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Urban Society and Social Change

Celine Lopez

Honors thesis or other research project: Honors thesis Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Coming to Stanford, I developed a strong sense of identity in not only who I am but where I come from. Urban Studies has allowed me to explore issues affecting urban communities like my own and come to an understanding of why they occur and even how to address them at a community level. Through this major I am able to focus my academic career on something that I feel passionate about and that brings me joy in doing. I feel like I can take what I learn from Stanford and actually apply it in the real-world. In my case, I am able to return to Stockton, address the issues my community faces, and make a change. What I like best about Urban Studies: Urban Studies at Stanford is a great community of scholar-activists who I am constantly inspired by. I love that our senior cohort is so close and we are willing to share our ideas with one another and learn from each other. Everyone is involved in so many amazing initiatives and projects, on or off campus, that are making real change in so many different communities. Urban Studies majors are passionate, dedicated, thoughtful, inspiring, action-oriented, fun and change-makers. Favorite class / professor (and why): I have so many favorite classes, but some that have stood out to me are Justice and Cities with Professor Brian Coyne and the Social Life of Neighborhoods with Professor Forrest Stuart. I love classes where I am able to conduct a research project or paper because I get the opportunity to research more about my hometown. Career goal / Future plans: I want to pursue a joint J.D. and Ph.D. program in Sociology and continue conducting community-based and participatory research in Stockton. I am planning to return to Stockton and work in policy and local government. Before returning, I hope to continue traveling and studying urban issues across the U.S. abroad. Honors Thesis or other research project: I am doing an honors thesis studying how the attitudes and perspectives residents of Stockton develop about their neighborhood influence their plans or perceptions of their own upward mobility. This project was inspired by the current movements of community-led revitalization that is transforming my city, and other ways people in my generation are combatting the message we received growing up to "get out" of Stockton to become successful. Other academic interests (major, minors): Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (major), Spanish (minor) Extracurriculars: Ethnic Theme Associate, Casa Zapata Urban Studies Peer Advisor Stanford in Washington Peer Advisor Hermanas de Stanford, 2018-2019 Co-Chair Something else you should know about me: I am first-generation and low-income! I use she/her pronouns.

Leila Mengesha

When I discovered Urban Studies as a freshmen, it felt like the perfect intersection of my interests in history, urban inequality, and the physical and social segmentation of space. As an upperclassman, my Urban Studies classes remind me how much I love to learn, especially about the intersection of policy, community action, history, and justice.

Kate Ham

I'm passionate about cities, gentrification, and the relationship between government and communities. Urban Studies allows me to explore these topics and more!

Erik Strand

I've always loved cities and this program gives me an incredible opportunity to study their designs and functions! Urban Studies combines many of my passions, such as education and criminal justice reform, and provides an excellent platform to examine equity in society.

Matt Nissen

I want to explore how people and policy intersect in urban environments. I am especially interested in public policy, community organizations, and advocacy efforts.

Lexi Neilan

I decided to minor in Urban Studies to incorporate a more interpersonal and historical approach with my scientific background. I also believe that the future of sustainable development depends on the urban population, and thus studying urban social and political dynamics will help me develop a holistic understanding to the subject.

Derek Lee

Why I'm minoring in Urban Studies: As cities are globalizing and becoming more urban, there is a need for us to address the challenges that come with such growth. As a Human Biology major, I am passionate about public health, specifically about creating healthy environments that foster healthy communities. I understand that in order to address such challenges, I need to deepen my understanding of how our cities work.


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