Dr. Fernando Burga develops community oriented projects that matter alongside UMN students

H. Fernando Burga is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota with a dual appointment at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and University of Minnesota Extension. His research, teaching, and service focus on urban planning, particularly the incorporation of immigrant populations into planning, and urban food systems. Fernando‘s work is informed by three principles: a reflexive inquiry into the ethics of expert knowledge and the use of qualitative research; the application of design to build awareness, harness data, and enable urban planning and public policy advocacy; and a commitment to engage community actors who are disenfranchised from the fields of planning and public policy due to their race, class, and citizenship status. Fernando has a background in architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Before transitioning into academia, Fernando worked on an array of sustainable urbanism projects. His experience includes the designing of Hope VI communities, mixed-use infill developments, transit-oriented developments, and military communities. Following his professional tenure, Fernando obtained his doctorate degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a fellow at the Center for Research on Social Change at UC Berkeley and a lecturer at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Fernando conducted qualitative fieldwork with Latino immigrants to assess the application of planning tools in addressing housing, transportation, education, economic development, and nutrition needs. This project won the 2016 American Planning Association Academic Excellence Award for Northern California and subsequently the California State-wide Award. Currently, Fernando is involved in several planning and food justice related projects in Minnesota. He is also writing a book on Cuban American empowerment and planning in Miami, Florida, under contract by University of Toronto Press. Fernando’s research has been published by Harvard University Press under an anthology sponsored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, entitled: “On the Spatial Epistemologies of Politics, or how we know Politics through Space: Essays for Design Studies.” […]

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Lori DiPrete Brown believes networks like EPIC-N help us accelerate change

Lori DiPrete Brown believes networks like EPIC-N help us accelerate change

Lori DiPrete Brown, a co-chair of the UniverCity Alliance at UW-Madison, is a public health leader and educator who advances health, equity, and quality of life worldwide. She employs rights-based approaches and the UN sustainable development framework in system strengthening efforts across sectors, both in the US and around the world. Her teaching in the School of Human Ecology and the School of Medicine and Public Health is informed by 15 years of global health practice in 21 countries, and has spanned public health, human rights, civil society, community studies, quality improvement and innovation. Her scholarship includes over 40 articles and reports and a textbook entitled Foundations in Global health Practice (Wiley, 2018). She is a graduate of Yale College, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Divinity School. […]

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Travis Kraus prioritizes community needs in Iowa while developing resources and teaching courses

Travis Kraus is an Associate Professor in the University of Iowa School of Planning & Public Affairs and is the Director for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, a community engagement program that helps create more sustainable futures while enhancing teaching and learning at the University of Iowa. Travis views Strategic Doing as a tool to enhance the capacity of rural and urban communities in Iowa to address the environmental, equity, economic, and cultural issues they face today. […]

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Connie Frey Spurlock builds stronger communities in Southern Illinois

Dr. Connie Frey Spurlock is a sociologist committed to dismantling hierarchies of oppression and building in their place flourishing relationships. She does this work by centering community-identified goals with meaningful learning experiences for area students. Frey Spurlock is founding director of the SIUE Successful Communities Collaborative, a cross-disciplinary program based on the EPIC-N model, an award-winning university-community partnership program that works to advance the needs of communities while training the next generation workforce and leadership. SSCC develops and supports partnerships between SIUE and local communities to advance resilience and sustainability. She is also a member of the SIUE TRHT Campus Center, which seeks to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value. She has been at SIUE since 2004 and is also an associate professor of sociology. Her research and teaching interests center on sustainability, research methods, and community engagement. […]

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Jeewasmi Thapa exploring best practices to achieve meaningful impact in communities.

Jeewasmi Thapa Program CoordinatorTexas Target Communities979.458.3121jthapa@arch.tamu.eduLinkedIn Favorite Place Downtown Bryan. It is a Texas Main Street gem and a success story of good planning that revitalized a declining downtown to a bustling and vibrant community hub, and it’s walkable! What was your first interaction with a school-community partnership project?  My first high impact service-learning project […]

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Daniel Fernandez harnessing the power of higher education for communities

Daniel Fernandez CSUMB EPIC Program (SCYP) ManagerProfessorApplied Environmental ScienceCalifornia State University at Monterey Baydfernandez@csumb.edu(831) 582-3786 Favorite Place So many things…  I do love the bike path along Monterey Bay.  I also love the studio where I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (also known as Body Works) and I love the back country of Fort Ord, where […]

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