Need a Speaker?

Ashley Clark speaking at Data Day

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute staff are experienced speakers and presenters on a variety of topics. If you’d like a speaker for your event, please feel free to contact the speakers listed, or contact the institute’s main offices at 704-687-1210 or


 Dr. Lori Thomas, Interim Director, Urban Institute; Director of Research & Faculty Engagement and Institute for Social Capital

  • Housing instability
  • Chronic homelessness
  • Mixed Methods research
  • Evaluation
  • Participatory research models  



Ely Portillo, Assistant Director of Outreach & Strategic Partnerships

  • Regional growth and development
  • Planning and land use 
  • Changes in Charlotte


Bridget Anderson, Social Research Specialist

  • Homelessness
  • Public Health
  • Social Capital


 Angelique Gaines, Social Research Specialist

  • Housing, homelessness
  • Education
  • Community Development
  • Economic mobility

Sydney Idzikowski, Data and Research Coordinator

  • Racial Wealth Gap
  • Integrated Data Systems
  • Education
  • Health 


Dr. Bill McCoy, Emeritus Faculty

  • Age-Friendly community
  • Housing issues for older adults
  • Community design for older adults
  • Senior villages as an Aging in Place strategy



Katie Zager, Social Research Specialist


  • Quality of Life Explorer
  • GIS coding/mapping
  • Public Health