Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership


Caroline Quenemoen, Ph.D
Associate Dean of Undergraduates and Director of Inquiry Based Learning



Caroline Quenemoen is Associate Dean of Undergraduates and Director of Inquiry Based Learning at Rice University. In this role she oversees the Center for Civic Leadership and the university’s new initiative in experiential inquiry and research. Previously, she served at Rice University as Director of Fellowships and Undergraduate Research and as Assistant Professor of Art History. She is co-editor with Roger Ulrich of The Blackwell Companion to Roman Architecture. She earned a Ph.D in Classical Archaeology from Yale University and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Classical Archaeology from Dartmouth College.

Robert Stein, Ph.D, Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science
Faculty Director



Professor Stein is an expert on urban politics and public policy. He is co-author of Perpetuating the Pork Barrel: Policy Subsystems and American Democracy (1995, Cambridge University Press), and author of Urban Alternatives: Public and Private Markets in the Provision of Local Services (1990, Pittsburgh Press). Dr. Stein’s current research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and examines the impact of the federal aid system on the electoral trajectories of office holders at both the subnational and congressional levels. Other research examines collective action among metropolitan area governments and voting behavior.

Libby Vann, Ph.D
Director of Programs and Partnerships



Libby Vann is the Director Programs and Partnerships for the Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University. She works with the CCL staff, Rice faculty and students, and community partners in Houston, the US, and around the world to develop academically-grounded experiential learning programs and mutually beneficial university-community partnerships. Previously she served as Director of Civic Research design at the Center for Civic Leadership and before that, as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rice University and at Lehigh University. She earned her Ph.D in socio-culture anthropology from the University of Virginia, and has conducted both academic and applied research in the US and Vietnam.

Danika Burgess, Ph.D
Director of Curriculum and Fellowships



Danika M. Burgess is the Director of Curriculum and Fellowships for the Center for Civic Leadership. Previously she has served as the Director for Engaged Scholarship and Learning and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas Pan American (now UTRGV). Danika earned her MA in English Literature from Arizona State University and Ph.D in English (Rhetoric and Composition) from the University of Arizona. Her scholarship is in the area of critical pedagogy, rhetoric and popular culture, and university-community partnerships. 

Houston Programs and Partnerships

Alan Steinberg, Ph.D
e Director



Alan Steinberg is an Associate Director of Houston Programs and Partnerships. He leads the Houston Action Research Teams (HART). Previously, he served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and as a member of the Center for the Study of Disasters and Emergency Management at Sam Houston State University. Alan's research interests include the influences of social media on political engagement, applied political science education, and space policy. Alan holds a Ph.D and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston, a M.S. in Defense Strategic Studies from Missouri State University, a Graduate Certificate in International Affairs from Bush School of Public Service and a B.S. in Psychology from Texas A&M University.

Marcia Walker-McWilliams, Ph.D
e Director



Marcia Walker-McWilliams is the Associate Director, Programs for the Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University. She oversees the Urban Immersion program. Marcia earned her Ph.D. in Modern American History from the University of Chicago and a BSEd in Social Policy from Northwestern University.  Prior to CCL, she was an Assistant Professor of History at Prairie View A&M University and before that a Visiting Scholar in African American Studies at the University of Houston. Her research interests include urban politics, social policy and community history preservation.

Shanna Florence
Assistant Director



Shanna Florence is an Assistant Director in the Center for Civic Leadership. She advises for Learn-level programming and student organizations, oversees Outreach Day, and collaborates with the CCL staff on the variety of programming within the Center. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of San Diego and her M.S. in Educational Administration with a concentration in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Texas A&M University. Shanna is passionate about facilitating learning and reflection through the co-curricular experience. 

Domestic Programs and Partnerships

Michael S. Domeracki, Ph.D
Associate Director 



Michael Domeracki is the Associate Director of Domestic Programs and Fellowships and Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Religion. In his role at the CCL, he oversees several programs, coordinates undergraduate research opportunities, and advises on nationally competitive fellowships. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director of Domestic Programs and Partnerships, and before that he was the Graduate Assistant for the Center for Civic Leadership for five years. He completed his Ph.D in the Department of Religion at Rice University exploring community identity and self-definition in early Christianity. Before coming to Rice, he completed a B.A. in History at the University of Calgary, received his Master's at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and conducted non-degree graduate work at the University of Notre Dame. He also served as President of the Graduate Student Association at Rice University.

Morgan Kinney
Assistant Director



Morgan Kinney is the Assistant Director of Domestic Programs and Partnerships and oversees the Alternative Spring Break program. She is passionate about working with students to engage in critical service-learning experiences. Prior to coming to Rice, Morgan was the Graduate Advisor for the Alternative Breaks program at the University of Maine, where she also earned her M.Ed. in Student Development in Higher Education as well as her B.A. in Social Psychology.

Magdalena Rucinski-Gros
Fellowships Program Coordinator



Magda Rucinski-Gros is the Fellowships Program Coordinator for the Center for Civic Leadership. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Policy at the University of Houston, and holds a B.A. in History from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Formerly, she was the CCL's Department Coordinator. Prior to the CCL, she was the Administrative Assistant for Administrative and Enterprise Systems at Rice.

Global Partnerships and Programs

Fatima Raza

Assistant Director


Fatima Raza is the Assistant Director of Programs and Partnerships. She works primarily with the Loewenstern Fellowship, Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience, ASB, and the Hilda and Hershel Rich Family Endowment for Student Community Service. Prior to the CCL, Fatima earned an MPA in Economic and Political Development at Columbia University. While in New York Fatima worked as a policy intern at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, a research assistant at the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and a graduate consultant for Mercy Corps. She is passionate about civic engagement, migration, and development. She completed a year of AmeriCorps service here in Houston and a Fulbright ETA in Turkey after earning her B.A. in International Affairs from Emory University. 

Office Staff

BreAnna Harris

Department Coordinator



BreAnna Harris is the Department Coordinator for the Center for Civic Leadership. She is currently pursuing her B.A. at the University of Phoenix in Business Administration. Prior to the CCL, BreAnna has worked a number of years in the public/charter school system where she found her passion for working with students.