Garth A. Myers is the director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies (2019-) and the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies. Garth Myers earned a Ph.D. in Geography (1993) from UCLA with an allied field in Urban Planning. Myers has an M.A. (UCLA, 1986) in African Area Studies, with Geography and Urban Planning as the major and minor fields, and a B.A. with Honors in History from Bowdoin College, with concentrations in African and African-American History. He has taught at the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Miami University (Ohio), California State University at Dominguez Hills, and UCLA. Myers is comfortable with large lecture classes and small seminars. His teaching philosophy rests on a belief in student engagement; the best learning takes place in engaged classrooms, where the professor facilitates student discussion and debate. Myers has conducted research in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Finland, and the UK over the past 20 years, and he regularly uses his research to inform his teaching.
Xiangming Chen is the founding Dean and director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies (2007-2019) and the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology, as well as a distinguished guest professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. He received his B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University and his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University. He is a co-author, with Anthony Orum, of The World of Cities: Places in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Blackwell, 2003); the author of As Borders Bend: Transnational Spaces on the Pacific Rim (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005); the editor of and primary contributor to Shanghai Rising: State Power and Local Transformations in a Global Megacity (University of Minnesota Press, 2009); the lead editor, with Ahmed Kanna, of Rethinking Global Urbanism: Comparative Insights from Secondary Cities (Routledge, 2012); a co-author, with Anthony Orum and Krista Paulsen, of Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, second edition, 2018); the lead editor, with Nick Bacon, of Confronting Urban Legacy: Rediscovering Hartford and New England’s Forgotten Cities (Lexington Books, 2013); and a co-editor, with Sharon Zukin and Philip Kasinitz, of Global Cities, Local Streets (Routledge, 2015; Chinese edition, 2016; Korean edition, 2017; and lead author, with Julie Tian Miao and Xue Li, The Belt and Road Initiative as Epochal Regionalization (Regional Studies Association, 2020).
Gabby Nelson is the Program Coordinator at the Center for Urban and Global Studies. Gabby received a B.A . in urban studies and minor in Spanish from UConn and is currently enrolled in the graduate public policy program at Trinity. After graduating, she worked as a legal assistant prior to joining CUGS. An avid gardener, Gabby grows a plot of cut flowers at an urban farm in Hartford in her spare time.
Julie Gamble, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, is an urbanist, feminist, and Latin American scholar. She has taught at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, where she still holds an affiliated position. Her research is engaged with transit infrastructure, social justice, and gendered politics in Latin American cities. Julie’s work draws from multiple methods to study urban environments, paying special attention to how people and objects help create cities. She holds a Ph.D. and Master in City and Regional Planning (M.C.P.) from the Department of City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Northwestern University. Her pedagogy is informed by feminist and social justice readings that aim to empower students to actively participate in both small seminars and large lectures.
Emily Yen is the Kelter Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Urban and Global Studies. She is an interdisciplinary sociologist from the UCLA Sociology doctoral program. She is a Smith alumna, Mellon Mays Fellow, and Port of Los Angeles Fellow. As an urban ethnographer, she utilizes a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods that include ethnography, interviewing, survey research, network analysis, and filmmaking. Her research focuses on grassroots organizing and organizational change at the ports in Southern California. She is developing her first book manuscript derived from her dissertation entitled, “Invisible Industries: The Politics of Port Development in Southern California.”Building sustainable communities that embody the principles of social and economic justice is vital to her research, teaching, mentorship, art, and public engagement. She values experiential learning and was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at UCLA.
David Lukens, Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, is an urban geographer with a Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University (2019). His research addresses the relationship between economic restructuring and urban governance, particularly as it is manifests in urban redevelopment, municipal finance strategies, and housing policy implementation. This research is largely comparative and seeks to disaggregate the roles of finance and state actors in shaping processes of urban change, particularly gentrification, in South Korea and the United States. David has taught at Central Connecticut State University and Clark University and worked as a visiting researcher at Seoul National University’s Institute for Korean Regional Studies. David’s teaching philosophy is based on constructivist pedagogy, emphasizing the importance of experiential learning and problem solving where the professor functions primarily as a facilitator and emphasizes the ability to ask questions through the application of theory to case studies.