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Student News 2012

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Findings from student Field Project featured in Shelterforce Magazine
October 16, 2012
Affordable housing developments are often contested by neighbors before they are built. UEP students investigated what happened after four such projects were completed. The key finding was that virtually none of the articulated concerns came to fruition and that the housing blended in well with the community after it was "on the ground." Learn more >

Molly Cooney-Mesker '13 attends Venice Biennale with ICE-POPS
October 4, 2012
Molly Cooney-Mesker (second year UEP grad student) and colleagues from Harvard and MIT spent the last week of August attending the opening of the Venice Architecture Biennale. The group presented their ICE-POPS project in the American Pavilion and participated in a panel discussion focused on "New Networks and Participatory Planning."

ICE-POPS, which stands for Critical Explorers of Privately-Owned Public Space, is a collective of researchers, artists, writers, planners, and urban explorers cataloguing privately-owned public spaces and other public-private developments. Inspired by the creative use of public private space during Occupy Wall Street and other citizen led movements around the world, ICE-POPS was founded to encourage people to rethink the way spaces are used in their cities. The group aims to collaboratively to make our cities more open and accessible.

ICE-POPS was among more than 100 projects selected under the American Pavilion's theme of "Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good." As a collective these projects represent the movement of citizens, designers, planners and artists intervening in their cities to solve problems, create new spaces, and build social capital. The American Pavilion was awarded a special mention by the Jury of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition.

The ICE-POPS team in Venice included Harvard graduate students Elizabeth MacWillie (MDesS/MAUD), John Hulsey, (visual and environmental studies) and Caitlin Gianniny (mind, brain and education program at the Graduate School of Education), as well as Rebecca Uchill, studying history theory at MIT. Judy Sue Fulton, a MArch I at Harvard collaborated on graphic design for the Biennale submission.

Two UEP students receive 2012 Rappaport Fellowships
March15, 2012
UEP students Tessa Orbach and Meaghan Overton have been selected as 2012 Rappaport Fellows. There are 14 Rappaport Public Policy Fellows each year, selected from approximately 80 applications.

Tessa Orbach is a second-year joint degree student between UEP and Child Development. She is interested in education reform in urban school districts. She is particularly interested in how school districts replicate applied research through strategic planning. For her Rappaport project Tessa hopes to work with a school district to translate a strategic plan into action. She would like to focus on how districts engage the community of teachers, staff, parents, and students to make these plans sustainable and encourage fidelity in implementation. This could involve facilitating a community planning process within a school district, gathering information from community members about changes in the district, working to create alignment around key strategic changes, developing systems for information distribution, or many other strategies for ensuring that a high quality strategic plan is translated into actual school improvement.

Meaghan Overton is a first-year UEP student. She hopes to use her time as a Rappaport Fellow to learn more about the role of municipal governments in addressing community economic development and environmental health issues. Her specific interest is in food systems policy and planning. Meaghan is excited to explore the intersections of food policy and other policy issues related to food - community development, public health, transportation, etc. She is looking forward to participating in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of policies that aim to improve local food systems and enhance quality of life in Boston's neighborhoods.

The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston encourages graduate students to spend part of their careers in public service through a paid, 10-week summer internship in key state and local agencies in the Greater Boston area. Fellows, who represent all graduate schools in Greater Boston, participate in a weekly seminar series with leading practitioners and scholars and receive a $7000 stipend for the summer. The fellowship program is a key component of The Rappaport Institute, which aims to improve the governance of Greater Boston by promoting emerging leaders, stimulating informed discussion, and producing new ideas.

Jessie Partridge authors Bostinno article on transit justice
March 8, 2012
UEP second-year Jessie Partridge has written an article about transit justice and the MBTA on BostInno, the Boston Innovation online news site. The article, and the maps she made for it, are connected to Jessie's internship last summer with ACE (Alternatives for Community and Environment) and to her thesis.

Thesis work of UEP's Mike Messina profiled on Wicked Local
January 6, 2012
UEP student Mike Messina has been working on the Interactive Somerville website for his thesis. A recent article on Wicked Local Somerville explores his work.