Humanities Institute

2013-2015 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Julia Cuba

GENAustin

Julia Cuba is the Executive Director of GENAustin (Girls Empowerment Network). During her Community Sabbatical Research Leave, she worked on developing a program called Pathfinder. This program created a sustainable earned-income stream for GENAustin, and increased the number of teen girls who are prepared to become top executives in their fields. Julia holds a Master’s in Social Work from UT-Austin, with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership. She is interested in social innovation systems and social entrepreneurship.


Michael Gatto

Austin Community Design and Development Center

Michael Gatto is the Executive Director of Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC). He earned his Master’s in Architecture from UT-Austin. During his Community Sabbatical Research Leave, he worked on designing and finding support for construction of sustainable urban housing.  ACDCC has been involved with various ongoing urban housing efforts in Austin, including the Alley Flat Initiative. The initiative proposed a new sustainable, green affordable housing alternative for Austin. “Alley Flats” are small, detached residential units, accessed from Austin’s extensive network of underutilized alleyways.


Erin Spalding

The Christi Center

Erin Spalding is Program Director of The Christi Center, a non-profit grief support center. Erin holds a Master’s in Social Work, and a B.A. in Psychology from UT-Austin. Her project called for the development and administration of a comprehensive community survey on grief and bereavement needs. The purpose of the survey was to enable the Center to expand support services available to Latino, African-American, and other disenfranchised populations in Austin.