Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

At the Departmental Commencement Celebration on May 29, 2020, DUSP celebrated - physically distanced but together in spirit and community – the achievements and accomplishments of graduating class of 2020.

Commencement speakers included Devin Bunten, David Hsu, Christopher Zegras, and Hashim Sarkis. A complete recording of the Commencement Celebration is available here.

The 2019-2020 Thesis and Dissertation Booklet, which provides an overview of the research efforts of the class of 2020 is available online, here.

Bunten is the Edward H. and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor of Urban Economics and Housing. Her research uses economic theory and empirical tools to study a range of urban topics, including gentrification and neighborhood change, restrictive zoning, and the white supremacy at the root of American housing.

Hsu is the Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning. His research and teaching focus on how to demonstrate new opportunities for urban planners and environmental policymakers to shape this relationship within these systems using technology, data, and analysis.

Zegras is Professor of Transportation and Urban Planning and DUSP’s Department Head. His research examines addressing urban mobility challenges through the lens of human behavior, emergent technologies, and strategic planning.

Sarkis is the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. Prior to joining MIT he was the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). In addition to his academic work, Sarkis is principal architect in the Cambridge and Beirut based firm whose projects include affordable housing, institutional buildings, and town planning throughout the globe.

"Before any of us had ever heard about the novel coronavirus, we were already facing major global challenges – inequality, extremism, climate change, resource depletion, injustice. Indeed, tackling these challenges, in one form or another, probably brought most of us to DUSP," said Zegras during the celebration. "This current, acute, crisis is just a product of deep fault lines underlying our societies and is manifesting itself along those same fault lines. Undoubtedly, this current moment seems unprecedented in the changes being wrought and the pervasive uncertainties we all face. But, let’s remember, change and uncertainty are part of life – what we need, now and always, is the capability to recover in the face of the unexpected. Beyond that, however, we need imagination to reinvent the places in which we live. I can only hope that DUSP, including these last few, unique months, have strengthened both of these in you: imagination and resilience."

After the commencement speeches, the following year-end awards were announced at the event:

Departmental Awards

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis: Adrianna Jacobson, Designing Public Transit at the Margins: How Rethinking Public Transit in Boston to Support the Travel Patterns of Transit-Reliant Women could Transform Public Transportation for the Better. 
  • Outstanding MCP Thesis: Yichun Fan, Air Pollution, Avoidance Behaviors, and Neglected social cost: Evidence from Outdoor Leisure and Commuting Behaviors.
  • Outstanding PhD Dissertation: Elise Harrington, Intermediaries and Electrification: Dimensions of Trust and Consumer Education in Kenya’s Off-Grid Solar Market.
  • Outstanding PhD Dissertation (Honorable Mention): Shenhao Wang, Deep Neural Networks for Choice Analysis

DUSP Student Council Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching: Devin Michelle Bunten Excellence in Advising: Gabriella Carolini 
  • Staff or Faculty Contribution to Student Life: Ellen Rushman 
  • Staff or Faculty Contribution to Creating a Healthy Virtual DUSP: Devin Michelle Bunten and Takeo Kuwabara 
  • Excellence in Teaching by a Teaching Assistant: Zhuangyuan Fan 
  • Hebbert Award for Student Contribution to DUSP: Annie Calef 

Congratulations to our winners, and to the entire 2020 graduating class!