Samantha Addeo, Accelerated MA ’18
I chose Urban Studies at Queens College for a number of reasons. Because it’s an interdisciplinary program and part of the larger CUNY system, I was able to take advantage of many practical learning experiences and applied research opportunities as a student. While the department provides a wealth of activities and courses, it is also small enough so that you can really get to know your professors. To this point, the faculty here is amazing. Each professor offers expertise across different specializations; I am the lucky recipient of their generosity, mentorship, and care as both a student and alumnus.
During my time at QC, I was also able to explore many of my own interests in Urban Studies – particularly those in data and mapping – with the guidance of professors in and outside of the classroom. For this, I am forever grateful. Now, as a graduate of the program, I work in civic tech pursuing those very things. I help large and small institutions in NYC map and expand public access to city records. I know that I am where I am today because of my QC experience.
Jeremy Magno, BA ’17
Jeremy received an undergraduate dual degree in Urban Studies and Economics in 2017. In his sophomore year as part of the second-ever cohort of CUNY Service Corps, he found the urban studies major to be the major influencer for his undergraduate experience and career trajectory.
Jeremy shares, “One of the most important lessons taught in the Urban Studies curriculum is that justice is local—fighting inequality, discovering rich histories, and meeting interesting people doesn’t require traveling abroad, but stepping into your own backyard, especially in New York City. The Urban Studies major offered unique experiences and opportunities outside of the classroom and Queens College. Classes were real, tied to past and present policymaking, and individuals in neighborhoods that were eager to tell their stories.
My junior and senior year, I was a shuttle bus away from meetings between community leaders and city officials negotiating the details for Mayor de Blasio’s plan to rezone the Flushing waterfront for affordable housing. From there, I connected with tenant advocates and witnessed a developer harassing rent-stabilized tenants firsthand. To write about that experience and be backed by the urban studies department as part of the course curriculum was my proudest achievement in undergrad. Currently, I work as a zoning and building code consultant, where the history, the technical side, and theory taught in Urban Studies is still hugely applicable.”
Four recent alumni of the Queens College Department of Urban Studies discussed their career trajectories at a panel on May 7, 2018.
Maggie McCabe, Environmental Educator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Mikael Kerr, Americorps Community Assessment Coordinator
Brad Rebeiro, Admissions Officer at New York University
Samantha Addeo Researcher, Urban Archive