Winter 2020 DEI SPOTLIGHT
UPSA Committee Members:
Co-Presidents: Anna Thompson + Nathan McBurnett
Treasurer: Thomas Bagley
Professional Development Chair: Carly Keough
Curriculum Chair: Lindsey Dowswell
Social Chairs: Keyana Aghamirzadeh + Cassie Byerly
Volunteer Chair: Nani Wolf
International Chairs: Neeli Kakal + Pierre Bagenda
Expanded Horizons Chairs: J Jammal + Rowan Brady
About UPSA: The Urban Planning Student Association (UPSA) is the governing body of the graduate urban planning students in Taubman College. UPSA works to enhance the educational, professional development and social opportunities available to urban planning students in Taubman College. We plan a variety of fun and educational events throughout the semester. All urban planning students (Master or Ph.D.) are members of UPSA.
Faculty Advisor: Joe Grengs
Group Achievements: UPSA continues to advance a remarkable range of highly impactful initiatives, including social justice activities, curricular reform, public engagement, and promoting a strong sense of community within our college. UPSA’s flagship program, Expanded Horizons, takes students on an immersive, weekend-long trip to a different city each year, where students visit development sites, network with alumni, and interact with public and private sector leaders and community-based organizations. UPSA is pivotal in shaping the curriculum and initiatives essential for attracting talent to Taubman College, for elevating the profile of the urban and regional planning program, and for raising awareness of the planning profession’s broad contributions as a whole.
Favorite Group Activity: Cohort happy hour
DEI Contribution/Highlight: It is important to make Taubman College feel like a cohesive community regardless of social and cultural barriers. Our International Chairs work on programming to help international students acclimate to life in the United States, and specifically, life at the University of Michigan. UPSA supports the Pathways program at Taubman College, which helps to break down barriers for students underrepresented in the planning profession.
Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important to you? UPSA represents two very diverse MURP cohorts. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of our professional practices and we find it important to explore these topics.