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Peer Advisors

Contact any of the peer advisors if you have a question about the major and would like a student perspective!

Interested in becoming a peer advisor?  It’s a great way to be involved in the major, meet new people, and spread the word about Urban Studies!  Applications are due in May to Associate Director Michael Kahan.  You may download the application form (PDF).

Sara Maurer

Concentration:Urban Society and Social Change
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Year expecting to graduate:
Honors thesis or other research project:

Why I'm majoring (or minoring) in Urban Studies:
I love how interdisciplinary Urban Studies is, and how supportive the department is of students' interests and growth. I feel like Urban Studies is a field in which all of my interests can relate and build off each other.
What I like best about Urban Studies:
The feel of the department in my interactions with students, faculty, staff. You can really get to know people and people can really get to know you, and at the same time the department has amazing resources which I feel I can take even better advantage of because of that level of familiarity.
Other academic interests (major, minors)
Languages + translation

Jazlyn Patricio-Archer

Concentration:Urban Society and Social Change
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Year expecting to graduate:
Honors thesis or other research project:

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I'm majoring in Urban Studies because I wanted a nuanced understanding of the ways that people connect. In my experience, that is best illustrated in the experience of cities and urbanism. Cities house the centers of power directly alongside centers of oppression, wealth alongside poverty - if we can figure out how to create spaces that support the needs of these diverse communities, we can begin to dismantle the reproductive nature of poverty and marginalization. I'm interested in doing that work and that brought me to Urban Studies.

What I like best about Urban Studies: I like that Urban Studies makes me go out into the world and learn from experience. I love that I have to intern and the flexibility of the major to support different forms of learning other than the typical lecture-reading-exam format.

Favorite class / professor (and why): URBANST 171 with Danno (Dehan Glanz). I loved this class because it made me take ownership of a single project for the entire quarter. I felt very engaged and responsible for my project, and that made me produce really great work. The project itself was a really authentic assessment that made me develop a concrete skill with urban design that I have since used in actual professional practice.

Career goal / Future plans: Right now, I'm interested in the intersection of informal learning and community planning. I want to figure out how informal learning in communities interacts with formal learning in schools and how we can design places/spaces to develop communities of lifelong learning.

Other academic interests: Minor in Education (Teaching and Learning)

Extracurriculars: Stanford Taiko, RA in Junipero House

For more information:

Amy Tomasso

Concentration:Urban Sustainability
Hometown: Farmington, CT
Year expecting to graduate:
Honors thesis or other research project:

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I'm passionate about the intersection between nature and humans, and I think the best place to study this is the built environment.  In an increasingly urbanized world, cities are the future, and I believe they can be powerful tools for creating sustainable and strong communities.  I hope to create cities which are vibrant, walkable, and ultimately grounded in nature!

What I like best about Urban Studies: The people!  I've met the most interesting and kind professors and peers in this department, and I wouldn't trade our conversations for anything.  It's gratifying to me to be part of a group of people who genuinely care about making the world a better place, and who are taking strides to do so.  Being a part of Urban Studies is by far one of my favorite parts of Stanford.

Favorite class / professor (and why): My favorite class at Stanford has been Structured Liberal  Education, where I read incredible books, became a better writer, and learned how to really think about the world.

Favorite book (and why): Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels.  In the 1920s, an adventurer named Richard Halliburton set off into the world to explore without boundaries.  The result, encompassed in his eponymous book, is captivating.  The wanderer in me is drawn to his whimsical and endearing belief that the world is chock full of beautiful things to discover.

Career goal / Future plans: I would love to return to my home state of Connecticut and work towards making our capital city, Hartford, into a more habitable place.  I envision reviving the agricultural traditions of the Connecticut River Valley through urban agriculture and restoring the cultural traditions of Hartford (Mark Twain once made Hartford home). In the meantime, I am enjoying keeping my career options open, but I know my future will involve my passions of education, community engagement, and creative writing. :) Honors Thesis or other research project:

Other academic interests (major, minors): Italian

Extracurriculars: Fossil Free Stanford!

Something else you should know about me: I am happiest when I am in nature (hence my desire to infuse nature into cities!) and try to spend as much time as I can outdoors.  I am an avid hiker, skier, yogi, and walker in the woods.

My favorite quote is by Aristotle, who said that, "In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous."