Sylvia Kelly

Sylvia Kelly, a proud Buffalo native, is pursuing a master of urban planning and public health with a concentration in community health and food systems. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in biology and history at Pace University.

Prior to joining UB as a graduate student, Sylvia worked as a McKinney-Vento Liaison for the Buffalo Public School District, where she supported youth who were experiencing homelessness in their pursuit of education. Sylvia is engaged in action research through the UB Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab and UB’s Community for Global Health Equity. Currently, she leads development of a global database of city and regional food policy. Her work focuses on mitigating inequities experienced by smallholder farmers, particularly in the Global South. She is a contributing author to a report on food systems planning for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; and is a co-author of “Planning to Eat? Innovative Local Government Plans and Policies to Build Healthy Food Systems in the United States;” and a forthcoming review of regional plans in the United States.

Sylvia is committed to civic engagement. She serves as the educational outreach committee co-chair for Science Demands Action, a local not-for-profit organization that seeks to partner with communities in using science for social good. She looks forward to using her interdisciplinary education, professional and civic experiences to amplify prosperity in WNY. In the future, Sylvia intends to facilitate the launch of an incubator that focuses on food-related businesses to support the next generation of startups.