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Brown Leadership Institute Faculty Profiles

Brown Leadership Institute: Leadership Development for High School Students

Robin Rose, Senior Associate Dean of Continuing Education has served Brown University for over 30 years, as a therapist, as the chief student affairs officer and as the founder and director of the Leadership Institute and the Brown Environmental Leadership Labs. She also founded and directed the Brown Outdoor Leadership Training (BOLT) program, a nationally recognized outdoor leadership program. Dean Rose has a national reputation as expert on leadership development programs for youth and experiential education. She currently supervises all summer programs within Continuing Education. She is passionate about environmental issues, gardening, snorkeling and learning from and with young people.

Kisa Jo Takesue is the Director of Leadership Programs in Continuing Education at Brown University.  Raised in Hawai'i and Massachusetts, she established her longtime connection to Brown in her undergraduate years, receiving an A.B in American Studies.  She obtained her Master's in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and worked in Texas as a community-based social worker, providing supportive services to teen parents, immigrant families, and medical patients. She returned to Brown in 1996 to serve as a dean in the Office of Student Life and, later, as the inaugural director of the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center and the Student Activities Office.  During her tenure at Brown, she has collaborated with students and colleagues to implement a wide range of educational programs focusing on leadership and diversity. For six years she taught the Women and Leadership course in the Brown Leadership Institute. Takesue has presented workshops at national conference on topics related to student development and support and has co-authored an article in the Journal of College Counseling and a book chapter about multicultural student services and academic affairs. A founding member of the Asian/Asian American Alumni Alliance of Brown University, Takesue is a volunteer with Youth in Action, a Providence non-profit organization where young people work for positive social change.

Creating Change: Public Policy in a Global Context

Andy Pennock is a faculty member in the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown where he teaches policy analysis, program evaluation, and comparative public policy to undergraduate and graduate students.  Dr. Pennock has won multiple teaching awards at both Brown and UNC-Chapel Hill, most recently a Teaching with Technology Award from the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown.  Dr. Pennock brings a wealth of public policy experience to the classroom.  His recent public policy projects include work for Serve Rhode Island (AmeriCorps) and the Rhode Island State Legislature. Before coming to Brown, Dr. Pennock served as committee staff at the North Carolina legislature, consulted for the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and served on the board of a prominent Chapel Hill non-profit.  While completing his PhD, Dr. Pennock taught in the North Carolina Governor’s School, a public program for gifted public school students from across the state.

Leadership and Social Justice

Caitlin Bradford Murphy is a social studies teacher at Hudson High School in Hudson, MA where she has taught for the past thirteen years. Teaching courses such as Ethics, Contemporary Legal Issues and American Studies; she uses a hands-on approach that allows her students to apply concepts to the real world. While at Hudson High School, she developed a social justice course that encourages students to become actively involved in identifying injustice and working to create social change. Prior to her career in teaching, Caitlin spent six years as a community organizer and advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She holds a M.Ed. from Cambridge College and a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of New Hampshire. Caitlin was a teaching fellow with the Choices Education Program at the Watson International Institute at Brown

Leadership and Global Development

Diana Graizbord is a PhD candidate in Sociology and a Doctoral Fellow in Brown's Graduate Program in Development and Inequality in the Global South. She holds an MA in International Affairs and Development from the New School and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of development and globalization, poverty and inequality, and international social policy.  While her current research is focused on Latin America she has extensive research and practical development experience in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Diana has previously taught courses in the Leadership Institute, as well as in the Sociology and Development Studies  programs at Brown University. 

Leadership in Science, Technology and Medicine

Dolores Iorizzo teaches at New York University in London. Educated at Brown (MA) and Imperial College London (MSc), she has held lectureships at King’s College London, and Imperial College London.  She has also been a researcher on ground-breaking international projects that have received support from the National Science Foundation, European Science Foundation, Max Planck Centre for the History of Science, European Commission, United Nations and the UK e-Science Fund. 

In 2009, Google and Nature invited her to join the SciFoo community, an inter-disciplinary group of science and technology researchers who advance creative ideas about how to solve global problems. Dolores is passionate about public engagement in science, technology and medicine, and its effects on society: locally, nationally, and globally.

Social Change and Social Media

Jason Swadley is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at Brown University. He studies theories of self-interest and the common good in the history of political thought. He graduated summa cum laude from Drury University, and holds a master’s degree in political theory from the University of Chicago. He is adjunct faculty at Drury and teaches courses on American politics and political philosophy. He writes at

Leadership and Global Engagement

John Bierbaum has taught U.S History, World History, Sociology, Psychology, and college-level European History at Normal Community West High School in Normal, Illinois. He earned his MA in History from Illinois State University and has taught at the secondary level for ten years becoming a National Certified Board Teacher in 2011.  In 2013, he was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year.  For the past ten years he has been the head Mock Trial coach and is a team captain for the McLean County Diversity Project.  He has worked with the Choices Education Program at the Watson International Institute at Brown University and implements curriculum workshops for his local school district. 

Kelly Keogh teaches International Relations, Regional World Studies and A.P. American Government at Normal Community High School in Normal, Illinois. He earned his Master’s in Diplomatic History from Illinois State University and has taught at the secondary level for thirty years becoming a National Certified Board Teacher in 2006. He is a Teaching Fellow for the Choices Education Program at the Watson International Institute at Brown University where he has written curriculum units and done workshops around the country for the program.

Changing Business: Becoming a Social Entrepreneur

Kelly Ramirez is the CEO of Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG), and the founder of the SEEED Summit. Kelly also teaches courses on Social Enterprise at Providence College and Salve Regina University. Previously, she directed the Social Enterprise Initiative at the William Davidson Institute (WDI) and was an adjunct lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She has consulting and project management experience with organizations including Aid to Artisans, the Ford Foundation, the European Commission, USAID, the State Department, and Roche.  Kelly also worked as a political analyst for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service, an election monitor for the OSCE, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Slovakia. Kelly received MA Degrees in Public Policy and Urban Planning and a BA in political science from the University of Michigan, completed a leadership certificate program at the Ross School of Business, and received a scholarship to attend the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. She was named a Woman to Watch by the Providence Business News, is a 2014 BALLE Fellow, and was recently appointed to the Rhode Island Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Women and Leadership

Mary Grace Almandrez is the Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color and Assistant Dean of the College at Brown University. She works closely with students, faculty, alumni, and colleagues to create and implement initiatives that facilitate an inclusive campus environment and promote social justice education. Prior to her arrival at Brown University, she founded multicultural centers at three private, liberal arts institutions. Her research and teaching interests focus on women of color in leadership, diversity in higher education, and social justice education. She has presented her work at several conferences, including: the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, AAC&U's Diversity & Learning Conference, National Learning Communities Conference, and National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. Her co-authored chapter, "Bridging Integrated Identities to Integrated Services" was recently published in Multicultural Student Services on Campus: Building Bridges, Re-Visioning Community (2011). She also serves on Youth In Action's Board of Directors and HARI Vidya Bhavan's Advisory Board. Mary Grace earned her Ed.D. in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco, M.S. in human resources development from McDaniel College, and B.A. in sociology from the University of San Diego. She was born in the Philippines and raised in California.

Ethical Leadership

Matthew J. Lyddon is a PhD candidate in Political Theory from Wales, UK. His primary research interests focus on the institutions and practices necessary for sustaining liberal democratic citizenship. His dissertation (working title: Citizen Craft in the Liberal Regime) constructs a new approach in political theory to the role of the state as educator, supporting students as future citizens in integrating core liberal political values with those of their moral and religious traditions. Matt also has interests in American political thought, British politics and the history and development of the British liberal tradition. Matt has previously served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Brown for courses in political theory, US constitutional law, and international relations, and taught as a Senior Instructor, Writing Program Director and Crisis Simulation Director at the Yale Young Global Scholars summer program (2012 & 2013). Matt served as President of the Brown Graduate Student Council during 2013 and has previously held professional positions in team leadership and management. Matt has a B.A. (First Class Honors) in Politics, Social Philosophy & Applied Ethics, and an M.A. with Distinction in Ethics and Social Philosophy, both from Cardiff University, as well as a Master's degree in Political Science from Brown. He also co-authored 'The Long Journey' (Kestrel Books, 2005, with Anthony Cutler), an educational resource for students aged 16-18, exploring the development of British democracy via the history of voting rights in the UK. More information at

Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Noelle Brigden is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. She earned her PhD and MA in Government at Cornell University. During her doctoral research on the violence and uncertainty that confronts Central American migrants in transit, she conducted two years of fieldwork along unauthorized routes in El Salvador, Mexico and the United States. More broadly, her research on human security is interdisciplinary, empirically grounded transnational scholarship that challenges us to think critically about the political tensions between individuals and communities. At Cornell, she won the LeFeber Prize for Teaching Excellence and the Buttrick Crippen Teaching Fellowship. In addition to teaching on the Brown and Cornell university campuses, she has taught college courses through the auspices of the Cornell Prison Education Program. She also has a dual BA-MA degree in International Studies with minors in Spanish and mathematics from the University of Denver. Prior to her undergraduate studies, she served in the U.S. Army (1995-1999) in South Korea, Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the fall of 2014, she will join the Department of Political Science at Marquette University as an Assistant Professor.

Leadership and Global Health

Cate Oswald joined Partners In Health (PIH) in 2005 and has served in a number of capacities to direct and support their efforts around the world   She provided program support not only to our work in Haiti but also to projects in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. In Haiti she has contributed to efforts in improve monitoring and evaluation activities, launched their mental health program, supported the implementation of their cholera response, and was an integral member of the leadership team that crafted the response to the 2010 earthquake. Cate was promoted to Country Director in 2011 and oversees all operations for PIH’s largest and oldest project. Cate received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her Master’s in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health. Cate has experience working on issues of social justice and equality locally in Rhode Island and Massachusetts through homeless rights initiatives, especially in access to nutrition, housing, and health care. Internationally, Cate has worked in Sub Saharan Africa, South America, and the South Pacific on projects aimed to understand the social context of disease while working alongside communities to improve health outcomes.

Dr. Samantha Rosenthal is a Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health as well as in the Brown Institute for the Study of Environmental Science. In college she double-majored in chemical and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She worked on pharmaceutical and vaccine development as a chemical engineer and developing novel medical devices and prostheses as a biomedical engineer. After her undergraduate education, she worked full-time for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Egham, England, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Stamford, Connecticut. At P&G she developed skills and experience such as study design and implementation, innovation, and method development. Samantha then joined the Master’s in Public Health Program at Brown University. She received the Global Health Scholarship and Foreign Studies Fellowship and traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to conduct both qualitative research in the local townships and data analysis examining the associations between alcohol misuse and risks for HIV infection (published in AIDS Care). She also spent much of her time in the MPH critiquing empirical evidence and statistical simulation models supporting the concurrency hypothesis—the theory that overlapping sexual partnerships is the main driver of the African HIV epidemics. This work has led to many publications including two in AIDS and Behavior and one in the The Lancet. She received her doctorate in Epidemiology from the Brown School of Public Health in 2014. She received the Community Health Pre-doctoral Fellowship in 2011 and she is currently involved in multiple research topics including how climate change influences emerging infectious disease spread, how social media puts young adults at risk for depression and substance use, and generally how epidemiology can be used to shape health policy and intervene in the progression of disease.

Urban Built Environments: Stewardship and Resilience

Kurt Teichert is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University and Critic in Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design. He teaches courses and advises students on sustainable design, environmental stewardship, urban infrastructure, and transportation technology and policy. Kurt came to Brown in 1992 to support an environmental education and advocacy initiative links student research and education with university and community programs that reduce negative environmental impacts. He has been involved in research, design and construction of high performance educational facilities for over 25 years. Kurt has taught for Summer@Brown BELL RI programming since 2007.

Mind the Gap: Leadership in an Unequal World

Meg Caven is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. She also holds a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from Brown. Her research and teaching interests include inequality, public policy, education, and urban sociology. Her current project investigates the closure of public schools in Philadelphia. Before returning to Brown for her Ph.D., Meg spent several years working in social and economic policy research, and several years teaching middle school in British Columbia. 

Applied Creativity: The Heart and Art of Leadership

Kali Quinn is a facilitator of creative discovery, innovative storytelling, and physical play based in Providence, RI where she teaches in the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA and Undergraduate Programs and works as the Stateside University Relations Director for Accademia dell’Arte (Arezzo, Italy). Kali has performed with Clowns Without Borders in Guatemala Padua Playwrights, Telluride Rep, Dell’Arte, HERE Arts Center along with creating two solo shows facilitate dialogue surrounding aging and grief which have played at: Ko Festival, PS122, The Tank, Williams College, United Solo, & Here Arts Center. Kali has taught at Bucknell University, Duke, Emory, Mississippi University for Women, MOTH Aerial Dance, Pearl Theatre Company, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, New England Youth Theatre, Vermont Academy, Celebration Barn, and New England Center for Circus Arts, MIT, UMASS Amherst, Muhlenberg, Dickinson, Boston University, & Coastal Carolina. Kali serves on the Board for the Network of Ensemble Theaters. Training: BA, University of Rochester; MFA, Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre.