Urban Planning Student

Michael is on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Ferndale and a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. Michael’s dissertation traces the divergent history of “gentrification” in academic and public discourses to understand what is invoked when the contested term is used. The project pairs latent Dirichlet allocation with historical semantic analysis to explore key spatial and temporal shifts in the meaning and application of gentrification across diffuse users. Using these shifts as paradigmatic of planning thought, the project turns inward to examine how planners and practitioners position the urban in a greater narrative.

Michael is currently President of the UPDoc Doctoral Group where he is responsible for coordinating professional development workshops and social events. Additionally, as the Lead Coordinator for LunchUP, a weekly speaker series at Taubman College, he has brought in speakers from six continents to share their work with planning, architecture, and design students. He is also participating in the Rackham Professional Development Leaders Program. Throughout his studies, Michael has received numerous awards from the Rackham Graduate School and the Bloustein School for merit, research, and travel.

Photo of Me

Prior to his doctoral studies, Michael received his MCRP (2017) and a BA (2015) in Geography from Rutgers University. He focused on spatial statistics, geographic techniques, and community and economic development.



2000 Bonisteel Blvd
Room 2208H
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069 USA
University: mborsel (at) umich (dot) edu
Encrypted: mborsel (at) tuta (dot) io
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Office Hours

Best way to reach me is through university email.