The 2016 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award Recipients

berezowitz2.jpgClaire Berezowitz
PhD candidate in Civil Society & Community Research, University of Madison-Wisconsin (expected 2017)

M.S. in Educational Psychology, University of Madison-Wisconsin
Ed.M in Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University
B.S., University of Notre Dame

Claire Berezowitz is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology and Civil Society & Community Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She previously earned her Ed.M in Human Development & Psychology at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Claire is interested in the constellation of engaged learning opportunities throughout the course of the college experience that allow students to develop civic dispositions and competencies, particularly through school and community-based interventions that support health through the transformation of food systems.

Especially interested in the civic experiences of students who are historically underrepresented on campus, Claire studies how those experiences impact the students' own psychosocial well-being, as well as the well-being of the community partners. Claire partnered with the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center and faculty members across campus in order to create a course designed to support the civic learning of traditionally underrepresented students on UW-Madison's campus, entitled Leadership and Civic Engagement for Social Change. This course ultimately joined with other courses on campus in order to become part of a First-Year Interest Group, collectively called “Citizenship, Democracy & Difference.”

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) has been an instrumental resource and source of guidance throughout Claire's scholarly pursuits to date. Early on in her doctoral career, Claire was awarded a Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtP) Civic Seminar Initiative grant in order to convene students, faculty, administrators and staff from across UW-Madison's campus in a conversation about the University's mission and responsibility to develop students' civic capacities. Subsequently, Claire has provided workshops and trainings to faculty and co-curricular staff across campus who seek utilize the AAC&U's Civic Engagement VALUE Rubric as a framework for creating and evaluating curricular and co-curricular offerings intended to develop students' civic competencies.

Deeply committed to applying engaged teaching methods in her own practice, Claire collaborated with campus and community partners in order to create a community-based evaluation course to assess a three-year, coalition-led school garden grant program in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Novel in its design, the course introduced graduate and undergraduate students to community-based participatory research methods, while at the same time those students consulted with MMSD in order to carry out the evaluation. Uniquely, the school district was not only the administrator of the school garden grant program and a partner in the evaluation but also a co-instructor of the college course. In recognition for her efforts and commitment to pedagogical innovation in higher education, Claire was inducted into the UW-Madison Teaching Academy in the spring of 2015.


Nusta Carranza KoNusta Carranza Ko
PhD candidate in Political Science, Purdue University (expected 2016)

M.A., Latin American Studies/Spanish, Purdue University
M.A., Politics, New York University
M.A., International Relations, University of Windsor
B.A., Political Science, McGill University

Nusta Carranza Ko is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University, where she studies the impact of norms on state behavior. Specifically, she examines what happens after states adopt international transitional justice norms and put them to use through domestic policies (e.g. accountability via prosecutions). Her research asks whether or not states that implemented these norms continue their compliance by holding human rights violators accountable. She assesses compliance with norms, examining state behavior after policy enactment in Uruguay, Peru, and South Korea. While all three states experienced similar processes of adoption and practice of transitional justice norms, they varied in their behavior after the policies were implemented. These differences challenge existing theoretical views that characterize states' norm adoption as leading to sustained state compliance with norms.

Aside from her research, Nusta is an experienced teacher with strong commitment to teaching. This fall, she was inducted into the Teaching Academy of Purdue, one of the highest honors bestowed upon exceptional instructors at this institution.

Exploring innovative ways of teaching at Purdue, Nusta created a collaborative educational program with the local Indiana community to develop students' civic responsibility. The program focused on encouraging social participation of university students, working together with Mexican elementary students to learn about the meaning of multiculturalism in American society. As immigrants represent an incoming group in society, through this educational exchange, Purdue students gained an understanding of some of the hardships immigrants face in social inclusion. Many of Nusta's students that participated in the program pursued research and careers related to immigrant rights, in law and government.

Beyond the classroom walls, Nusta is also committed to mentoring junior colleagues on teaching methods. This year, she co-organized a pedagogy workshop where she shared a teaching strategy she developed: incorporating art in the classroom. Nusta demonstrated how art both motivate students to become active learners and foster respect for cultural diversity. Sharing her experience of an activity she gave to students in class, on drawing the first image that comes to mind when one thinks of the word ‘terrorist,' Nusta explained how drawing allows students to visualize their thoughts and confront their own stereotypes in understanding international politics. 


Annemarie Galeucia
PhD candidate in Cultural Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University (expected 2016)

M.A. Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
B.A. English Literature, Wagner College

Annemarie Galeucia is a PhD candidate in the department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University. Her work explores stereotypes of manufactured housing in the United States, how these stereotypes impact public policy and the people living in manufactured homes, and how this, in turn, illuminates paradigms of whiteness and affluence in the American Dream.

She also recently transitioned from graduate assistant to staff for LSU's award-winning Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) program, where she provides faculty pedagogy support, coordinates CxC's Distinguished Communicator undergraduate certificate program, and researches and writes about the efficacy of CxC's programming. Through this role Annemarie supports and facilitates pedagogy development workshops and consultations for faculty across LSU's campus, and works one on one with students across colleges and disciplines to enhance their communication skills in four distinct modes: written, spoken, technological and visual. She also co-organizes TEDxLSU and coordinates the TEDxLSU Creative Communications Team, a collective of LSU students dedicated to developing and promoting TEDxLSU across the Baton Rouge area while enhancing their communication skills in visual design, writing, and outreach strategies.

Prior to beginning her doctoral work at LSU, Annemarie served as Program Assistant for the University of San Francisco's Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities and as Lead Coordinator for Arts and Humanities for CU-Boulder's award-winning Graduate Teacher Program. In these roles Annemarie balanced student, staff and faculty support. For the Graduate Teacher Program in particular, she provided pedagogical training for graduate students across 48 academic programs, which included best practices for all disciplines and fostered discipline-specific pedagogy adaptations for future faculty.

Annemarie's graduate work, in addition to garnering her numerous travel and research awards, has been consistently grounded in teaching within her disciplines. She was the 2006 recipient of the “Best Should Teach” award her teaching development in Religious Studies at CU-Boulder. Since beginning her doctoral studies Annemarie has focused her teaching on multiple pedagogical scenarios and courses ranging from continuing education programs for anthropology to community college and LSU courses in human geography. Annemarie believes that as a researcher of American culture she has a responsibility to understand, respect and enhance the culture of higher education, both in her own teaching and by collaborating with faculty and students everywhere.


Uttam Gaulee Uttam Gaulee
PhD candidate in Higher Education Administration, University of Florida

M.Ed., Administration and Policy studies, University of Pittsburgh (Under the Fulbright Program)
B.Ed. (Economics) and M.Ed. (English), from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Uttam Gaulee is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration and Policy at the University of Florida. He also pursues a certificate in entrepreneurship from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His doctoral research examines global engagement pathways among American and international students, focusing on how institutions can increase global competency skills for all students. His broader professional goals include fostering global citizenship, promoting transnational perspectives, and enhancing cross-cultural understanding through higher education. In his position as a research fellow in the department, he currently serves as Program Director at Community College Futures Assembly, an independent policy forum at University of Florida's Institute of Higher Education.

Uttam's dissertation research has created a model for global engagement experiences of undergraduate students. Stemming from this model is a global engagement initiative called the Global Garden, a creative strategy adopted by the student government at the University of Florida, which integrates symbol, space, resources, environment, modeling, and leadership into one platform. Drawing on Milton Bennet's developmental model of multicultural sensitivity, Uttam's model identifies pathways that can help students develop from one level to another by creating fundamental learning conditions such as inclusion, involvement, and community. The model also suggests leveraging the power of symbols and artifacts, including names and spaces that are engineered to develop students' outward turning pursuit of knowledge and growth beyond tangible rewards.

Alongside teaching experiences and interest, Uttam has pursued his passion for service to his institutions and professional organizations. Before coming to the United States for pursuing higher education, Uttam taught, worked in the public sector, and served in various roles as a community and professional leader. Among other responsibilities, he hosted the international conference of Nepal English Language Teachers' Association (NELTA) in western Nepal as a regional chair of the association, contributing to the professional development of 600 teachers and impacting thousands of students through them. Uttam also advocated for the social transformation of young men and women by spearheading social awareness campaigns, leadership development opportunities, and professional development trainings on information technology.

Representing graduate students and as a research scholar specializing in global engagement, Uttam has formalized a global engagement mechanism in Graduate Student Council by creating five regional coordinator positions that represent international students from various parts of the world. Uttam also helped create an ecosystem to foster global engagement on campus through University of Florida International Initiatives Team, an initiative that brings together academic and service units as well as experts from around the university.  Among other intellectual and community engagements, Uttam has also volunteered through organizations such as International Student Speakers' Bureau, Minority Mentorship Program, University of Florida Mayors' Council and University of Florida chapter of Engineers without Borders.


Brad JacobsonBrad Jacobson
PhD candidate in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, University of Arizona

M.A. University of Arizona
B.A. Pennsylvania State University

Brad Jacobson is a PhD student in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. A former middle school teacher and college access counselor, Brad's research focuses on the high school to college writing transition. He is especially interested in the ways standards-based school reforms impact high school writing experiences, and how these school-based literacy experiences aid or hinder students' success as they navigate the writing demands of their college courses. His recently published work explores the impact of the Common Core State Standards on teaching and learning through an analysis of mass-published classroom materials and writing assessments.

Brad is committed to engaged teaching and research that counters technocratic, skills-based notions of literacy. As a first-year writing instructor, he works with students to explore the ways literacy works in real situations in order to increase their rhetorical awareness and practical ability to analyze and critique the writing they will read and produce throughout their academic, civic, and professional lives. For example, students research the writing practices of a community they belong to, and analyze the rhetorical strategies and linguistic practices that help to create and maintain the practices of that community. Brad hopes that these analytical strategies will not only help students succeed in new writing situations, but will also help them assess the ways writing situations include and exclude potential participants in ways that they can challenge in their academic and professional lives. In these ways, rhetorical awareness can make instruction in literacy a vital part of an education in social justice.

This commitment to social justice and to expanding access to literacy is central to Brad's work in higher education. As the graduate coordinator of Wildcat Writers, a university-community collaboration, Brad facilitates teaching partnerships connecting high school and university English classes. These partnerships help teachers better understand students' writing expectations and experiences in order to help high school students feel more comfortable on a college campus and to help university students connect to the community. Wildcat Writers serves as a bridge, creating a K-16 community of teachers and students invested in issues of equity and educational opportunity. This year Brad also began working in faculty development as a writing support specialist serving his university's general education writing initiative. In this role, he helps to develop and implement workshops and instructional materials to facilitate writing instruction, and also co-facilitates a faculty learning community focused on general education writing pedagogy. Through his teaching, research, and leadership, Brad hopes to influence a more accessible and equitable culture of writing across disciplinary and institutional contexts.


Jasmine LinabaryJasmine Linabary
PhD Candidate in Communication, Purdue University

M.A. in Communication, California State University, Chico
B.A. in Communication Studies, Whitworth University

Jasmine R. Linabary is a PhD candidate in the Brian Lamb School of Communication (BLSC) and a teaching assistant and graduate certificate holder in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS) at Purdue University. Her emphasis is on organizing, new media, and social change, with particular interest in gender and participatory methodologies. Her research is focused on the processes and implications of creating spaces for participation in organizing for social change in online and offline contexts. Her dissertation is a participatory action research project examining the potentials and limitations of digital space for transnational feminist organizing. She is also a research assistant with the Purdue Peace Project (PPP), a locally driven peacebuilding initiative in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and El Salvador that aims to reduce the likelihood of political violence. Her work has been published in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and Communication Teacher (forthcoming).

As a graduate student, she has committed her time to advancing teaching and learning in both scholarship and practice, providing mentorship and support for graduate students, and serving her communities locally and globally. She has taught classes in both communication and in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She has developed and shared teaching resources (e.g., syllabi, activities, readings, assignments, etc.) and strategies with first-time instructors. She has also worked with other graduate students and faculty to develop scholarship related to teaching, including teaching activities and interrogations of pedagogical practices, for academic conferences and for publication. Additionally, she has provided support and mentorship for fellow graduate students in her service to the Communication Graduate Student Association (as president and as a PhD member-at-large), as a formal mentor to first-year students (4 PhDs and 2 MA) and to prospective students, as a mentor to new PPP research assistants on international data collection and fieldwork, as an informal mentor to numerous PhD and MA students, and as a presenter and volunteer with orientation events, among other activities.

Lastly, Jasmine has demonstrated a commitment to serving her communities. She has served as a representative for the BLSC and fellow graduate students as president of the Communication Graduate Student Association, as departmental representative to the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Student Council, and as a member of the Purdue Graduate Student Government Academic and Professional Development Committee, among other positions. She has reviewed articles for conferences and publication, volunteered to assist with conference organizing and facilitation, and is currently serving as a graduate student representative for the Feminist and Women’s Studies Division of the National Communication Association. As an engaged scholar, Jasmine is also invested in working with others in her teaching, research, and service to address issues of practical concern. In addition to her work with the PPP, she works collaboratively in her research with the nonprofit World Pulse, an online community of women from 190 countries that aims to unite and amplify women’s voices to accelerate their impact.

Before attending Purdue, Jasmine received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Whitworth University, and her master’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Chico. She has a background in journalism, having spent time as a reporter and a managing editor of several weekly newspapers in Idaho and Montana.


Breanne PrzestrzelskiBreanne Przestrzelski
PhD candidate in Bioengineering, Clemson University (expected 2016)

M.S. in Bioengineering, Clemson University
B.S. in Bioengineering, Clemson University

Breanne Przestrzelski is a University Innovation Fellow at Clemson University where she is pursuing her PhD in bioengineering with a focus on innovation and translation of biomedical devices through design and entrepreneurship opportunities.  The University Innovation Fellowship, which is a joint-venture of VentureWell and Stanford University's Epicenter, has inspired Breanne to share her passions through a variety of initiatives, one of which is the organization she and her advisor co-founded in 2014: The DEN (Design & Entrepreneurship Network). Breanne was an undergraduate four year varsity collegiate athlete, rowing for the Clemson University Women's Rowing Team, where she learned how to foster her team-centered leadership.  Breanne moved on to lead her senior design capstone team to a 1st Place finish in the 2012 VentureWell (formerly NCIIA) BMEStart Undergraduate Design Competition for the team's innovation: AssureFit- a chest tube stabilizer.  Breanne found her drive for innovation and fascination with design during the development of this technology and seeks to equip students with this same drive through experiential learning. 


Roman RuizRoman Ruiz
PhD candidate in Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania (expected 2018)

M.Ed., Higher Education, University of Arkansas
M.M., Music Performance, Arizona State University
B.A., Spanish, B.M.E., Music Education, Arkansas Tech University

Roman Ruiz is a Higher Education Ph.D. student and pre-doctoral researcher at the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (Penn AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. He has also served as a summer research fellow at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, DC, where he assisted with updating the 2016 edition of the national report Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States. Ruiz recently co-authored (with Laura W. Perna) a book chapter on the role of technology in higher education, which is to appear in the forthcoming edition of American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges (Johns Hopkins University Press).

His research interests include college access policies and pre-college interventions designed to increase postsecondary enrollment and degree attainment among historically underrepresented student populations within U.S. higher education. Past research projects include an exploratory case study to understand the loan borrowing behaviors of low-income undergraduate students at a university with a “no-loan” financial aid policy and a cost-effectiveness analysis of college access programs to assess their impact on participants' postsecondary enrollment relative to program costs. Ruiz's current work utilizes spatial data analysis techniques to understand the role of place as a determinant of college access and student college choice.

Beyond research, Ruiz is committed to the personal development of students, particularly low-income, racial/ethnic minority, and first-generation college students. At the invitation of the Council for Opportunity in Education, the national advocacy organization for federal TRIO programs, Ruiz has served as a mentor for their National Student Leadership Congress for three summers. In that role, he helped facilitate a six-day residential leadership development program at Georgetown University for over 100 TRIO high school students from across the country.

Before coming to Penn, Ruiz was a higher education practitioner at the University of Arkansas (UA). For nearly three years he worked as an academic counselor for UA's TRIO Talent Search program, a federally funded early intervention college access program for low-income students who would be the first in their families to attend college. While in that position, Ruiz developed college preparation curriculum and delivered approximately 100 educational workshops annually to more than 1,000 program participants in grades 7-12 throughout Northwest Arkansas. He also provided individualized college counseling in which he guided hundreds of high school seniors through the unfamiliar processes of applying to colleges, securing financial aid, and transitioning into postsecondary education. While at UA, Ruiz also worked as an academic advisor within the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and instructed a First Year Experience seminar for incoming freshmen.


Daniel SiakelDaniel R. Siakel
PhD candidate in Philosophy, University of California, Irvine (expected 2016)

M.A. in Philosophy, University of California, Irvine
M.A. in Humanities, University of Chicago
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Chicago

Daniel Siakel's philosophical research focuses on abstract issues in contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and the history of early-modern and 20th-century philosophy, including fundamentality, dependence, identity, time, and consciousness. He has published and presented his research in several venues, including Process Studies, Pacific Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association, the Seminar in Phenomenology and History of Philosophy, and the California Phenomenology Circle.

That said, Dan's pedagogy challenges his students to develop practical skills that enable them to reason and express themselves clearly and precisely. He specifically designs his courses to incorporate students into the learning process, and fosters an inclusive, collaborative learning environment that accentuates the importance of valuing diverse and historically underrepresented perspectives. Concordantly, Dan takes the cultivation of leadership in teaching, learning, and the development of others to be not merely a professional, but an ethical undertaking.

In addition to assisting and teaching his own courses in philosophy, Dan has taught in UC Irvine's First-Year Integrated Program and Humanities Core Course, intensive interdisciplinary courses that emphasize undergraduate research and writing. Dan has also been invited to introduce philosophical concepts to non-specialists living in his community, at the Laguna Woods Retirement Community.

Dan's leadership in teaching and learning has resulted in several honors, including the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, UC Irvine's Most Promising Future Faculty Member Fellowship, and UC Irvine's Outstanding Graduate Student TA Award in the Humanities. Furthermore, his selection as a Senior Pedagogical Fellow by UC Irvine's Center for Engaged Instruction enabled Dan to not only lead the TA Professional Development and Training Program for all incoming TAs in the Departments of Philosophy and Logic and Philosophy of Science, but also train other Pedagogical Fellows—the trainers and mentors of incoming TAs.

Dan has received certificates for participating in UC Irvine's Advanced College Teaching and Academic Preparation Seminar, Mentorship Excellence Program, and Program in Advanced Course Design. Dan also helped organize a conference for the Southern California Chapter of Minorities and Philosophy, an organization that invited him to present on connections between student-centered pedagogy and historically underrepresented groups. Dan continues to offer graduate-student workshops pertaining to best practices for undergraduate pedagogy, especially those relevant to active learning and writing instruction.


Désirée WeberDésirée Weber
PhD candidate in Political Science, Northwestern University (expected 2016)

M.A., Political Science, Northwestern University
B.A., Philosophy and Political Science, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

Désirée Weber is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, focusing on contemporary political theory, especially the role of language and its relation to political pedagogy and politics. Her dissertation research on Ludwig Wittgenstein, the enigmatic author of ground-breaking works such as the Philosophical Investigations, focuses on how language plays a role in understanding ourselves, the world, and the field of politics. More specifically, she is interested in political judgment, normativity and the criteria for certainty as well as the role of education in political theorizing.

Désirée's interests intersect with the topic of education in various ways, from the analysis of Wittgenstein's contributions to the field of pedagogy to her on-going work with the Chicago Debate Commission, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing and supporting academic debate teams. While in graduate school, her engagement with pedagogic practices has come to include undergraduate education and the training of graduate student Teaching Assistants. Three years ago, she spearheaded the creation and implementation of a Political Science Teaching Award Certificate in her department.  It is a year-long program that enables graduate students to improve their teaching skills, share best practices and complete teaching-specific service projects for their fellow graduate students. In the first two years of its existence, Désirée facilitated 15 graduate students earning the Certificate (and earned it herself). She also put into place funding structures to make the Certificate a sustainable program for future cohorts. The initiative has continued and has been led by 2 subsequent chairs and facilitated 29 graduate students earning the Certificate.

Her passion for teaching has been recognized through various awards and fellowships including the Northwestern Graduate School/Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Teaching Award, as well as the Graduate Teaching Fellowship (GTF), and a Teaching Assistant Fellowship (TAF). Her interest in university-level teaching was kindled early on in graduate school through participation in a Teagle Foundation pilot project to improve undergraduate student learning.

Désirée's teaching experience is varied and includes teaching a handful of courses at Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago, but also instructing middle schoolers in the art of debate and guiding high school students through political philosophy texts. Before graduate school, she worked for an education-focused nonprofit in Minneapolis, MN, where she taught job and work readiness skills. In fall 2016, Désirée will take up a tenure-track position in the Department of Political Science at the College of Wooster.