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Meet UC San Diego’s New Cohort of Changemaker Faculty Fellows

The Changemaker Institute at the University of California San Diego today announced its 2021-2023 cohort of selected fellows. Seven faculty members have been selected to participate in the Changemaker Faculty Fellows Program, a two-year faculty development program designed to cultivate a robust learning community and campus network of changemakers committed to addressing real-world challenges through their teaching.

Launched in 2019, the program is a partnership between the Teaching + Learning Commons' Engaged Teaching and Experiential Learning Hubs and the Center for Student Involvement, with the support of the Changemaker Steering Committee. Fellows selected will receive a $10,000 faculty development award over two years.

As part of the program, faculty fellows help drive positive change through infusing community engaged learning (CEL) into their teaching, research, and public service. The selected participants—each competitively reviewed based on CEL-centered project proposals—engage their students in innovative opportunities to interact with community members and become changemakers themselves. To learn more about the program application and selection process, visit the Changemaker Institute website.

The Changemaker Faculty Fellows Program helps to drive forward the mission of the university’s Changemaker Institute, equipping campus community members with the resources and knowledge to create a positive impact locally and around the world.

Read on to learn more about the 2021-2023 cohort of Changemaker Faculty Fellows and their awarded projects:


Amy Lerner, Urban Studies and Planning

Amy Lerner
  • Project title: Sustainable Food Systems Planning
  • Community Partners: Local San Diego food and farming organizations
  • Project Description: The course will use the university campus and surrounding community as a laboratory for creating alternatives for just and healthy food systems. The course will also link to a new project led by Lerner and her colleague Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell, which examines the barriers and opportunities for food production and sovereignty across San Diego County. Through the course, community partners help students identify the opportunities for healthy and just possibilities in the food system, including through community gardens, urban farms and community wealth-building opportunities in the San Diego food system.
  • Impact: “I hope for the course to have several learning outcomes. First, to understand the origins of social and environmental injustices in the food system. Second, to explore innovative ways of addressing the injustices. And third, to inspire participants to become agents of change in their communities, including on campus.”

Mor Shilon and Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Urban Studies and Planning

Mor Shilon and Manuel Shvartzberg Carrio
  • Project Title: Developing Tools for Situated Planning: Technology-Oriented Community Engaged Learning and Critical Spatial-Decolonial Practices
  • Community Partners: Global Action Research Center, Logan Heights Community Development Corporation and Bread & Salt gallery in Logan Heights
  • Project Description: This project seeks to critically engage with service learning, present-day technological transformations in cities, and decolonial theory to include colonialism, racialization, Indigenous technologies, and environmental justice in the city. Through local engagements and international knowledge exchanges between the Technion University (Israel) and UC San Diego, the project will advance socio-spatial wellbeing and equity in places with relatively low-access resources.
  • Impact: “The project offers a unique collaboration and knowledge-sharing process involving students, faculty and residents to strengthen relationships between UC San Diego and the communities surrounding it, and to serve as a model for others to emulate. Particularly, we wish to make UC San Diego’s presence a true benefit for underinvested communities in San Diego for the long run.”

Phoebe Bronstein and Bill Roberston Geibel, Sixth College

Phoebe Bronstein and Bill Roberston Geibel
  • Project title: Integrating Community Engaged Learning (CEL) into the CAT Writing Series
  • Community Partners: Local San Diego environmental organizations
  • Project Description: The project aims to incorporate community engaged learning into the CAT Writing Program. Through engagement with local environmental organizations and analytical reading and writing, students will examine how popular culture has and continues to imagine the future of the environment and the climate crisis. By working with community partners across San Diego, this course will provide students multiple avenues to analyze topics such as the climate crisis; capitalism and the environment; race, gender, and the environment; and the politics of food.
  • Impact: “By partnering with local environmental organizations, our students will be able to support the needed environmental work they are doing and will build an awareness of the diverse ways in which the environment impacts their lives and the lives of others, particularly the most vulnerable in society.”

Yahir Santiago-Lastra and Maria Uloko, Urology and OBGYN

Yahir Santiago-Lastra and Maria Uloko
  • Project Title: Mis Decisiones: A Shared Decision-Making Tool for Spanish-speaking Women with Incontinence and Sexual Dysfunction
  • Community Partners: Community based clinics in demographically underrepresented areas
  • Project Description: The project will develop, validate and initially evaluate a patient decision-making aid for women considering stress urinary incontinence as well as sexual dysfunction treatment and surgery. While many women will choose to undergo surgical intervention for these matters, little is known about how patients choose among different treatment options for stress incontinence. Even less information exists about the reasons why underrepresented women and non-English speaking women choose their stress incontinence treatments.
  • Impact: “My hope is that this project will help prepare students to become the kind of learners and potential future surgeons who will listen to the patients and obtain their perspectives. It will also help foster leaders with a public purpose who want to understand underrepresented and non-English speaking communities.” - Santiago-Lastra