The Pathways Practitioner Profiles Research Project is a two-phase effort  to extend our empirical foundation of the Pathways of Social Impact. Led by Dr. Sean Crossland (Utah Valley University) and Annabel Wong (Stanford University). In Phase I, six research fellows from institutions across the country conducted a comprehensive literature review with pathway-specific literature using the following questions:


  • What foundational knowledge would students pursue in your pathway?
  • What skills would make students successful in this field?
  • What attributes would the student have the opportunity to cultivate?
  • What are the ways in which social impact is described within this pathway/ how will students have the opportunity to affect change in this pathway?


In Phase II, research fellows will be conducting practitioner advisor checks to ensure the academic work aligns with community understanding in each pathway. Research fellows will finalize the literature review and create Practitioner Profiles for each pathway. Practitioner Profiles will highlight the ways Pathways of Social Impact appear across different careers and sectors.

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Dr. Sean Crossland

Sean Crossland is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Leadership at Utah Valley University. Sean focuses on the public purpose of higher education in his teaching and scholarship. He earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, MA in Community Leadership from Westminster College, and BA in Psychology from Iowa Wesleyan College. Sean has previous teaching experience with undergraduate and graduate community engaged courses at a community college, a research-intensive flagship university, and a liberal arts teaching and administrative experience in community engagement and student leadership.  In his free time, Sean likes working on his house and garden and being outdoors with his wife and dog.



Annabel Wong

Annabel Wong is a data and assessment consultant and has been a member of the Pathways team since 2015. Her work has included analyzing and presenting the Pathways data, programming survey tool updates, producing resource guides for reflection and facilitation, and helping realize evolving visions of the project. She received Masters degrees in Public Policy and Education from Stanford University. Annabel resides in Vancouver, Canada on unceded Coast Salish territory, where she enjoys hiking, baking, and German-style optimization board games.

The Research Team

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Mike Moon serves as the associate director at the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism (UServeUtah), a state agency that oversees AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Volunteer Generation Fund, and Community Engagement at the state level. Mike and the UServeUtah team direct all federal dollars for AmeriCorps programming, manage partnerships with outside organizations, oversee media relations, and work with the Lt. Governor and Commission to advance Utah’s service priorities.

Prior to joining UServeUtah in March 2019, Mike led many community engagement initiatives within higher education at Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University including community partnerships, student leadership, AmeriCorps programming, scholarships, awards, the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement framework, and domestic/international CEL initiatives. He is also a two-time AmeriCorps alum. Mike is a published author and frequent public speaker.


dr. Joanne Tien, Stanford University

Joanne completed their PhD in the Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender in Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Their research and teaching focuses on how teachers and students navigate the tensions within progressive, critical, and social justice pedagogies, including participatory action research. 

As the Senior Program Director of Engaged Scholarship at Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service, Joanne currently oversees three programs – the Public Service Scholars Program, the Graduate Public Service Fellowship, and the Community-Based Research Fellowship Program. They also teach two community-based research methods courses, and direct emerging new programming for graduate students with commitments to community-based research.

Before joining the Haas Center, Joanne worked at UC Berkeley's Public Service Center supporting a community-based literacy program. Prior to their work at Berkeley, Joanne taught as an elementary school teacher, and as an undergraduate at Pomona College, Joanne also worked at the Draper Center for Community Partnerships. 

Joanne’s work has been published in Curriculum Inquiry; Pedagogy, Culture & Society; and Amerasia Journal.


Joseph Spiller, university of Southern maine

Joseph Spiller is an undergraduate Rising Scholar and Research Fellow from the Sociology and Honors programs at the University of Southern Maine. He has spent the last 3 years supporting multiple research projects within the University of Maine System focused around community engagement and health equity including studies on the Structural and Systemic Barriers faced by Community Health Workers, a study on barriers to positive health outcomes faced by shellfish harvesters of Maine’s Downeast region, as well as working with the Downeast Health Research Collaborative which seeks to redefine how academic researchers engage communities in rural Maine.

Joseph’s unrelenting drive for social equity, DEI work, and equitable access to effective healthcare has been recognized as he’s been the recipient of the Campus and Community Leaders Award 2021, the Women In College Curriculum and Education Development Award, the AFUM Scholarship For Social Justice, the U-Maine DEI Fellowship, and was chosen as a Maine Policy Scholar Fellow in 2020 while with the University of Maine System. 


norma lópez, loyola university

Norma López is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Loyola University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University. She completed a Ph.D. in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago in 2020 and taught in higher education administration at Northern Illinois University for a year and a half after. Prior to entering the doctoral program, López worked for over 20 years in higher education, ranging from admissions and orientation at a small liberal arts college to residential life and academic advising at a private research university. Her research agenda is focused on how power manifests in higher education and how it impacts equity and inclusion. One strand focuses on the role of critical consciousness, which means the ability to understand, analyze, and confront political, social, and economic oppression, in the academic identity development of Latinx college students. A current research project, in collaboration with IDHE, explores how a sense of belonging on campus might contribute to closing political equity gaps for students of color. In a similar vein, another research strain considers how organizational theory informs change efforts for underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).


dr. shamili ajgaonkar, college of dupage

Shamili Ajgaonkar is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. Over the past 29 years, she has taught biology and environmental science courses in various modalities including traditional classroom, online, field-based, and interdisciplinary seminars. She has also developed environmental science courses for local, national, and international settings.

In her teaching practice as well as co-curricular work she is deeply committed to advancing ecoliteracy by engaging students in experiential learning and civic engagement. One example of such a project is the Food Security Initiative – a collaborative project between Academic Affairs and Student Life to address student hunger on campus which engages students in service learning at the Fuel Pantry and Fuel Garden.

She believes that education should help harness our creative abilities to learn to live on a crowded planet and thus encourages students to critically analyze the meaning and place of ecological systems in human society and understand how they can be part of the solution to solve pressing environmental challenges.


Nairuti shastry, Beloved Economies

Nairuti Shastry [she/her(s)] is an educator, strategist, and engaged scholar working toward racial and economic justice that transcends organizational, cultural, and political borders. 

Currently, Nairuti is working with Beloved Economies, a research and narrative change campaign, born out of Stanford University’s Global Projects Center, demonstrating the powerful, oft-underutilized lever of transforming how we work to shape economic change in the United States. 

From 2018-2020, Nairuti worked at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Concern working to advance place-based community engagement at an elite institution of higher education. As the first ever Community Partnership Specialist, she oversaw a portfolio of nearly 300 community partnerships in Baltimore City across 14 program areas and built a comprehensive partnership development strategy rooted in principles of economic inclusion and ethical and effective community engagement. 

Nairuti holds a BA in Sociology, French & Francophone Studies, and Public Health from the College of William & Mary.

Phase I Research Fellows: Oliver “Gray” Jones (Social Entreprenuership & Corporate Responsibility) and Renee Sedlacek Lee (Philanthropy)