Ellen Chen is interested in social behavior as influenced by environments and motivated by place-based connections. Her journey has led her to China, India, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia to witness how different social groups and individuals create opportunity and perceive livability and mobility in a rapidly urbanizing world. Throughout this process, she has been committed to cultural development through preparing communities to navigate an increasingly complex environment through the union of urban planning, cross-cultural literacy, and economic development. Ellen earned her Bachelor's from UC Berkeley, and Master's from MIT and Harvard.

Un/Belonging in the Bay
By Ellen Chen

In God’s kingdom, as with all great gardeners, pruning is caring. Without pruning, my life will become something even I don’t want — an overgrown, prickly bush with no fruit to offer. In this challenging season, I’ve felt pruned and exposed of my misplaced hopes, and I am continuously reminded of a self-important agenda flowing in the undercurrents of my heart, rather than being drawn to relinquishing my own ways in surrender.