Mary Rocco – Director of Engaged Scholarship, Office of Community Engagement and Inclusion, Barnard College

Rocco Headshot 1

Mary Rocco previously served as term assistant professor at Barnard College- Columbia University in the Urban Studies program from 2017-2022. Her major fields of study include city planning, urban revitalization and community development with specializations in the roles of philanthropic foundations, community economic development and shrinking cities. As a faculty member, Dr. Rocco co-led the preparation, launch and programming of the Undesign the Redline @Barnard project and exhibition. As an inaugural recipient of the Barnard Engages- New York award, she works with the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) and the South Bronx Coalition to complete a Bronx-wide community plan for economic development. Through this project she launched the Community Planning Lab, a summer student research fellowship program to provide data support for the coalition in their outreach and planning activities. Working with students, Dr. Rocco completed a study of mutual aid activities occurring in NYC neighborhoods during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide much needed care and resources to vulnerable residents.   Prior to joining Barnard’s faculty, Dr. Rocco worked with the Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR) and participated in the preparatory process for the United Nations Habitat III conference on sustainable urban development and human settlements in Quito, Ecuador (2016). She was also a Visiting Scholar at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Previously, Rocco worked with the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught classes in city planning, urban research and professional development at the University of Pennsylvania and Hunter College- City University of New York.