PhD 2017 Alumni Profiles

Thomas Douthat

Dr. Thomas Douthat received a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech in 2017, completing the dissertation, “Adaptive Efficiency in Coffee Clusters: Resilience through Agglomeration, Global Value Chains, Social Networks, and Institutions,” under Associate Professor Michael Elliott’s direction. The dissertation uses mixed methods to examine economic and environmental resiliency of coffee cooperatives in Mexico and Costa Rica. During the dissertation fieldwork, Douthat was a Fulbright-Robles Scholar and a visiting researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Mexico. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Global Planning Educators’ Interest Group awarded Douthat its Gill-Chin Lim Award for the best dissertation on international planning in 2017.  

Douthat came to Tech as an economics graduate of Gilford College and a law graduate of the University of Puerto Rico. He had practiced law with Pietrantoni, Mendez and Alvarez in San Juan and clerked for the Hon. Salvador Casellas in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. While at Tech, Douthat served as a research assistant for Michael Elliott and Steve French, and then as editorial assistant for the Journal of Planning Education and Research under Subhro Guhathakurta and Nancey Green Leigh. He also taught the undergraduate introductory planning course.

Dr. Douthat is currently Research Engineer in Prof. Laurie Garrow’s lab in the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, pursuing research related to travel demand forecasting and equity analysis. He recently accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University, beginning Fall 2018.

Dana Habeeb

Dr. Dana Habeeb received a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning in 2017, having earned both an MCRP and M.Arch at Tech previously. Her dissertation, “Exploring Urban Agriculture as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy at the Neighborhood Scale,” supervised by Professor Brian Stone, examines the urban design and urban heat mitigation potential of urban agriculture in Atlanta.

Habeeb was a member of the Urban Climate Lab, where she contributed to CDC funded research projects examining the impact of development and design techniques on air quality and climate change. She served as GTA and then lead instructor in SCaRP’s Urban Environmental Management and Design course, and then worked with Larry Keating to direct the Georgia Conservancy-funded studio, Tracking the Effects of Sea Level Rise in Georgia’s Coastal Communities, which went on to be named Outstanding Student Project by the Georgia Planning Association, and Student Project of the Year by the American Planning Association. Habeeb was also a board member of Cabbagetown Initiative Community Development and worked with the City of Atlanta to create new green space in her neighborhood.

Dr. Habeeb began work as Visiting Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering at Indiana University in Bloomington this past fall.

Elora Raymond

In Spring of 2017, Ph.D. candidate Elora Raymond received her doctorate in City and Regional Planning Georgia Tech’s School of City & Regional Planning. She also holds an A.B. in History from Brown University.

While with SCaRP, her research explored the intersection of real estate finance and socio-spatial inequality. She delved into the uneven housing market recovery following the real estate and financial crises of the 2000s, persistent and concentrated negative equity in the Southeast, the rise of single family rental securitizations, and eviction rates in single family rentals. Dr. Raymond has published articles in Urban Geography, Housing Studies, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper Series. Her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Bloomberg’s Businessweek, NPR’s Morning Edition, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Univision, and Radio New Zealand, among other news outlets. Prior to her career as an academic she worked in health care finance as a planner and as a survey researcher.

Dr. Raymond accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in City Planning and Real Estate Development in the School of Architecture at Clemson University.

Wenwen Zhang

Wenwen Zhang received her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning in 2017. She also earned a Master's in City Planning, Civil Engineering, and Computational Science & Engineering from Georgia Tech.

While at Georgia Tech, she was a research assistant at the Center for GIS for six years. Her research focuses on leveraging open, big data, data science techniques and data visualization tools to address critical planning issues. Her dissertation, “The Interactions between Land Use and Transportation in the Era of Shared Autonomous Vehicle: A Discrete Simulation Model,” explores the interactions between land use and transportation in the era of shared autonomous vehicles using an agent-based discrete event simulation. She has worked extensively in interdisciplinary environments to deliver techniques that can address real-world sustainability problems. Her research received the best student paper runner-up award in 2016 Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) conference. Her research interests include: innovative transportation and land use interaction; sustainable transportation; energy consumption; urban simulations; big & open data; applied machine learning in urban studies.

Dr. Zhang is currently an assistant professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Public & International Affairs.

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