Nausheen H. Anwar, UP Ph.D. '07, is currently Associate Professor City & Regional Planning, Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts (SSLA), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, Pakistan. She has been busy with two post-docs (first at Harvard University and later at the Asia Research Institute, National University Singapore), and researching, writing and publishing on various interrelated themes such as infrastructures, urbanization, gender and climate change; her work focuses on Pakistan. Nausheen is the recipient of several grants. This includes a 3-year CAD 500,000 IDRC grant on understanding the links between gender, vulnerability and violence in urban Pakistan; Final Report can be found here. In a new AHRC/EHRC grant, Nausheen has partnered with the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London to investigate climate change and the gendered politics of land dispossession in Pakistan, looking specifically at mega-infrastructure projects that involve Chinese foreign investment.
Sarah Bowen, M.S. UP '00, has been with Michael Baker International for 12 years focusing on hazard mitigation, floodplain management, and resiliency planning. She would love to hear from alumni and students working on or interested in similar topics. Her most recent win is her firm’s third update of the Pennsylvania State Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Gavin Browning, M.S. UP '08, has just completed a project called Housing Works History, funded by the Graham Foundation. It is a history of the housing and services built by the organization Housing Works, and it will launch on February 21 at the New York Public Library. More information about the Graham Foundation can be found here.
Maurie Cohen, M.S. UP '87, is Professor of Sustainability Studies and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is also Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute, co-founder and Executive Board Member of the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI), and Editor of the journal Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy. His most recent book is The Future of Consumer Society: Prospects for Sustainability in the New Economy (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Nan Ellin, Ph.D., M.S. UP '83, is now Dean at the University of Texas Arlington since January 2015. Since she has been Dean, the sponsored research of the Institute of Urban Studies has grown exponentially (by 1,200%). This article just appeared in the October issue of 8D Magazine8, a popular Dallas city magazine. Also, this interview appeared in Columns, the Dallas AIA Magazine. She would be happy to meet with any Columbia alumni who may be interested in teaching at UTA.
Dr. Harvey Fialkoff, M.S. UP '75 / UP Ph.D. '83, currently lives in Israel and works as a planning consultant and university lecturer in planning. Some examples of the planning projects that he is currently involved in are: a new neighborhood in Tel Aviv on a site of an airport that is schedule to be closed, a revitalization of an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem and a policy study for diversity and inclusion for the Ministry of Social Equality.
Alexandria Fiorini, M.S. UP '15, works as an environmental planner at LSA, an employee-owned consulting firm in California. She is also currently working on National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act compliance for the California High Speed Rail Project.
James Garland, M.S. UP '02, has worked in various modes within the U.S. Department of Transportation for over 14 years. His career has led him to positions in Atlanta, Seattle, and now Washington, DC. Currently, James is the Team Leader for the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program at the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration. The TPCB Program is designed to help decision makers, transportation officials, and planning practitioners resolve the increasingly complex issues they face when addressing transportation needs in their communities. This comprehensive program for training, technical assistance, and support targets State, metropolitan, local, regional, and Tribal governments, transit operators, and community leaders. James is currently launching a new effort surrounding the concept of Megaregions, in addition to implementing the recent reauthorization bill better known as Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
Ebru Gencer UP Ph.D. '07, is the founding director of the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, a non-profit research organization based in New York City and also the Chair of an advisory team to the UN Office for Risk Reduction.
Jennifer Jacobs Guzmán, M.S. UP '07, has been working at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development since 2007, first in the agency's Planning Division then a role working with the agency's Strategic Planning team. Since 2013, she has been working with the agency's Division of Special Needs Planning, which is responsible for managing two loan programs for the city that serve low income homeless, disabled and senior New Yorkers. Jennifer currently live in Mamaroneck, NY with her family, and serves on the board of the Washingtonville Housing Alliance, a small affordable housing organization In Mamaroneck.
Dan Hewes, M.S. UP '15, has been actively working in NYC since graduation this past May. He was a manager at a NYCHA non-profit and is now doing project development for a site called Gowanus Bay Terminal (GBX) in Red Hook (which was also the same site as his studio in 2014). He would love to stay in touch with the current class and is offering any students to reach out if they are interested in wanting to learn more.
Patrick Emmanue Ramos Jalasco, M.S. UP '15, is currently workings for Palafox Associates in the Philippines. Palafox Associates is a multi-disciplinary firm that mainly focuses on architecture and urban master planning. The firm is doing a lot of urban planning projects since urban planning has become a salient issue the past few years. A lot of cities and municipalities in the country do not have any land use/urban development plans so a lot of city government officials seek the firm’s help in creating land use plans for their respective cities. Patrick’s advice for students is to take advantage of the resources at Columbia. There are a lot of resources outside of GSAPP that are just as crucial to planning, and they're paying tons of money for their education so might as well learn as much as you can from a prestigious institution.
Andrew Lassiter, M.S. UP '16, graduated in May and has been teaching for the past semester in the Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College (in the program coordinated by UP faculty Moshe Adler). And this past semester he started a research position with a Tel-Aviv based startup called Madlan that is expanding to NYC. His recommendation to current students, is to recognize that it's never too early to start networking. Go to conferences, lectures, and presentations, follow up with people you meet, and put yourself out there. Use your thesis as an opportunity to meet people in the areas of the planning world that interest you!
Joyce Nasozi, M.S. UP '08, has worn many hats since graduating in 2008, but for the past five years, she has been running her own home decor company. She currently lives in New York City and works with local tailors and importers, as well as fair trade artisans in Uganda to produce her collections, available online and at a variety of independent stores throughout the country. It is her spin on social entrepreneurship, and much of her model is based on what she learned in urban economics curing her studies at GSAPP. Please visit her website here.
Cuthbert A. Onikute, M.S. UP '13, is running a business in Guinea-Conakry that collects and process solid waste in secondary cities into things like fertilizer, briquettes, recyclable materials, and energy. They are currently serving over 450 customers and aim to be serving 1200 customers within the next three months. Our goal to be serving over 5000 customers within the next 12 months and over 8000 within the next 18. If any students are interested in gaining hands on experience, using their GIS experience, or just with a social enterprise working in fast growing cities of West Africa, Cuthbert would be happy to chat with any students who may have an interest or questions.
Devan Reiff, M.S. UP '01, is currently a planner with the City of Oakland, California. During the last nine years, he has worked on long-term planning processes, citywide rezoning, and retaining the City’s major sports franchises (Oakland Raiders, Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors) while promoting new development at the publicly-owned Coliseum site; managing a once-a-decade City Council redistricting. He is currently working on a new permitting program for mobile food vendors. GSAPP students and alumni are welcome to contact him to discuss the ever-changing planning landscape in the Bay Area.
Sonal Shah, M.S. UP '08, is an architect-urban planner with 12 years’ experience across two dozen cities in India. She currently leads ITDP India's urban planning research, projects and publications and their upcoming program on Gender and Sustainable Transport. Some relevant projects include formulating a state level transit-oriented development policy in Jharkhand, coordinating street design and public space improvement in Prahlad Nagar (Ahmedabad), participate as a Committee member and review chapters of India's first Urban Roads Manual. Some of her past work included engendering India's national urban planning guidelines, improving pedestrian accessibility in Mumbai, public space design in Naya Raipur, formulating a redevelopment policy and urban design proposal for the textile mill lands in Mumbai. Sonal has presented in national and international conferences such as Walk 21 (Munich), Ecomobility Coference (Changwon), Mobilize Yichang, Urban Planning and Violence (Ahmedabad), ConnectKaro (Mumbai). She has also conducted workshops/ taught Master classes at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Studio-X Mumbai, KRVIA Mumbai and with students of the JJ School of Architecture and Barnard. An active participant of the Columbia Alumni Association of India, Sonal has been instrumental in conceptualizing the Chai and Chat talks - a series of small informal conversations between prominent Columbia alums and other alumni in India. Sonal looks forward to being more involved with the urban planning program to encourage more India-based studios, internships and placements.
Maxwell Sokol, M.S. UP '12, was elected President of the American Planning Association (APA) New York Metro Chapter. He will assume this role in January 2017. In August, he was also promoted to Lead Planner at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Brian Stokle, M.S. UP '06, co-wrote a white paper for the San Francisco Bay Area think tank SPUR on planning a second Transbay crossing which is similar to a Trans Hudson Tunnel, but longer. He is also advocating with the small but effective group, Connect Oakland, calling for the removal of a freeway, and replacing it with a transit rail tunnel, boulevard housing, office and other development. He is currently working as a planner at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. Recent projects include shadow studies, preparing managed retreat of Ocean Beach due to sea level rise, and planning for improving some parks through community outreach.
Planning education promotes the redistribution of resources and social justice in cities as much as the creation of wealth. Our students connect challenges of urban development, sustainability and equity with the political and socioeconomic conditions that define them. They learn to engage and assess the increasing abundance and availability of data to address urban problems and inform planning efforts. Throughout the curriculum, the emphasis is on real-world problems and how planners can act to improve the lives of urban residents.
Being part of GSAPP, our program connects with design, preservation, and real estate faculty and professionals to add to ideas and techniques developed by planners and social activists. We also offer a range of curriculum and dual-degree options within and beyond GSAPP for students interested in additional content expertise and skills. Our graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.