Contact Information

Program Director
Dr. Carol Reese
School of Architecture
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: (504) 314.2328

Steering Committee

Michele Adams (Sociology)
Regardt Ferreria (Social Work)
Yuki Kato (Urban Studies)
Patrick Rafail (Sociology)
Carol M. Reese (Urban Studies)
 Qingwen Xu (Social Work)






Current Graduate Students


Ryan Albright


Originally from Coldwater, Michigan Ryan has lived in New Orleans for the past three years with his Fiancée Madison.  Most recently, he was Metropolitan Opportunity Program Officer at the Greater New Orleans Foundation where his work revolved around three major areas of focus; access to quality affordable housing, innovation in metropolitan land-use and access to economic opportunity including transportation.  As a funder Ryan managed a portfolio of grant funds from the Ford Foundation and invested more than $5 million in the Greater New Orleans region.  

He has more than ten years of city and community planning experience ranging from his time as a coordinator for economic development for a nonprofit to his position as planner with the City of Houston. Before coming to New Orleans Ryan was a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow and an Island Institute Community Development Fellow.   Ryan has worked on Brownfield projects in Germany and has worked in Michigan, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Louisiana to address a variety of community, economic, and environmental development challenges.  

His current research interests examine how civic engagement and the built environment impact urban regeneration in both policy and practice. Ryan has studied British Polity at the University of London and the University of Edinburgh.  He has also studied economic development and environmental planning at the Universität Dortmund in Germany.  He holds a BA in Public Administration & Public Policy and a Master of Urban & Regional Planning Degree, both from Michigan State University.  In his spare time he enjoys cooking, backpacking, traveling, fly-fishing, and learning to play the trumpet.

Scarlett Andrews

Scarlett grew up on a dairy farm in middle Tennessee. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011 with a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish. During her undergraduate career, she spent two semesters studying at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. She spent that year traveling throughout Ecuador and other Andean countries. Upon returning, she interned for the Amazon Conservation Association headquartered in Washington, D.C.and wrote an honors thesis on the use of sustainable agriculture and forestry in conservation programs led by nonprofit organizations in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon.

Scarlett joined the Tulane community as a Master's student at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies where she researched agriculture, climate change, and food security in the Amazonian floodplains community of Belén in Iquitos, Peru. She conducted household interviews and visual documentation of the community's urban farming strategies and its open-air markets to demonstrate local adaptation to regional environmental pressures on the supply of agricultural products. After earning her M.A. in Latin American Studies, Scarlett joined the CCC program with the confidence that New Orleans is an ideal setting to continue her
research on communities facing environmental threats and challenges to food security and food culture.

Clare Cannon


Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Clare loves to rock climb, bike, and have coffee with friends. She received her B.A. from Scripps College of the Claremont Consortium. While there she earned Honors for her thesis, “American Nightmare, Twilight of Dreams”, for which she also won the Edward A. White Award for excellence in American Studies.

Clare continued her academic career at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned her M.A. in Social Ethics, Depth Psychology and Religion. While at Union, she helped to found the Edible Churchyard, developing an urban garden and accompanying curriculum of food justice and ecological issues. She graduated with a credit with distinction for her master's thesis, Adventures in Garbage, Seeking the deep in things. Currently, her research areas include discard studies, issues of environmental justice, post-colonial queer theory, urban political economy, and media studies.

Lindsey Caruso



Wesley Cheek

Originally from Destin, Florida, Wesley received his B.A. in Community, Culture and the Built Environment from the University of Alabama’s New College program in 2001. He immediately moved to Japan and spent the next decade teaching junior high school, being a radio DJ, writing for a magazine, surfing, playing in bands, losing as much as he won on the amateur mixed-martial arts circuit, and working as a photo journalist. It was photojournalism that brought him to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku area of Japan on March 11th, 2011. Wesley’s photographs were featured in various outlets including the Wall Street Journal. He also covered the disaster as a correspondent for the Majority Report radio program.  

Wesley returned to the U.S. in the fall of 2011 to enter the Tulane School of Architecture’s Master of Preservation Studies program. For his thesis, “Rebuilding Tohoku: Historical Preservation and Disaster Reconstruction”, he returned to Tohoku and met with both experts in the field and local people who were affected by the disaster. This work lead to Wesley being invited to present his research to a panel of international professionals at Ritsumeikan University’s UNESCO Chair Program on Risk Management of Cultural Heritage and to his ongoing involvement with that program. He received his Master’s Degree from the Tulane School of Architecture in December of 2012.  

In addition to his academic work, Wesley is a founding member of the non-profit organization Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning. His wife Natsuki and son Musashi are being very patient throughout this whole post-graduate process, but are willing to put up with it it means more second-lines and shrimp boils.

Lucas Diaz


Lucas Diaz, born in the Dominican Republic, has lived in the New Orleans area since arriving to the U.S. as a child. He has thirteen years' experience in the non-profit and public sectors. He's raised money, developed people-based programs, created organizational growth strategies, mobilized communities, written policies, and trained groups and individuals.  

Beginning as a writer in 2000, and then working in donor relations, strategic planning, program development, and campaign development through 2007, Lucas honed his fundraising skills at Dillard University, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, the African American Museum of Art, Loyola University New Orleans, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.  

In co-founding Puentes New Orleans in February 2007 and working as its founding executive director through 2011, he developed skills as an organizational executive, an integrated strategic planner, a program developer and evaluator, an asset builder, a community organizer, a coalition builder, and a community relations expert. At Puentes he developed community-based initiatives, initiated coalitions, and conducted advocacy-based strategic plans and actions, and established a firm foundation for a sustainable non-profit organization. 

In joining city government as the first director of the Mayor's Neighborhood Engagement Office for the City of New Orleans from 2011 to 2013, Lucas helped establish the City's first-ever public participation office, honing his strategic and analytical skills through policy writing and public process analysis and implementation in government. Lucas is also a creative writer, with a self-published collection of short stories titled Passing Unseen, published short articles, liner notes, and poetry.  

Isaac Freitas

Isaac Freitas was raised in Longmont, Colorado. He earned both a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Economics from Colorado State University located in the beautiful city of Fort Collins. Isaac continued his studies by earning an M.A. in Sociology from Colorado State University. His master's thesis, “Questioning the Carnivalesque”, was done as a qualitative study that focused on poetry slams as a site for a contemporary form of carnivalesque resistance. Isaac is currently in the CCC sociology track with general interests in space, resistance, and artistic communities.

Jocelyn Horner


A native of Pittsburgh, Jocelyn is a 2005 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Bachelor of Philosophy honors degree in Sociology and Urban Studies. She was a 2004 Truman Scholar for the state of Pennsylvania. Jocelyn has lived and worked in Casablanca, Morocco, Niger, and London, where she received her Masters of Science in Urban Geography and Environment from the London School of Economics. Following graduate school, Jocelyn returned home to Pittsburgh where she worked in the non-profit sector for the past five years, focusing on community grantmaking, youth engagement and education. She has worked as the Community Programs Manager at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, the Spark Program Manager at The Sprout Fund and the Director of Operations for the Hear Me Project at Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab.

In 2011, Jocelyn began her own business as a freelance consultant, specializing in development, communications, public relations and project design. An active member of her community, Jocelyn has served on the Manchester Academic Charter School Board of Trustees, as a Big Sister and career mentor, and a volunteer in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Emergency Department. When she isn't working, Jocelyn loves running, reading, hanging out with her parents and taking her dog for hikes in the woods.

Cate Irvin


Cate Irvin is a doctoral student in Tulane University’s City, Culture, and Community department, in the Sociology track. She received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Emmanuel College and a master’s in public health from Tulane University, with a focus in international health and development. Before attending Tulane University she gained experience working as a family planning and HIV counselor in Western Massachusetts, as well as Nairobi, Kenya.

During her time at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropic Medicine, she cultivated a research interest in lifestyle movements, specifically urban agriculture, studying the impacts of these movements on youth groups in the Viwandani settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. She continues to pursue this interest in her doctoral work in the City, Culture, and Community department, under the instruction of Professor Yuki Kato. Cate has recently published an article in collaboration with Professor Kato examining the flow of food and people to a food market in a low-income area across the metropolitan area of New Orleans in order to reevaluate the assessment of the construction of food deserts. Currently she is working on a research project with Professor Kato examining the links between urban agriculture and strategic blight reduction in New Orleans, LA. Additionally, her own research project is concentrating on the emerging culture of the New Orleans food trucks, as well as the impacts these food trucks are having on the spatial develop of the City of New Orleans.

Vicky Lattone


Originally from Paterson/Clifton, New Jersey, Vicky has been a resident of New Orleans since 2007. Vicky obtained her B.S. from Cornell University in Animal Science, and though the plans for a veterinary career fell through, she still indulges in her love for animals through her two dogs and five cats, all of whom are rescues. After a career in oncology billing and management, Vicky returned to graduate school at Tulane and completed both a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Health.Within the Social Work program, Vicky also obtained Certificates in Disaster Mental Health and International Social Work.

Prior to joining the CCC program, Vicky was the original Program Manager for the Tulane Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), where she was integral in the development of several projects including their new Master’s program in Disaster Resilience Leadership and an innovative evaluation of humanitarian aid following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The DRLA is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to strengthening global humanitarian leadership, with one of their areas of focus being psychosocial and behavioral leadership issues. It was the lack of global action in this area that propelled Vicky into enrolling in the CCC program to pursue her PhD. Vicky’s research interests focus on the psychosocial impact of disasters and collective trauma on communities, and finding non-traditional ways of supporting community recovery in those contexts. It is her hope that she can forge a research agenda that will help to shape future policy in community recovery planning that will be sensitive to the social, mental and emotional realities faced by communities devastated by trauma, and that will expand the concept of psychosocial well-being to be more culturally and contextually appropriate in such settings.

Maggie Mahoney

At given moment, Maggie Mahoney is an enthusiastic voice of the Rust-Belt, a disciple of the environmental practices of the Pacific Northwest, and a vigorous community advocate with a big stake in future of New Orleans.  

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Maggie left the blizzard-prone, post-industrial stronghold to pursue her undergraduate degree at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. In the years she spent earning her B.A. in Sociology she also fell prey to radical ideas about composting, recycling, and living without a car. Deeply influenced by the contrast in rhetoric surrounding her “dying” hometown and her “green” and “progressive” new home, Maggie was compelled to explore the creation and consequences of the Rust-Belt narrative in her thesis, Complicating the Rust Belt: Negotiating Meanings of Industrial Decay with Ghost Stories and Ruin Porn.

Maggie moved to New Orleans in 2011 to work as an Americorps member with City Year New Orleans. She worked as a full-time tutor and mentor at ReNew Accelerated High School, a new charter that provided otherwise ineligible, over-age students an opportunity to pursue their high school diploma. In her second term, Maggie served as the Team Leader at John Dibert Community School where she supervised a group of 9 tutors and mentors and implemented numerous physical service projects throughout the City of New Orleans.  

Maggie is currently the Coordinator and Head Gardener at the Resurrection After Exoneration (RAE) Community Garden in New Orleans’ 7th Ward. As a part of RAE’s mission to assuage the challenges faced by our exonerated and formerly incarcerated community members, the garden provides a much-needed space for therapy, activity, education, and healthy food. Maggie’s current research interests lie in social capital, civicism, human geography of work and organizational structures, and holistic reintegration of formerly incarcerated people. 

Katie Lauve Moon


Originally from Alexandria, La., Katie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Louisiana Tech University in May 2007. In August 2007, she began a Master of Divinity (M.Div.)/Master of Social Work (MSW) dual degree program at Baylor University's School of Social Work and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. In 2009, she was an intern in the counseling department at Bill Logue Juvenile Detention Center in Waco, Texas, and her concentration internship was with Touching Miami with Love in Miami, FL as a community development intern. She earned her MSW with a concentration in Community Development in May 2010 and later graduated with her M. Div. in December 2011. Katie's current research primarily focuses on creating a volunteerism model particularly within faith-based organizations that promotes sustainability and health within marginalized communities. Outside of school, Katie is married to Timmy Moon who also graduated with an M. Div. with a concentration in Missions and World Religion from Truett Seminary.

Alicia McCraw


Originally from Austin, Texas, Alicia has lived in New Orleans since 2006. Alicia obtained a BA in Sociology from Tulane in 2010, where she focused primarily on studying marriage and childrearing. Upon graduating Alicia spent a year working in human resources, volunteering at the local children's hospital, and working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). It was during this time that she began to recognize the unmet needs of alternative family styles in receiving policy and legislative help. Recognizing this as a major social problem, she applied and was accepted the City, Culture, and Community program where she now focuses on alternative family styles childrearing with a focus on how to better protect those families legally while also investigating how their parenting styles could help all parents create homes who rear positive and self confident families.

Brad Powers


Raised in Princeton, N.J, Brad has lived in New Orleans for the past 12 years with his wife and three daughters. His research interest is in exploring the ways in which various market forces and civic institutions can be cultivated, improved and integrated to help restore communities.

He has lived and worked throughout the United States fighting for access to housing, health care, education, and legal representation for those in need. Brad obtained a BA in English from St. Lawrence University and studied for a year in East Africa. He then earned a law degree (JD) cum laude from Vermont Law School (with a summer program at Trinity College, Dublin). After five years as a criminal defense attorney both in state and federal courts, Brad earned a Masters in Law (LLM) from the University of Washington School of Law. Brad was the founding Executive Director of Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative from January 2006 until his admission into the Tulane CCC program. Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative is a community faith-based revitalization organization working in a low wealth neighborhood of New Orleans. Jericho Road develops high quality, green and physically accessible housing, supports growth of resident led neighborhood associations and uses legal tools to reduce blight. Jericho Road was formed after Hurricane Katrina. In 2010 Brad completed graduate work as a Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Center Urban Redevelopment and Excellence and in 2011 completed Stanford Business School's International Non-profit Leadership Program for Social Innovators. Brad was named one of New Orleans top social entrepreneurs. Recently, New Orleans City council honored Brad twice as one of New Orleans "Men on the Move".

Heidi Schmalbach

Emily Starr


Emily Starr is originally from Claremont, California where she received her bachelor’s in Sociology at the University of La Verne and her Masters in American Studies at California State University Fullerton. Currently in the CCC sociology track, her general areas of interest are in gender, sexuality, and race. She recently co-published a book chapter on female-initiated domestic violence and has two additional articles out for review. The first is a quantitative study on females sentenced to a batterer intervention program and the second is a qualitative content analysis on international dating website content with an emphasis on unpacking the globalization of intimacy through the Western nuclear family. Additionally, she is currently working on a quantitative study of female domestic offenders in New Orleans and a qualitative study on female bartenders.

Jordan Stewart

Jordan's background is in architecture with a focus on sustainable designs and adaptive reuse in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a graduate student, her area of focus within urban studies is the social and community component of innovation in buildings, landscapes, towns, cities, and metropolitan areas towards sustainability and equity. Part of this interest includes developing methods to assess the relationships between communities and these environments.     

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000