ESC Partner Programs
Participant Biographies

2013 Participant Biographies

Nadia M. Anderson
Assistant Professor
Iowa State University

Nadia M. Anderson is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University where she teaches interdisciplinary design studios and seminars on design activism and urbanism. She leads the award-winning Bridge Studio and is the founder and co-director of the Iowa State Community Design Lab. She is also a Community Development Specialist with Iowa State Extension and Outreach and the faculty advisor for the student outreach organization Design Across Boundaries.

Professor Anderson works with Iowa communities to develop replicable, evidence-based strategies for housing and neighborhood design linking environmental, social, and financial capitals. She has led projects involving post-disaster neighborhood revitalization, urban agriculture, affordable housing, and sustainable infrastructure and is currently developing a community decision-making tool for sustainable design at multiple scales. She also investigates public interest design as a model for 21st-century design practice and pedagogy. Professor Anderson’s work has been published in the proceedings of numerous peer-reviewed international conferences and she has a forthcoming book chapter on service learning as a model for engaged design pedagogy. Her work has been covered extensively in the Iowa press and she has served as an expert on state committees related to sustainability and the built environment.

Professor Anderson is a licensed architect in Illinois; prior to joining the Iowa State faculty she practiced in Chicago, Warsaw, and Vienna. She received her Master of Architecture degree in 1994 from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988 from Yale University.

Irene Arellano
Graduate Student
Higher Education
Texas Tech University

Irene Arellano is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education Program at Texas Tech University (TTU). Her research interests include faculty perceptions of service-learning, faculty and the scholarship of engagement, community engagement, community partner perspectives, and civic responsibility.  Professionally, Irene currently works full-time as the new Assistant Director for the Community Involvement and Service-Learning at Texas Christian University (TCU). In her new role, Irene supports faculty, staff, and students with service-learning initiatives as well as works in collaboration with the community partners. Previously, Irene was the Service Learning Coordinator in the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement at Texas Tech University. Irene has worked in some aspect of higher education throughout her career. However, she has mostly worked in the field of service-learning, community service, and civic engagement within the last 15 years.

Irene received her undergraduate degree in business from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her master's degree from Texas Tech University in Higher Education Administration. She aspires to continue working in the higher education realm as an administrator and/or a professor within the engagement realm. In addition to engaged scholarship, Irene has an interest practicing the pedagogy of service-learning in her future endeavors as a possible faculty member.

Lisa Borrero
Graduate Student
Higher Education
Indiana State University

Irene Arellano is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education Program at Texas Tech University (TTU). Her research interests include faculty perceptions of service-learning, faculty and the scholarship of engagement, community engagement, community partner perspectives, and civic responsibility. Professionally, Irene currently works full-time in the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement as the Service Learning Coordinator at Texas Tech University. Irene has worked in some aspect of higher education throughout her career. However, she has mostly worked in the field of service-learning, community service, and civic engagement within the last 15 years. Irene has directed the TTU-Service Learning Faculty Fellows Program. She is also the chair of the TTU-Service Learning Advisory Council. She serves on various campus committees such as the Quality Enhancement Plan, and Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for 2015 committee. Irene received her undergraduate degree in business from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her master's degree from Texas Tech University in Higher Education. She aspires to continue working in the higher education realm as an administrator and/or a professor within the engagement realm. In addition to engaged scholarship, Irene has an interest practicing the pedagogy of service-learning in her future endeavors as a possible faculty member.

Steven Chang
Assistant Professor
University of Detroit Mercy

Steven Chang has recently taken a position as a tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Detroit, Mercy having completed his doctoral dissertation in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. His educational background includes a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Windsor, an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Windsor in Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience, and a M.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor. He works with the sea lamprey as a model organism and uses a multi-­‐disciplinary approach to studying the physiology and genome of this invasive species.

The University of Detroit Mercy is a small Catholic institution in Detroit, Michigan. Part of the mission is to provide a student-­‐centered education in an urban setting and one of the goals of the school is to engage the students in research in and around Detroit to stimulate interest and growth in the area. Dr. Chang's current research interests include exploring the biology of invasive species to the Great Lakes to study mechanisms for control of their populations. He seeks to integrate undergraduates into his research agenda. Despite, not having had formal training or experience in engaged scholarship or community-­based research, he plans to integrate students with the surrounding community through his new position at University of Detroit, Mercy.

Ronald Cox
Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Science
Oklahoma State University

Ronald B. Cox is an Assistant Professor and State Extension Specialist in Human Development and Family Science at Oklahoma State University. He also serves as Associate Director for Outreach and Engagement for the OSU Center for Family Resilience. Dr. Cox has a BA in Psychology from Harding University, a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Louisiana, and a Ph.D. in Human Ecology from Michigan State University. Much of Dr. Cox’s research, which focuses on decreasing high-­‐risk behaviors among youth such as drug abuse, pregnancy, and school dropout, stems from his experiences working as a therapist and minister in South America, and as such, focuses on Latino youth and families. Examples of his work include: his  dissertation, which was a community-­‐informed mixed method design that qualitatively interviewed parents, youth, and teachers, and surveyed approximately 2,000 youth and their teachers in 14 schools in Caracas Venezuela to help inform drug use prevention programs; and two projects that worked with community partners to conduct large surveys of youth in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Results from this work have been used to inform OKC Public Schools 2011 Strategic Plan, a Coalition of 40 non-­‐profit and state agencies working together to prevent teen pregnancy in Tulsa, and an Oklahoma State Senate Task force on prevention of school dropout. These studies also led to federal funding to implement and evaluate an evidenced-­‐based youth mentoring program among Latino, Military, and Tribal youth. Dr. Cox’s research also examines methods to establish stronger causal inferences from non-­‐experimental designs and works closely with Family and Consumer Science and 4-­‐H faculty to enhance program evaluation efforts. Most recently, Dr. Cox has been involved in developing and evaluating a co-­‐parenting through divorce curriculum designed to reduce the trauma experienced by children of divorcing parents.

Victoria Dotson David
Graduate Student
Adult Education
University of Georgia

Victoria David is a third year graduate student in adult education in the Department of Lifelong Education Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia.  In December 2013, she will graduate with a Doctor of Education degree, with a focus in organizational development. Mrs. David is also a Public Service and Outreach faculty member in the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  She has worked for 5 years as a 4-H agent for Fulton County Cooperative Extension (Extension) where she is a member of numerous professional organizations including: National and Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA & GAE4-HA}, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), American Evaluation Association (AEA), Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) and University of Georgia Lifelong Learning Association (UGALLA).

Mrs. David is currently conducting a multi-case study investigating boundary spanning behavior of urban Extension youth educators (UEYEs) and how these professionals navigate resistant channels between the urban community and the state land grant institution. Findings from this study will aide in defining, supporting, and expanding UEYEs boundary spanning capacity on behalf of the urban community and the research institution. Her research interests also include: leadership development, organizational development, program planning and development; and program evaluation. Mrs. David holds a bachelor's degree in Forestry and Master's degrees in both Forest Management and Environmental Sciences.

Maria Fabregas
Clinical Assistant Professor
Multicultural and Community Engagement
Oklahoma State University

Dr. Maria (Lupita) G. Fabregas worked in UP AEP University, Mexico for 29 years, the last 10 years as Director of the UPAEP Liaison Office in the United States. In 2013 she accepted a Clinical Assistant Professor position in the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University, as Multicultural and Community Engagement Specialist.

Lupita studied her undergraduate degree in Monterrey Tee in Agriculture Engineering and Animal Sciences, her master's degree in Education from UP AEP and doctoral degree in Agricultural Education, at Oklahoma State University. Her research interest and professional development areas are, Intercultural Competency, Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Community Engagement. Her responsibilities include supporting faculty and Oklahoma County educators' intercultural and community engagement initiatives, developing intercultural competent programs, collaborating with academic units, internship coordinators, and county Extension educators, supporting the OSU strategic goals of expanding educational opportunities through outreach programs and service designed to meet the needs of diverse population, and increased effectiveness of the Extension and Engagement programs in underserve population of the state of Oklahoma.

Teresa Gonzales
Graduate Student
University of California - Berkeley

Born and raised in Mexican Chicago, Teresa Irene Gonzales is a Ph.D. candidate in U.C. Berkeley's Sociology department, where she has received numerous departmental and university awards.  Her interests center on issues of urban development, gentrification, organizational ties within cities, inequality, local economic development and access to resources in low-income areas.  She spent two years in Chicago conducting ethnographic, interview-based, and archival research for her dissertation. This project analyzes the effects of network ties with powerful funders on community organizations and local economic development plans.  She is ultimately interested in how these relationships 1) effect the social services and types of development offered in low-income neighborhoods and 2) potentially change the organizational form and function of cities.  As part of this research, and in a spirit of reciprocity, Teresa has partnered with community-based organizations and associations to provide the services and skills that are asked of her.  For instance, at the request of community members, she currently sits on the advisory board of a newly established community development corporation within a high-poverty neighborhood of Chicago.  She advises the organization on development metrics, successful community development strategies, and ways to approach development from a holistic and community-centered standpoint.  In addition, she also assists three other organizations across two neighborhoods of Chicago. Drawing from her training as a researcher, Teresa plans to continue her work on development and poverty in both the professoriate and within low-income communities.

Patricia Gouws
Graduate Student
Information Systems and Community Engagement
University of South Africa

Patricia Gouws is currently a lecturer in the School of Computing in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the University of South Africa. She holds qualifications in Statistics and Computer Science. and has learned robotics within teams. As part of her community engagement responsibilities, she is the coordinator of a College Community Engagement Flagship project, namely Inspired towards Science, Engineering and Technology (I-SET) that aims to create awareness of Science, Engineering and Technology among learners (and the community of the learners) through the fun activities of robotics. I-SET coaches programming basics, engineering fundamentals, and the skills required for the 21st century. In 2012, the I-SET community expanded to include I-SET Buddies. These UNISA students volunteer for robotics training to assist the educators in schools who wish to become part of the I-SET community. Patricia Gouws has coached I-SET robotics teams since 2009, and had teams at the FLL Nationals each year. I-SET currently has 10 teams at five schools in the area. Her Ph.D. research spans both Information Systems and Community Engagement, with a focus on creating an environment that provides access to robotics to all learners. I-SET collaborates with the Tshwane University of Technology to develop training material. Although I-SET has grown strategically since 2009, limited research has been produced. Africa needs scientists and engineers, and the I-SET community engagement project is a start toward meeting that need.

Susan Harden
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Susan B. Harden is in her first year as an Assistant Professor of Education at UNC Charlotte and the Coordinator for the Civic Minor in Urban Youth and Communities. Prior to August 2012, she coordinated a community engagement program for UNC Charlotte called Crossroads Charlotte. As coordinator, Dr. Harden was responsible for managing the programs four goals: To introduce themes of access, inclusion, and equity into the curriculum; To connect UNC Charlotte's extensive research resources to address issues that expand social capital and civic engagement; To engage students and faculty in the civic life of Charlotte by creating service learning opportunities designed to reduce barriers to access, inclusion, and equity; To support diversity initiatives on campus. When the community initiative ended in summer 2012, Dr. Harden was hired by the College of Education in a tenure-track position to coordinate a new minor, a Civic Minor in Urban Youth and Communities which she developed as the Crossroads Coordinator and to redesign the introductory education course offered by the College of Education to include enhanced student engagement curriculum elements. Dr. Harden is an original member of the Outreach and Engagement Staff Workshop of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium and founding member of the planning and content committee. Dr. Harden' s teaching, research, and service expertise is in community and student engagement. Dr. Harden was recognized as the 2009 Civic Engagement Professional of the Year by the North Carolina Campus Compact. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching, with an emphasis in Social Justice Issues in Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Maria Iliopoulou
Graduate Student
Michigan State University

Dr. Iliopoulou is a veterinarian, she has a MS in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology and she is currently a graduate assistant and PhD candidate at the department of Sustainability (former CARRS) at Michigan State University. Her PhD community based research in Detroit public schools, is aiming to raise awareness and potentially engage the community and stakeholders to address the social issues that lead and derive from animal abuse and improve the quality of life of all individuals (humans and animals) in the community. Furthermore, her academic and professional goals are aiming to “aid in the development and revitalization of sustainable communities” and her academic and professional goal is to work with communities, like Detroit, where animal abuse and crime are prominent. She has a vision of a just, dynamic and engaged society and envisions that her PhD research will promote education regarding responsible animal care and welfare as a means of preventing animal and human abuse. Her career goal is to improve the quality of life of the residents and the animals with education and civic engagement and achieve sustainable revitalization through a faculty track or Extension professional position. Research interests include: Education and civic engagement, Engagement scholarship, prevention of human and animal directed violence/cruelty, the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, Animal Care and Welfare Educational interventions for children: development, evaluation, virtual decisions and game development for science based educational interventions on animal care and welfare, adolescent psychology and human-animal bond.

Tina Kruger
Assistant Professor
Health Sciences
Indiana State University

Tina M. Kruger is a second year faculty member in the Department of Applied Health Sciences at Indiana State University (ISU).  As an assistant professor at ISU, she is working toward tenure and seeks to link her teaching, research, and service activities in order to facilitate that process.  She earned her doctorate in gerontology from the University of Kentucky in 2011 and is now developing a gerontology program at ISU.  Community engagement is an important part of Dr. Kruger’s teaching activities, her research efforts, and her service on campus and in the community.  She incorporates community engagement and experiential learning into as many of the courses she teaches as possible and always looks for new activities to get students engaged and involved with the community.  Dr. Kruger has been part of several community-based participatory research teams focusing on mental and physical health in underserved counties in Kentucky.  In other research Dr. Kruger has focused on the pedagogy of gerontology and has looked at working with the community to develop a gerontology program and incorporating aging courses into general education requirements.  She recently began a study to examine the impact of studying abroad on career development as she plans to lead students on an international service-learning study abroad experience in Finland in 2014 to engage in a cross-cultural comparison of long-term care.  Dr. Kruger serves as an Indiana Campus Compact Fellow and has begun sharing responsibility for ISU’s Science Education through New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) team with a colleague.  

Micah Logan
Institutional and Professional Development
Texas Tech University

Dr. Micah Logan serves as the Assistant Director of Institutional and Professional Development at the Texas Tech University (TTU) Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). In this capacity, she helps to coordinate and support the university's Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program, which fosters a community of scholars who integrate the philosophy, pedagogy, and process of service-learning into each component of their professional lives, as well as provide development opportunities for faculty and graduate student instructors interested in integrating community engagement into their curriculum. While service-learning is long established on the TTU campus, Logan is relatively new to the program and is interested in exploring additional ways to support and strengthen community engagement and service-learning pedagogies at TTU. As a strong believer in the service-learning pedagogy, Logan would like to study the perceptions of college students and instructors engaged in the service-learning process with the ultimate goal of providing faculty members with more focused and relevant support so that they might be better equipped and informed as they incorporate service-learning in their course development. Logan's other research interest’s center around peer observation and partnership, student engagement, student motivation, and student teacher communication.

Logan earned a B.A. from Austin College and a M.M. and D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University. Before joining the staff at the TLPDC, she served as an Instructor of Voice and teaching assistant at Texas Tech University and as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Wayland Baptist University.

Jody Nicholson
Assistant Professor
University of North Florida

A new faculty member at the University of North Florida (UNF), Jody Nicholson feels fortunate to have found a position that complements her graduate training and personal interests in community engagement. She came to UNF with a strong background in community-based research (CBR), and an eagerness to improve her effectiveness with community-based learning (CBL). Confident in her ability to introduce undergraduate research assistants to CBR targeting lead exposure reduction for low-income families, her experience with CBL in the classroom was limited to being a teaching assistant for a chemistry lab where students performed home lead assessments for low-income families. UNF’s Center for Community-Based Learning has helped her improve in this capacity through their Community Scholar program, a year-long learning-community of select faculty dedicated to CBL. This opportunity for growth and reflection has spurred her interest in research on CBL effectiveness. She plans to develop and examine research questions over the next few years in order to optimize how she uses this learning technique to engage and inform my students.  Additionally, Jody Nicholson continues to take a community-based focus with her research and has a new lead exposure reduction intervention developing with a local Head Start. She summarizes her devotion to community-based research and learning in the name and motto of her research lab, “The Tie Lab: tying coursework to experience and the university to community issues.”

Gina Peek
Assistant Professor
Design, Housing, and Merchandising
Oklahoma State University

Gina Peek is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising. Her position is an 11-month tenure track position that is 100 percent Extension funded. In her position as the state Housing and Consumer Specialist, she is responsible for training and supporting Extension educators that reach the public with research-based programming. Her Extension programming is designed to meet the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) goal of “strengthening Oklahoma families.” Her work is designed to meet the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) Extension goal to develop “science-based educational programs to help Oklahomans solve local issues and concerns, promote leadership, and manage resources wisely.” Extension faculty and expected to participate in engaged scholarship. Factors that influence her research include her initial position announcement, trends in Federal efforts, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) statewide issue scan, and personal interests. She has defined healthy housing as her main research and instruction stream. Healthy housing embodies concepts found in both the built and near environment.

Peek's main research stream compliments my main area of Extension instruction. Healthy housing is important to Federal funding agencies, state government, and Oklahomans, as indicated by needs assessment. Within the seven principles of healthy housing, topics include but are not limited to integrated pest management (IPM), contaminants in housing, household water quality, and home safety. In the coming years, her engaged scholarship will focus on IPM as it relates to bed bugs and contaminates in households.

Andrew Pearl
Graduate Student
Higher Education
University of Georgia

Andrew “Drew” Pearl is a doctoral student in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. He currently works as a graduate assistant at UGA’s Office of Service-Learning, where he works on faculty and student development programs and conducts research projects related to service-learning at UGA. He recently worked in UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, where his primarily responsibility was to assist with the management and publication of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Drew’s research interests include the institutionalization of the scholarship of engagement in colleges and universities. In particular, he is interested in learning more about the motivations that underlie faculty participation in engaged scholarship. In addition, Drew is interested in utilizing the data that is made publicly available through organizations like the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Science Foundation to learn more about how engagement has impacted institutions. To this end, Drew participated as a fellow in the 2013 National Data Institute, which is operated by the Association for Institutional Research. Once he graduates, Drew is looking forward to pursuing a career as either a faculty member, an administrator, or a policymaker in higher education. Whichever path he follows, he is committed to remaining an advocate for engagement and advancing engaged scholarship in higher education.

Janel Seeley
Graduate Student
Adult Learning
University of Tennessee

Janel Seeley is currently a graduate research assistant in the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center and community fellow with Institute for Reflective Practice at the University of Tennessee. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Psychology, Adult Learning Program. Upon completion of her degree in 2013, she would like to seek career opportunities in faculty development, interest based collaborative problem solving or a faculty position in adult education. Her current research interests include reflective practice, adult learning, collaborative conferencing, transfer of learning and interest based problem solving.

Janel has worked with various community agencies including; the Department of Children's Services, Rule 1 Mediators and school districts in TN to engage in dialogue and reflective practice relating to collaborative problem solving. Until recently, the majority of her research has been informal, formative and summative assessments of training and collaborative problem solving efforts. For example, while piloting training in Interest Based Collaborative Problem Solving and Reflective Practice for a school district, she engaged participants in dialogue to assess how the process could be improved. Janel is presently using her dissertation to formally examine the transference of a specific training method to actual practice in collaborative problem solving in a labor negotiation setting.

Janel has experiences with extension programs in which she recruited volunteers and organized fundraisers for collaborative community projects. She was a grant reviewer for HUD university/community partnerships and has volunteered with several community projects such as the International Story Telling Center and Habitat for Humanity Global Villages.

Jessica Tess
Graduate Student
Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Michigan State University

Jessica Tess is a graduate student at Michigan State University in the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures Department. She has had assistantships in both the first year writing classroom and the writing center. She has also been a part of research groups that study transfer from writing classrooms across disciplines. Her research interests include issues of assessment, cultural rhetorics, and participatory modes of inquiry/community engaged scholarship (CES) from feminist and decolonial methodologies, including indigenous research paradigms. She is currently going through a graduate certification program in CES through the MSU Outreach Center and has been working with two specific communities during my time in this program. First, she has been building a relationship with a permaculture/food systems movement based community in Oakland County, Michigan which is focused on bridging community members outside of the mainstream economy. Her second partnership has been a family-as-community project with her paternal grandmother that incorporates auto-ethnography and a “healing methodology.” Some of her other previous experience includes an undergrad service learning project creating open source literacy tools for children in third world countries and her recent attendance of a conference by the Native American Institute about building participatory based projects with Native communities in Michigan. Tess' personal interests include gardening, conservation, holistic health and living, yoga, and martial arts.

Jessica Wangelin
Graduate Student
Higher Education Administration
University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Jessica Wangelin serves as Staff Associate in the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. In this capacity she supports the Undergraduate Education division through the coordination of the university’s service-learning and academic internship efforts. In addition, Jessica works with the redesign of the university’s general education curriculum as part of the university’s strategic plan. In spring 2013, Jessica completed her doctoral coursework and is currently preparing for her dissertation in the area of community engagement development processes. Her research interests include faculty competencies in service-learning and community engagement organizational structures at the institutional level. Her career in higher education began in athletic development at Niagara University and Stony Brook University and continued at the University at Buffalo in graduate admissions.

Prior to working in Undergraduate Education, Jessica served as Community Relations Associate in the Office of Community Relations at UB and intends to pursue a career that will allow her to support both the university and community through engaged scholarship. In addition, she is an Editorial Fellow with the International Association for Research in Service Learning and Community Engagement and is on the Advisory Committee for New York Campus Compact. Her Master’s degree is in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo.

Anna-Margaret Yarbrough
Graduate Student
Instructional Leadership
University of Alabama

Anna-Margaret Yarbrough is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio in Organizational Communication with minors in Marketing and History. Following college, Anna-Margaret moved to Montana to volunteer with AmeriCorps and later worked for a non-profit after-school program in Missoula, Montana. She worked closely to partner with The University of Montana professors to establish service-learning experiences for college students to work with K-12 students. Additionally, she worked with the Missoula County Health Department and Missoula County Public Schools to create training models for volunteers working with youth.

Anna-Margaret has her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and is working on her Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership in the Social and Cultural Foundations program at The University of Alabama. She works with Al’s Pals Program, a mentoring and outreach program of The University of Alabama. Anna-Margaret has been funded to research and improve the training of mentors in the program as well as other campus organizations that serve the Tuscaloosa community. In addition, she is part of the Blackburn Institute, that explores issues and identifies strategic actions that will improve the quality of life for Alabama and nation, and is a SCOPE Fellow, (Scholars for Community, Outreach, Partnership, and Engagement) an organization that collaborates with community partners in creating knowledge on community based engaged scholarship.