Social Change Research Hub

The Social Change Research Hub (SCRH) is a collaborative initiative between the Center on Race and Social Problems and the Frederick Honors College Social Innovation program. It aims to offer undergraduate honors students the opportunity to engage in equity-centered research, education, and praxis by working with fellow students, faculty, and staff to investigate and develop interventions that promote social change.

The SCRH consists of two phases. Each fellowship recipient is eligible to receive up to four (4) experiential credits through the FHC.

Phase I – Honors 1510 (3-credits)

Once accepted to a hub, students are enrolled in Honors 1510 and receive three Honors experiential credits for completing project requirements (S/NC). Students receive a satisfactory rating by completing all requirements in Phase I and through endorsement from the Research Hub Lead.

Phase II – Honors 1010 (1-credit)

Students have the option to receive one credit of Honors experiential credit for completion of Phase II. Successful completion of Phase II is dependent on a faculty mentor endorsement and one of the following pre-approved project outcomes:

  • A national scholarship application o A completed application for BPhil degree candidacy
  • A manuscript submittal for the Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review
  • Individualized Outcome – a unique outcome may be approved by the Director of Honors Research Programs and the Research Hub lead.

Meet the SCRH Team:

Ryan Shindler

Hello, my name is Ryan Shindler. I am a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a Political Science and Psychology double major. I plan on attending law school following my undergraduate years and potentially working as a public defender in the future.

I started working on this project because I want to make a meaningful change in the world. Working with like-minded individuals on this project has been a fantastic part as well. I look forward to working with many people and learning many new skills on this project.

In addition to the SCRH, I love to swim and run. I also love listening to music and watching sports. My favorite pastime is trying new foods with friends and I love to go on adventures.

Gabriella Garvin

Hello, my name is Gabriella Garvin. I am junior at the University of Pittsburgh double majoring in philosophy and economics, with minors in French and law criminal justice and society, and am originally from Philadelphia. Following my undergraduate degree, I aspire to pursue a JD with a particular interest in criminal law, economic and racial justice, and public service.

I am honored to work with such an astounding group of individuals to foster racial equity globally. I am hopeful that our research will allow communities both nationally and internationally to leverage our data and cultivate uplifting atmospheres. I am particularly interested in widening accessibility of resources amongst those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system to promote emphasis on educational and economic stability.

Cole Belling

Hello, my name is Cole Belling. I’m a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh from Long Island, New York. Though I have not declared a major yet, I’m currently interested in community service, political science, wrongful conviction, international law, election law.

I’m excited to be a part of the bright group working in Pitt’s Social Research Change Hub. I hope to take advantage of this opportunity and develop learn important skills while effecting positive, equitable change locally and globally.

In addition to this, I’m also the Events VP for BridgeUSA’s Pittsburgh Chapter and a research fellow for the Center on Race and Social Problems’ CivWiz project. When I’m not studying or working, I’m usually reading, biking, or listening to bad yacht rock. I also enjoy going for long walks in Pittsburgh to find and try the best food that the city has to offer.

Garrett Whitney

Hello, my name is Garrett Whitney. I’m a sophomore at Pitt from the seacoast of New Hampshire. I’m double majoring in Politics/Philosophy and Economics, with the intention of pursuing a career in law. I’m interested in the fields of community development and international law.

I’m thrilled to be involved in the Social Change Research Hub team.This team is filled with brilliant students and faculty who are passionate about social innovation against systemic racism.

In my free time I love to read, hike, exercise, and cook. I’m a lifelong snowboarder and worked and lived at a ski resort for a winter. Outside of the research team, I’m on the executive board for the American Cancer Society at Pitt, a student-lead organization centered around supporting those who are involved in the battle against cancer.

Kamila Dominguez

Hello, My name is Kamila Dominguez. I’m a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m currently in the process of getting a Bachelor in Business Administration. My pursuing majors are accounting and finance. I’m minoring in political science and trying to get a certification in Public and Professional Writing. I’m interested in pursuing a career in corporate law in the future.

I’m ecstatic to be participating in the social change research hub. I think it’s fascinating what this programming is trying to accomplish. I’m honored to be part of this because of the potential impact it can bring to our community. I enjoy bringing solutions to problems that are ongoing and want to help the world be less biased

If I had to share a little bit about myself, it would be that I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy reading and doing adrenaline related activities. I also like to go on walks in my free time.

Alexia Wagurak

Hello, my name is Alexia Wagurak and I am a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I am currently working towards declaring as an Athletic Training major, and obtaining a minor in sociology. I am interested in better understanding the social workings of communities, and staying informed on how to maintain healthy relationships within these communities. My goals are to become an athletic trainer, and work for the NFL or NBA.

I love having the opportunity to work with the social change research hub. It is so refreshing collaborating with other driven and hard-working students. I believe that racism is a global crisis that cannot simply be “solved,” yet I am hopeful that focusing on the areas that we want to implement change will kickstart a domino effect for the surrounding communities to do so as well.

In my free time I love to journal, read some of my favorite Rupi Kaur books and practice yoga. I find a lot of my free time being taken up by studying and classes while I'm at school, so I really value spending time with my friends and family.

Tofunmi Okunbor

I am an MBA candidate at KATZ Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. I am compassionate with a mind driven by purpose. My goal is to make a meaningful impact on the Black community and beyond.

Meghana Dodda

Hello! My name is Meghana Dodda and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh! I am currently majoring in Neuroscience and English Literature on the pre-med track and am very excited about the intersections between the humanities and healthcare. As someone who is very passionate about various disciplines of research, I am honored to be on the Social Change Research Hub, working towards meaningful and sustainable change worldwide. Utilizing and highlighting Pitt’s endeavors within social equity to build a resource on the global level is so exciting to me, and I’m beyond grateful to be a part of this effort.

Outside of SCRH, I also do wet lab research in immuno-oncology and am a Humanities Undergraduate Fellow. In my free time, I love exploring Pittsburgh’s restaurants, hanging out with my friends, and reading!