About me

I am an Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am also affiliated with the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley. I received my PhD in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on transportation equity. I’m interested in three main questions: Why and how do people travel? What accounts for the differences we see in travel behavior and safety, particularly for historically marginalized population groups? And what do those differences mean for planning and policy?

My award-winning dissertation examined the travel behavior of low-income Latino immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m most interested in how attitudes, social and cultural networks, and the built environment influences people’s decisions to bicycle and take public transportation. I want to understand how planning might capitalize on those factors to increase the appeal of sustainable travel and address potential inequities in transportation systems. My current research projects explore questions of pedestrian and bicycle safety, the representativeness of crowdsourced safety data, travel burdens associated with school travel, and the connections between affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and access to regional opportunities. Read more about my dissertation and current research on my research page.

At the University of Illinois, I teach a senior undergrad/graduate course on transportation equity and and undergraduate class on planning and city life. At UC Berkeley, I taught courses in planning methods and statistics, and transportation and land use planning.

Prior to returning to academia, I was a data analyst and associate program manager for NAVTEQ (now here.com). I managed federally-funded contracts with state departments of transportation, conducted data quality tests on ITS data feeds, and developed an asset tracking database to support maintenance operations.