Urban Studies

Alumni Spotlights

Come see Graduates from the Urban Studies Program. See where your degree can take you. Highlighted here are just some of the myriad of individuals who have shared their journeys, their successes, and experiences at Brown University and beyond.

  • Wale Adedokun

    Wale Adedokun is an investment consultant at Aon Hewitt and advises large state and city  pension plans on their investment programs.  He graduated from Brown with a BA in Urban Studies in 2009. Upon graduation, he was a Teach for America corps member in Milwaukee where he taught kindergarten. He then worked with institutional portfolio managers at Wellington Management LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.  Much of his work at Wellington Management was focused on risk analysis and portfolio implementation amongst a diverse array of equity mutual funds and hedge funds.  His current role at Aon Hewitt involves devising investment strategies for large government agencies and municipalities dealing with the solvency crisis facing state and municipal pension plans.

  • Sonja Boet-Whitaker

    Sonja Boet-Whitaker is a 2017 Masters in City Planning Candidate at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She graduated from Brown with a BA in Urban Studies in 2011. Prior to attending MIT, Sonja worked at the NYC Department of Transportation, where she supported the agency’s sustainability and safety initiatives as the PlaNYC Budget Coordinator. Her portfolio included bus rapid transit, plazas, bike lanes, and green infrastructure, as well as the city’s Vision Zero campaign. At MIT, Sonja studies transportation policy and planning through the lens of resiliency and disaster management.

  • Tei Carpenter

    Tei Carpenter graduated in 2005 from Brown and then received a Master’s of Architecture at Princeton. She is currently a Wortham Fellow at Rice University’s School of Architecture as the Wortham Visiting Lecturer. She founded her own architectural design practice, Agency-Agency this past summer. Tei is currently working on a beach house renovation in Cape Cod which will be complete in May and a 20,000sf office building in downtown Houston for a mentoring non-profit called Big Brothers Big Sisters which will begin construction in March. Thi Spring Tei curated a lecture series titled “Plug-Ins” on behalf of the Rice School of Architecture and Rice Design Alliance.

  • Chris Cirillo

    Chris Cirillo became the Executive Director of Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation in July 2012. Based in East Harlem, Ascendant has developed and continues to manage approximately 700 affordable rental apartments in Northern Manhattan. Before joining Ascendant, Chris spent 6½ years as Vice President for Development at The Richman Group Development Corporation. Chris previously held several positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). Chris is a 1995 graduate of Brown University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Urban Studies. He completed his Master of Science in Historic Preservation at Pratt Institute in 2016.  Chris now teaches in the Historic Preservation and Real Estate Practice Programs at Pratt.

  • Adam Maynard

    Adam Maynard graduated from Brown in 2011 and has spent the past two and a half years at the U.S. Green Building Council working to improve sustainable urban development practice through the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) rating system. While his role on the team has shifted during his time at the organization, he currently manages a portfolio of 223 registered LEED ND projects around the world. Adam helps these teams navigate the requirements of the rating system and certification process within the context of local land use and urban development practice. He also aids in the technical development of the rating system criteria itself, which is based generally on the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building. Adam draws on the strong land use practice and planning theory he learned as an Urban Studies concentrator in his everyday work at USGBC.

  • Theresa O'Neil

    Theresa O’Neil graduated from Brown with a BA in Urban Studies in 2010. As part of Sasaki’s land use economics team in the Boston area, Theresa helps define the economic parameters for planning and urban design efforts to ensure both financial and social returns on investment. Her skill set includes market analysis, financial feasibility, fiscal/economic impact analysis, acquisitions/dispositions strategy, and development optimization. Prior to joining Sasaki, Theresa served as an associate in the San Francisco office of real estate advisory firm The Concord Group. She also worked in real estate finance and sales operations at a sustainable home building technology company, Blu Homes. Theresa is a member of ULI.

  • Ceara O’Leary

    Ceara O’Leary graduated from Brown in 2006 and went on to earn Masters degrees in Architecture and City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2010-2011, Ceara was the inaugural Public Design Intern at the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she worked on community design and development projects in collaboration with local stakeholders along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She subsequently worked as a Community Designer with bcWORKSHOP, setting up an office in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and contributing to a community-based planning project in colonias across Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. Ceara is now a Senior Project Manager at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), where she held the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship from 2012-2014. At DCDC, Ceara has worked on a range of community design and development projects, including citywide planning processes, neighborhood-scale ecodistricts, corridor revitalization projects and community gathering spaces.