Faculty Bios

Agroecology Practicum in Guatemala

Co-led by: Damian Parr, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
Lecturer, Environmental Studies Department
Research & Education Coordinator
Center for Agroecology

Damian Parr, Ph.D., is the Research and Education Coordinator at the Center for Agroecology, and a Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Parr began organic farming in high school, and holds an MSc in International Agriculture Development (2003) and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Education from UC Davis (2009). Damian continues to farm, mainly fruit trees, flowers and laying hens, on 2.5 acres in Santa Cruz. His formal educational scholarship focuses on the practice and theory of teaching Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems through trans-disciplinary sciences and the humanities. His professional interests include organic agriculture, experiential and transformational learning, critical pedagogy, and participatory action research. He is co-founder and post-chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association.

Co-led by: Jessy Beckett Parr (she/hers/her) 
Chief Program Officer for CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers)

Beckett Parr began studying food systems and organic farming in high school (1998) alongside her mother and stepfather, conventional lettuce farmers in the Salinas Valley. Mrs. Beckett Parr holds a Master of Science degree in community development from the University of California, Davis, a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to joining CCOF in 2013, she spent five years producing a global documentary on soil and food systems, Symphony of the Soil. Her scholastic interests and publications span community food systems, beginner farmers, food system education, to on-farm labor laws and farmland access and transition. She sits on the advisory committee for the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Organic Agriculture Institute and on the Advisory Board for the Grimm Center for Organic Production at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 

Cultures of Southern Spain

Portrait of a person

Led by: Camilo Gómez-Rivas (he/him)
Associate Professor of Mediterranean Studies

Camilo Gómez-Rivas specializes in the cultures, history, and literatures of the medieval and early modern western Mediterranean. His book, Law and the Islamization of Morocco under the Almoravids: the Fatwās of Ibn Rushd al-Jadd to the Far Maghrib, analyzes a group of legal consultative texts between Cordoba and the Far Maghrib (what is today Morocco) and argues that legal institutions developed in the latter in response to the social needs of growing urban spaces and the administrative needs of the first Berber-Islamic empire. Gómez-Rivas is currently working on a second book-length project on the social and cultural history of the reception of displaced populations in the medieval and early modern western Mediterranean: a history of the refugees of the “reconquista.” I also translate modern Arabic literature and have written on modern topics including legal reform in Morocco and Egypt.

He received his PhD in Medieval Studies from Yale in 2009. After a two-year dissertation writing fellowship at Willamette University in, Salem, Oregon, Gómez-Rivas spent five years teaching in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations at the American University in Cairo.

Eco-Entrepreneurship in Costa Rica

Led by: Nada Miljkovic (she/her/hers)
UCSC Lecturer with Continuing Appointment
Project Manager for UCSC’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development,
Entrepreneur, Filmmaker & Community Activist

Miljkovic is a multi-disciplinarian educator, entrepreneur, and artivist (artist-activist). She teaches a wide variety of subjects from entrepreneurship, digital storytelling, and the ethics of emerging technologies. She works with students of all ages from eleven-year-olds to college and MBA and graduate students. She traveled the world with the Stanford Pre Collegiate International Institutes, particularly in Latin America, teaching hundreds of middle schoolers and high school students. Her entrepreneurship curriculum is based on the National Science Foundation Innovation-Corp Lean Startup Methodology. She participated at the national level of the NSF I-Corp program Fall of 2019. 

Nada has launched four companies, two that stuck. She is CEO and co-founder of GetVirtual, a service-learning program that gives students real-world experience helping businesses get online. She is the President of the Board of two non-profits E.A.R.T.H Lab SF and former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County.  She is a TEDxSantaCruz organizer and community radio host. 

Nada is currently studying for a Ph.D. in Digital Arts, at the University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia. She has a BS in Construction Management and a BA in Philosophy from Purdue University, as well as a Master’s in Fine Arts in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California Santa Cruz. 

She lives in Santa Cruz, California with her family.

Environmental Movements, Social Justice, and the Cultures of India

Portrait of a person

Co-led by: Annapurna Devi Pandey (she/ her)
Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology

Pandey holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a Post-doctorate in Social Anthropology from Cambridge, UK. Her research interests are diaspora studies, South Asian religion, and immigrant women’s identity-making in the Diaspora in California. Most recently, her research focuses on the struggles and challenges of H1-B and H-4 visa holders in the context of the pandemic.

Pandey’s extensive research focuses on India. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on Social Exlusion, Rural and Tribal Women’s activism, agency, entrepreneurship, and empowerment in India and the Indian diaspora. She has lectured about them in several universities and research forums worldwide. Dr. Pandey recently completed a senior Fulbright U.S. Scholarship working in India ( 2017- 2018). In 2022, she edited a book titled Social Exclusion and Policies of Inclusion Issues and Perspectives Across the Globe, published by Springer.

Pandey is an accomplished filmmaker (Homeland in the Heart; The Myth of Buddha’s Birthplace (with Prof. James Freeman), and Road to Zuni. Her most recent film, Road to Zuni, has already been shown at several international film festivals and has received multiple national and international awards.

Portrait of a person

Co-led by: Dave Shaw (he/his)
Coordinator of the Right Livelihood Center
Institute for Social Transformation at UC Santa Cruz

Shaw is Coordinator of the Right Livelihood Center at UC Santa Cruz, a program linking students and faculty with laureates of the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for research and education about solutions to the world’s most pressing global problems. His research and teaching centrally focuses on processes of social transformation, specifically examining how communities worldwide have overcome barriers in order to produce political, economic, cultural, and environmental change in service of social justice and large-scale ecosystem regeneration. Dave also directs Santa Cruz Permaculture which offers courses and consulting and operates a 26-acre educational farm. 

Evolution and Fish Biology in Southern Africa

Portrait of a person

Led by: Giacomo Bernardi (he/him)
Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Professor Bernardi has been teaching Fish Biology and Evolution at UC Santa Cruz for over 20 years and has been co-teaching a field class in Marine Ecology for the past 20 years. He has a PhD in Molecular Biology of Fishes from the University of Paris, and has been studying the genomics of fishes since then. He is currently working on projects in many different countries, most of his work is done in Micronesia, Polynesia, the Mediterranean, and South Africa. This will be Professor Bernardi’s second year facilitating the UCSC Global Seminar – Evolution and Fish Bio in Southern Africa.

Film History & Preservation in Bologna

Led by: Shelley Stamp
Professor of Film and Digital Media

Professor Shelley Stamp is an award-winning author of two books on film history who regularly teaches core film history classes in Film and Digital Media.  An experienced educator, she has taught for over 20 years at UC Santa Cruz, where she won the Excellence in Teaching Award.  She is very familiar with Il Cinema Ritrovato, having attended the festival in the past and co-curated one of its film series in 2012.  She has professional relationships with many film historians and archivists who attend the festival.

Italian Culture through Food and Conversation on the Amalfi Coast

Led by: Tonia Prencipe (she/her)
Lecturer in Italian and a native of Italy

Prencipe graduated from the University of Bari, Italy, with a “Laurea” in Foreign Languages and Literature, majoring in English. She taught for several years at UC Davis and then moved to UC Santa Cruz, where she has been teaching Italian for over two decades. She led two global seminars in Italy at UCSC in 2019 and 2022.  

While at UC Davis, Tonia directed a summer language program in Italy that spanned three years at the Cristoforo Colombo Institute in Viareggio, Tuscany, and was affiliated with the University of Pisa. Tonia knows that studying the Italian language and culture immersed in the culturally vibrant town of Sorrento will spark life-lasting academic and personal enrichment. 

Mokuhanga Printmaking in Japan

Portrait of a person

Led by: Jimin Lee
Head of the print media program
Director of the Contemporary Print Media Research Center

Lee’s work explores themes of mobility, displacement, and labor on the personal and social level as seen in traffic, places of transport, or objects that move or are “in transit” — travel in both the daily and the migratory sense. In recent years she has investigated and developed new options and possibilities in print media by adopting emerging print strategies in an expanded art context.  For example, by integrating the traditional woodcut with laser-cutting and inkjet printing processes, she created a new artistic formula of her own that blends conventional mediums of print and contemporary digital technology so that they interplay with and reshape each other. Everyday realities captured in Lee’s photographic images become ambiguous and even confusing to the viewer because of the digital manipulations she imposes on them.  This manipulation becomes the means by which she tells her stories and inspires the reading of her digitally-reconstructed pictures as realistic, even though they are fictional.  Realized through Lee’s pioneering methods of multiple laser-cut woodblock printing and other photomechanical processes, images acquire rich textural surfaces that bring sharply to the audience’s attention, inviting sustained engagement.

Lee has shown her work internationally in solo exhibitions that have included, among others, Anchor Graphics in Chicago; QCC Art Gallery at the City University of New York; Don Soker Contemporary Art in San Francisco; Hanmi Gallery in Seoul, Korea; Shirota Gallery in Tokyo, Japan; AndrewShire Gallery in Los Angeles; Megalo Gallery in Canberra, Australia; Open Studio Gallery in Toronto, Galerie Alain Piroir in Montreal and Artist Proof Gallery in Calgary, Canada; Guanlan Original Printmaking Base in Shenzhen and Chengdu Art Museum in Chengdu, China; Seven Star Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

Rugby Nutrition and Biochemistry

Co-led by: Guido Bordignon (he/him/his)
Associate Teaching Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Department

Professor Guido Bordignon earned a Master’s and a Pharm.D. at the University of Padova.  Later he earned his Ph.D. researching new drugs from the ocean between the University of Venice and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. After grad school, he became an Assistant Professor at the University of Venice, Italy, before relocating to the US.

Professor Bordignon’s Biology Education Research (BER) is focused on ensuring evidence-based techniques are developed and become widely adopted. He is acutely focused on shaping an engaging and inclusive learning space in an effort to close the achievement gap for students in life science disciplines. 

Currently, he is working to expand the use of undergraduate research and technology for engaging Generation Z students, such as Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) labs, and augmented and virtual reality experiences in the classroom. He is studying how to structure, develop, and embed CUREs experiences into the curriculum, and develop interactive exercises and assessments into Intro Bio and Upper Division courses to better support different learning styles, which promote equity in undergraduate classrooms.

Co-led by: Jeremy Sanford (he/him/his)
Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Department

Professor Jeremy Sanford earned a Bachelor’s degree and PhD in Molecular Biology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his post-doctoral training at the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland.  His work focuses on the molecular biology of RNA and mRNA processing. Professor Sanford’s research interests include aberrant RNA processing in human inherited diseases, mechanisms of alternative pre-mRNA splicing and the role of RNA-protein interactions in cancer. He has a long-standing interest in experiential learning and expanding undergraduate research opportunities at UC Santa Cruz. In collaboration with Prof. Bordignon, Sanford pioneered CUREs labs focusing on RNA molecular biology and has engaged hundreds of UCSC students in his research program. Professor Sanford’s research and teaching projects are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Professor Sanford is also the head coach of the UC Santa Cruz Men’s and Women’s rugby teams

Travel Writing and Podcasting in Ireland

Portrait of a person

Led by: Steve Coulter (he/him)
UCSC Writing Program Continuing Lecturer

Coulter has taught first-year composition in the Writing Program for the past ten years with a focus on two primary themes: students’ relationships with their digital devices and creating a sustainable future in the face of the environmental crisis. He has taught the College Ten Core course, Social Justice and Community, and the Crown Core course, Ethical and Political Implications of Emerging Technologies. He served as College Ten Core Coordinator and co-wrote the curriculum for the College Ten Core course. In 2018, he was awarded a prestigious Excellence in Teaching, Honorable Mention. His academic publications include “Cyborgs in the Panopticon” and “Resistance is Futile: The Borg, the Hive, and Corporate Hegemony.” His current research explores the extended mind in the university classroom, or how the physical and social environment that surrounds students becomes an essential component of their cognitive processes. 

Prior to his academic career at UCSC, Steve Coulter lived in Dingle, Ireland, for ten years working as a Celtic harper, recording engineer, and concert producer. While in Dingle, he recorded many CDs of his own music and the music of local musicians. Back in Santa Cruz, he currently plays harp in a Celtic band, Stone Circle, and bass in the Coast Ridge Ramblers.   

Co-led by: Rachel Anne Goodman (she/hers/her) 
Lecturer in Community Studies
Teaches College One at John R. Lewis College

Goodman has worked as a writer and radio producer for much of her career, earning a Peabody award for her work as Managing Editor for NPR’s The DNA Files radio series. She writes and broadcasts about environmental, social justice, and sustainable agriculture topics. Her most recent radio documentary was the four-part series, Pastures of Plenty: A History of California’s Farmworkers, which aired across the U.S. and Canada. She has hosted live radio interview shows in Virginia, Kentucky, and California. Her academic interests are media studies, social movements, and social justice, and she has taught journalism at Cabrillo College for many years.  She is one of the founders of KSQD community radio, where she currently hosts Talk of the Bay and The Coast Ridge Ramble. She has just released a CD of original songs and plays folk music in several local bands.