PhD in Public Policy
Talia Kaufmann is a PhD student in Public Policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, with a concentration in Urban and Regional Studies. She is also a resident doctoral fellow at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. As part of her research, Talia collaborates with International organizations, local and municipal governments to develop data-driven tools for decision-makers in city planning. Her goal is to illuminate spatial inequality in access to services and provide policy makers with the tools to improve the quality of life of underserved urban communities. Her research tackles questions such as: how many commercial/recreational/public amenities should be added to a given neighborhood or city and where should those amenities be most needed? And, how far should an urban resident walk/drive/take public transport rides to reach the closest park or supermarket from their home?
Talia is trained as an Architect (B.Arch, Tel-Aviv University) and a City Planner (MCP, MIT). Before joining MIT for her Master degree, Talia served as a city planner and a planning information manager at the Tel Aviv-Yafo City Planning Department in Israel. Her research got international recognition by institutions as the World Bank, the OECD, the Government of Israel and more.
Talia has been collaborating with the OECD for the past 3 years. She worked closely with the urban indicators team at the organization during summer and fall 2018 as an experiential fellow in Paris, France. At the OECD, Talia wrote a report titled ‘Measuring accessibility to services across cities: A framework for accessibility indicators by walking, driving and public transport’. The report demonstrated the potential of using Google’s fine-grained amenity data for accessibility indicators and was presented at the OECD Workshop on Modernising Statistical Systems for Better Data on Regions and Cities. Talia continues to work with the OECD to expand this framework and produce indicators for decision-makers.
Talia’s current collaboration with the Government of Israel is dedicated to implementing accessibility metrics in decision-making processes. As an experiential fellow, Talia is working with The Israel Planning Administration (IPA) that is responsible for all spatial planning efforts throughout the country. The fellowship project goal is to incorporate Talia’s data-driven metrics in a tool for regional plan submission to produce plan evaluation and ‘accessibility insights’. This experiential opportunity is valuable to demonstrate how essential data-driven metrics can be for planning practices and support Talia’s dissertation work.
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...