Past Staff and Interns
The RCI is proud of our growing membership of accomplished past staff and interns.
Luis Rico-Gutierrez, David Lewis Director
Luis Rico-Gutierrez was named the RCI's first David Lewis Director in 2008, having directed the RCI since its creation in 2006. He was instrumental in garnering support from the Heinz Endowments for the directorship, the UDream program and the RCI's Hazelwood research. Luis spent a decade at Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture wearing many hats, including Professor, RCI Director and Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts. In July 2009, Luis was named Dean of the College of Design at Iowa State University.
Carnegie Mellon's Luis Rico-Gutierrez Receives David Lewis Directorship Appointment, September 15, 2008
During her tenure as Research Associate from 2007 to 2011, Elise contributed to Remaking Hazelwood, Remaking Pittsburgh: A Background Study (2007), Innovation Oakland (2010), Pittsburgh LED Streetlighting Research Project (2011), and the Carnegie Mellon University Institutional Master Plan (2011), and was primary author of Remaking Hazelwood, Remaking Pittsburgh: Urban Design Recommendations (2009). She also provided logistical organization and research for the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (2010). She holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University, Toronto, with credits earned in Germany and Finland, and a Master of Science in Architecture (Urban Design) from Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Elise Gatti is currently Project Planner for Cordage Green, a mixed-use, affordable, sustainable development in Welland, Ontario.
Following her graduation from Carnegie Mellon University, Karen worked with the Remaking Cities Institute from July 2011 to the summer of 2012. Karen contributed to the LED Street Light Research Project (2011) and the Pittsburgh International Airport Area Development Vision Plan (Aerotropolis) (2011). She also provided support for the Carnegie Mellon University Institutional Master Plan and Carnegie Mellon’s Traffic 21 design proposal for a roundabout in Schenely Park, Pittsburgh. Karen holds a Bachelor of Architecture with a secondary major in history and is currently working towards becoming a registered architect.
Afra Ali is in her second year of a Master of Science in Architecture-Engineering and Construction Management, an interdisciplinary degree administered by the School of Architecture and involving studies in both Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Khartoum, Sudan and has experience working in architecture design and planning. Afra was an RCI intern during the winter semester of 2011.
Murtuza Bhopalwala, Intern
Murtuza Bhopalwala lent his 3-D digital modelling skills to the report Remaking Hazelwood, Remaking Pittsburgh: Urban Design Recommendations (2009). He is currently in his second year as a student in the M.S Architecture Engineering Construction Management. He is a certified LEED GA and is presently involved in an independent study on Building Information Modeling of the Cleveland Clinic. At the same time he is also working with the Facilities Management Services, Carnegie Mellon University and was a summer'09 intern at Kushner Studios, In House Construction, NYC working as an Assistant Project Engineer. Murtuza was an RCI intern in the summer of 2009.
Karen Mesko, Intern
Karen Mesko completed research into Transit Oriented Development and Light Rail Transit for the RCI prior to interning in New York City at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. She is currently finishing her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management program at the Heinz College at CMU. She is concentrating in Policy Analysis and is planning to pursue a career in the public or non-profit sectors. Her projects have included GIS analysis and sustainability assessments for local organizations. Karen moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 and is the founder and president of Out@Heinz. Karen was an RCI intern during the winter of 2009.
Renee Roy, Research Associate
Renee Roy co-wrote two papers exploring the Urban Laboratory curriculum and contributed research to the Remaking Hazelwood, Remaking Pittsburgh: Urban Design Recommendations (2009) report for the Heinz Endowments for which she also wrote a white paper on productive landscapes. She holds B.Arch and M.U.D degrees from Carnegie Mellon and a MSc in Human Geography from the University of Oxford. Currently, she is pursuing a Phd in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on urban food security. Renee was a RCI research associate from 2007 to 2009.
Nia El-Amin, Intern
Nia El-Amin came to the RCI as a student researcher in the Summer Internship for Diversity (SID) Program in 2008. She completed research on new types of senior housing. She is currently finishing her Bachelor of Architecture at Howard University.
Kimberley Kinder, Research Associate
Trained as an architect with degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Oxford University, Kim Kinder was the RCI's first Research Associate, joining the Institute in 2007. She co-wrote the Remaking Hazelwood, Remaking Pittsburgh: A Background Study (2007) before commencing a doctorate in Urban Geography at the University of California, Berkeley in 2008.