Top Row (Left to Right): Caitlin Charlet, Ekaterina Levitskaya, Gabrielle Andersen and Joel Stein
Hi, my name is Ekaterina Levitskaya. I’m coming from Moscow, Russia. I was born and raised in this big and busy capital city. I came to Parsons with a background in communications: I studied Public Relations at the Moscow State University of International Relations and during my student times wanted to focus on PR in a social sphere. After graduation I got my job at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a nature conservation organisation which took me to a memorable youth expedition to the Arctic where I got acquainted firsthand with climate change issues. All in all, I worked in WWF Moscow office for several years getting experience in mass media communications and corporate fundraising. At the same time, having been born and raised in a big city, I still felt the importance and urgency of improving our immediate urban surroundings. And finally I came up with a goal for my professional research – find a right balance between nature and human-made environment to make our urban living more whole and complete. That’s what brought me into MS program of Design and Urban Ecologies. And what I envision to learn is how urban environment works within itself and how we, people living and loving big cities life, can find the right direction for future urban development not forgetting about our interconnection with nature. Cos’ you should feel good about your neighborhood, I trust.
Joel is a recent transplant from Portland, OR, where he received a BS in Community Development with a minor in Sustainable Urban Development from Portland State University. While living there he was engaged with the city in many different capacities – activist, government employee, explorer, researcher and student. Building upon these experiences, he enters Parsons’ Design and Urban Ecologies program with the intention of challenging everything he has learned about cities and how they work. He is particularly interested in how urban practitioners can enter the urban complex through the embedded systems of socio-economic relations and, using design, transform places of conflict into emergent and imaginative urbanisms.
Gabrielle received her undergrad BA in Environmental Design, Policy and Planning with a minor in Sustainability Studies from SUNY Stony Brook University. Born and raised on Long Island, she focused her work on “Brain Drain.” “Brain Drain” is a phenomenon prevalent on Long Island in which the “brains” (those aged 18-34) cannot afford to live where they grew up based on high taxes and are forced to leave and move some where more affordable, decreasing the growth and creating a loss in tax revenue which may lead to decreased public works which can lead to many other things. After graduating from Stony Brook University, Gabrielle worked with a non-profit organization, Sustainable Long Island. The focus of this non-profit is in several categories: Community Revitalization, Food Equity, Brownfield Redevelopment, Environmental Justice and Advocacy. During Gabrielle’s time at Sustianable LI, she focused on community revitalization, brownfield redevelopment and environmental justice. The culmination of these activities has since led her here to the MS in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons The New School for Design.
Caitlin Masley was born in Washington DC and grew up in Columbia, Maryland. Throughout her studies as a visual artist, Ms. Masley has carried with her the impact and side effects of growing up in a planned community (James Rouse 1960’s). For her MFA thesis show she recreated an alternative installation of utopia based on Columbia, Maryland that depicted the nature of how humans can and can not live in a perfect place and the multitude of impending questions that surround such a large issue. Working from this conceptual platform, Ms. Masley went on to establishing an international art career winning several grants and fellowships, including an Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Socrates Sculpture Park, a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Grant and the Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, the LMCC Swing Space Grant and Residency (among others). She has been artist-in-residence in Austria, Germany, Quebec, Norway and Switzerland. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at MOMA/PS1, Center for Built Environment (CUBE), Storefront for Art and Architecture, Islip Museum, Smack Mellon Gallery, The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, McColl Center for Contemporary Art, Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2012-13 Ms. Masley will create new installations for Galerije Bacva, HDLU, Zagreb, Croatia and Territories Unknown, College of New Rochelle Gallery, New Rochelle, New York. Currently Caitlin Masley lives and works in Brooklyn. On November 9, 2012 she will open her first solo show in New York with Lu Magnus Gallery located in the lower east side.