Our Affiliates

Rebecca Paradiso de Sayu
Rebecca Paradiso de Sayu is Program/Social Impact Director for Invest in Wisconsin, a collaborative of four prominent community development financial institutions (CDFIs). In her role, she provides strategic leadership and directs outcomes measurement and evaluation efforts. A participatory researcher by training, Paradiso de Sayu has a keen interest in exploring how diverse community stakeholders identify needs and solutions related to financial well-being among low-income, rural borrowers.

Jean Geran

Dr. Jean Geran, the Founder and President of Each Inc., has worked on international child protection and related policy issue in many capacities. She served as the Director for Democracy and Human Rights on the National Security Council, as Advisor on UN Reform and as an Abuse Prevention Officer for USAID in Iraq.

Linda Bowen
Linda Bowen has served as Executive Director of the Institute for Community Peace (ICP), formerly the National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention since its formal inception. Bowen has over 30 years of experience in violence prevention, program management and development, policy analysis, research and community building. 

Lori DiPrete Brown
Lori DiPrete Brown is the Associate Director for Education and Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute.  She leads global education and outreach at UW-Madison, including designing curricula for the highly subscribed global health education programs of the Global Health Institute and supporting the development of faculty-led field courses and internships around the world.  

Steven Krauss
Dr. Steven Krauss is a Research Fellow at Putra University in Malaysia in their Institute of Social Science Studies.  A qualitative researcher, his research interests include topics related to youth development, including youth work and positive youth development.

Alfonso Morales
Dr. Alfonso Morales is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is affiliated with a number of centers and programs, including the Department of Sociology, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Agroecology Program, and the Chica/o LLatina/o Studies Program.  Morales studies food systems, public marketplaces, and street vendors, and the role and function that they serve in economic development. 

Ian Baird
Dr. Ian Baird is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His main geographical area of interest is mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, where he studies a range of issues, including political ecology (rural), human-environment relations, development and post-development, and social developments.

Ann Evensen
Ann Evensen, MD, FAAFP, is the Director of Global Health and Associate Professor in the Department of Famnily Medicine and Community Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Her areas of interest  include international faculty development and maternity care. Since 2010 she has been a consultant for the inaugural Family Medicine residency and Advanced Life Support Obstetrics (ALSO) programs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a member of the ALSO India Advisory Board and advisor to GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), an Indian public-provate partnership that educates emergency personnel and supplies ambulance services for 800 million Indian citizens.

Mel Freitag
Dr. Mel Freitag is currently the Diversity Officer and an Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her PhD is in Curriculum and Instruction with minors in Rhetoric/Composition and Educational Psychology. She also holds a Master of Arts in English from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Augsburg College. Her research explores how students’ and teachers’ voices and stories shape how and what it means to be a welcoming, supportive, and safe(r) school for all students, faculty, and staff. In her current role in the School of Nursing, Dr. Freitag continues to serve historically underrepresented populations through mentorship, recruitment, student programs, curriculum initiatives, and faculty/staff professional development. 

Lewis Friedland
Dr. Lewis Friedland is a professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication and an affiliated professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He founded and directs the Center for Communication and Democracy. His research and teaching centers around civic and citizen journalism, communication and society, communication research methods, international news reporting, and civil society and public life.

Peter Miller
Dr. Peter Miller is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Miller focuses on issues of school and community-based educational leadership, inter-organizational collaboration, and education in contexts of homelessness. 

Melanie Schmidt
Melanie Schmidt is the current President and Chief Strategy Officer of Timpano Group, a Madison consulting firm that helps leaders discover, articulate, and employ practical strategies in meaningful ways.  Schmidt also serves in an Operational Planning and Strategic Initiatives position with Alliant Energy.  

Kathy Cramer
Dr. Kathy Cramer is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisocnsin-Madison and has taught a service-learning course called “Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference” for the past 14 years. Her teaching and research focuses on public opinion, civic engagement, and deliberative democracy. 

Young Mie Kim
Dr. Young Mie Kim is an Associate Professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Faculty Affiliate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kim’s research concerns media and politics in the digital age; specifically the role digital media play in political communication among political leaders, advocacy groups, and citizens.

Randy Stoecker
Dr. Randy Stoecker is a professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Center for Community and Economic Development.  His areas of interest include communities and urban sociology, qualitative methods, science and technology, and social movements and collective behavior. 

Geoffrey Swain
Dr. Geoffrey Swain is a Professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He mostly focuses on urban population health, sexually transmitted infections, and public health advocacy and leadership. 

Pam Oliver
Dr. Pam Oliver is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She is well known for her work on collective action and social movements and is a leader in the area of racial disparity in criminal justice. 

Lynet Uttal
Dr. Lynet Uttall is a professor in the Counseling Psychology department in the School of Education and a community-based researcher in the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches Family Theories and a community based research course on Immigrant Families, and leads international service learning courses to Honduras and Mexico. 

Gavin Luter
Dr. Gavin Luter received his PhD. in Educational Administration from the University of Buffalo in 2015.  He holds a Master’s of Science degree in the Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Public and Non-Profit Management. Currently, he is the Coordinator of Educational Programs at the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies.

Revel Sims
Dr. Revel Sims recently received his PhD from the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA and is currently an Honorary Fellow in the department of Urban and Regional Planning at UW-Madison. His current research approaches the dynamic of urban change through the lens of gentrification. Through this perspective, his attempt to uncover the way in which urban change occurs by way of the process of displacement and eviction. His work draws attention to the role that property owners, financial institutions, and the state perform in the process of urban displacement and gentrification. 

Linda Vakunta
Linda Vakunta is a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also the program director for Project 1808. A native of Cameroon, Linda has travelled to Sierra Leone numerous times to facilitate and implement Project1808 programs in country. Linda co-lead the first UW-Madison Sierra Leone global health field course. Linda’s International community work has also taken her to Ghana as a business environment intern for USAID’s West Africa Trade Hub where she supported research work on the promotion of Sustainable Development through free movement of transport, goods and persons. She also co-hosts Panafrica Radio Show on WORT 89.9 FM Madison, Wisconsin, a weekly program on music, culture, history, and issues from Africa and Diaspora.

Michel Wattiaux
Michel Wattiaux is a Professor in the Dairy Science Department at UW-Madison. His research focuses on the improvement of dairy farms globally in a way that fosters the social, economical, and environmental soundness of production systems. With a strong focus on sustainability, Dr. Wattiaux works to understand how to alleviate rural poverty and improve nutrition in the face of change effects.

Alice F. Pauser
Alice F. Pauser is the founder and executive director of The Demeter Foundation, Inc. A nonprofit whose Mission is ” Advocating and educating for the humane treatment and civil rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in Wisconsin. To reduce recidivism and gain self-empowerment, healing and strength.”  Ms. Pauser has over 15 years of experience advocating for women with the lived experience of the Wisconsin Women’s Prison System. The Demeter Foundation also works towards systems change by collaborating with legislators and community partners.

Laurel Lunde
Laurel Lunde is the Executive Director of The Gathering Source. Founded in 2010, The Gathering Source (TGS) is a grassroots organization that began with a simple mission of delivering food to families in need.  Since that time, TGS has evolved into a multipurpose organization committed to reducing hunger and providing a variety of educational programs and access to resources to improve long-term outcomes for those in our rural communities.

Interested in affiliating with the CommNS?
Please CLICK HERE on how and why to become an affiliate, and click THIS LINK to apply.