Jessica Cook is currently a PhD candidate in Health and Behavioral Sciences. She
is completing her dissertation research in Delhi, India as a 2013-2014
Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow affiliated with the School of Human Ecology at
Ambedkar University Delhi. She holds a BLA/MLA in landscape architecture
from The Pennsylvania State University and a BA in English: Creative Writing
from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Her broad research interest is the relationship between the built environment
and health/behavior. She has been involved in research projects focused on
understanding and measuring the impacts of neighborhood walkability and access
to healthy food and parks on health status of residents in the United States.
The majority of her research has involved youth, women, minority groups, and
Her dissertation research explores how social networks of a community of urban
farmers in Delhi impact their livelihood adaptation strategies in response to
urban development pressures. Social equity and community engagement are
essential components of sustainable urban planning and development but can be
challenging to achieve. This research will provide insight from the
ground-up into how social dynamics within a community impact community
engagement and empowerment.