April 6, 2022
Dear BU URBAN Community,
Today’s note provides an important update about BU URBAN and an appeal for your support.
As you may know, BU URBAN was created through a 5-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship grant that will end in September 2023. By design, these funds are not renewable, as it is NSF’s intention that by stimulating the creation of high-impact interdisciplinary programs, the university and supporters will find a way to sustain the program after NSF funding ends.
The good news is that we have succeeded in building an enthusiastic and supportive community here at BU and with our partner organizations, thanks to you. You have demonstrated that high-impact interdisciplinary research and partnerships are possible, and that it takes both the infusion of resources and major buy-in to create new policies and expectations that are transformative for graduate education.
Look no further than our recent videos highlighting our URBAN PhD students. Last fall, we produced three spotlight videos in which Beth Haley, Claudia Diezmartínez, and Sean Mueller talk about their experience doing research that matters and being part of the URBAN community. In partnership with the BU’s Initiative on Cities, we produced three additional videos about student research featuring Ian Smith, Caroline Fleming, and Katie Atherton.
We have two exciting events coming up this month! First, on April 26, we’re hosting a Professional Networking Fair to foster connections between researchers and our partners in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Then, on April 28, we’re organizing a Congressional Briefing titled, Building the Next Generation Climate Workforce. We’ll follow this up by bringing several students to Washington DC in June to learn about science policy and meet with congressional staff, agency officials, and experts from think tanks and advocacy groups
What is next for BU URBAN? We are currently working closely with leadership across the university to ensure our program elements persist in the years to come. We are ramping up our forays into donor engagement, fundraising, institutional partnerships, and potential federal grants, which would not only sustain our program but take it to the next level.
There is no better day than Giving Day to invite you to join us in this journey. Whether it is helping us grow our network of supporters, applying for new grants, amplifying our program’s impact on social media, or making a financial contribution to sustain our program, we welcome your help. At the very least, we want you to keep doing exactly what you’re doing now in helping cities tackle urban environmental challenges.
Even though September 2023 is far away, small-dollar contributions today will better position us to work towards large gifts down the road. Please consider giving a gift to support BU URBAN so that we can continue having an impact as a program and community. Click here to give today, and thanks!
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or ideas.
All the best,
Director, BU URBAN Program
On behalf of the Leadership Team:
Lucy Hutyra, Associate Director
Jon Levy, Associate Director
Evan Kuras, Program Manager