Main Office Information
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
Lincoln Filene Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(click for staff biography and contact information)
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Lead Researcher
Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator & Researcher
Peter Levine, Director
Surbhi Godsay, Researcher
Kathy O’Connor, Program Assistant
Felicia Sullivan, Senior Researcher
Nancy Thomas, Director of CIRCLE’s Initiative for the Study of Higher Education and Public Life
Emily Hoban Kirby, consultant
Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg
Phone: (617) 627-2529
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg is the Lead Researcher at CIRCLE. As Lead Researcher, Kei oversees various research projects and produces reports for various audiences. Kei is particularly interested in providing organizations and communities with research that would help increase civic and political engagement opportunities for diverse groups of youth, and writes about civic development programs and opportunities for marginalized youth. Kei also works with practitioners by providing consultation to staff at Tisch College and community partners about community-university collaboration and community-based research. Kei earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and has extensive experience in working with youth of diverse backgrounds both as a researcher and a practitioner.
Youth Coordinator & Researcher
As Youth Coordinator & Researcher at CIRCLE, Abby serves as liaison to practitioner organizations across the country. She communicates research findings and tracks recommendations from young people, youth-serving organizations, and educators for future research. Abby also works on CIRCLE’s qualitative research and selected evaluation projects. She has worked extensively on CIRCLE’s ongoing research focused on young people who do not have college experience. Through this project and others she has moderated many focus groups and interviews. Previous to CIRCLE, Abby organized students around the country as part of a national campaign of Campus Compact to increase youth involvement in public life. She has contributed to several publications and co-edited ‘Raise Your Voice: A Student Guide to Making Positive Social Change’. In 2007 Abby was named an Emerging Leader in Service-Learning, “a two-year intensive experience designed to elevate and prepare a new, culturally diverse generation of service-learning leaders committed to working with traditionally under-served populations, schools, and communities.” In addition to working at CIRCLE, she is a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park.
Abby currently serves on the Board of Directors of IARSLCE (the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement), the American Democracy Project Implementation Committee (a project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities), and is on the Leadership Team of the Generational Alliance.
Peter Levine became Director of CIRCLE in January 2006, succeeding Bill Galston. He is also the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. Outside of Tufts, he is involved with:
- The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools (steering committee member, former chair)
- The Charles Kettering Foundation (director)
- Deliberative Democracy Consortium (steering committee member)
- Everyday Democracy (as board member of the J. Paul Aicher Foundation, which oversees it)
- Streetlaw, Inc. (member of the Board of Directors and Program Committee chair)
- AmericaSpeaks (board member)
- Advisory boards: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Civics Committee and Background Variables Committee; America’s Promise Research Council; Mobilize.org Advisory Board; American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education Advisory Commission; The Democracy Imperative
Levine’s books are:
- We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Philosophy and Practice of Civic Renewal (tentative title), Oxford University Press, in press
- Reforming the Humanities: Literature and Ethics from Dante through Modern Times (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
- Engaging Young People in Civic Life, co-edited volume with James Youniss
- The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens (All proceeds benefit CIRCLE)
- The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement
in the Twenty-First Century(co-edited volume, with John Gastil)
- The New Progressive Era: Toward a Fair and Deliberative Democracy
- Living Without Philosophy
- Something to Hide (a novel)
- Nietzsche and the Modern Crisis of the Humanities
Levine updates his blog every weekday.
Surbhi Godsay joined CIRCLE as a Researcher in June 2009. As Researcher, Surbhi conducts quantitative analyses and co-produces reports for various audiences. Surbhi is interested in providing research to increase civic and political engagement among disengaged youths, ethnic minority and immigrant populations. Ms. Godsay holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Mathematics from the University of Vermont. From 2007-2009 she worked for various organizations conducting data analysis related to Vermont state policies, as well as advocacy work related to racial, social & economic justice. Surbhi serves on the Board for the Asian American Resource Workshop, a local nonprofit in Boston’s Chinatown.
Kathy O’Connor joined CIRCLE as the Program Assistant in August of 2010 making her the newest member of the team. As such she will be handling the organization and processing of daily events. She will provide support to staff, process financial paperwork, arrange travel and help in the preparation of events throughout the year. After attending the University of Lowell, Kathy spent many years working as an office manager, supervisor and mother. Kathy was involved in her local YMCA’s afterschool program and was involved in helping the youth in the community enjoy many programs and events.
Felicia Sullivan joined CIRCLE as Senior Researcher in the summer of 2012. Felicia will be working on a range of analyses and co-producing reports for various audiences. Felicia is particularly interested in supporting groups and organizations that seek to create new environments that enliven and support civic participation and political empowerment. Felicia is working on her doctorate degree in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston and holds Master degrees in media studies and public policy. Her current research looks at out-of-school time program design and teen political engagement attitudes. Prior to CIRCLE, Felicia worked for nearly 20 years in a range of community-based settings as a media advocate, educator, consultant and researcher supporting diverse individuals in multi-ethnic urban settings. She is also adjunct faculty at University of Massachusetts Boston teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the College of Public and Community Service, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Liberal Arts. The use of communications and media in community-building, political engagement, and personal change are her areas of particular expertise.
Nancy Thomas directs CIRCLE’s Initiative for the Study of Higher Education and Public Life and Campus Counts, a national study of college student voting rates and patterns. She joins CIRCLE after five years as director of the Democracy Imperative, a national network of academics and civic leaders working to strengthen democracy in and through higher education. She is also a senior associate with Everyday Democracy and serves on boards for the American Commonwealth Partnership, the Campaign for Stronger Democracy, and others. Her interests are in deliberative democracy in public life, student civic learning and political engagement, and free speech, civil discourse and academic freedom on campus. She has published many chapters and articles on educating for democracy. She holds a doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a JD from Case Western Reserve University.
Ms. Kirby is a consultant for CIRCLE and was our Senior Research Associate until 2011, producing research products for practitioners, editing the quarterly newsletter and answering research queries. She is a former National Urban Fellow and received a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York in 2001. She has worked for the nonprofit sector at the local and national level and comes to CIRCLE from the Points of Light Foundation where she was Director of Program Evaluation. Ms. Kirby served as an AmeriCorps*NCCC member for 2 years and worked for a neighborhood tutoring program in Washington DC. Before joining NCCC, she received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Wake Forest University.