Student Spotlight: Sean Scoopmire

ACSP Member School: Clemson University

Sean Scoopmire is a second-year student in the Masters Program at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, where he was awarded the First-Year Student Citation in City and Regional Planning. Sean is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of South Carolina School of Law. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and has served on the City’s Arts in Public Places Commission for the past 8 years, including four terms as chair. Through his involvement with public art in Greenville, Sean became very interested in city planning, particularly the intersection of planning and the arts. He is currently working for Greenville’s Economic Development Department and is preparing a public art plan for the City as his capstone project.

Here's more from our recent Q&A with Sean:

Q: What specialty are you studying?
A:
I’m a second-year masters candidate at Clemson, and I’m focused on placemaking and cultural planning as a part of my planning studies. I have seen the profound benefits of planning in my adopted hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, and want to help make cities more livable, beautiful, and engaged.

Q: Why did you select your particular specialty?
A
: I came to planning after a career as an attorney and became much more interested in planning through my involvement in the City of Greenville’s public art commission. The intersection of public policy and aesthetics is something that I think needs more attention in our community and nationwide. Public art has a profound effect in defining a sense of place and a community’s identity.

Q: Do you have a current job or internship in your specialty?
A:
I’m currently doing an internship with the City of Greenville’s Economic Development Office. They run the City’s public art program, so this internship is a great experience for me to see larger-scale planning, inter-departmental coordination, and project management from a broader perspective. I’m graduating in May and am currently looking for jobs that can engage my creative and analytical abilities to improve the quality of life of communities.

Q: Has planning school changed your daily habits?
A:
Absolutely! When I was a practicing lawyers, I constantly thought of time compared to the “billable hour,” even when waiting in line at the grocery store! As a student, I’m much more focused on completing projects and learning all that I can in the short time I have to focus solely on my planning education.

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A:
I wanted to be an archeologist when I was growing up because I’m fascinated by the idea of the way people used to live and, probably, the art that they left behind. Most of us take the features of our everyday life as a constant, but the conditions, beliefs, and practices of people have varied greatly over time.

Q: What’s your favorite color and how would you creatively incorporate it into a planning project?
A
: I think grey is an underrated color. It can express the subtlety of life and also set the stage for a calm presentation that focuses attention on certain highlighted features.

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