Steve is a geographer whose work focuses on exploring how cities change and how urban futures can be inclusive, green and resilient. His broad substantive interests include eco-city planning, energy system innovation, climate change preparedness, community participation in environmental decision-making, and citizen science approaches for environmental planning. His work is published extensively in academic journals and he has worked with advocates, city planners and grassroots organizations in the US and internationally. At WPI, Steve co-directs (with Lesley Dodson) the Global Lab in the Foisie Innovation Studio, a collaborative that works to advance creative scholarship and transmedia storytelling in the service of global engagement. He also co-directs (with Lorraine Higgins) the Melbourne Project Center, advises off-campus project-based learning experiences, and teaches a design thinking course that prepares students for project work with partner organizations. He also enjoys working on initiatives around STEM + Arts, diversity and inclusion, dialogic practice, and environmental justice, and he is enthralled with the deeply collaborative and integrative nature of work at WPI with students, faculty and staff colleagues and project partners.
The New York Times featured WPI’s study abroad program, including students in Albania, Singapore and Kyoto, in this article. “This is about solving an open-ended problem in an entirely different culture, in an entirely different location without friends and family,” President Leshin told The Times, which referred to study abroad as a “boots-on-the-ground” experience with challenge and purpose.