Stephen Danley, Director 

321 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1521

(856) 225-6343

Stephen Danley is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers- Camden University and Director of the Center for Urban Research and Education. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield College through a Marshall Scholarship.

Danley’s research focuses on various aspects of urban dynamics, including neighborhood movements in New Orleans, LA and gentrification in Camden, NJ. Danley has written for traditional publications such as the Washington Post, Next City, and Shelter Force, while blogging for years for his own Local Knowledge Blog, and Blue Jersey (a New Jersey political blog). Danley recently completed a grant with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation evaluating the Next Generation Community Leaders initiative.



Mariah Casias, Department Admin 

321 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1521

(856) 225-6797 

Mariah has spent her career in nonprofits and higher education in the Philadelphia region working at the intersection of learning, philanthropy and social impact leadership.

She most recently served as the Vice President of Learning and Evaluation at Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, a membership organization for regional philanthropy. Prior to her time at Philanthropy Network, Mariah was a Social Impact Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Previously in her career at Penn, Mariah served as Program Manager for the Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize and Fellows Program.

Before joining Penn, Mariah worked in grant writing and major gifts for the Science History Institute and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Originally from San Diego, Mariah is a graduate of Haverford College and received a master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.


Melissa Thompson, Community First Initiative Lead

Mel Thompson is a PhD student in Public Affairs, Rutgers University. She received a Rutgers Presidential Scholar and is Rutgers-Rowan Board Pre-Doctoral Fellow. Her research centers Black liberation, community development, and teacher housing. 



Dylan O’Donoghue, Cities & Justice Initiative Lead

Dylan O’Donoghue is a PhD candidate in Public Affairs, Rutgers University. She is also a Fulbright Scholar. Her research focuses on anti-trafficking policy and experiences, as well as community organizing around payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs). 



John-Paul Miller-Purrenhage, Rutgers Academic Life Initiative Lead

JP is a MS/PhD student in Public Affairs, Rutgers University. He works with the Rutgers Equity Alliance for Community Health on their Employment Collaborative Learning Table. His research focuses economic justice and revolution. 


Paul Jargowsky, Founding Director Emeritus

401 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1521

Paul Jargowsky is a distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University – Camden, known for his expertise in inequality, concentrated poverty, and residential segregation. His influential book, “Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City” (1997), analyzed neighborhood-level poverty in U.S. metropolitan areas. Jargowsky’s report for The Century Foundation, “The Architecture of Segregation,” highlighted the re-concentration of poverty since 2000. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, he has held prestigious positions at Harvard and Stanford, conducting research on racial and economic segregation, spatial inequality, and exclusionary suburban development patterns.