Kyle Onda

PhD Student

Specialization: Land Use and Environmental Planning

Hometown: Denver, CO

Previous Degrees: BS Environmental Engineering – Stanford ‘11, MSPH Environmental Sciences & Engineering – UNC ‘14, MCRP Land Use and Environmental Planning – UNC ‘14

Kyle has studied water and sanitation planning in low and middle-income countries in some form or another since his time as an undergraduate student at Stanford. Through his various degrees, he has examined the topic from the perspectives of engineering, public health, and land use planning. He chose to become a doctoral student at Carolina Planning because the department offered the multidisciplinary skillset needed to support his research, which touches on the complex issues and intersections of economics, climate change, and social justice.

At Carolina Planning, Kyle has acted as the PhD program’s admissions coordinator, assisted with several graduate courses and taught an undergraduate class. On campus, he has been involved with Stigma Free Carolina, a campaign advocating for de-stigmatization of mental health issues and treatment. In the community, he has assisted with public health surveys and information campaigns in the rural areas of the Piedmont region.

Carolina Planning and the university at large have taught Kyle the skills needed to conduct rigorous and credible social science research, as well as how to navigate the professional worlds of academic, public-sector, and nonprofit research. But despite the quality of education and resources Kyle is able to access through Carolina Planning, when asked what he likes best about the department, he says that he “could not ask for better colleagues.”