CUP’s core staff supports the organization from day to day, but CUP projects are designed and implemented by teams of artists, designers, educators, activists, and researchers.
Shauna is working on her undergraduate degree in Community Studies with a minor in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, go Banana Slugs! Her passion for social justice, alternative education, and travel have brought her to CUP. She is on a mission to break down the injustices of “the system” and to pull knowledge from everywhere she can. You might find Shauna running around New York City (literally running) training for her next marathon, waiting in absurdly long lines for poetry slams, or laying in the sun eating a burrito (back in California, of course).close
Braden began life as a gardener turned landscape architect, before entering into the fray of community organizing and advocacy. Once he graduated with a BLA from Penn State, Braden founded Groundswell PA, a citizen’s coalition that successfully banned fracking on the local level using a Community Environmental Bill of Rights. Since then, he came to New York for a graduate degree in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons, in which he hones his praxis developing forms of horizontal organizing, solidarity economies and political ecology. In his spare time, Braden produces a webseries talk show about New York. Some day, he plans to cook lunch for the whole CUP office.close
Pema is CUP’s Program Assistant for youth education programs. She previously worked at the Queens Museum and was a Public Allies New York fellow. Pema grew up in Bangkok and went on to study art at the University of Washington and the University of the Arts London.close
Christine is the Executive Director of CUP. She has over ten years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.
She’s been a CUP fan since 2001, and a staff member since 2009.close
Jacob is a native Texan and recent graduate of the Parsons The New School for Design BFA Communication Design program. During his time at Parsons, his interest for design and social justice within urban and social landscapes was shaped through collaborative-based classes, community-driven projects, and internship opportunities with local non-profit organizations. His senior thesis project focused on responding to the needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness by designing participatory tools that worked to affirm and empower LGBT young people. He plans to continue to explore his passion for advocacy through his design practice and volunteer opportunities.
You can also find Jacob playing ultimate frisbee in Prospect Park, embarking on cityscape photo adventures, or eating tasty veggie burgers at his favorite vegan restaurant in Greenwich Village.close
Valeria is the Deputy Director at CUP. She has been with CUP since 2006 creating design projects that break down the city’s complex systems to help people better participate in shaping the city. In partnership with high school teachers and teaching artists, Valeria has produced over a dozen experiential youth education projects. These projects have been featured in such venues as the Netherlands Architecture Institute and MoMA and such publications as City Limits, the New York Times, and Design Observer. She has presented on project-based learning and community-engaged youth education at the New Museum, NYU’s Steinhardt School, The Cooper-Hewitt, Pratt Institute, plenty of NYC public high schools, and educational institutions from Philly to Toronto. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in Modern Culture and Media. Valeria is also an independent film programmer and has worked with the Margaret Mead Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and Cinema Tropical.close
Ron Morrison is a curious amalgam: both amateur cartographer and print media enthusiast, June Jordan devotee and lover of lab coats. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a background in Chemistry, Psychology and Gender Studies. For the past four years he had been working in New Orleans creating popular education pedagogies using art and design to demystify processes of attaining and preserving housing. He believes that people should have full participatory access to shaping their cities and communities and sees design as a medium for creating knowledge and deconstructing discursive power paradigms. He is currently a graduate student in the Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons the New School for Design.close
Oscar is the Program Assistant at CUP. He is a graduate of the City and Regional Planning Master’s Program at Pratt Institute with a concentration on Community Development. While completing his studies at Pratt, Oscar worked and interned in various local community organizations and groups, including CUP, on issues dealing with planning, design, and community education and engagement. Previously, he received a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, he moved to Washington, D.C. at a young age. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and French and can give pretty good directions in Portuguese.close
Frampton is CUP’s Director of Development and Communications. For more than 15 years, he has worked in development and fundraising for arts and architecture organizations. Previously he was the Deputy Director of the Historic Districts Council, the advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods. He serves on the boards of several architecture, history, advocacy and civic groups and has received a New York State Council on the Arts Independent Project grant to document regional and vernacular modern architecture in the borough of Queens. Frampton holds a degree in historic preservation from the University of Mary Washington.close
Mark Torrey is CUP’s Program Manager for the Community Education programs: Making Policy Public and the Envisioning Development Toolkits. Previously he spent a good long while working as an Information Technology Specialist at the Harvard Graduate School of Design but then decided to firm up his understanding of the built environment by getting a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. While at Cornell he completed a number of internships and projects focused on GIS and urban design including work for the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and the Cornell Cooperative Extension. He wears his pants in the Highwater fashion, which most of the CUP staff find to be ridiculous, but he likes that it keeps his pants from getting caught in his bike chain.close