Sam Speroni is a doctoral student in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning and a researcher with the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. He completed his master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, also at UCLA, in June 2020. Sam is advised by Dr. Evelyn Blumenberg and Dr. Brian D. Taylor.
Sam’s primary research interest lies at the intersection of transportation, education, and new mobility, where he looks for ways to improve equitable access to educational opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged student populations. His research extends to many other aspects of travel behavior and transportation systems, all with an emphasis on equity. Sam’s recent applied planning research project analyzing high school students’ ridehail trips to school for HopSkipDrive (full report | policy brief) received the national Neville A. Parker Award for outstanding master’s capstone in transportation policy and planning from the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC).
Sam is a Future Leaders Development fellow of the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, D.C., and in 2020 he was named the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center (PSR UTC) outstanding student of the year. He is also the recipient of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellowship (2019 and 2020) and the Intelligent Transportation Systems California / California Transportation Foundation joint graduate scholarship (2020).
Prior to UCLA, Sam was a high school English teacher and school administrator in Charlotte, North Carolina, through Teach for America. Originally from New England, Sam grew up in Massachusetts and earned his bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with honors from Brown University in 2011, where he was also captain of the varsity swimming & diving team.