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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 Co-Director Michael Kahan.  You may download the application form (PDF).

Kate Ham

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

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

What I like best about Urban Studies: The people! Everyone is so passionate, intentional, down-to-earth, and perfect for geeking out about urbanism. Meeting someone from Urban Studies means we are instantly friends. Urban Studies people also understand the value of nontraditional learning (especially outside of the classroom) and focusing on contemporary societal issues.

Favorite book (and why): Evicted by Matthew Desmond - a page-turner that follows the lives of eight families displaced in Milwaukee. It was fascinating to read this while talking to my grandparents, who used to be landlords of a Miami trailer park, to grapple with my views and my family history.

Career goal / Future plans: I'm an aspiring urban planner and hope to work in affordable housing in they Bay Area or NYC.

Matt Nissen

Concentration:Urban Society and Social Change
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Year expecting to graduate:
Honors thesis or other research project:

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I want to explore how people and policy intersect in urban environments. I am especially interested in  public policy, community organizations, and advocacy efforts. As an L.A.native, I am also interested in current developments in urbanization and unsustainable suburban sprawl.

What I like best about Urban Studies: Urban Studies allows me to examine various historical and current processes that affect the everyday lives of a signification portion of the United States and the globe. The interdisciplinary approach gives me both the tools and the knowledge to understand the field in depth.

Other academic interests (major, minors): Public Policy