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Staff

Jasmine Bellitti

Jasmine Bellitti
Administrative Assistant

Jasmineb@mit.edu
617.253.3216

Jasmine joined CoLab in January 2011. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating scheduling and travel for the executive director and staff, and overseeing the overall management of the lab space. Prior to joining MIT Jasmine worked for Cambridge Health Alliance for four years as an Administrative Assistant in the Community Affairs Department. Jasmine has extensive experience in travel coordination and accounting having also worked for TNT Vacations as a Booking Agent and as an Accounts Receivable Assistant.

Alyssa Bryson

Alyssa Bryson
Program Director, Inclusive Regional Development

a_bryson@mit.edu
617-253-7673

Alyssa is the Program Director of CoLab's Inclusive Regional Development work. In this capacity, she works with community, university, business, government, and NGO partners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean - primarily in Colombia and Chile - to strengthen the involvement of local residents in the formulation of development priorities. Currently, this includes developing and piloting a Community Innovation Curriculum for leaders on the sub-national scale aimed at advancing individual and collective capacities to create regional change.

Previously, Alyssa led CoLab's work in Puerto Rico focused on community-led natural resource management and alternative economic development strategies. Before coming to MIT, she worked with the United Nations Development Fund for Women in Ecuador and Colombia on projects dedicated to promoting economic and civic participation in the Andean Region. Ms. Bryson holds a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University and a Masters in City Planning from MIT. Her Masters thesis used participatory mapping to examine how residents use their physical, sociopolitical, and economic mobility to adapt to situations of severe violence in peripheral neighborhoods of Bogotá, Colombia.

Dayna Cunningham

Dayna Cunningham
Executive Director

dayna@mit.edu
617-252-1380

Dayna is Executive Director of CoLab. Prior to CoLab, as Program Director of the ELIAS Project, an MIT-based collaboration between business, NGOs and government, she worked with leaders using profound innovation processes to create multi-sector initiatives for economic, social and environmental sustainability. Before that, Dayna worked as an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation supporting efforts to explore changing racial dynamics and new conceptions of race in the U.S., as well as civil rights legal innovation. Prior to the Rockefeller Foundation, Dayna worked as a voting rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, litigating cases in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere in the South, and briefly as an officer for the New York City Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Dayna is a 2004 graduate of the Sloan Fellows MBA program of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and a juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

Nick Iuviene

Nick Iuviene
Program Director, Just Urban Economies

iuviene@mit.edu

Nick Iuviene is the Program Director of Just Urban Economies at CoLab. His work focuses on urban economic democracy projects including the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative and the Emerald Cities Collaborative. Previously Nick worked as a community organizer in the Bronx and was co-founder of BlackLeaf Studios, a technology development firm in Brooklyn, NY. Nick has a Masters degree in City Planning from MIT. His graduate thesis, "Building a Platform for Economic Democracy: A Cooperative Development Strategy for the Bronx", looked at how to develop cooperative networks in communities as the organizational infrastructure for socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development.

Libby McDonald

Libby McDonald
Program Director, Global Sustainability Partnerships

libmac@mit.edu
617-899-1360

As the Program Director of Global Sustainability Partnerships, Libby develops and implements integrated waste management strategies in low-income communities to promote social and economic change. Currently, in Latin American and the Caribbean, she applies innovative waste technologies and business models in urban centers and remote municipalities that simultaneously reduce greenhouse gases and create jobs for impoverished populations. Her most recent work includes: 1.) partnering with Rede CataSampa, the Sao Paulo chapter of Brazil’s national union of waste pickers, the University of Sao Paulo, and MIT students from multiple disciplines to implement a waste vegetable oil collection and filtration business in waste picking cooperatives; and 2.) in partnership with five municipalities and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), she works on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, creating technology and business models for small recycling and waste-to-energy businesses that provide income opportunities for some of the region’s most marginalized people. In her fall 2011 MIT course, D-Lab Waste, Libby will offer students the opportunity to explore and create solutions for waste management in low-and–middle-income countries. A writer and a documentary filmmaker, Libby’s film and written work explore issues of race, equality, and the environment. In 2007 she published the book The Toxic Sandbox: The Truth About Environmental Toxins and Our Children's Health (Penguin, 2007) and was featured on more than 60 radio shows, talking about how environmental pollutants impact the social, cognitive, and physical development of our children. Libby has written, directed, and produced film and television for two decades.

Yorman Nunez

Yorman Nunez
Program Coordinator, Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative

Yorman is interested in playing a role in lifting people out of poverty through redesigning the economic system that is our economy. His commitment to designing systems to address the causes of poverty emerged out of his work as a community organizer with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), where he organized young people around issues of sustainable economic development, education, and voter education. It was during this time that Yorman co-founded the Urban Youth Collaborative, a city-wide youth organization working on education reform. He moved on from NWBCCC to lead a career in electoral organizing, where he managed many political campaigns. He currently coordinates the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative, a local effort in the Bronx that seeks to leverage local assets to drive economic development strategies targeted at building wealth and ownership among low-income residents. Yorman, a lifelong resident of the Bronx, has taught both community organizing and spoken word at the high school level.

Christina Ruhfel

Christina Ruhfel
Communications and Operations Manager

ruhfel@mit.edu
617.715.4307

Christina is the Communications and Operations Manager for CoLab. She joined CoLab in October 2008 and is responsible for overseeing many of the administrative functions of the Lab related to finance, communications, fund-raising, and human resources. Prior to CoLab, she worked in MIT's Resource Development Department assisting with fund-raising activities for energy and environmental initiatives.

Christina grew up in southeast Michigan where she spent four years as Associate Coordinator of a school-based water quality monitoring program on the Rouge River. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; and a Master of Liberal Arts in Sustainability and Environmental Management from the Harvard University Extension School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Nse Umoh Esema

Nse Umoh Esema
Program Director, Community Media Projects
Executive Editor, CoLab Radio

Nse is the Program Director for Community Media Projects at CoLab and the Executive Editor of CoLab Radio. She works with CoLab’s partners to use new media tools to engage in the process of documenting local stories that speak to the history, challenges, and hopes of a particular place.

Previously, Nse worked at The Boston Foundation on digital media and research for The Boston Indicators Project, an initiative focused on tracking change, promoting data democratization, and advancing civic dialogue in the city of Boston. Nse has a Masters in City Planning from MIT and a BA in Urban Studies from The University of Pennsylvania.

Bettina Urcuiolil

Bettina Urcuiolil
Program Manager, MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program

bma@mit.edu
617.324.0208

Bettina is Program Manager for CoLab’s Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program, a five-year collaboration with the Universiti Tecknologi Malaysia (UTM) that offers university educators in G-77 nations the opportunity to study Malaysia’s rapid growth as a developing country. Prior to joining CoLab, she supported the DUSP Department Head and worked with the Senseable City Lab. She began her career in non-profit arts administration.

Bettina has a particular interest in the global uses and adaptations of online digital learning technologies in higher education and recently completed a graduate certificate from Northeastern in Higher Education Administration with this focus. She holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Western Ontario and received her B.A. from Indiana University Hutton Honors College.

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