Meet the team
Kevin Guerrieri, PhD
Associate Professor, Spanish
Director, Latin American Studies
ILVI Faculty Co-Director
Kevin Guerrieri, PhD, joined the faculty in 2002. He teaches courses on Latin American literature and culture and on the Spanish language. His research is focused on Latin American literature and cultural production, specializing in Colombian narrative, as well as Scholarship of Engagement. Guerrieri was president (2013-2017) of the Asociación de Colombianistas, an international organization that promotes the study of Colombia in the areas of the humanities and the social sciences. He is the current director of the Program in Latin American Studies (PILAS), a faculty liaison for the Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness, and Social Action, and faculty co-director of Impact Linda Vista Initiative (ILVI).
Community & Family Liaison, Linda Vista/Chula Vista
Educational Enrichment System
ILVI Community Co--Director
Blake Hofstad has worked as the Family Liaison for Educational Enrichment Systems’ (EES) two child care centers in Linda Vista since 2015. Since 2017, part of his role has included facilitating the San Diego chapter of Parent Voices, a statewide child care advocacy organization. In October of 2017, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Linda Vista Town Council, where he currently serves as Vice President. Blake graduated from the University of San Diego in 2015 with degrees in Spanish and International Relations and received a certificate in Early Childhood Transdisciplinary Education and Mental Health from San Diego State in 2017. He joined ILVI in the summer of 2018 as Community Co-Director.
Viviana Alexandrowicz, PhD
Viviana Alexandrowicz, Ph.D. is an Associate professor in the Department of Learning and Teaching. Her areas of expertise and scholarship focus are on the effectiveness of in-service bilingual teacher education, theory and methodology for teaching English as a second language, specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE), internationalization of the curriculum, community engagement, and Changemaking. She developed the TESOL graduate program in 2003 and teaches courses in the multiple and single subject credential and Master’s programs. She has presented at over 60 conferences in the US and worldwide. Professor Alexandrowicz has been involved in community service learning and engagement for over 20 years, mentoring faculty and guiding students in service. She has also served on the board of directors for the community center and has delivered a variety of workshops to families in Linda Vista. She is the co-founder of the Open University initiative which provided community members with free access to university courses. Dr. A is a Global Change leader for Ashoka U and is leading the transformation of teacher preparation programs at USD into Changemaker teacher education. She teaches Changemaking in K-12: National and International Perspectives in Madrid, Spain in the Summer.
Evelyn Cruz, PhD
Associate Professor, Theatre
Evelyn Díaz Cruz is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts with experience in writing, directing, and acting. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Professor Cruz’s study and practice of theatre is focused on community engagement by addressing issues of social justice through art. Her non-traditional approach to theatre garnered her the prestigious KPBS Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Award in The Arts for her contributions to the San Diego community. She is also a past recipient of the University of San Diego’s Innovations in Experiential Education Award in recognition of her pedagogical approach in combining theatre and community service learning. Professor Cruz was one of five professors recognized by USD Magazine as one of “The Best and the Brightest Professors,” for 2015.
Marcelle Darby, PhD
Teaching Professor, Biology
Aarti Ivanic, PhD
Associate Professor of Marketing
Aarti Ivanic’s academic research focuses on consumer behaviors such as nutrition, advertising responses, product preferences and willingness to pay. Additionally, her research examines the effects of status hierarchies and race/ethnicity on purchasing behavior. She has conducted community-based field studies which explore the health and fitness habits of middle-school students.
Chair and Professor, Sociolog
Judith Liu has been a member of the sociology faculty since 1982. She is a Professor of Sociology, Affiliated faculty in the Ethnic Studies Program, and the Faculty Liaison for the Center for Community Service Learning. Professor Liu has taught classical and contemporary theory, culture courses, contemporary social issues, and community organizing. Her research focus is multicultural education, education in the People’s Republic of China, women and HIV/AIDS, political and civic responsibility, and community service-learning.
Topher McDougal, PhD
Topher McDougal, PhD, is an associate professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. He is also a research affiliate at the Centre on Conflict, Development, & Peacebuilding at the Graduate Institute for International & Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and a principal of the Small Arms Data Observatory (SADO).
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Dr. Mercado joined Communication Studies in the Fall of 2012 as an assistant professor in communication and social justice. She teaches classes on Media and Conflict, International Media, Introduction to Media Studies, and Public Relations and Social Movements. Dr. Mercado studies the communication and citizenship practices of Mexican indigenous immigrants in the United States, and how those practices extend to the transnational public sphere, contributing to forms of world citizenship or “grassroots cosmopolitanism.” She has been working recently on the impact of cultural festivals in the public sphere. She is a member of BINACOM, a Binational Communication Organization that brings together schools of communication in both the US and Mexico.
Sarina Molina, PhD
Dr. Sarina Chugani Molina serves as associate professor and director of the M.Ed. in TESOL, Literacy, & Culture program in the Department of Learning and Teaching at the University of San Diego. She has designed and developed online and onsite TESOL programs for both local and international audiences and conducts teacher education seminars in both local and international contexts.
Associate Professor, Sociology
Lisa Michele Nunn joined the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego in 2009. Professor Nunn teaches largely in the Department’s Social Justice concentration. Her research areas include: Sociology of Education; Organizations; Cultural Sociology; Gender and Sexuality; Identity; Visual Sociology; and Social Psychology.
Karen L. Shelby, PhD, has been teaching at USD since the Spring of 2009, and is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Civil Civic Engagement. She teaches a range of courses including Sex, Power and Politics, Feminist Theory, Comparative Social Movements and Political Theory: Ancient to Modern. Her past research examined Simone de Beauvoir’s engagement with the Algerian War and Beauvoir’s everyday ethics of freedom. Current topics of research build on this notion of an everyday ethics. Work with the Kettering Foundation focuses on the importance of democratic deliberation in creating a robust democracy premised on citizen participation and dialogue. Additionally, research on President Obama’s focus on empathy explores the idea of an everyday ethics of democracy.
Necla Tschirgi, PhD
Associate Dean and Distinguished Professor, Human Security and Peacebuilding
A native of Turkey, Necla Tschirgi, PhD, is a renowned expert in peacebuilding with an extensive international career spanning research, policy analysis, grantmaking, and teaching at the intersection of security and development. Tschirgi teaches graduate courses in post-conflict peacebuilding, international systems related to development and peacebuilding, and is the advisor for undergraduate students seeking a minor in peacebuilding and social innovation.
Thank you to our sponsors and collaborators!
The University of San Diego’s Catholic social mission, public purpose, and commitment to the liberal arts — to foster compassion, active citizenship and to fashion a more humane world — is conveyed in the attitudes, skills and knowledge fostered among its students through myriad curricular and extracurricular activities that range from community engagement and immersion to field-based courses to undergraduate research to social venture design. The Ashoka U designation of USD as a Changemaker Campus — recognizing the university’s commitment to finding sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems — is in its sixth year.
The Mulvaney Center is a community, one that celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of each student. Aligned with USD’s core value of community, we invite students to join a family of peers, alumni, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds committed to building and joining community. The Mulvaney Center provides individuals an opportunity to expand their community outside of USD to join the broader San Diego and global communities. The Center recognizes the wisdom held by the local and global communities it joins and strives to be a part of them while sharing its own presence, resources, and knowledge.
U.S. Bank Sponsored a grant that seeks to strengthen the Linda Vista community through co-development of innovative social initiatives by USD students and Linda Vista residents, where research, learning, and service are integral components. This community-collaborative learning program directly impacts Linda Vista residents while building a committed student body prepared to make change in very personal and effective ways.