2024-2025 Engaged Faculty Fellows

Tenecia Bradley-Cousins , Lecturer, Department of Writing Studies, College of Arts and Sciences 

Tenecia Bradley-Cousins, Ed.D., possesses robust faculty, staff, and administration experience
coupled with extensive expertise in student affairs and academic support- from various local
public and private higher education institutions. She holistically approaches student success by
combining pedagogical approaches while promoting distinctive understanding of civic engagement. Currently, she is focusing on fostering nurturing learning environments to cultivate enriched appreciation and expanded awareness of local, national, and international affairs by developing a unique course entitled Unraveling Societal Knots, providing customized dialogue and exchange regarding ambiguous, misinterpreted, and unfamiliar societal issues. Her distinguished academic portfolio includes an Ed.D. (University of Florida), MBA (University of Miami), and BA (Bethune-Cookman University).

Heidi Carr, Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Strategic Communications, College of Arts and Sciences

Heidi Carr is the director of the undergraduate public relations program in the School of Communication. She came to the "U" after a career in newspapers, primarily at The Miami Herald where she handled teams of reporters covering breaking news. South Florida is one of the most interesting places in the world, with its swirl of diverse nationalities and cultures, but it's also one of the most incongruous: extreme poverty abuts over-the-top wealth.  Carr brings a lot of discussion about this into the classroom, but she applied to the Engaged Faculty Fellows Program to create a new course where the students will get out into the community to see it for themselves.  After brainstorming and strategizing, the students will utilize the skills they are learning throughout the School of Communication – from creating film to podcasting to journalistic pieces to promotional materials – to bring awareness and possibly make a difference to some of these communities that are so close to our Coral Gables campus, yet so very far.

Shai Cohen, Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences 

Dr. Cohen is an accomplished academic with a strong background in literary and cultural studies, and projects focusing on the impact of migration and the formation of new identities. His scholarly pursuits have led him to explore the complex societal integration and historical narratives. With experience in teaching and collaboration with NGO’s (including UNICEF) in Montenegro, Italy, and Spain, his career is marked by a strong commitment to community involvement and a dedication to fostering critical thinking and global understanding. At the University of Miami, he is teaching languages, literatures, Sephardic Studies and Internship courses, and lead an AI integration initiative into teaching in MLL.

Gregory Koger, Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences 

Gregory Koger is a professor of political science and Director of the George P. Hanley Democracy Center at the University of Miami. After earning his B.A. at Willamette University, Koger worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House, then earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2002. Gregory Koger is the author of Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate; and Strategic Party Government, written with Matthew Lebo, with both books published by the University of Chicago Press. Filibustering was awarded the 2011 Fenno Prize for the best book on legislative studies.

Sarbeswar Praharaj, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences  

Sarbeswar Praharaj, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami with shared responsibilities between the Department of Geography & Sustainable Development and the School of Architecture. He previously served as the Associate Director of Knowledge Exchange for Resilience at Arizona State University. Sarbeswar holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and was also a Postdoctoral researcher at UNSW Sydney, Australia. His research and teaching interests combine critical applications of geospatial data science, smart city technologies, and participatory design approaches for shaping more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient communities. Working with the UM Office of Civic and Community Engagement, he will lead a course on Land Use Planning that aims to link the classroom and community through a series of hands-on, experiential learning modules. The course will provide a setting for students to engage a broader section of the community through Geodesign workshops to collaboratively identify future development needs, negotiating competing interests and needs across urban systems. These community-engaged learning components will help translate geographic science theories and toolkits to shape policies to promote positive change in urban environments.

Vanessa Septein, Esq., Lecturer, Department of Business, Miami Herbert Business School 

Vanessa Septien, Esq., an attorney with over 26 years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami, a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, and serves as a Lecturer with the Miami Herbert Business School. Her teachings focus on the essential skills of problem-solving, evidence-based decision-making, and effective communication. From her participation with a local food bank, Vanessa has developed a passion for examining the complex interplay between food, corporate responsibility, and community welfare. Her project aims to direct critical thinking and business acumen to the specific challenges facing a food bank partner, with the goal of achieving positive societal impacts through innovative business practices.