The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University


Current Students - PhD


Corita Brown is a part-time doctoral student in Urban Studies.  Her research interests are broadly in community development, public participation and collective leadership.  She also currently works as the Assistant Director of Communities for All Ages, a national intergenerational community development initiative coordinated by The Intergenerational Center at Temple.  In this capacity she provides training, coaching and technical assistance to 23 placed-based, cross-sector coalitions around the country.   She holds a BA from Hampshire College and an EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

Ian M. Dunham is a Ph.D. student in the GUS department. Originally from Colorado, Ian holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Geography from Temple. In addition to his professional experience in the public and private sectors, Ian has worked in the GUS Department as a Research Assistant and as a Teaching Assistant for the following courses: World Urban Patterns, Global Cities, GIS, and Digital Mapping. Some of Ian’s current research interests include: economic geography, GIScience and methods of quantitative statistical analysis, technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.

Alec Foster is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies and Economics from the New College of Florida and his M.A. in Geography from the University of South Florida. His areas of interest include urban environments, environmental perceptions, productions of nature, and political ecology. His previous research includes Sustainable Forestry Economics and Contingent Valuation of Tampa’s Urban Forest Resource.

Sendy Guerrier is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies. She received her B.A in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Delaware. Her areas of interest include migration, urban labor markets, inequality, black feminist thought, intersectionality, feminist geography, discourse analysis, the long-term care and healthcare industries. Her previous research includes an unpublished piece titled, “Covering Chaos: Representations of Haiti and Mexico during times of Crisis,” a comparative discourse analysis of U.S. media representations of Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake and Mexico in the wake of the ongoing “drug wars.”  Before enrolling at Temple, she held higher education administrator positions at St. John’s University, University of Delaware, and with a summer voyage of Semester at Sea.

Colleen Hammelman is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies. She received her B.A. in Technical Journalism and Political Science from Colorado State University and her M.A. in International Relations focusing on Comparative and Regional Studies of South and Southeast Asia from American University.  Her research interests include food security (particularly in Latin America and Asia), intersectionality, political ecology, and qualitative GIS. Her previous work includes working with non-governmental organizations focusing on international human rights and international youth development.

Mahbubur Meenar, a doctoral student in the Urban Studies program, has spent the last decade working as a GIS analyst, planner, and architect. He works full time as a researcher and educator at Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities. He has served as the principal investigator and or co-investigator in a number of funded research studies, taught four graduate and undergraduate level courses at the Department of Community and Regional Planning, and published in journals, book chapters, and professional magazines. His research interests include hunger and food insecurity, GIS-based environmental modeling, sustainable urban design, and the role of digital technologies and visualization in community engagement. He also serves as a Temple University Faculty Mentor and a voting member of Ambler Campus Sustainability Council. He earned a bachelor degree in architecture from Bangladesh University of Science and Technology and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Liv Raddatz is a PhD student in the GUS department. Before starting the PhD program in 2010 she completed the M.A. program in Geography and Urban Studies in the GUS department. Liv grew up in Hamburg, Germany where she also graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Hamburg in 2008. Over the course of her graduate studies she has developed a general interest in the mobility of populations and the importance of cities as the crucial geographical unit that sends and receives migrants and shapes economic outcomes. Today, her academic work focuses on labor market integration of EU-migrants in metropolitan areas of the enlarged European Union.

Mike Schwebel is a Ph.D. candidate of Geography and Urban Studies. He received his B.L.A. in Landscape Architecture The Pennsylvania State University in 2005 and his M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy, concentrating in Environmental Planning from The Johns Hopkins University in 2010. His areas of interest include climate change, island states, and borders / jurisdictional boundaries between states. His current research focuses upon South Pacific Island States, sea-level rise, and climate change policy. Mike's previous research includes his Master’s thesis “How can a successful multi-family residential recycling program be initiated within Baltimore City, Maryland,” which was published in July 2012.

Alisa Shockley is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. She was born and raised in Philadelphia. She has a B.S. in Geography from Penn State University and a M.S. in Geography from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include access and accessibility, health disparities, food deserts and food access, spatial analysis and GIS, quantitative and qualitative research, and health geographies.

Kelly Elizabeth Sloane is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies.  She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. She is interested in the ideological, legal and social history of race, ethnicity and citizenship and the maintenance of socioeconomic ‘class’ and place in the United States.  Her current research is centered on the 2007 Supreme Court case Parents Involved In Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, Et Al.

Fanny Tremblay-Racicot is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the Université Laval in Quebec City. Her areas of interest include metropolitan governance, sustainable transportation, and urban and environmental policy. Her research projects include Choice and Relative Efficiency of Public Policy Instruments to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses: A study of Four Sub-National Governments of North-eastern America and Governing Instruments for Sustainable Transportation in Metropolitan Regions of the Americas.  Her internships and professional research positions include working with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Hydro-Quebec Institute on Environment, Development and Society, and the Institute on Energy and Environment of the Francophone Ministries of Environment in Quebec and Alberta. 

Alan Wiig's work in the Urban Studies PhD program explores the landscape of the Internet and mobile connectivity.  This scholarship seeks to situate the digital infrastructure and networked ecologies of the 21st century city within the previous generations of physical infrastructures around which the modern metropolis evolved.  He has a MA in Geography from San Francisco State University and a BA in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz.  He blogs about his current research at



Current Students - Master's Program

Jake Blanch is an MA student in Geography and Urban Studies where he focuses on human capital and its connection to economic sustainability and development. Jake has worked in a variety of administrative, research, and direct service roles within the areas of alternative education, youth development, workforce development, and higher education. Having attained a B.S. in Education, Criminal Justice, and English from Temple University, he manages an emerging college retention program with Mastery Charter Schools and continues to teach in the English Department where he has developed and implemented a variety of course designs, including those which connect his students to opportunities in community based organizations through partnerships in Philadelphia.

Julia Falcon is an MA student in Geography and Urban Studies.  She recently received her BA in Middle East Studies from Union College in Schenectady, NY. She currently works as the student services assistant for the GUS department and advisor of the undergraduate student association. Her research interests include human migration patterns, populations’ interactions with political borders, especially those drawn artificially during colonialism, and the continued importance of political borders in the face of an increasingly integrated global economy.

Nicole Hall had a unique path to GUS having completed her undergraduate degree in Metalsmithing from the Tyler School of Art and her graduate degree in Sustainable Design from Philadelphia University. Her research interests center around the physical and social implications of urban institutions of higher education on the communities within which they exist. She is particularly intrigued with concepts of environmental sustainability and the visual representation of data as a tool towards greater understanding and community engagement in urban development. Nicole is Director of Admissions at the Tyler School of Art where she has focused on expanding recruitment efforts towards urban communities through increased scholarship and engagement programs for students, parents and teachers in the neighborhoods surrounding the university. Nicole has also partnered with the Office of Sustainability to create a living example of an environmentally sustainable office through the development of a paperless processing system. As part of the University Leadership Academy, Nicole has worked to develop programs which build relationships between the local community and university arts and culture. Nicole is in her second year of part time study in the Geography & Urban Studies program with the intention of completing both her MA and PhD.

David Hatten is a full-time Master's student in Geography and Urban Studies.  Before starting at Temple, he earned his B.A. from SUNY Buffalo studying History and Russian.  Currently as an intern at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, David works in the Community Planning department assisting the implementation of the city-wide zoning restructuring determined by Philadelphia 2035.  In addition to this he works as a Graduate Student Coordinator for Temple Universities' Urban Apps and Maps program where he helps supervise the next generation of "App Ambassadors".  While at Temple, he has focused on theories of economic development and spatial analysis. His primary methods are the applications of GIS and quantitative modelling, most notably in the fields of disaster risk assessment, environmental geography, development, and social justice.


Michaela Newman is a MA student in Geography and Urban Studies. She is interested in community development and planning, especially the intersection of the built and human environments. Michaela is from Washington, DC, and moved to Philadelphia in 2003 to study architecture across the river at Drexel University. During the program, she worked at various architecture firms specializing in public housing design and historic preservation. Upon graduation, Michaela moved out west to Seattle to work with families and kids, running community events, facilitating adult education classes, planting gardens, and leading afterschool programs with an affordable housing non-profit. She is very glad to be back in Philadelphia and will be working with communities in North Philadelphia using participatory planning, community engagement, and design to address crime and safety at the neighborhood level.












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