“We are trying to encourage our citizens to use more environmentally gentle ways of commuting in and out of the city."
Degree: MPlan 1992
Location: Washington, D.C.
Eric Stults decided to move from the east coast to Minnesota in the '80s because of its reputation of welcoming diversity. .
How your Humphrey education got you to where you are today?
The Humphrey helped me compete for a federal internship which was, at the time, called The Presidential Management Internship. I was only one of a number of Humphrey students who successfully won those sorts of internships. For my internship, I was hired by Secretary of Transportation in Washington, D.C.
The Humphrey also supported me with a research assistantship. As part of my assistantship, I helped set up the Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Management Organization which encourages more environmentally friendly modes of transport for commuting in and out of the city. This assistantship was an invaluable, hands-on experience that helped me as I launched into my career.
Why did you choose the Humphrey?
It’s an interesting saga of how I got to Minnesota. I went to Dartmouth College where I came out as a gay man and consequently encountered homophobic discrimination. When I graduated in 1980, I wanted to move to a place that was more gay-friendly and Minnesota was already gaining a reputation of being a gay-friendly place to live. Minnesota had elected its first gay elected officials and had adopted a civil rights ordinance protecting gay people from discrimination.
The Humphrey seemed like a logical fit for a number of reasons. It had a great reputation and I wanted to remain in Minneapolis while getting a public policy and planning education at the graduate level.
What do you do in your job?
I work in for the U.S. Department of Transportation where I do budget and financial analysis for the district, primarily in the Major Construction branch of the agency. We are responsible for reconstructing and maintaining the major roads, arteries, bridges, etc. What is exciting is that we are an environmentally friendly department of transportation and we are encouraging more use of bicycles, walking, and transit. D.C. is a core city; we are a mature city. We do not want to build more freeways; instead we are trying to encourage our citizens and our commuters to use more environmentally gentle ways of commuting in and out of the city.
June 4, 2014