Who We Are

Dina Newman, Director of Leadership

Dina has the honor and privilege to serve as the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Center for Neighborhoods (CFN) Director of Leadership where she manages staff, volunteers and student interns. As the Center’s first Director, Ms. Newman is instrumental in establishing and administering the internal office environment for CFN while also providing overall daily external management of the Center. A key part of her day-to-day efforts consists of close collaboration with faculty on the Center’s curriculum development, programs, technical assistance, community engagement, development and outreach, fundraising, grant writing and leadership development training. Housed in the Architecture, Urban Planning and Design Department, the Center for Neighborhoods opened in April 2016, and has contributed to the leadership development and capacity building of 40 neighborhoods and 89 neighborhood leaders.


Jacob Wagner, Associate Professor of Urban Planning + Design


Dr. Jacob A. Wagner is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning + Design, the
Director of the Urban Studies Program, and Faculty Director and Co-founder of the UMKC Center
for Neighborhoods. Dr. Wagner teaches courses in urban planning and urban
studies focused on neighborhood planning, equity and community development
in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUPD). He is a
member of the editorial board of the Journal of Urban Design and the American
Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He served on the Vacant Lot Task Force for
the Environmental Management Commission of the City of Kansas City, MO and
currently serves on the Board of Cultivate KC.


Kate Heinen, Social Work Specialist and Neighborhood Outreach Intern

Kate Heinen, graduate student in Social Work at UMKC, with CFN Director Dina Newman, provides outreach and coordination related to healthy neighborhood initiatives. Her special interest areas of macro level social work practice include neighborhood development, community cultivated identity, and the treatment of community level trauma. Kate is also responsible for the creation of the innovative Center for Neighborhoods Explore KC  “Neighborhood Asset Walks” https://www.facebook.com/kcneighborhoods/