As a team of key faculty across four north-central UC campuses we share research and professional affiliations, as well as geographic and demographic breadth. Our collective research/practices draw broadly from across the arts, design and media disciplines, including contemporary art, history/theory, curatorial studies, design + digital media, performance studies, environmental studies, sculpture, social practice, photography, and public/place-based/ community arts, architecture and urban planning.

Glenda Drew

Karolina Karlic

Shannon Jackson

Jill Miller

Jennifer Parker

Brett Snyder

Kim Yasuda


Paris Cotz

Ama Dadzie

Cozette Ellis

Mikaela Keung

Rory McCaffrey

Claire Ongaro

Soomin Suh

Russel Thomas

Malachi Tran

Dulcinea Herse Woo

Stella Zhang

Lexie Zimne


Glenda Drew, co-PI (2019-20) & (2020-24)

Professor of Design at UC Davis. Her research is based at the intersections of visual culture and social change, with a particular emphasis on the working class. Her work is rooted in creating messaging with social implications. See some of her work at glendadrew.site.

Karolina Karlic, Co-Investigator (2020-24)

Karolina Karlic is an Associate Professor of Art and founding Director Unseen California an visual arts platform that serves as a centralizing information hub for arts+science+humanities research. Karlic creates work that widely addresses the intersection of photography, ethnofiction, and documentary practices, with a focus on the impact of systems of labor, and industry, globalization on the social and environmental landscapes.  www.karolinakarlic.com

Shannon Jackson, co-PI (2019-20) & (2020-2024)

Shannon Jackson is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Arts + Design and Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Chair in the Humanities at the UC Berkeley, where she is a Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Jackson’s research and teaching focuses on two broad, overlapping domains 1) collaborations across visual, performing, and media art forms and 2) the role of the arts in social institutions and in social change. https://tdps.berkeley.edu/people/shannon-jackson

Jill Miller, Co-Investigator (2020-2024)

Jill Miller is a visual artist whose research is centered on socially engaged art and public practices. She works with individuals and local communities in the form of public interventions, workshops, and participatory community projects. Her work prioritizes placemaking as a vital component of public art, and her projects use cooperative strategies to engage publics and galvanize their efforts to become more connected, engaged citizens. Her research explores community-building in both physical places and virtual sites, often bridging the gap between the two. https://www.jillmiller.net

Jennifer Parker, co-PI (2019-20) & Lead PI (2020-24)

Jennifer Parker is the founding Director of the OpenLab Collaborative Research Center and is a Professor of Art and Digital Art & New Media at the UC Santa Cruz. Parker carves sites for collective entanglement between disciplines. Her methods of inquiry build on lab and studio visits, literature reviews, and conversations with faculty and students across disciplines triggering a heuristic learning process to pursue creative research for exhibitions and publications.  https://art.ucsc.edu/faculty/jennifer-parker

Brett Snyder, co-PI (2019-20) & (2020-24)

Brett Snyder is an Associate Professor of Design and a partner in the experimental architecture and design firm Cheng+Snyder. His research and work is at the intersection of architecture and graphics with a focus on developing connections between people and the environment. https://arts.ucdavis.edu/faculty-profile/brett-snyder

Kim Yasuda, Lead PI (2019-20) & co-PI (2020-24)

Kim Yasuda is an artist and professor of Public Practice in the Department of Art at University of California Santa Barbara. Her work investigates the role of art, artists and educational institutions in community development and civic life. Yasuda’s current research intersects her university teaching with her public art practice, shaping pedagogical experiments that explore the intersection between institutional knowledge production and a creative practice.  https://www.arts.ucsb.edu/yasuda

Paris Cotz, Arts + Design Staff

Paris Cotz has a varied arts administration background, working in both private and public sectors. As Executive Assistant and Programs Coordinator, Paris acts as the glue that keeps our small team together. Paris holds a B.A. in History of Art from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in History of Art from University College London. Her academic work focuses on questioning the roots of California artistic identity versus an American one, specifically within the context of the mid-century Bay Area.

Ama Dadzie, Student Researcher

Ama Dadzie is senior Computer Science and Design Double Major at UC Davis focusing on web design and web development. Ama has been involved in creating the Home Is website.

Cozette Ellis, Student Researcher

Cozette Ellis is a junior Design student at UC Davis, with primary focuses in illustration, human-centered design, and graphic design. At the Placemaking initiative, Cozette has been involved with event planning and outreach, total logo redesign and development, and general graphic organization.

Mikaela Keung, Student Researcher

Mikaela Keung is a senior Art Studio and Design Double Major at UC Davis with a focus in UX/UI design, motion graphics, and web design. Mikaela has been involved in creating the Placemaking website.

Rory McAffrey, Student Researcher

Rory McCaffrey earned a BA in Design from UC Davis and is currently working toward a graduate degree in the University of Washington’s HCDE program. He has held a variety of roles from starting the UC Davis Placemaking website and helping to host events. Beyond this, he contributed instrumental research and ideas for the development of the Placemaking Initiative.

Claire Ongaro, Student Researcher

Claire graduated from UC Davis with a double major in Design and Communication, and a minor in Professional Writing. She brought research skills and tons of enthusiasm to the Placemaking Initiative.

Soomin Suh, Arts + Design Staff

Soomin Suh is a Communications Specialist for the Arts + Design Initiative where she manages the comprehensive, multidisciplinary communications program. Soomin received her B.A. in Sociology and Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on popular culture, social media, and the effects of mass media on society.

Russel Thomas, Student Researcher

Russel Thomas earned a BA in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and a BA in American Studies from UC Davis. He brought exceptional event planning skills to the Placemaking Initiative.

Malachi Tran, Student Researcher

Malachi Tran is a third-year student studying Molecular and Cell Biology and Psychology. As Berkeley Arts + Design’s Communications Assistant, Malachi is responsible for the office’s online presence in between media asset development and helping at live events. As a student writer, photographer, and actor, Malachi proposed Students for Creative Discovery, a student-led arts organization at UC Berkeley promoting student awareness and creativity, to find like-minded colleagues wishing to make Cal a place of excellence in both STEM and art.

Dulcinea Herse Woo, Student Researcher

Dulcinea is a design student at UC Davis, with an emphasis on sustainability and human centered design. Dulcinea is involved with outreach, promotion, planning and coordination of events hosted by the Placemaking Initiative.

Stella Zhang, Student Researcher

Stella has earned a B.A. in Design from UC Davis and specialized in user experience design, from conception to implementation. She focused on research, design and implementation of the Placemaking website.

Lexie Zimne, Student Researcher

Lexie Zimny earned a degree in Sustainable Environmental Design and Environmental Policy from UC Davis. She has worked for the City of Sacramento, UC Davis Housing and Dining, and the California State Legislature. She brought her love of design and planning to the UC Placemaking Initiative.  amzimny.wixsite.com/portfolio