What is BEWell?

BEWell collaborates with campus and community leaders to identify, plan, and implement best practices for active and safe transit (especially walking and bicycling); facilitate physical activity in everyday activities, clean and green campus spaces; and build campus awareness about the built environment.

Have a question, concern, or an idea? We would like to hear about it!

Email us at: BEWell2013@ucla.edu

BEWell Leadership

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., Hon A.S.L.A., Hon A.I.A (BEWell Co-Leader)

Richard Jackson is a Professor Emeritus at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including the highest as the State Health Officer. For nine years he was Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award. In October, 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

While in California he was instrumental in conceptualizing laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. While at CDC he was a national and international leader, including leading the federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population. He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association, and the New Partners for Smart Growth. In October, 2012 he received the John Heinz Award for Leadership in the Environment.

Dick Jackson co-authored two Island Press Books: Urban Sprawl and Public Health in 2004 and Making Healthy Places in 2011. He is host of a 2012 public television series Designing Healthy Communities which links to the J Wiley & Sons book by the same name. He has served on many environmental and health boards, as well as the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. He is an elected honorary member of both the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

David Karwaski, Pod Leader

David Karwaski is the Director for Mobility Planning & Traffic Systems at UCLA Transportation. He bridges the gap between traffic engineering and the politics of transportation by bringing 28 years of transportation planning experience to bear upon UCLA’s multimodal transportation programs and policies. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State University, bringing an analytical perspective to the table, along with political acumen that has enabled him to move projects to fruition. Dave authored UCLA’s Sustainable Transportation Plan, built its Air Travel Mitigation Fund program, manages its traffic system, sustainable mode programs, contracts with numerous transit agencies, and directs the incubation of new program efforts.

Kirsten Schwarz, Ph.D., B.A. (BEWell Co-Leader)

Kirsten Schwarz is an urban ecologist working at the interface of environment, equity, and health. Her research focuses on environmental hazards and amenities in cities and how their distribution impacts minoritized communities. Her work on lead-contaminated soils documents how biogeophysical and social variables relate to the spatial patterning of soil lead. Her research on urban tree canopy has revealed large scale patterns related to income and tree canopy as well as historical legacies that impact this relationship. Most recently, Dr. Schwarz led an interdisciplinary team working on a community-engaged green infrastructure design that integrated participatory design and place-based solutions to realizing desired ecosystem services.

Her expertise in science communication and engaging communities in the co-production of science was recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) naming her a Fellow in the Leshner Leadership Institute in the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. Dr. Schwarz’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, AAAS, and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Dr. Schwarz has a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Northern Kentucky University where she directed their Ecological Stewardship Institute.

Monika Shankar, BeWell Pod Graduate Student Researcher

Monika Shankar, MURP, MIA, B.A. (BEWell GSR)

Monika Shankar (pronouns she/her) is a first year Environmental Health Sciences PhD student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, a recent graduate of the Luskin School’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and a long-time environmental justice activist and organizer. Her graduate and professional work is situated at the intersection of environmental health and justice, and urban planning, with a particular emphasis on advancing research and developing policy solutions to address the presence of stationary sources of pollution in vulnerable communities. She has served on the steering committee of ClimatePlan, the Alliance for Community Transit-LA and the Jordan Downs Environmental Justice Coalition. Monika is a Switzer Fellow, a Luskin Center for Innovation Field Fellow for Environmental Justice, a Reach the Decision Makers Fellow and a Julie Roque Fellow.

Past BEWell Leadership

  • Renée Fortier (B.A. Rice University; M.A./M.S./P.H. UCLA), Executive Director UCLA Events & Transportation