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Early Scholars 2017 Election
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2017 Early Scholars Election

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Voting Ends Friday, November 10th, 2017


Chair Nominee


Jodi Benenson
Current position: Assistant Professor
University: University of Nebraska, Omaha

Vision Statement: My name is Jodi Benenson and I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha. My research interests include nonprofit organizations, civic engagement, inequality, and social policy. Previously, I was a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University and worked on several projects in the areas of youth civic engagement and national service. My research has been published in journals such as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education. Prior to pursuing an academic career, I worked in the nonprofit sector in the Twin Cities. I am committed to the professional development of young nonprofit professionals, and currently serve on the boards of YNPN (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) National and NLC (New Leaders Council) Omaha. I received a B.S. and M.P.A. from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

I have previously served as the Early Scholar Section’s Secretary, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to section as its Chair. I hope to build on the section’s successes and strengthen our section through programming that is relevant to emerging scholars, such as webinars, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities. I would also like to see us expand our programming through collaborations with experienced scholars and other ARNOVA sections. I look forward to working with the Early Scholars Section team and ARNOVA to provide opportunities that will help early scholars thrive in their careers. Thank you for your support!

Elizabeth Castillo

Current position: Assistant Professor
University: Arizona State University

Vision Statement: I am an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. My research investigates capacity building and organizational leadership through the lens of complex adaptive systems. I am particularly interested in how intangible assets like social, political, and reputational capital can be developed to solve theoretical and practical puzzles like the nonprofit starvation cycle. My scholarship is inspired by two decades of management experience in the nonprofit sector, including the San Diego Natural History Museum and Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. Besides publishing in nonprofit, management, and interdisciplinary academic journals, I bridge theory and practice by writing for Nonprofit Quarterly. My mission is to repair the world through scholarship that promotes a thriving nonprofit sector, engaged employees, connected communities, and a world we can be proud to pass on to our children.

My goal as Chair of the Early Scholars Section will be to build on and sustain the great work of the ESS leadership team. In just two years they developed robust programming, impressive membership growth, and inclusive participation. With the incoming leadership team, I will continue to listen to section members and develop programming to support their success. Ideas include a webinar on proposal development for ARNOVA’s 2019 conference, setting up a critical friend peer review process to support manuscript development, and creating a resource page to help emerging scholars navigate and succeed in academia and beyond.

Secretary Nominees


Sara Neyer

Current position: 2nd-Year Graduate Student
University: University of Cincinnati

Vision Statement: I am currently a 2nd year graduate student in the Educational Studies PhD. program at the University of Cincinnati with a concentration in Community Action Research focusing on nonprofit organizations. I am also a nonprofit consultant working with organizations on capacity building, board development and education, inclusive governance and fund development. My work centers on research to practice and making evidence-based practice and research accessible to smaller local nonprofits. I have worked for 20 years in various capacities in nonprofit management with arts organizations, human services organizations and disabilities service providers.

One thing early scholars seem to benefit from is knowledge that other people are encountering similar problems and worries in their journey. I'd like to see the Early Scholars Section find a way to provide a forum for sharing resources and ideas and perhaps even sharing work in progress and getting peer feedback. I think the Buddy program offered at this year's conference is a great start to this type of interaction. I would welcome the opportunity to work with fellow Early Scholars on building a helpful, collaborative community.

Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim

Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow
University: Brandeis University

Vision Statement: I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. I completed my PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, exploring contemporary North American Jewish philanthropy. My research interests include the contemporary structure of American Jewish philanthropy, philanthropy and religion, public policy and philanthropy, intergenerational, cross border and diaspora philanthropy. I recently began leading a collaborative project with Tel Aviv University, which focuses on trends and changes to Jewish diaspora philanthropy to Israel in recent decades. My recent publications includes “Adapting to Changing Environments: The philanthropy of the UJA-Federation of New York 1990-2014 (Contemporary Jewry 2017, online first), and The Globalization of Philanthropy: Trends and Channels of Giving (co-authored with Hillel Schmid) (2016, In Harrow, J., S. Phillips and T. Jung (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy, Routledge.
As a doctoral student and to this day as an international Postdoctoral Fellow I realize and value the existence of a group of peers that supports its members in their individual academic paths. In my view, the Early Scholar Section (ESS) is that and then some. It is a gateway for local and international emerging scholars making their first steps the academic world. The ESS guides us through the processes of forming our scholarly identity, developing our academic career and pursuing our professional capabilities. Based on these three pillar I believe the EES can position itself to meet the needs of its members and provide a comprehensive and long-term support for fellow scholars managing similar challenges in early stages of their career across the United States and in other countries.


Members-At-Large Nominees


Robert Ressler

Current position: 5th-year Graduate Student
University: University of Texas, Austin

Vision Statement: As someone who is relatively new to ARNOVA (this will be my second year attending) I'd like to use my insights as a new member in the ESS Member-At-Large position to help streamline communications between senior members and graduate students. I would especially focus on targeting (and recruiting) new student members, generating informational material about the organization and how to become involved, and promoting stronger interdisciplinary/cross-sector ties between new students, senior members, and leadership.


Mirae Kim

Current position: Assistant Professor
University: Georgia State University

Vision Statement: "I’m an assistant professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in Georgia State University. My research interests include nonprofit financial management, the role of nonprofits in civil society, nonprofit arts management, cultural policy, and interorganizational partnerships.

I am honored to be nominated for the role of Member-At-Large for the ARNOVA Early Scholars Section. I joined ARNOVA as a doctoral student and have participated in the research conference every year since then. I am grateful for the support ARNOVA has given to me especially during my transition from a doctoral student to a junior faculty, and I would like to give back to the members of ARNOVA by working with the Early Scholar Section leadership team. I plan to contribute to further facilitating a visible community for information sharing, mentorship opportunity, and collaborative learning environment where early scholars can feel a sense of “belonging."


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11/14/2018 » 11/17/2018
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