Dr. Hart’s work focuses on the development of theory and research on children’s relationship to the physical environment. He has been particularly concerned with the application of research to the planning and design of children’s environments and to environmental education. In recent years, he has been more broadly concerned with developing theory, research and programs which foster the greater participation of young people in articulating their perspectives and concerns as a way of better fulfilling their rights.
Dr. Wridt has a background in education, geography, and environmental psychology and served as a Senior Instructor in the Department of Urban Planning & Design at the University of Colorado for five years before taking on the role of Co-Director for CERG. For the last 15 years, she has developed and implemented numerous projects, programs and resources that focus on children’s rights and community development. Her research interests and areas of expertise include children’s participation, children’s geographies, community mapping, geographic education, urban planning, and community development. She has directed or participated in child rights research in emergency contexts in Haiti and Angola and has managed global projects in over a dozen other countries.
Sruthi Atmakur holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, and is currently pursuing her Doctoral studies in the Environmental Psychology program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is also a Research Associate on the Education in Emergencies project, developing a participatory assessment toolkit for children to assess the physical conditions of their learning spaces in Haiti. Sruthi has also conducted research on the physical and social affordances of play environments for “all” children; – with and without disabilities – and children’s active participation in the creation of these inclusive play spaces.
Sheridan Bartlett is a research associate at CERG and a visiting fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, where she is co-editor of the journal Environment and Urbanization. She works primarily in the area of early childhood education and on issues affecting children in the context of urban poverty in low income countries, attempting to bridge the gaps between the work of child-focused agencies and the broader development context. Recent work has involved research on violence, poverty and early childhood; a meta-review of research on early education; situation assessments on early childhood in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Afghanistan; and support to UNICEF on the development of an urban strategy. Publications include working papers, book chapters and contributions to journals such as Development in Practice, Children, Youth and Environments, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Health Policy and Planning and the Merrill Palmer Quarterly.
Caitlin Cahill, PhD is an assistant professor of Urban Studies at the City University of New York. A community-based urban studies & youth studies scholar, Caitlin’s research focuses upon young people & global urban restructuring, gentrification, immigration, educational access, community development, participatory action research and theory, and social justice. Caitlin’s work has been published in journals including Area; Environment & Planning A; City & Society; Gender, Space & Culture; Journal of Youth Studies, and The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, among others. Committed to interdisciplinary, engaged scholarship, Caitlin has received several awards for her research, teaching and public service including special recognition from the ACLU for her work with students on educational rights.
Scott Fisher holds a degree in Psychology from Presbyterian College in South Carolina and is currently a graduate student and researcher in the Environmental Psychology doctoral program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on young people’s engagement in climate activism, with a particular focus on the routes/roots of engagement. His other interests center on the role and function of education in solving the multifaceted problems of climate change and on the political geographies of young climate activists. His research attempts to be participatory and emancipatory, with the purpose of translating research/theory into practice and practice into theory.
Kim Sabo Flores
Kim Sabo Flores recently joined the Thrive Foundation as Associate Director and has expertise in program evaluation, organizational development, and positive youth development. Dr. Flores has conducted international research and evaluation projects that focus on youth development, children’s rights, post conflict, protection, international development, and a variety of social issues. Specifically, she has worked with government, UN Agencies, and non government agencies to explore the implementation of strategies and impacts of the Convention on the Rights Of The Child. Kim has authored several books and publications on evaluation, and organizational learning and youth development. Kim has recently relocated to San Francisco from New York City and is soaking up the beauty of the Pacific Cost. She also loves speed skating with her husband, and working with and learning from young people.
Dr. Iltus is currently working as the Research and Evaluation Officer at the Bernard van Leer Foundation based in the Netherlands. For more than 25 years he worked on the planning, design and evaluation of environments for children including schools, outdoor play and learning environments, day-care centers, juvenile facilities and children’s museums and children’s hospitals. Using a participatory approach, he specializes in involving all project stakeholders in the planning and design process. As the former Co-Director of the Children’s Environments Research Group at the Graduate Center, CUNY, he was responsible for managing projects from start to finish. He also designs the instruments for collecting information (surveys, focus groups, etc.) and develops draft and final reports. Dr. Iltus conducted many participatory planning and design projects where he involved administrators, teachers, students, and parents in the process. As a consultant to UNICEF, he conducted a series of baseline research projects in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and post-disaster areas.
Aida Izadpanah is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNYGC), working on her dissertation entitled “Analysis of Visual Representation of Children’s Experience of War by Humanitarian Organizations.” She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning(2002, valedictorian), and a Bachelor’s in Theoretical Economics (1999), both from the University of Tehran in Iran. She authored a book in Farsi entitled Child, Play and City: Process, Principles and Criteria for Planning and Design of Children’s Play Spaces, published in 2004 by Shahrdariha Organization, Tehran. Since 2005 Aida has been a research associate with the Children’s Environment Research Group at CUNYGC. She taught from 2007-2009 in the Children’s Studies Department at Brooklyn College. In the summer of 2007, Aida interned for the Midday Workshops Committee-DPI/NGO 60th Annual Conference at the United Nations in New York.
Hannah Jaicks earned her BA in Psychology and Biology, Swarthmore College. Prior to beginning her current pursuit of a doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, she served as a research assistant for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Zoo Atlanta conservation partnerships to further research on management practices for critically endangered species. She is a research assistant for the Center for Human Environments and works with fellow members of the Public Environmental Engagement Research Group and the Nature, Ecology, and Society group at the Graduate Center. Building upon her background as an animal behaviorist, she is learning to apply her interdisciplinary studies at the Graduate Center towards understanding the human dimensions of endangered species protection.
Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her work concerns social reproduction and the production of space, place and nature; children and the environment, and the consequences of global economic restructuring for everyday life. She has published widely on these themes as well as on social theory and the politics of knowledge in edited collections and in journals such as Society and Space, Social Text, Signs, Feminist Studies, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Social Justice, and Antipode. She is the editor (with Janice Monk) of Full Circles: Geographies of Gender over the Life Course (Routledge 1993) and of Life’s Work: Geographies of Social Reproduction (with Sallie Marston and Katharyne Mitchell) (Blackwell 2004). She recently completed Growing up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives with University of Minnesota Press in 2004.
Bijan Kimiagar is a researcher, CUNY Chancellor’s Teaching Fellow, and doctoral student in Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Using a critical and participatory approach, Bijan’s research concerns strengthening young people’s understanding and engagement in resolving global social and environmental injustices. He has collaborated on several CERG projects including the Article 15 Project Resource Kit development and regional workshops in Colombia and Nepal. During his undergraduate studies at UCLA, Bijan’s research focused on peer influence, bullying, and resiliency in adolescents transitioning from elementary to middle school.
Anupama is in the process of completing her doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York and is a CERG Research Associate. Anu’s research interests include the design of play environments for early childhood and participatory research in international development. Examples of her research include the evaluation of different methods for engaging children aged 5 and under in the design of play environments, and the participatory engagement of the community in urban redevelopment processes in the slums of India.
Claire O’Kane is a child rights researcher and practitioner. She is a qualified social worker with a Masters in Applied Social Studies from Wales, UK. She has more than 18 years of international experience in child rights, children’s participation, association, citizenship, protection, care and peace building work in development and emergency contexts around the world. Claire worked with Save the Children for many years, but since early 2011 has beenworking as a freelance child rights consultant with the CERG and other child focused agencies. Claire is committed to rights based work to increase the care and protection of children from all forms of violence; and to empowering children and young people as active citizens to claim their human rights and to contribute to development and peace processes. She has written more than 40 publications (1998-2013) relating to child rights, children’s participation, children’s association, child protection, street and working children, and peace building.
Blair Osler holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University where she specialized in the program development and evaluation of child and youth organizations, with an emphasis on participatory practice. Mrs. Osler has since immersed herself not only in participatory evaluation, but also in the field of the participatory rights of young people as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as an Associate Project Director of the Article 15 Project. Her work centers around the participatory structures of groups and organizations self-managed by young people.
Jennifer Pipitone handles the web design for CERG. She is a researcher, doctoral student in the Environmental Psychology program, a Graduate Teaching Fellow of Psychology, and a Rudin Fellow in Applied Youth Justice at the John Jay Research and Evaluation Center. She is also a Co-Leader with Bank Street College of Education’s Liberty LEADS after-school program for underrepresented NYC youth doing research and curriculum development for their “Green Summer School” study abroad initiative in Hamburg, Germany. Her current research explores the deep and long-lasting effects of a wilderness therapy program for youth, hoping to understand more deeply the long-lasting effects of restorative natural environments. As an avid outdoorswoman and a member of the Nature, Ecology, & Society Colloquium, she aims to continue to focus her research on understanding the human-nature connection. Jennifer graduated with honors in Psychology and Environmental Studies from Loyola University New Orleans.
Jennifer Tang is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Psychology program, working on issues related to the promotion of children’s rights and child participation. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University in Canada. Currently, her work is focused on children’s participation in community and municipal level governance. Her areas of interest also include: children as democratic citizens, children as agents of change, the changing demographics of youth, children in urban settings, the role of adults in promoting children’s participation, and the development of structures and systems with children to promote their rights. Spurred by her work in East and West Africa, the challenge of working in ways that respect and support community-generated and contextually cognizant approaches and systems is integral to her approach.
Martin Ruck is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His work examines the overall process of cognitive socialization – at the intersection of race, ethnicity and class – in terms of children’s and adolescents’ thinking about human rights, educational opportunity and social justice. Over the past few years he has been examining the influence of social contexts on the development of children’s and young people’s understanding of nurturance and self-determination rights. Currently, he is investigating how children’s perceptions of racial exclusion and discrimination are influenced by their social experiences and interpretations of rights and justice.