Ralph W. Voorhees Center Faculty and Student Research Assistants
Shreya Barot is a Master of Public Policy graduate (May 2014) from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Her concentration was social policy and her interests lie in analyzing the social and economic factors that impact the quality of education received by children. She is passionate about improving access to education for all children and evaluating education policies to ensure all children get quality education despite the social and economic barriers. She was a double major in Planning and Public Policy and Communication at Rutgers University and graduated in 2012.
Mirabel Chen is a second year doctoral student in the Urban Planning program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. She has a Master of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Toledo. She is interested in urban housing and welfare policies, GIScience, spatial statistics/analysis, transportation and land use planning, and regional development and China.
Ryan M. Good is a doctoral candidate in Planning and Public Policy at the Bloustein School. His interests lie in the areas of community development, place-based organizations, and the politics of neighborhood identity. In his dissertation, Ryan is studying how local stakeholders invoked place-rooted arguments in contesting the proposed closure of Philadelphia public schools in 2013. His research explores the politics and the construction of place through the vantage point of people marginalized by systems of race and class inequality. Ryan earned an M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University (2011). He lives in Philadelphia.
Daniel Harris earned a Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree from the Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy with a focus on transportation and land use. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from Brandeis University and has worked in behavioral science research in the Boston area. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Daniel has been based in New Jersey for the past two years. He has worked on a variety of transportation, land use and community development projects throughout the state, and is interested in how green infrastructure and smart growth projects can help advance community visions for the built environment.
Christian Mercado is a second year Master of City and Regional Planning candidate at the Bloustein School. He is passionate about redesigning our communities to be more resilient against the repercussions of climate change, energy shortages, and social and economic inequality. Chris has engaged himself in developing elevated developments in flood prone urban areas in Jersey City, and research in healthy food access in urban food deserts in Trenton. He graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BA in Sociology in 2013.
Matthew Rigney is a first year Master of City and Regional Planning student at the Bloustein School. He is passionate about building grassroots and democratic community development projects as the local foundations of a more just and sustainable global future. He has worked on field organizing for electoral campaigns in Wisconsin and on data and project management for the Houston Food Bank in his home state of Texas.
Jakob Schneider is a second year MCRP candidate at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. He is interested in community responses to crises and how the shifting landscapes and relationships of economy, politics, and the state inform these local response efforts. His current research focuses on the responses of a working-class town to a wave of foreclosures and then Superstorm Sandy. Prior to attending Rutgers, he was a construction manager in the Chicago area. He has a BA in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.
Anjali Srivastava is a doctoral student at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Rutgers Sociology Department. Her research interests are in the areas of organizations, gender, immigration, and labor markets. She is currently studying organizations working transnationally and has written about the motherhood wage gap among U.S. immigrant and native women. In addition to her work as a graduate student, she has directed research about incidences, causes and consequences of poverty in New Jersey and anti poverty programs and policies while working at Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute. She has a Masters in Sociology from Rutgers and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Ben Teresa is a doctoral student interested in the role of finance in urban development and governance. His dissertation project examines how speculative investment in rent stabilized housing in New York City leads to deterioration in building conditions and displacement of low-income tenants. While completing his master’s degree in planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he worked for the City of Chicago Department of Planning and studied the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as an economic development tool.
Patricia Voltolini is a recent PhD graduate from the Bloustein School. Patricia’s research agenda concerns processes of social change and questions of power and justice in cities. Her dissertation investigated the late twentieth century transformation of Fourteenth Street, New York, from a bargain mecca into a lifestyle destination, and expanded the understanding of commercial neighborhood change as an integral element of the city’s contemporary restructuring. Additional research has focused on street vendors, public spaces and immigrant entrepreneurs in New York City. Patricia holds a MS in Landscape Architecture from SUNY-ESF and a PhD in Planning and Public Policy from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University. She lives in Jackson Heights, New York City.
Kathe Newman, PhD
Kathe Newman is an Associate Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Development Program at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Director of the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement. Dr. Newman holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Graduate School and University Center at the City University of New York. Her research explores urban change, what it is, why it happens, and what it means. Her research has explored gentrification, foreclosure, urban redevelopment, food security, community economic development and community participation. Dr. Newman has published articles in Urban Studies, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Affairs Review, Shelterforce, Progress in Human Geography, Housing Studies, GeoJournal, and Environment and Planning A and is currently co-authoring a book with J. Philip Thompson and Ross Gittell on Community Based Organizations for Sage Publications.