Meet Megan O’Neill

INDS B.A.: Sustainable Urban Design

A young woman with red highlights in her hair is standing in a garden

Fall 2022 Capstone

My INDS Degree

As an artist, advocate for environmental justice, and lover of cities, INDS provided me the opportunity to combine my passions into an interdisciplinary major. I felt particularly connected to the INDS philosophy of claiming your education, which has led to the INDS staff challenging us to grow as not only students, but in our character as well. We get to create a schedule of classes that would not have been possible otherwise, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing the fascinating ways in which my coursework form an intricate web of information related to my major. On a personal level, the INDS journey has guided me down a path that unfolds from my individual experiences and strengths, while being part of an incredible community of those who are empowered to do the same.

Degree Mentors

  • Maggie Holland, Geography & Environmental Studies
  • Stephen Bradley, Visual Arts
  • Steven McAlpine, Individualized Study

Post Graduation Plans

After graduation, I plan to find a job in urban design or urban sustainability in Baltimore or Washington D.C. before making plans to attend graduate school. I understand that work can be very unpredictable post-graduation, but I aspire to make my career a continuation of the studies that I am doing currently in INDS. I also plan to apply to be a Fulbright Scholar for 2024. I’m particularly interested in how my work as a designer can help facilitate community sustainability, such as with community land trusts and place-making. Alongside my career, I want to continue challenging myself to expand as an artist and traveling whenever I can.

Courses In My INDS Degree

Community Wellbeing: These courses will help me to understand the factors that contribute to the overall well being of a community with an emphasis on communities in America. Understanding the various components of wellbeing within a community, especially in the physical, mental, and social health of community members, will allow me to better support communities that interact with the spaces or systems I will assist in designing. (ANTH 311 / HAPP 354 / SOCY 396)

Land Use Planning & Conservation: These courses are necessary to build my comprehension of how environmental systems and core environmental issues manifest in the urban sphere. I will be introduced to how environmentally sustainable systems, such as stormwater design, can be implemented for overlapping purposes, mainly conservation of ecological health, climate adaptation, and the improvement of human health. (GES 286, 302, 305, 341, 443)

Designing for Place: These courses are essential in gaining the foundational skills of shaping or reimagining physical form within cities from both applied and theoretical approaches. (ART 210, 212, 213, 215 / ANTH 397 / INDS 430)

Entrepreneurial Mindset: These courses will serve as the foundation for the mindset and methods of design-thinking to which I approach urban design, specifically from the innovative perspective of a social entrepreneur focused on community-based problems and solutions. (ENTR 200, 201, 320, 340)

Individualized Study: These courses will provide me with the opportunity to engage with information and projects across multiple disciplines to yield a deeper respect for the interconnected nature of disciplines within academia. An urban designer must be able to create solutions which pull from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. (INDS 330, 335, 430, 480, 490)