Dr. Curtis L. Webb III, PhD
Director, Systems Redesign + Community-Led Research
Dr. Webb is an award-winning scholar whose interests lie at the intersection of race, embodiment, class, and space (internet and physical).
Dr. Curtis L. Webb III brings his deep knowledge and experiences with social change,
social inequities, racial analysis, and advocating for vulnerable populations to Design Impact. He is a trained sociologist whose research and advocacy approach is based
in the scholar-practitioner model and the work of W.E.B. Du Bois. The Du Boisian influence emphasizes shared knowledge production, community power, and a shared commitment
to systems change for the liberation of all people. Prior to Design Impact, Dr. Webb worked with The Cincinnati Project at the University of Cincinnati where he developed, maintained,
and assisted in the maintenance of community research collaborations between local organizations and UC affiliates. Dr. Webb has won numerous research grants and leadership awards, including the University of Cincinnati’s African American Cultural
and Resource Center’s Ushindi Black Graduate Student Campus Leader Award. Dr. Webb obtained a B.A. in Sociology from Morehouse College, an M.A in Sociology from
the University of Cincinnati, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati.
Director, Strategy, Impact, and Liberatory Design
Sarah Robertson is a strategist, culture coach, dot connector, and change agent.
As a Practice Director at DI, she weaves her deep commitment to social and racial justice with her background in consulting, organizational strategy, research, and creative problem-solving methods. You may find her leading an HCD cohort to improve job quality with frontline workers or collaborating with organizations to build culture and structures that foster equitable community engagement. Sarah is an empathetic champion, dedicated to ensuring the folks most impacted are front-and-center in designing solutions, as their lived experiences unlock the most equitable and sustainable approaches. As a thoughtful listener and natural bridge-builder, Sarah sees every interaction as an opportunity for learning and connection. Her latest curiosity is exploring the links between behavior change and equitable outcomes. Prior to DI, Sarah consulted Fortune 10 companies, national nonprofits, and grassroots community-based organizations on organizational and creative strategy. Sarah holds a BA in English Literature, Sociology, and the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability from Washington & Lee University. She is a co-author ofPathways to the Future, published by Design Impact in 2020. She is a proud mama to two delightful kiddos, who graciously indulge her love of bad puns, adventurous cooking, spontaneous songwriting, and boundless curiosity.
Tia Sherèe Gaynor
Associate Professor of Leadership & Management at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Tia Sherèe Gaynor, Ph.D. is an associate professor in leadership and management at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the UMN faculty, Dr. Gaynor was an associate professor of political science and founding director of the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at the University of Cincinnati.
Tia is a community-engaged scholar immersed in equity and inclusion. Her work explores the intersection of social justice, local government, and identity. More specifically, focusing on the ways identity-based narratives, negative social constructions, and decision-making lead to inequitable outcomes for people of color, those who identify as LGBTQIA, and people at the intersections of these and other identities. Her most recent work sits at the nexus of mindfulness, intergroup dialogue, and racial healing to explore avenues toward equity and justice.
In its entirety, Dr. Gaynor’s scholarship offers a critical analysis of hegemony and argues against the normative assumptions embedded in the traditional theory and practice of public and nonprofit administration.
As co-founder of Praxis Matters, LLC, a consulting firm that supports organizations meet their equity and justice goals, Tia pairs empirical knowledge with practical solutions to center equity within organizations. She has designed and delivered a host of trainings, executed equity-centered strategic plans, and conducted equity assessments. Dr. Gaynor brings with her more than twenty years of professional experience in nonprofit administration, research, and evidenced-based curriculum development.
Megan Collado manages a number of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant-making programs. Currently she directs the Health Data for Action program, one of the Foundation’s signature research programs, and she co-directs the Community Research
for Health Equity program, a new initiative that seeks to elevate community voices through community-led research projects that make the priorities of communities the primary goal of local health system transformation efforts. Megan’s primary responsibilities include project management, program design and implementation, research translation, technical assistance, and grantmaking and proposal evaluation. Megan also provides leadership
as needed on AcademyHealth projects related to community-engaged research, research impact assessment, and range of health policy topics.
Maura Dugan supports a number of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant-making programs. The RWJF programs she supports include “Community Research for Health Equity”, “Health Data for Action,” “Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems,” and “Building Trust and Mutual Respect to Improve Health Care.” Prior to joining AcademyHealth, Maura worked as a Research Assistant at The Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh where she investigated racial disparities in pregnancy and postpartum health outcomes, including postpartum weight retention, cardiometabolic risk, and the interplay of contextual, environmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors. Maura graduated from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Public Health.
Marya Khan manages projects focused on trust and high-value, equitable care funded by the ABIM Foundation and the Donaghue Foundation. She also works on the Community Research for Health Equity program and other grant-making programs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her work entails convening researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders; supporting research agenda development and dissemination;
and facilitating research proposal reviews.