by Justine Saquilayan
George Villanueva, Ph.D. graduate and current Postdoctoral Scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Advocacy and Social Change at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication.
Villanueva’s research focuses on the changing global context of community, civic engagement, sustainable urban development, democracy, the city, and visual communication practices.
During his time at USC, he was a recipient of both the Annenberg Ph.D. Fellowship and the Center for Religion and Civic Culture’s 2012 Interdisciplinary Research Group Fellowship.
In 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Villanueva to the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. His previous civic work includes serving as Community Organizer and Field Deputy for former Los Angeles City Council member, and now Mayor, Eric Garcetti, as well as Senior Field Representative and Research Coordinator for former California State Assembly member Jackie Goldberg.
Recently, he was program manager for the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative, a project aimed at creating sustainable economic development in the NELA river study area. This program was backed by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Villanueva is also affiliated with the Metamorphosis Project at USC Annenberg, a program that seeks “to understand the transformation of urban community under the forces of globalization, new communication technologies, and population diversity so that…research can inform practitioner and policy maker decisions.”
Additionally, Villanueva contributes as a writer and filmmaker for KCET Departures. He also maintains his column, “Engaging Spaces,” which investigates how people and organizations engage urban space to make Los Angeles a more livable, socially just, and fun city.