MU Students 2010-2012

Silvia Carolina Aldana, Guatemala

I got my BA degree in Architecture from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, where I took courses on urban planning and developed a strong interest in the subject. Working for the government, I had the opportunity to get in touch with rural communities and understood that many of the problems in the cities don't depend on urban conditions alone but on the development of a country as a whole. That's when I got a master's degree on International Development Policy from the Seoul National University in South Korea. The program offered by Mundus Urbano will complement my preparation as an integral urban planner.

Ragnheiður Einarsdóttir, Iceland

Environmental and Civil Engineering
Ragnheiður has got a Bachelor degree in Environmental and Civil Engineering from the University of Iceland. She has got insight into the technical and environmental aspects of the city infrastructure and is looking forward to broadening her horizons.

Gülçin Baysak, Turkey

Tourism Management
I have my undergraduate degree in Tourism Management from University of Dokuz Eylül, Izmir, Turkey. As I was interested in tourism planning of regions and management of tourism destinations, I chose to study a master course with specialization in "governance of a tourism destination" at the University of Valencia, Spain. Throughout my specialization and internship in UNWTO I was attracted by urban tourism, culture tourism and meeting industry. After completing the master course on International Cooperation and Urban Development, I want to pursue a PhD in urban studies and work in facilitating the cooperation of stakeholders in urban development projects.

Alessa Bennaton, Honduras

Sustainable Architecture
I was born and raised in the chaotic and interesting capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. Participating in international academic practices and environments (Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and France) made me aware of the need to discover and encourage our creative uniqueness. Having had the chance to approach and work with impoverished communities of the forgotten inlands of my country and others in the Latin American region (El Salvador, Mexico) has enforced my will to offer my knowledge and experiences to make some change. Architecture and planning practice only have meaning to me if it they are projected in service of those in real need of innovative solutions. This program allows me to further my understanding and practice in subjects I want to focus on and actively implicate myself in the following years.

Saira Butt, Pakistan

I completed my bachelors in Economics from Lahore College for Women University. After that, as partial fulfillment of my degree requirements, I took a an internship and later was appointed as full time consultant at Johns Hopkins University – Centre for Communication Programs. It is at this premier research Center that I became acquainted with the phenomenon of urbanization. I belong to the second largest city of Pakistan, Lahore, which has grown tremendously in last couple of decades. There is a wide range of urban issues that Lahore is presently challenged with, e.g. gender insensitive urban development posed by uneven and unplanned growth, which is where my specific interest lies.

Jakub Galuszka, Poland

Sociology and Anthropology
I was born and grew up in the city of Lodz located in central Poland. In 2007 I received a Master in Sociology and in 2008 a Master in Anthropology from the University of Lodz. During my studies I took part in a semestral scholarship program in the Turkish city of Adapazari and worked in Glasgow, Scotland. Before graduation I conducted research in Amsterdam, Paris and Prague regarding the uses and design of their public spaces. For the last two years I worked as a member of “EC1 Lodz – City of Culture”, a team dealing with the biggest urban development project presently realized in Poland (reconstruction of an area of 90 hectares located in the Lodz city center). After completing the  Mundus Urbano program I plan to continue to work in the field of urban development with special focus on implementation of cultural and social aspects into spatial planning practice.

Ritu George, India

An architect with a special interest in sustainable urban development, I hail from the city of Cochin, India. My professional experience includes working with international firms in India and Dubai on healthcare design, green buildings, housing and mixed use transit oriented developments; and with NGOs in India in the fields of low-cost construction and slum redevelopment. My research interests include urban architectural anthropology, transport planning in developing countries and urban poverty alleviation. I consider the Mundus Urbano Programme to be an ideal platform to delve deeper into the complexities of the urban landscape of the developing world and to exchange ideas and insights with a like-minded global community.

Sonam Lama, Nepal

I was born in the remote corner of the High-Himalaya, and my experience in the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development-ICIMOD was the driving force to research in International Cooperation and Community Development. Before coming to Europe, I have been working in Nepal as free-lance architect, community planner, international coordinator for an NGO and managing director for my own trekking company. My future career goals are to advance community based organization for the cohesive development of my remote mountain community and research on international cooperation and emergency architecture for the disaster-prone cities in developing countries.

Eneida María Chacón, Colombia

Born and raised in Neiva, a medium size city in southern Colombia, Eneida graduated as a lawyer from Externado University in Bogotá and did a specialization course in Regional Management and Planning in Los Andes University. Since her graduation in 2002 she worked for Bogotá City Council and was involved in different projects concerning urban planning instruments, public spaces administration and land management tools. She has a special academic and professional interest in mainstreaming gender in urban planning. She chose to take the second year of Mundus Urbano in IUG, France.

Rafael Marcos, Spain

Born and raised in Madrid, Rafael is a graduate of architecture from the Polytechnic University in Madrid and has a specialization in Development of Human Settlements in Developing Countries from ICHaB Institute. He has worked as an architect since graduation and has collaborated with the NGO Arquitectos Sin Fronteras in development projects in the Caribbean region. His main research interests are the housing question and its contribution to poverty alleviation. With Mundus Urbano, he is looking for a better understanding of the world urban processes and gaining the competences to work in international cooperation and pro-people development. He chose to take the second year of MUndus Urbano in IUG, France.

Josephine McVitty, New Zealand

Environmental Engineering
I graduated with a double BA/BE degree in Engineering Sciences and Economics from the University of Auckland in 2007. Since then, I have completed a Masters in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar and have been involved in a diversity of work and travel experiences around the world. This has ranged from microfinance and social business training in Bangladesh, to solar technology research in Australia, and has provided me with exposure to cities and informal settlements in South Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and Southeast Africa.  I want to use my skills to support the development of sustainable, more equitable and inclusive habitats, and minimise environmental impact while providing residents with improved living conditions.

Nazanin Mehregan, Iran

I earned my bachelors (2004) and masters of architecture (2007) from the IA University in Tehran. I started working as an architect in 2005, and continued my career in a prominent architectural firm in Tehran where I worked along all stages of architectural and urban projects including strategy planning, project design, development and construction documents, project coordination and implementation, in national and international levels. I have also taught Architectural Practices in IA University in Damavand, which brought me communication and management skills. I am interested in urban development strategies, based on cooperation, which enable the achievement of sustainable results and inclusive projects. In future, I hope to become an effective facilitator who can improve the meanings and advance upon the existing frameworks of urban development.

Ana Mitic, Serbia

I graduated at the University of Belgrade in 2008. During studies, I was a member of many organizations and took part in academic and professional activities in several European countries (Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, Montenegro). My working experience started as a student researcher in Belgrade, at PAPS organization, and continued in an architectural studio in Spain, where I worked on Urban Plans of Special Protection (Build Heritage of Andalucía). From 2008 on I worked on Housing projects with general project management in Serbia. I also worked on the project of the New Nicosia Town Hall, in Cyprus. I am interested in urban transformations in conflict environments, migrations and renewal of inactive and demolished city spaces, as well as in eco-efficiency of urban areas and design of sustainable neighbourhoods. I believe that Mundus Urbano will give me valuable knowledge and directions for both academic and practice carreers.

Sayan Radnaev, Russia

Land Use Planning
Coming from Baikal Lake region in Eastern Siberia, Sayan graduated with a specialist diploma in land cadastre in Russia. Before Mundus Urbano, he worked two years as a land use planner at the local municipality of his native Buryatia, one of the most depressive regions of Russia, which has strong resource, indigenous, tourist-recreational potential for economic development, but neglected by insufficient funding from the central government. Studying, living and traveling abroad made him think of working with development economics, introducing best practices of urban and spatial planning into land and housing development projects. He chose to take the second year of Mundus Urbano at  Tor Vergata.

Akil Sokoli, Albania

I was born in Shkoder, Albania and studied architecture in the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Since graduation I worked for six years in the Urban Planning Directory of the Municipality of Tirana, where at first I participated in partial urban planning, which varied from parks and public spaces design to the development of new areas with new residential and institutional buildings. Later I was part of the team for the new Regulatory Plan (land use, transport, regulations) of Tirana 2020. The diversity of the urban and rural environment, the inheritance of an old communist city, the phenomenon of informal areas and the city growing without respecting regulations, the challenge of the new technology, globalization and sustainable development has been the pushing factor for seeking capacity to deal with the issues of urban problems and management.

Melaku Tanku Gebremariam, Ethiopia

Geography and Environmental Studies
I hold a BA degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from Addis Ababa University with minor in Sociology and Social Anthropology. In 2007 I obtained a MA degree in Regional and Local Development Studies from the same university. I have worked as a lecturer at University of Gondar and in urban upgrading projects, gender and HIV/AIDS issues. I have been conducting research in the areas of urban microfinance and urban poverty. I am interested in pursuing a career as a researcher in regional and urban planning issues such as rural-urban linkage, slum upgrading, rural-urban income inequality and urban and regional planning. I believe the Mundus Urbano Programme will prepare me for further PhD studies.

Ana Teresinha Livi, Brazil

I was born in Porto Alegre in 1982 and graduated as an architect in 2007. Since my graduation I have been working with international cooperation coordinating community construction projects in Africa. In Liberia and Sudan I dealt with school construction, water and sanitation, human resource management and cooperation with other NGOs and local authorities. Also, I have experience as project designer, creating, designing and presenting projects for several construction companies and local governments in Brazil. The Mundus Urbano Programme gives me the opportunity to study the work that I have been doing from an academic perspective, sharing experiences and getting more knowledge to fundament the practical work in the field.

Gunther Stoll, Germany

Urban Planning
I was born and raised in the rural countryside of Southern Germany. I graduated in 2006 at the University of Economics and Environment of Nürtingen-Geislingen with distinction as an engineer in urban planning, specializing in urban development and project management. As my studies progressed I broadened my perspective of the process of global urbanization and migration on people's living conditions. Over the past ten years my academic career and work experiences with NGOs, environmental organizations, local initiatives and academic institutions in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams in Europe and abroad have enabled me to work beyond borders and cultures. The Mundus Urbano Programme, with its objectives to promote the linkages between theory and practice through action-oriented research, participatory approaches and multi-sectoral cooperation, provides me a great opportunity to make a positive contribution to a more sustainable and equitable development.

Alastair Upton, New Zealand

Alastair is a graduate of architecture from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. During his studies he took a one year exchange in Berkeley, California, and after graduating he spent six months working at Abhikram Architecture, Ahmedabad. This was followed by an independent design-build project constructing an educational building for a South Indian NGO. He has been  working in architecture practice in Wellington, involved in the sketch design for new a cycle way infrastructure across the city, and also assisted teaching design studios in the Landscape Architecture programmed at Victoria University.

Benjarus Wattanapichedpong, Thailand

I am from Bangkok and graduated as Bsc. in Architecture from Chulalongkorn University. I have worked in architectural projects around East and Southeast Asian countries, which allowed me to understand the significant urban development progress in the region. Consequently, I decided to continue my education in Mundus Urbano to develop my perspectives on the field of international cooperation, urban and economic developments. I chose to take the second year of the programme at Tor Vergata, Italy.

Diah Zahara, Indonesia

Informatics Engineer
After I obtained my bachelors degree in Informatics Engineering, I joined an International NGO for Tsunami Relief Program in my hometown, Aceh. I worked with communities for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts to restore the infrastructure and livehoods. Through this experience, I gained knowledge through practice on cases of development between communities and the government. My longing for further formal education and contribution for advanced development of my country has taken me to Mundus Urbano Programme, which offers me a great entry point for the realm of development. Recently, I joined the German International Cooperation Agency in Jakarta as an intern for the Decentralization as Contribution to Good Governance program.