EPIC-N Staff

Gavin Luter

Interim Managing Director

Gavin Luter received his PhD in educational administration from the University of Buffalo in 2015. He holds a Master of Science degree in Higher education Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Public and Non-Profit Management.

Most recently, Luter served as the Executive Director of Wisconsin Campus Compact. While pursuing his doctorate, he published several peer-reviewed articles and served as guest editor of a peer-reviewed academic journal on community-school-university partnerships and the intersection of school reform and neighborhood development. As part of his project work with the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies, Luter served as Education Planning Director of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhood initiative, where he worked to secure over $16 million in commitments from 45 different philanthropic and higher education partners to create a neighborhood-linked education system. Luter also oversaw the Center’s neighborhood development internship program where college students operated an in-school project-based learning enrichment program for middle school students centered on neighborhood-based problem solving. At the United Way of Greater Knoxville, Luter managed a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation regional teacher effectiveness advocacy and coalition-building grant project. At the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s (UTK) Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, Luter developed and coordinated an undergraduate living-learning community experience for students interested in public service and civic engagement.

Dr. Nuttavikhom Kay Phanthuwongpakdee

EPIC-Asia Program Coordinator

Kay joined EPIC-N in June 2021 to support university, local government, and community leaders from the Asian continent interested in joining the EPIC-Network. Kay participated in the 2021 EPIC-Asia Workshop and immediately began providing support and communications to selected participants. Kay helps participants to align existing programming, connect to existing EPIC-Network resources, and catalyze their EPIC Model partnerships.

Dr. Phanthuwongpakdee is a lecturer at Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies at Thammasat University. Kay is also a deputy director at the SDG Research and Support Programme (SDG Move) and a researcher at the Urban Futures and Policy Research Unit. Kay is a passionate academic researcher and communications professional with experience working with developing communities, regional and national policymakers, and private- sector stakeholders in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Ada Inman

EPIC-N Program Manager

Ada supports EPIC-N members and programs throughout their exploration and use of the EPIC Model. She also facilitates much of the organizational communication for EPIC-N.

Ada is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained a degree in Environmental Studies and International Studies along with a certificate in Public Policy. Since graduation, she has started a full-time position with COWS, a think-and-do tank that promotes high-road solutions to social problems. At COWS, Ada is working as the Managing Director for ProGov21. Along with her work at COWS, she assists EPIC-N with outreach and community/program engagement.

Mzime Ndebele-Murisa

EPIC-Africa Program Coordinator

Mzime Ndebele-Murisa coordinates our EPIC Africa network. She found EPIC-N through her current work with START as the Program Specialist managing the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) Program. Prior to joining START, she was based at Chinhoyi University of Technology and University of Zimbabwe. Mzime has coordinated several multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects in southern Africa focusing on aquaculture, and climate change modeling and adaptation work with the SADC Aquaculture Mentorship Program, Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement, and CODESRIA’s Comparative Research Network. Mzime has several publications, with contributions to the IPCC’s AR5 and AR6 Working Group II, as well as a Climate Smart Agriculture Manual for Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, a Master of Science in Tropical Resource Ecology, and a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Zimbabwe.

Andrea Chavez

EPIC-Latin America and Caribbean Coordinator

Andrea Chavez has co-directed the activities of the Governance Infrastructure of the Amazon project from the Tropical Conservation and Development Program of the University of Florida. She is a Research Affiliate of the Space Ecology and Conservation Laboratory. Since 2009, Andrea has been working on capacity-building initiatives through applied research, training, and extension activities in natural resource management conservation in Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Andrea earned her PhD in Geography from the University of Florida, an MA in Political Science from Karl-Ruprechts-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany, and an MA in Geography from the University of Miami. Andrea has a deep interest in integrating science with society and fostering a better understanding between practice and theory in order to serve society.