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Institute for Social Innovation


The Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) supports research, professional development, and organizational consulting projects that build human capital and sustainable change.

Charles McClintock, PhD

2021-2022 ISI Fellows

The ISI Fellows Program offers Fielding alumni an academic partner to continue their professional work, apply for external funding, and publicize their projects. The application process is announced to alumni each February. ISI Fellows have one-year appointments with renewal contingent on progress and future plans. ISI welcomes ideas for Fellows projects in each of our program areas: research, professional development, and consulting.

Updated April 21, 2021                                

Human Development

Dohrea Bardell, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
On Death and Dying: A New Approach
This project examines new approaches to death and dying as the basis for educational tools to guide the demographically large and diverse “baby boomer” population.

Shari Bowles Gibbons, MBA (Evidence Based Coaching 2019)
Ikigai Women’s Leadership Circle
This professional development project builds on the research and application of the Japanese Ikigai (‘reason for being’) framework as a tool to generate intentionality about one’s life trajectory, particularly during life transitions.

Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2012)
Collective Virtuosity: Learning Individual and Group Transformation Processes from Classical Musicians
This research project seeks to understand what individuals, teams, communities, and society can learn from classical musicians about collaboration processes.

Clifford Hurst, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2012)
Assessing Transformative Learning
This research validates a values-based tool, The Hartman Value Profile, to assess unconsciously-held thought patterns to determine if transformative learning occurs as an outcome of higher education.

Ron Hurst (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Ego Development and Emergence of Reflective Thought
This research explores the depth and richness of reflective thinking at Conformist, Expert, and Achiever stages of ego development using critical career incident methods.

Pauline Johnson-Zielonka, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2013)
Retirement Adjustment: Social-Psychological Changes and Adjustments

This research and action project explores the social psychological adjustments that retirees face and develops seminars and educational materials for practitioners and those nearing retirement. 

Andrea McCormick, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
The Sage Bloomers Project: Successful Strategies for Aiding Underserved Elders at Risk
This professional development project provides blended instruction and support for practitioners who work in the fields of care management, social work, and elder advocacy, to offer support for underserved elders at risk.

 Theresa Southam, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
The Oldest Language: What Transcendence Can Teach Us
This research explores older adults’ experience of moving between post conventional stages of development and transcendence, how they navigate this change, and how resulting insights can be useful in addressing individual, communal and interspecies challenges.

Rebecca Stafford, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Exposing Organizational Misconduct: Survive & Thrive Despite the Inevitable Backlash
This project explores assessment instruments to inform successful mental health treatment of individuals who expose organizational misconduct using the Biopsychosocial Factors in Posttraumatic Growth Trajectory Model.


Kathleen Adelman, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Developing Engagement of the Non-Profit Board: A Systemic Approach
This research will supplement and verify previous research on the systemic factors influencing board member engagement. Results will be used to create practical guidelines for boards that increase the intellectual capital and cognitive diversity of participation.

Carrie Arnold, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2018
The Silenced Female Leader

This research project compares the experiences of female leaders in different public and private sector industries whose voices have been silenced within their organizations. Findings will be used for coaching and related leadership development efforts that will retain and strengthen women leaders and the organizations in which they work.

Zarat Boyd, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2015)
Increasing the Capacity of Leaders in Underserved Communities
This project applies Transformational Learning theory to increase the capacity of leaders in underserved communities. Activities include life purpose training to improve personal awareness, talent mastery, and interpersonal relationships.

Valerie Davis, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2016)
Agency and Communion: A New Leadership Mind for the Twenty-First Century

This project explores the theoretical relationship between a communal leadership style that inspires agency in others and its effects on organizational advancement.

Gwen Dubois-Wing, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
High Performing Boards in Health System Governance
This project builds on prior research which explores the qualities of high performing health system boards and their relationship with collaborative governance.

Dan Edgar, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Dialogic Leadership Development in the Face of Industry Disruption
This project works with a privately-owned retail automotive dealership to create a high-speed, high-trust organization, capable of thriving in an industry being disrupted by e-commerce, ride-sharing, and vehicle electrification.

Jeremy Gershfeld, MA (Organizational Development and Leadership 2015)
Sensory Leadership Development Model: The Practice and Impact of Read a Room in 500 Milliseconds
This project builds awareness to reduce sensory noise for leadership skills. This includes exploring how increased sensory processing awareness affects emotional awareness, mindset, and the ability to read the room toward interpersonal resonance.

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
We Will Lead Africa
This action research project harnesses the collective, multidisciplinary knowledge of everyday African leaders, scholars, and practitioners to address the question of what leadership narratives will move the African continent forward.

David Haddad, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2002)
Transformative Phenomenology With Apex Leaders
This action research explores the experiences of apex leaders before and after personal transformations.

Russell Hammond, EdD (Educational Leadership and Change 2012)
Post-Pandemic Community College Challenges: Views of Presidents, Philanthropists and Community Stakeholders
This research explores fiscal, enrollment, curriculum, and student support challenges facing public community colleges. Results will be used to explore collaborative solutions.

Lori Nemeth, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Ellen Byrne, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Development of Emerging Leaders in Small to Mid-Sized Companies
This study collects data from CEOs in small to mid-sized organizations to explore the challenges of leadership development and filling senior leadership positions. The results will be used to develop key competencies and greater self-awareness to rapidly prepare emerging leaders.

Drew Suss, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2014)
A STEM Leader Model

These research projects explore the relationship between servant leadership and decision-making in STEM life science organizations.

Mary Jean Vignone PhD (Human and Organizational Leadership 2011)
How do Authentic Women Leaders Lead in a VUCA World?
This research explores the challenges that women experience in their attempts to be authentic leaders during times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Media & Education

Akin Abioye, EdD (Educational Leadership and Change 2019)
The Story of Foster Care: Film Portrayals of Youth Who Experience Foster Care
This study examines contemporary movie narratives of youth in foster care and compares them to the actual experiences and life outcomes of this population.

Colleen Cleveland, PhD (Media Psychology 2018)
Empathetic Educator Training Course
This course aids new teachers by increasing their self-care and ability to use empathy when dealing with problems common to online college teaching such as indifference, anxiety and learning challenges, many of which are less apparent than in the classroom.

Nina Craft, PhD (Media Psychology 2015)

This project creates a blended professional development course for women over age 40 to learn how to share their expertise through storytelling and community building using multi-media and social media creation and distribution tools.

Marcia Docherty, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
The New Faculty Handbook

This research project supports positive faculty agency during the first year of work through preparation of a faculty handbook that emphasizes the transition into academic institutional culture.

Susan Eddington PhD (Media Psychology 2020)
A New Attitude: Music Promoting Self-Love and Acceptance
This research examines song lyrics and related videos with a body positive message, performed by artists popular with Black teens and young adults. Results will be shared with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other organizations with large memberships of Black women on strategies for coping with race and gender bias.

Corey Emanuel, PhD (Media Psychology 2021)
This project focuses on the benefits of holistic self-actualization learning (W.H.O.L.E.), namely wellness, health, originality, love, and emotional intelligence in grades 4-12, to foster the next generation of leaders.

Kathleen Gillespie, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
First-Generation College Students: In Their Own Words
This research explores students’ pathways into college, their experiences at college, within their families and communities, how they make sense of race, class, gender, and socio-economic status, as these intersect with their first-generation status and the kinds of social and cultural knowledge they draw upon.

Leslie Hamdorf, EdD (Educational Leadership and Change 2013)
Narrowing the Achievement Gap with Action Leadership for Adolescents
This project trains adolescents in Youth Participatory Action Research, a progressive educational approach that equips youth to lead in grass-roots community activism and mentoring younger children.

Aiden Hirshfield, PhD (Media Psychology) 2019
Continuing Education and Professional Training for Marginalized Students
This professional development project elevates the voices and experiences of marginalized students, by providing education, community, opportunities, and support, in an environment where they can flourish.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2010)
Family-School-Community Partnerships: A Systems Approach to Positive Youth Development
This research project investigates the internal abilities that help young people grow into supportive family members, innovative workers, engaged citizens, and ethical leaders.

Rebecca Reese, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Climate Change Simulation: Action Options
This project creates a simulation game for the general public to engage individuals emotionally and intellectually in the challenges of shifting the current climate change trajectory.

Ann Ritter, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2018)
Touching the Future with Y.O.G.A. for Youth
This consulting and research project focuses on the benefits of yoga in the early and formative years of a young people’s lives, including underserved youth in community-recreation and juvenile-detention facilities.

Reid Spearman, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Leading from the Edge: Precarity, Resilience, and Success in an Informal Academic Support Community
This research project will examine graduate student self-leadership during a period of uncertainty, stress, and significant investment of resources in a doctoral program.

Mental & Physical Health

Maggie Buckley, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2007)
Shared Living For People With Disabilities
This project develops a model for shared living (individuals with disabilities and nondisabled persons living together) through the combined support of families, staff, and community members, to create an environment where mutual relationships contribute to spiritual and social transformation.

Anita Chambers, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2009)
Creating Effective Healthcare Delivery Systems for Developing Countries

This research and action project identifies the most effective methods of delivering full spectrum healthcare to underserved communities located in remote regions of developing countries throughout the world.

Susan Auguste Elliott, PhD (Clinical Psychology 2010)
Agents of Change Connect: Building a Community of Family Time/Visit Coaches
This training project focuses on professional development for a national community of Family Time/Visit coaches and the programs that employ or support them in service of children in Child Welfare custody and their parents.

Dominique Eugene PhD (Clinical Psychology 2018)
Women Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
This research tests several hypotheses regarding whether PTSD and childhood maltreatment, alone or in combination, are significant triggers of intimate relationship violence committed by women.

Laura McGuire, EdD (Educational Leadership and Change 2015)
Sexual Medicine Competency in Healthcare Providers
This project investigates what medical providers know about sexual medicine across disciplines as well as patient testimonies on healthcare provider incompetence regarding sexuality. Recommendations for medical school curriculum design and CME offerings will be outlined based on the findings.

Leslie McMichael, PhD (Media Psychology 2008)
Quantifying and Reducing Head Impacts in Canadian Film and Television Stunt Performers
This project studies Canadian stunt performers’ experience with head injuries and concussions and the head accelerations to which these artists are subject. Findings will be used to educate performers and provide them training to improve their safety.

Suzan McVicker, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Cherokee And English Cross-Language Analysis of Healing Concepts
This research project uses the Internal Family Systems glossary to explore Cherokee conceptualizations of healing and well-being through understanding overlaps and differences embedded in Cherokee and English languages.  The purpose is to strengthen healthcare service delivery for Native Americans.

Jamesena Talbott, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2019)
Women at Mid-life Experiencing Eating Disorders: Discovery, Recovery, and Beyond
This research study explores how women over the age of 40 who experience eating disorders have managed their process of recovery, with a focus on their use of contemplative practices.

Robin Lynn Treptow, PhD (Infant and Early Childhood Development 2019)
Keeping babies in the tub (not out with the bathwater): Reducing bias’s effects on infants’ learning and growing
This professional development and consulting project changes medical narratives among professional caregivers about infants with disabilities who are expected to do poorly.

Chris Womack (Human and Organizational Development 2019)
African American Healthcare: Perceptions of Mistrust and a COVID 19 Vaccine
This research explores if mistrust among a sample of African Americans is related to their willingness to receive a COVID 19 vaccine.

Harry Voulgarakis, PhD (Clinical Psychology) 2019
LGBTQ+ & Neurodiversity: The Spectrum of Gender, Sexuality, and Autism
This research project examines elements of the lived experience of autistic and neuro-diverse people who identify as LGBT+.

Organizational Development & Change

Lee Barnes, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Behavioral Economic Factors That Influence Healthy Food Choice
This research project explores ways that consumers can find healthy food alternatives in neighborhood stores with less access to these options.

Juanita Brown, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2002)
Complex Systems Development

As the co-founder of the World Cafe approach to collaborative dialogue, Dr. Brown’s work supports global consulting and professional development for the renewal of complex systems.

Kathleen Curran, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Feeling At Home in the Global Business Ecosystem
This study examines global business employees’ conceptions of what comprises their sense of belonging, and highlights ways organizations can improve their climates of inclusion.

Jane Feng, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2015)
Practicing OD in China: applying seeing, thinking, and reframing as a way of intervention
This consulting project engages key leaders in an organizational transformation from a state of rapid to sustainable growth through revamping HR systems and resetting management routines. 

Marc Hanlan, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2018)
Return on Investment (ROI) of Distributive Justice in Transcendent Teams
This study explores ROI for high-performing teams that employ differing levels of distributive justice.

Erika Jacobi, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2018)
Enterprise Agility: Cognitive, Behavioral and Structural Dynamics
This book project breaks down the complexity of enterprise agility into actionable steps. Research, best practices and reflective questions provide the platform for a balanced co-design and development of the underlying skills.

Christina Leimer, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2011)  
The Influence of Expanded Consciousness on Social Change
The research explores linkages between individual and collective consciousness such as intuition, dreams, imagination, and system-level energy fields and how these might be operationalized to influence social change.

Trevor Maber, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2018)
The Art of Deliberate Change
This professional development project designs and delivers a dialogue-centric approach to hosting change-oriented conversations for community and organizational groups.

James Marlatt, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2012)
Tethys: A Fielding Ecological and Social Justice Mapping Project
This participatory action research project is based in Fielding communities-of-practice to build consciousness in the lifeworld for all life forms and the planet.

Kathleen McMillian-Roberts, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2014)
Implementing an Organization Development Consulting Group at the Internal Revenue Service
This consulting project examines the impact of an OD function at the IRS. The goal is to ensure a healthy, innovative, and effective organization.

Sylvie Plante, MA (Organizational Management and Development 2011)
How Boundary Spanners Use Social Capital to Develop Network Capabilities in an Innovative Ecosystem
This community-engaged research project will facilitate a collaboration between a postsecondary institution and an ecosystem of social enterprises in Ottawa, Canada. Participants will develop knowledge and strengthen organizational and network capabilities to increase the economic and social value generated by local social entrepreneurs.

Floren Lee Sempel, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2019)
When Negative Feedback Works: Exploring the Influence of Organizational Structures on Positive Outcomes From Negative Feedback
This research explores givers and receivers who experienced positive outcomes from negative feedback to uncover facilitative organizational structures, and the nonlinear and complex character of feedback.

John Sim PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Making Sense of the Future: How Generative Images of Change Emerge from a Visioning Event
This research project looks at the relational and dialogic practices that members of a military organization use to make sense of the future to the extent that generative images of change emerge.

Marie Sonnet, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2016)
Igniting Innovation in Organizational Change Readiness

This research study combines evidence-based assessment of organizational resilience and change management leadership in the insurance industry.

Colette Street, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2015)
Time-Space Intelligence Inventory (TSII)©

This research project develops an assessment system called the Time-Space Intelligence Inventory (TSII)© by examining the relationship of time-space intelligence to employee productivity.

Randal Thompson, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2014)
Proleptic Leadership on the Commons: Ushering in a New Global Order
This research project focuses on how leadership is practiced on the commons  – collaborative communities that manage resources such as Internet, private services, time banks, and cooperatives.

Social Change, Diversity & Inclusion

Larry Gebhardt, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2000) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2019
Strategies for Employment of Disadvantaged People
This collaborative research and action project examines the effects of employment mentoring for individuals who are disadvantaged and marginalized within their community context (e.g., disabled, homeless, veterans, LBGT, refugees, immigrants, former felons, addiction recovered, non-Christian religions). Results will be used to proposed amendments to state and federal vocational rehabilitation legislation.

Dibendu Ghosh, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Cash Transfers, Compulsory Schooling, and Participatory Action Research to Reduce Child Labor in India

This participatory action research explores how a sample of parents, children, and teachers in India accept and implement cash transfers and compulsory schooling designed to prevent child labor.

Linda Honold PhD (Human and Organizational Development 1999)
A History of the Women’s Club Movement
This study examines the Woman’s Club Movement from its inception in 1868 to the present, focusing on Clubs that emphasize the founding purpose of being dedicated to community improvement by civil society.

Linda Honold, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 1999)
Year-Round Civic Engagement

With external support from the Brico Fund, this research project develops a model based on data in Wisconsin and other states to expand civic engagement and strengthen interconnectedness among organizations working to engage people in democracy.

Zieva Konvisser, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2006)
Resilience and Growth in the Face of Adversity

This research examines the human impact of traumatic events such as terrorism, genocide, combat and wrongful conviction and gives voice to the survivors of traumas and their stories.

Tracy Long, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2014) 
Project Recovery Following a Catastrophic Risk Event
This in-depth case study investigates project recovery following a devastating natural disaster.  Findings from the study will provide lessons learned and professional tools to benefit other organizations with similar experiences in the future.

Kate McAlpine, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2015) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2020
Investigating the Nature, Prevalence and Changing Dynamics of Protective Social Norms in Tanzania and Uganda
This project focuses on how the problem of violence against children is being resolved collectively by East African citizens. Results will be used to counter a deficit-based narrative that focuses on the prevalence of violence, by telling a more positive story about the norms and behaviors that are protective to children.

Patricia Millar, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2012)
What Makes Cohousing Work Well? What Gets in the Way?

This study examines what works well in co-housing communities, identifies challenges encountered in collaborative living, and how, along with consensus-based decision making, these arrangements are put into practice, experienced, and institutionalized.

Maaskelah Thomas, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2008)
Pathways to Fulfilling Legacy Among African American Councils of Elders
This research project examines the motivations, feelings, and viewpoints of members of African American Councils of Elders in several different communities.

Barbara Volger, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2009)
How Cultural Stereotyping Has Impacted Prejudice and Discrimination
This research explores stereotyping and cultural scripts in Asian/Asian American, Black/African American, Indigenous and Latinx, LGBTQ and Religious-based messages and how they have impacted racism and prejudice.


Catherine Brooker, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2013)
Sustainability Leadership

These consulting and professional development workshops focus on leadership for sustainability – business profitability, social equity, and environmental stewardship – including care for future generations, resilience, and climate change.

Kerul Kassel, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2011)
Environmental and Social Sustainability

These research and professional development projects emphasize environmental and social sustainability for organizations based on global systems analysis.

Jeanlee Weeks Parker, EdD (Educational Leadership and Change, 2020)
Environmental Sustainability Training Awareness for Accrediting Bodies

This study develops measures of environmental sustainability training and awareness for educational accrediting agencies’ professional development programs with a focus on the effects of indoor air quality on children’s health and learning.

Julie Smendzuik-O’Brien, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Sustainability and Organization Development: Linking a Global Issue to Change Facilitators
This project conducts research on internal organization development practitioners to build a model that will enable them to further the implementation of sustainability efforts in the workplace.

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