Recent Graduates and Thesis Prize Winners

Urban Studies Certificate Program Graduates

Class of 2021

Zaza Asatiani is majoring in Sociology with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, Zaza is a Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and Humanities Events and Social Media Manager, Daily Princetonian (Prince) Cartoons Editor, Triangle Club Business Team Member, Figments Fiction Contributor, Kunstkammer Visual Submissions Reviewer, and has appeared in Playwright’s Guild theater productions. He has also participated in Princeton in Portugal (PiP) and Global Seminar in China summer programs, studied abroad at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, and interned at Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) in Moscow. He has been generously supported throughout his undergraduate career with grants from Spanish and Portuguese Department as well as Dean's Fund for Summer Study Abroad, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), and Monty Raiser '92 Fund.


Thesis: “Social Institutions in Contemporary China and the COVID-19 Pandemic: From Actualities to Prospects”

Marina Carlucci is majoring in Sociology, with certificates in Urban Studies and Cognitive Science. On campus, Marina is part of the club lacrosse and club field hockey teams and served as a co-president for the club field hockey team. She has also worked as a PAA (peer academic advisor for underclassmen), a CA leader, and a board member of the Princeton Big Sibs club. In the past, Marina has interned at Reach Incorporated in Washington, DC, done research with the Princeton Environmental Institute in Madagascar, been a research assistant, and worked for the American Voices Project. Her work has been generously supported with grants from Princeton Internships in Civic Service, Princeton Environmental Institute, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative, the Sociology and History Departments, and the Office of Undergraduate Research Senior Thesis Funding. Next year, Marina is excited to be working for Teach for America in Nashville, TN.


Thesis: “"Policing ain't what it used to be": An Analysis of the Black Lives Matter Protests and Changes in Police Departments”

Tessa Flanagan is majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), with certificates in Urban Studies and Architecture and Engineering. On campus, Tessa serves as the Events Chair for the Princeton University chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and as the leader of the Princeton Chapel Choir alto section. They have also served as a barista at the Princeton Coffee Club, as a graphic designer for the Student Design Agency, and as an LGBTQ+ Peer Educator. Tessa has enjoyed living as a member of Pink House, a sustainability-centered foodshare and cooperatively-run house in Forbes College. Tessa’s research and experiences as an undergraduate have been generously supported by the Princeton Mellon Initiative, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Office of Religious Life, and the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.


Thesis: “Designing the Green New Deal: Thin Shell Umbrella Structures for Low-Carbon Public Housing”

Jessica Gaytán is an Anthropology major, with a certificate in Urban Studies. Their interests lie in cultural and collective memory, indigenous studies, food sovereignty, and environmental justice. At various points in their campus life, Jessica has been involved in fostering the first-generation low-income community, facilitating spaces for Latinx voices, organizing for queer and trans students, volunteering with Princeton Mutual Aid, and working as an assistant at the Teacher Preparation Program. After graduation, Jessica plans to work as a Project 55 Fellow at The Community Day Public Charter School, a nonprofit organization that creates programs to educate children and support educators. They hope to eventually resettle in the Inland Empire and contribute to its rising urban farming community.


Thesis: ““This Place is Sacred”: Ecological and Community Regeneration in Pomona via Urban Farming”

Haydon John is majoring in Anthropology with certificates in Urban Studies and Theater. On campus, Haydon is involved in multiple performing arts groups including BAC and Shere Khan A Cappella. She served as a PUMP mentor for two years, a Peer Arts Advisor through the Lewis Center for the Arts, and co-lead LEAP, a PACE volunteer program that provided afterschool arts workshops at the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in Trenton. She has worked as a Global Seminar Representative and a research associate for the JUST Data Lab in which she helped develop social justice data tools with partnering non-profit organizations.


Thesis: “Care, Black Womanhood, Trauma, and the City: Three Silhouettes”

Anoushka Mariwala is an Architecture concentrator pursuing a certificate in Urban Studies. She is from Mumbai, India. On campus, she is involved with the Princeton Art Museum both as a volunteer tour guide and as an executive member and President Emeritus of the Student Advisory Board, a group dedicated to promoting an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming Museum space for the Princeton undergraduate community. Anoushka also mentors underclassmen as a Peer Academic Advisor at Forbes College and serves as a Student Leader at the Davis International Center. In her time at Princeton, she has gained experience both as a Museum Voices Summer intern and as a McCrindle Academic Year intern at the Princeton Art Museum, and was afforded the opportunity to intern at a global architecture practice through Princeton’s International Internship Program. Anoushka is committed to the study of inclusive, value-driven, and culturally sensitive built environments and centering historically marginalized South Asian perspectives in both design and writing. Her growing academic interests lie at the intersections of architectural theory and design, the visual arts, and media studies, with a particular focus on the histories and futures of cultural institutions in post-colonial environments.


Thesis: “Larger Than Life: Space, Politics, and Ritual in Mumbai's Ganesh Chaturthi Festival”

Madeleine Marr is majoring in Politics, with certificates in Urban Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. On campus, Madeleine sings Soprano II and acts as President Emerita with the Princeton Wildcats. She is also the former Opinion Head Editor for the Daily Princetonian, Student Coordinator at the Women*s Center, a Politics Research Assistant, and has served on USG and CPUC committees. Off campus, she volunteers with the EASEL Animal Shelter in Ewing, NJ. Madeleine has worked for Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, the DNC, and a congressional and NYC Council campaign. She has been supported with grants from the Andlinger Center and the Mellon Initiative.


Thesis: “Parks for the People: Post-High Line Parks and Intersectional Infrastructure”

Emma McMahon is majoring in Geosciences, with certificates in Urban Studies and Environmental Studies. On campus, Emma is the Art Editor for the Nassau Literary Review. She served as a member of the Princeton Conservation Society and a social chair of Two Dickinson Street Co-Op. She also volunteers as an educational mentor for Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services. In the past, Emma has worked and researched at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Sabrina Szeto Consulting, and Northwestern University. She is grateful for the support of the Department of Geosciences and for the mentorship of her advisors Professor Gabriel Vecchi, Professor Elie Bou-Zeid, and Dr. Sirisha Kalidindi.


Thesis: “The Response of the Urban Heat Island to El Niño–Southern Oscillation”

Scott Overbey is majoring in Economics with certificates in Urban Studies and Political Economy. On campus, Scott serves as a Butler Residential College Advisor. He has also served as the captain of the Model United Nations Team, a Junior Fellow in the Pace Center’s Service Focus program, and a subteam leader of Engineers Without Borders. In the past, Scott has studied housing and urban development outside of the class room by working as a legal clerk at the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, a research assistant at Princeton’s Eviction Lab, and as a data science intern at the Urban Institute. He has been extremely grateful for the variety of opportunities Princeton has granted him, especially the chance to delve deeply into topics of urban studies, data science, and economics. After graduation, he will be working as an economic consultant in DC before eventually pursuing a joint MBA/MPP focused on real estate economics, housing policy, and urbanization.


Thesis: “Examining the Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Evictions in Hamilton County, Ohio”

Hannah Pouler is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, Hannah is involved with Business Today; she served as the Editor-In-Chief of the BT magazine, and led a breakout trip to New York City focusing on female entrepreneurship. She also was a co-producer of the Service in Style annual fashion show, which raised over $40,000 for Eden Autism Services, a Princeton-based nonprofit. Outside of class, she works as a tutor with Princeton Tutoring and waitresses at Jules Thin Crust Pizza. She was fortunate to receive three grants from Princeton for summer internships; she worked at a science museum in Paris, at a nonprofit in Bangkok, and at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in international law.  


Thesis: “Sustenance and Stigma: Examining the Determinants of Nutritional Welfare Participation in Minnesota and Tennessee”

Iago Robertson-Lavalle is majoring in Economics, with a certificate in Urban Studies. He is an Undergraduate Associate for the Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies. On campus, Iago is a Peer Academic Advisor (PAA) and teaches English as a Second Language through a program called El Centro. He also plays on the Princeton Men’s Club Soccer team, mentors youth in the local area via a program called Big Sibs, and co-chairs the Butler College Art Gallery Board.


Thesis: “The Impact of Remittances on Poverty: Evidence from El Salvador”

Clara Roth is majoring in Architecture with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, Clara is captain and player on the Varsity Women’s Field Hockey team. She is a trained Student-Athlete Wellness Leader, serving as a mental and physical health resource for peers in need of support. In addition, Clara acts as a mentor and leader for the varsity athlete community in her roles as SCORRE Leader for Princeton SHARE and member of Princeton Athlete Ally. She has also worked as an Eco Rep for the Office of Sustainability, promoting and executing initiatives to green athletic events and spaces on campus. In the past, Clara has gained work experience with several architecture firms in Germany, and she has conducted research with the High Meadows Environmental Institute (formerly Princeton Environmental Institute) on the challenges of physical distancing in urban settings during the era of COVID-19.


Thesis: “A New City Streetscape: Investigating Public Space Programs in New York City under COVID-19”

Kate Schassler is majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with certificates in Urban Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies. On campus, Kate manages Cyclab, a student-run bicycle repair co-op where patrons learn repair and maintenance skills in a DIY setting. Kate has also served as an OA Leader, co-founder of the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition, Sustainability Fellow for the Pace Center Service Focus program, and a gardener at the Princeton Garden Project. In addition, Kate was a resident of the Pink House community. In the past, Kate has worked as a research intern with the Adriaenssens Form Finding Group, as well as has received generous support from the Derian Fellowship, SEAS McIntosh fund at Princeton University, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute for independent work.


Thesis: “Breaking Ground in Urban Food Systems: Novel Data and Analysis of Direct-to-Consumer Farms that Serve Cities”

Margo Sneeringer is majoring in Politics with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, Margo has won two Ivy League Championships as member of the varsity women’s soccer team. She has also served as an Athlete Ally providing support to teammates in the LGBTQA+ community. Additionally, she has served as a Justice Coalition representative working to promote voting resources, racial justice, and historical education across Ivy League soccer programs. Margo will join the Princeton Alumni Corps Project 55 fellowship as a part of the 2021-22 cohort and will further her passion for civic engagement with her work in the program.


Thesis: “Pocketed Proceeds: An Assessment of the Impact of Financially Incentivized Policing in America”

Daniel Te is majoring in Philosophy (PHI), with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, he is the founder of the Acts of Kindness club and is a manager at Princeton Garden Project. He has also been involved with various services programs, including Princeton Online Tutoring Network, where he tutored underprivileged NYC middle school students, and ARSEO, a program in Rochester, NY which offers college application mentorship to refugees. He has also trained to be an OA leader, served as a CA leader, and worked for The Daily Princetonian in seven different sections, most prominently as the Head Cartoon Editor. He was inspired to join the Urban Studies program after a study-abroad term in Greece, where he studied Athens’s former social housing program through on-the-ground fieldwork and also street-performed with his beatboxing talents to interact with local residents.


Thesis: “Ghetto Inequality as a Regional Imperative: Political Integration to Rectify Racial Injustice”

Chris Walton is majoring in Politics with a certificate in Urban Studies. On campus, Chris has served as the Campus & Community Affairs Chair for the Undergraduate Student Government, and has Co-Chaired the Rocky College Council. He has also been an executive board member of the Princeton US-China Coalition, serving as Alumni Relations Chair and Co-Director of Conference, and was a research assistant at the Princeton Environmental Institute. In 2019, Chris was a recipient of the Dale Summer Award, which allowed him to explore his grandmother’s past and the role of museum curation and urban historic preservation in the Baltic States, Poland, and Germany. He has spent his other summers teaching in China and interning for ReSITE, a Prague-based organization that gathers architects and urbanists for public events that promote more inclusive cities and the expansion of public space.


Thesis: “Nationalist in Content, International in Form: After Belonging in Belgrade and Budapest”

2021 Urban Studies Thesis Prize Winners

This year, the Urban Studies Thesis Prize was jointly awarded to the following students, recognizing their exceptional theses with an urban studies theme:


TESSA FLANAGAN (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

"Designing the Green New Deal: Thin Shell Umbrella Structures for Low-Carbon Public Housing"


CLARA ROTH (Architecture)

"A New City Streetscape: Investigating Public Space Programs in New York City under COVID-19"