Our Staff

Amanda E. Lewis


Email: Amanda E. Lewis

Amanda Lewis, Director Amanda Lewis is Professor of African American Studies & Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life. She is the author of Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color-line in Classrooms and Communities. She is also the co-editor (with Maria Krysan) of The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity, and co-author (with Mark Chesler and Jim Crowfoot) of Challenging Racism in Higher Education: Promoting Justice. Her latest book (with John Diamond) is Despite the Best Intentions: Why racial inequality persists in good schools. Her research has appeared in a number of academic venues including Sociological Theory, American Educational Research Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Race and Society, DuBois Review and Anthropology and Education Quarterly. She lectures and consults regularly on issues of educational equity and contemporary forms of racism.

Email: Iván Arenas

Ivan ArenasIván Arenas is a Mexican-American anthropologist, architect, artist, activist, and most importantly a parent. When he has his fieldwork shoes on he focuses on the production of emergent political subjectivities and alternative political imaginaries through practices of struggle in urban settings.
Before joining IRRPP, Dr. Arenas worked with UIC’s Social Justice Initiative where he curated two yearlong exhibits that mobilized and extended his research on the intersection between protest practices, social transformation, and aesthetics. Interested in connecting faculty, students, and the community, Dr. Arenas seeks to create research and programming that enable not just greater understanding but mobilizes towards collective action. He received his PhD in Anthropology in 2011 from the University of California, Berkeley. 



Ryan Viloria

Office Manager

Email: Ryan Viloria

Ryan ViloriaRyan Viloria earned his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2012 with a research focus on Asian American literature. His scholarship examines gay/bisexual protagonists and divisions of history and memory in Filipino American novels. Most recently he presented his work at Northwestern University's Queertopia! 2012 academic conference.


Viloria previously worked as the graduate assistant for the UIC Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Asian Americans, briefly served as Managing Editor for UIC's graduate journal Packingtown Review, and has contributed entries for New World Encyclopedia. He is also the Social Chair for i2i: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago, a community organization that celebrates and affirms Asian and Pacific Islanders who identify as LGBTQ. Viloria's general policy interests and activism revolve around minorities in culture, social welfare, and representation in media and government.

Sangi Ravichandran

Research Assistant

Email: Sangi Ravichandran

Sangi RavichandranSangi Ravichandran is a South Asian feminist activist-scholar artist and art therapist. As a graduate student at UIC, she is building her own practice of research activism that addresses issues of criminalization, state violence, healing and transformative justice. Sangi also works as the Associate Director of UIC's Arab American Cultural Center and organizes with Love & Protect and Chicago Desi Youth Rising. Before starting at UIC, Sangi worked as a clinical art therapist with black/brown/immigrant survivors of gendered violence in Chicago and India for several years, using arts as a tool for healing justice and activism. She has authored a chapter in the book Art Therapy for Social Justice under the title "Radical Caring and Art Therapy: Decolonizing Immigration and Gender Violence Services" that is forthcoming.



William "Buddy" Scarborough

Research Assistant

Email: Buddy Scarborough

Buddy ScarboroughBuddy Scarborough is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on the economic and cultural determinants of wage inequality across labor markets in the U.S. He has published in multiple peer reviewed journals, and is the co-editor with Barbara Risman and Carissa Froyum of The Springer Handbook of the Sociology of Gender which is currently under contract for publication in summer 2018.


In addition to working at IRRPP, Buddy also serves as the Graduate Fellow for the Chicagoland Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network. Prior to graduate school, Buddy worked in Kabokweni, South Africa from 2010 to 2013.









Caleb Butler

Marketing Assistant

Email: Caleb Butler

Caleb ButlerCaleb Butler is a graduate student in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on racial inequality in education, cities, and the criminal justice system. More specifically, Caleb is interested in the ways that whiteness functions to (re)produce inequality in these settings.


Caleb received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with minors in English and Black Studies. In his free time, he enjoys reading poetry and watching basketball.





Korynna Pepin

Office Assistant

Email: Korynna Pepin

Korynna Pepin Korynna Pepin is in her second year as an Undergraduate student at UIC. She is majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences with a minor in Disability and Human Development, then plans to enter the Master’s program for Occupational Therapy. In her time at being UIC, she has contributed to the founding of a CHAARG (Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls) Chapter on campus. She serves as one of the Co-Event Coordinators for CHAARG, a volunteer for the UIC Disability Resource Center, and a Health Educator for Peer Health Exchange.


Aside from school, Korynna loves to travel and embark on new experiences. Her favorite quote to live by is “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” She participates in obstacle races and enjoys dancing and spending time with family and friends.



Kathleen Stauffer

Business Manager

Silvia BecerraKathleen Stauffer, Assistant Dean for Administration in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA), has over 20 years of experience at UIC. She provides human resource and financial expertise for IRRPP.