EPIC-N Board of Directors

Joel Rogers, EPIC-N Chair and CEO

Director – COWS – Faculty – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Joel Rogers is the Noam Chomsky Professor of Law, Political Science, Public Affairs, and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also directs COWS, the national high-road strategy center. Rogers has written widely on American politics and democratic theory. Along with many articles, his books include The Hidden Election; On Democracy; Right Turn; Metro Futures; Associations and Democracy; Works Councils; Working Capital; What Workers Want; Cities at Work; and American Society: How it Really Works. Joel is an active citizen as well as an academic. He has worked with and advised many politicians and social movement leaders, initiated and helped operate several progressive NGOs (including the New Party, Economic Analysis Research Network, Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities Collaborative, State Innovation Exchange, and EPIC-N (Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities). He is a contributing editor of The Nation and Boston Review, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and was identified by Newsweek as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape US politics and culture in the 21st century.

Marc Schlossberg

Co-Director – Sustainable Cities Institute – University of Oregon

Marc Schlossberg is a Professor of City and Regional Planning and co-director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) at the University of Oregon where he has worked since 2001. His teaching, research, and community engagement focus on active transportation, livable community design, and applying knowledge to policy and practice. A fun fact is that Marc has four times taught a study abroad course on designing cities for people on bikes; students accompanied him to Denmark and the Netherlands to learn first-hand from the best cycling cities in the world. Marc is a two-time Distinguished Fulbright Scholar who served in the United Kingdom from 2009-10 and in Israel from 2015-16. Prior to his academic career, Marc worked in the nonprofit sector and was a US Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji.

Courtney Griesel, Treasurer

Oregon Community Relations Manager – Sierra Pacific Industries

Courtney Griesel is a community & economic development and relations professional with extensive experience in public and private sector service. She holds a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from Gonzaga University and Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy & Management from the University of Oregon. Her expertise areas include community engagement, legislative engagement, economic development, and regulatory, land use, and community policy development. Courtney began her career in public sector service, with over 15 years focused on facilitating innovative economic development programs and projects, capacity building and public-private partnerships focused on resiliency.

Branden Born

Co-Director – Livable City Year – Faculty – University of Washington

Branden is Associate Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Co-Director of the Livable City Year program at the University of Washington. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin. Branden studies planning process and regional governance using the food system as a lens for analysis. His interests include questions of democracy in societal decision-making and the role of the state and planning in a neoliberal context.

Mazi Ferguson

Director – Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships – University of South Florida

Mazhab is a doctoral candidate in Educational Measurement and Evaluation. Mazhab’s areas of interest include the effect of student motivation, specifically attitude, on student success in mathematics, and assessment and program evaluation. Mazhab manages the operations of the University of South Florida EPIC-N Member Program, the Community Sustainability Partnership Program.


Jane Rogan

Strategic Doing Fellow

Jane Rogan leads the Sustaining Hoosier Communities (SHC) at the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement. SHC is an initiative that connects communities to IU courses, students, and faculty to address community-identified needs and opportunities. A Hoosier by choice, Jane grew up in Cheshire—a rural area of the United Kingdom known for its dairy production and silk weaving arts. Prior to joining the center, Jane worked for the IU Kelley School of Business, the Liberal Arts and Management Program, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in business studies from Birmingham City University and a Master of Science in higher education from Indiana University.

Ilona Ballreich

Program Manager- Sustainable Communities Collaborative

Ilona Ballreich is the program manager of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC), a program of the Sustainability Institute at Penn State. Ilona works closely with faculty, students, and community partners to ensure meaningful, experiential student projects focused on the sustainability needs of the community. The SCC facilitates over 50 projects annually in primarily rural and small urban communities.
Ilona brings two decades of experience in community development to her position, including as executive director of a non-profit arts organization. She developed festivals and venues, authored newsletters, and conceived and edited a book about central Pennsylvania.  She is trained in community development strategies and active in numerous community organizations. She holds a degree in industrial technology and architecture and is currently enrolled in the Community and Economic Development Masters of Professional Studies degree program at Penn State.

Travis Kraus

Director- Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities

Travis serves as Director of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC), a community engagement partnership program housed in the School of  Planning and Public Affairs. Travis joined IISC in August 2016, and manages its day-to-day operations. He works with community partners and University of Iowa faculty, staff and students to facilitate engaged-learning projects that promote economic development, social justice, and sustainability. 

Travis holds an appointment as Faculty Fellow for Engaged Teaching and Scholarship with the UI Office of Community Engagement. He serves on the board of directors for EPIC-N, an international network of community engagement programs, and he also enjoys serving on the board of the local arts non-profit Public Space One. 

Travis earned a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, where he also earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a secondary teaching certificate. 

Dr. Wijitbusaba (Ann) Marome

Founder- Thammasat Urban Futures and Policy Research Unit

Dr Wijitbusaba (Ann) Marome is an Associate Professor in Urban Planning at Thammasat University. She is also a founder and a head of Thammasat Urban Futures and Policy Research Unit since  2014. She received a PhD in Planning from University College London- Faculty of the Built Environment Development Planning Unit, and a MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Chulalongkorn University. Ann is an expert in urban development planning, urban resilience, climate change adaptation, sustainable cities, future cities and urban governance. Her research experiences are world-wide, including collaborations with the US, Germany, Canada, Japan and various institutions in Southeast Asia, with the goal of building cities and local capacities to manage future changes. She also works closely with Thai government to  promote sustainable and resilient cities; she has worked with the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology  Development Agency (GISTDA), Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, and local governments.

Sean O’Donoghue

Director- Durban Adaptation Center

One of the EPIC Africa leaders and Head of Climate Change Adaptation Branch, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa, Sean O’Donoghue earned a doctorate in Marine Pelagic Ecology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2010. In March 2011, Sean joined eThekwini Municipality, or Durban, where he manages the Climate Change Adaptation Branch. A key focus of the Branch is Community Ecosystem-Based Adaptation, which provides work opportunities for Durban’s indigent populations. Sean manages a number of research, inter-city and community partnership projects, and has led the development of the pilot EPIC programme at UKZN.