Beyond the Bluff: Arturo Jacobo ’20

Arturo Jacobo ’20

Major: Urban Studies
Minor: International Relations
Next Step: Master’s program in Urban and Regional Planning at UCLA

Arturo Jacobo has always had a deep interest in cities, architecture/urban design, transportation, and environmental issues. Initially, the dynamic urban and transportation landscape of New York City lured him from San Diego to the Bronx to study at Fordham University. Jacobo realized after his freshman year that New York was not the right fit, but his passion for a Jesuit education focused on social justice and equity was affirmed.

“I was drawn to the size, location, and mission of LMU as a Jesuit institution and knew it was the university I wanted to transfer to,” said Jacobo.

As an Urban Studies major, Jacobo has focused his studies on transportation policy and planning. Two of his most memorable courses were “Sustainable Cities” and “Metropolitan Los Angeles,” which delved into issues such as climate change and mitigation; access to affordable and healthy food for all residents; and issues of transportation.

“Not only did these courses offer a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by 21st century cities, but also provided foundational insights and views on inequalities that I seek to address and change in my future career,” said Jacobo.

LMU provided ample opportunities and resources for Jacobo to cultivate his talents and interests both in academic and real-world contexts. He completed a senior thesis on the impact of transit-oriented development and investment on gentrification and displacement in Los Angeles. He worked at the LMU Center for Urban Resilience (CURes), and even performed research as part of SURP. He was a member of the Sursum Corda service organization, and also studied and interned abroad in London.

“My liberal arts/Jesuit education provided me with the space to pursue my passions and focus on equity, inclusion, and justice work,” said Jacobo. “Because of the size of LMU, I was able to develop relationships with mentors like Professor Pete Hoffman and CURes Managing Director Michele Romolini. Both of these individuals have been instrumental in setting me in the right direction for graduate school and beyond.”

Jacobo was accepted to top-ranked graduate programs at institutions such as UCLA, USC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Georgetown University. Ultimately, he chose UCLA after being offered a first-year fellowship with UCLA’s Institution of Transportation Studies. Following graduate school, Jacobo hopes to work for a regional or state planning agency, or a private consulting firm.

“My time at LMU has shaped me into a well-rounded student and citizen with the skills necessary to positively impact communities and cities.”