Brain Trust

The Brain Trust is an extended support network of the Learning Lab for Resiliency.® Members of the Brain Trust compose a loosely-knit, volunteer learning society in support of mobilizing our different knowledges, experiences, and concerns for the social good.

avatar for Ambarish KarmalkarAmbarish Karmalkar

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst working in the field of Climate Change and Impacts Studies. I use high resolution climate models to obtain climate information at spatial scales relevant for impacts assessment. I am focusing on climate change in Central America and the Andes and its impacts on biodiversity, water resources, and agriculture.

avatar for Anca AlbuAnca Albu

Results-oriented, strategically motivated and creatively driven. Sees challenges as opportunities for great innovation. A dual citizen who has lived in 3 different countries and travelled in over 30 (so far) with her expertise in international relations, design and passion for human rights, Anca works on creating and growing the global startup community, focusing on post-communist countries and the way cross-sector collaboration and shared values can create a collective impact in the East-Central European region.

avatar for Anna Rita NapoleoneAnna Rita Napoleone

Anna Rita Napoleone is a PhD Candidate in Rhetoric and Composition - English - at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has a Master’s Degree in English from Long Island University Brooklyn Campus and a Bachelor’s Degree in Media/Communication from Hunter College City University of New York.  Her research deals with social class- specifically working-class discourse, gender, performativity, and affect.   She has co-authored an article, “Teachers with(out) Class: Transgressing Academic Social Space through Working-Class Performances.”  She has presented at conferences such as Conference on  College Composition and Communication, International Writing Centers Association and others.

avatar for Annmarie SauerAnnmarie Sauer

worked as a simltaneous interpreter
poet, translator of poetry
and other literary genres...
curious in general and as to how this works
i try to be a worker for peace

avatar for Anuj PradhanAnuj Pradhan

Anuj is intrigued by drivers' behaviors - why are car crashes the #1 killer for teenagers in the US, and pretty much globally. He studies this issue from a public health perspective. Anuj is from Bhutan, a small country that didn't used to have many cars. But now it does. And unsurprisingly, those driver statistics have become relevant even to remote Himalayan kingdoms.

avatar for Arturo E. OsorioArturo E. Osorio

Arturo E. Osorio specializes in entrepreneurship, community development, urban socioeconomic systems, food security, and creative class. He has presented his work in over 15 international conferences, a book chapter on Economic Development, and advises entrepreneurs and start-ups.

avatar for Bob FletcherBob Fletcher

Bob is an emergency manager and the recent recipient of the Eric Tolbert Award from the National Emergency Management Association, for his life long commitment to emergency management standards and practices. He is an avid boater, fisherman and yogi. When he puts his mind to it, he is a good writer.

avatar for Charmaine WijeyesingheCharmaine Wijeyesinghe

Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, Ed. D. has been a social justice educator for almost 30 years. Stops along her career path include positions in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dean of Students at Mount Holyoke College, and National Program Consultant for the National Conference of Christians and Jews (where she developed social justice programs and staff training modules for 62 regional offices around the country). Charmaine currently lectures and writes on Multiracial identity, the application of racial identity models to various areas of practice, and the promises and challenges of applying intersectionality to social identity models. She provides coaching and editorial services to authors seeking to promote social justice through their written words. Charmaine has 2 edited books (with Bailey Jackson) on racial identity development published by NYU Press, and several book chapters and journal pieces. She lives in Delmar, NY.

avatar for Chetan ChawlaChetan Chawla

trojan: mba'08 @USCMarshall. phd in strategy @IsenbergSOM focus: tech, business strategy, innovation. fight on!

avatar for David de SmitDavid de Smit

I am sowing and feeding, harvesting and eating, and sharing whatever and whenever I can. Is there something more that needs to be done? What kind of animal am I?

avatar for David EggletonDavid Eggleton

Presently projecting the most promising paradigms: Whole places and whole people.

avatar for David SpechtDavid Specht

David Specht is a facilitator and mediator, serves as Director of Research and Organizational Services for Seeing Things Whole, and as faculty for the Woodbury Institute Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies Program at Champlain College. He lives with his wife Clare on a small farm in the hill towns of Western Massachusetts.

avatar for Don SheferDon Shefer

Don is an iOS Engineer and Mobile App Consultant who enjoys travel, technology, and sitting quietly.

avatar for Drew PidkamenyDrew Pidkameny

Drew Pidkameny is a freelance sign language interpreter who would like to see humanity survive its own adolescence.

avatar for Eileen ForestalEileen Forestal

Eileen is Deaf, a certified interpreter, activist for Deaf culture resiliency, interpreter educator.

avatar for Erin Sanders-SigmonErin Sanders-Sigmon

Broken ears, ambidextrously innovative non-compartmentalized thinker, diagnosed as gifted, survivor of ZOOM culture. Global. Woke. Have we met? 

avatar for Eve GruntfestEve Gruntfest

Eve is professor emeritus of Geography at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She just completed a draft of a textbook Weather and Society: Integrated Studies to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2013.

avatar for Greta SutherlandGreta Sutherland

I am Auntie. Mother. Daughter. Misfit. Sister. Believer. Liberal. Seeker. Wife. Reader. Writer. Artist. Friend and Loyal Ally.

avatar for Guy McPhersonGuy McPherson

Guy McPherson is professor emeritus, homesteader, and latter-day gadfly.

avatar for Harshith KashyapHarshith Kashyap

Harshith Kashyap is pursuing an undergraduate course in engineering at The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore. He is a web designer, programmer, gizmo freak and is interested in open source technologies. He is also a core member of the technopreneurship pod of the entrepreneurship cell Onyx at his college. Sports, especially Formula1 and Football, are his favorite.

avatar for James CummingJames Cumming

James Cumming was initially trained as a civil engineer, became an assistant professor and consultant to Swedish development projects in Laos and Vietnam on technical communication, going on to facilitate multicultural communities and multinational groups addressing issues of language, culture, power differences, and change. In 2004 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and practices Tai Chi for its health and wellness benefits.

avatar for Jean ArnaudJean Arnaud

Jean Arnaud currently works in Haiti as a consultant to facilitate
community planning and action for ecological systems restoration.
Jean's focus includes reforestation, sustainability education and ecological sanitation.

avatar for Jeff KappenJeff Kappen

Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Jeff graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Beloit College with a triple major in International Relations, French and Russian. He also holds an MBA in International Business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the UMass doctoral program in Organization Studies, he spent ten years working in international trade with companies in Madison and Chicago. With a primary research focus on issues related to globalization in international management, Jeff is also interested in organizational behavior and theory, business-society relations, and power and politics.

avatar for Jimmy IlsonJimmy Ilson

Jimmy Ilson is an artist, tai chi practitioner and instructor, avid gardener, folk guitar player, and writer of short poems. He also teaches high school art in Western Massachusetts.

avatar for John SmithJohn Smith

John holds ASL Teacher certification from the American Sign Language Teachers Association.
He has taught American Sign Language and Deaf Culture to professional service providers, high school students, children, and interested adult learners for more than thirty years. A graduate of Gallaudet University, John's experience regarding the use of ASL in the English-speaking classroom, designing ASL curricula, and developing ASL training programs is comprehensive. John's graduate studies focus on Deaf education and Deaf culture with a specialization in visual learning.

avatar for Josef DunneJosef Dunne

Mayel de Borniol and Josef Dunne are co-founder of Babelverse, the "universal translator" for spoken communication, a platform for on-demand remote interpretation in any language, powered by a global community of interpreters and multilingual people.

avatar for Julian ChalekJulian Chalek

Julian is a recent college graduate with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is interested in the convergence of science and media such as photography, audio production, animation, and computer based media.

avatar for Julie JulesJulie Jules

Julie Jules is Deaf and an American Sign Language signer. She has worked since her teenage years in a wide variety of settings with deaf and hearing colleagues. Her teaching style uses humor, creativity and verve to build on students' specific responses and experiences in ways that encourage them to think, act, talk, and collaborate to perform in a manner that meets today’s working reality. Ms. Jules has a B.A. from Gallaudet University. She is an eclectic reader with a burgeoning interest in cross cultural networking, equine therapy and all things Deaf Art.

avatar for Kim FletcherKim Fletcher

Crisis, cooking, boats.
Horses, yoga, friends. I bring
order to chaos.

avatar for Kim StephensKim Stephens

Kim Stephens is an independent emergency management consultant and the lead blogger of iDisaster 2.0 where she writes about the benefits as well as the challenges of using social media for emergency communications.

avatar for Larkin ChristieLarkin Christie

Larkin is a community organizer whose interests and expertise lie in youth organizing, racial justice work and equitable food systems. They work with the Western MA chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, 413 Staying Connected, and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) among other organizations.

avatar for Laura AlayonLaura Alayon

I am a creative and interdisciplinary professional looking for better ways to integrate my academic skills with my practical experience. As a professional in Ecology I am able to understand the structure and dynamic of ecosystems and contribute to solving and understanding environmental issues. As a MSc in Resource Economics I focus my work on the study of the relationships between environmental policies and local realities in the use and management of natural resources. I focus on natural and socioeconomic incentives to make these relationships more efficient and sustainable. I have participated in many research projects with local communities that depend on extracting natural resources to make a living. The challenge has been to forecast how resources management will perform and find incentives for designing political and methodological proposals that contribute to real solutions in specific contexts.

avatar for Li GuLi Gu

Please bear with me, I'm still not set on my bio.

avatar for Liz RosenbergLiz Rosenberg

People call me Liz. I am a Rosenberg.

The independent toy store I own in Amherst, MA gives me joy and the flexibility to chase my 2 daughters Celia and Rita, each of them young-going-on-old.

avatar for Maria CorradiniMaria Corradini

Maria G Corradini specializes in food safety, predictive microbiology, non linear kinetics, luminescence spectroscopy and shelf life. Maria is a Professional Member of the Institute of Food Technologists, Sigma Xi, and has authored over 70 articles in peer reviewed journals and 8 book chapters.

avatar for Mayel de BorniolMayel de Borniol

Mayel de Borniol and Josef Dunne are co-founder of Babelverse, the "universal translator" for spoken communication, a platform for on-demand remote interpretation in any language, powered by a global community of interpreters and multilingual people.

avatar for Michael J. DeLucaMichael J. DeLuca

Michael J. DeLuca is the publisher of Reckoning, a nonprofit, annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice. He has volunteered at Small Beer Press, guest-edited LCRW, and co-operates Weightless Books with Gavin J. Grant. His short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mythic Delirium, Clockwork Phoenix, Apex, Ideomancer, Interfictions &c. He brews beer, grows food, forages mushrooms, agitates for global climate action, and bakes bread in the distant north Detroit suburbs.

avatar for Nancy J. MurphyNancy J. Murphy

Nancy Jane Murphy is an attorney for the Protection and Advocacy Agency for Massachusetts, Disability Law Center. She is involved with developing emergency planning materials for individuals with disabilities, working for health care access and universal design in health care, and regularly monitoring facilities throughout the state.

avatar for Nancy RodriguezNancy Rodriguez

Nancy manifests creatively.

avatar for Niam EtanyNiam Etany

Niam Itani is a Lebanese award winning screenwriter & filmmaker. She strives to make films about social issues; mainly against war, discrimination, poverty and injustice of all kinds.

avatar for Peter KingPeter King

Lissie and I share a lifelong passion for creative problem solving, including researching solutions to change our economy from a fossil fueled to renewable energy and biofuel model.

avatar for Razvan SibiiRazvan Sibii

Razvan Sibii holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from the American
University in Bulgaria. He has received an M.A. degree in Communication from UMass Amherst, and he is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation in the same department. He is also a full-time lecturer in the UMass Journalism Program, and a foreign correspondent for Romania’s largest quality newspaper, Adevarul. He has taught dozens of undergraduate courses, both in-class and online (e.g., Newswriting and Reporting, Journalism Ethics, Cultural Codes in Communication, Media & Society, Media Criticism, Interpersonal Communication, News Analysis, Public Opinion). Raz’s scholarly interests include issues of identity, culture, and ideology; political communication; media & storytelling; and critical pedagogy.

avatar for Rebecca M. TownsendRebecca M. Townsend

Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., won a Champions of Change Award for Transportation Innovation from the White House, and the International Association of Public Participation honored her work on public engagement of youth, minorities, and people with low incomes in culturally sensitive deliberation of transportation planning. She teaches and researches about ways people communicate.

avatar for Ruth MooreRuth Moore

I keep myself busy teaching American Sign Language courses at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The goal is to reach college students and educate them in ASL, the deaf community, and Deaf culture. I cherish my family - my husband, our two sons and six grandchildren.

avatar for Salome KahiuSalome Kahiu

Salome Kahiu is an independent communications consultant in Nairobi, Kenya. She specializes in corporate communications, crisis management, stakeholder engagement and media relations. She has worked with various Government institutions as well as leading corporations in the private sector including, Google Sub-Saharan Africa, Diageo Africa, The French Development Agency (AFD), Internet Solutions Kenya, Kenya Airways, Telkom-Orange Kenya and The East African Breweries Ltd among others.

Additionally, she has just concluded a one year associate-ship at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Centre in Massachusetts, USA. Here, she conducted a research which focused on the cultural transformations caused by the foretold technological evolution, the consequent shifting definitions of humanity and the disruption of the institutions and foundations which hold ‘proof’ of the same.

Salome has BA in communications from Daystar University in Kenya and an MA in Global Media and Communications from Coventry University in the UK.

avatar for Sanjana HemanthSanjana Hemanth

Sanjana is a dreamer - a typical Piscean, she has built a couple castles in the air and is now trying to set their foundations studying Engineering at Purdue. She an amateur landscape artist and an avid reader who juggles social responsibilities with volunteer leadership.

avatar for Sarbjeet SinghSarbjeet Singh

Sarbjeet is an Assistant Professor of Management at Kean University. He holds a PhD in Management from the University of Massachusetts. He is interested in the field of organizational learning, a subfield of organization studies that examines how successful organizations, by building learning capacities, adapt to changes in their environment. A characteristic of these organizations is that they do not leave learning to occur by chance but rather proactively build a learning culture, processes and learning systems to create, transfer and mobilize knowledge. A key element underlying the above endeavor is collective learning – individuals learning from and with each other – within the organization. When members of an organization resist the collective learning initiatives of the organization, which they do for various reasons, it presents a challenge to organizations striving to become learning organizations.  He is interested in examining why and how people resist participating in collective learning within organizations. With these insights, he aims to design structures - formal and informal, structural and motivational - to facilitate collective learning within organizations.

avatar for Satyam PandaySatyam Panday

Satyam Panday is a doctoral student in International Economics and Finance at Brandeis University in Boston, MA. His fields of specialization within economics are international development, macroeconomics and computational economics. His Ph.D research focuses on rural credit markets, determinants of long-term poverty traps and the life-cycle effects of interest rate and income shocks on lifetime wealth across various socio-economic and age groups. He also holds an MBA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in mathematics from Saint Olaf College, MN.

avatar for Shabnam BeheshtiShabnam Beheshti

Shabnam Beheshti is Triennial Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University. She works on Integrable Systems arising in Mathematical Physics, specifically in Geometric Relativity/Gravitation and more recently in Vortex Dynamics of Fluids.

avatar for Soirée-LeoneSoirée-Leone

Seeking spiritual and intellectual meaning. Participating in authentic relationships. Sharing skills and experience. Growing food and eating food in San Diego, California.

Current project:

avatar for Srinidhi PrahladSrinidhi Prahlad

Srinidhi Prahlad is the inventor of Reinventio. His passions include tinkering with Electronics, Experimental Teaching, Ancient Philosophy, Scientific Modelling, Sky Gazing, Ethical Entrepreneurship, and Making Faces at People.

avatar for Stacy CohenStacy Cohen

Human. Seeker of context, story, and layers; agent of change. Focused on attachment, learning, technology, communication, representation, and access. We can do better, together.

avatar for StephSteph

Spontaneous Action Researcher. Interpreter. Blogger. I'm a Gen Y-Wannabe from the tag end of the Boomer generation.

avatar for Valeré Van GerreweyValeré Van Gerrewey

An artist with great interest in shamanic art, comic strips, zines, young graphic designers and street art.

avatar for Veerle DuflouVeerle Duflou

Veerle is an EU accredited conference interpreter, interpreter trainer and researcher with an interest in ethnography, complexity, epistemology, learning, communities of practice and languages (Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German and Russian in particular).

avatar for Viviana C. Enrique AcostaViviana C. Enrique Acosta

Culture bearer and caretaker of sacred sabiduria.

avatar for Wing JliangWing Jliang

There are something that we give it meaning beyond the object itself. Real travel is spiritual walk with views close to the heart, is the emotion with the integration of environment, is a return to the true nature. With our passion to embrace the world, with our feet to conquer the world, with our own ideas to influence the world.

avatar for Zach McDowellZach McDowell

Zach is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst. His research is focused on how digital systems, particularly “open access” systems, influence how we create culture. His dissertation research is a media archaeology of musical mashups. Zach is a Wikipedia Teaching Fellow and a Campus Ambassador for the Wikipedia Education Program, as well as a Doctoral Fellow at the National Center for Digital Government. He is the co-founder and editor of the open access journal communication +1.

avatar for Zachary ZorbasZachary Zorbas

Lead designer at Babelverse.

avatar for Zack McCordZack McCord

Zack is a generalist software engineer with an eclectic background in language, AI, and litigation, seeking to apply technology to improve the lives we live not as consumers and producers but as human beings.

avatar for Zeynep DelenZeynep Delen

I have lived in many places but I consider my hometown Ízmir, which is where I started sailing. I'm a chemist, skier, and advocate for liberal arts education. My second foreign language is German. I really enjoy dancing. I feel trapped when I don't see the horizon. I love adventures! Zeynep is Founder of Ege’de Atölye and Zeytin (that is, Olive).