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UACT Facilitators and Trainers

Terrell James
GCO Trainer  & UACT Acting Director (Fall)

Terrell is a trainer for UACT and a PhD student in the Anthropology department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests are youth organizing, Black power movements, and political/popular education. 

Terrell has worked in and with public schools supporting various community engagement projects and social justice work. He also works with youth to improve food access and advocate for food sovereignty in his hometown Springfield MA.

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Char Nim
MA Student / GCO Trainer


Urgyen Joshi
MA Student / GCO Trainer / RO Team

Urgyen is currently working on a project-based Masters in Community Engaged Research and Practice at UMass Amherst. They are bridging UACT-style relational organizing and deep facilitation work with devised theater practices, aimed at creating theater that is rooted in relational practices and vulnerable exploration of lived experience. They are passionate about grassroots organizing, embodiment and meditative practices, and traveling to meet friends— both old and those yet to be discovered.  

Fu-Yu Chang 馥郁

GCO Facilitator

Fu-Yu is a PhD student in the anthropology department at UMass. During her work as a family doctor in rural areas in Ecuador she realized that there’s so much more than pills and surgeries in healthcare… she didn’t feel like she was doing enough for her patients and during COVID she felt burn out. And now she’s back in school.

Her interests are care, public health, health inequities, healthcare workers burnout, mental health, medical education, critical pedagogy.

Kess Kessler

Office Fabulousness

Kess Kessler: soup enthusiast, fiber artist, unrepentant horse girlboy, level 6 paladin, kid whisperer, IBS prince, they/them. Kess is committed to the abolition of the nuclear family, traditional schooling, and every imaginable prison. They are a non-traditional student at UMass working toward community building and an education in liberation pedagogy. They are from Wellesley, MA, and currently live in Northampton with Wynonna the cat.

Flower Selection
Jenny Huang



Flower Show
Priya Dalal-Whelan

Relational Organizing Facilitator


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 Jeff Coyne

GCO Facilitator

Jeff Coyne is a graduate student of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he is pursuing a degree in Community Engaged Research & Practice. His current research focuses on the political economy of the overdose crisis, and the ways in which contemporary narratives about addiction are internalized by drug users. He previously worked for the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance and Department of Public Health in Seattle, and currently works as a tenant organizer in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. 

Flowers Exhibition
Selena Lacayo

GCO Facilitator

Selena is an undergrad student and organizer/ a learning how to organizer who is studying WGSS(Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies) and Economics at UMass Amherst. They are an abolitionist feminist keen on continuing various organizing projects such as their work in PAC (The Prison Abolition Collective) with interests in solidarity economics, cooperatives, transformative and healing justice, critical pedagogy, etc.

Image by Amy Humphries
Xavier Aparicio

GCO Outreach Coordinator


Image by Sergey Shmidt
Sabrina Lacayo

GCO Facilitator 


Jen Sandler
Director and Trainer

Jen Sandler is the Director of UACT and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UMass. Her research and writing focuses on on how people use different forms and practices of knowledge to create positive change. 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 relationships guiding her engagement in these times of extraordinary precarity, injustice, violence, and possibility. Jen's day-to-day is grounded by an 11-year-old kid, builder partner, and the best pup. 

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