Our staff

Carl Luna, ICCE Director

Carl Luna, Ph.D., has been a professor of political science for the past 25 years in San Diego Mesa College’s Accelerated College Program, a unique program providing college courses to advanced high school students on the campuses of the San Diego Unified School district. He has served as department chair and president of the academic senate. Dr. Luna lectures as a visiting professor of political science at the University of San Diego. In 1999-2000 he was a senior Fulbright Scholar at Nizhni Novgorod State University in the Russian Federation. He is a contributing author to the anthology of presidential biographies, Public Pillars, Private Lives and a revised volume on the presidency: Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama.

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Luna is a regular commentator on politics for local, national and international media. He has been a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union Tribune and wrote their first political weblog from 2003-2007. He has also been a columnist for San Diego City Beat Magazine which hosted his blog, “Political Lunacy.”

Dr. Luna is co-chair of Restoring Respect, a community initiative promoting greater civility in San Diego civic dialogue supported by a consortium of San Diego area academic institutions and community groups including the Catfish Club of San Diego and the San Diego Community College District and the University of San Diego. He became ICCE’s first director in 2014, with a commitment to institutionalize and extend Restoring Respect’s mission of promoting civil civic dialogue across the San Diego community.

Karen Shelby, Assistant Director

Karen L. Shelby, PhD, has been teaching at USD since the Spring of 2009, and is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Civil Civic Engagement. She teaches a range of courses including Sex, Power and Politics, Feminist Theory, Comparative Social Movements and Political Theory: Ancient to Modern. Her past research examined Simone de Beauvoir’s engagement with the Algerian War and Beauvoir’s everyday ethics of freedom. Current topics of research build on this notion of an everyday ethics. Work with the Kettering Foundation focuses on the importance of democratic deliberation in creating a robust democracy premised on citizen participation and dialogue. Additionally, research on President Obama’s focus on empathy explores the idea of an everyday ethics of democracy.