Past Sabbatical Rosters
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- 2008-9 Sabbatical Grantees
- 2007-8 Sabbatical Grantees
- 2006-7 Sabbatical Grantees
- 2005-6 Sabbatical Grantees
2008-9 Sabbatical Grantees
Jennifer Peters is Senior Institutional Relations Officer at Capital IDEA, a non-profit organization that lifts working families out of poverty by sponsoring educational services that lead to life-long financial independence. During her Community Sabbatical Research leave, Ms. Peters will research best practices in remedial education programs at the community college level and develop a paper or article on Capital IDEA’s College Prep Academy. The Academy is a 12-to-16 week course jointly developed by Austin Community College District (ACC ) and Capital IDEA that enables participants to pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA ) at high rates and to begin college- level coursework without having to take remedial courses. Ms. Peters plans to investigate whether this approach might be replicable, and might offer a model to other workforce development and education agencies and community colleges. Her faculty advisor will be Dr. Suanne D. Roueche of the Community College Leadership Program in the College of Education.
Catherine Lee Doar
Austin Habitat for Humanity
Austin Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families who live in substandard or overcrowded housing and are unable to obtain conventional home financing. As Design Coordinator, Catherine Lee Doar is responsible for the design, site planning, permitting, and materials procurement for each Austin Habitat home, including research and implementation of green building principles. During her Community Sabbatical research leave, Ms. Doar will work with Dr. Steven Moore and Dr. Elizabeth Danze from the School of Architecture to investigate the many possibilities for shading and wall assembly that have been developed over the past few years and determine which might be viable for Austin Habitat’s use. While excellent shading techniques can be found in nearly every new architecture magazine, they are almost exclusively created with expensive materials for high-end homes or commercial projects. Ms. Doar will investigate shading strategies that can be effected with durable materials at minimal cost and adapted for integration into Habitat Homes.
Austin Children’s Museum
Rebecca Jones is the Director of Education at the Austin Children’s Museum. Over the past eighteen months, she has helped craft a new strategic direction for the museum: to serve an older target audience of children up to eleven years of age by focusing on creative problem-solving through the lens of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and creating innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. Ms. Jones will use her Community Sabbatical to gain a deeper grounding in current understandings of cognition and inquiry-based learning. In conjunction with her faculty consultants—architect Dr. Louise Harpman and Dr. James Barufaldi, director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education—she intends to produce a blueprint for Austin Children’s Museum’s new direction that outlines: research-based interpretative strategies and best practices; potential gallery and programmatic themes; and workable space and exhibit design strategies.
2007-8 Sabbatical Grantees
Robin Bradford is the director of development and communications for Foundation Communities, Austin’s largest provider of affordable housing and supportive services. Robin is responsible for fundraising and public outreach for the organization, raising $1.5 million annually from foundations, corporations, and individuals. She is also a short story writer and essayist whose honors include an O. Henry Award and a Dobie Paisano Fellowship for Texas writers.
During her Community Sabbatical Research leave, Robin will focus on a book in progress about the complex relationship between social workers and the families they serve, especially the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual challenges of the social worker's continuing labor and hope for change in the face of overwhelming need and suffering. Her faculty consultants will be Dr. Margaret (Peg) Syverson of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Dr. Holly Bell from the School of Social Work. Dr. Syverson is also an ordained Soto Zen priest who will provide expertise on Buddhist studies. Dr. Bell has recently done research on social workers’ views on their own spirituality.
French Legation Museum
Stephanie Jarvis is the new Director at the French Legation Museum. In December 2005 she received an M.A. from the Public History Program at Texas State University – San Marcos. Before joining the staff of the French Legation Museum in August 2006, she worked as a researcher/interpreter at the Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site near Brenham, Texas. Although her current research centers mostly on materials relevant to program development at the French Legation Museum, she is always eager to broaden her studies with as much Austin and Texas history as possible.
She is especially excited about the project planned for her Community Sabbatical Research Leave, which will focus on the African American presence on Robertson Hill (the site on which the French Legation sits). The information gained will revitalize the Museum, connect the content of its tours more closely to its surrounding community, and make its interpretation of the site it occupies more inclusive of all of the historical inhabitants of Robertson Hill. Her faculty consultants will be Dr. Shirley Thompson from the Department of American Studies and Dr. Martha Norkunas from the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Thompson’s own work explores African American passages from property to property ownership. Dr. Norkunas is currently trying to launch a project on the meaning of slavery in Austin that would involve documentation of the enslaved people here, identification of sites associated with slavery, archaeology, and national register nominations.
Brian Radley is the Director of Middle School Programs at Breakthrough Austin, an educational non-profit that builds a path to college for students who will be first-generation college graduates. Starting in sixth grade and continuing through college entrance, Breakthrough provides rigorous academic summer sessions at The University of Texas at Austin, school-year support and advocacy, and college prep programming to 250 low-income, AISD students who have a dream of going to college. Research shows that low-income students are seven times less likely to attend college than their higher-income peers, and first-generation college students must overcome countless challenges on their path to college. An additional layer of challenges faces such students when they are children of undocumented immigrants.
Brian will use his research leave to study the systemic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that undocumented immigrant students face in pursuing their college goals. Collaborating with UT faculty, Dr. Barbara Hines from the School of Law, and local and national partner organizations, he will investigate tools and strategies that Breakthrough—and other 501c3’s—can use to counsel, support, and advocate for Breakthrough’s undocumented student population. Dr. Hines is the director of the immigration clinic at the School of Law. She is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has litigated many issues relating to the constitutional and statutory rights of immigrants in federal and immigration courts. Brian hopes to publish and share his findings with other programs in Austin and Breakthrough’s National Collaborative.
2006-7 Sabbatical Grantees
Julian Huerta is the current Director of Community Services for Foundation Communities, Austin's largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing and supportive services. He develops and directs educational, social service and asset-building programs that serve more than 12,000 working poor families annually and that have been recognized as among the best housing-based supportive services in the country. Mr. Huerta is also co-founder of Sammy's House, a nonprofit childcare center for young children with special medical and developmental needs in Austin. He brings more than 15 years' experience in program development, nonprofit administration, and fundraising.
Rude Mechanicals Theatre Company
Co-founder, Co-Producing Artistic Director and Business Manager for the ensemble theatre company, Rude Mechanicals, Ms. Lesley has co-created, co-produced and performed in seventeen original productions, and toured to such select venues as Walker Center for the Performing Arts, Wexner Arts Center, UCLA Live! On the Boards, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Network of Ensemble Theatres Festival, and the SommerSzene Festival in Salzburg, Austria. She has received fifteen awards and nominations for her work as an actor, and was selected "Best Actor/Actress" in Austin by the Austin Chronicle 2002 and 2004 Readers' Polls, and as one of "Austin's Most Valuable Players" by Austin Chronicle critics.
Gail Rice serves as the Community Advocacy Director for SafePlace, a non-profit agency in Austin that provides a spectrum of services for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic abuse and violence. She works with community organizations, task forces, and coalitions to create more effective local responses to the people SafePlace serves. Ms. Rice began working as Volunteer Coordinator with the Austin Center for Battered Women in 1981. Although the greater part of her work in the intervening years has been in community education and advocacy, she has counseled victims of domestic violence individually, and still has direct contact with individual victims each month through the class she teaches, "Understanding Domestic Violence." She has an MSW from the Worden School of Social Work.
2005-6 Sabbatical Grantees
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Steve Bartels is a staff attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in Austin. He specializes in family law and works with victims of domestic violence throughout Central Texas. He holds a law degree from New York University and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Texas. Before joining TRLA, Mr. Bartels received a Fulbright scholarship for research in the field of international human rights law.
During his Community Sabbatical, Mr. Bartels will pursue a study of the lack of formal language training within the legal profession. He has identified a systemic deficiency in foreign language training within law school curricula and seeks to remedy this issue in Central Texas through the development of high-tech training modules. Because more than 80% of TRLA's constituents are immigrant Latinos and/or monolingual Spanish speakers, TRLA requires a legal staff proficient in Spanish. To ensure that TRLA attorneys can best serve their clients, Mr. Bartels will develop a computer-based language instruction program for legal services lawyers with the help of faculty from the Department of Spanish and Portugese and the Law School. The program will be accompanied by a companion book with law-themed readings, suggestions for conversation groups, and other language-related activities.
Mr. Bartels will be working with Dr. Orlando Kelm, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portugese and Professor Eden Harrington of the School of Law. Dr. Kelm's research interests include applied linguistics, computer-assisted language instruction, business language, and language for special purposes. Ms. Harrington is Director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, the director of clinics and internships at the Law School, and teaches several courses related to public interest law.
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Victoria Camp is Director of Operations for theTexas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Her areas of expertise and interest include: state and federal funding for sexual violence prevention and response, the development of sound policies to benefit sexual violence survivors, and theories of sexual violence prevention. Ms. Camp holds a Bachelors in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Ms. Camp will use her Community Sabbatical to more fully research and determine the economic impact sexual assault has on Texas. Successfully calculating and publicizing the financial consequences of sexual assault each Texan bears will increase the attention given to this issue in the public policy arena. Ms. Camp will research data on the prevalence of sexual assault in Texas, identify and calculate the myriad and diverse costs associated with sexual assault, and translate these figures into written documents for dissemination by TAASA and other allied organizations. Quantifying the cost of sexual victimization in Texas will facilitate TAASA's goals of raising awareness in the public sphere of the value of prevention programming and push policy makers closer to recognizing sexual assault as a public health issue.
Ms. Camp will be working with Dr. Noel Busch, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, and Dr. Bruce Kellison, Associate Director of the Bureau of Business Research. Dr. Busch's research interests include the study of violence against women and children, social and public policy, and social justice issues. Dr. Kellison specializes in economic development, economics, and politics.
Anna Land is the founder of Heart House, a free afterschool program providing a safe haven and academic support to low-income children in Dallas and Austin. Ms. Land serves on the Board of Directors of the Travis County Afterschool Network as well as on the Board of Directors of the Texas Afterschool Association. She also serves as an Ambassador Emeritus of the Afterschool Alliance's national Afterschool Ambassadors program.
During her Community Sabbatical, Ms. Land will focus more fully on the development of an affiliate model for Heart House to guide its expansion into more neighborhoods. Currently, there are two locations open in Dallas and one location open in Austin, with plans to extend its services to other locales in both Texas and across the United States. In order to best expand the current scope and reach of Heart House, its National Advisory Board will formulate a set of affiliate guidelines by developing a "Heart House in a Box" set of nine manuals and CDs. The creation and implementation of this rigorously evaluated structure, both in existing Heart Houses and in new locations, will ensure that the quality and health of the organization do not depend solely on the founders or other specific personnel, making growth and long-term quality more readily achievable. While a Community Sabbatical grantee, Ms. Land will work with faculty in Management and Community Development to research and develop the most effective set of affiliate guidelines for the future expansion of Heart House.
Ms. Land will partner with Dr. Sarah Jane Rehnborg of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Dr. Rehnborg is acting director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. She teaches a course at the LBJ School called "Community Engagement and the Management of Volunteers in Nonprofit and Public Organizations."
Armstrong Community Music School of Austin Lyric Opera
Rachel McInturff is the Director of Music Technology at the Armstrong Community Music School of Austin Lyric Opera (ACMS). She is an internationally recognized composer and teacher whose music exists as sound sculptures, generated through various technological means, and who specializes in training musicians of all backgrounds and ages in the use of music technology. Dr. McInturff holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City (Bachelors and Masters in composition), and recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. McInturff will use her Community Sabbatical to complete the equipment and software upgrade to the music technology lab at ACMS and develop curriculum for classes that most effectively integrate the new technology. This newly upgraded facility represents a major creative resource for the community, one in which anyone of any age or skill level can learn about music creation and production in a studio at the peak of industry standards. Once the installation and configuration phase is complete, Dr. McInturff will work with UT faculty to master the new software packages, learn how the new programs interact and how they can best be incorporated into new classes for the ACMS. This comprehensive technological upgrade and course reformation will raise the bar for community music instruction in Austin, providing students of all backgrounds and skill levels with the creative potential of professional-grade tools.
Dr. Russell Pinkston, Director of UT Electronic Music Studios and Professor of Composition in the Department of Music, will serve as Dr. McInturff's prime faculty partner. Dr. Pinkston holds degrees in music composition from Dartmouth College (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A., D.M.A.). He has written music in a wide variety of different media and has received numerous awards for his compositions, including two prizes from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a senior Fulbright Fellowship in Composition and Computer Music to Brazil. Dr. Pinkston is also active in computer music research.
DiverseArts Production Group
Harold McMillan is Founder and Executive Director of DiverseArts Production Group, a multidisciplinary nonprofit art and culture organization. For the past 20 years he has been actively involved in Austin's cultural scene as a music and video producer, musician, writer and publisher, Black music documentarian, and gallery owner. Mr. McMillan holds a M.A. in American Civilization, with a specialty in African American music and culture, from The University of Texas at Austin.
Mr. McMillan will use his Community Sabbatical to restore and preserve DiverseArts' Blues Family Tree Project archive. The Blues Family Tree Project is a program dedicated to combating the lack of representation of pre-1970s Austin African American musicians. As part of this project, DiverseArts sought to document the history, lives, and music of African American musicians who were members of the pre-integration, East Austin jazz and blues scene. Collected materials consist of extensive oral history interviews, photographs, and musical recordings and must be catalogued, copied, and preserved. Moreover, due to a recent fire in DiverseArts' office space, the materials now require restoration and recovery from heat, smoke, soot, and water damage. Through working closely with the Center for American Music and the Texas Music Oral History Project, Mr. McMillan will research resources for and the most effective processes of restoration and preservation for this vital project.
Dr. Kevin Mooney, Lecturer in Musicology and founder and director of the Texas Music Oral History Project, will serve as Mr. McMillan's faculty consultant. Dr. Mooney offers courses associated with UT's Center for American Music, including "Blues and Rock and Roll According to Clifford Antone," taught with Mr. Antone. Dr. Mooney also serves as the Associate Chair of the Center for American Music.
Texas Low Income Housing Information Service
Karen Paup is a founding co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help low-income Texans realize the American dream of a quality home in a decent neighborhood. Ms. Paup has worked in low-income housing issues for over two decades. She holds a Bachelors in Liberal Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Urban Affairs from the University of Delaware.
During her Community Sabbatical, Ms. Paup will research the most recent academic work on housing policy in low-income and minority communities and formulate a set of objective criteria with which to assess Austin's current S.M.A.R.T. Housing program. S.M.A.R.T. Housing is a local program intended to increase the availability of Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably-priced, and Transit-oriented housing options for low-income residents. A thorough and far-reaching assessment of this program is necessary to determine whether it in fact serves those most in need, or whether it concentrates housing units in areas with high levels of poverty and large minority populations, perpetuating racial and class segregation in Austin. The results of such a study will support the work of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service to advocate for and improve effective housing policy.
Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, Lecturer in the School of Architecture, will serve as Ms. Paup's faculty partner. Dr. Mueller's research interests and specialties include community development, housing, poverty, urban politics, and qualitative methods. In recent years, she participated in a community-wide effort to galvanize support for addressing affordable housing needs in Austin, Texas, co-authoring the resulting report "Through the Roof."