Peer Advisors

Urban Studies has four peer advisors for 2013-2014.  Contact them 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 Associate Director Michael Kahan.  You may download the application form here (PDF).

 

Nicholas Biddle 

Name: Nicholas Biddle

Email: nbiddle@stanford.edu

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Year expecting to graduate: 2014

Concentration in Urban Studies: Urban Society and Social Change

Honors Thesis or other research project: Adapting to change in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood: An Ethnography about people in Philadelphia’s gay enclave and how they are living and adapting in a time of great change.

 

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: I have always been fascinated with the urban. I grew up in center city Philadelphia and was able to see the good and the bad that the city had to offer from the inside. Cities are a place of wonder, civilization, and some of the world’s greatest challenges. Urban Studies has helped me understand and gain the tools I need to embrace the city with all of its faults and work to a brighter urban future.

What I like best about Urban Studies: The interdisciplinary nature of Urban Studies focused around something so dynamic and awe inspiring as the city makes for an engaging major that not only teaches theory but application. I feel like I have the skills and knowledge to work on urban issues thoughtfully and effectively.

Favorite class / professor (and why): Automobile and the City, Fred Stout. This class was offered for the first time last year, and although it was not the best structured class I have taken, the content was thought provoking and drove me to go above and beyond to discover my passion in transportation.

Favorite book (and why): I don’t especially like reading, but a book that I was sucked into and would recommend to anyone is Night by Elie Wiesel. I find that stories like these are ones that need to be shared and never forgotten.

Career goal / Future plans: My ultimate goal in life that I have had since I was very little is to become the Mayor of Philadelphia.

Other academic interests (majors, minors): I am also majoring in Materials Science and Engineering as I have a strong interest in energy technologies of the future.

Extracurriculars: My main extracurricular activity is being a member (and this year director) of Talisman Acapella. Singing and sharing music through song have given me some of the most memorable experiences I have had in my life.

Something else you should know about me: I am a city boy who really likes nature as well. I grew up fishing and sailing and enjoy exploring nature, in and out of cities, on my bike.

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Dylan Conn   

Name: Dylan Conn        

Email: dconn@stanford.edu

Hometown: Lake Villa, IL

Year expecting to graduate: 2014

Concentration in Urban Studies: Urban Society and Social Change

 

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: The interdisciplinary nature of Urban Studies allows me to take a wide variety of classes that fit my interests, and lets me combine the skills and knowledge I learn in all of these classes in different areas.

What I like best about Urban Studies: Urban Studies is a small major, which means you get to know all of your fellow classmates really well and are provided with a lot of support from the professors leading the program.

Favorite class / professor (and why): Space as History: Urban Change and Social Vision in Florence 1059 to the Present with Professor Timothy Verdon.  You’ll have to study abroad in Florence to take it (SO worth it!), but classes involve three hours of walking around the city each week and talking about its development.  It’s about as hands-on with Urban Studies as you can get.

Career goal / Future plans: I hope to combine what I’ve learned in Urban Studies with my work experience in social media… I’m still working on figuring out how.

Extracurriculars: Stanford in Government, March of Dimes

Something else you should know about me: I’m one of the people behind the Stanford Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Kaela Farrise

Name: Kaela Farrise

Email: kfarrise@stanford.edu       

Hometown: Oakland/ Los Angeles

Year expecting to graduate: 2014

Concentration in Urban Studies: Urban Education

Honors Thesis or other research project: The impact of Voter ID laws on minority communities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: It allows me the opportunity to study education within the context of the city system, giving me a much more holistic understanding of the root causes that lead to and cultivate systematic inequality within the education sector. I believe it is important to understand the whole picture to even begin to tackle some of the problems within the education sector.

What I like best about Urban Studies: The interdisciplinary nature: no matter what field, all of my classes fit together and build on one another.

Favorite class / professor (and why): Urban Education with Professor Ball. The class gave me many new angles from which I am able to approach education issues.

Favorite book (and why): Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Beals. The effort of the Little Rock Nine integrating Little Rock High School is a great example of true perseverance and strength.

Other academic interests (majors, minors): Double major in African and African American Studies

Extracurriculars: Black Student Union Co-President, Project Motivation Volunteer

Something else you should know about me: I love language and travel!

 

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