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DUSPx: MIT Connections brings together DUSP alumni/ae and the on-campus community

MIT event invites DUSP alumni, alumnae, and faculty to share their work

On Wednesday, Nov. 8th, nearly two hundred DUSP alumni/ae, faculty, and students gathered for an evening of sharing their work and ideas. “DUSPx: MIT Connections” was the fifth in a series of annual “DUSPx” events aimed at promoting connections both among alumni and also between alumni/ae and current faculty and students.

Emceed by current PhD students Madeleine Daepp and Daniel Gallagher, the evening began with a welcome from Department Head Eran Ben-Joseph, who shared an overview of the department’s recent activities, including its prominent participation in Institute-wide initiatives, the appointment of new faculty and the continuing increase in faculty research projects.

The evening featured three-minute “lightning” talks given by a group of alumni/ae and faculty on aspects of their work and interests. Faculty members spoke about research on healthy neighborhoods, early 20th-century segregation ordinances, environmental incentives for urban property owners, and global health planning and trauma recovery in Haiti.

Alumni/ae spoke about their work on a wide range of issues, including climate preparedness in Boston, revitalization of gateway cities, conflict mediation, and community engagement through social media. Affordable housing was a theme common to several alumni speakers. The talks clearly demonstrated the breadth and depth of the impact of DUSP alumni/ae both locally and across the country.

“DUSPx” events held in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco in recent years have been well attended, highlighting the eagerness of DUSP alumni to stay in touch with the department and with one another, and to form new connections with fellow DUSP graduates in their area. DUSPx was created to encourage these connections and to promote interaction between alumni and current students.

“We are trying to foster a single professional community to the mutual benefit of students and alumni/ae—a ‘DUSP without Borders,’” said Mary Jane Daly MCP ’83, DUSP Professional Development Director and organizer of the event.  

Ms. Daly closed the event by thanking alumni/ae for their generosity toward students and fellow alumni – as mentors, employers and advisors – and encouraging them, in the spirit of the evening, to stay connected with the department and one another through the MIT Alumni Association and the DUSP LinkedIn group.

Alumni/ae speakers were Karin Brandt MCP ’10, Anya Brickman Raredon MCP ’11, Robert Engler MCP ’71, Noah Koretz MCP ’13, Richard O’Bryant PhD ’04, Mia Mansfield MCP ’15, Fred Merrill MCP/SMArchS ’80, Susan Podziba MCP ’88, and Sarah Wermiel PhD ’96. DUSP faculty speakers included Mariana Arcaya, David Hsu, Erica James, Janelle Knox-Hayes, and Justin Steil.