Staff & Scholars

The Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE), in the Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) at UNCG, is dedicated to nurturing this commitment through increasing opportunities for awareness, communication, and collaboration among individuals and offices university- and community-wide.

If you are interested in finding an individual, group, or resource within the university or community for a collaborative project, please contact us!


Emily M. Janke, PhD (she|her|hers)


Emily M. Janke, PhD, has served as the director of the Institute for Community & Economic Engagement since 2010, where she has supported UNC Greensboro’s transformation as a community-engaged university. She is also a professor in the Peace and Conflict Studies department where she contributes to its community-engaged scholarship through teaching, research, and service. As a scholar-administrator, Emily has advanced practice and scholarship in the areas of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship with diverse and inclusive teams; the equitable treatment of community-engaged scholarship in workload, hiring, and promotion and tenure policy and practices; strategic efforts to track and monitor community engagement and public service within and across institutions; pluralistic and open scholarly communications; resident-level community boards to support respectful institutional engagement; and the use of restorative practices in interpersonal, intergroup, and organizational culture.

Emily was inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholars in 2021 and served as a Senior Fellow for Duke University’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement in the Office of Durham and Community Affairs in 2022.  She has been honored to receive the Barbara A. Holland Scholar-Administrator Award given by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, the Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award given by the North Carolina Campus Compact, the Early Career Researcher Award and the Dissertation Award given by the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, and the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement given by American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project. She is a co-author of Collaboratory®, a publicly searchable, online database of community engagement activities within and across institutions of higher education. She has served on the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Elective Classification since 2014 and is on the editorial boards of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, the Metropolitan Universities Journal, and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. She enjoys collaborating with a variety of scholars (inclusively defined) to re-imagine the future of community engagement in higher education so that it is more inclusive, impactful, restorative, and just.

Contact Emily at (336) 256-2578 or

Kristy Wittman Howell (she|her|hers)

Associate Director

Kristy Wittman Howell is a historian and community organizer who joined the Institute for Community & Economic Engagement in 2023.

As a career educator, Kristy’s experiences are varied, including advocating for student and institutional leadership in sustainable development, developing faculty capacity for sustainability-focused education, coordinating honors and undergraduate research opportunities in community-based participatory scholarship, and institutional research. Throughout, her focus has been on the development, growth, and understanding of more equitable institutional cultures and communities for faculty, staff, students, and community members.

Kristy holds an Ed.D. in Community College Leadership from Northern Illinois University, where her research focused on the history and development of community colleges in racially-restricted communities, and an MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities from Western Kentucky University, where she focused on supporting sustainability-focused curriculum development in the humanities. As an undergraduate at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi, Kristy hoped to either teach history or become a Grammy-winning jazz vibraphonist, so she majored in history and music.

Kristy’s current research focuses on the history of integration and student experiences in community colleges in Mississippi during the 1960s, continuing her focus on how we create educational communities. She enjoys reading, running, playing the guitar, knitting, and exploring the area as a new North Carolinian.

Contact Kristy at

Erica Wrencher (she|her|hers)

Assistant Director

Erica Wrencher is a public educator, speaker, vocalist, and activist working with young folx, churches, and neighborhoods to build beloved communities. Her teaching and faith-rooted community leadership spans urban and rural contexts in North Carolina and Chicago. Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Studies and Cultural Foundations. She is active as an organizer for racial equity and justice and considers herself a human connection educator. Erica is committed to speaking from her context as a Black woman who is rooted in history and truth. She enjoys singing, eating good food and drinking good wine with her community and family.

In ICEE, Erica oversees communications, the Referral Desk, the P2 Collective Scholarship Fellows Program, and helps to manage Collaboratory. Additionally, she serves as a thought partner for colleagues in ICEE’s effort to build the capacity of community-engaged faculty and staff. She is most interested in foregrounding ways to nurture a culture of care within partnerships.

Contact Erica at

Madeline Kujabi (she|her|hers)

ICEE  Graduate Assistant

Madeline Kujabi is a 2021 Berea College International graduate from The Gambia, West Africa.

At Berea, Madeline majored in Asian Studies with minors in Dance and Women and Gender Studies. She spent the year since completing her Berea studies working for the College’s Annual Giving Office through BereaCorps (a bridge-out program for recent Berea College graduates). There she provided administrative support for all annual fundraising efforts and managed the College’s biannual Phonathon program and young alums’ giving initiatives involving reunion giving efforts.

Madeline believes that a well-rounded education should include service to humanity. As someone with a vested interest in uplifting whatever community she finds herself in, Madeline applied to join the ICEE team to join in their efforts and was accepted. Madeline is now a Peace and Conflict Studies graduate student here at UNCG. 

Madeline is highly interested in Independent Diplomacy, especially when it pertains to Sustainable Peace, Conflict Mediation, and International Development. She is also fervently interested in Girls’ Education, especially regarding women and girls working to advance humanity and effect lasting change.

When asked about her goals, Madeline says, “Whatever career I end up in, I aim to use my education to do my part to serve humanity.”

Contact Madeline at

Isi Patterson (she|her|hers or they|them|theirs)

ICEE  Graduate Assistant

Isi Patterson is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Sociology. She is currently in the M.A. in Sociology program here at UNCG. She was a Resident Assistant as an undergraduate as well as the Advertising, Accommodation, and Hospitality Committee Leader at the Appalachian State Women’s Center. During her undergraduate classes, Isi wrote a capstone paper called “Resident Assistant Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Administration Impacts Resident Assistant Wellbeing,” which won the NCSA Himes Student Papers Award. She also received the Outstanding Senior Award for the Sociology Department at Appalachian State University.

Currently, Isi is the Youth Programs Assistant at her internship site at Triad Restorative Justice. For her job, Isi helps maintain the TRJ website and social media design as well as coordinates Peace Builders’ and Justice, a youth program of circle process aimed at teenagers to create youth empowerment. For her research at the internship site, Isi is examining the narratives of youth in the restorative programs that respond to harm by examining “themes of desistance” as described in Maruna & Ramsden (2005) by comparing narratives before and after program completion.

At ICEE, Isi manages social media design, ICEE Blast newsletter design, and updating the website. She became interested in the position after learning about the roles need for someone interested in design as well as familiar with community engagement and circle process skills. She hopes to bring these two skills to the position to reflect an ICEE team aimed at increasing the quality, implementation, analysis, and reporting of community engagement at UNCG. Isi loves graphic design and building strong relationships with her community at UNCG and beyond, and is ecstatic to be in a role that merges both of her passions.

After graduation, Isi plans to continue her education by applying to receive an M.S. in Counseling here at UNCG. She is excited to continue her skill-building in order to help heal communities with proper training and trauma-informed approaches to care work.

Contact Isi at

Visiting Senior Scholars

ICEE collaborates with visiting scholars to enhance the resources for community engagement at UNCG. These scholars bring unique perspectives and expertise to support the growth and development of ICEE’s mission.

Kelly Hannum, PhD

Hannum_formalKelly M. Hannum serves as a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Community & Economic Engagement at UNCG. In this role, Kelly advises on issues related to research and evaluation projects focused on community-engaged activities. She was most recently the Director, Global Research Insights at the Center for Creative Leadership where she worked for over two decades. In 2014, she founded Aligned Impact LLC which provides evaluation and research services, and is particularly focused on complex, collaborative projects. She is the author of numerous books including Leading Across Differences (2010) and The Handbook of Leadership Development Evaluation (2008) as well as scholarly and practitioner articles. She has taught courses around the world at institutions such as the IESEG School of Management in France and the University of Melbourne’s Center for Program Evaluation. Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation and has won numerous awards for her work, including the American Evaluation Association’s Marcia Guttentag Award.

Kristin Medlin, MPA, MS

Kristin Medlin is the Director of Research at HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions, where she oversees research efforts to support, promote, and enhance the field of study related to community engagement and socially effective impact across all sectors. She is a co-designer of the Collaboratory (with Janke and Holland) and previously served as the ICEE Communications & Partnerships Manager. Kristin’s scholarly work explores technology-assisted engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and tracking and assessment of community engagement. As a visiting scholar, Kristin serves as a thought partner on the evaluation of the P2 grant program and works with ICEE staff on community engagement tracking and measurement efforts. Kristin holds masters degrees from UNCG in Public Affairs and Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation.

Visiting Senior Scholars

ICEE engages scholars to study community-engaged scholarship through a variety of research initiatives.

Patti Clayton, PhD

Patti is an independent consultant (PHC Ventures, with over 20 years of experience as a practitioner-scholar and educational developer in service-learning and community engagement (SLCE) and in experiential education. In addition to her Senior Scholar role with the Institute, she serves as a Senior Scholar with the Center for Service and Learning at IUPUI and as Practitioner-Scholar-in-Residence with NC Campus Engagement. Patti has consulted with well over 100 colleges, universities, and higher education organizations in the US, Canada, and Ireland. She guides inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional scholarly collaborations, facilitates curriculum development and professional development across all partners in SLCE, and supports visioning and planning processes for community-campus engagement. She holds retreats to support graduate students, professional staff, and faculty in formulating and advancing their scholarly agendas and projects. Patti co-developed the DEAL Model for Critical Reflection, the SOFAR partnership model, the TRES scale and reflection framework for assessing and deepening partnership quality, and the DPI Model for Institutional Transformation. She was co-editor with Bringle and Hatcher of the 2-volume set Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment and co-authored the Democratic Engagement White Paper with Saltmarsh and Hartley ( and the Democratically Engaged Assessment White Paper with Imagining America’s Assessing Practices of Public Scholarship team ( Committed to co-inquiry practices, she was co-recipient of Clayton & Colleagues’ Distinguished Career recognition from the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement. Patti’s interests include operationalizing democratic engagement and transformational partnerships; designing SLCE for civic learning; conceptualizing place-engaged SLCE; integrating SLCE and relationships within the more-than-human world; and exploring the power of such “little words” as inforwith, and of to shape identities and ways of being with one another in SLCE. As one of ICEE’s Senior Scholars, Patti serves as a thought partner and collaborator on work related to engaged graduate education, professional development among all partners in community-campus engagement, community engaged scholarship, and transformational partnerships. She holds a PhD from the interdisciplinary Curriculum in Ecology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Shona Munro, PhD

Shona is an engaged leadership development coach from mindbodyleaders. Click the image below to learn more about her work and qualifications.

David Bennett, MS

David is a facilitator in vertical development and growing leadership agility from mindbodyleaders. Click the image below to learn more about his work and qualifications.