better world handbook

the authors

Ellis Jones

Ellis Jones, Ph.D. has been teaching students to make a difference in the world for the past 15 years. In his early years at USC, he volunteered weekdays to teach environmental education to local school children. After receiving his Master's Degree in International Peace Studies from Notre Dame, he spent the next 2 years of his life in the Peace Corps teaching Panamanian students and teachers to care for their own rainforests. Since his return to university life, Ellis has focused all of his energies on bridging the gap between academics, activists and the average citizen. He has been empowering college students in his classes to change the world by getting their hands dirty for almost 10 years. A scholar of corporate social responsibility, global citizenship and everyday activism, Ellis continues to teach and give presentations on making a difference around the country. Ellis is currently a sociologist at University of California, Davis. He is also the author of the recently released Better World Shopping Guide MORE...

Ross Haenfler

Ross Haenfler, Ph.D. emerged from the straight edge punk rock scene to study, teach, and participate in social movements. His courses include U.S. Social Movements, Nonviolence and the Ethics of Social Action, and Self & Consciousness. Each class creates possibilities for students to live more fulfilling lives while making a difference in the world. He has led presentations on powerful teaching, humane teaching, and active learning. Ross also camped in a shanty town with the student anti-sweatshop movement and volunteered at an orphanage in Guatemala. As an active member of the Mennonite Church, Ross has committed civil disobedience in the movement to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas and authored a district-wide resolution condemning the school's actions. Ross enjoys cooking great vegetarian meals for his friends. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Mississippi. MORE...

Brett & Ben Johnson

Brett Johnson, Ph.D. has been a dedicated member of the environmental and simple living movements for years. He coordinates his apartment complex's composting program, leads voluntary simplicity workshops, and is an Eco-cycle block leader. With courses like Self in Modern Society and Social Conflict & Social Values, Brett enlightens students about economic and racial inequality and the increasing role of advertising in our lives. He is currently researching the voluntary simplicity movement in the U.S. He volunteers at Left Hand Books, a local progressive cooperative bookstore. Brett lifts activists' spirits with his guitar, singing old labor songs and anti-sweatshop ditties of his own creation. He also plays a mean short stop on the sociology softball team. Brett and his wife, Jen, are well known for hosting creative board game parties. They also enjoy just being with their beautiful son, Benjamin. Brett is currently teaching sociology at Luther College in Iowa.


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