Why I'm minoring in Urban Studies: I grew up in downtown Chicago (probably the perfect Urban Studies lab), so I've always been aware of a lot of the issues central to the program. When I got to Palo Alto, I realized how much my urban upbringing had become integral to my identity, and I took an Urban Studies class to find a piece of urban life at Stanford. I realized that by minoring in Urban Studies, I could connect my love of urban life to a lot of relevant academic disciplines. Urban Studies is a really important part of my Stanford experience, because it constantly forces me to think outside of the campus bubble about the rapidly changing urban world.
What I like best about Urban Studies: The department has been incredibly supportive and puts of a lot of really great events that allowed me to meet faculty members and other students to engage with. The people I met in my first Urban Studies class played a huge role in my decision to declare a minor. They were so friendly and enthusiastic about the department--now I can see why!
Favorite class / professor (and why): The Urban Underclass with Michael Rosenfeld was my favorite class I've taken so far, probably because we talked about Chicago so much. I totally geeked-out as we learned about the history of the city's racial division, because it explained a lot about how the city operates today. But besides that, I liked how we read materials from so many different perspectives: policymakers, historians, ethnographers, journalists etc. I think this gave our study of inequality depth and nuance, and exposed me for the first time to a rigorous academic look at something that was personally relevant to me.
Favorite book (and why): Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain -- his voice is so original, authentic, and unapologetic. This book is seriously hilarious, but also an interesting look at the restaurant world, which I knew nothing about before reading. I made the mistake of reading this book for the first time on an airplane, and people glared at me because I was laughing so much.
Career goal / Future plans: I'm majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in community health in underserved populations. Putting this together with Urban Studies, I hope to work towards reducing health disparities in urban settings.
Other academic interests (major, minors): Human Biology
Extracurriculars: Varsity Fencing team
Something else you should know about me: I'm studying abroad in Berlin this Fall and can't wait to take Urban Studies classes while I'm there to learn about the city's architecture and history!