Graduate Research Assistants (2022 - 2024)
Leticia is currently a graduate student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at FAU. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture and Urbanism from Brazil. She is employed as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for the Watershed Master Planning Project Phase II working closely with faculty in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the College of Engineering. The project is a collaborative effort between FAU, FEMA, and FDEM to develop watershed master plans for 18 communities to improve their rankings on the Community Rating System and enhance community resilience. Her responsibilities include GIS analysis and vulnerability assessment and mapping. More specifically, she is developing mapping products for assessing flood risk under various storm event scenarios and sea level rise in Walton County, FL. Upon acceptance to FAU, Leticia was honored with the FAU 2022-2023 Presidential Scholarship.
Madeleine received her Bachelor's degree in Geosciences with a minor in Geology in the Spring of 2021, and recently graduated with her Master’s degree in Geosciences in the Fall Semester of 2022. She has previously volunteered at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge helping to map airboat trails throughout the area which assisted their biologists in performing risk assessments for the local wildlife. Madeleine is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Mitsova and Dr. Bloetscher for the City of Panama, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), analyzing various GIS data to produce a Watershed Master Plan, which will help to mitigate flooding caused by sea level rise and storm surge.
Sanju Khatri holds a master's degree in Geosciences from FAU and brings a strong background in remote sensing and data analysis for Earth-based applications. In her role as a research assistant, she plays a pivotal role in a watershed project, demonstrating unwavering dedication to advancing our understanding of flood detection and management in Florida. Sanju is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Mitsova and Dr. Bloetscher for Santa Rosa County, FDEM and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), analyzing various GIS data to produce a Watershed Master Plan, which will help to mitigate flooding caused by sea level rise and storm surge.
Originally from Seattle, WA, Aislinn has a Bachelor's degree in Urban Design, with honors, and a GIS certificate from FAU, and is continuing her education with a Master's in Geoscience. As an undergraduate, Aislinn was an active member of Greek life, Phi Mu, serving on their executive board and acting as a recruitment counselor for the College Panhellenic Association. Aislinn is working with Dr. Mitsova as a graduate research assistant alongside the UC Davis Data Lab on mapping cognitive decline by running geo-segregation models and extracting data from US Census tracts to help map the effects of socioeconomic status and neighborhood environments on cognitive decline.
Amy Dinter is a graduate student working towards her master's in urban and regional planning. She is focused on resiliency planning and sustainability. Amy is originally from Oregon and was a realtor in South Florida for 15 years before deciding to get her master's degree. She is married with two daughters and lives in Broward County.
Graduate Research Assistants (2019-2022)
Tyler Radenbaugh is an undergraduate student at Florida Atlantic University with a record of academic achievement and activism. He was awarded the Presidential Scholarship upon acceptance to FAU which is the most prestigious grant given to students demonstrating financial need. Tyler is a recipient of the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program scholarship and traveled to New York and Washington DC for two Model United Nations conferences in which his delegation was awarded for their performance. With a 3.842 GPA, he is also enrolled in the FAU Honors Program. Tyler intends to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Urban and Regional Planning, an honors distinction, and a certificate in GIS. Tyler extracted demographic and socioeconomic data for the service range of thousands of infrastructure components included in the three testbeds of the PRAISys project. He is also working on analyzing survey data.
Michelle has a bachelors of Architecture degree from FAU, and is currently enrolled in their masters of urban and regional planning program. She has been interning for the City of Lake Worth Beach. She is working with Dr.Mitsova, as a graduate research assistant, on analyzing GIS data to derive flood risk indices.
Susie has received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and is continuing her education at FAU by pursuing her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. During her undergraduate years at FAU, Susie was a part of the athletics department; five years on the dance team, three years as captain. After graduating, she began working part-time in the zoning division at Palm Beach County. She is working with Dr.Mitsova, as a graduate research assistant, on analyzing GIS data to derive flood risk indices.
Ross is a graduate student pursuing a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning. He holds a Bachelor's of Architecture degree from FAU and works part time for the City of Delray Beach. He is assisting the PRAISys project in various capacities with a focus on spatial data analysis. Ross will collaborate with Dr. Mitsova on analyzing the National Geodetic Survey Emergency Response Imagery database of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), LiDAR, NASA Black Marble products to extract nightlight indices, socioeconomic data, and tax appraiser data.
Arjola Balilaj is a PhD student in Public Administration. She assisted the PRAISys project with several tasks including support for the tabletop exercise and data analysis with NVIVO. She currently working on survey data analysis.
Graduate Research Assistants (2015-2019)
Catherine Velarde received her Bachelors in Sociology from Florida International University and is currently pursuing a Master's in Urban Planning from Florida Atlantic University. Catherine's academic interests include affordable housing, social equality, and sustainability within the urban environment.
Connor Bailey received Bachelor's degree in Urban Design in the Spring of 2017 and graduated with a MURP degree in 2018. He worked on a Florida Sea Grant project involving North Beach Village. Currently, he is a planner in the Land Development Division of WGI, a civil engineering and planning firm in West Palm Beach. Connor received the 2018 Student Planner of the Year Award at the American Planning Association Florida Chapter.
Alexis entered the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Florida Atlantic University in January 2014 immediately after completing her Bachelor of Urban Design degree with cum laude honors at FAU. Since then Alexis has demonstrated an unusual commitment to her studies and engagement with the planning profession. She also founding President of the Geographic Information Systems Club at FAU and President of the Owls Supporting Diversity Club during 2014-15. She has served for several years as a student liaison to the Gold Coast Section of FAPA. She published an article in the May 2014 issue of FAPA’s Florida Planning Magazine titled “Reinventing the Wheel and Charting a New Course: Incorporating Deafspace Planning in the Master Planning Process”. This paper won the first place award in the FAU Graduate and Professional Student Association Research Day in 2014. As a graduate assistant, Alexis completed various tasks related to survey and GIS data collection and analysis. Alexis Peña received the 2016 Student Planner of the Year Award at the American Planning Association Florida Chapter Annual Meeting in Tampa.
Daniel collaborated on the NSF CRISP 2 project during the Spring and Summer of 2017, and the Fall and Spring of 2018. He assisted the project with various tasks including GIS data collection and processing. Daniel is a hard worker who dedicated a lot of effort to make sure all project tasks are on schedule. Upon his graduation in the spring of 2018, he was hired by Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. as a full-time Planner.
Allison collaborated on the NSF CRISP project during the Spring semester of 2016. She collected data and reviewed literature on social networks and Web 2.0 resources in disaster management. Allison graduated in May 2016. She received the 2015 Student of the Year Award at the American Planning Association Florida Chapter Annual Meeting in Hollywood. During her first year in graduate school, she also worked as a graduate research assistant on a project funded by the Kresge Foundation to analyze the public health effects of sea level rise on vulnerable populations in southeast Florida. Allison also worked on another research project funded through the National Science Foundation to analyze the networking and relationships that arose after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Allison won the 2015 Student Planner of the Year Award at the American Planning Association Florida Chapter.
Kevin collaborated on the NSF CRISP Project during the Spring semester of 2016. He collected GIS data, conducted a literature search, and prepared GIS files for the NSF project. He graduated in May 2016. While at FAU, he also worked on several other projects including a project on coastal resilience funded by The Nature Conservancy. Additionally, he performed research on community redevelopment initiatives in Broward County, FL for FAU’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES). At FAU, Kevin also volunteered as a student note-taker for the FAU Student Accessibility Services and presented research at the 3rd Sea Level Rise Summit in Fort Lauderdale.
Nadia St. Hilaire
Nadia started working on the NSF CRISP project in June 2016. As a first generation Haitian-American, Haiti and its people have always held a special place in her heart. Having been to Haiti before, she was interested in seeing it from a different perspective, not just as a tourist. Last June, she went to the capital with a group of missionaries and had the opportunity to see the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. It was this trip last year that really made her think about how she can help. This is what motivated her to participate in the NSF project.
Past VPT Lab Research Assistants
Lisa Colmenares, Stephanie Reed, Rayan Alhawiti, Jokebede Mozumber, Alan Alvarez, Lorena Araya, David Baron, Deepangkar Bhattacharjee, Anne C. Carrie, Chris Chagdes, Elizabeth Chang, Andrew Clay, Tim Corp, Peter Gies, Florentina Hutt, Donald Johnson, Rachel Kalin, Matthew Kurry, Bill Lockwood, Dawn Losi, Tomas McCarty, Christine Mitchell, Rene Miller, Emily Moldovan, Josh Ooyman, Thuy Pham, Macline Pierre , Brian Rock, Jennifer Rosenberg, Nicholas Sofoul, Mike Stamm, Sara Stevenson, Marta Viciedo, Andrew Yansey