Pitt-Assisted Communities & Schools


John Wallace

Co-principal investigator

John Wallace Jr. is the Senior Fellow for Research and Community Engagement and principal investigator on the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems’ Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh Project, an integrated program of research, teaching, and service designed to investigate and ameliorate social problems that disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged children, families, and communities. He received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago and earned his PhD and master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan.


James Huguley

Co-principal investigator

James P. Huguley is Interim Director of the Center on Race & Social Problems and an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. His research focuses on school-based interventions that promote positive academic and mental health outcomes for African American youth. He received his bachelor’s degree in English-Secondary Education from Providence College, and both his master’s degree in Risk and Prevention and doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University.

Esohe Osai

Assistant Professor of Practice

Esohe R. Osai is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has developed a school-university partnership called Justice Scholars, through which high school students receive a college preparatory experience and opportunities to explore issues related to social justice. Dr. Osai's research interests center on the development of psychosocial capacities in children and adolescents. She privileges a positive strengths approach in her community engaged praxis and adopts a social justice lens to find solutions to challenges in schools and communities. Initially trained as a secondary education teacher, Esohe also earned an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Education and Psychology. 

Jaime Booth

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Jaime Booth is the PI of the SPIN Project, a NIDA funded project that seeks to understand youths' experiences of supportive and stressful spaces in their neighborhood, with the goal of designing interventions that will increase youths' engagement in supportive spaces. Dr. Booth’s research focuses on the role of context and identity in the stress process, the impact of differential stress experiences on health disparities and strives to identify protective factors that can be enhanced to mitigate these outcomes.

Mary Ohmer

Associate Professor Mary Ohmer received her Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. Mary received her MSW and MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh, and BSW from Gannon University in Erie, PA. She has over 30 years of experience in community organizing and development, working with residents and community, social service, corporate, government and philanthropic organizations to promote community change. She has also worked internationally, presenting at conferences in Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China, conducting research for an NGO in Ghana, and directing a study abroad program in Costa Rica focused on health, social justice and sustainability. Dr. Ohmer is on the board of the Association for Community Organization and Social Action and has leadership roles for the Society for Social Work and Research in Community and Neighborhood Research. She is also the lead author a new book by Sage Publications, Measures for Community and Neighborhood Research, the first book its kind to compile and synthesize measures for community research.  Dr. Ohmer teaches in the Community Organization and Social Action program.

Grace Oxley

Program Manager

Grace Elizabeth Oxley serves as the Program Manager for PACS and is responsible for implementing the strategic direction and day-to-day activities of PACS programs in feeder schools and the community. She received her bachelor’s degree in Urban Policy from The College of William and Mary, #GoTribe.

Rachelle H Haynik

Research & Evaluation Coordinator

Rachelle H. Haynik is the Research & Evaluation Coordinator for PACS and the Just Discipline Project.. Rachelle grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before becoming a Pitt Panther. She taught high school math in Eastern North Carolina as a Teach for America corps member, then graduated with her M.P.A. in Policy Research and Analysis from Pitt in 2017. Rachelle focuses on data analysis and evaluation of the various PACS programs.

Shanté Stuart McQueen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Stuart McQueen began her college education at the University of Oregon (GO Ducks!) and received a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies, and was then recruited into the field of teaching. She continued on with her education at UCLA where she received her teaching credential as well as a Master’s in Education. She taught middle school for two years in Los Angeles before she returned to UCLA once again to embark upon the journey toward a Ph.D in Education (and taught another year of middle school during the program as a participant-researcher). Her personal research focus is on the community schools movement in the US, and on teacher’s experience in community schools in particular. She considers herself a social justice scholar, and is very excited about joining the Pitt community at the Center on Race and Social Problems.

Chalese Floyd

PittEnrich Program Coordinator

Chalese Floyd was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Point Park University. As the PittEnrich Program Coordinator, she is responsible for coordinating a tutoring program for students that are in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Her passions include student success and student development.