Faculty Institute Participants

Saba Rasheed Ali is an associate professor in counseling psychology at the University of Iowa’s College of Education and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Iowa. As typical of most university professors, Ali’s job consists of research, teaching, and service. Her philosophy on how to complete the tasks required of her job center around her desire to contribute directly to the community. More specifically, she believes that her responsibility is primarily to the community the University in charged in serving. Since the University of Iowa is the flagship university for the state of Iowa, it is important to tie the research directly to the needs of Iowans. Thus, the majority of her research over the past five years has focused on the implementation of career and employment programs that work directly with K-12 students or unemployed adults in the state of Iowa.

Ali’s specific interests are related to research and practice that specifically serves to examine the needs of individuals living in poverty and marginalized by society, especially research that takes a comprehensive perspective on how classism, racism, discrimination, poverty, and lack of educational opportunity combine to keep marginalized groups from realizing gainful employment across the lifespan. She is strongly committed to collaborative research partnerships with other disciplines such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, geography, and economics and within divisions of psychology (counseling, vocational, community, social). Further, the approach she takes to research is participatory action approach that focuses on collaborations with communities so that the research enterprise is mutually beneficial. While she strives to do this, she is also very aware of the privileges and status that come with being a university professor and a professional psychologist and both strives and struggles to keep the needs of the community in which she works at the forefront of the work that she does.

A fifth-generation Nevadan, Bo Bernhard proudly calls Las Vegas his home, but over twenty-year career he has worked with the international gaming and hospitality industry on all six inhabited continents and in more than 100 jurisdictions overall. Dr. Bernhard began his research career during his undergraduate sojourn to Harvard University, where he was a two-sport athlete while completing a double-major magna cum laude thesis on the micro and macro impacts of gaming and hospitality industries. In his role at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, he has delivered over 200 keynote addresses to global government, industry, regulatory, and policy leaders. These keynotes have been delivered to virtually every major conference in his field, from the International Association of Gaming Regulators to the Global Gaming Expo (at both the Asia and US events) to the Canadian Gaming Summit to the European Association for Gambling Studies to the Australian National Association for Gambling Studies to the Asian Problem Gambling Conference to the Japanese Gaming Congress to the South Korean National Problem Gambling Conference to the conferences of the National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (both in the US). He has published in the top journals in both the business sciences (including Cornell Quarterly) and the social sciences (including a guest edited special volume of American Behavioral Scientist), and he currently serves as Executive Editor for the leading peer-reviewed gaming business journal, Gaming Research and Review. This past spring he took over the leadership of the gaming research field’s largest, oldest, and most prestigious international research conference, the International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking.

Dr. Bernhard’s teaching and research work has earned him several awards: he was given the inaugural Council on Problem Gambling Shannon Bybee Award in honor of the his community efforts in Southern Nevada; the UNLV Barrick Scholar Award, awarded to the top young researcher at the university; the World Affairs Council’s International Educator of the Year award for his classroom focus on gaming’s globalization; the UNLV Spanos Award (given to the university’s top teacher); the UNLV Hotel College’s Boyd Distinguished Professorship for Research (awarded to the college’s top researcher); the UNLV Presidential Research Award (given to the university’s top researchers); the Ace Denken Award for career excellence in research; and he was awarded one of the inaugural fellowships at both the Brookings Institution’s Mountain West Institute and the UNLVCoRE (Collaborative Research and Education) initiative.

Michael Ian Borer is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Borer joined the faculty at UNLV in 2008 after teaching at Dartmouth College and Furman University. Interested in the dynamics of urban culture, especially the relationships between people and places, Dr. Borer finds Las Vegas to be a fertile research “laboratory” for him and his students. His specializations include urban and community sociology, culture, religion, and qualitative methods. He is primarily interested in the creative ways that people make sense of their social and physical environments and their real and imagined interactions and experiences. He is the editor of The Varieties of Urban Experience: The American City and the Practice of Culture (UA Press, 2006), the author of Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America’s Most Beloved Ballpark (NYU Press, 2008), and co-author of Urban People and Places: The Sociology of Cities, Suburbs, and Towns (SAGE, 2014). His work has been published in City & Community, the Journal of Popular CultureReligion & American CultureSocial Psychology QuarterlySymbolic Interaction, and the Journal of Religion & Media, among others journals and edited books.
Dr. Borer was elected and served as the 2011-12 Vice President of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He is the recipient of the 2011 Maines Narrative Research Award—granted by the Ethnography Division of the National Communications Association—for his article “From Collective Memory to Collective Imagination: Time, Place, and Urban Redevelopment.” He was awarded the UNLV Graduate and Professional Student Association Outstanding Mentor Award in 2012 and the College of Liberal Arts William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. As a public sociologist, Regularly conducts interviews and is quoted about research on cities, urban culture, popular culture, social interaction, religion, and identity politics for local, national, and international media including National Public Radio, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, Univision, Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-JournalLas Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly, Jerusalem Post, Atlanta Journal Constitutionmlb.com, and Penn & Teller’s Showtime Show “Bullshit.”Dr. Borer is currently working on a book project about creativity, imagination, and “aesthetic entrepreneurship” by examining the ways that popular culture is locally produced, transmitted, and consumed within the neon spectacle known as Las Vegas.

Barbara G. Brents studies sexuality, gender and politics in market culture and is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and a faculty affiliate in Gender and Sexuality Studies program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Brents’ work focuses on the politics and economics of sexuality using the sex industry to understand the intersections of culture and economics. Projects include construction of “market morality” in political debates around sexuality; the relation between tourism, consumption and sexuality, and the emotional and bodily labor of selling sex. She is a co-author with Crystal Jackson and Kathryn Hausbeck Korgan of The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland (Routledge Press, 2010), a study of Nevada’s brothels that situates the nation’s only legal brothel industry in the political economy of contemporary tourism.

Brents also studies the political economy of consumer cultures through research on sustainability and community in Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey was a collaborative project with the LVMASS team, the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Las Vegas gathering neighborhood level data on the attitudes, knowledge, and opinions of Las Vegas residents on neighborhood, environmental, and social sustainability issues.  Research across her career focuses on the power dynamics that create social policies, from grassroots social movements to political violence to business involvement in policy.  Activism and public sociology as a critical part of her work. Brents has blogged for the New York Times and Ms. Magazine. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Slate Magazine.  Brents received the UCCSN Nevada Regents Outstanding Graduate Advisor award, the UNLV Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, the UNLV Alumni Faculty Award for Academic Excellence and Student Focus and the UNLV College of Liberal Arts Donald Schmeidel Lifetime Service Award.  The Southern Nevada Women’s Political Caucus awarded her the Good Gal Award. She has been a member of local progressive, environmental, peace and women’s movements, and served on the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union and as the Nevada State ACLU President.

Dr. Lucas Carr is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Carr received a PhD in Physiology form the University of Wyoming in 2008 and completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine at Brown University in 2010. After spending two years as an assistant professor at East Carolina University, Dr. Carr joined the University of Iowa as part of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative. Dr. Carr’s research lies is in the area of behavioral medicine and focuses specifically on identifying and testing contemporary behavioral and environmental approaches for the prevention of chronic diseases. Specifically, his research focuses on testing approaches to reduce sedentary behavior in the work setting. For example, in an ongoing trial, Dr. Carr and his team are testing the effects of retrofitting the sedentary office with an active workstation (portable pedal device) for the purpose of reducing occupational sedentary behaviors.

Dr. Carr teaches two courses at the University of Iowa including one course on the obesity epidemic and second focused on planning and evaluating health interventions. In the Fall of 2013, Dr. Carr participated in the first Venture School offered at the University of Iowa where his eyes were opened to the power of design thinking and the iterative design process. As a result, he has begun implementing design thinking into both his research agenda and his course offerings. As part of theFaculty Institute for Social Entrepreneurship Across the Disciplines, Dr. Carr is interested in exploring how the social and built environment of the Downtown Las Vegas Project contribute to the health, well-being and quality of life of residents.

Joe Cilek believes in the power of ideas, experiences and relationships. It is through that lens that he approaches his conversations and work with undergraduate students as an academic advisor, internship coordinator, and instructor in the department of Health & Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. Joe has Iowa City roots that run several generations deep. After growing up in the community, he completed his undergraduate degree and earned a MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of Iowa. He has been in his current role since 2007. Prior to that, he coordinated a grant project for alternative high school students at the Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and assisted graduate students at Fuller Theological Seminary. At home, Joe enjoys time with his wife Nina, Adel (age 5) and Ezra (age 2). In general, he tries his best to abide by the words of Alice Waters by “Living fully, responsibly and well.”

Chuck Connerly joined the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2008 as professor and director. His research has been published in top journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, the Journal of Planning LiteratureHousing Studies, the Journal of Urban History, and Urban Affairs Quarterly. He authored a book published by the University of Virginia Press, The Most Segregated City in America: City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980 (2005) and most recently co-edited Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise, published by Ashgate Publishing in 2007. The Most Segregated City was named one of the top 10 planning books in 2006 by Planetizen. In 2007 the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning named the book a recipient of the Paul Davidoff Award, which recognizes an outstanding book publication promoting participatory planning and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society and seeking ways to reduce disparities between rich and poor; white and black; men and women. For five years he co-edited the Journal of Planning Education and Research and for nine years he co-edited Housing Studies.

In 2011, Chuck began a two year term as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the national learned society of planning schools, faculty, and students in the US. His current research is an assessment (part history, part contemporary analysis) of Iowa’s community efforts at promoting sustainability which builds on Connerly’s work with the community engagement initiative of which he is the principal founder, the UI Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC).  IISC focuses engaged learning on two to three communities each year.  In 2013-2014 over 160 students are participating in 30 projects across nine departments in three cities:  Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, and Washington.

Eric Franklin joined the Boyd School of Law in 2013 after completing the Whiting Fellowship at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He directs UNLV’s Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic and teaches Business Planning, Corporations, and Contracts.

He received his J.D. from Cornell Law School and his B.A. from the University of Texas. After law school, he joined Sullivan Cromwell’s corporate group in Palo Alto, where his practice primarily focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and securities offerings. After several years at Sullivan, he moved to Seattle to join the business transaction group of Davis Wright Tremaine. At DWT, he worked on a wide range of projects, from documenting multi-billion dollar joint ventures to counseling entrepreneurs on legal issues facing early-stage companies.

The Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic, which launches in the fall of 2014, will offer free legal advice to nonprofits, small businesses, and community-based associations on transactional matters.   The Clinic is designed to strengthen and empower under-represented communities and will give priority to projects that are community-based, assist underserved populations, or are operated/owned by women, minorities, or economically disadvantaged individuals.

David Gould has served as the Associate Director of Professional Student Development in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and developed a number of courses, including Life Design: Building Your Future and Reimagining Downtown.  In 2012, he was presented the Iowa Outstanding Staff Award, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Star Volunteer Award.  In 2013, Gould and his Reimagining Downtown students were invited by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to participate intheDowntown Project, described as “a group of passionate people committed to helping transform Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.” For 2013-14, he has been invited to develop his own ideas for community renewal in Las Vegas as part of the Downtown Project. He will use the Obermann Center as his home base while in Iowa City to draw on University of Iowa faculty expertise that will provide advice and feedback.

Eli Akira Kaufman was raised on the road by parents who taught in International Schools in Japan, Iran and Belgium. After graduating from Oberlin College he followed his parents’ footages and became a teacher so he could continue to live in the world of ideas. It was in the classroom where he discovered his passion for cinema and he credits his students for introducing him to the power of the medium to engage complex ideas and inspire people into action. Eager to learn how to use the medium as the ultimate learning tool, Eli got his MFA from UCLA’s School of Film, Television and Digital Media and has been producing original content and facilitating workshops on media ever since. Today Eli is a Creative Strategist and Head of Cinematic Arts at A Hundred Years where he develops the narrative logic and vibe around the platforms, products and experiences the studio produces. Before joining A Hundred Years, he headed up video production at GOOD Magazine where he ideated and directed award winning short Documentaries (Future Learning and The Hjemkomst: Thirty Years Later) and social campaigns for The GAP P.A.C.E, Ben & Jerry’s (Big Money Ballers & Get the Dough Out of Politics), FedExIBM and Tiger Woods Foundation. Prior to GOOD he was the Senior Content Producer at Film Independent where he made original content for the Spirit Awards on IFCThe Los Angeles Film Festival and met most of his indie film heroes. Eli’s work has screened at LACMA and TEDx and has been featured on the front pages of YouTube, Upworthy, Soul Pancake, and GOOD Magazine accumulating tons of views and counting. In his free time Eli serves as a mentor for fellows at Creative Visions Foundation, tends a raised bed garden with his wife Cheryl and tries to keep up his beat-boxing son Asa.

Tom Keegan is a lecturer in the Rhetoric Department at the University of Iowa where he also co-directs Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) and serves as the Assistant Director of Curriculum Design for Tippie’s Business Communication and Protocol Course. He received his Ph.D. in English from Iowa 2010. His dissertation, “The Usual: Pub phenomenology in the works of James Joyce” examines the ways in which Joyce uses the world of the public house to address existential questions. He researches and teaches in the areas of spatial rhetorics, quotidian reading, public engagement, and social innovation.

During the Fall 2014 semester. Tom will be teaching one of three required courses for the UI’s new major track in Engaged Social Innovation. The course, Networks, Strategies, and Tactics invites students to change the ways in which they view everyday spaces and systems in an effort spot opportunities for innovation. The course also asks students to study various modes of persuasion and argument as a means of bringing about actual change. This combination of unconventional theory and mercenary pragmatism characterizes much of Tom’s teaching. His current research projects include a digital primer on applied Digital Humanities pedagogy titled “On Purpose” (collaboratively written with IDEAL co-director Matt Gilchrist and funded by the Studio at the University of Iowa), an article on experiential learning and the Joycean classroom, and a series of tirades against the calcified state of American pedagogical practices in higher education.

Julian Kilker is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies and the Honors College at UNLV. He researches how people understand, and use technologies based on their differing perspectives. This socio-technical interest is linked to his international background (living in Asia, Africa, and Europe) as well as his education in both physics and the social sciences (he holds a doctorate in communication from Cornell University, and an undergraduate degree in physics from Reed College).

 Most recently, he has explored how media technology innovations are informally developed by “lead users,” and how these innovations propagate and are modified. He has used the southwest desert environment as a lab to explore innovations in “extreme photography” and his resulting academic and creative work has been published in journals and magazines, and exhibited in Nevada, California, and Switzerland.

Kate Hausbeck Korgan was born and raised in Western New York and graduated from SUNY Buffalo (Sociology & Political Science, BA; Sociology MA and Ph.D.). In August of 2014, Kate will have been a Las Vegas resident for 19 years, and a downtown dweller for the last 16 years. Some of that time she was a reluctant Las Vegas interloper; in many other moments she was a new native, excited by the tremendous prospects and opportunity that life in this neon desert affords. Kate arrived in the worst of the August heat, having driven across country as an ABD doctoral student to take an Assistant Professor position in Sociology at UNLV. Despite being alone in Sin City and finding the aesthetics of the landscape a bit disorienting, Kate quickly fell for Vegas’ quirks, the warm community of other displaced/relocated folks, and the invigorating ‘almost anything goes’ mentality here.

In 1997 Kate earned her Ph.D., and in 2001 she was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. In 2006 Kate was asked to serve as Associate Dean of the Graduate College at UNLV; in 2007 she was made Senior Associate Dean; and in 2013 she was appointed as Interim Dean of a new, independent Graduate College under the Executive Vice President and Provost. After several years of campus leadership through a booming period of growth, then through the worst budgetary crisis UNLV has ever faced (which required the closure of 13 graduate programs), Kate is now better staffed and supported in the Graduate College, and in the midst of leading the College’s transition, while working assiduously toward promotion to Full Professor. She is married to Todd Korgan, a former chef, current director, and her business partner (they own and run Sweet Homes Rentals on the central Oregon coast), and Kate has a 10 year-old son who is a born and raised in downtown Las Vegas. The family also has two dogs, two cats, a fish, and a gaggle of family and friends who help make their home and their life full and happy.

Kate is a social theorist and primarily qualitative scholar by training and passion. During her early graduatecareer, Kate specialized in environmental sociology and the complex relationships between culture, values, attitudes, gender and social change, and in many ways these remain the core nexus of her subsequentscholarship. At the doctoral level, Kate dedicated her study to culture, attitudes, and social change as related to gender, sexuality, and (post)feminism. After moving to Las Vegas, her focus on gender, sexuality and culture intensified and she began collaborating with her colleague and friend, Dr. Barbara Brents, on feminist analyses of the commercial sex industry, especially the NV brothels. Together they published numerous articles, have given countless presentations (both academic and public), and with Dr. Crystal Jackson, theypublished The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex, and Sin in the New American Heartland (Rutledge 2009). Kate’s current research is also on issues at the intersection of culture, identity and change; she is working on a theoretical article on late capitalism and sexual(ized) commerce, and empirical study of ISSPs as erotic entrepreneurs, and beginning research on the relationship between transactional sex and translational health issues. Also in the area of health, Kate is working on a project to examine the social implications of thegenomic revolution and personalized medicine – a topic she has been following since the start of the HumanGenome project in the mid-1990s. Aside from this body of work, over the years Dr. Hausbeck Korgan hastaught and/or participated in numerous scholarly communities focusing on the sociology of space and urban architecture, visual sociology, public engagement/social change, and entrepreneurship.

As part of this Summer Institute, Kate wears multiple hats: she is a seasoned academic administrator and leader; a sociologist and feminist scholar; a small business owner and entrepreneur; and a long-term and engaged downtown resident and community activist. Kate is very thankful to be invited to participate in this inaugural Institute, and she looks forward to throwing off all of her hats to innovate and forge new collaborations with her Institute partners.

Ken McCown serves as the Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Downtown Design Center, and has taught architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability and urban design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cal Poly Pomona, Arizona State University and the University of Tennessee where he was the Chair of the landscape architecture program.

He earned architecture and landscape architecture degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he focused upon urban design and regionalism in architectural design and environmental/ecological art. Ken collaborates on interdisciplinary urban design and environmental art projects centering upon regenerative design and place-making in communities. His collaborative projects include: ASLA award-winning Taj Mahal National Park and Cultural Heritage District; and Barrio Chino in Panama City, Panama for UNESCO. Ken researches green living through residency and outreach; he was the Resident Director of the Neutra VDL Research House II and the New Norris House in Tennessee. Recent honors include the 2013 Associates AIAAward in Nevada, the 2010 Award of Honor from the Arizona ASLA for the Scottsdale Sustainable Systems Inventory and the 2010 CELA Award of Excellence in Design Studio Teaching.

Joseph Morgan is an Assistant Professor of Special Education and Coordinator of Special Education programs in the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In this role, he researches and teaches topics related to the provision of access to the general education curricula for students with learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders, the implementation of culturally- and contextually-relevant social skills interventions for these populations of students, and evidence-based interventions to support the academic achievement of high-needs students with disabilities in urban environments. Dr. Morgan is currently serving as the research advisor for Downtown Achieves, a collective impact partnership between the City of Las Vegas, the Clark County School District,  and various nonprofit organizations in southern Nevada focused on increasing the achievement of students in the urban core of Las Vegas. Additionally, he researches effective pedagogical methods and systems for preparing highly effective special educators to work with students with disabilities in urban public school environments. He is currently the co-project director of a federally funded project focused on special education program improvement at UNLV.

Nationally, Dr. Morgan currently serves as the editor of the LD Forum and as an editorial review board member of Intervention in School and Clinic and the Journal of Special Education Technology. He is an active member of the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD), where he serves as the co-chair of the Technology Committee. In this capacity, he worked closely with the Technology Committee to oversee the revision of the CLD website and the development of online proposal submission systems for the annual conference. Additionally, he serves on the Communications Committee as the social media coordinator to disseminate organizational information to followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer New is the assistant director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, a University of Iowa center that supports collaborative and interdisciplinary research by faculty and graduate students. She is also a yoga teacher with a 20+year yoga practice that has included study with some of the leading American teachers. She maintains a small freelance writing business and is the author of three books – two about the artist-photographer Dan Eldon who was killed in Somalia in 1993 at age 22 while on assignment as a photographer for Reuters, and another about contemporary thinkers who keep visual journals, Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art. Each of these books is essentially a study of the creative process. Jennifer routinely speaks about these projects at schools and colleges. Currently, she is working on a book about divorce. Jennifer is the mother of two shcool-aged kids. She thinks deeply about how parenting both enhances and hampers creativity and spiritual growth and about how our current school system inhibits creativity.

In a previous life, Jennifer lived in Seattle where she completed an MA in English at the University of Washington. She left before getting her PhD because she couldn’t see any way to be in academia and remain connected to the greater community. She got her teaching certificate, wrote curriculum for Microsoft, and started a small business, Synapse Learning Design, that connected K-12 schools and non-profits. She has curated several exhibits and co-directed a short documentary film about the creative writing programs at the University of Iowa.

Elizabeth Oakes, violist, is an active chamber musician, teacher and performer and is currently the Coordinator of the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program at the University of Iowa. For twenty-two years, Ms. Oakes served as the violist of the Maia Quartet and as a member of the Quartet, she performed throughout the United States, Asia, Canada and Europe and concertized in major venues including Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, 92Y and the Kennedy Center.  Her collaborations with other artists included Maia Quartet performances with Andre-Michel Schuub, Joel Krosnick, Michael Tree, Daniel Avshalomov and Helen Callus.  Ms. Oakes has taught at numerous summer festivals including the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Program, The Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Ms. Oakes’s diverse interests have led her to coordinate numerous large-scale interdisciplinary projects. With two other colleagues, Ms. Oakes founded and served as an artistic director for the Foothills Music Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for nine years.  While with the Maia Quartet, she coordinated Scandinavian/NordicFest – a month-long festival that included chamber music, film, theater, dance, lectures and recitals. Ms. Oakes also teamed up with the University of Iowa Music Therapy department to present Music, Healthcare and Well-Being – a series which focused on the relationship between music and health.  Her current work with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program is gaining national attention for its innovation and impact in regards to connecting visiting quartets with diverse audience and training the next generation of chamber musician/arts advocate..  She has been the recipient of numerous grants from major granting organizations such as Chamber Music America, the Iowa Arts Council, Humanities Iowa and the John and Anna Hanes Foundation.
Ms. Oakes received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.  She received a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and, as part of the Maia Quartet, attended the Juilliard School as the violist of the Lisa Arnhold Graduate Resident String Quartet.

Joe Sulentic started his entrepreneurial career as an undergraduate at UCLA importing high performance cars from Europe. He has been involved in one or more entrepreneurial endeavors concurrently since that time.  Joe is the current Collegiate Teaching award winner at The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. Students in his Social Entrepreneurship class have been involved with various innovative activities including self-funding a field trip to NYC the semester of 9/11.

Joe refers to his Social Entrepreneurship students as enlightened entrepreneurs. The economic concept of externalities are an integral part of the class. When the students understand the true social costs of their activities, their world view shifts. A committed environmentalist, Joe lives on 77 acres in the Iowa countryside with his wife Katherine and four year old daughter Carrera. They share space with deer, ducks, geese, hawks, eagles, owls, and the occasional coyote.

John Wagner was born into a tumultuous environment. Intermittently homeless as a child with his single mother, he developed a strong desire to rise above his situation and prove himself. He succeeded. After graduating high school with honors, he became the first in his family to go to college. Following college graduation, John began working as an Environmental Specialist at the Southern Nevada Health District while attending night school and volunteering his time to direct the Nonprofit Nevada Environmental Health Association as its President. John now holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Management and a Masters degree in Public Administration from UNLV. Today, John serves as the Director of Community Relations at the UNLV Nonprofit, Community and Leadership Initiative. Tirelessly, he dedicates himself to the Initiative’s goals of building capacity, developing Leadership and fostering community in the nonprofit and public sectors.  John is now entering his 4th year of PhD. Studies in Public Affairs and is writing his dissertation on ways to overcome barriers to Collaboration in the Nonprofit Sector.

Rachel Marie-Crane Williams is  an artist and teacher currently employed as an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. She has a joint appointment between the School of Art and Art History (Intermedia) and Gender Women’s and Sexuality Studies. She is originally from North Carolina (the Eastern Coastal Plain), but she has lived in Iowa since 1998, and taught at The University of Iowa since 1999. Her work as a researcher and creative scholar has always been focused on women’s issues, community, art, and people who are incarcerated. She earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University and an MFA (Studio Art) and a Ph.D.(Art Education) from Florida State University.

American alternative/single creator comics and graphic novels have been at the heart of her creative scholarship for the past few years. Her graphic scholarship has been published by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and the International Journal of Comic Art. Her current projects include a graphic novel about the Detroit Race Riots of 1943, a mini comic about police brutality,and The Prison Chronicles, a series of stories about working in women’s prisons.

While Professor Williams is an artist she is also an academic scholar. Her traditional scholarship has been focused on women in prison. She has worked with incarcerated women since 1994. The prisons where she has conducted research include the Monroe County Jail in Key West, Florida, Jefferson Correctional Institution in Florida, Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, Deerlodge Correctional Institution in Montana, the State Training School in Eldora, Iowa, the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, Iowa, the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa and HMP Holloway in London, England. She has visited and toured numerous other correctional institutions in the US. In 2010 she enrolled in the Inside-Out Prison Education Program through Temple University (http://www.insideoutcenter.org/). Her scholarship has been published by the Journal of Correctional Education, The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, the Journal of Art Education, and Visual Arts Research. She is also the Co-Editor of the Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers.

Professor Williams teaches courses about comics and sequential art, women’s studies, intermedia, feminist research methods, and civic engagement. Her work can be explored athttp://www.rachelwilliams.squarespace.com

Jon Winet is a media producer, artist, researcher and educator. Since 2002 he has served on the faculty of the University of Iowa in the School of Art and Art History Intermedia Program. He is also a member of the faculty of International Programs. In 2011 he was appointed the inaugural director the University’s Digital Studio for Public Humanities. In August 2012, the Studio launched AIDS Quilt Touch, a location-aware mobile web app that allows visitors to search the Quilt’s index, find panels on display and contribute comments. The app, part of a larger collaboration, debuted in conjunction with the 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference and Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s display of the Quit on the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C. He also directs the University of Iowa UNESCO City of Literature Mobile Application Development Team, an interdisciplinary research initiative. The UCOL and Studio work on a broad range of research projects.

During the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election campaigns he led a collaborative team of artists and writers on “First in the Nation,” his eighth quadrennial hybrid new media art – documentary election-year project exploring the social spectacle of American presidential electoral politics.

 He is currently working on “Our Las Vegas” with longtime collaborator Ginger Bruner. It’s an online and bricks & mortar cultural animation project funded in part by the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission and DowntownProject. They have a studio | office | lab at Emergency Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.  is a New Media artist and researcher. He is the director of the University of Iowa Digital Studio for Public Arts & Humanities. He also directs UCOL – The University of Iowa UNESCO City of Literature Mobile Application Development Team, and the Experimental Wing of the University of Iowa Virtual Writing University. He is an Associate Professor in Media | Social Practice | Design – Intermedia Program in the School of Art & Art History, as well as a member of the faculty of International Programs, and of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics.

Jessica Word is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental and Public Affairs (SEPA) at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She currently serves as the director of the Nonprofit, Community, and Leadership Initiative and is the Graduate Coordinator for SEPA.  She received her doctorate from the Reubin Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University in 2006. Her research focuses on capacity building in the public and nonprofit sector. Her work has been published inPublic Administration ReviewReview of Public Personnel AdministrationPublic Personnel Management, and the Journal for Nonprofit Management, Journal of Management,Spirituality and Religion, and The Innovation Journal.   She recently worked with Opportunity Knocks to publish a report, Engaging the Nonprofit Workforce, which examines the engagement of nonprofit employees nationally.


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