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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

2022-2023 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 (cmcclintock@fielding.edu).

Updated June 21, 2022                                

Human Development

Marilee Adams, PhD (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, PhD (Human and Organizational Development 2017)Rebuild Your Health: Body, Mind, SoulThis project examines different areas of health building in our world today, both allopathic and integrative medical fields.

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.

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.

Jeffrey Schneider, PhD (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, 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.

David Zuniga, PhD (Clinical Psychology 2014)
Becoming a Buddha: A Zen Manual for Death and Life
This professional development project draws upon Zen Buddhist philosophy to develop a theory of personality and clinical change that can address concerns such as anxiety, depression, and anger management and enduring challenges such as death and grief.


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.

Katie Coates, PhD (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)
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.

Alice MacGillivray PhD (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.

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.

Carrie Spell-Hansson, PhD (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, PhD (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.  None of the participants have had formal Servant Leader development opportunities in past and this effort will explore the perceived impact on managers and leaders.

Mary Jean Vignone PhD (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, PhD (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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Nicole Dent, PhD (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, PhD (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, 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.

Aiden Hirshfield, PhD (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.

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.

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.

Karla Van Havel, PhD (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

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.

Jennifer Hurley PhD (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 PhD (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, 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 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, 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.

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

Le’Marus Alston PhD (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.

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.

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.

Sergej Van Middendorp PhD (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.

Maria Sanchez PhD (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 PhD (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 Power of Shame in Black/African American Women. A Transformative Phenomenological Exploration of Microaggressions and Cultural Messages.
This project includes research on women who identify as Jewish, Asian/Asian American, Latino/Latino American, Indigenous and Lesbians to address diversity, inclusion, prejudice and the detriment of microaggressions.


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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