Team 2017-06-12T10:30:18+00:00

Meet the Team

Professor Chris Benner, Executive Director

My name is Dr. Chris Benner. I like riding unreasonable distances on my bike, pondering technology and social inclusion, and inspiring students to do great things. My background in activism and fighting inequality has greatly influenced my work. The four books I’ve co-authored with the prodigious Dr. Manuel Pastor definitely reflect my belief that a just world is a prosperous one, but not necessarily vice versa. In the spirit of openness, this website features downloadable versions of over 20 of my publications, as well as information and links to my books. The most recent, Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metropolitan Regions, features an incredibly robust website replete with downloadable data, case studies, and ongoing conversations.

The Fellows

The Fellows are the beating heart of the organization. They are the owners, operators, and key stake holders.

The fellows are students who’ve completed the 30 series and typically have implemented their own projects (sometimes multiple times!). They teach the research sections and tech labs while designing new ones. Fellows are responsible for recruitment, aspects of fundraising, and act as peer mentors for current 30 series students. The fellows are self managing and are understood to be the true owners of the Everett Program.

Staff and Executive Fellows

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Kathryn Roper, Managing Director

Katie Roper is a GIIP alumni, who has formerly done documentary film directing, political organizing, strategic messaging, and directing grassroots fundraising operations. She is passionate about nonviolent communication, building intentional communities, and telling great stories.

Yesenia Torres, Lead Technologist

When she’s not empowering street hawkers in India or interning at Google, Yesenia is shaping Everett’s tech. This includes internal communications, student project tech, and shaping our entire technical pedagogy.

Monica Gutierrez-Lopez, Impactathon Coordinator

I am passionate about prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration, women’s empowerment, and fair socio-economic opportunities for everybody.

Gabriela Giusta, Research Specialist

Researcher and human rights activist interested in integrating both academic work and grassroots activism to promote human and planetary well-being.

Global Advisory Board

Comprising thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and folks from all walks of life, the Global Advisory Board (GAB) consults on high level strategy, guidance, and fundraising.

Mark Headley, Co-Chair of Global Advisory Board, Chairman of the Board, Matthews International Capital Management LLC,

Paul M. Lubeck, Former Executive Director and Co-Founder or the Everett Program. Currently Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Michael J. Watts,   Class of 1963 Chair in Undergraduate Studies and Chancellors’ Professor, UC Berkeley

MaryJane Skjellerup, Central Valley Director, Center For Multi-Cultural Cooperation, Fresno, CA

Alicia Dwyer, Documentary Filmmaker,  Veracity Productions

Elijah Sparrow,  Founding Programmer, Riseup.net

Rehan Iftikhar: Senior Product Manager, Oracle

Jacob Martinez: Founder and Executive Director, Digital NEST

Allen Gunn: Executive Director, Aspiration

Rhys Thom: Design Lead, IDEO

Rebecca Wage: Customer Support Specialist, Socrata

Carmen Rojas, PhD: CEO, The Workers Lab

Luther Jackson: Program Manager, NOVA Workforce Board


Kyle Eischen: Assistant Dean for Programs and Planning, Division of Social Sciences

Joop Rubens: Development Officer, Social Sciences Development

Maira Sutton: CEO of the Everett Alumni Foundation

Faculty Advisory Board

UCSC faculty members from multiple departments and divisions serve to help the Everett Program better serve our students and the campus as a whole.

Sue Carter, PBSci-Physics, Website

Steve McKay, Sociology, Website

Lise Getoor, Computer Science, Website

Flora Lu, Environmental Studies, Website

Ronnie Lipschutz, Politics, Website

Rob Fairlie, Economics, Website

Healther Bullock, Psychology, Website

Stacy Philpott, Environmental Studies, Website

Sylvanna Falcon, Latin American & Latino Studies, Website

David Lee, Technology and Information Management, Website

Executive Fellow Alumni

Christine Ongjoco
Christine OngjocoImpactafellow
As the first Impactathon Coordinator (aka “Impactafellow”) Christine performed the Herculean task of establishing the Everett Impactathon program. She also upped our internal design game considerably.
Juan Carlos Sanchez
Juan Carlos SanchezLabor Coordinator
Juan worked to integrate Everett with university labor projects like Working for Dignity. He also taught PC building and strengthened our partnership with the Digital NEST
Thomas Gelder
Thomas GelderLead Technologist
Thomas improve all processes relating to tech such as the tech lab program, shared file systems, internal communications, web design, org-to-org partnerships and documentation.
Hasnain Nazar
Hasnain NazarChief Technologist
Hasnain laid the foundation for what the whole Executive Fellowship should be. He was instrumental in building a culture of tech empowerment and enthusiasm.
The Next is up to You!
The Next is up to You!Future Executive Fellow
The difference is you! By contributing to the Executive Fellow Fund, you will help us hire stellar people and bring Everett to new heights!
Donate to the Executive Fellow Fund!

Fellow Alumni

Fellow alumni of the Everett Program and GIIP have graduated and moved into positions in diverse fields of work including private companies as well as civil society. This section is by no means exhaustive.

Are you an alumnus of the Everett Program or GIIP? Head over to the official website of the Everett Alumni Foundation and join the community!

Alumni Spotlight

Tara Celli
Tara CelliClass of 2013
During her Everett project, Tara fell in love with India. Specifically, the women and girls she met there who often grew up knowing nothing of their own bodies and being mistreated by those around them. After graduation, she moved to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India permanently to co-found Strength India, an organization that works directly with girls in after school engagement, feminine hygiene, and job training. She is in the process of establishing a for profit sanitary napkin producing company specializing in home delivery.
Ada Recinos
Ada RecinosClass of 2014
A typical shooting star, after changing the way Everett handles it’s complex array of relationships, and completing the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship with the Congressional Hunger Center, Ada went to work for Prospera Co-ops, an amazing business incubator that supports Latina entrepreneurs build cooperative businesses. On top of this she works tirelessly as Vice Chair of the Richmond Human Rights and Human Relations Commission.
Hasnain Nazar
Hasnain NazarClass of 2011
During his term as an Executive Fellow at Everett Hasnain helped to professionalize and enhance the tech curriculum. Afterward, Hasnain spent two years at the Berkeley iSchool to which he brought a very necessary ethic of social justice and social responsibility to his cohort. Post-graduation his internship blossomed into his full time current position as UX Product Manager at Workday. Hasnain remains very active in the Bay Area Muslim community.
MaryJane Skjellerup
MaryJane SkjellerupClass of 2004
One of the original group of students who started this whole thing, MaryJane has time and again affirmed her love and dedication to her home in the California Central Valley graduating in 2003. From director-level duties of the Center for Multicultural Cooperation, the Youth Leadership Institute, the Community Media Access Collaborative, and the Metro Ministry, to her current passion as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Children’s’ Movement of Fresno, MaryJane works without rest to realize her life’s work.

Alumni Archives