November 2019 DEI SPOTLIGHT
Name: Larissa Larsen
Preferred Pronoun: She/Her/Hers
Affiliation/Title: Director of Urban and Regional Planning Doctoral Studies, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
Degree(s): Bachelor of Applied Science, Master of Landscape Architecture, PhD
Home Country: Canada
Language(s) Spoken: English
Gender Identity: Female
Favorite food: BiBimBop
Favorite book and why: What is the What by Dave Eggers is a fictional account of the ‘lost boys’ of Sudan that explains the harrowing journey undertaken by small children while pursued by militias and wild animals. In addition to learning more about this historical event, I love this book because I can ‘see’ the many challenges new immigrants face when they arrive in this country.
Favorite thing to do when not at TC: I love to watch my daughters play ice hockey. ‘She shoots, she scores’ (sometimes)!
DEI Contribution/Highlight: Increasingly, my research has a comparative focus on environmental issues in African cities. By spending time each year in different East African countries, I (usually with some U of M students!) can work and learn with colleagues, students, and professional planners from these countries and creatively identify ways to enrich our learning community through their engagement.
Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important to you? My daughters are adopted from China and Ethiopia. As their mother, I have had the opportunity to compare how people react to each girl and how people make different assumptions and apply different expectations.