Category Archives: Current Team Members

Radhika P. Kumar

Radhika P Kumar is a full-time faculty member at the College of Architecture Trivandrum (C.A.T). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from Bangalore University, and a Master’s degree in Planning (Housing) from the University of Kerala (College of Engineering, Trivandrum).

Her research interests include the role of planning in building ‘Healthy’ cities, social rental housing as a means to achieve “Housing for All”, and urban microclimate studies as a guide to urban form development. Her present academic position also allows her to indulge her other interests like instructional design for active learning, as well as architecture and planning pedagogy.

While pursuing her master’s program, she had the opportunity to participate in a multidisciplinary, international-collaboration studio project headed by Dr. Samina Raja, in Maradu, Kerala; and is now associated with the Food Lab as a Remote Research Affiliate for its activities in Kerala. In this capacity, she has recently participated in the Food Lab’s Plan-REFUGE program, seeking to understand the issues faced by smallholder farmers in predominantly agrarian countries like India.

Apart from her academic contribution to the sustainability cause, Radhika also actively volunteers in programs that impart ethical and spiritual values, especially among children and youth, since she strongly believes that inner transformation and understanding individual social responsibility, can go a long way in achieving a truly sustainable future.

Yeeli Mui

Yeeli Mui is a scholar of public health and urban planning. Dr. Mui’s research, teaching, and practice are driven by a focus to advance health equity through the lens of planning for food systems and community development. Using mixed-methods, she has examined inequities in urban food systems, policies and programs to mitigate obesity risk, and the impact of housing restoration on social capital and mental health outcomes.

As part of a multi-country project in the Global South, Dr. Mui leads an interdisciplinary research team to examine how smallholder farmers’ adaptations – in the face of urbanization, globalization of food, and climate change – impact farmer food security and health in Kerala, India. In the US context, Dr. Mui directs a study that aims to strengthen linkages between neighborhood revitalization efforts and community health through more place- and health-conscious strategies in Baltimore, MD.

Emailyeelimui@buffalo.edu

Affiliations: Community of Excellence in Global Health Equity

Education

PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

MPH, Yale School of Public Health

BS, University of California, Irvine

Select Publications

Mui Y, Ballard E, Lopatin E, Thornton RLJ, Pollack Porter K, Gittelsohn J. A community-based system dynamics approach suggests solutions for improving healthy food access in a low-income urban environment. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(5).  

Mui Y, Hodgson K, Khojasteh M, Raja S. Rejoining the planning and public health fields: Leveraging comprehensive plans to strengthen food systems in an urban versus rural jurisdiction. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 2018; 8(B):73-93.

Mui Y, Sirwatka A, Kumar R, Resor J, Goldberg D, Shulpani U, Radhakrishnan S, Raja S. Growing our food but nutrition insecure: Adaptations in the daily living practices of smallholder farmers in Kerala, India (under review).

See all publications by Yeeli Mui

Select Honors and Awards

Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Community Health Scholarship, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012-17

11th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium (1st Place), 2019

 

Athar Parvaiz

Athar Parvaiz is an award-winning researcher and writer based in Kashmir in the Himalayan region of South Asia. Mr. Parvaiz’s prolific writings illuminate environmental, health and agricultural challenges in the Global South with a special focus on the Himalayan region in South Asia. He has written about the ways in which the Himalayan region is adapting to changes posed by climate change.

His writings are based on grounded and detailed reporting from regions where there is limited availability of data, and data is hard to gather. As a writer, Mr. Parvaiz connects his understanding of locally-embedded environmental issues to global policy responses: In 2009 and 2015, he reported on global climate change negotiations from Copenhagen and Paris with a focus on the implications for the Global South.

Mr. Parvaiz’s work is routinely featured in international, national and regional venues including Thomson Reuters, Mongabay, Inter Press Service, HUFFPOST, Scidev.Net, thethirdpole.net , Scroll, IndiaSpend, Down to Earth, The Wire and Kashmir Observer.

Mr. Parvaiz is currently conducting research and writing about the value of localized food systems in the Global South through a collaboration with the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Community Lab (Food Lab) and the Community for Global Health Equity at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

Samina Raja, PhD

Dr. Samina Raja is the Principal Investigator of the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

Her research, teaching, and civic engagement focuses on the role of community-led local government planning and policy in building  equitable, sustainable, and healthy communities. Her current projects focus on using the food system as a lever and space for promoting food and health equity.

Her research is published in leading planning and health journals. She is the lead author of the Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Building Healthy Communities, one of the earliest guidance reports on food systems planning published  by the national American Planning Association. For additional publications, please visit the publications page.

Fuzhen Yin

A third-year doctoral student in urban and regional planning and a Presidential Fellow at UB, Fuzhen Yin’s research interests lie at the intersections of spatial modeling, social network analysis, and machine learning. Her research investigates how the evolution of urban technologies challenges and enriches our understanding of space and place. Particularly, she aims to answer how people interact in hybrid spaces (e.g., physical, relational, and cyberspaces), especially as digital technologies increasingly permeate every aspect of daily life. She is interested in unpacking the implication of these interactions for urban planning. 

At the UB Food Lab, Fuzhen is working on the Growing Food Policy from the Ground Up. She investigates the role of social networks (or social capitals) in the Buffalo Food System. 

Before joining UB, Fuzhen earned two Master’s degrees, a Diplôme d’État de Paysagiste (DEP) from ENSAP Bordeaux, France, and a Master’s in Spatial Data Science and Visualization from UCL, UK. In her spare time, Fuzhen likes to play video games (welcome to #wildrift!). She also enjoys reading, swimming, and cooking.

 

Alexandra Judelsohn

Dr. Alexandra Judelsohn pursues community-based research at the intersection of urban planning, public health, and environmental studies, centering the voices of community members. Her interests are around how cities facing austerity urbanism market themselves to potential residents, and her current research examines the role of refugee-led community organizations in U.S. refugee resettlement and the gaps these organizations fill in delivering services.

Judelsohn has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of the American Planning AssociationCommunity Development, and Frontiers. She is a co-editor on a book, Planning for Equitable Urban Agriculture in the USA: Future Directions for a new Ethic in City Building, which will be published in 2024. Prior to coming to the University at Buffalo, she earned her PhD in urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan.