 Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

  • Courses taught:
    • Economic Development Policy (Undergraduate level)
    • Evaluating Public Policy (Undergraduate level)
    • Public Policy Analysis (Undergraduate level)
  • Guest lecturer:
    • Economic Development Policy (Graduate level)
    • Microeconomics for Public Policy (Graduate level)

2012 Adjunct Instructor, University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA

  • Courses taught: Technology and Sustainable Economic Development
    (Graduate & undergraduate levels)

2005-2007 Adjunct Instructor, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC

  • Courses taught: American National Government

2003-2006 Adjunct Instructor, Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, NC

  • Courses taught:
    • Hospitality Information Systems
    • Basic PC Literacy

1991-1993 Adjunct Instructor, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

  • Course taught: American Government

1990 Adjunct Instructor, Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA

  • Courses taught: Introduction to Political Science

1987-1990 Adjunct Instructor & Teaching Assistant, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

  • Courses taught:
    • American Political System
    • American State & Local Politics
    • Urban Politics and Problems
    • Urban Society

my professional experience

Founder & Executive Director, Cape Fear Hospitality Association, Wilmington, NC

  • Create and execute all marketing, public relations and fundraising efforts and events
  • Designed & created content for organization website

Chair, City of Wilmington/New Hanover County Emerging Issues Action Group

  • Analyze and report on emerging issues affecting the health and safety of the community

Chair, Philadelphia School District’s Computers & Technology Stakeholders’ Partnership

  • Developed programs in conjunction with teachers and students to better prepare students for technology careers

Advisor, Greater Philadelphia CollegeTown Project Advisory Group

  • Worked with businesses and universities to attract and retain students for the Philadelphia area to bolster the “knowledge economy.”

Founding President & Executive Director, Philadelphia Area New Media Association, Philadelphia, PA

  • Created and executed all marketing and fundraising efforts
  • Organized, facilitated and oversaw all organization events
  • Built the organization to over 300 members and $50,000 in annual revenues in its first year as a 501(c)6

President, Kolenda Associates, Philadelphia, PA
Director of Interactive Strategies, Culture Quest, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Director of Product Marketing, WiredVines, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, PA
Director of Creative Technologies, GivingCapital, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Precision Media, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, PA
Co-founder & Partner, Odyssey Systems Corporation, Philadelphia, PA


my awards & leadership training

Andrew Young School of Public Policy Dissertation Fellowship, 2013
Andrew Young School of Public Policy Dean’s Scholar Fellowship, 2008-2011
Fellow, Institute of Political Leadership, Spring 2004
Leadership Wilmington, 2003-4
City of Wilmington’s Citizens Academy, Spring 2003

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