PhD Advisees

Dorothy Feltner is a third-year Ph.D. student, with a B.S. in Physical Geography at Northern Michigan University, and Masters in Sustainable Management with the University of Wisconsin Superior. While completing her M.S., she moved to Hazard, KY to serve the rural community there as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, performing capacity building services related to food security. After her term of service in AmeriCorps, she decided to serve a second term as a VISTA in Albion, MI and aided in the formation of a small non-profit that catalyzed community gardening on vacant lots. Her research interests include organizational communication and sustainability, and she is part of a R.IS.E. Lab research team studying entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Sandaruwan Subasinghe Mudiyanselage (M.A., University of Maine) is a second year Ph.D. student at Wayne State University, pursuing a dual title degree in “Communication and Urban Sustainability.” Specializing in communication around environmental risk and climate change, his interests center on message framing around climate change, urban sustainability, and stormwater surge-and-contamination issues. He is presently a Fellow with the interdisciplinary, National Science Foundation-funded Transformative Research in Urban Sustainability Training (T-RUST) program at Wayne State. He is also working with the R.I.S.E. Lab on a project examining community-centered meanings of water insecurity.

Christine Nyawaga is a first year Ph.D. student at Wayne State University studying organizational communication. Her research interests are control, organizational culture, work and leadership. She holds a BSc. in Biochemistry from Hillsdale College and an M.A in Communication from Wayne State University. Christine also has an interest in grassroots movements and community organizing and volunteers for social justice causes whenever she is able to. She was actively involved with GEOC, the graduate students’ union at Wayne State, for 2 years where she advocated for fair wages and working conditions for GTA’s. She also organized around issues of international students such as the travel ban of 2017 that targeted students from predominantly Muslim countries. She also enlightened GTA’s on university policies relevant to them both as student as well as employees. Prior to joining the R.I.S.E lab, she worked for SEIU 1199 in Hartford-Connecticut organizing healthcare workers in the State. She works with the R.I.S.E Lab team focusing on the water shut offs in Detroit from the perspective of the communities affected.

Allison Lucas is a first-year Ph.D. student and is a trainee of the T-RUST program at Wayne State. She is also working to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the Mike Ilitch School of Business where she was one of the first BELL Program fellows. She received a BA in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University and an MPA from Indiana University where she studied Nonprofit Management. Her research interests include entrepreneurship, leadership, and urban sustainability. She enjoys staying up to date with Detroit’s booming entrepreneurial landscape and the amazing social impact efforts happening within the city.