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TCRC Steering Committee

At the heart of TCRC is a shared and democratic leadership model, demonstrated in its steering committee with members from across Tufts’ neighboring communities and Tufts academic departments. TCRC is also supported by a broader participatory and action research community, cultivated since the center’s earliest days in 2005.

Steering Committee Co-Chairs and Director: 
Penn Loh (Senior Lecturer, Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, Tisch College) and Alex Pirie, (Coordinator, Immigrant Health Providers, Inc.) are co-chairs of TCRC’s steering committee. They work closely with Elaine Donnelly (Director, TCRC) to facilitate and help shape the center’s work.

Broader TCRC research community: 
TCRC continues to grow its broader community of participatory and action researchers, across Tufts university, communities in Massachusetts, and beyond. Interested in learning more and getting involved? Please reach out to   

Headshots of TCRC Steering Committee Members

The current members of the committee are:

Community Representatives

Georgiana Chevry

Coordinator of Internship Programs, Bunker Hill Community College

Georgiana Chevry has a deep understanding of board governance, higher education administration, and non-profit organizations. Her 20+ year career and consulting practice has centered on meeting with diverse stakeholders, leadership groups, and grantees to further organizational goals aligned with empowering first-generation and racially minoritized populations. Through her work, Georgiana has seen first-hand how such intentional organizational goals can bring transformational improvements to workforce development, families, and communities. A few examples of where Georgiana's work has made sustainable impact are: Mayor Menino’s Success Boston, Massachusetts Life Science Internship Challenge, Hack.Diversity Fellows, Adult Basic Education, and Basic Needs Security of college students. Georgiana's work has led her to increasingly focus on the intersection of education, housing, and economics as a path to meaningful policy change. The youngest of two, Georgiana grew up in Medford. She received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Trinity College and master's in higher education administration from Suffolk University.

Annie Chin-Louie

Project Manager, ADAPT

Annie joined Tufts CTSI in November 2015 as the Project Manager for ADAPT (Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research), a community-academic partnership whose mission is to assess, improve and promote health and well-being among underserved Asian-American communities in the Greater Boston area through research, education and advocacy. Prior to joining Tufts CTSI, Annie worked as Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley.  Annie holds a B.A. from Smith College and an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management.

John Hsieh

Deputy Executive Director, Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS)

John Hsieh is the Deputy Executive Director at the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS). Founded in 1981, CAAS is a federally designated anti-poverty agency serving Somerville and Cambridge, with a mission to help local families and individuals achieve financial security while working to eliminate the root causes of economic injustice. John brings deep experience in all facets of nonprofit strategy, programming, operations, and governance, developed over 15+ years in senior management positions across the human service, free and open source software, domestic violence, and arts sectors. In addition to his not-for-profit career, John has experience in government affairs, management consulting, and start-ups. He holds graduate degrees in business and community economic development.

Alicia Hunt

Director of Planning, Development and Sustainability, City of Medford

Alicia is the Director of Planning, Development and Sustainability for the City of Medford. She has been with the City since 2010, where she started as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator and then the Energy & Environment Director. As a Medford resident and parent, she is involved with many community groups both as a member and volunteer. Alicia works frequently with environmental and civically minded organizations throughout the city and enjoys connecting people and groups to each other and the city in order to strengthen community throughout Medford.

Alexandra Oliver-Dávila

Executive Director, Sociedad Latina

Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, Executive Director, has been serving at Sociedad Latina since 1999. During her 20+ year tenure, she has transformed Sociedad Latina into a cutting-edge, data-driven, creative youth development organization. Under her leadership, Sociedad Latina has increased and diversified its budget, expanded board membership, engaged a greater number of youth and families it partners with, and grown youth development program offerings. Alex has served as the Chair of the Boston Public School Committee, a trustee of Emmanuel College, a board member of the Coalition of Schools of Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), and a committee member of the Greater Boston Latino Network (GBLN). In recognition for her hard work and dedication to the Latine community in Boston, Alex has received a number of honors and recognition over the years. In 2018, she was selected by The Partnership to participate in the Next Generation Executive Leadership Program and was named one of Boston’s “100 Most Influential People of Color” by Get Konnected. She has been honored several times in Boston Magazine's “100 Most Powerful People for Massachusetts’ Latinos”. Alex holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Emmanuel College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Tufts University.

Alex Pirie

Co-chair, TCRC; Coordinator, Immigrant Services Provider Group/Health

Alex Pirie is the Coordinator of the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health in Somerville, MA. Deeply committed to Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR0, he served as a Co-Investigator on “Assessing and Preventing Obesity in New Immigrants” (National Institute for Child Heath and Human Development), a community coordinator on “Assessing and Controlling Occupational Health Risks for Immigrants in Somerville, MA” (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), and was a consultant on a Harvard Catalyst Pilot grant examining the consequences of ICE Raids and law enforcement behavior on imigrant health access in Everett, MA. He has served on the community engagement advisory groups for both the Tufts Clinical Translational Institute and the Harvard Catalyst and currently serves on the Population Health Board Sub-committee at the Cambridge Health Alliance; is a member of the Immigrant Services Unit, Office of Immigrant Affairs, City of Somerville, and participates in alternate weekly meetings, Somerville and Regional, preparing for families and unaccompanied minors arriving from the border. He is the community co-director for the steering committee of the Tisch College Community Research Center and also serves on the steering committee for the Somerville Youth Workers Network, an Asian Data Working Group, and the annual planning committee for The State of Asian Women’s Health conferences.

Ellin Reisner

President, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership

Ellin Reisner, Ph.D. is President of the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP), an organization of community residents working to improve transportation and air quality for residents and workers in Somerville. She is a founding and continuing community research partner of the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) research team. Ellin is also a co-author of the Family Caregiving Handbook: Finding Elder Care Resources in Massachusetts. 

Tufts Representatives

Penn Loh

Co-Chair, Tisch College Community Research Center

Penn Loh is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program and Community Practice at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He partners with various community base building organizations in the Solidarity Economy Initiative, Right to the City Alliance, and Center for Economic Democracy. From 1996 to 2009, he served in various roles, including Executive Director, at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), a Roxbury-based environmental justice group. He holds an M.S. in environmental science and policy from Energy and Resources Group of the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT. Before joining ACE, he was Research Associate at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California and a Research Analyst at the Tellus Institute for Resource and Environmental Strategies in Boston. He has published broadly on environmental and social justice issues. He has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Health and Research Subcommittee, the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and on the boards of the Environmental Support Center, the Environmental Leadership Program, New World Foundation, and Community Labor United. He is currently a trustee of the Hyams Foundation and board member of Center for Economic Democracy.

Diane Ryan

Associate Dean

Diane M. Ryan is the Associate Dean for Programs and Administration in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Dr. Ryan oversees a portfolio of programs and curricula that service the entire undergraduate and graduate student body as well as provide resources for faculty research and professional development.

Diane’s teaching and research is focused on leadership development. She is a co-investigator on Project Arete – a 5-year longitudinal study of character and leadership development at the United States Military Academy. Dr. Ryan also holds a secondary appointment as Associate Professor in the Eliot-Person Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Prior to joining Tufts, Diane was an Academy Professor, Director of the Eisenhower Leader Development Program with Columbia University and Deputy Department Head in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. During her 29-year career as a U.S. Army officer she served in a variety of command and staff assignments both stateside and abroad. Diane is a noted expert in leader development and mentoring. During her last combat assignment with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq she founded a US-Iraqi partnership for military women and worked with several NGOs on peace and security initiatives. More recently, she served as a strategy consultant to the Commander of U.S. Army Pacific designing leader development exchange programs for several key U.S. partners.

Diane is certified in Stakeholder Centered Coaching and, in 2017, was selected as one of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches from over 16,000 applicants. She has worked with numerous organizations across all sectors to include NYC Public Schools, Goldman-Sachs, Dell-EMC and Dartmouth College.

Dr. Ryan holds a B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross, an M.S. in International Relations from Troy University, an M.S.S. in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and a Ph.D. in Social and Community Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Diane and her husband Al Roscoe have two daughters and a wily shih-poo named Maggie.

Shirley Mark

Tisch College Director of Community Partnerships/Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion (ADDI)

Shirley Mark serves as Tisch College’s Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Director of Community Partnerships. She works to create resources and opportunities to strengthen and build campus-community partnerships between Tufts University and the local communities of Boston, Medford, and Somerville. Prior to Tufts, Shirley worked in philanthropy and has extensive experience with community organizations and public agencies. Shirley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rocco DiRico

Executive Director of Government and Community Relations

Rocco manages the relationship between Tufts University and its host communities of Medford, Somerville, Boston, and Grafton. He works with neighbors, community partners, and elected officials to help the university fulfill its mission to make a positive impact on the communities that surround Tufts’ campuses.  His office runs the wildly popular Tufts Community Day, the Tufts Community Grants Program, the Tufts Community Appeal which raises money for financial aid and local nonprofits, and hosts community events on campus. Rocco currently serves on the Board of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, and the Medford Public Library Foundation. He has extensive political and public service experience having worked in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for 15 years. Rocco is a graduate of Providence College with a Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University.

Kendra Field

Associate Professor, Department of History

Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors' migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration, drawing upon family lore and community-based archives. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Field's research and teaching areas include race, slavery, freedom, migration, and social movements in the long nineteenth century; African-American family history, memory, and public history. Field is also the co-director of the African American Trail Project, a city-wide network and archive housed at Tufts University, in collaboration with public history and community-based organizations across greater Boston.

Kerri Greenidge

Interim Director, Department of American Studies

Kerri Greenidge received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her research explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006). Greenidge is also co-director of the African American Trail Project, a city-wide network and archive housed at Tufts University, in collaboration with public history and community-based organizations across greater Boston.

Allen Rutberg

Director, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy

Dr. Rutberg is the Director of Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Rutberg received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical and Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and his Ph.D in Zoology from the University of Washington. Dr. Rutberg is interested in studying about animal behavior, biological anthropology, and humans’ relations with nature. Dr. Rutberg has spent more than two decades listening to, working with, and trying to understand his fellow suburbanites as they resolve their conflicts with wildlife, hopefully in ways that will leave them at peace with all their neighbors, human and wild.

Sumeeta Srinivasan

Lecturer, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Sumeeta Srinivasan's research interests are in sustainable development of cities especially as it relates to transportation, land use, and health. She uses GIS and spatial data models to understand inequities of access. Before coming to Tufts, she was a Preceptor for Geospatial Methods at Harvard University where she taught Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Modeling. She is affiliated with the China Project at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard where she was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate. The methodological lens that she uses in her research is spatial analysis: the use of GIS, geospatial modeling, remote sensing, spatial statistics and spatiotemporal models. In her research she has studied cities in India, China and the US. She has a PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.

Ninian Stein

Lecturer, Environmental Studies Program

Trained as an anthropological-archaeologist and an environmental scientist, Professor Ninian Stein's research and teaching spans three areas — environmental policy and communication, landscape change, and environmental justice. Many of her classes and aspects of her research look at environmental policy and communication through the lens of the disciplinary cultures of science and policy. At the heart of Prof. Stein's work is the idea of "landscape literacy" (Spring 2005), that if we can read the past of a place we are better able to plan for its future. Prof. Stein has taught most recently at Smith College, and also at Wheaton College in Norton (MA), the University of Massachusetts Boston, and San Jose State University. Her current research draws on systems thinking, science and design to create new collaborative decision-making frameworks for communities seeking to increase their sustainability and more effectively utilize and preserve local environmental resources. The manuscript in progress for this work is tentatively titled Bioregional Urbanism 1.0. Her team is partnering with Grove Hall Main Streets and other community organizations to field-test the Bioregional Urbanist methodology in the Grove Hall neighborhood in Dorchester and Roxbury, Massachusetts. She is also finishing a manuscript, Not Your Average Run of the Mill: Combining Environmental History and Industrial Archaeology to Shape the Future of Factory Sites. Based on her environmental and anthropological study of a textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and its transformation into an artists' community, the manuscript offers techniques for transforming old industrial buildings into vibrant spaces for community building. This manuscript represents a concrete way to link environmental studies with the concerns of local communities. The daughter of a career counselor, Prof. Stein especially enjoys talking with students about career paths including jobs, internships, and graduate and professional schools. She has advised undergraduate research and theses at several schools. Someday she hopes to teach a course entitled "Food, Clothing, Shelter: Our Stuff and Sustainability."