DePaul University College of LAS > Centers & Institutes > Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development > About > Staff


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Joseph P. Schwieterman, PhD
Director of the Chaddick Institute &
Professor in DePaul's Graduate School of Public Service

Dr. Schwieterman is a Professor in the School of Public Service, Department of Public Policy, and Sustainable Urban Development programs. He is an expert in the fields of public policy, transportation and urban planning, and is the author of numerous books and peer-reviewed articles on the development of cities and transportation.

He has consulted with prominent national organizations on planning and development issues, and advised national trade groups and research organizations on trends in transportation. In addition to serving as the Director of the Chaddick Institute, Dr. Schwieterman serves as president of the Chicago Chapter of the Transportation Research Forum.

In addition to having published more than 40 technical articles, Dr. Schwieterman has authored five books, including The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning in Chicago, which won an independent book publishers award. His most recent book, Terminal Town, offers an illustrated history of Chicago’s airports, bus depots, and train stations since 1939 and is presently featured in a traveling exhibit circulating throughout the metropolitan region. Since joining DePaul, he has also published an illustrated history of planning for the Chicago region, “Beyond Burnham,” and a book about the abandonment of American railroads, When the Railroad Leaves Town, which was a finalist for the prestigious George Hilton Award.

Dr. Schwieterman is frequently seen and heard on radio and television, making appearances on Chicago Public Radio, and WBBM’s Noon Business Hour. His work through the Chaddick Institute has also been featured in USA Today, Bloomberg News, and the Chicago Tribune, among other national publications.

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C. Scott Smith, PhD AICP
Assistant Director

Dr. Smith supports many programs and activities for Chaddick including the Illinois Municipal Policy Journal, Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN) and Transportation Research Forum's Chicago Chapter.

He received his PhD in Planning, Policy and Design from the University of California, Irvine and Master of Environmental Planning and BS in Geography degrees from Arizona State University. Dr. Smith previously worked as an Assistant Professor of urban planning at Western Michigan University's Department of Geography and Director of Outreach for the University's Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities where he designed and carried out numerous collaborative research projects. Dr. Smith's recent research has explored the social performance of urban transportation systems including the distributive equity of bike-sharing systems, multimodal accessibility models and novel approaches to advancing ADA compliance in public rights-of-way. An AICP certified planner, Dr. Smith also worked as Transportation and Land Use Manager for the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference.

Residing in Oak Park, Dr. Smith enjoys serving on the Village’s Community Design Commission and administering waste-free programs at his son’s elementary school. He can also be seen kayaking on the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers.

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Rachael Smith
Program Manager

Rachael manages many of the institute’s programs including study trips, student and community engagement, exhibitions and programming of the Municipal Design Review Network. Given her professional experience as a designer, she also helps maintain our exhibits and office suite. Rachael was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She worked at a boutique design studio in Madison before moving to Austin, TX, where she worked at an ad agency.  Rachael returned to Chicago in 2015 to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul and is passionate about good design—whether it is in the form of brand identities, parks & streetscapes, or data visualization.  She is driven by a commitment to leave the earth a little bit better than it was before her. 

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Dana Yanocha

Program and External Relations Coordinator

?Dana oversees Chaddick’s external communications and professional contacts, and helps to manage our policy journal with the Illinois Municipal League. Dana hails from Philadelphia and moved to Chicago in 2015 to pursue a graduate degree in Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul. She brings to Chaddick several years of fundraising, communications and policy engagement experience from an environmental economics think tank in Washington, DC and a global health NGO in Chicago. Dana is passionate about identifying connections between the social, economic, and environmental spheres of global development, with a particular interest in working with cities to develop practical solutions to sustainability challenges.  

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Nicholas Kachiroubas, PhD
Faculty Advisor &
Associate Teaching Professor in DePaul's Graduate School of Public Service

Dr. Nick Kachiroubas joined DePaul University’s School of Public Service in the summer of 2012. He received a PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee; a MA in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University in Romeoville; and a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

His professional interests include Leadership and the Presidency, specifically focusing on the relationship between the President of the United States and his Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of Staff; Leadership in Congress, specifically leadership pertaining to the Speaker of the House; Leadership and Parliamentary Discourse; and Leadership Development of university students and young professionals.

Dr. Kachiroubas previously served as Executive Director for University Advancement at Judson University where he also served as an adjunct professor and master course writer for their graduate program in organizational leadership. Prior to that he worked as Annual Giving Coordinator for Centegra Health System and as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of Revenue at the Illinois Department of Revenue based in Chicago, Illinois.

He has served a six-year term as a trustee on the McHenry County College Board of Trustees, where upon completion he was named Trustee Emeritus, and Kachiroubas is currently serving as the City Clerk of the City of Crystal Lake, Illinois?. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Dr. Kachiroubas worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Illinois State Senate, Illinois House of Representatives, and the Office of the Illinois Lieutenant Governor. Nick also has served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors and currently serves on the Centegra Health System Foundation Board and is Chairman of the America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta Foundation. In his free time he loves to sail.


Laurie B. Marston, AICP
Land Use and Planning Specialist

Laurie Marston has been a consultant since 1997 and provides planning, zoning, urban design, economic development and consensus building services to municipalities, developers, small businesses and not-for-profits. She has organized and moderated 40 workshops for municipal planners at the Chaddick Institute as well as training workshops for Plan Commissions, Zoning Boards and Appearance Commissions. Prior to consulting, she worked for 22 years in municipal planning, including nine years as Director of Community Development for the Village of Wilmette. The Wilmette Chamber of Commerce presented Ms. Marston an award in recognition of her service to the business community. She has an MA in Urban Studies from the University of Chicago.

Ms. Marston was a citizen volunteer on the Evanston Plan Commission and chaired the Minority, Women and Evanston Business Enterprise Commission. She has spoken at APA national conferences and moderated two symposiums for the Northwest Municipal Conference. She served on the board of Women in Planning Development for three years and was inducted into that group's Circle of Honor. A member of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics organization, she is the Central Regional Vice President for the International Board of Governors. Ms. Marston was awarded the Distinguished Chapter Service Award for her work as Vice Chair of the committee that published "The Plan of Chicago @100: 15 Views of Burnham's Legacy for a New Century." 

John Hedrick
, JD 
Municipal Design Review Program Advisor

John Hedrick is the founder and Chair of Scenic Illinois, which supports public land-use, planning, and design. He also organized the Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN) for the Chaddick Institute, which focuses on municipal design review practices. A licensed attorney for over 30 years, Mr. Hedrick specialized in advertising, corporate and regulatory matters. He has also served on various municipal planning committees, including Village Commissioner for building and landscape design review. Currently, Mr. Hedrick is Chair of the Glenview Appearance Commission and has recently served on special facade improvement and comprehensive planning committees for the village. In his latest legal work, John specialized in board planning and organizational issues.?

Susan Aaron
Civic Program Design

Susan Aaron's work for the Chaddick Institute reaches a broad variety of projects and initiatives. Along with her many civic affiliations, she is a contributing author to "The Plan of Chicago@ 100: 15 Views of Burnham's Legacy for a New Century" and is the 2009 recipient of Lambda Alpha International and Chapter awards. She was also an appointed member of the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee. Ms. Aaron has had a very successful career in the arts, as well as community and economic development. She was a primary leader in the creation, development and coordination of The Plan of Chicago Centennial Initiative, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 1909 Burnham and Bennett Plan of Chicago. She also served as Executive Director of the Grant Park Cultural & Educational Community (GPCEC) and as the Director of Promotion for the Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC).

As Program Coordinator for Navy Pier for the City of Chicago's Department of Public Works during Navy Pier's early years of redevelopment in the late 1970s, she was responsible for public programming, marketing, public relations and leasing of the facility, and worked with real estate research consultants hired by the city to create a development plan for the Pier. During the city's celebration of the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial, Ms. Aaron also served as Director of Art and Historical Exhibitions at Navy Pier for the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry.


Laurence Audenaerd, PhD

Visiting Scholar

Laurence Audenaerd, PhD, is a transportation engineer/economist with a focus primarily on urban and intercity passenger transportation and the influence of geography. He has an extensive background providing national and regional transportation research and policy analysis for federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, NASA, and the Department of Defense, as well as state and local units, such as the Illinois Governor's Office, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and New York City MTA. Audenaerd has an extensive publication record and holds membership appointments on several transportation-related committees, including the Transportation Research Board. Additionally, Audenaerd volunteers his time advising members of the Illinois General Assembly on transportation issues. He holds a PhD from Northwestern University and master's degrees from Princeton University and Rutgers University.

Peter A. Creticos, PhD

Research Fellow
Peter Creticos is President and Executive Director of the Institute for Work and the Economy, a Chicago-based think tank in workforce and economic development, and Principal of Peter A. Creticos, Ltd., a policy consultancy. He is a former Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and a former Senior Research Associate at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has taught graduate and undergraduate level political science and public administration courses at three Chicago area universities. Creticos has served in several senior positions in state and local government, and in national and state NGOs.

Creticos earned his PhD for his research on job matching at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  He has a Master of Management from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Denis Alcides Rezende

Visiting Research Fellow   
Denis Alcides Rezende is a Professor and Researcher in the Post-Graduate Program of Public Administration and Urban Management at PUCPR Catholic University (Pontifcia Universidade Catlica do Paran, Brazil).  He is an author and co-author of 18 books and more than 200 academic articles on strategic planning in public and private organizations, public management, information systems, strategic digital city, and information technology management. He regularly serves as a consultant to businesses and the public sector on these issues.  He is currently serving as a visiting research fellow at the Chaddick Institute.  Mr. Alcides Rezende's post-doctorate work at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil focused on Municipal Public Administration.  He received his PhD in Information Technology and Public-Private Strategic Planning (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil), MS in Information Technology (Universidade Federal do P​aran, Brazil), and bachelor's in Administration (Faculdade De Placido e Silva, Brazil).


Ruth Wuorenma, J.D.

Visiting Scholar 

Ruth Wuorenma, JD, is a land use and development expert whose career has spanned national and international commercial real estate; market-rate and affordable housing; and various civic roles.  She has extensive experience in entitlements; in site selection and development; and has a lifelong passion for community engagement that strengthens a shared sense of place. Her work informs her research, her policy recommendations and her interest in advancing best land use practices. 

Ruth's professional affiliations are with organizations addressing urban issues, infrastructure and economic development. She is president of Neighborhood Capital Institute and serves as a board member of Illinois American Water, a member of the Waukegan Economic Development Advisory Board (WEDAB), a member of the Land Use Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and as an active member of the Urban Land Institute and its Public Development and Infrastructure Council.  She and her husband are proud owners of “Happy Turtle Farms,” two farms in Michigan that focus on the preservation of small farms and wildlife habitat.  

Ruth graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned her JD from its College of Law, after having started her legal education at New York University as a Root-Tilden Scholar, a full scholarship awarded to those committed to public service.