Michael Cole, Ph.D., is a University Professor of Communication and Psychology at UC San Diego, and since 1995 he has directed the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC). He earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Psychology in 1962. Cole's work focuses on the elaboration of a mediational theory of mind. He has conducted cross-cultural research on cognitive development, especially as it relates to the role of literacy and schooling. His recent research has been devoted to a longitudinal study of individual and organizational change within educational activities specially designed for afterschool hours. These systems link universities and local communities and allow a study of the dynamics of appropriation and use of new technologies and cultural-historical approaches to human development. According to Cole's methodology, mind is created and must be studied in communication.


Hugh (Bud) Mehan, He has worked closely with K-12 educators so that they can make informed decisions to insure that excellent educational opportunities are available to all children. Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UCSD, appointments that link his commitments to research and practice.  CREATE coordinates efforts at UCSD to improve the academic preparation of underrepresented students in the community through partnerships with K-12 schools and districts and the Preuss School, UCSD's on-campus model charter school. Since receiving his PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara in 1971, he has studied classroom organization, educational testing, tracking and untracking, computer use in schools and the construction of identities such as the "competent student," the "learning disabled student," the "mentally ill patient" and the "genius."




Srinivas Sukumar joined UCSD after a 25-year career at HP, where he held several senior management positions, including General Manager of The Internet Imaging Operation. As the Strategic Planning Manager for HP Labs, Sukumar created a new Business Development function to take novel technologies to market. As a key member of the HP eInclusion Program, he was responsible for HP initiatives in India and South Africa to build long-term competitive advantage for HP by fostering economic development through information technology. Prior to retiring from HP in 2002, Sukumar became involved with UCSD in the development of the Tribal Digital Village (TDV) project for the Native American community in San Diego County.

At UC San Diego, he has been active in the Teams in Engineering Service program as a faculty advisor and instructor. He is also the Strategic Initiatives Manager for the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) and the Center for Research in Educational Equity Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE). As a founding member and Executive Director of the Center for Community Well-Being (CCW), he is working to integrate and synergize UCSD efforts in community development through various departments such as Social Sciences, Engineering, Medical School, Arts and Humanities and UCSD Extension.




Edward Abeyta,   Ph.D., is the Registrar and Director of Academic Services at UC San Diego Extension, as well as a Staff Advisor to the UC Board of Regents. In the latter capacity, he is an effective translator and bridge builder between the UC staff and leadership. Abeyta has a background in academic outreach counseling, and has worked to improve student and staff diversity on the UC San Diego campus. He is a founding board member of the newly created San Diego Urban Discovery Charter School. Prior to joining UCSD Extension in 1995, Edward began his service at UCSD as a counselor for the Early Academic Outreach Program serving underrepresented students in San Diego high schools and later assumed the role of Registrar and Director of Academic Services at UC San Diego Extension, in which capacity he has also led K-16 programs of UC San Diego Extension.


Roberto R. Alvarez, Ph.D., is a Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and Director of the California Cultures in Comparative Perspective program, which fosters creative and activist interdisciplinary research, teaching and collaboration among California's communities, faculty and students. Alvarez earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1979 from Stanford University. His research interests include the application of anthropology to practical problem solving, especially regarding minority communities in the United States and their countries of origin. The ethics of conducting social science in such communities and the long-range empowerment of local peoples is central to Alvarez's teaching and work. He has conducted community ethnography throughout the U.S. that focuses on formal education - especially the high incidence of minority high school dropout rates - and emphasizes the social-cultural context of schooling. His work includes the continuing study of the settlement and long-term accommodation of immigrant communities along the California-Mexico Border. Currently Alvarez focuses on transnational markets and entrepreneurs by focusing on the ethnic fruit trade (primarily the chile and mango markets) between Mexico and the US.


Anna Lorri Anderson-Lazo, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral employee in the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UC San Diego and is a former executive director of EMPOWER San Diego. Anderson-Lazo earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2002. She has conducted and published research about civil society and multi-cultural democracy building projects in the U.S. and Central America, garnering awards including the Fulbright Fellowship. Anderson-Lazo has also recruited, trained and supervised staff, community leaders and volunteers in multicultural/multilingual teams of up to 100 persons in nonprofit and for-profit contexts. She has also worked in leadership positions with 25+ community groups to build durable organizations, powerful coalitions, and impactful advocacy efforts related to policy and governance, including planning, funding and implementing programs and campaigns.


Diane Baxter is the Director of Education at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Before joining SDSC in 2005, she developed environmental science education programs at the North Carolina Aquarium, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research, and Quail Botanical Gardens. Baxter is involved in ongoing programs with The Preuss School UCSD and Gompers Charter Middle School.


Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell is a continuing lecturer and academic coordinator in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at UC San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She also holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University. Her research interests included private foundations' involvement in community development, the role of nonprofit community development corporations in affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization, quality of life indicators and planning in disenfranchised urban neighborhoods, and the relationship between gender and planning. She focuses on applied research that bridges theory and practice.  


Shlomo Dubnov, Ph.D., is a professor of Computer Music and director of Calit2's Center for Research in Entertainment and Learning. Prior to joining UCSD, he earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Hebrew University and served as a researcher at the world-renowned Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics and Music (IRCAM), in Paris, and later headed the multimedia track for the Department of Communication Systems Engineering at Ben-Gurion University, in Israel. Dubnov conducted numerous research projects on advanced audio processing and retrieval, computer generated music, and other multimedia applications. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and Secretary of IEEE's Technical Committee on Computer Generated Music.


Rafael Hernandez, M.A., is the Director of UCSD's Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) and Lecturer/Supervisor of Education Studies, and Dean of Student Affairs in UCSD's Thurgood Marshall College. He earned his M.A. in Educational Administration from University of San Francisco in 1985. Hernandez also works with UC San Diego's Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) to bring new meaning to parent involvement in the Diamond District. In addition to organizing workshops to inform parents about college application and financial aid procedures, Hernandez has met informally with parents, instructing them on methods and procedures to interact successfully with school administrators and elected officials. Hernandez has also organized a "book club" with parents from Lincoln High School to enable them to experience first-hand the educational materials used by their children. Through these innovative actions, Hernandez is helping to empower a new generation of community leaders in the Diamond District of southeast San Diego. Hernandez is an active member of the local educational community, working closely with a variety of public school personnel to conduct such activities as assisting with placement of UCSD public service mentors in field experiences and serving as Executive Director of the Summerbridge San Diego Program, a unique year-round educational development project.


Jeannie Huang, MD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSD and Co-Director, Fellowship Program, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Dr. Huang's current research interests focus upon how to improve outcomes in pediatric chronic disease, including diseases such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, leukemia, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. In particular, she is involved in projects aimed at improving weight management among patients at risk for metabolic complications of obesity and in studies targeting improvements in patient-physician communications. Dr. Huang is also program director of the HOPE project, which is an online curriculum for clinicians and clinicians in training on the important topic of pediatric obesity.


Makeba Jones, Ph.D., is a Project Scientist at UC San Diego's Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE). She earned her Ph.D. in education policy and reform from UCLA in 2000, and is a member of the San Diego Area Writing Project. Jones is part of CREATE's Research and Evaluation group. Jones was a recipient of the 2009 UCSD Chancellor's Award for Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award.  Jones represents CREATE in the planning and development of Lincoln High School and Project Safe Way in the Diamond District, one of the most ethnically diverse and socioeconomically challenged neighborhoods in San Diego. In this capacity, she has helped Lincoln High School install a college-going culture of learning, develop its unique social justice curriculum for ninth-grade students, and improve the quality of teachers. She also assists Project Safe Way (a community-based effort in which parents man 18 street corners to ensure children have a safe passage to and from school) by bringing UC San Diego student interns and research expertise to this effort.


William Norcross, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at UC San Diego and Founding Director of UCSD's Physician Assessment and Clinical Education (PACE) program. He earned his MD in 1974 from Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Norcross currently practices at UCSD Lewis Street Family Practice and UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic: Baker Elementary School. His certifications include ABFM and CAQ in Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Norcross was in the first internship group to enter the UCSD Family Medicine Residency Program in 1974. He founded the PACE program in 1996, and since then, Dr. Norcross has grown PACE into the largest program for physician clinical competence assessment in North America. His certifications include ABFM and CAQ in Geriatric Medicine. His clinical interests include: quality improvement; physician clinical competence assessment; and improving primary care access via emerging electronic technologies.


Keith Pezzoli, Ph.D.,is Director of Field Research and Lecturer in Urban Studies and Planning at UC San Diego, and PI of the Outreach Core in the Superfund Basic Research Program. His research interests are in environmental management systems, industrial ecology, information technology and knowledge networking, sustainability science, as well as urban and regional planning. Pezzoli has written on city-regions, regional planning and globalization; livable cities, human settlements and urban land use in developing countries; environmental health sciences and watershed management; planning pedagogy, research methods, and university-community collaboration; as well as information and communications technology, 3D visualization, and geographic information systems (GIS).


Howard Taras, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics in the UCSD School of Medicine. He is a Board-Certified Pediatrician who specializes in the fields of School Health, community engagement in clinical research, oral health promotion to child professionals, and access to health care for underserved populations.


Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD, FAAP, is Assistant Dean for Diversity and Community Partnerships in the UCSD School of Medicine. She is also a physician in the school's Division of General Academic Pediatrics. Dr. Willies-Jacobo received her M.D. degree from the UCSD School of Medicine in 1992, and completed her Pediatrics residency training at UCSD in 1996, joining the faculty shortly thereafter. Since then, she has been an active contributor to medical education, and has served as the Director of the Pediatrics Core Clerkship over the past five years. As the Director of the Program in Medical Education Health Equity (PRIME-HEq), Dr. Willies-Jacobo's mission is to produce culturally and linguistically competent physicians trained to address the needs of underserved communities. Her research focus is in cultural competence in the practice of medicine, with an emphasis on understanding the impact that health beliefs and practices have on the clinical encounter. Dr. Willies-Jacobo is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a member of the Academic Pediatric Association, and the Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Student Affairs (GSA).



Catherine Condliffe, With a background in higher education leadership focused on service learning and college access, Catherine oversees various special projects on behalf of EAOP, and works with UCSD partnership schools in Southeastern San Diego. There she develops college preparatory curriculum for both students and parents, focusing on college application and financial aid literacy. In addition, Ms. Condliffe is responsible for the preparation and training of EAOP undergraduate tutors and mentors working in low-income schools in Central San Diego and the South Bay.




Camille Campion is a Ph.D. student in UCSD's Department of Communication. She supports the work of Project Safe Way, which stations volunteers on street corners in the Diamond District before and after school to ensure that students are able to cross streets safely. Campion began by collecting digital  recordings of narratives from Project Safe Way volunteers to create a 5-minute digital video to recruit new volunteers. In her current dissertation work, Campion is expanding that initial effort to include wider audiences in the community as well as newcomers who come into the activity as a result of current efforts. Her work involves creating a new methodology that combines action research, participatory ethnography, and narratology. Mentor: Michael Cole


Marilisa Navarro, M.A., is a graduate student in the UCSD Department of Ethnic Studies. Her research interests are at the intersection of popular culture, cultural production, and embodiment. She is interested in health and food access, food justice and food inequality. Her graduate work focuses on understanding and addressing the inequalities that exist for poor people, and in particular poor people of color, in accessing affordable, healthy foods in their communities. Navarro plans to examine food accessibility in the Diamond District and why people of color do not participate in food alternatives such as farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture, and what can be altered in food justice movements to make them accessible to poor communities of color. Mentor: Roberto Alvarez


Tamara Powell Jackson is a graduate student in UCSD's Department of Communication. The UCSD School of Medicine and San Ysidro Health Center have introduced primary care at Lincoln High School to provide weekly medical diagnosis and care. Fourth-year medical students provide weekly baseline health measurement for the community residents, and Powell will collect information about participation rates, interview participants about community assets and needs, and prepare analytic essays for use by the senior project staff.  Mentor: Michael Cole


Ryan Reft is a Ph.D. student in UCSD's Department of History. His research revolves around pubic housing and the discourse that both popular media and residents articulate on the relationship in low-income communities between eating habits and obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Within the neighborhoods of southeast San Diego, the lack of access to quality nutrition impacts the educational and health outcomes of many public housing residents. Through interviews and ethnographic fieldwork at several public housing sites in the area, Reft aims to understand better how residents view the connection between education, development and health. Mentor: Stefan Tanaka


Stevie Ruiz, MA, is a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies who is analyzing the relation between prisons and immigration detainment on Black, Latino and South Asian immigrant communities in San Diego from an historical perspective. Using archival materials from local newspapers, community archives, state records and oral histories from community members, Ruiz will examine how southeastern San Diego resident have been affected and addressed histories of incarceration, citizenship and immigration, an area that continues to affect poor communities of color across the nation. Mentor: Roberto Alvarez