This year, Namesh Killemsetty (University of Massachusetts Boston) was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award. The award is given to a promising Ph.D. candidate or early career researcher whose work demonstrates a commitment to rigorous and impactful research and service.

Award Committee Assessment:

Pictured: Namesh Killemsetty (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Pictured: Namesh Killemsetty (University of Massachusetts Boston)

“The Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award Committee is pleased to announce Namesh Killemsetty, from the University of Massachusetts Boston, as the recipient of the 2021 Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award. Mr. Killemsetty’s dissertation, “Assessment of Housing Mismatch in Slums: Learning from Slum Communities in Small Cities,” draws from an interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary body of theoretical scholarship and employs innovative community-engaged research methods to explore housing issues from slum dwellers’ perspectives in several cities/towns in India with the goal of improving slum development policies. His research examines the decisions taken by slum dwellers in prioritizing basic needs and assesses the mismatch between the services provided by housing programs and the actual housing needs of the communities.

By focusing on the narratives of those that live in slums and translating their housing experiences and expertise as slum dwellers into actionable policies and programs, Mr. Killemsetty’s work demonstrates a strong commitment to community engagement and social justice. Further, a toolkit for governmental agencies and non-profit organizations, a product of his scholarship, will promote more participatory means for decision-making in the long- term. The committee, comprised of Drs. Sarah Cooper, Nina David, Megan Heim-LaFrombois, Xiaoye She, and Anita Zuberi, congratulates Namesh Killemsetty on this achievement.”

Award Committee:

Megan Heim LaFrombois (Auburn University), Sarah Cooper (University of Manitoba), Nina David (University of Delaware), Xiaoye She (California State University San Marcos), and Anita Zuberi (Duquesne University)

Award Winner:

Namesh Killemsetty is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research interests are in urban housing policies with a particular focus in urban poverty and slum community rights. As a scholar of issues related to urban poverty, he has focused on housing, tenure security, and community rights of slum dwellers. Using a transdisciplinary approach, his dissertation identifies and operationalizes alternative methodologies from the fields of Operations Research and Decision Sciences to help articulate and highlight the housing preferences of slum dwellers in small cities of India. He holds an M.S in Public Policy from University of Massachusetts Boston, an M.Tech in Infrastructure Management from CEPT University Ahmedabad (India), and a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Technology Allahabad (India). Namesh was one of the winners of a global competition on urban poverty organized by the Woodrow Wilson Center, USAID, and the World Bank Group, and has presented his research findings at World Bank Seminars and other International Conferences. He has published articles and book chapters in the fields of urban studies and civil engineering.