PhD Student Profiles

Our students come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, yet they all share an interest in using critical and engaged research to assess the relationship between communities and the built and natural environment. We train students with both academic and non-academic aspirations to become the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers, scientists, analysts and decision-makers.

Current Student Profiles


Amanda Rees

Amanda Rees

Education:
BA Anthropology, University of Colorado Denver
MA Geography and Spatial Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research interest:
Landscape equity, transportation infrastructure, highway redevelopment design and planning

Primary advisor(s)
Peter Anthamatten/Brian Page

LinkedIn Profile

Amy DePierre Headshot

Amy DePierre

Education:
BA Bio-Psychology, University of Nebraska Lincoln
MS Environmental Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Food systems, community development, urban ecology, human geography, small-scale agriculture

Primary advisor
Bryan Wee

LinkedIn Profile

Bhavana Medisetti portrait

Bhavana Medisetti

Education:
BTech Geoinformatics, Andhra University
MTech Remote Sensing and GIS, Andhra University 


Research interests:
GIS in urban studies, urban revitalization, transportation + land use

Primary advisor(s)
Benjamin Crawford/Austin Troy

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Dani Slabaugh head shot

Dani Slabaugh

Education:
BA Hampshire College
MLA, California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Research Interests:
Community land trusts, climate change resilience, grassroots community-driven design, racial equity and disaster resilience/public health

Primary advisor
Jeremy Németh

LinkedIn Profile

Darcy Kitching headshot

Darcy Kitching

Education:
BA English, University of Colorado Denver
M.Ed., Loyola University Maryland
MURP, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Youth and family transportation, community development, regional mobility, community engagement, active transportation

Primary advisor
Carrie Makarewicz

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Emilia Oscilowicz headshot

Emilia Oscilowicz

Education:
BA Atmospheric Environments and Sustainable Geography, University of British Columbia
MCRP Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia


Research interests:
Green gentrification, greening equity, climate justice, community participatory planning

Primary advisor(s)
Carrie Makarewicz/Jeremy Németh

Erin Nobler

Erin Nobler

Education:
BA Business Administration, Marquette University
MBA, University of Colorado Boulder

Research Interests:
Transportation planning, mobility, equity, energy, advanced transportation technologies

Primary advisor
Manish Shirgaokar

LinkedIn Profile

Hillary Quarles headshot

Hillary Quarles

Education:
BA English, Yale University
MLA Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Research Interests:
Urban agriculture, food systems, food justice, public spaces

Primary advisor
Gregory Simon

Jade-Orr

Jade Orr

Education:
BA Humanities and Fine Arts, Concordia University Irvine
MLA at University of Southern California

Research interest:
Equitable development, gentrification, participatory spaces, social justice

Primary advisor
Jeremy Németh

Jenna McKnight

Jenna McKnight

Education:
BS Journalism, Northern Arizona University
MA Arts Journalism, Syracuse University

Research Interests:
Architecture, digital media, photography

Primary advisor
Michael Jenson

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Jennifer Newcomer Headshot

Jennifer Newcomer

Education:
BA Environmental Design, University of New Mexico
MURP, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Child-friendly environments, neighborhood evolution, community resilience, housing affordability, household choice behavior

Primary advisor
Bryan Wee

LinkedIn Profile

Jonathan Burton Headshot

Jonathan Burton

Education:
BA Geology, Brigham Young University
MIS Integrated Sciences, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:

Climate change, disaster mitigation, glaciology, hydrology, glacial lake outburst floods

Primary advisor

Frederick Chambers/Lisa Kelley

LinkedIn Profile
Website

Laura Granja

Laura Granja

Education:
BArch, Federal University of Juiz de Fora
MURP, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Research interest:
Housing policy, housing affordability, gentrification resistance, low-income settlements, community planning

Primary advisor(s)
Carrie Makarewicz/Jeremy Németh

LinkedIn Profile

Liz Dzwonczyk portrait

Liz Dzwonczyk

Education:
BS Human Geography, United States Military Academy
MS Geography, Penn State University
MS International Relations, Troy University
Master of Operational Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College


Research interests:
Climate change and health, environmental health, health geography

Primary advisor(s)
Peter Anthamatten

Mahshid Gorjian

Mahshid Gorjian

Education:
BFA, University of Art Tehran
MFA, Virginia Tech
  
Research interest:
Machine learning applications, computational geometry, digital fabrication, 3D modeling/sculpting/animation

Primary advisor:
Peter Anthamatten

Molly Wagner portrait

Molly Wagner

Education:
BS Marketing Management, Virginia Tech University
MURP, University of Colorado Denver 


Research interests:
Transportation planning and policy, mobility justice, health in the built environment

Primary advisor(s)
Manish Shirgaokar

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Nolbert Chavez headshot

Nolbert Chavez

Education:
BA Management, University of Phoenix
MA Political Science, University of Colorado Denver


Research interests:
Urban politics, political advocacy, community engagement

Primary advisor(s)
Jennifer Steffel Johnson

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Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

Education:
BA Journalism & Telecommunications, University of Georgia
MS Environmental Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Remote sensing, geospatial science, urban ecological systems, land use, ecosystem services

Primary advisor
Austin Troy

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Ryanne Hilbert Headshot

Ryanne Hilbert

Education:
BE Civil Engineering, Vanderbilt University
MCP City Planning, University of Pennsylvania 

Research Interests:
Transportation planning and design, youth and family mobility, equitable transportation

Primary advisor
Carrie Makarewicz

LinkedIn Profile

Saba Fatima portrait

Saba Fatima

Education:
BArch, Jawaharlal Nehru University Architecture and Fine Arts University
MArch Jawaharlal Nehru University Architecture and Fine Arts University
MS Architecture, University of Washington


Research interests:
Social production of space, spatial politics, post-conflict urbanisms, urban cultural history

Primary advisor(s)
Jeremy Németh

LinkedIn Profile
Portfolio

Portrait Shannon Sullivan

Shannon Sullivan

Education:
BA, Chinese Language and Literature/Asian Studies, Connecticut College
MS, Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
MLA, University of Michigan

Research Interests:
Environmental psychology, sensory-inclusive design, human cognition

Primary advisor
Christopher Koziol

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Shelley McMullen headshot

Shelley McMullen

Education:
BS Civil Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
MPA, University of Colorado Denver
MURP, University of Colorado Denver 

Research Interests:
Disaster recovery planning, climate change adaption, community resilience, international development

Primary advisor
Deserai Crow/Andrew Rumbach

LinkedIn Profile

Zahra Namavar

Shirin (Zahra) Namavar

Education:
MArch (Integrated Degree), Tehran University of Art

Research Interests:
Social sustainability in urban design, public places, architecture education, Islamic Persian architecture, design process

Primary advisor
Chris Koziol

LinkedIn Profile

Sneha Tallavajjula portrait

Sneha Tallavajjula

Education:
BArch, Jawaharlal Nehru University Architecture and Fine Arts University
MArch Architecture and Urbanism, Manchester Metropolitan University/University of Manchester


Research interests:
Inclusive urban design, participatory planning, informal urbanism

Primary advisor(s)
Jeremy Németh

LinkedIn Profile

Steve King portrait

Steve King

Education:
BS Civil Engineering, United States Air Force Academy
MA Geography, Rutgers University
MA Christian Leadership Studies, Liberty University 


Research interests:
Coastal erosion, beach geomorphology, Hawaiian microclimates, volcanism

Primary advisor(s)
Frederick Chambers