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.
2023-2024 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 in 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. For more information, contact Charles McClintock, Director of the Institute for Social Innovation (email@example.com).
Updated May 2023
Marilee Adams, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 1986)
The Thoughtful Citizen Project
This project seeks to expand conversational skills and practical tools from The Thoughtful Citizen Handbook: Practices for the Art of Living Together to reduce societal divisiveness through research, professional development, and consulting efforts.
Dohrea Bardell, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2017)
Mature Leadership for World Peace
This project is based on the principle that peace is integrated into humanity’s DNA as the ultimate achievement of humankind, and pursues the question of how to change collective consciousness to create peace.
Megan Brubaker, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 2020)
What Two-Spirit Means to Alaskan Natives
This research describes the experiences of Two-Spirit people within Alaskan Native culture to qualitatively understand how they capture individual identity and inform clinical understanding and treatment interventions.
Lisa Buckley, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
The Serenity Prayer: A Part of Well-Hoping?
This research project explores how adults make meaning of hope when faced with permanent loss and how they differentiate what they can or cannot influence, both of which are elements of the Serenity Prayer.
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.
Pauline Johnson-Zielonka, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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.
Jeffrey Schneider, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
How Does Having Meaning in One’s Life Affect Psychological and Physical Health?
This research is a systematic review of literature documenting the relationship between the degree of one’s meaning or purpose in life and various indicators of psychological and physical health.
Theresa Southam, Ph.D. (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.
Kathleen Adelman, Ph.D. (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.
Rebecca Andre, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Adaptive Leadership – How to Lead in Complex and Ambiguous Times
This research project explores how to support ecosystem organizational culture during times of seismic change driven by an ecosystem economy, greater use of digital platforms, and events triggered by climate change.
Kimberly Cantergiani, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development, 2021)
Switching Hats, Keeping Boundaries: Exploring a Hybrid Coaching/Consulting Program for Nascent Women Entrepreneurs
This research project explores the process and outcomes of a hybrid coaching-consulting program for nascent women entrepreneurs.
Katie Coates, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
A Performance Support Solution For Learning Leaders Implementing Performance Support
This project will translate research into an online platform that will help learning and development professionals make decisions and implement performance support.
Valerie Davis, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2016)
The Intersection of Leadership and Power
This project explores leadership innovators – people who intentionally exploring new ways to lead that promote social justice.
Thulani DeMarsay, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Contemplative Leadership for Fostering Resilient Workplaces
This professional development workshop explores ways that leaders can use contemplative practices such as mindfulness and meditation to shape a more mindful and equitable work culture, especially when faced with adversity and challenges within the organization.
Tiffanie Dillard, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2013)
Following a Founder: Recipes for Success
This research explores the components of healthy and successful transitions for non-profit founders and those who succeed them
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.
Zabrina Epps, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Integrating Futures Thinking and Foresight with Education Leadership Practice
This professional development project integrates Futures Studies theories and Strategic Foresight tools to enhance the leadership practices of executives, governing boards, and policymakers, including how to convene diverse groups and leverage multiple narratives to envision more equitable and inclusive organizations.
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.
Russell Hammond, Ed.D. (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.
Alice MacGillivray Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2000)
Is Leadership Theory Hitting a Glass Wall?
This research focuses on collaborative leadership theories and approaches such as Leadership-as-Practice. It provides an initial exploration of why these approaches have not become as popular as those based on individual leaders with positional power.
Carrie Spell-Hansson, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Unbossed and Unbroken – Women in Leadership Positions
This research project explores factors that impact the resilience of women leaders in cross-cultural settings who experience disrespect in the workplace.
Drew Suss, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2014)
Developing Servant Leaders
This project explores the process and impact of a Servant Leadership development program embedded in a non-profit organization devoted to delivering educational enrichment opportunities to low-income grade school students.
Mary Jean Vignone Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 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.
Gail Patricia Wilson, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Transformational Leadership for Change and Innovation in Healthcare System
This research study will explore transformational leadership in the context of cultural differences in leadership perspectives in Maryland, USA and the Bahamas.
Media & Education
Nina Craft, Ph.D. (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.
Susan Eddington Ph.D. (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.
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.
Christine Schwyn Harrison, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Doctoral Graduates’ Sense of Belonging During Their Study Years and Related Impact on Post-Graduate Institutional Connection
This study explores the relationship between doctoral graduates sense of belonging and connection during their study years and their long-term engagement and support of their degree institutions.
Kristin Palmer, Ed.D. (Educational Leadership and Change 2016) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2023
Providing Skills Training to Women Entrepreneurs in Africa’s Leading Ladies Community
This partnership project with DeAfrica (Distance Education for Africa), Coursera, and the University of Virginia, will support mentors for African women enrollees in online business courses, and will include research to assess the impact of mentoring and online community building efforts on networking and entrepreneurship learning outcomes.
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D. (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.
Whitney Strohmayr, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
What Does the Public Know About Intimate Partner Violence?
This research project assesses what adult community members know about intimate partner violence and explores how adult education might be designed as a prevention strategy.
Mental & Physical Health
Erinn Cameron, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 2023)
Climate Change and Mental Health of Pregnant Women Living With HIV in Semi-Urban Western Cape South Africa
This research project assesses the relationship between environmental distress and mental health of pregnant women living with HIV in western South Africa and determines coping and adaptation strategies in response to climate change.
Anita Chambers, Ph.D. (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.
Nicole Dent, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 2020)
Intolerance Of Uncertainty and Its Impact On Mental Health, COVID Fear, & Post-Pandemic Adjustment
This research will assess the role of intolerance of ambiguity on measures of depression, anxiety, OCD, and COVID stress, and degree of comfort in resuming previously restricted activities.
Myisha Driver, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 2011) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2021
Nurturing Psyches of Color
This project will support parenting Black and Latinx teens and young adults as they face ongoing racial, ethnic, health, mental health, socioeconomic, and demographic disparities.
Susan Auguste Elliott, Ph.D. (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 Ph.D. (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.
Jenny Fremlin Ph.D. (Media Psychology 2012) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2023
Enabling Women to Self-Advocate for Better Sexual Health Care
This research project analyzes language and beliefs that negatively impact young women’s ability to seek provider education around genital disease, such as those that causally link to genital cancers, with special attention to women across diverse demographic groups and with healthcare access challenges.
Aiden Hirshfield, Ph.D. (Media Psychology 2019) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2022
Providing Critical Support for ASL Interpreters in the Mental Health Setting
This project offers support and additional educational opportunities to American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who face considerable occupational stress and financial challenges.
Suzan McVicker, Ph.D. (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.
Karla Peters-Van Havel, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2016)
It’s Not ‘Just Lunch’: Learning to Thrive with a Chronic Food-based Illness
This project will offer coaching, consulting and workshops to help individuals living with a food-based chronic invisible disease or ailment.
Organizational Development & Change
Isabella Alan, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2020)
Building Ecosystem Culture in Places of Flux
This research project will examine the key cultural factors needed to grow sustainable ecosystem partnerships.
Eliza von Baeyer, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Co-Creating People-Centered Workplaces Where Leaders and Teams Thrive
This professional development project designs a workshop with Semco Style Institute USA that equips leaders with a holistic framework to manage and inspire organizations and teams tailored to undertaking transformational change relating to the future of work.
Lee Barnes, Ph.D. (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.
Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, Ph.D. (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.
Kathleen Curran, Ph.D. (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.
Bram Duffee, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Workplace Conflict During COVID-19 Experienced by Emergency Medical Responders
This research project explores the stories of conflict between emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and their supervisors during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Jane Feng, Ph.D. (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.
Jennifer Hurley Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Improving Public Participation in Urban Planning
Through research and a community of practice, this project will explore how urban planners can improve public participation, while taking into account emergent group process and systemic factors such as social inequality and urban planning practice conditions.
Katherine Kott Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2012)
A Natural Systems Approach to Understanding Work Systems
This research will assess the structures and dynamics of families, especially emotional processes as outlined by Murray Bowen, for their applicability to the structures of work systems.
Trevor Maber, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2014)
Creating a Cross-Collaborative Community within the Leadership Academy (LA) Division of the Internal Revenue System
This project analyzes quantitative data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to create an Organization Development Plan/Roadmap that will support a community of collaborative learning opportunities across the LA Division.
Sylvie Plante, M.A. (Organizational Management and Development 2011)
How Boundary Spanners Use Social Capital to Develop Network Capabilities in an Innovative Ecosystem
This case study develops a process model of how social capital and boundary-spanning are used in cross-sector partnerships to design collaboration spaces for innovation.
Marie Sonnet, Ph.D. (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.
Reid Spearman, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
This research project investigates whether a peer-led, online communication network for all ISI Fellows would increase information sharing, project initiation, and Fellow retention.
Randal Thompson, Ph.D. (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
Le’Marus Alston Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology 2021)
Reducing Recidivism: Social and Emotional Support in Interpersonal Connections
This research project explores the effects of family and community support on recidivism or those who have been previously incarcerated to inform the development of psycho-social intervention.
Jennifer Decker, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2021)
Overcoming the Challenges of Contemporary Food Culture to Promote Individual and Community Health
This research project identifies the factors that play a role in the type of food people buy and consume and assesses the ways mainstream food culture impact individual and community well-being.
Dibendu Ghosh, Ph.D. (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 Ph.D. (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.
Zieva Konvisser, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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.
Sergej Van Middendorp Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2016)
Making Healthy Open Systems
This action research project explores communication and design dynamics among participants gathered to redesign a fragmented Dutch healthcare system.
Patricia Baum Salgado, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 1997)Internalized Oppression and the death of Tyre Nichols
This research project examines published texts from 2013 – 2023 of black on black interaction between law enforcement and civilians to illuminate internalized oppression.
Maria Sanchez Ph.D. (Media Psychology 2022)
Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation
This project offers consulting services to organizations working to educate about and eradicate female genital mutilation in order to improve their effectiveness and assist in expanding their resource base.
Elizabeth Speck Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2011) Recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation in 2021
Organizational Change for Fair Chance Hiring in an Era of Racial Reckoning
This project will partner with hiring managers to shape attitudes and skills necessary to increase employment of working-age adults with criminal records.
Barbara Volger, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2009)
The Experience of Aging in Women from a Cultural Perspective
This research project focuses on women over 50 and how their cultural roots may have influenced their aging process.
Karen Williams, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2022)
Organizational Paradoxes by Design: A Deeper Look at the Chief Diversity Officer Role
This research project explores complexity and paradoxical organizational dynamics in relation to the work and role of the Chief Diversity Officer.
Catherine Brooker, Ph.D. (Human and Organizational Development 2013)
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, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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.
Join Over 7,500 Fielding Alumni Located Around The World!
Change the world. Start with yours.™