Need Help?

Skip to Content

CCA Portal


Last updated on Oct 21, 2022

The Center for Art and Public Life has hosted the Impact Awards each year giving the students an opportunity to win funding and mentorship for their impact project.

2022 Impact Award Theme : Equity for a More Resilient World

COVID-19 has underscored many structural inequities that weaken our capacity to survive a global crisis. Reduced economic mobility; society’s reliance on women both on the front line and at home; and the long-standing segregation by income and race in education, employment, housing, and health care place society at greater risk because not everyone can fully contribute and participate.

In order to survive as a productive and healthy society, we need to create equity of opportunity and access. How can we as artists and designers use our work to build equity to create a more resilient world in the interest of everyone?


The Community Impact winner will receive $10,000.

The Exceptional Innovator award will receive $5,000.

The Outstanding Startup will receive $2,500.

2022 Impact Award Finalists

Homefulness via Self-Determination, Niv Rajendra

Global Makers Project, Michelle Zamora

We see you, Snehal Ladke and Akshat Prasad

Behind the Masks, Katayoun Bahrami and Labkhand Olfatmanesh

Healthcare Cost Transparency, Suruchi Tayshete

2022 Impact Award Winners

The Community Impact Award winner of $10,000.

Homefulness via Self-Determination, Niv Rajendra

The Exceptional Innovator Award winner of $5,000.

Global Makers Project, Michelle Zamora

The Outstanding Startup Award Winner of $2,500.

Healthcare Cost Transparency, Suruchi Tayshete


Jurors for the 2022 Impact Awards.

Sam Vernon

Sam Vernon, featured on Huffington Post's "30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know," uses installation and performance to confront questions concerning personal narrative, historical memory and identity. Sam earned her MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University in 2015 and her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2009. Vernon has most recently exhibited with We Buy Gold, Interstitial Gallery, Coney Art Walls curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, Fowler Museum at UCLA and Seattle Art Museum. Sam lives in Oakland, CA and teaches printmaking as an Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts (CCA).

Modesto Covarrubias

Before becoming a multidisciplinary artist, Modesto Covarrubias studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Often reflecting his interest in architecture, his work is an investigation into the physical, psychological, and emotional connection to environments. He works in a broad range of media including drawing, photography, installation, printmaking, sculpture, and performance.  His work has been included in exhibitions locally, nationally, and internationally and has been featured at venues such as the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), the Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy, and at the Oakland International Airport.

Modesto collaborates with other artists on projects that expand upon his interests. RoCoCo is the studio practice he shares with fellow CCA Associate Professor KC Rosenberg. The duo describes their practice as a dialog of making, and they are interested in the juxtaposition of materials and response to space (architectural and natural) in their exploration of complex emotional states, social justice, and contemporary culture. RoCoCo’s work most often takes form through sculptural installations, but has also included video, performance, drawing, painting, and audience participation. RoCoCo exhibited 5 different but related series of work at Saddleback Art Gallery in Orange County, California in fall 2021. Their work has been in exhibitions at Montalvo Arts Center, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, among other venues.

Pacifc/A Future is the artist collaborative founded by CCA Professor Kim Anno and CCA alumna Alicia Escott (MFA ’09) that includes Modesto as a team member. Beginning in early 2020, this collaboration works together to engage with the community of Pacifica about the effects of climate change on their city. Modesto’s focus with the collaborative involves workshops for the community to instruct how to make yarn from re-purposed plastic (mostly shopping bags) and how to knit. Pacific/A Future was produced by Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA with a Community Resilience Grant from the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability.

In addition to being an artist and educator, Modesto has been involved with various curatorial projects. He was part of the artist salon group and curatorial team Studio 5,4 Projects. This team acted as the curators of visual arts in San Francisco for the Red Poppy Art House and for Flying Under the Radar / Voando Sob o Radar, an international festival that, in the fall of 2017, paired artists from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Bay Area to collaborate on new work.

Modesto is also an arts advocate and is a commissioner for the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission.

A Bay Area native, Modesto lives in Berkeley and maintains a studio in Oakland.

BFA, San Francisco Art Institute; MFA, Mills College

Janette Kim

Janette Kim is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work focuses on the intersection between ecology, social equity and the built environment. Janette is assistant professor of architecture and co-director of the Urban Works Agency at California College of the Arts and founding principal of the design practice All of the Above.

Janette's projects include the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, the Win-Win board game series, the Safari audio tours on urban ecology (with Kate Orff and MTWTF), and the Fall Kill Creek Master Plan. With All of the Above, Janette has also designed a boutique hotel in Sichuan, the Pinterest headquarters (with First Office) and the National AIDS Memorial (with Chloe Town). Janette is also author of The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform (Princeton Architectural Press 2015, with Erik Carver). 

Janette has worked in partnership with municipal agencies such as the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York, and the City of Newark, as well as non-profit advocacy groups such as the East Oakland Collective, Dellums Institute for Social Justice, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Her work has been awarded by the Graham Foundation, AIA San Francisco, and the Van Alen Institute New York Prize Fellowship, and has been featured in NPR’s ‘Brian Lehrer Show,’ Artforum, Architect, Frame, GOOD, and the feature-length documentary, The Grove. Janette’s work has been exhibited at YBCA; the Oslo Architecture Trienniale; in subway systems in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Sao Paulo; a private house in Levittown, NY; and galleries including Artists Space, Eyebeam and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. 

Janette was also Assistant Professor at Syracuse University from 2015-2016 and Adjunct Assistant Professor from 2005-2015 at Columbia University, where she directed the Applied Research Practices in Architecture initiative, the Urban Landscape Lab, and served as founding editor of ARPA Journal, a digital publication on applied research practices in architecture. Janette holds a Masters of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University.

BA, Columbia University; M'Arch, Princeton University

David Hisaya Asari

David Hisaya Asari is a long time faculty member of the Graphic Design program, teaching a course on information design. He leads CCA's annual Summer Study Abroad course Japan: In Search of Emptiness & Wabi-Sabi.

In his studio work, his experience ranges from information graphics, exhibition design, environmental design, and wayfinding systems to identity, branding, corporate communications, editorial design, books, publications, catalogs, and packaging. He has also been a Design Consultant with Impact Collaborative, a social innovation group that works with non-profits, corporations, and academic institutions. 

Though he began his career with renowned designer Gerald Reis, Asari was first introduced to professional practice while a student at CCAC, interning at the design studio of Professor Emeritus Doug Akagi (Akagi Design/Alterpop).

After working at several San Francisco studios, Asari joined the international design consultancy Pentagram as a senior designer.

There, he worked for over a decade with Pentagram partner Kit Hinrichs. Asari has worked with a range of clients including Design Within Reach, AICAD, San Francisco Free Clinic, University of Southern California, the Museum of Glass, University of Michigan Business School, Ansel Adams Center for Photography, McGeorge School of Law, and the San José Institute of Contemporary Art.

His projects have been recognized in major design competitions and publications including New York Art Directors Club, AIGA, Critique, Western Art Directors Club, One Club, and Graphis.

Asari is President Emeritus of the San Francisco chapter of AIGA, the nation's oldest and largest professional design organization. In a dozen years of board service and chapter leadership, he's worked on initiatives on diversity and mentoring and spearheaded significant Bay Area design events. He organizes and produces Continuum, AIGA SF's annual celebration  of its Fellows program—recognizing designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct, around areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation as well as the practice of design. He is a long standing advisor to the internationally recognized San Francisco Design Week.

David is engaged with national issues around design education, including being a  member of the AIGA DEC Steering Committee. Additionally, he served on the site committee for the Association for Asian American Studies 2014 Conference. At CCA, he is co-chair of FOCA (Faculty of Color Alliance), and a faculty representative to the President's Diversity Steering Group, and Multilingual Learning Steering Group; as well as a faculty speaker at CCA’s Multicultural Commencement Ceremony.

As a member of CCA's First Year faculty, he has served as Core Coordinator (2D), and a First Year Program advisor for new incoming students. He has taught courses for MFA Design, UDIST, and Critical Ethnic Studies, as well as CCA Design MBA “bootcamp" and Pre-College Graphic Design studios. 

Invited by Dean Min Wang, he presented a lecture to students and faculty of the School of Design at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He was a keynote speaker at the inaugural International Design Education Exposition & Conference.

Asari studied printmaking (intaglio etching and lithography) at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a fine arts degree, and continued his studies in graphic design at CCAC.

BFA, Practice of Art, University of California, Berkeley

Remember the key word is Impact. If you have a project or artwork you believe is perfect but would like help growing your Impact Please reach out to for advice and guidance.

Past Winners