Team Members


Traci Rose Rider, PhD, Design Research + Architecture



Dr. Traci Rose Rider is Research Associate, Research Assistant Professor of Architecture, and PhD Faculty at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. Dr. Rider’s research has focused on the relationship between the design culture and the notion of sustainability, exploring factors impacting environmental attitudes of designers including environmental education, learned associations, and informal influences. Dr. Rider teaches courses focusing on sustainability and beyond for the School of Architecture, addressing topics such as the issues of existing buildings and operations, and the WELL Building Standard and Living Building Challenge. Her funded research projects include methods for introducing building science and health topics to middle school students in North Carolina through STEM exercises, as well as supporting the development of interdisciplinary focus areas for the NC State in the areas of Sustainable Cities. Dr. Rider often works with North Carolina communities that have a community development need, using participatory action research and student involvement to help facilitate the development of concept designs to help strengthen North Carolina’s communities in terms of economy, human health, and the environment.


J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management



Aaron Hipp, PhD, Associate Professor of Community Health and Sustainability, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, is a built environment and public health scholar. His work focuses on how our built environments (home neighborhood, parks, streets, worksites, etc.) impact our health and how this impact differs spatially and across populations. Dr. Hipp is an expert in emerging technologies and active transportation and physical activity including the use of crowdsources, webcams, accelerometry, GPS, and GIS. He teaches courses on data management and analysis, GIS, and built environment and active living.

Dr. Hipp has a BS in Biology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, and a PhD in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at NC State, Dr. Hipp is also affiliated with the Center for Geospatial Analytics and the Center for Human Health and the Environment.



Dr. Stephen Billings, Associate Professor of Real Estate, Dept. of Finance, University of Colorado



Dr. Stephen B. Billings, Associate Professor of Real Estate in the Department of Finance at the University of Colorado, earned his doctorate in economics at the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He is a nationally recognized scholar in urban economics and real estate with peer-reviewed publications that include the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics & Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics and Real Estate Economics. Steve’s research focuses on a number of important policy issues including the impact of public investment in light-rail transit on neighborhoods, the impact of school segregation on academic achievement and crime, the role of peers and youth environment on adult criminal outcomes as well as number of ongoing studies that examine the role of lead-based paint on neighborhoods, home values and childhood outcomes. He works extensively with large administrative datasets with a number of studies based on data from Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO.


Margaret van Bakergem, PhD Student, REACH Project Manager, NCSU, Public Health (PRTM + Health)



Margaret is a PhD student in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. She earned her masters’s degree in Public Health  from Washington University in St. Louis where she studied chronic disease prevention through built environment features. She is continuing this line of research for her PhD by expanding her interests toward built environment decision-makers in the real estate industry. Her interests include using a systems- and multidisciplinary approach to make health and wellness an investable attribute within the real estate industry.


Xi Wang, PhD Candidate, Research Associate, NCSU, Design (Urban Design + Health)



Xi is a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Design at North Carolina State University. She earned her master’s degree in City and Metropolitan Planning from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Beijing Forestry University.  Xi’s research interest involves health-related urban planning and design; senior living community programming; using and combining interdisciplinary data sources to develop new research methods in urban design; people-environment relationships; and people’s quality of life.


Jinoh Park, PhD Student, Research Associate, NCSU, Design (Interior Design + Business)



Jinoh is a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University and works with Dr. Traci Rose Rider about Design for Health & Sustainability. His research interest is focused on Human Behavior in Indoor Space, especially which is verifying whether the achieving an increase of the occupant satisfaction is beneficial to reward for an investment of building a set of indoor space elements and creating a set of reference for an optimal decision-making to build the indoor space based on his incorporation.

For his dissertation, he is focusing on Livable Retirement Communities by Incorporating Economic Analysis, Psychological Assessment, and Design Solution.