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2018-2019 Reflections

Dear Alumni, Friends, and Supporters:

With the end of spring quarter, the Department of Urban Design and Planning celebrated our 2019 graduates. We welcomed Samuel Assefa, Director of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development as the keynote speaker for the College of Built Environment’s commencement on June 14th. He spoke to the importance of maintaining strong connections with fellow graduates in years ahead and the ways in which his career has been positively shaped by that. We look forward to celebrating the successes of our newest alumni as they build careers and communities together.

In reflecting on the past year, we wanted to share the stories of a few of the smart, creative, passionate students who are using their degrees in innovative ways to better their communities. You can read more about them in the tabs below.

We’ve also included a short story about the Livable City Year program, which was co-founded and is now co-directed by Associate Professor Branden Born. Now in its third year, this program has been remarkably successful at leveraging the talent of UW faculty and students on behalf of local communities, while also serving as a platform for innovative teaching and learning.

I hope you will join me in congratulating all of the 2019 graduates and that you will welcome them into your communities. Thank you for being part of the Department of Urban Design and Planning.

Christopher D. Campbell
Chair, Department of Urban Design and Planning

Making Local Impact

Over the past year, a group of UW Master of Urban Planning (MUP) students took their skills and knowledge from the classroom into the local community as part of the UW-wide Livable City Year (LCY) program. Over the course of two studios, taught by Urban Design and Planning Professor Branden Born, students worked directly with stakeholders from the 2018-19 partnering city of Bellevue, WA to research and develop designs for Bellevue’s new Civic Center.


Beyond the Classroom

Dolores Velasquez – 2019, MIPM

When Dolores Velasquez began her online graduate degree program at UW, she didn’t know the academic experience she was gaining in infrastructure planning and emergency management would be paralleled so directly in her daily life. The knowledge she obtained as a MIPM student helped her to navigate and understand her community’s recovery in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire.


Let the Record Play

Nyles Green – 2019, CEP

This past year, Nyles Green undertook a unique senior project focused on preserving and sharing the stories of black musicians in the Pacific Northwest. Through the lens of community and culture, the resulting podcast, “Let the Record Play”, became the perfect medium to capture direct interviews and explore the narrative of Seattle’s music scene from the perspective of black musicians.