Meet the TRIC Research Fellows and Initiatives

the Gardner Commons Block U fountain at twilight

Transform is currently in year one of implementation of our Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant activities toward the creation of an intersectional studies collective. The initiatives and fellows convened on April 11 at the NEXUS for a Place-in.

Transformative Intersectional Collective (TRIC) Fellows

  • Cydney Caradonna, Ph.D. Student, Education, Leadership and Policy, University of Utah
  • Jaimie D. Crumley, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies & Ethnic Studies, University of Utah
  • Lien Fan Shen, Professor, Film and Media Arts, University of Utah
  • Lezlie Frye, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and Disability Studies, University of Utah
  • Shobha Hamal Gurung, Professor, Sociology and Women and Gender Studies, Southern Utah University
  • Roger Renteria, Ph.D. Candidate, Sociology, University of Utah
  • Crystal Rudds, Assistant Professor, English, University of Utah
  • Lisa Taylor-Swanson, Assistant Professor, Nursing, University of Utah
  • Kinny Torre, Ph.D. Student, Communication, University of Utah
  • Tashelle Wright, Health Equity Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Family & Preventative Medicine, University of Utah, School of Medicine

TRIC Signature Initiatives

Awardees will organize at least one “idea exchange” meeting that incorporates scholars from the University of Utah alongside local, regional, and national partners. We will also strongly encourage awardees to produce a short digital artifact in which they reflect on their progress and process.

Also Sisters

Also Sisters seek to develop strategies and collect useful documentation to help media creators, particularly, filmmakers, make fictional work where intersectionality is robust and prevents biases. To that end, our group will be practice centered, and will gain a deeper understanding of intersectionality by developing a research project, namely a screenplay. As practitioners, researchers, and educators we find extreme value in the power of research to inform teaching and vice versa, and because of that we are committed to involve students in the process of making this film.

Black Studies in Ballet Collective

The overall goal of the Black Studies in Ballet Collective Research Project will be to foster intersectional inquiry through research and dialogue among BIPOC academics who resource ongoing scholarship in the field, as well as have personal histories as ballet dancers and related artistic fields.

Disability Studies

Disability Studies proposes, as its Intersectional Signature Initiative in Fall 2023, to conduct an exchange of ideas amongst scholars working on intersectional critical disability studies, particularly intersectional studies of disability and race/ethnicity, at two institutions: the University of Utah and the University of Texas-Austin.

Gender-Based Violence Consortium

The Gender-Based Violence Consortium’s vision is to increase public recognition of and deepen public knowledge about this type of violence through research innovation and collaboration, creation of research communities, and enhanced educational efforts. Therefore, the University of Utah’s Gender-Based Violence Consortium brings together an interdisciplinary team of scholars representing multiple colleges across campus at the University of Utah. The Gender-Based Violence Consortium is an interprofessional collaboration, a campus scholarly network that embodies an academic commitment to sharing knowledge, supporting long-term collaborations through research hubs, creating programming, sharing teaching, and responding to gender-based violence in Utah. The GBVC is collaborating with artist Lilian Agar, Utah Domestic Violence Consortium and local organizations to organize UnStoppable: Art & Play.


Intersectional Perspectives on the History of the Transcontinental Railroad. Intersections will center voices and perspectives of contemporary artists/thinkers/activists from communities that have historically been left out in the national narrative of the railway. By encouraging intersectional inquiry and dialogue, Intersections will provide new understanding of the history of our railroads and its role in shaping this nation. One central component of this research is an opportunity for artists, thinkers, and activists to travel together by train, visiting towns and cities built by the railway. This experience will be documented and will inform an Idea Exchange meeting and the Digital document that I produce as part of my signature initiative.

Utah Prison Education Project

The Utah Prison Education Project was launched in 2017, following a yearlong Praxis Lab sponsored by the University of Utah Honors College, titled “Education, Incarceration, and Justice.” Our mission is to assist incarcerated students and non-incarcerated volunteers to live lives of impact, both in prison and post-incarceration, by fostering academic excellence, leadership, and civic engagement. Committed to social transformation, UPEP advances educational equity through on-site higher education at the Utah State Prison, empirical research, and advocacy.