Hi, I am Evelyn.
01 | Elevator Pitch: Welcome to my personal website. Here is where I keep an online gallery of my photographs and a repository of my writings; personal and published.
02 | Introduction: I am a researcher by profession - so I spend most of my waking hours reading and writing environmental and developmental policy issues. I wished I had taken more breaks so I could head outside with a camera as I like street photography and writing about the urban life and city-making.
03 | Personal Background: I was born in the island of Penang where life was simple. Perhaps inspired by the many quiet afternoons spent poring over the pages of magazines on architecture and interior design, I knew that I wanted to be an architect when I was growing up. By the twist of fate - I found myself spending 3 years in the idyllic town of Kuala Terengganu instead - far from the design future that I envisioned. There, I dived into the amazing underwater world as I pursued my undergraduate degree in marine biology - and it truly was a life-changing chapter. I worked for a couple of years with an international research organisation which enabled me to merge my knowledge in marine biology with content and information curation, which to this day is still a useful training in knowledge management that has guided me in the various jobs that I took on later on throughout the years. Later in 2009, I moved to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur where I lived a double life as a researcher-consultant in the marine industry by day and an environmental management graduate student by night. In between, I also took up the role of Photo Editor at poskod.my for a brief moment - which fulfilled my constant need to have a creative outlet to channel into.
Eventually after 6 years in KL, I returned to my hometown Penang, when I was offered a position as a senior analyst in urban studies at the state government's think tank. It was truly an exciting phase for me, to be able to give back to my state (also in the attempt to play a little part in reversing the brain-drain which has been compounding Penang for decades). Bringing the environmental facet into urban studies, in the context of sustainable development, I saw many potentials that the state were able to spearhead. This was when I initiated a community platform called the Penang Urbanites - as I saw that it was necessary to bridge the gap between policy-making and the aspirations of the people whom these policies are going to have impact on.
About a year later, I was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to pursue an MSc in City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The year in London has been nothing short of enriching and life-changing in the best sense of its meaning - especially when the city of London eventually became my ‘living classroom and urban lab’ where reality and academia meet and challenge each other’s paradigm. The experience studying about city-making and its politics, urban inequality, capital accumulation, displacement and rights to the city, etc - all had but redefined how the city is critically deciphered and unpacked from the urban sociologist’s point of view. And now that I am back home again in Penang with a brand new path in my career, I am excited to explore the different scales of policy interventions that I am empowered to engage with, as well as to document and share some stories from this part of the world with the rest of the world.
If you’re somewhat curious about my journey from a marine biologist to an environmental scientist and most recently, an urbanist - click here to read more.
04 | Trivia: I'm an INFJ
05 | Get in Touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Penang | Kuala Lumpur | London