Brian Lamberta—a native New Yorker from Bayside, Queens—grew up far from the busy streets of Manhattan but was always fascinated by the city. After enjoying his Long Island-like upbringing with its cars and green spaces, Brian decided to plunge himself into the urban environment at Hunter College’s Urban Studies undergraduate program.
Brian started out by taking structures classes and found that the UAP program teaches students not just the theory of urban policy, but also the practical aspects of how to solve problems and apply values that reflect the commitment to social justice that Hunter UAP is known for.
Brian is also a public policy student at the Roosevelt House at Hunter College concentrating in housing policy with a minor in art history. He is graduating in May of 2015 and plans to go into policy advocacy or administration by either working for the city or working to advocate the city to do things of social significance.
He is well on his way to accomplishing this through some of his extracurricular work. As President of the Hunter College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, Brian does tangible work to empower students to come together with ideas and elevate that into the national policy dialogue. One of his efforts focuses on housing policy. He and his fellow chapter peers are currently examining New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan, figuring out ways to improve upon it with additional benefits such as housing or vouchers for CUNY students that would encourage them to stay in New York City.
However, it is not only housing policy that has piqued Brian’s interest. Through the UAP program, he has been able to take classes in architecture, urban design and even international urban infrastructure.
“The urban studies major has allowed me to see how all these subjects fit together, like how government and advocacy groups interact,” he says. “You get to learn the sociology perspective, the economic perspective, the policy perspective, the geography perspective: you really get to bring together all of these different concepts and it’s a lot more about fixing social problems and understanding social problems, rather than theorizing.”