Meet the Inaugural 2020 Public Impact Scholars Cohort

The Initiative on Cities is excited to announce our inaugural Public Impact Scholars cohort. The Public Impact Scholars program equips BU faculty with new skills and knowledge to influence local and state policy and discourse for positive societal impact. Faculty gain new perspective on state and local government, evidence-based policymaking, effective community-engaged research, and media engagement. The program also provides an opportunity to be part of a peer group of like-minded BU faculty from a variety of disciplines.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial cohort’s training has been postponed until January 2021.

2020 Public Impact Scholars

Mary Battenfield
Clinical Professor, American Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Education and civil rights history, literature and history of adoption in the U.S, and contemporary education policy and parent advocacy

Pamela Templer
Professor, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences and Director, URBAN Program
Expertise: Plant and microbial ecosystem ecology; biogeochemistry, effects of climate change, urbanization, and air pollution on forest ecosystems

Jeffrey Geddes
Assistant Professor, Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences
Expertise: Urban air quality; satellite remote sensing of air pollution; global and regional chemical transport modeling; land use

Anne Short
Associate Professor, Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Human-environment relations, environmental governance, rural land-use change, conservation and environmental management

Diana Wylie
Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Southern and North African history, urban history, historic preservation and public space.

Jessica Simes
Assistant Professor, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Inequality, race, social structure of cities, inequalities in mass incarceration.

Ana Villareal
Assistant Professor, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Violence and urban wealth, fear and solidarity, violence in Latin American cities.

Deborah Carr
Professor and Chair, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Expertise: Social factors in health and aging, end-of-life issues, bereavement, family relations in later life.

Michael Birenbaum Quintero
Associate Professor of Music and Chair, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, College of Fine Arts

Expertise: Music of the black inhabitants of Colombia’s Pacific coast region, cultural politics, violence and trauma, black cosmopolitanism, and vernacular uses of technology.

Gregory Melchor-Barz
Professor and Director, Music, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, College of Fine Arts
Expertise: Medical ethnomusicology, HIV/AIDS, Uganda and East Africa.

Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, School of Medicine

Expertise: Health services delivery and health outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Monica Wang
Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health

Expertise: Racial/ethnic and social inequities in obesity and chronic diseases; Community-engaged interventions; Youth.

Megan Elias
Associate Professor of the Practice and Director, Gastronomy, Metropolitan College
Expertise: Food history, culture and markets, history of food technology, food and gender.

Paul Hutchinson
Senior Lecturer, Management & Organizations, Questrom School of Management
Expertise: Youth outdoor education movements and summer camps, emerging technologies and experiential learning, environmental history.

Raul Fernandez
Lecturer and Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

Expertise: Social justice, implicit bias, diversity and inclusion in higher education, student governance.

Stephanie Curenton
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

Expertise: Early childhood education and workforce programs, early education policy, social, cognitive and language development of low-income and minority children.

Ariel Tichnor-Wagner
Lecturer, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

Expertise: Education policy and politics, policy and program implementation, school improvement, and global education