Our Staff and Partners
Growing Up Boulder is a partnership between the City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District, and University of Colorado's Children, Youth, Environments Center in the Program in Environmental Design. In addition we partner with many youth-serving organizations in Boulder. Click here to learn more about our many project partners and supporters. Growing Up Boulder is also indebted to the Program in Environmental Design's Visual Resource Center, especially Lynn M. Lickteig and Stephen Cardinale for their many fabulous photos.
Mara Mintzer, Coordinator
Mara Mintzer is a Research Affiliate with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Children, Youth and Environments (CYE) Center. In this role since 2009, she has served as co-coordinator for Growing Up Boulder, a child- and youth-friendly city initiative. Prior to working with CYE, Mara was the Director of Belle Haven Community School in Menlo Park, California, where she oversaw coordinated child and family support services for hundreds of families on a school campus. She has designed and implemented a wide variety of programs for low-income children, families and neighborhoods in both New York and California. Mara received her Bachelor’s of Psychology with honors from Brown University and her Master’s of Arts in Organizational Psychology with honors from Columbia University.
Tori Derr, Coordinator
Tori Derr is a Senior Instructor in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is interested in community engagement in design and planning, increasing youth voice through arts and planning, sustainable design, biophilic design, children's access to nature, and food systems change. Tori has worked with children and youth in museum, natural resources, garden education, and planning contexts for the past 20 years. She has worked with diverse populations in The Gambia, New Mexico, California, Florida, and Colorado. Tori has worked with Growing Up Boulder since January of 2012.
Our Interns & Visiting Scholars
Ildiko Kovacs, Visiting Scholar, summer 2014
Ildikó G. Kovács is a Master of Environmental Studies – Planning student at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her general interests are in the areas of human rights, social and environmental sustainability, justice and equity, and international community development. Ildi’s work focuses on planning, education, and research with marginalized populations, such as children, youth, and low-income, immigrant, and/or ethnic minority groups. Her specific research interests are community based participatory planning and action research, examining factors related to children’s changing social, cultural, and physical urban environments, and focusing on the public multi-purpose green spaces in urban children’s health, well-being, and resilience. Ildi is currently working with Growing Up Boulder as a Visiting Scholar, where she is involved in the Great Neighborhoods project, the Valmont City Park concept plan update, and the North Boulder Sub-Community Plan update. Her internship position is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Nathan Brien, Intern, spring 2014
Hi, I'm Nathan Brien. I'm a first year ENVD student primarily interested in the relationship between social conditions and the built environment. As an intern with Growing Up Boulder I am afforded ample opportunity to discover and learn from local particularities of these rich interactions. Thanks to the creative input and guidance of our coordinators and the participation of Boulder community members, I am learning the basics of participatory and qualitative research in an applied setting -- tools which will inform and enable my subsequent inquiries in environmental design.
Anna Reynoso, Intern, spring 2014
Hi, my name is Anna Reynoso. I am a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder studying Environmental Design with an emphasis in Landscape Architecture. Boulder has been the perfect place for me these past years. This is why being an intern for Growing Up Boulder has been such an amazing opportunity. I am able to take my passion of design, art, and working with children, and combine them to create a youth friendly environment. With my past experience of babysitting and being an Arts and Crafts Director at a day camp, I have developed skills on how to work with children and help them exceed. I am currently working with the Speech, Learning, and Hearing Center in designing an interactive playground.
Nathalie Doyle, Intern, fall 2013
My name is Nathalie Doyle, and I am a junior studying Environmental Design at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In addition to my Environmental Design degree, I am pursuing a teacher license in elementary level education through CU’s Teacher Licensure Program. In my future, I see myself designing child-friendly spaces within city planning, landscapes, and architectural spaces. Interning with Growing Up Boulder has solidified my decision to combine my two passions: design and working with children. Within Growing Up Boulder, I worked closely with Whittier Elementary School’s 3rd grade classrooms. There, we designed an area within Boulder that focused on dense, affordable, housing, through the eyes of 3rd graders. Their input was invaluable and has impacted my design projects ever since. I will continue to include the opinions of the youth and all further knowledge I gather about youth people’s needs and wants, in my future designs.
Flaminia Martufi, Visiting Scholar, fall 2013
Flaminia Martufi is an Italian Student of the combined bachelor and master in Architecture and Building Engineering from University of Trento. Her main interests are urban planning and environmental design.She worked with Growing Up Boulder on two different projects: the Great Neighborhoods Project with Whittier Elementary and Boulder High School and the the Transportation Master Plan Update, with Youth Services Initiative, Casey Middle School and Boulder High School. She is applying her experiences from Growing Up Boulder to her master's thesis which will design a network of child-friendly spaces in downtown Boulder and along the Boulder Creek.
Imani Haupt, Intern, spring 2013
Hello my name is Imani Haupt. I am a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder studying Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture. Having lots of experience with youth, I wanted to expand my knowledge about youth participation and engagement. I have done so by interning with Growing Up Boulder and working on documenting the youth experience through youth interviews. As a designer, it is my intention to get each individual's view on what is being done in their community environment regardless of age or interest, so that what is designed is a reflection of all members of the community which it serves.
Gianni Franceschi, Intern, spring 2013
My name is Gianni Franceschi and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I study Environmental Design with an emphasis on Architecture. I worked on the Boulder Civic Area project a bit, and I'm currently working as an intern on a Photovoice Project with kids associated with the Youth Service Initiative in the North Boulder Rec Center. I was raised in Miami, FL, which definitely influenced me to create cultural and ethnically inclusive surroundings wherever they seem to be needed. With two little brothers and numerous volunteer hours with kids, I've found that I work very well with youth. Not only do I influence them on certain levels, but they also influence me in imaginative, creative, and thoughtful ways. My dream is to design sustainable housing sites in South America for low income families. Until then, I am enjoying Colorado and my experience with Growing Up Boulder!
Pier Luigi Forte, Visiting Scholar, fall 2012
Pier Luigi Forte is a student of the combined bachelor and master in Architecture and Building Engineering of the University of Bologna (Italy). His interests and research move around architecture and environmental design as part of the wider field of urban development of cities. He is now conducting research as visiting scholar to engage youth in planning the Boulder Civic Area and Burke Park. He is researching also on the design of shading structures for the Columbine Elementary School in Boulder. He is the designer and developer of this website.
Ilaria Fiorini, Visiting Scholar, fall 2012
Ilaria Fiorini is a student of the combined bachelor and master in Architecture and Building Engineering at the University of Bologna (Italy). Her studies relate architecture, urban planning and design. She also has experience as educator for youth and children. She is currently a visiting researcher at CYE to complete her curriculum degree. She is involved in Growing Up Boulder with projects for the Civic Area and the Burke Park and her research focuses also on the design of shading structures for the Columbine Elementary School in Boulder.
Katherine Buckley, Intern, 2012-13 school year
Hello! I am Katherine Buckley and I am currently a senior at CU Boulder studying psychology and architecture, and interning with Growing Up Boulder. I'll be working on the Boulder Civic Area project and also revisioning Burke Park in South Boulder. I'm originally from San Diego, CA and contrary to most of my fellow Californian classmates at CU, I did not come here for winter sports – in fact, I had never seen snow until I came here! The reason I chose CU was because it's gorgeous and I wanted to try something new and to actually experience different seasons, which was a big shock coming from southern California! However, it turns out that I love it here and know it'll be hard to leave next Spring, but I am excited to pursue urban planning and design in some great city like New York or Chicago!
Congratulations to Katherine Buckley for her Internship with the City of Boulder!
"Interning for Growing Up Boulder was a great opportunity and the best decision I made in school. While working with youth on planning and design, I learned how important it is to work with different age groups to represent all sorts of perspectives. It was a unique experience that opened my eyes to the various aspects of city design. The Burke Park Project was amazing! I really believe we positively impacted the students’ lives by giving them the chance to contribute to their community. We gave them the right tools and information and empowered them to use their imaginations to design their ideal park. It was a small scale studio class and the kids were so excited and proud of their work. For me, the most rewarding moment was at the city held community meeting where a few students proudly presented their hard work to local residents who enthusiastically listened. I loved being part of the GUB team and am very thankful for that opportunity. The experiences taught me a lot about what I value and allowed me to start narrowing down what kind of career I might want. It also helped me obtain a comprehensive planning intern position with the City of Boulder. Thank you!!" - Katherine Buckley
Kate Armbruster, Intern, fall 2012
Hello everyone! My name is Kate Armbruster. I am senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I will be graduating in the spring with a degree in environmental design with an emphasis in architecture. In the future I want to focus on residential architecture and interior design. Right now I am an intern with Growing Up Boulder and working on the Boulder Civic Area and Burke Park projects. I have a lot of experience working with children and adults. These projects have given me the opportunity to combine working with many different age groups and design; I have loved every moment! In my spare time I enjoy triathlons, painting, any outdoor activity and new adventures. Life is what you make of it; Let’s explore!