Disaster Relief Spurs Urban Affairs Student’s Studies

Assessment of Puerto Rico as Island Recovers from Maria.

Michael Zayas Morales was living in Puerto Rico when the devastation of Hurricane Maria thundered upon his native island. Working in the private sector, he helped coordinate the relief funds being directed to the island, so that those making donations could see where their efforts landed. But Morales wanted to do more, including more hands-on work in his community. “Because of that,” he said, “I decided to pursue a program that gave me the skills [and] experience to be able to help the people in a more direct role.”

Now a student in MET’s Master of City Planning program, Morales was invited to be a guest on the NECN news program The Take with Sue O’Connell to discuss the relief work taken on recently by City Planning & Urban Affairs students and faculty. He was joined by City Planning & Urban Affairs Program Director and Associate Professor Madhu Dutta-Koehler, who also shared her observations from the trip. “Everywhere we went the people were knit together,” Dr. Dutta-Koehler said. “The communities were coming together.”

Watch the full interview at NECN.