Meet the Team
Urban Art Mapping is a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and students
based at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Todd Lawrence is a faculty co-director of the Urban Art Mapping project and Associate Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN where he teaches African American literature and expressive culture, folklore studies, and cultural studies.
Paul Lorah is a faculty co-director of the Urban Art Mapping project and Associate Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN where he currently directs the Geography and Environmental Studies programs. His interests range from conservation planning to mapping street art.
Heather Shirey is a faculty co-director of the Urban Art Mapping project and professor of Art History at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. Currently she teaches classes on the history of street art and the history of photography.
Rita C. Morgan
Rita C. Morgan [she/her/hers] is a first-year graduate student at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. She is majoring in Art History and Museum Studies. Rita is a research assistant for the Urban Art Mapping team. Rita is a florist and loves to come up with flower ideas/ projects.
Yazmin Moktan [she/her/hers] is a first-year graduate student at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. She is majoring in Art History and Museum Studies. Currently, she is a research assistant for the Urban Art Mapping team. Yazmin is also an artist; she spends a lot of her time painting and drawing.
Ellie Patronas (she/her/hers) is currently in her senior year at the University of St. Thomas where she studies Business Law and Compliance. Besides working for Urban Art Mapping, she is interested in Creative Placemaking, Queer Street Art, and Urban Planning.
Owen Larson is a senior at the University of St. Thomas, where he studies Journalism and English, with a Creative Writing Emphasis. He serves as an Archiving Assistant for the database. In addition to that, Owen is a reporter for the student news organization TommieMedia, and the host of a radio show on KUST, the student-run internet radio station on the St. Thomas campus.
Shakira Mwakitawa is a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas majoring in Civil Engineering. Shakira works for the Urban Mapping Project as a research student and has an interest for how human interactions shape spaces and the inverse. Shakira is also an artist who particularly enjoys painting but is always interested in exploring other mediums.
Diana Tewelde [she/her/hers] is a junior at the University of St. Thomas triple majoring in political science, Justice and Peace studies, and American culture and difference. Diana is a research student for Urban Art Mapping. She enjoys painting and biking during her free time.
SJ White [they/them/their] is a sophomore studying Enviornmental Studies and Justice and Peace at the University of St. Thomas. SJ is a research student for Urban Art Mapping. They enjoy supporting their communities as well as engaging in them. SJ plays guitar, reads books and listens to audiobooks during their spare time.