USC Price MPL, PhD alum elected chair of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee urban planning department

August 16, 2018

Price alum Lingqian (Ivy) Hu speaking at a Spring 2017 METRANS Research Seminar at USC. Watch video »

By Matthew Kredell

USC Price School of Public Policy alumna Lingqian (Ivy) Hu, who completed a Master of Planning degree in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development in 2010, was recently elected chair of the department of urban planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

Hu started at UWM soon after completing her Ph.D. in 2010, conducting research focused on the interrelationship between transportation and land use while teaching courses on transportation and land use planning, urban development theories, and transportation and GIS. In addition to receiving the new position, she was recently promoted to full professor.

In this leadership role, Hu, who came to USC as an international student from China, hopes to expand her department’s national and global influence and reach, with a particular focus on student recruitment.

“I want to continue connecting with the local planning community and local stakeholders, while at the same time working on globalization, exposing our students to the global world,” Hu said.

At USC Price, she had the opportunity to meet and work with many people of different cultures, backgrounds and viewpoints, which she believes prepared her for this position.

“The diversity of the students at the Price School helped me be a very open-minded and engaged person for people of different backgrounds,” Hu said. “This exposure to diverse people and ideas helps me reach out to students and local communities in Milwaukee and beyond, keeping an open-minded attitude toward different planning issues and needs.”

Strong foundation of academic training – and mentorship

Her dissertation topic at USC Price was “Urban Spatial Transformation and Job Accessibility: Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis Revisited,” and she has continued research in that area, publishing more than 30 academic journal articles and book chapters since joining UWM.

“I think my research area connects equity issues, specifically transportation equity, with urban land uses, illustrating how jobs and housing are connected spatially with how people travel,” Hu said. “I also look at other population groups such as Asian immigrants, which is a group closely related to my identity, and want to expand my research to women transportation.”

Hu credits her dissertation chair, USC Price Professor and METRANS Director Genevieve Giuliano, and committee members with helping her to become a strong researcher.

“Gen was really helpful with my dissertation, and she has since always helped me with advice about being junior faculty, and now entering mid-career,” Hu said. “It’s awesome having an advisor like her giving me continuous support.”

Hu noted how she also values continued relationships with USC Price professors Lisa Schweitzer, Eric Heikkila, Marlon Boarnet and Tridib Banerjee.

“One of the great things about my job is to see our students take what they learn at Price and excel in their professional careers,” Giuliano said. “Lingqian has risen through the ranks quickly as a result of her strong research and teaching record. Her appointment as department chair demonstrates her leadership skills and the respect of her colleagues.”