Priyam Das


Associate Professor,
College of Social Sciences

Dr. Priyam Das in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning is described by a student as “a remarkable instructor who exemplifies the joys of learning. Through this joy and a well-honed talent for teaching, she brings out the best in each student. Her ability to read the room is an art form and she creates an exceptional learning environment.” Her pedagogical approach encourages students to begin by thinking about urban planning as problem solving, but more acutely to inspire them to focus on unlocking its transformative potential by delving deeper into questions about social justice, equity and inclusive planning and policy-making processes. As a former practitioner herself, Professor Das highlights to students the importance of becoming self-aware, reflective practitioners and also takes seriously motivating students from other disciplines, seeing this as an opportunity to expand her teaching range. Professor Das’ wide range of teaching practices include innovations like place-based projects that situate students in community settings. She bridges theory and practice and disciplinary fields through service learning projects in which students produce creative, accessible, sustainable site plans, work closely with communities in meetings and conduct field observations and interviews with key stakeholders. At graduate and undergraduate levels, student responses to these opportunities demonstrate how deeply she influences how students see the world, literally. Dr. Das’ support extends beyond courses taken and dissertations written, to mentoring students by working together on research, on writing and as guest speakers in classes, and by organizing mock job talks and inviting faculty and students to participate in the feedback process to prepare graduate students for positions in academia. Her colleagues commend her for her invaluable in contributions in improving the department curriculum and praise the quality of her instructional capabilities and success at inspiring students to excellence through her “ability to interplay between spatial planning and social structures that gives Dr. Das’ teaching authenticity and empowers students.”

Department of Urban and Regional Planning