Who We Are: Research Assistants
Jorge Hernandez is a Master of Urban Planning candidate (2016) at NYU Wagner, with a International Development specialization. Jorge obtained his B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from U.C. San Diego and during his undergraduate career has interned and volunteered with various organizations focused on environmental and equitable planning. He has also participated in various research programs, where he has investigated themes ranging from local community planning to Mexican migration and their associations with environmental, transportation, and economic variables. Jorge is interested in sustainable and equitable solutions to problems in developing countries. More specifically, he hopes to work with countries undergoing rapid urbanization to form innovating solutions to environmental and transportation issues.
Sam Levy is a Master of Urban Planning candidate (2016) at NYU Wagner, with a Housing and Economic Development specialization. He earned his B.A. in Anthropology from Grinnell College in Iowa in 2011 and spent the last three years working for Stanford University in their Land Use and Environmental Planning Department. While there, he also worked with the Stanford Law School and did a spatial-statistical analysis of county preparedness for California’s prison realignment (AB 109).
Rose Martinez is a Master of Urban Planning Candidate (2016) at NYU Wagner specializing in Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation. She completed her B.A. in Metropolitan Studies at NYU, as well. She previously worked as a project assistant at NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action for a comparative study on how local community efforts are addressing urban problems arising from the 2008 recession in low-income neighborhoods in New York City and in Barcelona. She is interested in engaging youth, local residents, and laypeople in processes of the built environment. She hopes to see improvements to accessibility on New York’s public transit for the elderly and disabled. Rose was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Jenny O’Connell is a Master of Urban Planning candidate (2017) at NYU Wagner specializing in Environment, Infrastructure, and Transportation. She earned her BA in Political Economy from Tulane University in 2011. Before moving to New York City to begin the Master’s program, Jenny was living in Washington, DC. While there, she worked for three years as a transportation consultant at ICF International and one year as the Program Coordinator for Environment at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Jenny is specifically interested in the relationship between transportation systems, mobility, and community health, and is excited to explore that interest further at Wagner and with the Rudin Center.
Ashley Smith is a Master of Urban Planning student at NYU Wagner specializing in Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation. She completed her B.A. in English at University at Buffalo in 2012, writing her thesis on ecology in 20th century American literature. Following graduation, Ashley worked for the Elmwood Village Association, a community-development non-profit in Buffalo, NY where her role as communications coordinator increasingly involved her in urban planning issues. In 2014, Ashley participated in One Region Forward’s inaugural Citizen Planning School with a plan to develop a bicycle wayfinding signage system to dovetail with the city of Buffalo’s Bicycle Masterplan and took an active role on Buffalo’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Board to the Common Council.