Who we are
The Uni Project is run by husband-and-wife, Sam Davol (Program and Creative Director) and Leslie Davol (Executive Director). The project grew out of their work activating space in downtown Boston during a time they lived there (2006-2011). In Boston, they created Street Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit that launched community-focused and partnership-driven projects, including the now-annual Films at the Gate and Chinatown Storefront Library. Prior, Leslie worked at the New York Historical Society and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on memorial, cultural and civic programs following September 11. Sam served as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society and is an original member of the band The Magnetic Fields. They live in Lower Manhattan with their two children. (Leslie via LinkedIn) (Sam via LinkedIn)
Program and Operations Manager
Leah Kaplan has a passion for books that affect change. She will complete a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Art at Stony Brook University in 2017. Previously, she has worked as a Site Manager for the Uni Project, a research assistant for the author Veronica Chambers, and has taught at the elementary school level at the HoLa School in Hoboken, where she developed a journalism enrichment program for 3rd and 4th graders. Leah volunteers as an educator with a youth outreach program called Rethink that works primarily with at-risk and court-involved youth in Harlem and the Bronx. Leah speaks Spanish and lives in Harlem.
Joeyee Yan is a student at NYU who has worked at several community learning centers, teaching and tutoring children in grades 1-8. She began working with the Uni Project while finishing up her senior year at Brooklyn Technical High School. While in high school, Joeyee was active in Brooklyn Tech’s community service club with over 1,000 members, serving as Treasurer. She also participated in the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s In-School Youth Program, which provides year-round workshops on financial literacy and leadership skills to low-income high school students. Joeyee is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, and she lives in Brooklyn.
Arli Cornejal is a youth educator and Sociology major at Hunter College. Arli has previously worked at the Ya-Ya Network as the Youth Program Coordinator where she developed political education curriculum for NYC based youth. Currently Arli also works as the Associate Youth Program Coordinator in the South Bronx where she works with Latin@ youth. Arli is passionate about access to higher education and believes in the power of an organized community. Arli is fluent in Spanish and resides in Queens.
Elizabeth Reyes is a high school student at City-As High School. She has a passion for early childhood education and the influence art can have on youth. She has served as a teacher’s assistant at Goddard-Riverside Preschool, and interned at the Children’s Museum of the Arts New York where she was responsible for leading art demonstrations, where children and families create art side by side with working artist. She has volunteered for the Uni Project and currently works as a Program Coordinator.
Artist in Residence
Courtney Menard is an illustrator and printmaker originally from Buffalo, NY. She will receive a graduate degree in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in 2019. Currently, she works at the School of Visual Arts printshop as a technician, where she assists with classes in silkscreen, etching, woodcut, and lithography. She aims to utilize her experience as a printmaker to advance the awareness of social causes in her community, and she has created posters and graphics to support local social justice groups in their efforts towards affordable housing, clean water, and immigration justice. Most recently she led a t-shirt silkscreen workshop with Transportation Alternatives, a group advocating for improved public transit and safer bike lanes in advance of next year’s L train shutdown. Courtney lives in Bushwick.
Artist in Residence
Sarah Shahata is an interdisciplinary artist from The Bronx. She is a student at SUNY Purchase pursuing a BSVA. She has worked with several organizations such as Groundswell community murals and Joan Mitchell Foundation. Since 2015 Sarah has been developing murals with New York City youth on topics of social change and community. Recently she has worked with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Community Works, and the Brooklyn Museum to plan NYC’s first Creativity Summit, where NYC youth got a chance to experience creativity in innovative ways. Sarah is passionate about creating spaces in which young people of color can thrive. She is fluent in Spanish.
Christian Guinanzaca is a filmmaker, dancer, and community organizer who values creating public spaces for communities that are under-resourced. He has worked with the Queens Museum producing events in Corona Plaza, and for Immigrant Movement International coordinating their community space, teaching dance workshops, and surveying community members about various issues of concern to the community. Chris is currently a student at CUNY City College, getting a BFA in film and video production. Chris is fluent in Spanish, and he lives in Elmhurst, Queens.
Egypt Calier is a graduate of SUNY College and is pursuing a Masters in Sociology at Brooklyn College. She has worked as a Teachers Assistant for the Department of Education, providing support to children with math, reading and writing, and to children with special needs and those for whom English is a second language. During the summers she has worked as a Playground Associate for NYC Parks while coaching girls’ basketball. She was an award-winning high school basketball player and then captain of her college basketball team. She is passionate about education and grew up in the Elliott Chelsea Houses in Chelsea. Egypt lives in the Bronx.
Bill Bancroft Furniture, Jaywalk Studio
Michael Gibson, Shamel Rountree
The Uni Project proudly hires drivers from Red Hook on the Road.
Uni Alumni 2011-2017
Egypt Calier (’16), Christian Guinanzaca (’16), Leah Kaplan (’16), Joeyee Yan (’16), Adynah Irene Johnson (’15), Leigh Hurwitz (’13-’15), Emily Jacobson (’14-’15), Rasheed Lucas (’14)
Program Staff via MIT Public Service Center
Rossana Iturbide (’16), Ester Shmulyian (’16), Marco Cunqueiro (’15), Amelia Carver (’13)
Daniyar Irgaliyev (’16), Jorey Greenland (’15), Mecca Norfleet (’16), Greig Roselli (’15), Stephanie Yee (’14-’15)
Anthony Lopez (’16), Jean Li Spencer (’16)
Alyssa Pintar (’14)
Rica Takashima/Aliens in NY (’17), Fay Ku (’17), Luyi Wang (’17), Susan Coyne (’15), Genevieve Irwin (’15), Tiffany Lin (’14)
Robert Berkman (’13), Andrew Collins (’13)
Michael Gibson (’13-’16), Shamel Rountree (’16), Nelson DeJesus (’13), Peter Zweifel (’13)
Emilia Andrade (’15), Lisa Archigian (’16), Kelly Marie Blanchat (’12-14), William Brockett (’13), Jamie Burns (’14), Evan Chen (’16), Sofia Chelo (’16), Nathanael Cho (’16), Lindsey Danis (’11), Eleanor Davol (’13), Malcolm Davol (’13), Andy Deck (’15), Meghan Dowell (’11-’13), Lisa Gomez (’15-16), Kenneth Gordon (’13), Magdalena Gordon (’13), Jorey Greenland (’16), Chelsea Gunn (’11), Nadine Hibbert (’14-’16), Leigh Hurwitz (’12-’16), Emily Jacobson (’12-’16), Allie Janvey (’12), Adynah Irene Johnson (’14), Gloria Lau (’15-16), Marilyn Kahn (’12), Amit Karan (’13), Madeline Kelly (’11), Grace Ko (’16), Victoria Kuhr (’14-’16), Angela Kyle (’13-’14), Tiffany Lin (’14-’15), Natalia Lopez (’13), Kelleen Maluski (’12-’16), Daniel Mascola (’15), Sara McCabe (’16), Alexandra McClure (’15-16), Molly McInerny (’11), Luis Aguilar Moreno (’14), Diana Narvaez (’14), Pascale Nijhof (’13-’14), Jennifer Nix (’13-’14), Christine O’Heron (’12), Yukie Ohta (’11), Tiffany Minh Peterson (’15-’16), Jessica Pierce (’14), Katherine Plater (’13), Gabriella Radujko (’12), Anna Robinson (’12-’13), Liz Ropers (’14), Greig Roselli (’15-’16), Lisa Savcak (’14-’15), Helen Schubert (’11), Juhi Singhal (’13), Phillíp Solér (’14), Michelle Solis (’16), May Tongnok (’15-’16), Constance Vidor (’14), Xavier Williams (’13-14), Whitney Wong (’15), Stephanie Yee (’12-’16), Jie Zhao (’15)
Teams from: Wolff Olins, George Jackson Academy, Avenues: The World School, Riley’s Way Foundation Youth Advisory Council, The Garden School
Max Dietshe (annual report ’15), Breauna Hagan (volunteer plan ’15), Stroock, Stroock & Lavan LLP (legal ’15), Angela Khermouch (photography ’15), Lawyers Alliance for New York (legal ’14), Maureen Naff (pitch deck creation ’13), Shannon Tomai, Apex Law (legal ’12)
Joana Torres (sign kiosk ’16), Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP, with Prof. J. Meejin Yoon of MIT (Uni carts, tower, benches ’11-16, with Eric Höweler, Meejin Yoon, Parker Lee, Ryan Murphy, Thena Tak, James Coleman, David Costanza, Jeremy Jih, and Alexander William Marshall)
Bill Bancroft Furniture, Beartown, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP (with Jeremy Jih, David Costanza, Alexander William Marshall, Kelly Shaw, Sung Woo Jang, Max Wong, Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola, James Coleman, Cyrus Dochow, Parker Lee, and Thena Tak)
Uni Project Board of Directors
- Tina Gonzalez Barton
- Jane Sujen Bock
- Willard Donham
- Jared Eigerman
- Laura Fleder
- Kenneth Gordon
- Fabiola Salmán
- Philip Wharton
Uni Project Advisory Panel
- Stacy Abramson, Editor of Bright, Medium’s publication about innovation in education
- Ariana Austin, Founder and Creative Director of Art all Night: Nuit Blanche DC; Director of French Thomas Creative
- Polly Carpenter, Learning by Design
- Aimee Good, Director of Education and Community Programs, The Drawing Center
- Leigh Hurwitz, Young Adult Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library
- Gloria Lau, landscape architect and urban planner
- Tiffany Lin, artist and illustrator
- Jennifer Polshek, Elementary and Middle School Librarian, Educator
- Rachel Urkowitz, artist and Assistant Professor at Parsons, The New School for Design
Past Advisory Panel Members
- Nate Hill, Executive Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council
- Eric Höweler, AIA LEED AP, Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard Design School
- Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces
- Bill Middleton, Information Resource Officer for Central Asia and Pakistan, US Consulate Almaty
- Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director, DC Public Library
- Meejin Yoon, Associate Professor, Director of the Undergraduate Program in Architecture, Department of Architecture, MIT