Sohnie Black, Community Advocate
Sohnie Black joins the staff of the Center for Housing and Community Studies after working for the Fund for Democratic Communities- a local operating foundation, for more than a decade. She brings with her a passion for justice and decades of experience as a community organizer. She excels when helping members of marginalized groups harness their collective power to address issues and bring about needed change in their communities. She looks forward to applying her skills at CHCS to the issues of environmental justice and affordable housing. Sohnie believes that well -informed and organized residents are the bedrock for strong and resilient cities. When she’s not working on one organizing effort or another, she can be found at home reading, listening to podcasts or working on one of her many home improvement projects.
Meredith DiMattina, GIS Specialist
Meredith DiMattina is a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) serving as the GIS Specialist supporting the mission and work of the Center through mapping, spatial analysis, and building mobile web applications. She has worked as the Crime Analysis Unit Supervisor at the Burlington Police Department where she utilized data driven approaches to support the agency’s deployment of evidenced-based policing strategies. She is skilled in data analytics, spatial problem solving, and well-versed with a variety of GIS technologies including open-sourced integration and process automation. In 2017 she completed a Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology (MGIST) at NC State University. While in graduate school, she was concurrently employed with UNCG’s Center for Housing & Community Studies as a GIS Specialist and also with the City of Greensboro’s Urban Areas Metropolitan Planning Organization. Meredith is a certified Spatial Risk Analyst, presenting on Risk Terrain Modeling in Spain at the International Conference on Crime Risk Analysis in 2019. She currently serves in multiple capacities on URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet and is a member of the local Carolina URISA chapter.
Atigre’ Farmer, Program Coordinator, Health Impact Team
Atigre’ Farmer is a recent graduate of UNCG. She received a B.A. in Spanish and Media studies and worked with the Center for three years while still a student. She is now program coordinator for the Health Impact Team, overseeing neighborhood canvassing and field data collection.
Dr. Kenneth Gruber, Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Kenneth Gruber is a research psychologist with over 40 years of research and program evaluation experience. His areas of specialty include data collection design and methodology, statistical analysis, program evaluation, technical writing assistance, and grant application review. His evaluation/research experience has covered a variety of community health topics including chronic illnesses, nutrition, adolescent pregnancy prevention, the impact of diet on health and weight management, health access for uninsured adults, substance use and environmental factors in the home affecting the incidence of asthma. He is currently working on projects relating to integrated care and treatment of co-occurring disorders for the insured adults, the impact of a rapid response and syringe exchange program in connection with address opioid overdose (GCSTOP), housing as a health issue, housing eviction and homelessness, and pediatric asthma.
Sierra Hicks, Housing Navigation Assistant
Sierra Hicks is a 2nd Year student in the Master of Public Health Program at UNCG. Sierra will be assisting residents of Guilford County with applying for Emergency Rental Assistance. Sierra has a Bachelor of Science in biology from North Carolina Central University. Her interests are in community health and health coaching.
Diana Martinez, Health Impact Team Assistant
Diana Martinez is an assistant coordinator for the Health Impact team in the Center for Housing and Community Studies. She has worked at the Center for four years as a work-study student and is now a senior at UNCG majoring in Public Health Education.
Kojo Minta, Housing and Urban Policy Research Assistant
Kojo is a graduate of UNCG’s MPH program. He completed his undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill with an Environmental Science degree. His current role with CHCS is a research assistant, performing community assessments under the supervision of Bruce Rich. His skills include data analysis, program assessment, and evaluation. His research interests include environmental health and housing inequities.
Renée Norris , Eviction Mediation & Housing Navigation Coordinator
Renée is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a degree in Urban Studies. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore and is a member of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. Renée served as mediator for courts in Maryland and Pennsylvania during almost ten years of solo practice. More recently she held the position of Deputy Director at Greensboro Housing Coalition where she worked on various housing programs. She has had a long time interest in addressing housing issues and preventing homelessness. Renée believes that mediation can be of great benefit to tenants and landlords in resolving housing and eviction issues.
Amelia Phillips Hale, Eviction Mediation Assistant
Amelia Phillips Hale is an MPA candidate at UNCG and receives training at the Racial Equity Institute. She has a history of working in non-profit and education-based initiatives. As a Mediation Assistant, Amelia helps with client intake, case management, and tracking as well as assisting in the retrieval of documents, contacting landlord and tenants with eviction disputes, and providing logistical and clerical support to the mediation process. Her research interests include targeted universalism and community-centric systems and policies.
Will Queen, Economist/ Program Evaluator
Will Queen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at UNCG who specializes in health economics, econometrics, and program evaluation. His research broadly focuses on the economics surrounding mental health and substance use. His work for the Center for Housing and Community Studies involves conducting return on investment analyses, analyzing data, and program evaluation. He currently works on projects to evaluate mental health pilots for at-risk youth in North Carolina and an eviction mediation program in Guilford county. His experience with software such as R, SAS, Stata, and Python is especially valuable for projects working with large datasets. Queen also holds an MA in Applied Economics from UNCG and a BA in Economics from Appalachian State with a minor in mathematics.
Bruce Rich, Housing and Urban Policy Coordinator
Bruce Rich is a researcher, advocate and policy coordinator with the Center for Housing and Community Studies. A lawyer by background and the recipient of the degree of Master of Public Affairs at UNCG with a concentration in Community and Economic Development, Bruce conducts research for nonprofit organizations and local governments in the fields of housing, health equity and access to justice. He is also a staff member of the Center’s Mediation Project, and the author of UNCG’s housing and community development policy blog. In addition to twenty-one years of New York law practice, Bruce has done research and field work with Triad Health Project and case management with the Greensboro Housing Coalition, and has been a volunteer with Legal Aid NC and the Guilford County Detention Center in Greensboro.
Terrell Richardson, Housing Navigator
Terrell Richardson is a 2nd year student in the Joint Master of Social Work Program between NCAT and UNCG. Terrell serves as a Housing Navigator. In this role, Terrell assists individuals and families in the Guilford County area with applying for Emergency Rental Assistance as well as connecting them to resources in the county to improve their overall quality of life. Terrell recently graduated from UNCG’s Student Affairs program with a Master of Education. His research interest are Mental Health and Student Leaders.
Dr. Haiyang Su, Survey Research & Data Analysis
Dr. Haiyang Su is an Evaluation Specialist within the Center. He recently earned his doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University at Albany-SUNY. He also holds a master’s degree in Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research from Hunan University. While a doctoral student at University at Albany he earned valuable experience as a Research Associate at the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute and serving as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University at Albany. Dr. Su is a certified SAS Advanced Programmer with rich experience in quantitative data collection and analysis, survey research, and project management. He has experience in developing reports and is adept at using LaTeX, Tableau, and Power BI for visual presentations. His advanced coursework in Statistical Methods & Research Design, Educational Research & Design, Multivariate Methods for Research, Structural Equation Modeling, Item Response Theory, and Data Visualization are especially pertinent to the quantitative aspects of our work.