Jakob is a doctoral student at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in the Environmental Psychology. He began his career as a bricklayer before becoming a construction manager for firms working in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. He completed his BA at Northeastern Illinois University in Sociology (summa cum laude) in 2013. His Honors thesis, titled Contextualizing Urban Redevelopment: Lessons from Uptown’s Wilson Yard, explored the contentious politics of participatory planning in a gentrifying neighborhood. In 2015, he earned a Masters of City and Regional Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and was awarded the Outstanding Student Academic Achievement Award in Urban Planning.
While at Rutgers, Jakob worked as a research associate at the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement where he conducted research on residential foreclosure, community food planning and assessment, and the challenges of aging in Northern New Jersey. He currently is a research associate with the Housing Environments Research Group (HERG) in the Center for Human Environments. One of the projects he is currently pursuing is an analysis of state and local policies that promote the formation of Community Land Trusts in the US.
His work on residential foreclosure in New Jersey informs his current research which explores community-based responses to financial crises. Specifically, he is developing a research project that will shed light on the role that financial subjectivities, transformations in US housing and mortgage markets, and community history played in producing differential community responses to the foreclosure crisis.