A2RU
A2RU

Our Team

Learn more about the a2ru staff and our Executive Committee, a group of national leaders and innovators who help shape a2ru programs and policies.

Staff

Maryrose Flanigan
Executive Director
Maryrose Flanigan
Executive Director

Maryrose Flanigan is the executive director of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), where she oversees a network of universities which are committed to advancing arts-based and interdisciplinary research, practice, and teaching in higher education. She serves on a presidential advisory group for the arts initiative at a2ru’s headquarters at the University of Michigan and is part of the advisory cohort for the Imagining America’s Leading and Learning Initiative: Shifting Institutional Culture to Fortify Public Scholarship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Prior to joining the staff at a2ru, she served in various roles at the National Endowment for the Arts: as division coordinator for Literature and Arts Education, as a specialist for the creative writing and translation fellowships; and served as program manager for national programs Poetry Out Loud and the NEA Big Read. She has also served as associate editor for Office of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA) at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); and associate director for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Maryrose has an M.F.A. in poetry from American University.

 

Shannon Fitzsimons Moen
Associate Director
Shannon Fitzsimons Moen
Associate Director

Shannon Fitzsimons Moen’s professional practice bridges the performing arts and higher education; in administrative, artistic, and educational roles, she has honed her ability to connect artists, educators, audiences, and ideas in unexpected and illuminating ways that spark dynamic discovery and growth.

Prior to joining a2ru, Shannon served as the inaugural University Programs Manager at UMS (University Musical Society), the performing arts presenter at the University of Michigan. Shannon designed and managed UMS’s portfolio of university-based arts-academic integration programs, which she grew to serve nearly 3,700 students in 2018-2019. Key initiatives included “Engaging Performance,” a team-taught course introducing U-M undergraduates to the performing arts through the lens of the UMS season; two granting programs for faculty to develop arts-integrative teaching skills; and a commissioned series of white papers and case studies on arts integration best practices for faculty.

Shannon also produced several UMS main stage performances and its Research Residency program each season. Projects included work by Yo Yo Ma, Ivo van Hove/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Takacs Quartet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ping Chong + Company, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe, pianist Igor Levit, rapper/poet Omar Offendum, solo performer Edgar Oliver, and Alec Baldwin.

Prior to joining UMS, Shannon worked as a dramaturg, audience educator, and theatre writer for companies across the country including The Public Theater/Under the Radar, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, California Shakespeare Theater, and African-American Shakespeare Company. She also designed and taught courses in American theatre history and dramaturgy at Northwestern University.

Educated at Hamilton College and Northwestern University, Shannon is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University.

Veronica Stanich
Research Program Manager
Veronica Stanich
Research Program Manager

Veronica Dittman Stanich holds a PhD in Dance Studies from the Ohio State University. Her interview- and observation-based research investigating audience responses to postmodern dance has been published in Dance Chronicle and Dance Research, and presented to the Congress on Research in Dance. Her work on the a2ru research team has resulted in workshops, whitepapers, and other resources concerning arts integration impacts; issues around tenure and promotion for the arts, design, and interdisciplinary practices; and interdisciplinary collaboration. Veronica is the Managing Editor of Ground Works, a2ru’s online platform for arts-integrated research.

Charisse Willis
Program Coordinator / Conference Director
Charisse Willis
Program Coordinator / Conference Director

Prior to joining a2ru, Charisse honed her coordination skills while serving as the Conference Coordinator for the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. There, she planned and executed international conferences with up to 500 attendees from over 50 different countries. She has also served as the Meeting and Event Coordinator for the Early Modern Colloquium and the Workshop Co-Coordinator for the Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Currently, she volunteers with UM’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center’s Raise the Bar program to teach bar, restaurant, and transportation staff how to identify consensual versus perpetrating behavior and serve as active bystanders. She also encourages students to find ways to combine their academic interests with community engagement through a scholarship she established at Wagner College, Academics for Activism. This scholarship is awarded annually to students who plan to enter higher education for the express purpose of strengthening their ongoing activist work in underprivileged communities.

Charisse received a BA in English from Wagner College. She also holds a MA in English Language and Literature and a PhD in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. She has created and taught courses in English, Political Science, and Women’s Studies, almost all of which have included gameful design. Her teaching philosophy is centered on the idea that learning should be fun, skill-based, and personalized. She continues to fulfill her passion for teaching by tutoring students in the Ann Arbor community.

Executive Committee

Mallika Bose
Penn State (2022-2024 CY)
Mallika Bose
Penn State (2022-2024 CY)

Mallika Bose is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean of Research, Creative Activity and Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. In this role she supports and promotes arts and design research/creative activity and is an advocate for expanding the role of arts/design research in higher education and society. Graduate education is at the core of the research enterprise in higher education, and she works actively to diversify the student body and the types of research/creative activity undertaken in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. Mallika is committed to making visible the role of arts and design in equitable development, human flourishing and the responsible stewardship of our planet.

Mallika is trained as an architect specializing in Environment-Behavior Studies. She is interested in how the built environment impacts human behavior especially for disadvantaged groups. Her research areas include: Built Environment and Active Living/Healthy Eating; Public Scholarship and Community Engaged Design and Planning; Gender and Development; and Design/Planning Pedagogy. Her scholarship has been published in Landscape Journal, Habitat International, International Development and Planning Research, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and Journal of Urban Design among others.  She co-edited a book on community-engaged teaching/scholarship titled – Community Matters: Service-learning in Engaged Design and Planning – which received the 2015 Great Places Book Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). She served on the board of EDRA for several years and was the Chair of the EDRA Board of Directors in 2012-13. In 2016 Mallika joined the National Advisory Board of Imagining America – Artists and Scholars in Public Life. She co-directs the Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers (CoPED), an initiative of Imagining America.

Soul Brown
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) (2022-2024 CY)
Soul Brown
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) (2022-2024 CY)

Soul Brown is a research administrator, doctoral candidate, youth worker, writer, creative practitioner, and social justice educator. Presently, she directs the RISD Research office at Rhode Island School of Design, where she promotes faculty and graduate students’ generation of new knowledges and ways of making through the conduct of sponsored, interdisciplinary, transformative research. Soul also is a PhD candidate in an interprofessional educational leadership and healthcare administration program at Pacific University (Oregon). Her research focuses on historical and contemporary experiences of Black student success in the United States through the frameworks of Critical Race Theory and Community Cultural Wealth. She employs qualitative methodologies of Voice Scholarship and Phenomenology to explicate counternarratives of BIPOC schooled experiences. This fall she is co-teaching a course on the Pathology of Race and Racism in Healthcare.

Prior to joining RISD (Riz-dee) in July 2020, Soul directed Grants Development for Massachusetts Bay Community College. She successfully tripled MassBay’s grants income, helping to transform the college’s ability to meet the needs of constituents through implementing new academic programs, providing faculty and students with research opportunities, and spurring investments in facilities and equipment.

Soul has over three decades of experience leading innovative nonprofits and creative projects that focus on BIPOC community and youth development, cultural arts, and social justice. She earned her BA in English from Tufts University and Master in Public Administration from Framingham State University.

Dan Cavanaugh
University of Texas Arlington (2022-2025 AY)
Dan Cavanaugh
University of Texas Arlington (2022-2025 AY)

Dan Cavanagh is Professor of Music and Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. A composer and pianist who has garnered numerous awards in both areas, he received a 2009 gold medal prize from the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition. In 2017 he was awarded a Special Judges’ Citation in the American Prize for Chamber Music Composition for his work for trumpet ensemble and drum set, Waves. As a composer Cavanagh has written or arranged for Latin Grammy-winning AfroBop Alliance, the legendary Patti LaBelle, and a wide range of classical and jazz performers across North America and Europe. He has released four critically acclaimed jazz CDs as a leader. His new recording with James Miley featuring John Hollenbeck will be released in October 2022 on S/N Alliance (Japan). His music can be heard on many other recordings both classical and jazz and continues to be commissioned and programmed around the world. Cavanagh has also performed extensively in North America and internationally. He has been a finalist in the EuropaFest Jazz Contest in Bucharest, and in the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition. Prior to serving as interim Dean, Cavanagh held various academic leadership roles, including program director, music department chair, and associate dean. From 2015-2020, he served as the Co-Chair of Region VI for the Society of Composers. Cavanagh chairs Downtown Arlington’s Cultural Arts District Partners group and serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Trustees for the Dallas Wind Symphony.

Oṣubi Craig
University of Florida (2022-2024 CY)
Oṣubi Craig
University of Florida (2022-2024 CY)

Oṣubi Craig is a multi-talented and accomplished African Diasporic percussionist, administrator, engineer, arts presenter, and arts advocate. Oṣubi brings a great deal of experience and energy to his role as inaugural director of the recently launched Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) in the College of the Arts at the University of Florida (UF). As the center’s director, he brings together faculty, artists, and community organizers from around the world to more broadly connect, collaborate, and create. In particular, Oṣubi has supported the center’s Maker in Residence Qudus Onikeku in developing his Atunda project. Atunda seeks to use AI technology to build a database of dance movement on blockchains to protect the IP rights of African Diasporan artists and ensure they are paid equitably when their art and works are commodified. Atunda is one example of the exponential possibilities of interconnected networks that CAME endeavors to cultivate and accelerate. A second example is CAME’s work with artists, technologists, and entrepreneurs around equitable AI (AI4Afrika Symposium). As a third-generation percussionist growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Oṣubi was immersed in the emerging African Diasporic cultural arts movement. His passion for science and technology led him to earn a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering while minoring in Jazz Studies at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Oṣubi went on to earn an M.A. in Arts Administration from Florida State University. As an artist, he worked for major performing arts organizations, such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and National Dance Institute’s Arts in Education programs; as a lead drummer, for Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble (Philadelphia, PA); and as a teaching artist, for the Philly Pops (Philadelphia, PA), New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark, NJ), Lincoln Center Institute (New York, NY), and Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, NY). In his 20+ years of experience as an arts administrator, Oṣubi has developed and implemented programming, cultivated relationships, established collaborative partnerships, crafted shared visions and strategic directions, and worked effectively with arts programs and organizations nestled under the umbrella of higher education institutions. Oṣubi’s diverse skill sets have served him in a variety of roles such as: Construction Project Manager and Research Coordinator for the College of Engineering, Sciences, Technology and Agriculture at FAMU; Director of Grants and Sponsored Research/HBCU Title III at Florida Memorial University; and Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs at Polk State College. Oṣubi additionally served at Virginia State University as Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Government Relations. Most recently at UF, Oṣubi chaired the working group on Access, Equity, and Inclusion as Functional Catalysts for the College of The Arts Meta Strategy and strategic planning process. Currently he serves as the college representative on several campus-wide working groups: the UF Equitable AI group, the Advanced AI Faculty Learning Community, and the AI and Society workgroup.

Andrew Davis
University of Houston (2022-2024 CY)
Andrew Davis
University of Houston (2022-2024 CY)

Andrew Davis is Founding Dean of the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston. His work there has focused on integrating interdisciplinary training into the curriculum and on establishing the arts as a leading force for social engagement and community impact. He is a strong advocate for the value of an arts and a liberal-arts education; the benefits of international study-abroad opportunities for students; and the opportunity for the arts to actively engage and transform universities and their cities. A music theorist by training and a long-time board member of the Texas Society for Music Theory, he has published and lectured widely on opera and instrumental music of the Romantic and late-Romantic periods. He is the author of Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini’s Late Style (Indiana University Press, 2010) and Sonata Fragments: Romantic Narratives in Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms (Indiana University Press, 2017).

Davis served previously as Director of the Moores School of Music and as Associate Dean of the Honors College, both at the University of Houston, and he was co-chair of the university-wide committee that brought a chapter of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa to the University of Houston. He was the recipient of a university-wide teaching excellence award in 2010; he is a co-founder and organizer of the Council of Texas Arts Deans; and in Houston he serves on the boards of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Arts Alliance. He is President of the Board for Workshop Houston.

Davis holds the Ph.D. in music theory from Indiana University. He was appointed to the University of Houston faculty in 2003, and he holds the Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair.

Lisa DuRussel
University of Michigan (2022-2025 AY)A
Lisa DuRussel
University of Michigan (2022-2025 AY)A

Lisa DuRussel, RLA, LEED AP, ASLA has a unique background as an educator,  landscape architect, urban ecologist, builder and design activist.

Her 15+ years of experience has resulted in a progressive landscape design portfolio of professional work, creative inquiry into ecology + design, a flexibility in teaching interests and enthusiasm for transdisciplinary collaboration within the academy and the profession. Her desire to teach was born from an interest to create a stronger connection between theory and practice – – – and to expand creative practice by deepening design inquiry through application of research into the built environment. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS).

Lisa has led the design and implementation of award-winning projects that innovate on ecological design as a project leader at established design firms: West 8 New York, Future Green Studio Brooklyn, MNLA New York, and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects Chicago.  Her own collaborative practice dubbed Field Catalysts, partners students with nonprofits and communities to use landscape as a lens to amplify thoughtful public engagement with collaborative action and impact.

In addition to teaching graduate level courses on design, design thinking and public engagement at the University of Michigan, Lisa collaborates with firms OSD Outside on design implementation of an Arts Campus in downtown Detroit, with Unknown Studio on green infrastructure and urban afforestation initiatives in Baltimore and with Horizon Geospatial on geodesign-based community engagement workshops around the country.

She is currently the VP of Education for the Michigan Chapter of ASLA and has previously held board positions with the New York City Chapter ASLA and was their chapter’s Public Awareness Representative with National ASLA.

Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan.

Maryrose Flanigan
Executive Director
Maryrose Flanigan
Executive Director

Maryrose Flanigan is the executive director of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), where she oversees a network of universities which are committed to advancing arts-based and interdisciplinary research, practice, and teaching in higher education. She serves on a presidential advisory group for the arts initiative at a2ru’s headquarters at the University of Michigan and is part of the advisory cohort for the Imagining America’s Leading and Learning Initiative: Shifting Institutional Culture to Fortify Public Scholarship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Prior to joining the staff at a2ru, she served in various roles at the National Endowment for the Arts: as division coordinator for Literature and Arts Education, as a specialist for the creative writing and translation fellowships; and served as program manager for national programs Poetry Out Loud and the NEA Big Read. She has also served as associate editor for Office of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA) at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); and associate director for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Maryrose has an M.F.A. in poetry from American University.

 

Jason Geary
Rutgers University; Co-Chair (2021-2023 CY)
Jason Geary
Rutgers University; Co-Chair (2021-2023 CY)

Jason Geary is Dean of the Mason Gross School of the Arts and Distinguished Professor of Music at Rutgers University. For twelve years beginning in 2004, he taught musicology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where he also held the role of Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to arriving at Rutgers, he served for four years as Director of the School of Music at the University of Maryland and was Special Advisor for the Arts within the College of Arts & Humanities. While at Maryland, Geary enhanced entrepreneurship training for students, forged ties between the arts and sciences, increased diversity across the school, and fostered more inclusive programming, all while significantly growing the school’s fund balance and more than tripling its annual fundraising totals. He also launched several community engagement initiatives, including a student live-in residency at a senior retirement community that garnered national attention, and was involved in the creation of an arts leadership minor for undergraduate students. At Michigan, Geary spearheaded multiple efforts to improve the quality of graduate programs and led a comprehensive strategic planning process around enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Kevin Hamilton
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Special Advisor for a2ru Ground Works
Kevin Hamilton
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Special Advisor for a2ru Ground Works

Working in collaborative and cross-disciplinary modes, Kevin produces artworks, archives, and scholarship on such subjects as race and space, public memory, history of technology, and state violence. Recognition for his work has included grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, presentation at conferences across Europe and North America (ISEA/ DEAF/CAA/NCA/ACM-SIGCHI), publication in edited journals and anthologies (Routledge/CCCS/Palm Press/UCLA), and invited residencies (Banff/USC-IML/Bratislava).

As an educator, administrator, and researcher, Kevin is focused on integration of practice-based, historical and theoretical approaches to learning about technological mediation. This work has included the development of several interdisciplinary project-based courses, workshops, and initiatives for students and faculty from the sciences, arts and humanities, with emphases on prototyping, reflection, and methodologies of collaboration.

Patrick Hammie
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2022-2024 CY)
Patrick Hammie
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2022-2024 CY)

Patrick Earl Hammie is a visual artist—painter, sculptor, illustrator—who uses portraits and allegories to examine personal and shared Black experiences and offers stories that expand how we express notions of gender and race today. Hammie studied drawing at Coker University (2004) and received an MFA in painting from University of Connecticut (2008). His works and collaborations have been exhibited in Germany, India, South Africa, and the United States, at venues that span the California African American Museum, The Drawing Center, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Kunstwerk Carlshütte, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Zhou B. Art Center. He was an artist-in-residence at the John Michael Kohler Art Center and the inaugural recipient of the Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship from Wellesley College. His works are included in public and private collections including the David C. Driskell Center (Maryland), Kinsey Institute Collections (Indiana), Kohler Company Collection (Wisconsin), JPMorgan Chase Art Collection (New York), and William Benton Museum of Art (Connecticut). He has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Joyce Foundation, Midwestern Voices and Visions, Puffin Foundation, Tanne Foundation, the states of Illinois and Connecticut, and other private foundations. Hammie currently serves as an Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Art at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the School of Art + Design.

Sonia Hirt
University of Georgia; Co-Chair (2022-2024 CY)
Sonia Hirt
University of Georgia; Co-Chair (2022-2024 CY)

Initially trained as an architect in her hometown of Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria), Sonia Hirt holds a master’s and a doctoral degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Georgia, she served as Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland in College Park; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech; and Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Sonia is the author/co-author of 85 scholarly and professional publications with 2,500 citations. Her latest article, on shrinking cities, co-authored with Professor Robert Beauregard of Columbia University, was published in International Planning Studies (2021). Sonia’s book “Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space,” published by Wiley-Blackwell, received the Honorable Mention for the Book Prize in Political and Social Studies sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. This award is given to an outstanding monograph in anthropology, political science, sociology, or geography. Her book “Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land Use Regulation,” published by Cornell Press, received several academic honors. These include the Honorable Mention for the 2015 Best Book Award of the Urban Affairs Association; shortlist for the Best Book Award of the International Planning History Society; one of the Ten Best Books in Urban Planning, Design and Development of 2015 by Planetizen; list of Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice Magazine; and the biennial John Friedmann Best Book Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. In 2019, Planetizen named the book one of fourteen Top Urban Planning Books of the Decade (2010-2020). In 2020, Book Authority ranked it in the Top Forty Land Use Law Books of All Time.

Sonia is also the editor of “The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs” (with Diane Zahm), published by Routledge, and the author of “Twenty Years of Transition: The Evolution of Urban Planning in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, 1989-2009” (UN HABITAT; with Kiril Stanilov). She is an elected Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Planning History  (JOPH)—the official peer-reviewed journal of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (previously, she was Co-Editor-in-Chief of JOPH). Through her career, she is or has been member of the editorial boards of ten scholarly journals, including Planning Perspectives, Planning Research and Practice, and Urban Design International.

Sonia’s scholarly interests focus on the interactions between social and cultural values and the urban built environment. Through her scholarship and teaching, she aims to advance understanding of the relationships between social processes, cultural values, and urban forms, and to create opportunities to make cities more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable. Her research has both a theoretical and an applied perspective. She strives to enhance the quality of urban environments by developing a richer theoretical understanding of the social processes and cultural values that influence their evolution. She also strives to provoke critical debates within the design and planning professions and thus contribute to innovation in practice.

Yvonne Houy
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Emeritus & Special Advisor for Tradition Innovation [in Arts, Design, and Media Higher Education]
Yvonne Houy
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Emeritus & Special Advisor for Tradition Innovation [in Arts, Design, and Media Higher Education]

As Learning Technologist for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Dr. Yvonne Houy supports faculty in all of its seven areas (Architecture, Art, Entertainment Engineering Design, Dance, Film, Music and Theatre)—over 120 tenured and tenure-track faculty, part-time professors of practice and graduate teaching assistants. Her goal is to improve faculty satisfaction and student learning outcomes through a wide variety of online educational resources for in-person, hybrid and fully online courses.

A graduate of Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.) and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.), and former Visiting Assistant Professor at the highly selective, liberal arts-focused Pomona College, Dr. Houy understands the needs and challenges of higher education institutions that value research, teaching, and diversity. This is enhanced by her interdisciplinary career: After earning her Ph.D. in the Humanities with a media studies emphasis, she followed her interest in online learning technologies and computer programming to become a learning technologist and professional development facilitator.

Believing deeply in the power of learning to drive equity, she is an active member of the international Computer Science For All movement, and, since 2016, a national professional development facilitator for the Code.org Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles curriculum. At the regional level, she has produced events such as the Las Vegas Maker Faire,  the local STEAM educators’ showcase Explore.Learn.Inspire., the interdisciplinary Las Vegas Make-a-thon 2.0 on the future of experience design, and online transdisciplinary design charrettes to transform arts education. In all these projects and her courses she enjoys teaching artists and designers how to use coding and mobile app development as a new creative “canvas.”

Influenced by Design Thinking and Aikido, she is known in the UNLV community as a resource who bridges divergent perspectives for productive collaborations. She has facilitated Design Sprints, transdisciplinary program development discussions, chairs the College of Fine Arts Work Climate Task Force, and is a trained mediator. She serves on the UNLV Faculty Technology Advisory Board and the UNLV Senate Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and is an active member in the UNLV Office of Online Education Community of Practice. These efforts all support College of Fine Arts’ goals to broaden student access and expand awareness of UNLV’s contributions to the Arts.

Her scholarship focuses on socially and culturally disruptive mobile technologies, propaganda technologies and techniques, and research-based best practices for online student engagement, which is intertwined with her interests in Flow experiences, mental states conducive to productivity and creativity, and her 15+ years of experience in Aikido, the martial art known for balancing conflict resolution and collaboration.

R. Benjamin Knapp
Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Emeritus and Special Advisor for Creatives and the Future of Work
R. Benjamin Knapp
Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Emeritus and Special Advisor for Creatives and the Future of Work

R. Benjamin Knapp is the Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. ICAT seeks to promote research and education at the boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science. Dr. Knapp also leads the Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group, with researchers in the UK and the US.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Knapp has been working to create meaningful links between human-computer interaction, universal design, and various forms of creativity. His research on human-computer interaction has focused on the development and design of user-interfaces and software that allow both composers and performers to augment the physical control of a musical instrument with direct sensory interaction. He holds twelve patents and is the co-inventor of the BioMuse system, which enables artists to use gesture, cognition, and emotional state to interact with audio and video media.

In previous positions, Dr. Knapp has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at University College, Dublin, and chief technology officer of the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre. As the director of technology at MOTO Development Group in San Francisco, Calif., he managed teams of engineers and designers developing human-computer interaction systems for companies such as Sony, Microsoft, and Logitech. He co-founded BioControl Systems, a company that develops mobile bioelectric measurement devices for artistic interaction. Dr. Knapp has also served as professor and chair of the Department of Computer, Information, and Systems Engineering at San Jose State University.

He earned a doctorate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. Dr. Knapp has been a PI in several pan-European projects including, CAPSIL (Common Awareness and Knowledge Platform for Studying and Enabling Independent Living) and SIEMPRE (Social Interaction and Entrainment Using Music Performance) and coordinated the EU project, BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development).

José Manuel Izquierdo König
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2022-2025 AY)
José Manuel Izquierdo König
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2022-2025 AY)

José Manuel Izquierdo is associate professor of music, and Director of Research and Postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Arts of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. During the last five years he has been leading the PhD in Arts, a pioneering program in Chile and South America, the first in the region with an interdisciplinary focus on  Practice as Research in performance, visual arts and music. With a PhD from the University of Cambridge (where he was selected as a Gates Cambridge Scholar), his research focuses on music and culture and Latin America, and opera studies, with a focus on mobilities and the circulation of music. He has a particular interest in problems of postcolonial approaches to culture and heritage in Latin America, having led several projects in rethinking the ways in which Western art forms have operated in the region since colonial times. His publications have earned him several awards, including the Otto Mayer Serra prize for musicology, and the Tosc@ award for transnational opera studies.

Susan Lakin
Rochester Institute of Technology (2022-2025 AY)
Susan Lakin
Rochester Institute of Technology (2022-2025 AY)

Susan Lakin is currently a Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the College of Art and Design.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and worked as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles, Sweden and Australia.  In addition to her commercial photography work, she owned and operated a professional retail photographic supply store in Burbank, CA.

Attracted to RIT’s strong photography and computer science departments, Susan accepted her teaching position shortly after completing an MFA in Art Studio with an emphasis in digital arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She works across disciplines in her academic and art practices, which led to her role as a Fellow in the School of Individualized Study, an RIT academic unit that provides flexible individualized education pathways.  Additionally, she serves on the RIT Center for Engaged Storycraft Steering Committee in the College of Liberal Arts, an interdisciplinary center working and playing with story-based creativity, research, and technical craft.

Susan’s artwork has received numerous awards and is part of the permanent collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, the Griffin Museum of Photography, and Photography Museum of Lishui, China.  She has produced multiple interactive transmedia projects exploring the intersections of music, art, and technology.  More recently, she is engaged with immersive technology and collaborates on community projects in the nonprofit sector.  She is a founding member and co-chair of the RIT Frameless Labs, a collective to advance research, innovation and artistic creation in fields of virtual and augmented reality.  She is chair of the 2020 annual Frameless Labs XR Symposium, an event and online journal for the community of VR/AR makers to encourage collaboration, growth of existing ventures and inspiration for new projects and technology.

Tom Martin
Virginia Tech, Special Advisor (2020-2022 CY)
Tom Martin
Virginia Tech, Special Advisor (2020-2022 CY)

Tom Martin is the Deputy Executive Director of Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), whose mission is to promote research and education at the intersections of science, engineering, art, and design and a professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, with courtesy appointments in the School of Architecture + Design, the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Engineering Education.  He is the co-director of the Virginia Tech E-textiles Lab.

Martin has been a leader in the areas of wearable computing and electronic textiles for over 25 years. He has been PI or co-PI on over $7 million of external research funding since joining Virginia Tech in 2001. His current research is focused on developing computational architectures and design tools for electronic textiles that will allow domain experts such as designers and artists to develop intelligent garments and home furnishings that will work reliably across a range of populations, environments, and applications.

Martin also has an extensive teaching and research background in interdisciplinary design teams.  Since 2006 he has worked with faculty from industrial design, architecture, marketing, and engineering education in an undergraduate Interdisciplinary Product Development Studio course and a Textile Space course. The faculty led teams of undergraduate students from engineering, design, and business in open-ended design projects involving intelligent products in areas such as pet care for the elderly, safety on construction sites, diabetes management for children, wearable technology for NASA, and interactive architectural installations. Martin has received several externally funded grants related to interdisciplinary teams, the development of disciplinary cultures, and curricula design that attracts a broader range of students to engineering and enables them to pursue a wider range of interdisciplinary careers. In his role as Deputy Executive Director at ICAT, Martin works with students and faculty spanning several colleges to enable them to pursue projects that blend science, engineering, arts, and design, to create new forms of artistic expression and interactive experiences. He is also responsible for fostering relationships with industry, including assembling interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students for brainstorming sessions with company personnel.

Martin received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was one of the first members of the Wearable Computer Lab, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He was a first generation college student and grew up on a farm, where he earned a degree in barnyard engineering, which studies the delicate balance between getting equipment to work and living things to grow without losing any toes or fingers. While at Virginia Tech, Martin has received numerous teaching awards for his work in developing and studying interdisciplinary educational experiences for undergraduate students. In 2006 he was selected for the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his research in e-textile-based wearable technology.

Rogério Meireles Pinto
University of Michigan, Hosting Partner Representative
Rogério Meireles Pinto
University of Michigan, Hosting Partner Representative

Rogério M. Pinto  is Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and Berit Ingersoll-Dayton Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work; he is also Professor of Theatre and Drama in U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Pinto focuses on finding academic, sociopolitical and cultural venues for broadcasting voices of oppressed individuals and groups. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, his community-engaged research focuses on the impact of interprofessional collaboration on the delivery of evidence-based services (HIV and drug-use prevention and care) to marginalized racial/ethnic and sexual minorities in the United States and Brazil. Pinto conducts art-based scholarly research. He performed “Marília,” a one-person play, on New York City’s Theatre Row in 2015 and at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, Vrystaat, South Africa in 2016. “Marília” won the United Solo Festival Best Documentary Script. In “Marília,” Pinto explores the tragic death of his three-year-old sister and how it haunts and inspires the family she left behind. Funded by the University of Michigan Office of Research and several other sources, he built the “Realm of the Dead,” an art installation to investigate his own marginalization as a gender non-confirming, mixed-race and Latinx immigrant. “Realm of the Dead” was presented at the School of Social Work as part of its Centennial celebration in 2021.

Chris Walker
University of Wisconsin-Madison (2022-2025 AY)
Chris Walker
University of Wisconsin-Madison (2022-2025 AY)

Chris Walker is the Director of the Division of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Professor in the Dance Department and founding artistic director of the First Wave program in the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. Walker co-directs #BARS Workshop at The Public Theatre in NYC, a lab series for artists to investigate the intersection between contemporary verse and theater, created by Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs. He is also a senior choreographer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, and program director for the New Waves Dance & Performance Institute in Trinidad & Tobago.

Walker creates contemporary dance, theater and performance artwork rooted in the visual and performance cultures of the African Diaspora. He works in the disciplines of dance, theater, film/video. He served as movement director for two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s Mlima’s Tale, which ran at the Public’s Martinson Hall and he is the recent choreographer for The Secret Life of Bees, The Musical produced by Atlantic Theatre in NYC. Walker has collaborated with Laura Anderson Barbata to develop Jus Luv/Rolling Calf a Jamaican ‘mas’ for her Intervention: Indigo project, a performance that was presented in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Brooklyn, NY.

His concert dance work has been presented in Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas. His collaboration with Kevin Ormsby and KasheDance in Toronto titled FACING Home: Love & Redemption is currently and has been on tour internationally since its premiere in 2015. He has received numerous international and national grants and honors for his creative research work. He recently completed a Romnes Fellowship, which supported his research on homophobia in the African Diaspora and in 2020 he was named one of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 Faculty Fellows.

Harvey Young
Boston University (2020-2022 CY)
Harvey Young
Boston University (2020-2022 CY)

Harvey Young’s research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals, profiled in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education. As a commentator on popular culture, he has appeared on CNN, 20/20, and Good Morning America as well as within the pages of the New York TimesBoston GlobeVanity Fair and People.

He is the author of three books, including Embodying Black Experience, winner of “Book of the Year” awards from the National Communication Association and the American Society for Theatre Research; and the editor of five books. His forthcoming edited collection (with Megan Geigner) Theatre After Empire will be published in 2021.

In January 2018, he became Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, where he holds faculty appointments as Professor of English and Professor of Theatre Arts. Previously, Dr. Young was Professor and Chair of Theatre at Northwestern University with appointments in African American Studies, Performance Studies, and Radio/Television/Film.

He is the Immediate Past President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and has served as a Trustee on numerous boards, including the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, American Society for Theatre Research, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Yale Club of Chicago. A former Harvard and Stanford fellow, Dr. Young graduated with honors from Yale and holds a M.A. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and a Ph.D. from Cornell.