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Urban Studies Director and Senior Receive Graduation Awards

Jun 27 2019
Terence Zhao posing in front of dragon mural

Terence Yuqiao Zhao, recipient of a 2019 Firestone Medal

Urban Studies faculty director Zephyr Frank and graduating senior Terence Zhao both received prestigious awards at commencement season this year.

Frank, who is also Professor of History and the Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies, received the Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching Excellence. According to the university’s citation, he was honored “for building relationships with each of his students” and “for fostering intellectual curiosity and ambition.” Frank was part of a three-person Urban Studies team that was awarded a teaching innovation grant last year by the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. Frank, together with co-director of Urban Studies Michael Kahan and assistant director for community-based learning Deland Chan, created a new version of the Introduction to Urban Studies course, which the three taught together in winter of 2019.

Frank’s award was presented at Stanford’s 128th Commencement Ceremony. Frank’s term as faculty director of Urban Studies will end on August 31, but he will remain an affiliated faculty member of the program.

To learn more, see Stanford News Service coverage of the Gores Award winners.

Frank was not the only Urban Studies community member recognized with an award this spring. Senior Terence Yuqiao Zhao received the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his Urban Studies honors thesis, entitled “626: The Rise of an Asian American Suburb and the Future of Housing and Place in America.” The Firestone medal is awarded to the top ten percent of theses in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering at Stanford in a given year; it comes with a medal, a citation, and a monetary award.

Professor Gordon Chang of the history department advised the thesis; he said that Zhao’s paper “displays exemplary research, critical thinking and interpretation, and clear and fluid writing.  His thesis is a joy to read, both in its intellectual originality as well as in its lively exposition.” Chang added that Zhao “worked with great discipline and determination for well over a year and he impressed me with his persistent effort to deepen his research and develop greater sophistication and insight in his interpretation.”

In the fall, Zhao will begin a job as an urban planner in the Bay Area with a private urban planning firm. To learn more, see Stanford News Service coverage of the Firestone ceremony.

Urban Studies extends congratulations to both, and to all the graduates in the Urban Studies class of 2019!