Alexandria Murnan is the new member of the development team. Alexandria is a project coordinator and will help clients to complete Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) applications, and to gather due diligence items to meet carryover, closing, 8609 and final pay requirements. She has a bachelor’s degree in public administration and American studies from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alexandria is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.
1. What attracted you to Travois?
A couple of different things attracted me to Travois. First, I concentrated my coursework at UNC-Chapel Hill in affordable housing development and wanted to pursue a career in this field. Second, I always hoped to have the opportunity to work with tribal governments to meet the challenges and opportunities of their specific communities. This job couldn’t be more perfect for my interests and experience.
2. How do your past experiences help you in your current position?
I worked as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and an economic researcher before joining Travois. As an ESOL teacher, I was challenged to think creatively on my feet, communicate complicated concepts to diverse audiences, and meet the programmatic goals of the organization. As an economic researcher, I was responsible for collecting, synthesizing, and communicating complicated economic data to the many diverse stakeholders of the organization. These two experiences refined my written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail and project management skills.
3. What places have you enjoyed visiting and why?
My mom and I drove from Kansas to Seattle. It was a great trip because we got to see many different landscapes and eat at some interesting family restaurants.
4. What is one thing you would like Travois staff and clients to know about you?
I am not good at staying up late at night. If we are on a trip together and driving at night, for everyone’s safety, it probably isn’t the best idea for me to be the driver.
5. What did you want to be as a kid?
My career aspirations changed regularly as a kid. I wanted to be a geologist, a teacher, an architect, and a city manager. I think this job is a nice mix of all of these careers.
6. What is your favorite memory from when you were a kid?
I have two sisters, and we spent a lot of our childhood in trees. We would spend all day outside planning and building tree houses. In hindsight, we damaged a lot of trees by hammering nails into them, but it was a great way to get exercise and some fresh air.
7. Which family member are you most like?
I am most like my two sisters. We are different variations of our parents’ personalities, but we all also have similar interests and passions. We all are very goal oriented and desire to work with communities to create positive change.
8. Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
The only thing I can think of is that I have a fairly decent sense of direction!
9. Many Travois staff members are animal lovers. Do you have a pet?
I have a Cockapoo (cocker spaniel-poodle mix) named Murphy. I have not yet brought Murphy to the office though. He loves people so much — almost to a fault. He is still working on his not-jumping-on-people skills. At some point, I will bring him to the office though to meet everyone. Below is a photo of him.
10. What is your favorite meal? What is your favorite local restaurant?
My favorite meal is my Grandma Carole’s ham and beans with cornbread. My favorite local restaurant is probably Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.
11. What is the best gift you’ve ever received? What is the worst?
After college, I worked for a year as an AmeriCorps member at the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, FL. I spent the year teaching English to adult Haitian immigrants. Regularly, my students would bring me little gifts of appreciation: a mango from a tree in their backyard, a handwritten note, or an extra toothbrush they got at the dentist’s office that day. Each gift meant a lot to me because those items were something my students really valued. My students had a hard time expressing gratitude in English, but these little gifts sent me a wonderful message.
12. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could take one item with you, what would it be?
I would probably bring “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. I have been reading that book on and off for four years, and I think I am only 1/8th of the way through it. It’s a good book, but I just keep getting distracted by other books. If I was stranded on a deserted island with this book, I think I would finally finish it.
13. If you could witness any event, past, present or future, what would it be?
I would love to be alive when a cure for cancer is found. That will be an amazing day.
14. What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could apparate. It would come in handy to travel to exotic places and to quickly commute to and from work.
15. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I like to spend time with my family and friends, take my dog to the park, cook and read.
16. Do you like to play or watch sports? What teams do you root for?
I like to watch sports live. I am not a big sports fan but I enjoy attending sporting events with friends and family.
17. What is your favorite thing to do in Kansas City?
I love visiting all the different and unique commercial districts of the city, particularly downtown, River Market, the Country Club Plaza, Westport, Brookside, and the West Bottoms. I also love going to shows at Starlight Theatre.
18. What do you like about Kansas City? What do you dislike?
I like the Midwestern hospitality, proximity to my friends and family, and the tasty barbecue joints. Also, after living in Washington, D.C. for a year, I have to say I love the cost of living in Kansas City.
I dislike that very few neighborhoods in Kansas City are walkable to parks, grocery stores, and shopping.
19. What is your least favorite chore?
Cleaning the bathroom
20. What kind of music do you like?
I like folksy, chill music and classic rock. A few artists that I like listening to are AA Bondy, David Gray, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Kings of Convenience, James Taylor, The Eagles, and Billy Joel.
21. What is your favorite TV show of all time?
I like watching “Law & Order,” “Bones,” and “Friends.”
22. What is your favorite book from childhood?
I loved all Shel Silverstein books as a child.
23. What is your favorite season and why?
My favorite season is probably fall because of the season’s temperatures and the changing leaves.