Faculty Institute on Social Entrepreneurship Across the Disciplines
Saba Rasheed Ali
Saba Rasheed Ali is an associate professor in counseling psychology at the University of Iowa’s College of Education and a licensed psychologist in the state of Iowa. As is typical of most university professors, her job consists of research, teaching, and service. Her philosophy on performing her job centers around her desire to contribute directly to the community; that is, she believes her primary responsibility is to the community the university is charged in serving. Since the University of Iowa is the flagship university for the state of Iowa, it is important to tie her research directly to the needs of Iowans. Thus, the majority of Dr. Ali’s 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 Iowa.
Dr. Ali’s specific interests are related to research and practice that examine the needs of individuals who live in poverty and are marginalized by society, especially research with 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, as well as within the divisions of psychology (counseling, vocational, community, social). Further, her approach to research is participatory action that focuses on collaborations with communities so that the research enterprise is mutually beneficial. Dr. Ali is also keenly aware of the privileges and status that come with being a university professor and a professional psychologist; she both strives and struggles to keep the needs of the community at the forefront of her work.
A fifth-generation Nevadan, Bo Bernhard proudly calls Las Vegas his home, but over his twenty-year career he has worked with the international gaming and hospitality industry on all six inhabited continents and in more than 100 jurisdictions. Dr. Bernhard began his research career during his undergraduate sojourn to Harvard University, where he completed a magna cum laude thesis on the micro and macro impacts of the gaming and hospitality industries. In his role at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute, he has delivered more than 200 keynote addresses to global government, industry, regulatory, and policy leaders—and to virtually every major conference in his field, from the National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (both in the US) to the the European Association for Gambling Studies, the Australian National Association for Gambling Studies, the Asian Problem Gambling Conference, the International Association of Gaming Regulators, and the Global Gaming Expo. He has published in the top journals in both the business sciences (including Cornell Quarterly) and the social sciences (including guest-editing a 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.
Among the awards earned by Dr. Bernhard’s teaching and research are the inaugural Council on Problem Gambling Shannon Bybee Award, in honor of the his community efforts in Southern Nevada; the World Affairs Council’s International Educator of the Year award, for his classroom focus on gaming’s globalization; UNLV’s Barrick Scholar Award, Spanos Award, Ace Denken Distinguished Researcher Award, Boyd Distinguished Professor for Research Award, and Presidential Research Award; as well as inaugural fellowships at both UNLV’s CoRE (Collaborative Research and Education) Initiative and the Brookings Institution’s Mountain West Institute.
Michael Ian Borer
Michael Ian Borer is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Borer joined the UNLV faculty 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. Specializing in 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 editor of The Varieties of Urban Experience: The American City and the Practice of Culture (University Press of America, 2006), 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 Culture, Religion and American Culture, Social Psychology Quarterly, Symbolic Interaction, and the Journal of Media and Religion, among others
Dr. Borer was elected 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, Dr. Borer is regularly interviewed 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, mlb.com, Univision, Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jerusalem Post, and Penn & Teller’s Showtime series, “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
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 the Gender and Sexuality Studies program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Brents’s 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 within the political economy of contemporary tourism.
Dr. 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—a collaborative project with the LVMASS team, the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Las Vegas—gathered neighborhood-level data on the attitudes, knowledge, and opinions of Las Vegas residents on neighborhood, environment, 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 are a critical part of her work. Dr. 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. Brents received the Nevada Regents Outstanding Graduate Advisor award, as well as UNLV awards for Outstanding Graduate Faculty, Alumni Faculty for Academic Excellence and Student Focus, and Donald Schmeidel Lifetime Service. 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.
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 from 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 in the area of behavioral medicine, focusing on identifying and testing contemporary behavioral and environmental approaches for the prevention of chronic diseases—more specifically on approaches to reduce sedentary behavior in the work setting. In an ongoing trial, for example, Dr. Carr’s team is 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’s UI courses include one on the obesity epidemic and another 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. He has begun implementing design thinking into both his research agenda and his course offerings. As part of the Faculty 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 residents’ health, well-being, and quality of life.
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 and 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 an MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa. He has served 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 in Colorado Springs. At home, Joe enjoys time with his wife, Nina, and children, Adel (age 5) and Ezra (age 2), trying 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, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Planning Literature, Housing Studies, Journal of Urban History, and Urban Affairs Quarterly. For five years Dr. Connerly co-edited the Journal of Planning Education and Research and for nine years he co-edited Housing Studies. He authored the book The Most Segregated City in America: City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920–1980 (University of Virginia Press, 2005) and most recently co-edited Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise (Ashgate Publishing, 2007). The Most Segregated City was named by Planetizen one of the top 10 planning books of 2006, and in 2007 received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Paul Davidoff Award, which recognizes an outstanding book 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.
Dr. Connerly recently served a two-year term as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the national learned society of planning schools, faculty, and students. His current research is an assessment (part history, part contemporary analysis) of Iowa’s community efforts at promoting sustainability which builds on his work with the community engagement initiative of which he is the principal founder, the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC). IISC focuses engaged learning on two to three communities each year, with more than 160 students participating in 30 projects across 9 departments in 3 Iowa cities—Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, and Washington—during 2013–14.
Eric Franklin joined the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2013 after completing the Whiting Fellowship at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He directs UNLV’s Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic and teaches Business Planning, Corporations, and Contracts.
He received his JD from Cornell Law School and his BA 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, he moved to Seattle to join the business transaction group of Davis Wright Tremaine, where 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 and 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 underrepresented 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 Associate Director of Professional Student Development in the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he also 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 the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Star Volunteer Award. In 2013, Gould and his Reimagining Downtown students were invited by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to participate in the Downtown Project, described as “a group of passionate people committed to helping transform Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.” During 2013–14, he was 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 for advice and feedback.
Eli Akira Kaufman
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’ footsteps 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 with 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 received his MFA from UCLA’s School of Film, Television and Digital Media. He 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 and Get the Dough Out of Politics), FedEx, IBM and the 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 IFC and The 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, SoulPancake, and GOOD Magazine. 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 with his beatboxing son, Asa.
Tom Keegan is a lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Iowa, where he also co-directs Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) and serves as Assistant Director of Curriculum Design for the Tippie College of Business. He received his PhD in English from Iowa in 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 to 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—the UI’s Digital Studio for Public Arts & Humanities), 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.
Kate Hausbeck Korgan
Kate Hausbeck Korgan was born and raised in Western New York and graduated from SUNY Buffalo (Sociology and Political Science, BA; Sociology MA and PhD). In August of 2014, Dr. Hausbeck Korgan 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. She 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 the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Despite being alone in Sin City and finding the aesthetics of the landscape a bit disorienting, she quickly fell for Vegas’s quirks, the warm community of other displaced/relocated folks, and the invigorating “almost anything goes” mentality.
After earning her PhD in 1997, Dr. Hausbeck Korgan was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2001. In 2006 she 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 (requiring the closure of 13 graduate programs), she 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 film director, and her business partner (they own and run Sweet Homes Rentals on the central Oregon coast), and has a 10-year-old son who was 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.
Dr. Hausbeck Korgan is a social theorist and primarily qualitative scholar by training and passion. During her early graduate career, she 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 subsequent scholarship. 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 Nevada brothels. Together they have published numerous articles, given countless presentations (both academic and public), and, with Dr. Crystal Jackson, published The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex, and Sin in the New American Heartland (Routledge, 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, an empirical study of ISSPs as erotic entrepreneurs, and is 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 the genomic revolution and personalized medicine—a topic she has been following since the start of the Human Genome project in the mid-1990s. Aside from this body of work, over the years Dr. Hausbeck Korgan has taught 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, Dr. Hausbeck Korgan 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 served as 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 in Los Angeles and the New Norris House in Norris, Tennessee. Recent honors include the 2013 Associates Award from the American Institute of Architecture Nevada, the 2010 Award of Honor from the Arizona American Society of Landscape Architects for the Scottsdale Sustainable Systems Inventory, and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2010 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 providing access to the general education curricula for students with learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders, implementing culturally and contextually relevant social skills interventions for these student populations, as well as implementing 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 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 and as Social Media Coordinator on the Communications Committee, disseminating 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 practice that has included study with many 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, entitled Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art, about contemporary thinkers who keep visual journals. 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 school-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 nonprofits. 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 String Quartet Residency Program at the University of Iowa. For twenty-two years, Ms. Oakes served as the violist of the Maia Quartet, performing throughout the United States, Asia, Canada, and Europe and concertizing 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 that 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 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 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 in various innovative activities, including self-funding a field trip to NYC to help clean up Ground Zero the semester of September 11, 2001.
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 worldview 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 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 master’s degree in public administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and 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 fourth 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
Rachel Marie-Crane Williams is an artist and teacher currently employed as an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, with a joint appointment between the School of Art and Art History (Intermedia) and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. She is originally from the Eastern Coastal Plain of North Carolina, but 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 PhD (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 whose 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. 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 at 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 also serves on the faculty of International Programs and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics. 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 Quilt on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He also directs the University of Iowa UNESCO City of Literature Mobile Application Development Team (UCOL), an interdisciplinary research initiative. UCOL and the Studio work on a broad range of research projects.
During the 2012 US presidential election campaign, Professor Winet 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 with longtime collaborator Ginger Bruner on “Our Las Vegas,” an online and bricks and mortar cultural animation project funded in part by the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission and the DowntownProject.
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 in Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Public Personnel Management, 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.