Ally Rees headshot

Master of Urban Design


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Ally Rees

You’ll never run out of things to do in Ann Arbor. Whether it’s attending a comedy show, the farmers market in Kerrytown, a concert, or an art festive, there is always so much going on. It is such a lively community with the most welcoming neighbors.

Morgantown, WV, United States

Degree Program(s)

Expected Graduation Date
December 2023

Academic Areas of Interest
Urban Design, Architecture

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Attending comedy shows, playing tennis, and taking my dog on adventures

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
I had the opportunity to have a few Taubman faculty members attend reviews at my undergraduate program and the conversations I had with them pushed not only my design work but my personal ambitions. So, when I started looking for Master of Urban Design programs, I immediately knew that Taubman’s M.U.D. program would be on my list because of my previous interactions with Taubman faculty. Aside from this, every U-M alumni I spoke with talked so highly about their experience and the lifelong mentors and friendships that they made during their time in Ann Arbor.

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
The diversity in cultures and breadth of knowledge and collaboration shared across the Taubman programs offers such a nourishing and lively community. While a student in the MUD program, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with other urban planning and architecture students. The interdisciplinary engagement at Taubman is rich and unique.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
Walking into the studios at Taubman and seeing everyone engaging and collaborating with one another is such a magical experience. The studio culture is wholesome. Everyone is willing to support one not just in their academic pursuits but their personal and professional pursuits as well. I know for myself and many others that the studio environment has provided a home away from home.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
Throughout my entire application process, the admissions, academic advisors and faculty were incredibly supportive in making sure Taubman was the right choice for my personal endeavors. The faculty and professional staff at Taubman are always striving to provide strong support for their students and their ambitions. I am incredibly grateful for the mentorship I’ve received from my M.U.D. faculty members as well as the patience and ongoing support I receive from Taubman’s advisors. Academic advisors Kristin McDonough and Lauryn Tidwell have been incredibly instrumental in my time at Taubman and all of the support they’ve provided.

How has Taubman’s career and professional development support prepared you for a successful career in your chosen field?
The career and professional development team does such an incredible job organizing a thorough career fair for Taubman students, which provides students with the opportunity to network with a wide range of professionals. There are also alumni networking events and portfolio feedback sessions that are incredibly helpful in preparing students for future job opportunities.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
Being a part of such a strong research-oriented university affords students the opportunity to apply for the many grants and scholarships that the University of Michigan offers. Students are able to take advantage of so many facilities across campus whether it’s by utilizing the fabrication lab at Taubman or renting LiDAR equipment from the robotics department. The resources and support are there and at your disposal.

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
You’ll never run out of things to do in Ann Arbor. Whether it’s attending a comedy show, the farmers market in Kerrytown, a concert, or an art festive, there is always so much going on. It is such a lively community with the most welcoming neighbors.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Taubman faculty members. They are eager to hear from you, what your interest are, and how they can support you! I had so many incredible conversations with faculty members when I was a prospective student, and those conversations are what solidified my decision to attend Taubman College.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to apply to urban research labs and academic fellowships. I would like to continue to my research in urban design from both a theoretical and practical approach and inspire others in the field and academic practices.

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
There’s no place quite like the U of M and Taubman community. The lifelong support system you gain here is unparalleled. Go Blue!