Hometown: Reading, PA
Previous Degrees: BA Environmental Studies – Temple University ‘11, MSc Urban Geography – Utrecht University ‘12
After obtaining a Master’s in Urban Geography and finishing a Fulbright in the Netherlands, Mary sought an environment in which she could continue doing applied research and have opportunities to work with both scholars and practitioners. She knew Carolina Planning was the place for her after visiting because the people in the department were so welcoming and brilliant. In her words, “it was a winning combination.”
Mary’s research explores connections between the built environment and travel behavior with an emphasis on health implications of transportation. Most recently, she’s worked with researchers at UNC’s Institute for the Environment to explore how school siting policies can impact children’s exposure to air pollution during their school commutes.
Within the department, Mary serves on the PhD policy committee and has been a Teaching Assistant for the last three years. She also serves as the faculty liaison for the PhD program, which has allowed her to keep PhD students plugged in to department-level goals and visions for the future. This past year Mary received the Doctoral Student Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognized her for her exceptional commitment to student achievement and engagement.
Mary is currently a student representative for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning where she hopes to strengthen inclusivity and participation for doctoral students within the field of planning.