Training the Next Generation of Ethical Leaders and Influencers

Two graduate students in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) have been chosen for the 2024 Design and Technology (D&T) Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE). Hanyong Xu, a doctoral student, and Javier R. Diaz, who is pursuing a Master of City Planning, will participate in the two-week program in Germany and Poland, which challenges fellows to critically examine constructs, current developments, and issues that raise ethical concerns in their professions in contemporary settings where they study and work.

FASPE annually grants fellowships to graduate students and early-career professionals in the fields of business, design & technology, journalism, law, medicine, and seminary. The curriculum takes advantage of the power of place with daily seminars and dialogue at sites of historic importance, often specific to their profession. The experience of the D&T fellows is enhanced by traveling alongside the business and law fellows, who — in formal and informal settings—consider together how ethical constructs and norms in their respective professions align and differ.

“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said David Goldman, FASPE’s Chairman.

Xu’s research focuses on uncovering, understanding, and rectifying algorithmic fairness concerns inherent in urban mobility systems. Prior to joining DUSP, she orchestrated data analyses, developing algorithms, and crafting web-based solutions in the field of urban planning and e-commerce. She holds a Master of Urban Spatial Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania and an Honors Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Architectural Design and Economics from the University of Toronto.

Specializing in advancing transit-oriented developments in his native Colombia, Diaz focuses on improving community well-being and economic prosperity, particularly in underserved areas. He is currently a researcher at the MIT Transit Lab. Before attending MIT, Diaz held positions in public service in the Colombian presidency and as a public policy advisor for both the Ministry of Transportation and Bogotá's mayor's office. He holds a JD and an LLM from Universidad de los Andes.

Xu and Diaz join a diverse group of 84 fellows across all six programs who were chosen through a competitive process that drew applicants from across the U.S. and the world. FASPE covers all program costs, including travel, food, and lodging.