Urban Policy Researcher
Area of Expertise: Civil Society, Development, Media, Youth Issues
Geographical Expertise - Region: Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Field of Work: Academia
City: New York
Continent: North America
Ellen Marrone is a freelance urban researcher living in New York City. Her primary research interest is urban development and social polarization or marginalization, which she has approached through studying social policy, culture, and the ways in which the two intersect in some of the world’s largest cities.
During her four undergraduate years in Columbia University’s Urban Studies program, Ellen was active in New York City politics and development. She worked with various community organizations and was selected to join the first class of the Manhattan Borough President’s Civic Leaders of Tomorrow program. Ellen also participated in some of the University’s research projects, including a study of the effects of neighborhood design on residents’ health and an analysis of contemporary transformations in Chicago’s Southside inspired by two decades of reporting by a Bronzeville community weekly journal.
In her second year as a lead participant in Columbia’s student-initiated Urban Research Workshop, Ellen wrote her thesis comparing representations of marginality in rap lyrics from New York City, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro under the guidance of Professor Sudhir Venkatesh. By her senior year, her increasing knowledge of and interest in Latin America also qualified her to assist adjunct professor and president of the Mega-Cities Project, Janice Perlman, to complete her latest book which is in progress, a culmination of 40 years of anthropological research in Rio’s favelas. Ellen then decided to spend six months living in Rio de Janeiro following her graduation, during which she conducted her own research while assisting local health, education, and arts initiatives around the city.
While in college, Ellen was production director of Rhapsody, Columbia’s student urban publication. Since graduating, she has continued to research and write, producing case studies and press releases among other pieces, for organizations with which she has been involved and postings for various blogs. She plans to enter an urban sociology PhD program in 2011.