Gillian Gualtieri is a Dean's Fellow in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. She received her Ph.D and MA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA in English Literature and Sociology from Kenyon College. 

A native of Baltimore City, Zawadi was always drawn to urban issues. She spent most of her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland at College Park in LeFrak Hall between the geography and African American Studies departments.