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Steering Committee

Steering Committee manages the day-to-day requirements of the project.

Principal Investigator

David A. Reingold, PhD is the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. Prior to his appointment at Purdue University, he was a professor and Executive Associate Dean at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington. His primary teaching and research areas include urban poverty, economic development, social welfare policy, low-income housing policy, civil society, and government performance. His public service experience includes positions as Director of Research and Policy Development at the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service, a member of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth and Chair of the Task Force’s Research Committee, Housing Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Bloomington Housing Authority Board, Board President of the South Central Community Action Program, and Chair of the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism. He has served on expert panels for the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has served on editorial boards for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Service Review, Evaluation Review, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education. He received his MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Project Director

Lori Sparger is Chief Operating Officer for the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. A member of the Dean's leadership team, she collaborates on setting strategic direction and implementing policies and initiatives to advance the mission of the College. She also serves as the College's chief innovation officer, working with the Dean on new initiatives and program development. Previously, Ms. Sparger was Director of Advancement for Purdue's College of Liberal Arts and with her team consistently surpassed annual goals and raised the bar for private support of the College, doubling its endowment during her six years in the role. Lori orchestrated an alumni volunteer-led effort that developed the College's new tagline, "Think Broadly. Lead Boldly." Lori received her bachelor's degree in English from Purdue.

Committee Members

Sorin Adam Matei, PhD is the College of Liberal Arts Associated Dean of Research and Graduate Education and Professor at the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Dr. Matei received his PhD at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where he studied the relationship between online and offline communities, social capital online, and the effect of media connections on mental mapping. He also holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He has been a member of the faculty of the Brian Lamb School of Communication since 2003. Dr. Matei served as a Discovery Park Fellow from 2012–2013 and as a Fulbright Specialist from 2012–2017. Since 2015, he has been the director of research for computational social science at Purdue’s Discovery Park Cyber Center. His most recent research focuses on online structures, roles, and trust, especially in knowledge-producing projects such as Wikipedia.

Zachary R. Goldsmith, PhD is Special Assistant to the Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program at Purdue University. His academic interests include political ideologies, violence, and extremism, including how these phenomena interact with US foreign policy. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA and PhD from Indiana University, all in political science, and has earned several prestigious fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship and a Graduate Fellowship from the Rumsfeld Foundation.

Graduate Assistant

Alzbeta Hajkova is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Philosophy with a research focus on Hannah Arendt and human rights. She has a MA in Philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a BA in Political Science from the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts. She was a 2018 Humanities Without Walls pre-doctoral fellow and serves as President of the graduate student group Women in Philosophy.