Meet a Social Scientist: Dr. Doan from Urban and Regional Planning

What is your name?
Dr. Petra Doan.

What kind of work do you do in the College?
I am a professor and PhD Director in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University. I teach, do research and engage in service in the department, profession and community.

Why did you decide to become an academic?
I was  looking for a way to combine my love of learning with a commitment to practice and finding ways to work for social change. Academia provided a way to find a good mixture of the two, though more heavily weighted to the research and teaching side. I was attracted to the field of Urban and Regional Planning because there is a practice component that is valued because we need to be concerned with impacts of planning decisions on communities with whom we work. .

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
I enjoy the mix of teaching, research and service (in this case both service to the University AND service in the area of planning practice). In the first ten years of my academic career, my practice  took the form of international consulting opportunities during summers and leaves of absence. In the last 20 years I have focused more explicitly on planning with the LGBTQ community and that has been very rewarding.

What are you working on or teaching right now that has your excited professionally?
I have just finished editing a book with a colleague from New Zealand titled Rethinking transgender identities: Reflections from across the globe that adds a global dimension to focus on understanding the LGBTQ community, in this case the transgender community. I have recently published with one of my doctoral students Ozlem Atalay,  a chapter in an open source book The Life and Afterlife of Gay Neighborhoods: Renaissance and Resurgence (see link below)   Finally, I am also excited to be moving my summer course on Gender and the City to the Fall semester and am adding new material on LGBTQ spaces and queer theory.

Dr. Doan is a professor and PhD Director in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University. Recent research projects have examined the effects of tourism on local planning capacities, explored patterns of peri-urban development in rapidly growing cities, and described the development of new towns in Africa. You can learn more about Dr. Doan here.

The feature image is from Pexels.

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