Brackenridge Introduction: Corinne Mammarella

My name is Corinne Mammarella. I am a rising senior majoring in anthropology, minoring in studio arts and pursuing a Global Studies Certificate. After undergraduate school, I plan to take a gap year and then attend graduate school for both public health and social work. The Brackenridge fellowship will be my first experience with a large academic research project, and I am grateful to have this experience as an undergraduate student at Pitt. I am also considering adding the Bachelor’s of Philosophy as an extension of my research this summer. 

I have discovered many interests since my time in Pittsburgh. For one, I have become passionate about housing and urban development. I joined Bridge Beyond Pgh, a nonprofit student organization at Pitt that helps develop resources for those experiencing homelessness. I have also volunteered with the Hill District Consensus Group, a nonprofit organization which I will be partnering with to complete my research this summer. In my work with this organization, I have assisted with rent relief clinics and learned more about the shifts in historic Pittsburgh neighborhoods over time due to gentrification and urban development plans. I am also passionate about reproductive healthcare, and I currently work part-time as the Volunteer Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Western PA. In terms of hobbies, I love painting, listening to live music, and discovering new places around the city! 

My research this summer focuses on current shifts in historic Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I am looking at how development plans such as the Walnut Capital housing revitalization plan and the Pitt Victory Heights athletic facilities expansion plan will impact the Oakland area. With this, I am looking at how the historically Black neighborhood of the Hill District, which borders Pitt,  will be impacted. I will determine this based on how Pitt expansion has harmed the Hill District in the past. I will also examine Pitt students’ opinions about this expansion, and how affordable housing for students could become more difficult to find and secure. In terms of my research methods, I will be conducting interviews with Pitt students living off-campus and Hill District Consensus Group members. I will also look at records about the urban landscapes of Oakland and the Hill District over time. I will use these to determine trends and predict how these areas will be impacted in years to come. Finally, I intend to use Temple University as a case study in my research and a model for what Pitt students can do regarding these development plans. Temple University students and local residents of North Philadelphia were able to slow the development of Temple’s sports complex through protests. Through my research, I hope to determine the harmful implications of urban development in the Oakland area, and advocate for Pitt students to have a voice in this expansion.

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