Director of Community Engagement and Collaborative Learning, Professor of Geography/Urban Studies
She has extensive experience with participatory action research, especially involving young people in urban exploration and local planning, and has a long history of involvement with community-based organizations in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
She is a founding member of the Holyoke Planning Network and works with this group on a number of community economic development initiatives. She also facilitates community-based learning at Hampshire College and works closely with the Community Partnerships for Social Change program and Five College Committee on Community-based Learning.
"Wicked Problems" are complex, ever changing, and resistant to simple solutions; they require transformative and purposeful innovation. In urban studies, the challenges posed by economic and social inequality, the need to plan for multiple publics, and the distancing of residents from public space and access to planning processes, suggest a number of questions: What do we need to understand about the people who seek to participate in, and are impacted by, spatial (and social) planning as we try to foster more equitable and sustainable living and working environments? How do we design methods for understanding the experience of multiple publics in places that are undergoing constant change and need to respond to a diverse constituency? Where are the spaces in which to experiment with improvisational and flexible forms of intervention that might open up new economic and social opportunities? These and other questions will be explored in this course through case studies of urban intervention methodologies and practices. Mid semester we will pair with a sister course in social entrepreneurship to both combine our collective learning and work collaboratively on a shared project. This project(s0) will bring students together to share, re-purpose and utilize the various approaches they have learned about social enterprise development and urban planning/design to creatively address an identified need on campus.