photo of Andrew Russel

April 27, 2022

Q: When you were a child, what was your answer to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

A: It changed quite often, but very early on I wanted to be a paleontologist or a wildlife biologist.

Q: Share the pivotal moment in your life that helped you choose your field of study.

A: I chose housing policy after moving to Chapel Hill from my small town of Lexington. Housing impacts everyone, and I have become fascinated with how housing and other urban policies have such an intimate impact on our lives. I’ve noticed patterns, like how certain types of housing are clustered or how even seemingly apolitical people are charged when faced with a new apartment complex in their own neighborhood. Also, I noticed how housing policy in one city affected people in others. People seeking opportunities in the Triangle have been pushed further into the outskirts such as Mebane and Morrisville, which has also led to higher housing costs. It wasn’t necessarily one event, but rather a series of small events that created an image in my mind of how government policies and regulations could have such an outsized impact on all of our lives without us even realizing it. account.

Elijah Gullett and his housemates

Gullett (center) and her housemates celebrate Thanksgiving during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

Q: Tell us about a time when you ran into a tricky problem. How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?

A: During my fall semester as a senior, I spent precious time trying to learn everything on my own. It wasn’t until I let go of some of my pride and was able to confess to my counselor and my second reader that I needed help or advice. It taught me that research is inherently collaborative, even when it’s seemingly a solo process. As a researcher, depending on your contacts for their expertise is so important. Understand your comparative advantage and your time constraints and use the expertise of others! Most of the time, they will be happy that you consider them a resource.

Q: Describe your research in 5 words.

A: Housing policies affect privacy.

Q: What are your passions outside of research?

A: I like to walk, run and cook. I think it’s important for seekers to have hobbies that create tangible results and connect you with the physical.

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