Advisory Board

Molly Ayers Headshot

Molly Ayers

Molly has 20 years of experience in the field of community engagement in higher education, including, campus-community strategic partnership development, place-based engagement, community-engaged teaching, and student civic leadership development. She was the founding director of Eastern Washington University’s Office of Community Engagement and serves in the role of assistant dean of Gonzaga University’s Center for Community Engagement. She is an active mother of two boys who enjoys time spent outdoors with her family. She will be graduating with a doctorate in Leadership Studies Spring 2024.


Rachel Haas

Betsy Bancroft, Ph.D.
Betsy Bancroft is an ecologist who specializes in understanding the effects of anthropogenic stressors, including climate change, on freshwater organisms like frogs, insects, and fish. I teach in both the Biology and Environmental Studies departments at Gonzaga and run an active undergraduate-driven research program.

Sara Bernard-Hoverstad 

Sara Bernard-Hoverstad, Ph.D.
Sara Bernard-Hoverstad is a Senior Specialist for Faculty and Staff Formation in the Division of Mission Integration at Gonzaga University. She holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics, and her scholarship focuses on empowering moral agency in contexts of climate and environmental injustice with specific attention to water rights and access.

Profile Photo of Professor Heather Crandall 

Heather Crandall, Ph.D.
Heather Crandall is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Communication Studies. She teaches courses on Rhetoric in Civic Life, Analyzing Public Texts and Discourse, and Rhetoric of Social Change. She co-authored The Climate Girl Effect: Fridays, Flint, and Fire (2022), and in the process learned a great deal about gender, technology, and activism. She is interested in the many ways scholarly expertise can help in the global fight for environmental justice.

Portrait of Jonas Cox, Ph.D.

Jonas Cox, Ph.D.  
Jonas Cox Is a faculty member in the School of Education. He teaches Learning Theory and Epistemology to elementary and secondary teacher candidates. He has been active in environmental education in the state of Washington for years, serving on various boards and he is certified as a trainer in various national environmental education curriculum models.

Kacie Bell

Carolyn Cunningham, Ph.D.
Carolyn Cunningham is a Professor in the Communication and Leadership Studies Department where she teaches courses in social media, digital storytelling, and women and leadership. She is the director of the Northwest Alliance for Media Literacy. Her research examines the intersections of gender and technology and she is the co-author (with Heather Crandall) of The Climate Girl Effect: Fridays, Flint, and Fire (Lexington, 2022).

Cathy DeHart

Cathy DeHart, CPA and CMA
Cathy DeHart is a senior lecturer of accounting. In 2016, she became part of the first cohort globally to earn the SASB Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential. She teaches sustainability accounting in Gonzaga's graduate accounting programs.


Whitney Franklin Headshot

Whitney Franklin

Whitney Franklin is currently serving as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Gonzaga University. She brings over a decade of experience in event management, media relations, philanthropy, and fundraising. With a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and a Certificate in Women's Leadership, Whitney has served the university in several previous roles, including Director of Donor Engagement and Assistant Director of Stewardship.


Melinda Howard

Melinda Howard, Ph.D.
Melinda Howard is a faculty member in the Biology Department. She is interested in how human relationships with the natural world affect scientific literacy, knowledge systems, and values, and how these dynamics play a role in the education of diverse learners. Mindy teaches courses including Human Ecology and Indigenous Science.

Jon Isacoff

Jonathan Isacoff, Ph.D.
Jonathan Isacoff is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University. Dr. Isacoff was the founding chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Gonzaga and served in that role from 2006 till 2015. He received his B.A. and M.P.A. from Cornell University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He co-teaches a class, “Climate Change Science and Politics,” with Dr. Hugh Lefcort of the Biology Department.

Dr. Vivek Patil 

Vivek Patil, Ph.D.
Vivek H. Patil, Ph.D., is a Professor of Marketing at Gonzaga University and a Research Fellow in the Opportunity Northeast place-based initiative of the University. His background in measurement theory and statistics has advanced research on research methodology and data analysis issues. Additionally, he utilizes theoretical frameworks from economics, social psychology, and cognitive psychology to study the behaviors of people in different domains. His most recent scholarship has explored the relationships between redlining practices of the 1930s and different social, economic, health, and environmental outcomes across neighborhoods in Spokane County.

Martin Schiavenato 

Martin Schiavenato, Ph.D., R.N.
Martin Schiavenato is a former newborn intensive care unit nurse with expertise in pain measurement in non-verbal populations. His work lies at the junction of technology and its application to improve healthcare. He teaches on the social determinants of health, including the environment, and their impact.

Cathy DeHart

Joshua Schultz, Ph.D., P.E., LEED A.P. 
Joshua Schultz is a consulting structural engineer and assistant professor at Gonzaga University. He specializes in façade design and composite material analysis (laminated glass, cross-laminated timber etc.) – with an eye toward energy efficiency and sustainability. Joshua maintains an active engineering consultancy as a licensed professional engineer and LEED accredited professional.

Dr. John Traynor 

John Traynor, Ph.D.
Dr. John Traynor (he/him/his) is Associate Professor at Gonzaga University in the Department of Teacher Education where he specializes in the Foundations of Education, Teaching in the Middle School, and Community and Place-Based Education. John's current work involves partnership efforts with local K-12 schools throughout the region. John is an avid outdoorsman with passions for skiing, biking and fly fishing.

Cathy DeHart

Luis Inaraja Vera, J.D., LL.M. 
Luis Inaraja Vera is an assistant professor of law whose research focuses on the use of voluntary regulatory tools to attain environmental goals and on the role that property law plays in shaping policies to address water scarcity.

Joshua Schultz

Rhonda Young, Ph.D., P.E.
Rhonda Young is a civil engineering professor specializing in transportation. Her interest areas include transportation sustainability and addressing resiliency in the transportation system against changing climate.