UACT Staff and Trainers

Linda Gorniaczyk

Student Administrator

Linda was born and raised in Queens, New York and is in her second year at UMass. She is studying Political Science, minoring in Anthropology and pursuing a certificate in International Relations. She is passionate about politics and social justice and hopes to continue doing community organizing after college. In her free time, Linda likes to spend time with friends, play her ukulele, bullet journal, and drink lots of coffee! 

Jess Slattery

Vibes Coordinator

Jess is a junior STPEC & Economics major at UMass. They took GCO last spring & joined UACT staff to continue exploring the roles that relational organizing & community building have in her life. She's excited to work with & support this great community of people. Jess loves listening to music, supporting worker co-ops, & spending as much of their time as possible outdoors.

Akanksha Nagarkar

Communications Coordinator

Akanksha is a biology and anthropology major at UMass. She was born in India, raised in many different places, and currently resides in eastern Massachusetts. Outside of UACT, Akanksha is involved in a nutrition education project in the Pioneer Valley area. Akanksha is passionate about health, music, and vegan pizza. 

Brennan Tierney

Project Coordinator -- Organizational Resilience and Mentoring

Brennan is a UMass Amherst alumni who was born in Rhode Island and now lives in Northampton, MA. Through UACT, Brennan felt the power of relational-centered organizing. This year he hopes to support organizational resilience by coordinating mentoring relationships and to deepen his own growth as a facilitator and organizer. Committed to (un)learning and a dreamer of solidarity economies, Brennan is grateful to be in this community to explore the important questions and challenges of this moment

Director

Jen Sandler is the Director of UACT and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UMass. Her research focuses on on how people who want to change society define, produce, and mobilize knowledge. She thinks with and writes about meetings, unlikely coalitions and partnerships, policy change projects, teaching, and relationality.

Jen earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, and held visiting faculty positions at Trinity College and Bates College before coming to UMass and UACT in 2012. She is intensely grateful to have so many meaningful projects and people guiding her engagement in these times of extraordinary precarity, injustice, violence, and possibility. Jen is also a perpetual but determined novice when it comes to connecting with fertile land, food, art, languages, and her own ancestry. Her day-to-day is grounded by a nine-year-old kid, builder partner, the best pup, and a couple of old hens.

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