Meet the Fellows
Prateek Arora is a first year Ph.D. student at the Civil and Urban Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering, where he works under the guidance of Prof. Luis Ceferino. His research interests include hazard risk analysis and utility management in cities in scenarios of extreme events such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Current project focuses on the resilience of the electric power grid during hurricanes. Prateek obtained his Master’s in Structural Engineering at Stanford University (April 2020) and Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering at BITS Pilani, India (June 2018). Previously, Prateek worked as a graduate structural engineer in the City of San Francisco.
Cynthia Citlallin Delgado
Cynthia Citlallin Delgado Huitrón is a Dissertation Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts. Her research is interdisciplinary, writing across the fields of Aesthetics, Feminist Theory, Queer and Trans-Studies, Critical Geographies, and Latin/x American Studies. Her dissertation, “Staging the Interstice: Trans- Performance in Contemporary Mexico City,” theorizes the relationship between urban space and trans- embodiment by looking to performances that unfold in interstitial locations – such as the prison, the subway, the cabaret and the rooftop. Prior to NYU, Cynthia Citlallin earned her MSc in Gender Research from the London School of Economics.
Jocelyn Pak Drummond
Jocelyn Pak Drummond is a second year doctoral student in the Sociology Department. Her research interests include race and ethnicity, immigration, and urban neighborhoods. She received a Master's in City Planning from MIT, where she wrote her master's thesis on the intersections between urban planning and public health. Before coming to NYU, she was a senior researcher at the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, where she worked on projects that partnered with local governments in several US cities to measure inequality and improve outcomes for residents and communities. She also led a project around creating guidelines and metrics for equitable real estate development projects in New York City. She is a native New Yorker and excited to be part of the Urban Doctoral Fellows cohort this year.
Sewheat Haile is a 2nd year PhD student in Sociology with interests in environmental justice and various forms of inequality. Her past research has explored racially biased media coverage of Hurricane Sandy and subsequent rebuilding efforts in NYC. Her current projects study discriminatory mortgage lending practices after floods in the US, neighborhood-level solidarity, and the relationship between welfare state structure and success in COVID management. Prior to NYU, Sewheat worked in education access as a teacher, advisor, and mentor to low-income students through various nonprofit organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Princeton University.
Hafiz Anwar Ullah Khan
Anwar Khan is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He is broadly interested in enabling justice to become an operationalized design goal in energy infrastructure planning and operation. His current research develops frameworks to analyze and ameliorate barriers in equitable access to energy and fair distribution of costs and benefits. This work intersects engineering, economics, energy policy, public health, and environmental sciences. Anwar holds an MS in Electrical Power Engineering from Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan.
Deborah Onakomaiya is a 2nd year Phd population health students at the Vilcek institute of graduate biomedical sciences at NYU Langone Health. Her research interests are in global health and the role of Implementation science in combating non-communicable disease burden with a special focus on CVD and hypertension in African countries. In 2021, Deborah was awarded a 2-year diversity supplement funded by NHLBI to conduct an environmental scan of primary care facilities, which will utilize a mixed-mixed methods approach to evaluate barriers, facilitators, and readiness of these practices to participate in the parent study (i.e ADDRES-BP). The parent study harnesses practice facilitation to evaluate the implementation of nurse case management, home blood pressure monitoring, and community health workers to address hypertension control in Blacks across New York City. Deborah has continued to work on this project using a focused implementation science framework to design and conduct qualitative interviews, collect quantitative data, and analyze and interpret the results of the interviews and surveys. Her hope is to become a leading expert in utilizing implementation sciences frameworks and mixed-methods approaches in designing evidence-based interventions that address the burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and its risk factors among Black and African populations.
Aakriti Prasai is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Applied Psychology (Counseling Psychology) at NYU Steinhardt. Her research interests are around the experiences of immigrant families living in urban environments, with focuses on how families navigate identity and access and pathways to higher education. She is also interested in trauma-informed practices and how it can be used in both psychological care and research settings. Prior to NYU, she completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University and has a background in research with refugee families in the Greater Boston Area and with a school-based mental health intervention for students of color and their families in New York City. She grew up in a combination of Nepal, Richmond, California, and Miami, Florida and enjoys spending time with friends and family and exploring places to eat around her.
Jennie Qu-Lee's research interests expand from psychological mechanisms of motivational biases in visual and social perception to intra- and inter-group decision-making. More specifically, she is interested in how we characterize the dynamic processes by which we perceive, understand, make decisions about people like us and those who are not, and navigate the social world. She utilizes a multi-level approach to advance the understanding of intra- and inter-group dynamics, and hopes to build long-lasting interventions to combat group-based discrimination and ensure the future of sustainable technology in urban environment. She is pursuing her social psychology PhD candidacy at New York University (advisor: Dr. Emily Balcetis), after working as a social neuroscience lab manager for Dr. Peter Mende-Siedlecki at the University of Delaware for two years. She received her MA from the University of Chicago and her BS from Fudan University.
Lindsay Romano is a third year PhD student in the Department of Teaching and Learning in Steinhardt, with research interests in disability studies, postsecondary transition, racial justice and mindfulness-based culturally sustaining teaching practices. Prior to NYU, she completed his undergraduate studies at University of Delaware. Lindsay aspires to pursuing a career in academia, studying the ways we can improve teaching practices to be more equitable for all students.
João Rulff is a PhD Student at NYU Tandon School of Engineering since 2019, under the supervision of Professor Claudio Silva. He mainly focuses his research on large scale urban data-analytics working in projects like ARIES and SONYC. He worked as a research assistant at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, where he received his B.Sc. in Computer Science. In conjunction with his B.Sc he had completed internships at IBM, SLAC-Stanford and STI-UFF. Rulff also spent one year as a visiting student at Monmouth University.
Sarah Strochak is a doctoral student at NYU Wagner and a doctoral fellow at the Furman Center. She previously worked as a researcher at the Urban Institute in the Housing Finance Policy Center. Her research interests are centered around housing finance, including access to credit, housing markets, and affordability. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Vivian Hsing-Chun Wang
Vivian Hsing-Chun Wang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management at the School of Global Public Health. Informed by her experiences as a registered dietitian and upbringing in Taiwan, Vivian is broadly interested in identifying policy levers that can support efforts to reduce health inequities. Her current research projects focus on investigating the relationships between social services and health care utilization in the context of population health management. Vivian holds an M.S. in Nutrition Science from SUNY at Buffalo and an M.P.A. in Health Policy and Management from NYU Wagner.