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.
Brown Environmental Leadership Laboratory (BELL/RI): Sustainable Development
Lauren Watka is a recent Brown graduate, having received her Master's in Environmental Studies in May 2012. Lauren has a background in biology and has conducted research at Brown University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dartmouth College in subjects from micro- and molecular biology to ecology (her newest favorite). However, her experience working as a fisheries scientist on New Bedford commercial fishing boats was the best part of her scientific journey yet. Lauren currently works as an Educator for the New England Aquarium in Boston where she shares her love for ocean science and conservation on a daily basis.
Christina Catanese is a Physical Scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mid Atlantic Region. Her work in water protection focuses on communications, GIS mapping and tools, and data analysis and management related to permits, enforcement, drinking water, and other EPA programs. Christina holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science, and an M.S. in Applied Geosciences with a Hydrogeology concentration from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and experience has taken her to such diverse locales as Puerto Rico, Cameroon, Sweden, and Northeast Philadelphia on topics from tropical montane stream ecology, to drinking water supply in the developing world, to stormwater management and combined sewer overflows. A native Pittsburgher, she now lives in Philadelphia, where she also performs, choreographs, and teaches ballet, modern dance, and yoga. Christina’s path as an environmental scientist began as student at BELL in 2002 and she has served as staff in 2006 and 2012.
Simon Liebling has spent two summers on the BELL staff and a third working with the Leadership Institute's on-campus programs since first attending BELL as a high school student in 2005. Simon graduated from Brown University in 2012 with an AB in history, and is an experienced outdoor educator and guide. He has conducted original research in biochemistry and worked as a policy analyst for a renewable energy consulting firm. Simon is currently based in Brooklyn, NY, where he works as an academic tutor.
Kurt Teichert is a Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Manager of Environmental Stewardship Initiatives at Brown University. He teaches courses and advises students on Sustainable Design and Environmental Stewardship. In 1990, Brown established an environmental education and advocacy initiative that links student research and education efforts with university operations to implement programs that reduce the negative environmental impacts. Kurt came to Brown in 1992 to support that initiative. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and has been involved in research, design and construction of high performance educational facilities for 20 years. Teichert serves as a Stakeholder in the Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Initiative to develop and implement a state climate action plan. Prior to coming to Brown, Kurt served as Research Associate and Facilities Manager at New Alchemy Institute. He holds an M.Sc. in Resource Economics from Oregon State University and a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College.
Ethical Leadership: Theory into Practice
Matthew J. Lyddon is a fourth year PhD candidate in Political Theory from Wales, United Kingdom, and currently serves as President of the Graduate Student Council of Brown University. His research interests broadly lie at the intersection of political theory and constitutional law, specifically concerning normative assessments of democratic institutions and their role in protecting free and equal citizenship, contemporary political liberalism, the political function of education, political ethics, and leadership. Matt also has interests in American political thought and the role of the judiciary in democratic societies, British politics and the history and development of the British liberal tradition. Matt has previously served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Brown for lecture courses in political theory, US constitutional law, and international relations, and taught as a Senior Instructor and Writing Program Director at the 2012 Yale Global Young Scholars summer program (formerly Yale Ivy Scholars). Matt has a B.A. with First Class Honors in Politics, Social Philosophy and Applied Ethics, and an M.A. with Distinction in Ethics and Social Philosophy, both from Cardiff University (Wales, UK) 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 democracy in Britain via the history of voting rights in the UK. More information at matthewjlyddon.com
Changing Business: Becoming a Social Entrepreneur
Kelly Ramirez is the CEO of Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island (SVPRI/SEEED), a leading social enterprise support organization. She is co-founder of Buy with Heart, the nation’s first marketplace for social enterprise. 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. Previously, Kelly 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 master’s degrees in Public Policy and Urban Planning and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, and has completed executive education courses at the Ross School of Business and Harvard University. She was named a 2011 Woman to Watch by the Providence Business News.
Documentary Film Making
Paige Sarlin is an artist, filmmaker, scholar, and political activist. She has a Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Film/Video/New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her feature-length documentary film, The Last Slide Projector, premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2007 and screened at Anthology Film Archives in 2008. From 1999 to 2010, she was an active participant in the 16Beaver Group in New York City, a platform for the discussion of the intersection of art and politics. Her writings on art, film, and politics have been published in the October, Re-Thinking Marxism, Reviews in Cultural Theory, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and Framework: A Journal of Film and Culture. She is at work on a book-length manuscript entitled Interview-Work: The Genealogy of a Cultural Form. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Study at University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Edrex Fontanilla is a new media artist, digital art lecturer, and multimedia instructional technologist based in Providence, RI. He trained as a classical musician at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music during high school and went on to Brown to receive AB in Visual Arts, an MA in Computer Music, and a MFA in Literary Arts. Edrex has shown his video art, digital prints, and interactive sculptures locally and abroad, including the Boston CyberArts Festival, the Tampa Museum of Art, SIGGRAPH, and other international venues. Edrex currently collaborates with neuroscientist Robert Goldschmidt on a series of video art sculptures that explore materiality, continuity, and the limits and assumptions in viewers' perception. Through the presentation of the 'falsely real,' Edrex and Robert explore the various unstable ontological states between video, sculpture, and installation. Edrex currently teaches digital art at Brown University and the Community College of Rhode Island.
Identity, Diversity and Leadership
Kelly Garrett is the Coordinator of the LGBTQ Center at Brown University. She received her M.Ed. in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she specialized in teaching about issues of Racism, Heterosexism and Ableism. She has been working in the field of Campus Life/Student Affairs for 20 years and has been providing direct support services and leadership development to LGBTQ students and allies for over 14 years, first as the Assistant Director of LGBT Affairs at the University of Michigan and now in her current position at Brown. In addition to her work in Student Affairs she has taught Social Justice Education courses at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts.
Marc Harrison has worked in independent schools for the past 21 years as a teacher, administrator, advisor and coach. For the past sixteen years, he has worked at The Wheeler School in Providence, RI. At Wheeler, he has been Director of Diversity Planning and Services for the past eleven years where, in addition to serving as a liaison to students and families around diversity issues and creating programs to foster diversity and inclusion school-wide, he teaches middle and high school science, a community service course, and courses within the school's multicultural curriculum. He also advises the high school multicultural club and supports affinity groups in the middle and upper schools. Additionally, he has presented workshops on multicultural course development at both the regional and national level. Marc grew up in New York and Bermuda before graduating from Brown. A Resource Scholar for his research on the role of racially-specific role models within curricula, Marc earned an A.B. in Education Studies in 1992.
Human Rights: Leadership and Social Action
David Blanding is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Brown. Broadly, his research interests lie at the intersection of race politics, public opinion, and public policy. He recently published a study on the impact of state policies toward immigrants on the educational attainment of the children of immigrants. David currently serves as both a member of the Board of Directors and a mentor with Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education (RISE), a Providence-based non-profit that provides mentors and scholarships to children in RI whose families have a history of incarceration. Prior to matriculating at Brown, David worked on litigation and public education campaigns around educational equity, racial profiling, and voting rights with the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science from Boston University and Brown, respectively.
Leadership and Conflict Resolution
Nukhet A. Sandal got her PhD in Politics and International Relations from University of Southern California in 2010. She is currently the co-coordinator of Religion and Internationalism Project at Brown University. Sandal has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies for the past three years, teaching Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy Analysis and Crisis Decisionmaking among others. She has carried out intensive field research in conflict settings ranging from Northern Ireland to the Middle East, and her analyses have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Alternatives, Political Studies, Human Rights Quarterly and Canadian Journal of Political Science. Her article, "Religious Actors as Epistemic Communities in Conflict Transformation: The Cases of Northern Ireland and South Africa" has recently been awarded “The Best Article in Review of International Studies in 2011” by Cambridge University Press and British International Studies Association. Sandal will start serving as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University in Fall 2013.
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 program at Brown University.
Leadership and Global Engagement
John Bierbaum has taught U.S History, World History, Sociology, and Psychology 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 eight years becoming a National Certified Board Teacher in 2011. For the past seven 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 twenty-five 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.
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. http://www.pih.org/ 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.
Samantha Rosenthal is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health. 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 Lancet. She started the doctoral program in Epidemiology in 2010. 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.
Leadership in Science, Technology and Society
Dolores Iorizzo has been a university lecturer and researcher in London for over 20 years. Educated at Brown (MA) and Imperial College London (MSc), she has held lectureships at Birkbeck College London, 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 become a member of its SciFoo (http://www.nature.com/natureconferences/scifoo/index.html) community, an inter-disciplinary group of science and technology researchers who advance creative ideas about how to solve global problems. She is passionate about public engagement in science, technology and medicine, and is its effects on society - locally, nationally, and globally. She currently teaches at New York University in London.
Organize, Mobilize: Social Change
Caitlin Bradford Murphy is a social studies teacher at Hudson High School in Hudson, MA where she has taught for the past twelve 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. She has also developed course materials related to the slave trade in New England and the Cuban Missile Crisis. 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 is a teaching fellow with the Choices Education Program at the Watson International Institute at Brown.
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 jasonswadley.com
Women and Leadership
Mary Grace Almandrez is the Director of the Third World Center 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.
Low Ropes Coordinator
Alison Jackson Frazier
Alison is a Leadership Coordinator at the University of Rhode Island's Center for Student Leadership, advancing opportunities for Adventure Based Learning. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Rhode Island in 2004. During her time at URI, Alison was also an NCAA athlete participating in competitive gymnastics. It was the combination of her roles as a student athlete and a student leader that empowered Alison to attain her Masters degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts. While attending UMass, Alison also worked with Project Adventure Inc. as an Adventure Facilitator for Youth pursuing her passion for working with school-aged children by leading programs for students from many different backgrounds both on the challenge course in Beverly, MA and on site in many public and private schools. Upon completion of her Masters degree, Alison returned to her roots and accepted a position as Director of Recreational Programs and Special Events at Aim High Academy in East Greenwich, RI. During this time, Alison also had the opportunity to work as a Visiting Lecturer at Bridgewater State University. It was as a result of these combined experiences that Alison discovered her passion for training a new generation of experiential educators both in the classroom and on the challenge course.