Leading the Way Alumni Spotlight: Teresa Brewer
Graduation Year: 2009
Current Position: Director, Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization
Teresa Brewer, or Reese as she’s known, graduated from the TSC Institute in 2009 with Cohort 9. At that time, she was the Freight Mobility Coordinator/Associate Transportation Planner for the Municipality of Anchorage. In 2017, she made a big move to Arkansas as the Director of the Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO). The FMPO is actively involved in supporting the development of an inland intermodal system.
Since the move, Brewer has been involved with some innovative projects. In one, she was awarded a grant from the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab to study the development of a micro-freight hub pilot project in North Fort Smith, Arkansas. For another project, she won a grant in partnership with the University of Arkansas to study positioning micro-mobility options (e-bikes) near low-income neighborhoods and late-shift businesses in Fort Smith. She’s also part of an effort to erect a pedestrian and bike bridge across the Arkansas River.
Brewer maintains many memories of her student experience. Her cohort was exceptionally well-bonded, and she recalls lots of humor with the “big personalities”: Matt Davies, Lynn Ramsey, Scott Swetkovich, Drew Franklin, Arthur Adams, Steve Rhode, Keith Haskell, and Kim Yox, to name a few. The professional diversity of the group particularly benefitted Brewer, coming from a public transportation planning agency. She was able to “learn the language” of industry and understand their particular views on facilities, infrastructure, and future needs. The experience is directly applicable to the public planning in which she is now engaged. Additionally, she recalls faculty members Craig Lentzsch and RJ Graham were key to the educational experience.
The 18-month curriculum ends with a highlight — the international travel seminar. Cohort 9 traveled to Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and London. In particular, Brewer remembers seeing the London Traffic Control Center, which was being prepared for the Silver Jubilee and London Olympics. The state-of-the-art center housed integrated police, hospital, delivery, and freight in a single control center that securely managed it all in real-time.
Personally, Brewer lives in Poteau, Oklahoma with her husband Don and two dogs, one cat, and two horses. She is a passionate horse owner and dressage rider.