New Recipients Announced for Community Transformation Project Grants

Forty campus proposals have been selected to receive the Actions that promote Community Transformation (ACT) grants. Initiated in fall of 2020, ACT recipients are awarded seed grants — ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 — to support and enable community transformation projects that build connectedness within local environments at UT Austin.

“We have an enormous campus that has many different micro environments. This program was created around the idea that change requires creative thinking and that campus members understand the unique needs of their local campus environments more than anyone,” said managing director of diversity, Lydia Contreras. “We received a wide range of inspiring proposals and are excited to see these projects come to life with this new round of ACT grant recipients. It gives me a lot of energy to see the large number of staff, faculty and students who are interested in working together to continue to strengthen our campus community.”

Areas of interest for the projects include:

  • Graduate education
  • Undergraduate education
  • Departmental climate
  • Faculty hiring practices
  • Staff and faculty promotion and retention practices
  • Faculty development
  • Mentoring practices
  • Student recruitment practices

The 2021 grants represent more than $180,000 to fund projects supported by units across campus, including: the Graduate School, College of Natural Sciences, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dell Medical School, Division for Diversity and Community Engagement, College of Education, IC2 Institute, Moody College of Communication, School of Architecture, School of Law, School of Nursing, School of Undergraduate Studies, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, University of Texas Libraries, and Vice President for Student Affairs. ACT work is supported widely across campus, with funding contributed by many of the deans from the colleges and schools in which project applicants are housed as well as by the Provost’s Office.

Biomedical Engineering
Team members: Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, Lacy White
Team members: Mia K. Markey, Lacy White

Equal Opportunity in Engineering
Team members: Enrique Dominguez, Shawntal Brown, Shelby Todd, Johnny Hill, Dan Huynh, LLC Tutor(s)

Team members: Shelby Todd, Shawntal Brown, Johnny Hill, and Enrique Dominguez along with our FIG mentors and tutors

McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Team members: Michael Baldea, Nathaniel Lynd, Kelly McQueary

Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
Team members: Masa Prodanovic

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Team members: Niveen AbiGhannam, Audrey Boklage, Maura Borrego, Anthony Dudo
Team members: Brian Evans, Veronica Vera Vasquez

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Team members: Maura Borrego, Enrique Dominguez, Keffrelyn Brown

Educational Psychology

Team members: Stephanie Cawthon, Ana Vielma

Art and Art History
Team members: Christina Bain, Donalyn Heise, Dawn Stienecker

Team members: Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, Pramit Chaudhuri

Asian Studies
Team members: Gautami Shah


Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Team members: Lilia Raquel Rosas

Team members: Terry. Chapman, Zeynep Somer-Topcu


Latino Research Institute
Team members: V. Nelly Salgado de Snyder, Deborah Parra Medina, Ruben Parra-Cardona, Daisy Morales-Campos, Elsi Hernandez


Undergraduate Education
Team members: Alyssa Ray, Kris Powledge Gaddy, Paulina Reyes, Sherri Castillo

Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES)

Team members: Brandon Campitelli, Mays Imad

Department of Integrative Biology
Team members: Amelia Wolf, Damla Cinoglu

Team members: Jose Alvarado, Elena Caceres, Mary K. Conovan, Christopher K. Costello, Michael Marder

Natural Sciences Courses/Undergraduate Education
Team members: Tonia Guida

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Team members: David Heckler, Lynn Monnat


Team members: Matt Kammer-Kerwick

Team members: Danielle Geraci Thoma

Team members: Curran Nault, Laura Gutiérrez, PJ Raval, Anahí Ponce, Sarah Nicholus, Christen Smith, Lisa Moore, Grayson Hunt

Communication Studies/Dean’s Office
Team members: Madeleine Redlick

Team members: Leora Visotzky, Awais Azhar, Allan W. Shearer

CODE Committee
Team members: Sarah Wu, Charlton Lewis

Team members: Nicole Simmons, Sam Riley

Simulation & Skills Center
Team members: Nicole Manley, Saeedah Qadeer, Leigh Goldstein, Chris Abbyad, Scott Hudson

Sanger Learning Center
Team members: Paige Schilt, Nisha Abraham, Kate Molina-Gallo, Dekia Greene

First-Year Experience
Team members: Jeff Mayo, Patty Moran Micks, Cristabella Trimble-Quiz, Lisa Valdez, Laura Yates

Team members: Phaedra White Abbott, Lori Holleran Steiker, Kate Lower, Patricia Moran Micks

Center for the Skills & Experience Flags
Team members: Brooke Rich, Susan “George” Schorn, Cossy Hough

Team members: Ana Hernández, Tiffany Lewis

Team members: Lalaine Sevillano, Esther Calzada

Team members: Sarah Sloan, Tanya Voss Mary Beer, Eboni Calbow, René Gaitan, Tammy Linseisen, Starla Simmons, Robin Smith

Office of Student Succes
Team members: Maggie Wilhite, Sarah Mason, Melissa Ossian, Casey Bushman, Julian Falgout, Megan Conner, Marc Pereira

Team members: Rebecca Liendo, Maria Chiochios, Thao Votang, Mandy Ryan, Gilbert Borrego, Elizabeth Gerberich, Mirko Hanke, Stacy Ogilvie, Katy Parker, Andrés Ramírez, Loretta Wallace, Beth Dodd, Devon Murphy, Liz DeHart