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DUSP recognizes achievements of students, faculty and staff

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) has announced awards won by students, faculty and staff.


At its annual Commencement Day breakfast tomorrow, the department will award the following. The American Institute of Certified Planners' Outstanding Student Award will be presented to master's in city planning (MCP) student Jennifer James of Schenectady, NY. The Departmental Service Award will be given to MCP students Tunua Thrash of Los Angeles and Ana Lasso of Huntington Park, CA. Natasha Freidus of New York will receive the prize for Outstanding MCP Thesis and Shanna Wasserman of Anchorage, AK will receive an honorable mention.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis/Project award will go to Yanni Tsipis of Boston with an honorable mention to Stefani Okasaki of Kensington, CA. The Wallace, Floyd Award for City Design will be presented to first-year MCP student Alexis Bennett of Venice, CA, and the Flora Crockett Stephenson Writing Prize will go to Ambika Prokop of Sunnyvale, CA.

Support staff of the department who will be honored include S. Holly Kosisky for Outstanding Contribution to the Intellectual Life of the Department and Janice O'Brien for Outstanding Service by Support Staff.


During the past year, DUSP students have won the following awards. Graduate student Raquel Gomes of Potomac, MD received an Industrial Performance Center Doctoral Fellowship. Mellon-MIT Program on NGOs and Forced Migration Research Grants went to MCP students Shahid Punjani of Vancouver, Canada and Katrina Simon of Stone Mountain, GA and PhD student Smita Srinivas of Bangalore, India. MCP student Bilal Zia of Pakistan won a Carroll Wilson Award, and a Kelly Traveling Fellowship was awarded to Sandy Pae, a junior from New York. Ms. Thrash received the Umoja "Unity" Leadership Award from the Graduate Student Office. Ming Zhang of Wuhan, China won a UPS Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the MIT Center for Transportation Studies, and Monica Pinhanez of S�o Paulo, Brazil received a Center for International Studies Doctoral Research Fellowship.


Faculty and students won the following awards from outside of MIT. Professor and Chancellor Lawrence Bacow was awarded an honorary doctorate of civil engineering from the Politechnico di Bari in Italy. The award for Best Book in Urban Affairs published in 1999 or 2000 from the Urban Affairs Association was given to Professor Lawrence Vale, associate department head, for From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors. Professor Frank Levy was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and the Rockefeller Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. Associate Professor Ceasar McDowell won a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in Residence in Bellagio, Italy. Professor Diane Davis (who will join the MIT faculty in July) was selected as a Carnegie Scholar.

Senior Stefani Okasaki of Kensington, CA won a Henry Martinelli Fellowship. MCP student Adam Varat of Pacific Palisades, CA was selected for the EDAW Summer Student Program. Carol Tucker, an MCP student from Westford, MA, won a Switzer Environmental Fellowship, and Tami Chuang, an MCP student from Palo Alto, CA, was a second-place winner in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and Citizen's Housing and Planning Association's Affordable Housing Competition. Graduate student George Proakis of Boston received a Community Service Award from the Fenway Community Development Corp. Graduate student Cybele Chang of Glencoe, IL received an American Association of University Women and a Switzer Environmental Fellowship.

MCP student Apiwat Ratana-waraha of Bangkok won a Harvard-Yenching Scholarship, Ms. James received a Rappaport Foundation Fellowship, and Ms. Thrash was named an Emerging Leader by the National Congress of Community and Economic Development. PhD students Genevieve Connors of New York and Celina Su of East Brunswick, NJ received honorable mention from the NSF Graduate Fellowship Research Program. Mr. Zhang was awarded a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Dissertation Fellowship. Ms. Pinhanez won an International Labor Organization Phelan Fellowship and Pierre Fallavier of Boulogne Billancourt, France received both a Fulbright Fellowship and a Cercle Universitaire Franco-Americain Travel Grant.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellows for this year included MCP students George Samuels of Harlem, NY, Manuel Martinez of Roxbury, MA, Jesse Williamson of Berkeley, CA, Antonio Gonzalez of San Francisco, CA, Marisa Gaither of Los Angeles and Ms. Thrash. Woodrow Wilson/Public Policy and International Affairs Fellows were MCP students Katrina Simon of Stone Mountain, GA, Diana Auburg of Cambridge, James Wilson of Los Angeles, and Ms. Thrash.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 6, 2001.

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