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METRANS

by Dan Lamere, USC, Masters of Urban Planning 2021

We are excited to feature accomplished University of Southern California (USC) Price Alumnus, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Co-Director of the South Bay Economics Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), Fynnwin Prager.

 

Originally from Leeds, England, Dr. Prager studied International Relations at the London School of Economics, graduating in 2006. He went on to graduate school at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (Price), earning a Master of Public Policy Degree in 2008, followed by a PhD in Policy, Planning, and Development in 2013. He was named METRANS Student of the Year in 2009 and was the 2013 Price School graduate commencement speaker.

 

Prager credits much of his educational and professional interests to his upbringing and life experiences. Growing up in a Quaker family that prioritized education and promoted peace and social justice, he finds that many of the values instilled upon him from his family life and his culturally-diverse educational experiences have stayed with him. These values continue to guide him in his work at CSUDH. On his outlook, Prager explained, “For many Quakers I grew up with, an important aim of education is to understand the world—especially the causes of societal problems—and then work to try and make it a better place,” goals which align directly with both Price and CSUDH’s missions. In his role with the South Bay Economics Institute, he noted feeling particularly fortunate to be able to contribute to CSUDH’s ongoing social justice efforts to help provide opportunities for educational advancement, social mobility, and economic opportunity in the South Los Angeles and South Bay regions.

 

 

Dr. Prager became particularly interested in transportation research when he joined a METRANS research project exploring behavioral response to the July 2005 London Underground Bombings. This  work inspired his present-day research, where he examines the policy and economics of disasters and other extreme events as well as environmental policy, regional economies, and transportation systems. Prager’s shared that his projects often require working within interdisciplinary teams, whose members may offer perspectives on the fields of economics, public policy, psychology, computer science, public health, and engineering, another benefit of his chosen field and focus.

 

When asked about his time at USC, Prager expressed his appreciation for working with many faculty members and METRANS scholars over his nine years at Price. Additionally, he feels lucky to have worked at the CREATE Homeland Security research center as a Post-doctoral Research Associate. “I really enjoyed my time at USC. I initially just went for a two-year master’s, and I ended up staying for nine years! I was very fortunate to have excellent professors and mentors,” he shared.

 

About the Author:

Dan Lamere is a second-year Master of Urban Planning student at the USC Price School of Public Policy. He works as a staff writer and project coordinator for the METRANS student team.