Humanities and Arts Advisory Council (HAAC)

The Humanities and Arts Advisory Council (HAAC) is an external advisory body for the UC Davis Humanities Institute that supports and advocates for the work of the Humanities Institute and the value of the humanities and arts in education and public life. Council members advise the Institute on development strategies, external outreach and marketing, and public programming. Members engage with the Humanities Institute and its faculty and student affiliates through its events and other special opportunities for faculty, student, and community engagement.

Shelly Gilbride, B.A. American University; Ph.D. UC Davis: Shelly is the Executive Director of International House (I-House) Davis, where she brings a deep knowledge of non-profit management, interest in community engagement, and commitment to cultural exchange and inclusion. Shelly recently served as the Programs Officer of the California Arts Council, and spent a decade in nonprofit management working for performing arts organizations — first in her hometown of Philadelphia and then in New York City. For her graduate work at UC Davis, she studied sustainability and community engagement models for dance organizations. Shelly lives in Davis with her husband and two children.

Bret Hewitt, B.A., M.A. UC Davis; MBA Stanford: Bret is the Executive Director of Tuleyome, a volunteer advocacy-oriented nonprofit conservation organization. He has served on the boards of UCD’s Alumni Association and Foundation, on advisory councils for the College of Letters and Sciences, and the UC Davis Arboretum, and on the board of the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. Bret lives in Davis with his daughter Clare. 

Cyril E.B. Juanitas, Jr., B.A. UC Davis, J.D. Georgetown University Law Center: Cyril is the Vice President of Business Development at Pearson, Inc. and has experience serving in board leadership positions with non-profit organizations and governmental/educational commissions. Cyril has served on boards of institutions such as: City of Davis Recreation and Park Commission; St. Joseph School Commission; The Tribes Project; and, Asian Bar Association of Washington.  As a UC Davis undergraduate, Cyril studied with both Karl Shapiro and Alan Williamson, who helped him cultivate his understanding and appreciation of poetry.  He has had his poetry published by The Seattle Review (University of Washington).

Rijin Sahakian, M.A. New York University: Rijin studied Contemporary Art and Politics at New York University. While a Fulbright scholar she founded Sada, a nonprofit project conducting arts education, advocacy, and production programs serving Baghdad-based artists, which she directed until its closure. She has conducted seminars and programs at arts and education spaces in the US and abroad including at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, where she guest produced the exhibition Shangri La: Imagined Cities and accompanying catalog. Sahakian has contributed writing to a range of artist projects and publications including Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, Hyperallergic, Warscapes, e-flux journal, and n+1.

Brian H. Sway, B.A. UC Davis: Brian is an advisor to public and private organizations on transformation. He has served as an executive in California state government and for a global information technology and business process management firm. Brian has founded 7 businesses and non-profits, including 2 cooperative corporations. Public service is his passion. He has helped to organize water, sanitation, literacy, and health projects around the globe. Brian served in the US Peace Corps, South Africa (2018-2019), where he leveraged his business expertise to aid in the fight against HIV. The US State Department recognized his efforts with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy. Brian is the 2020 Cal Aggie Alumni Association Emil Mrak International Award recipient.

gayle yamada, B.A. William and Mary, M.A. UF, Ph.D. UC Merced: gayle is an award-winning broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker who co-founded Bridge Media, Inc. She received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities in 2015. gayle has also co-authored two history books and is the CEO of a non-profit organization, Media Bridges, Inc. She has served on several media and arts boards.