Mahoning Valley, Ohio

Editorial Team and Acknowledgments

Chief Editor: Quilian Riano
Mapping/Graphics Editor: Kristen Zeiber
Photography and Editorial Contributor: Katie Slusher
Photography and Editorial Support: Kaitlyn Boniecki

Quilian Riano and Kristen Zeiber. Courtesy of the In the Mahoning Valley editorial team

Quilian Riano is an associate director of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), where he provides strategy and design coordination for the CUDC’s urban design, applied research, engagement, publication, and academic activities. Riano is also the founder and lead designer of DSGN AGNC, a design studio exploring new forms of political engagement and co-creation through architecture, urbanism, landscapes, and art. He teaches graduate architecture and urban design studios at Kent State University and has also taught design studios at Harvard University, Carleton University, Columbia University, Parsons The New School of Design, The Pratt Institute, Syracuse University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the City College of New York. Riano holds a bachelor’s degree in design from the University of Florida and a master’s in architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD).

Kristen Zeiber has been a project manager with the CUDC since 2013. She contributes to the full range of the CUDC’s practice, including neighborhood planning and mapping, community engagement, design research, and graduate-level instruction. She is a licensed architect and holds a master’s degree in architecture and urbanism from MIT and a bachelor’s in architecture from Penn State University.

Katie Slusher is an urban designer at the CUDC and serves as the program coordinator for Making Our Own Space, an award-winning youth design-build initiative. Prior to joining the full-time staff, Slusher worked as the organization’s postgraduate fellow from 2017 to 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, and previously worked as a designer and educator in Richmond, Virginia.

Kaitlyn Boniecki is a master’s degree in architecture and master’s degree in urban design candidate at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and works at the CUDC. With the CUDC, Boniecki has focused on urban design and economic redevelopment by working on visualizations of alternative futures through explorations of the future of work, sustainable development, and community-driven activation. In 2020, she received a student honor award from AIA Cleveland for her project “Work, Play | Industry, Nature.”


The In the Mahoning Valley editorial team would like to thank the many contributors that made this report possible. Thanks for your generosity and willingness to share stories and thoughts about the past, current condition, and future of the Mahoning Valley. 

We would also like to thank Matt Martin, Lisa Ramsey, and Shawn Carvin from the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership; consultant for Youngstown Strategic Plan Hunter Morrison; and Dr. John Hoornbeek from the Kent State University College of Public Health for the many conversations you have had with us and the connections you made on our behalf to help make this report possible. 

This report would also not be possible without the support of dean Mark Mistur of the Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design. 

Finally, thanks to The Architectural League of New York for its work in getting this report out to a national audience.