Dr. Sujata Shetty, associate professor of geography and planning, recently accepted the position of interim director of the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center.
Shetty, who holds a PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan, will work to increase UT’s engagement with the community through research, scholarship and education relating to metropolitan issues.While at Michigan, Shetty won the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 2003 on the topic of gender, poverty, empowerment and the promise of microcredit.
She takes the helm from longtime director, Dr. Neil Reid, professor of geography, who is focusing attention on his position as executive director of the North American Regional Science Council.
The Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center is an applied research center of the University that supports research to inform public policy decision-making; facilitates community and economic development activities; provides technical assistance and targeted projects, such as economic impact assessments; and publishes works highlighting the Toledo region.
Shetty is an expert on the topics of shrinking cities and regional equity in urban systems. The center reports to the UT Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
“Dr. Shetty’s teaching and research already show excellent engagement with the community,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research, citing a recent project she led evaluating planning efforts for downtown Toledo.
In addition, Shetty involves her classes in projects involving community needs. She is eager to engage more faculty and students in urban research projects.
“I will be reaching out to faculty members across the University to understand and encourage more engaged scholarship through the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center on challenges facing our community,” Shetty said.
The Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center is partially supported by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.