PhD Student Profiles

The following is a list of students in the doctoral program at the Bloustein School.


Berman, Holly


Caspi, Or

Cooper, Edwin


Geronimo, Laura

Halprin, Franklin


Iacobucci, Evan


Jung, Sujee (Suzy)


Kocakuşak, Diren 

Kostiaev, Sergei

Kumar, Pranay

Kwon, Jaekyeong “Jamie”


Lee, Annie Seong 

Lee, Yunsuk (David)


Nelson, Katharine


Scavette, Adam

Wang, Cathy Y.H.

White, Ellen Oettinger

Yemen, Cory


Public Policy

Michelle Mayer

Michelle Mayer – MPP

Michelle Mayer is pursuing a Master in Public Policy degree. She currently works at Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle, pedestrian and public transit advocacy nonprofit in Manhattan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Societies in German and Hindi from Columbia University. Following receipt of her undergraduate degree, Michelle spent time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Austria and studying in India as an American Institute of Indian Studies Fellow. Her studies at Bloustein have focused on Urban and Social Policy through the lens of Bicycle and Pedestrian issues. Michelle was elected as the Vice President of Public Policy for the Rutgers Association of Planning and Policy Students (RAPPS).

Urban Planning

Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark – MCRP

Patrick is currently pursuing a Master of City & Regional Planning and a Master of Public Policy. His concentration areas include Housing & Real Estate, Budget & Finance, and Transportation. He currently works for New Jersey Community Capital as a Mortgage Finance Fellow. As a Mortgage Finance Fellow, Patrick works to increase sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-and-moderate income households. Prior to attending Rutgers, Patrick served as a Planning & Community Development Specialist for the City of Joplin, Missouri where he supported the city’s disaster recovery efforts. He developed long-term recovery plans in addition to managing various community planning and disaster recovery programs. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and served as the 2015 President of Rutgers Association of Planning and Policy Students (RAPPS). Patrick loves exploring cities especially in New Jersey, and in addition to pursuing his dual degree, he gets excited about any opportunity to expose others to New Jersey’s unique and eclectic collection of urban communities.

Ganlin Huang

Ganlin Huang – MCRP

Ganlin Huang is an international student in his second year pursuing a Mater in City and Regional Planning degree at Bloustein. He works for the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, assisting with researches related to improve the walking and cycling environment around New Jersey, developing Complete Streets implementation, and evaluating the New Brunswick Ciclovia. He also has been instrumental in providing GIS, website management, and graphic design to many projects at VTC. Concentrating on Transportation Planning, Ganlin is passionate about sustainable transportation, and its role in urban redevelopment. With his bachelor of engineering degree from Nanjing University, Ganlin was previously involved in several GIS analysis projects, and comprehensive planning in Chinese municipalities. Those experience solidified his interest in bringing vitality into urban areas through transportation.

Gabi Kappes

Gabi Kappes – MCRP

Gabi is currently a second year MCRP student at the Bloustein School. She is concentrating in Transportation Planning, and has additionally taken classes in and is very interested in physical design and GIS. Gabi has a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University in Community, Environment and Development, which was focused in international development. She is passionate about social justice and environmental sustainability, and as a career would like to work towards developing sustainable infrastructure projects and policies that enhance public transit, bike and walking options and transform streets into attractive, efficient public spaces. While completing her Master’s, Gabi has worked for the Voorhees Transportation Center doing bicycle and pedestrian research, for NJ TRANSIT’s Capital Planning Department, and most recently as a Design and Planning Intern at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in Manhattan.

Ai Yamanaka

Ai Yamanaka – MCRP

Ai Yamanaka is pursuing a Master of City and Regional Planning degree with a dual concentration in Transportation and Land Use. As a Bloustein student, she had the opportunity to intern in Paris as a Louis Berger fellow, where she worked on feasibility analyses of various transportation port projects in Africa and South America. Last spring, Ai interned at the NYC MTA as an Enterprise Asset Management intern, where she worked on database and asset management for the Division of Car Equipment. Her interests in transportation stem from a passion for environmental planning and policy. She began her studies at Bloustein as a researcher for the Environmental Analysis and Communications Research Group, where she authored a paper on the risks of climate change for seniors in NJ using GIS data analysis. Currently, she works as a researcher for the Voorhees Transportation Center and John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development where she works primarily with transportation policy. As a Posse Foundation scholar, Ai earned her bachelor’s degree from Colby College double majoring in International Studies and East Asian Studies. She has past experience as a community coordinator for a non-profit in Vancouver and as a team leader for a multi-national real estate firm in Japan

Health Administration

Tiara Owens
Tiara is senior at the Bloustein School majoring in Health Administration and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Currently, she serves as secretary on the executive board for the Future Health Administrators and has ties to multiple other organizations, including Rutgers Residence Life, Black Student Union, and Rutgers Recreation. Originally a pre-med major, a Bloustein professor motivated Tiara to step out of her comfort zone and explore the entrepreneurial, operational, and business fronts of healthcare organizations. Motivated by this inspiration, Tiara currently works as  a summer Session Assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Breast and Imaging Center in New York City. In the fall, she will be interning at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with the Vice President of Cardiovascular Services. Her passion to help others serves as a positive, motivating force to fulfill her lifelong goal of starting her own outpatient center in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Through Bloustein’s rigorous academic workload and unlimited resources, Tiara is confident in her abilities to make her dreams a reality.

Planning and Public Policy

Abigail Thompson

Abigail Thompson
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

Rhiannon Jones
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.

Public Policy

Renee Sheriff

Renee Sheriff
Renee is an undergraduate Public Policy major and Korean minor. She has studied abroad in both South Korea and China. Just this year, she had the opportunity to attend the Clinton Global Initiative in San Francisco, California as the Vice President for One Step, a non-profit organization that aims to educate and empower North Korean Refugees. She is a proud Douglass student, James Dickson Carr Scholar, Gilman Scholar, and Rutgers Global Ambassador. These opportunities and experiences have shaped her views on the need for more cultural, gender, and socioeconomic diversity across disciplines. Her motto is “life is too diverse for our academic experience not to be”.

Public Health

Kofi Addo

Kofi Addo
Kofi Addo is a senior majoring in Public Health with a minor in Health & Society. On campus, Kofi is a Scarlet Ambassador for Undergraduate Admissions and  a tutor at the Livingston Writing Center. He was also an Orientation Leader for two years. Kofi will be a First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) Peer Instructor in the fall. As a PI, he will be teaching the “Exploring Public Health” section. This summer, he was  a ProjectIMHOTEP CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholar. ProjectIMHOTEP is a program sponsored through a cooperative agreement between Morehouse College and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  As a ProjectIMHOTEP intern, he worked for Cincinnati Health Department. His work explored  health disparities, social determinants of health and ways promote the wellbeing of Cincinnatians  to obtain health equity. The public health issue he is most passionate about is how social determinants of health and human behavior shape health outcomes. After Rutgers, Kofi plans to pursue a MPH in Behavioral Science & Health Education and eventually, a doctorate degree.

Kaitlyn Mazzilli
Kaitlyn is a senior majoring in Public Health and minoring in Professional Outreach Development. Her interests are in child nutrition and health education.  She has worked at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy for two years on the New Jersey Child Health Study where she has been responsible for data collection and protocol developments. Last summer, Kaitlyn studied abroad in Italy to learn about the history and benefits of the Mediterranean diet. She is the Public Health Representative for the SEBS Governing Council and a dedicated brother of the SEBS honors fraternity, Alpha Zeta, where she holds the elected position of Censor. She is excited to participate in the George H. Cook Scholars program this year. Kaitlyn is also a student in the 5-year B.S/MPH program where she will continue her education at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Urban Planning and Design

Alexander J. Inkiow

Alexander J. Inkiow
Alex is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences who is pursuing a B.S. in Urban Planning and Design at the Bloustein School as well as a minor in history. He was recently inducted in the Tau Sigma National Honor Society at Rutgers.
Alex has worked on state and local community initiatives at the NJ Senate Majority Office in the NJ State House and the West Windsor Township NJ Department of Community Development. He has also served the Rutgers community as President of the Frelinghuysen Residence Hall, New Student Orientation Leader, and been heavily involved in the Rutgers for Hillary campaign. Alex is passionate about building beautiful cities that improve the way people interact with their physical surroundings. He plans to join AmeriCorps focusing on helping cities improve their housing and neighborhood revitalization efforts.