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Presentation 4

Different Intellectual and Experiential Perspectives on Systemic Change
Yasmine Cajuste, Vincentian Youth Expert;
Charles Strain, PhD, Religious Studies;
Bill Sampson, PhD, Public Policy;
Gary Harper, PhD, Psychology;
Ronald Fernandes, PhD, School of Public Service


Haitian by nationality, Yasmine is a member of the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), one of the youth branches of the Vincentian Family that exists in 65 countries. In 2005, she became the International President of the Association and was reelected in 2010. Yasmine took up BS Education, Literature and French Teaching and a Diploma Course in Religious Sciences in Spain. At present, she is doing a master's in Educational Leadership at DePaul.

Charles Strain
Charles Strain is a professor at DePaul University in the Religious Studies Department. He is also Director of Strategic Planning, and Director and co-founder of the master's program in liberal studies. He is passionate about social justice and is responsible for creating the concept and reality of a ladder of social engagement, which is used by students participating in service learning at DePaul. He has also helped to develop community-based service learning as a way to integrate academics with DePaul's mission.

Dr. William A. Sampson is a Professor of Public Policy at DePaul University. He holds a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Howard University, An MA in Urban Affairs from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University in Social Relations. He has been a Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, and the President Of Chicago United, a non-profit corporation founded by the leaders of the largest companies and partnerships in Chicago devoted to improving race relations in Chicago. Dr. Sampson’s research centers on the relationship of the family to the academic achievement of poor non-white students, and DePaul students have been instrumental in the research that has led to four books published on that subject. His work continues to focus on race, education, and politics.

Ron Fernandes is a faculty member at the School of Public Service (SPS), DePaul University. His doctorate from Carnegie Mellon is in public policy and management. He has a graduate degree in non-profit and development management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, India and an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for four years in production and finance in an agricultural cooperative in India. Along with his students and SPS colleagues, Ron founded The American Friends of WOTR (AFOW), a charitable nonprofit organization, and currently serves as its President. WOTR is one of the largest NGOs in India working in the fields of sustainable environmental management and community-based natural resources management. It is closely engaged with local communities, civil society and private actors, and governmental organizations at the local, state, and federal levels to promote sustained change and development. It has been very effective in influencing watershed and climate change policies in India at the local, state, and central (federal) level as well as internationally. As Director of the SPS India program, Ron leads programs for students and faculty at DePaul to learn about successful approaches to sustainable development in south and central India.

Download the PDF presentations:

Thinking about Peace by Charles Strain​
Harper Systemic Chang-final by Gary Harper​​​​​​