PhD Student Profiles
The following is a list of students in the doctoral program at the Bloustein School.
Planning and Public Policy
Abby Thompson is a senior double majoring in Planning and Public Policy at the Bloustein School and Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and minor in Economics. She is especially interested in environmental policy and community development. This summer she is interning at City Green, a non-profit in Clifton, NJ. The company’s vision involves creating livable, green, sustainable farms and gardens in urban communities through engaging youth and adults in a variety of programs. She will be involved with creating a video series about their Growing Strong Program, a summer camp for school children. She plans on getting her Masters of Public Affairs after receiving her undergraduate degree from Rutgers. Abby hopes to pursue a career that will combine her passion for public relations with public policy.
Rhiannon Jones is a senior Douglass woman double majoring in Planning & Public Policy and Sociology and minoring in Africana Studies. She has worked for and been involved with many organizations during her time at Rutgers University, including leading RU Choice, a Planned Parenthood Generation Action Organization, as President and working as an Aresty Research Assistant on a project focused on the Collateral Consequences of U.S. Child Support Policy during her junior year.
She has found the work she had been able to do with children as a mentor, tutor, coach, and counselor while at school incredibly fulfilling, especially through the internship she held with the local Arts Mentoring Against Racism Drugs & Violence youth program. This past summer she interned with the New Jersey Department of Children & Families in the Clinical Services Unit focusing on healthcare issues affecting involved children and families, with a particular focus on substance use disorders.
She is excited to be involved with both the Ralph W. Voorhees Fellowship and Darian Civic Engagement Project this year. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in research pertaining to program development and implementation, with the goal of increasing political efficacy and civic engagement in marginalized communities across the country.
Urban Planning and Design
Hometown: Hackensack NJ
Work Experience Student: At my first college I worked as a laboratory aid in the drafting department where I helped students complete and work through their drawings and exercises. At Rutgers I was proud to join the Habitat for Humanity E-Board as a large events planner.
Work Experience Professional: I work as a New Construction Intern at Bright Power. Bright Power is an energy consulting company, in my role I help architects and developers achieve compliance with certain green building programs like LEED, EGC, and more typically for affordable housing units!
My favorite drink: Iced Coffee!
Current Favorite books: Happy CIty by Charles Montgomery and Street Smart by Samuel Schwartz
Fun Fact: I am a part of the team that runs a somewhat well known urban planning meme page on Instagram “@Planningmemez.” Like many people on the team, I never seem to be able to stop thinking about planning well beyond the walls of the classroom.
Goals for the Future: I hope to be in a position where I can help empower those who have been overlooked in the planning process for far too long. I also aim to attend graduate school in the future in the field of urban design and sustainability.
If I could change one thing about America it would be: higher education affordability/ accessibility.