Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

At the Departmental Commencement Celebration on May 29th, 2024, DUSP celebrated the achievements and accomplishments of the graduating class of 2024.

The commencement keynote speaker was Shalanda Baker, Director of the Office of Energy Justice and Equity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her Senate confirmation, she joined the Biden-Harris Administration on Day One to serve as the Nation’s first-ever Deputy Director for Energy Justice. She is the architect of the historic Justice40 Initiative; racial justice and equity action plan; energy justice policy framework; and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts at the Department.  

The Justice40 Initiative is a historic commitment by the Federal government under the Biden Administration to allocate 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.  To meet the goal of the Justice40 Initiative, the Biden Administration is transforming hundreds of Federal programs to ensure that disadvantaged communities receive the benefits of new and existing Federal investments. Through the President’s Investing in America Agenda — including the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the American Rescue Plan — Federal agencies are making investments to advance environmental justice and benefit disadvantaged communities. These investments will help confront decades of underinvestment in disadvantaged communities and bring critical resources to communities that have been overburdened by legacy pollution and environmental hazards.

Prior to her appointment with the U.S. Department of Energy, Baker was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. In 2018, she co-founded and co-directed the Initiative for Energy Justice, which supports the delivery of equity-centered energy policy research and technical assistance to policymakers and frontline communities across the country. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. 

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


Departmental Awards

Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis: Rebecca Lizarde, The Legacy and Future of Urban Oil Drilling in Los Angeles

Outstanding MCP Thesis: Melissa Hill, The Imperfect Question of Stadium Development: A Typology of Contemporary Developments and Strategies for a Sustainable Future

Flora Crockett Stephenson Writing Prize: Yuvika Tolani, The Art of Making Place: Exploring community, neighborhood, and district through the Punto Urban Art Museum in Salem, MA

Outstanding PhD Dissertation: Carmelo Ignaccolo, BEHIND THE WATERFRONT: Enduring Inequities and Illusive Renewals in the Making of Mediterranean Port Cities

Outstanding PhD Dissertation (Honorable Mention): Aarthi Janakiraman, Repurposing Colonialism: Postcoloniality and the Politics of World Heritage

APA Outstanding Student: McKenzie Humann

Simha Prize: (1) Salvador Herrera (2) Sara Jex, Tiffany Lim, and Brooke Jin

Outstanding PhD Teaching Assistant: Nishan Zewge-Abubaker

Rolf R. Engler Award for Outstanding Service:Harriette Crawford


DUSP Student Council Awards

Excellence in Teaching: Cong Cong 

Excellence in Teaching by a Teaching Assistant: Nishan Zewge-Abubaker

Excellence in Advising: Catherine D'Ignazio

Faculty or Staff Contribution to Student Life: Ezra Haber Glenn 

Hebbert Award for Student Contribution to DUSP: Austin Cole

The 2023-2024 Thesis and Dissertation Booklet, which provides an overview of the research efforts of the class of 2024 is available online, here


Congratulations to the entire 2024 graduating class!