Grinnell College has assembled a diverse selection committee to evaluate nominees for the 2016 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Nominations for the 2016 Grinnell Prize are due by December 1, 2015. 

Appointed by the College’s president, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., the 2016 selection committee members are all recognized individuals who work for social change in various capacities. Their backgrounds, accomplishments, and experiences reflect the diversity in both Grinnell and the Prize. These members include one representative each from the College’s faculty, student body, alumni, staff and trustees, plus prominent individuals not formally affiliated with Grinnell.

In announcing the selection committee, President Kington, stated, “We are delighted these exceptionally talented, experienced, and socially conscious individuals have agreed to be selection committee members for the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. In creating this prize program, we seek to recognize young individuals who embody our core values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world for the better. I am confident our selection committee members will bring extraordinary knowledge, sensitivity, and passion to that goal.”


Chris Hunter

Committee Chair
A professor of sociology at Grinnell College, Chris Hunter's academic interests include the intersection of psychological and sociological social psychology, the organizational analysis of non-profit organizations, and deviance and criminology. He served as Grinnell College's coordinator of the American Sociological Association's Minority Opportunities through School Transformation Program, as a Grinnell College faculty representative on the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Committee on Minority Concerns, and on the boards of directors of Mid-Iowa Community Action and the Grinnell public library. Chris received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and completed his Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University.

Laura Ferguson '90

Laura Ferguson, MD is a family practitioner in Grinnell, IA. A Grinnell native, Dr. Ferguson graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in studio art in 1990. In 1995, she received her M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Ferguson joined her father, Dr. David Ferguson, in practice in Grinnell. She was president of the medical staff from 2001 to 2003, is on the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, and sits on the State of Iowa Prenatal Advisory Panel.

Julie Gosselink

Julie Gosselink is the president, CEO, and chair of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation in Grinnell. In addition, she serves on the board of the Ahrens Park Foundation. Julie holds a M.A. in philanthropy and nonprofit development and B.A. in geography from the University of Northern Iowa. She has worked for the Foundation since 2001 with prior work experience in the financial services and sales industries. Julie has been involved with other local organizations at the board level including the Galaxy Youth Center, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation, Iowa Council of Foundations, and Mayflower Community Foundation. She also serves as managing partner on behalf of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation for the Strand Theater, L.L.C. and West Broad Investors, L.L.C. Julie is co-author of Nonprofit Collaboration in Grinnell: A Case Study.

Emma Lange ‘16

Emma Lange is the Grinnell College Student Government Vice President for Academic Affairs. She is a fourth year student from Carroll, Iowa and is a proud first-generation college student. She is a self-described political junkie. She cares deeply about students’ academic experiences at Grinnell and is particularly interested in supporting students who are traditionally under-represented in higher education. She is also the student representative on the ARH/Carnegie renovation committee.

Celeste Miller

Celeste Miller is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Grinnell. Often called the dance whisperer, Miller investigates dance as a powerful tool for art-making, research and activism. As a solo touring artist from 1983-2003, her work has been produced from coast to coast in venues ranging from concert halls and museums; rock clubs and grange halls. Her most recent production, The Annunciation… sort of, was performed by an intergenerational and interdisciplinary cast of 31 performers and musicians. She is the co-author and choreographer from the national touring production of Women + War and guest collaborating artist for the one-year Living Darwin project at Virginia Tech. Miller has been the director of the Choreographer’s Lab at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival since 1995. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from Hollins University/American Dance Festival.

Emily Shields

Emily Shields is the executive director of Iowa Campus Compact in Des Moines. Prior to leading Iowa Campus Compact, Emily served as Chief of Staff of the Rebuild Iowa Office, Senate Liaison and Policy Adviser to Governor Chet Culver, and worked in field organizing and fundraising for campaigns including the Chet Culver Committee, John Kerry for President and for the Democratic National Committee. Emily is a graduate of the University of Iowa where she majored in journalism and political science. After graduation she spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. In 2010, Emily was recognized by the Des Moines Business Record Forty Under 40 and was a class member in the 2009-2010 Association of Business and Industry Leadership Iowa Program. In 2008, she was a recipient of the Governor's Excellence Award. She has also been very active in promoting the Grinnell Prize at state and national levels.

Chase Strangio '03

Chase Strangio is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & AIDS Project. Chase’s work includes impact litigation, as well as legislative and administrative advocacy, on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV across the United States. Chase has particular expertise on the treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming people in police custody, jails, prisons and other forms of detention. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Grinnell College.

Tilly Woodward

Tilly Woodward has served as Faulconer Gallery's curator of academic and community outreach since 2007. She works to infuse art into the life of the community on and off campus. You can find her organizing an academic panel related to an exhibition or working with children to cover a pickup truck with Elmer's Glue and glitter. She has a long history of initiating arts outreach projects designed to help communities address specific social issues & foster creativity; her 2012 work with Ghanan former child slaves in book arts was the result of Grinnell's first Prize staff fellowship. Woodward is well known for her meticulously detailed paintings, and each year is commissioned to create a piece for Grinnell Prize winners. Tilly has an MFA from the University of Kansas, BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover.

Jocelyn Wyatt ‘99

Jocelyn Wyatt is the co-lead and executive director of, the non-profit organization started by IDEO to address poverty-related challenges through design and to encourage the use of human-centered innovation in the social sector. Jocelyn’s work focuses on identifying non-profit and social enterprises with whom to partner and designing innovative solutions related to water and sanitation, agriculture, energy, health, financial services, and early childhood education. Jocelyn specializes in building social enterprises and advising businesses in the developing world, where she uses the market to effect social change. Prior to joining IDEO in 2007, Jocelyn worked in Kenya as an Acumen Fund fellow with an agro-pharmaceutical company involved in the production of malaria treatments. She served as VisionSpring’s interim country director in India, where she helped increase the distribution of low-cost reading glasses to the urban and rural poor. She also did training, project management, and business development for Chemonics International, a contractor for USAID. Jocelyn is a 1999 graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in anthropology and received an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She has taught social enterprise and human-centered design at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and Thunderbird. She is an advisory board member to Clinton Global Initiative, Fenix International and Hattery, an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow, and one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top Global Thinkers.