Aretousa Bloom is a second year PhD student at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Her research interests include public finance, housing policy and the social determinants of health.
Daniel Burton is a second year MCRP student at the Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, and has his BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. He is interested in urban history, and especially in questions of power and knowledge in cities and neighborhoods. At Bloustein he is focusing on the intersection between housing and community development. He grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and learned to love cities in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Ryan Cote is a first year Master of City and Regional Planning student at the Bloustein School. He is interested in helping shape cities that are more inclusive to all its citizens, especially low-income neighborhoods and youth. Before attending the Bloustein School Ryan taught special education in low-income communities of Washington DC for two years. He graduated from the University of Oregon with bachelors in international development in 2012.
Kayla Fowler is a junior in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, majoring in Exercise Science, Nutrition, and Women & Gender Studies. Kayla is currently a member and lead student advisor/president of both the Douglass Project STEM Ambassadors and Research Advisory Board, LSAMP ambassador, a peer academic leader in Katzenbach, a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholar, an Institute for Women’s Leadership scholar, and is apart of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars and the National Society for Leadership and Success. In the past, Kayla has been a research assistant in the Wright Riemann Labs, the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, and recently spent the summer of 2015 in Dallas, TX at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. On campus, she has been involved in Office of Diversity for Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS), the Douglass Media Team, been a Douglass Project mentor, a Barbara Voorhees mentor, a Johnson & Johnson mentee through WINGS, and off campus, a mentor at Youth Empowerment Services.Her career interest and goals are to obtain her MPH and PA/PhD focusing in impact of urban planning, food security, and landscape architecture on maternal and children’s health.
Luis Gonzalez is a first-year student pursuing a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. His research interests include equitable transportation access in urban areas as well as how public-private partnerships can create reinvestment opportunities for areas in need. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Binghamton University in 2015.
Breanna Hudson is a first year student Master of City and Regional Planning program with a focus in urban and community development. She has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington. Her interests include racial justice, affordable housing, and participatory planning with an emphasis on youth. Her background is in early childhood education and community outreach. Before coming to Bloustein, she served with AmeriCorps as an outreach coordinator for a mobile library program in Pittsburgh.
Vineela Pentyala is a second year Planning student at Bloustein School. She has completed her Bachelors degree in Physical Planning in India and is focusing on Transportation planning and GIS applications in urban planning in the Masters program. She is interested in studying transportation equity issues in the developing countries, focusing on various aspects like gender, age and disabilities. She has worked at the Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center at Bloustein and MTA Bridges and Tunnels, NY over the past year.
Deborah Plotnik has an Architectural Professional Degree from Syracuse University with a focus on Architecture and Computer Science, a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and is also a LEED Accredited Professional. Currently with the Rutgers Center for Green Building, she has conducted Post-Occupancy Evaluations interviews in commercial and residential buildings. She participated in a HUD funded project in the South Bronx where interventions led to a number of recommendations that building residents were able to integrate into their daily routine that could positively impact their immediate environment conditions and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Prior to joining Rutgers, Deborah participated in Housing Reconstruction Research at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research Center, SUNY at Buffalo. Her current research interests include occupant satisfaction with Green Buildings, Sustainable Communities and Design that integrates the built environment with socio-economic and health/well-being factors.
Vanessa Raymond is currently a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in women’s and gender studies and minoring in public policy and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean studies. She has been heavily involved with the New Brunswick community for the past two years as an AmeriCorps Bonner Leader, where she has served a total of roughly 400 hours of community service. Last year, she was serving with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Community Health Promotions Program and this year she is serving with New Brunswick Tomorrow’s Esperanza Neighborhood Project. She hopes to take all of the skills she has learned into a career of community organizing in whatever capacity would best help the community she decides to work with!
Thalya Reyes is a graduate student at the Bloustein School in the dual Master’s program in Public Policy and City & Regional Planning (MPP/MCRP) with concentrations in Community Development and Education Policy. Thalya’s Taino-Afro-Dominican heritage and diverse family motivate her to advance social, racial, & economic justice through advocacy and policy development based on quantitative and qualitative research methods. Her interests are in environmental, labor, and education policies that can improve quality of life outcomes for children and working families. She is fluent in Spanish and has done verbal and written translation work. Thalya currently works in partnership with the Voorhees Civic Engagement Center in her role as the Community Outreach & Research Assistant of the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market (NBCFM). An experienced community organizer and educator, Thalya served as an AmeriCorps member with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Passaic County Department of Planning & Economic Development as a Watershed Ambassador (2013-2014) and with FoodCorps and NBCFM (2014-2015). She graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minors in Geography and Geographic Information Science. Thalya was born in Passaic, New Jersey and has lived in the Garden State her entire life. A self-proclaimed science nerd, Thalya loves cooking, snowboarding, and playing Ultimate.
David Rodriguez obtained his bachelor’s degree in geography from Binghamton University. He is currently a first year Master of City and Regional Planning with a concentration in housing and real estate development. his interests are focused on sustainable development, primarily the construction of green buildings. David has held a research position with the Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and is an alumni of the GREEN Program. David is originally from the Upper West Side which is located in Manhattan, NY.
Nicholas Shatan is a first year student in the Master of City and Regional Planning program at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. He received his BA in geography from the University of Chicago in 2014. His research interests include neighborhood history and change, public participation, subsidized housing, spatial data analysis, and issues of urban injustice. He has held positions with the New York City Department of City Planning, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the University of Chicago Community Service Center.
Joni Webster is a graduate student in the School of Public Health, with a dual concentration in Health Education & Behavioral Science and Epidemiology. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and has experience working with individuals struggling with substance abuse and alcohol addiction. Joni is passionate about serving minority, as well as economically and socially underserved communities, and to that end she has worked with the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy to develop an undergraduate certificate in health disparities to train future public health workers to meet the needs of disparate populations. She is a firm believer in Ubuntu, an African philosophy relating to social responsibility, which states, “I am, because we are”. Upon graduation, Joni hopes to pursue a PhD in Social Inequality or Sociomedical Science.
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.