So Ra Baek is an urban planner whose research addresses the intersection of public health and the built environment. In particular she studies the role of race/ethnicity and acculturation in relation to physical activity and neighborhood design.
Her dissertation research was a comparison of walking and physical activity behaviors between Korean immigrant and Caucasian women in King County, WA, and also explored the acculturation effect on physical activity/inactivity behaviors among the immigrant women. She was awarded the 2012-2013 Faculty Medal Award in June 2013 for her exceptionally advanced understanding in the discipline of design and planning through significant contributions in research or theoretical development. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil, Urban & Geosystem Engineering at Seoul National University in Korea. Baek earned her PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington.