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Langston Buddenhagen

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Pronouns: He/him

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: As a young man of color born and raised in an urban environment, I have been passionate about equity since a young age. Urban Studies provides me with a unique opportunity to explore my interdisciplinary interests in policy, law, racial justice, and design while weaving a thread of equity throughout tangible, relevant coursework.

What I like best about Urban Studies: It's interdisciplinary, practical, and tangible.

Fav ...

Mariel Camargo

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Pronouns: She/Her

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I’m majoring in urban studies because of its interdisciplinary nature and engagement with the community. It is interconnected with geography, environmentalism, health, politics, economy, design, and social aspects of society. Urban studies centers around people and their communities which is very different from other majors across this institution — I truly think this major can make a positive impact in many aspects. 

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Andrew Cha

Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Pronouns: He/They

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I'm fascinated by the development of ethnic enclaves in urban environments, and how these communities engage in ethnic placemaking to reshape their surrounding cultural and physical environments.

What I like best about Urban Studies: The interdisciplinary nature and diverse topics of research and expertise!

Favorite class / professor (and why): URBANST 202A + 203A with Michael Kahan! These classes that comprise the ...

Ángel Manuel De Dios López

Hometown: Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico / Calexico, California

Pronouns: They/them/theirs

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I am majoring in Urban Studies because I love the emphasis on the interaction between community and policy. Urban Studies brings these things together while ensuring we give back while we learn with folks. I also love the community and how open, raw, and close conversations can feel.

What I like best about Urban Studies: What I like best about Urban Studies is the overall ...

Jonathan Donis

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Urban Studies combines my interests in urban sociology, urban planning, real estate development, and sustainable design. I felt that it was the perfect major to learn about and actively work on addressing real-world issues.

What I like best about Urban Studies: The interdisciplinary, flexible nature of the program that ensures I can pursue coursework and projects in fields I'm actually interested in while gaining industry skills and ...

Gabriel Frank-McPheter

Hometown: San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, CA

Pronouns: He/They

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Growing up in Los Angeles County, I was fascinated and impacted by urban life and disparities, particularly inequities in urban housing and healthcare. Urban Studies has been an outlet for me to dive deep into these issues in interdisciplinary academic and applied settings.

What I like best about Urban Studies: Urban Studies explores pressing issues through economic, sociological, technical, and ...

Dina (D) Fukunaga-Brates


Hometown: Oakland, CA

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Through the Urban Studies major, I am able to incorporate my passion for the arts, and arts education and policy into my studies. I appreciate being able to learn from both my professors as well as from my peers’ diverse interdisciplinary interests and goals.

What I like best about Urban Studies: Urban Studies courses integrate application of skills to real-world problems, with collective imagining of more just and equitable urban futures!

Ho ...

Hometown: Athens, GR

Pronouns: He/Him

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I love learning about cities and the ways in which people interact with the built environment, and I am also interested in learning about how cities can be designed and run sustainably. Moreover I love architecture, design and public policy, which are all fields that fall under the umbrella of Urban Studies.

Something else you should know about me: I love writing and recording music and creating art. I have released 35 ...

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina 

Pronouns: she/her/hers 

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Like a lot of people, I was first drawn to Urban Studies because it allowed me to explore all the different things I was interested in without having to quadruple major! I still love how interdisciplinary it is, but I now have a greater appreciation for how many tools the program gives you (policy, history, data, design, etc) to meaningfully engage with the systems, environments, and issues that ...

Pronouns: she/they

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Growing up, I always heavily romanticized New York City, especially because it was the setting of so many influential books, movies, and musicals: Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, 13 Going on 30, The Last Five Years, Rent, etc. I also loved reading Humans of New York interviews, and really seeing how urban spaces -- with their huge concentration of people and places -- uniquely shaped the stories and lives of ...

Nicholas Mullins

Hometown: Columbus, OH 

Pronouns: he/him/his

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I am majoring in Urban Studies because I have a passion for learning about the world, its people, and how we can craft solutions that serve everyone. I also love design, so Urban Studies is perfect for me because it provides a lens for viewing the world and a human-centered framework for using design principles to create things. The major is very interdisciplinary too, so I am able to customize my course load to my ...

Mario Nicolas

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Pronouns: He/Him

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Urban Studies lets me combine my interests in music scenes, renewable energy, public transportation, environmental justice, and urban design to get a diverse and rigorous understanding of cities that I couldn’t get in any other program. The core gives me a baseline understanding of some of the central debates, opportunities, and challenges within cities. The capstone provides an opportunity to take an intellectual ...

Isabel (Isa) Peralta

Pronouns: they/them

Hometown: Reno, Nevada 

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I have always been fascinated in where/how people live and call home! I have been fortunate to have visited my parents' home cities in Bolivia and Peru, and the history, how they were developed, and how people get around was very interesting to me. In Reno, being aware of politics, school zoning, history, and the gradual economic change also supported my interest in Urban Studies.

What I like best about Urban ...

Cynthia (Yeli) Ramirez

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Pronouns: She/hers

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Growing up in Chicago and attending schools in different areas taught me about inequity from an early age. My curiosity for why my elementary school neighborhood looked so different from my high school neighborhood led me to explore the history of Chicago city planning. I subsequently learned about redlining, gentrification, predatory housing contracts, etc. I quickly became passionate about equity as it pertains to the ...

Audrey Ward

Hometown:  Berkeley, CA

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Why I'm minoring in Urban Studies: I was drawn to the Urban Studies minor because I sought ways to connect my love of design and my fascination with cities. The captivating classes have provided me with a multifaceted lens through which I can understand urban environments. I am especially interested in the ability of urban design to facilitate connection and reduce inequity!

What I like best about Urban Studies: I love the community! I have learned so ...