Resilience Fellows

Each year a new cohort of passionate individuals from the university and community apply and are brought together to develop knowledge to strengthen community resilience.

Fellows focus on four main resilience themes (FUSE) and collaborate closely with community stakeholders. 

Meet our fellows and learn about their resilience projects such as heat-resilience strategies beyond handing out water; exploring the potential for more natural play spaces; discovering how data visualization improves mobile food pantry outreach; finding resources to grow your own food - and many more!

Meet Our Fellows

Ryan Cornell

Academic Fellow 2023
ASU School of Sustainability

S.R. Aurora

Academic Fellow 2023
Global Futures Scientists and Scholars at ASU

Elizabeth Kizer

Academic Fellow 2023
ASU College of Health Solutions

Sara Scoville-Weaver

Community Fellow 2023
Conceptually Social Catering

Ana Lopenowski

Community Fellow 2023

Tony Pham

Community Fellow 2023
TKMV Studio

Carlos Aguiar

Academic Fellow 2023
City of Phoenix

Jennifer Gastelum

Community Fellow 2023
Strategic Learning Explore Program

Richard Southee

Community Fellow 2023
Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS)

Johanna Richards

Community Fellow 2023
ASU @ Mesa City Center

Cora Fox

Academic Fellow 2023
Associate Professor

Deirdre Pfeiffer

Academic Fellow 2023
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU

Elizabeth Castillo

Academic Fellow 2023
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU

Katie Sexton-Wood

Community Fellow 2023
Arizona Faith Network

Meredith Jaxon

Community Fellow 2023
Candid Business Consulting

Eric "Half" Brickley

Community Fellow 2022
Feed Phoenix

Heather Ross

Academic Fellow 2022
Edson College - Doctor of Nursing Practice, School for the Future of Innovation in Society Faculty, Global Futures Scientists and Scholars

Danae Hernández-Cortés

Academic Fellow 2022
ASU School of Sustainability

Mark Roseland

Academic Fellow 2022
ASU School of Community Resources and Development

Michelle Litwin

Community Fellow 2022
City of Phoenix

Lori Holleran

Community Fellow 2022
Arizona Housing, Inc. (AHI)

Anne Reichman

Academic Fellow 2022
ASU Sustainable Cities Network & Project Cities Program

Mikhail Chester

Academic Fellow 2022
ASU School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment

Margaret Adams

Community Fellow 2022
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)

Morgan Winburn

Community Fellow 2022
Keep Tempe Beautiful

Tamala McBath

Community Fellow 2022
Dress for Success Phoenix

Ryan Winkle

Community Fellow 2022

Doran Dalton

Community Fellow 2021
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Ian Dowdy

Community Fellow 2021
Center for the Future of Arizona

Rafael Martínez

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts; Southwest Borderlands

Kenan Song

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy; The Polytechnic School

Felicia Mitchell

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU School of Social Work

Lauren Withycombe Keeler

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Tina Drews

Community Fellow 2021
Salt River Project

Molly Benton

Community Fellow 2020
Maricopa County Public Health Department

Stephanie Lechuga-Peña

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Natalia Ronceria Ceballos

Community Fellow 2020
Valley of the Sun United Way

Augie Gastelum

Community Fellow 2021

Bradley Adame

Academic Fellow 2021
ASU Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

Rachel Smetana

Community Fellow 2021
Mayor's Office, City of Scottsdale

Brian Winsor

Community Fellow 2021
Paideia Academies, Inc.

Steve Torres

Community Fellow 2021
Valley of the Sun United Way

Diana Bowman

Impact Scholar 2022–2024; Academic Fellow 2021
ASU Center for Smart Cities and Regions; School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Andres Baeza-Castro

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science

Terra Rose Ganem

Community Fellow 2020
Brilliant Planet

Marta Berbes Blazquez

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Naketa Ross

Community Fellow 2020

Melanie Gall

Impact Scholar 2022–2024; Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security (CEMHS)

Joseph Rossell

Community Fellow 2020
City of Phoenix

Thaddaeus Gassie

Community Fellow 2020
Crisis Response Network

Deborah Salon

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Erica Hodges

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU and Society of St. Vincent De Paul Partnership

Michael Simeone

Knowledge Enterprise Scholar 2022–2024; Crosscutting Scholar 2018–2022; Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Biosocial Complexity Initiative

Michelle Jordan

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Daoqin Tong

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Kristina Lopez

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions

Jayson Matthews

Community Fellow 2019
Valley of the Sun United Way

Joshua Loughman

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Krickette Wetherington

Community Fellow 2019
Valley of the Sun United Way

Julia Matthies

Community Fellow 2020
St. Vincent de Paul

Adonias Arevalo

Community Fellow 2019
Valley of the Sun United Way

Janis Norton

Community Fellow 2020
The Urban Farm

Matthew Toro

Academic Fellow 2019
ASU Library

Dawn Augusta

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Kathleen Pine

Academic Fellow 2020
ASU College of Health Solutions

Sara Meerow

Academic Fellow 2019
ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning; Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; Urban Climate Research Center

David Hondula

Academic Fellow 2019
ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Hyunsung Oh

Academic Fellow 2019
ASU School of Social Work

Jennifer Vanos

Impact Scholar 2022–2024; Academic Fellow 2019
ASU School of Sustainability

Sandra Price

Academic Fellow 2019
ASU School of Community and Resource Development

Edmund Williams

Academic Fellow 2019
Lehr Innovations, LLC

Shelley Morgan

Community Fellow 2019
Arizona Department of Economic Security

Nate Smith

Community Fellow 2019
Phoenix Rescue Mission

Overview and Benefits

Building capacity and connections

Through a 12-month fellowship program, representatives from both the community and university come together to share knowledge, discover gaps or opportunities, and respond to challenges.

Working in community–university pairs, fellows conduct collaborative research focused on FUSE themes. To encourage collaboration and knowledge exchange, fellows meet weekly for six months and transition to monthly meetings for the fellowship's remainder.

Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed. Email to be notified about future calls for applications.



$15,000 stipend to support research project

Training in media and communications

Rich opportunities to develop cross-sector partnerships and networking

Access to collaboration spaces within ASU upon request

Support from data visualization and analysis experts


Time Commitment and Expectations

The 12-month program design features a six-month phase for discovery and knowledge exchange, followed by another six months for project implementation. 

January – June: Fellows will attend weekly cohort meetings during the first six months, where they'll receive guidance from the KER Executive Director and team to develop, revise and establish driving project questions. 

July – December: Fellows will attend monthly cohort meetings. During this period, fellows will test, refine and implement projects within the community and university. 

COVID-19 Update: The meetings' format may be in person or virtual based on university guidance and specific health-related contexts.

Fellows will produce and present three deliverables by the end of the fellowship period: 

An analysis of their community resilience question.

A creative deliverable, such as a data dashboard, an organization roadmap or a manuscript draft intended for submission to an academic journal or community practitioner white paper. 

Comprehensive summary submitted to KER staff that includes data, insights, outcomes and contributions for public distribution. 


How is funding allocated?

The $15,000 award for research can be used to support project needs in many ways. Examples of funding allocation for academic and community fellows is below. 

Academic – Funding support type will be determined in coordination with the department: 

  • Pay for summer salary.
  • Employ a research assistant for one semester.
  • Cover costs of data acquisition.
  • Coordinate local travel, supplies, open access publication fees or a combination of those. 
  • The funds are proposed by the fellow and agreed upon by their director or chair.

Community – Fellows can work with KER up to 19.5 hours per week. Their home institutions will agree to allow for a reduction in workload to accommodate the fellowship.

  • Their home institution will receive up to 49% of their current salary to permit time release to the project, allowing the fellow to keep the full salary and fringe benefits of their present employer.
  • Funding may also cover operating expenses for data acquisition, local travel, supplies or open access publication fees.


Request for notification of future calls for applications may be sent by email to
Other inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Patricia Solís, Executive Director, at or Dr. Elizabeth Wentz, Director, at 

Application Process

Please carefully review all materials below.

Send final applications to Applicants must include full names, contact information, and email addresses for both themselves and their supervisor or employer.

Candidates applying as a pair may submit a joint project and intent statement but must send resumes and agreement documentation for each partner. Candidates who have not yet identified a partner should indicate this in their submission email.

1  Resume

A brief 2-page resume highlighting experience and qualifications and any special skills relating to community resilience and/or exchanging knowledge.

2  Project and Intent Statement

Concise statement explaining (a) the reason the applicant desires to participate in the fellowship, including (b) identification of the project idea and how it builds community resilience at a systems level, under one or more of the FUSE themes, (c) how the funding support would be used, and (d) one personal learning or professional development objective.

3  Agreement Documentation

A letter or email from the department level supervisor indicating agreement with the use of the fellowship stipend in the applicant’s submission. 

Application Timeline

  • Notifications of selection – early November 

  • Public announcement – December 

  • Fellowship begins – late January 

  • Project implementation begins – no later than July

  • Project showcase – November

  • Fellowship ends – December 31


Resilience fellows participate in a diverse cohort of academic and community fellows. Candidates will need to meet either the academic or community fellowship classification requirements to be eligible for the program.

Academic Fellow

  • Successful academic fellow applicants may be tenure-track or non-tenure-track professors at any level (assistant, associate or full), scholars with instructor or research appointments, or post-doctoral research associates in any discipline.

  • Graduate or undergraduate students are not eligible.

  • Eligible applicants may be affiliated with any department, school or research center across all Arizona State University campuses in Maricopa County.

Community Fellow

  • Successful community fellow applicants may be employed by any of the following types of institutions: non-profit organization, local and regional municipality, government agency, philanthropic, non-governmental or religious entities.

  • Private sector business applicants may be considered if the enterprise's primary mission relates to a proposed community resilience theme or solutions space.

  • Sole proprietors or unaffiliated entrepreneurs are not eligible.

  • Community partner applicants should have sufficient experience, stature or permissions in their home institution to enable substantive collaboration, whether through data exchange, access to institutional programming or relationships with beneficiaries. They should also have sufficient opportunity to implement what they learn during their fellowship at their home institution.

What is the difference?

The only difference between community and academic fellows is the classification based on their home organization. Both types of fellows receive program benefits and will be placed in the same fellowship cohort under the general name KER fellows. 

Fellows will work in community-university pairs to complete collaborative projects. Candidates who already have a partner in mind can apply as a pair. Our team will help match candidates who applied as individuals with an appropriate partner.

Selection Criteria

A heavy emphasis is placed on the proposed project and the potential to contribute knowledge to strengthen community resilience and bridge academics, practitioners and the public. The project must focus on a topic within the FUSE framework (See Below).

Three additional criteria include: 

  • The individual applicant’s potential to contribute to insights, actions or solutions related to a specific social, economic and/or environmental resilience challenge, as proposed in the application.
  • The merit of a proposed idea to advance understanding on community resilience broadly and systematically.
  • The possibility for innovative creation and/or use of data, including participatory methods to support the synergetic exchange of knowledge within the cohort. 

These factors are considered along with meeting the eligibility criteria for an academic or community fellow classification.

1. Food, energy and water transitions

Food and water systems in a resilient community are characterized by equitable distribution and reliable access to safe, healthy foods and adequate quantities of clean water for all residents everywhere. Assemblages engage a diverse set of productive actors such as local growers, urban farms and a robust sustainable heat-adapted agricultural industry. Supply chains are robust and resistant to disruption or scarcity.

The energy landscape of a resilient community consists of a diverse, integrated array of resources and infrastructure for obtaining sustainable and renewable fuel for cooling, heating, and mobilizing in our homes, businesses, and public spaces, as well as to fuel transportation systems that are available and accessible to all rural and urban residents across the county and beyond. Interruptions in the provision of power, whether due to economic or environmental drivers, are rare and short-lived.

2. Urban heat and healthy communities

Healthy, resilient communities create the necessary social and physical environments that promote good health for all, capable of thriving in the face of potential chronic stressors, such as heat exposure, and of withstanding shocks such as rapid-moving epidemics. Access to care and prevention facilities is equitable, and services are responsive to locally relevant threats to residents of all ages and backgrounds. Belonging to an inclusive place, enjoying a diverse community, exercising human rights, and developing social cohesion among neighbors and across organizations, are experiences that set apart the capacity of communities that are building resilience.

3. Shelter and the built environment

Shelter in resilient communities is ubiquitous, affordable, safe, and secure. Housing options are diverse and available in adequate quantities and at proper quality to every resident, providing relief from heat, floods, or other environmental threats. Periods of lack of shelter whether experienced by students, families, veterans, elderly or others, are infrequent and nonrecurring. A robust continuum of services is available to bridge needs for those suffering eviction or foreclosure, and is provided in equitable measure to all. Homes are constructed to be resilient to heat, and are free from domestic violence and crime.

4. Economic security and work

Resilient communities are economically secure, with organizations from private, public, and education sectors alike working in concert to meet present needs and prepare for future dynamics. Residents are able to generate consistent income or work for fair wages, salaries, or compensation in an integrated workforce and education system that provides equitable access to opportunities for generating resources for individuals and families of all backgrounds. A diversity of jobs and businesses lead to optimal productive capacity, able to transform challenges such as heat exposure to potential innovation. People participating in resilient economies are able to withstand downturns, confront changes from growth, and successfully face a dynamic future of work.

We emphasize across these themes that here in Maricopa County, heat is a major threat multiplier and underlies our understanding of all FUSE themes.

Furthermore, we recognize that pervasive to our understanding of these themes is the notion that community resilience relies upon attention to equity, including that shocks and stresses often disproportionately affect particular vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, requiring a proactive approach, and that solutions should strive for the equitable distribution of resources to withstand shock and stress according to exposure and risk.

Finally, we acknowledge that place-based understandings are critical and that these themes will play out differently depending on the place in which we are considering how to build resilience.