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National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University®


NCSS Administration

Lawrence Levy
Executive Dean

During his 35 years as a reporter, editorial writer, columnist and PBS talk show host, Lawrence Levy won many of journalism’s top awards, including Pulitzer Finalist, for in-depth works on suburban politics, education, taxation, housing and other key issues. As a journalist, he was known for his blending of national trends and local perspectives and has covered six presidential campaigns. In his leadership role at the NCSS, he has worked with Academic Director Christopher Niedt to give it a truly national profile. He works especially close with Hofstra’s strong academic community to shape an innovative agenda for suburban study, including a new Sustainability Studies degree, forge alliances with other institutions, not-for-profit groups and government agencies and promote the study of the suburbs nationwide. Levy is a member of a Brookings Institution advisory panel and was a keynote speaker at Brookings 2008 Metro Policy Summit in Washington, DC. Levy also led a collaboration between Hofstra and Boston College to create a first-in-the nation suburban ecology initiative, and another alliance between Hofstra and Cornell to sponsor the Local Government Leadership Institute. Before joining Hofstra, he was Senior Editorial Writer and Chief Political Columnist for Newsday, and remains involved in the world of journalism and politics. Levy has been a guest contributor to CNN.com, the New York Times.com, covering the 2008 presidential campaign from a suburban perspective. He also writes a regular column on politics for the Albany Times Union, and appears regularly on local and national television.

218 Hagedorn Hall
Phone: (516) 463-9770 | Fax: (516) 463-4797

Christopher Niedt, Ph.D.
Academic Director

A partner in shaping the center’s mission and priorities, Christopher Niedt is currently an Assistant Professor of Applied Social Research in Hofstra’s Department of Sociology. He brings to NCSS a passion for suburban studies and strong academic credentials earned as a researcher, writer, and teacher at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in geography. He has special expertise in fields of labor and housing, and has conducted research on the living wage; gentrification; and the politics of class, race, and geographic inequality in older suburban communities.

202 Davison Hall
Phone: (516) 463-4073 | Fax: (516) 463-6250
Bio | Email

Sandra Garren, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability Research

Sandra Garren, Ph.D. is the Director of Sustainability Research at the National Center for Suburban Studies and the Director of Sustainability Studies and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University. She holds her doctorate in Geography and Environmental Science & Policy, a master’s in Teaching, and a bachelor’s in Earth Science/Geology.  In total, Sandra has more than 25 years of experience in both academic and environmental consulting.  She has acted as principal investigator, project manager, and technical expert on an array of scientific investigations related to sustainability, greenhouse gas accounting, climate change policy, water management, energy, and environmental regulation. She currently leads a team of sustainability student researchers who are designing a data and policy sustainability repository and geospatial databases for communities in Long Island.  Her work is interdisciplinary and is focused on applied science and policy.  She has published numerous academic articles and is currently co-authoring two sustainability case study books

104 Roosevelt Hall
Bio | Email

Ina Katz
Senior Assistant Dean of Administration

222 Hagedorn Hall
Phone: 516-463-9939 | Fax: 516-463-4797