Abstracts: 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017

2010-2011 AmeriCorps VISTAs

 

CARROLL COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Jeana Biondo

Jeana Biondo


Jeana Biondo is the Service Learning VISTA at Carroll Community College. She earned her AA&S in General Studies from Carroll Community College in 2005, and then transferred to Villa Julie College where she received her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies for Business and Psychology in 2008. While an undergraduate she was highly involved in student activities programs that included events planning and service learning, and she uses those experiences to better serve students at Carroll. For the past six years she has worked in Higher Education in various student and professional capacities, and values being able to help students develop and succeed.

Project Description: The GREAT Start Program provides mentoring and support for 20 at-risk students. “GREAT” reminds us of our goals to increase: Graduation, Retention, Excellence, Achievement and Teamwork. Objectives for the program will include a workshop/financial literacy component, a service project, mentoring, and a course entitled College Success for this selected cohort. Requirements for the program will be accomplished through regular class meetings, a workshop series, and personal mentoring sessions. The MDCC-VISTA 1) researches, develops and facilitates the financial literacy aspects of the program, 2) coordinates service projects for the students in partnership with Carroll County Human Services, 3) recruits and coordinates the peer mentors for the program, and 4) researches scholarships for those who complete the program.

COLLEGE OF NOTRE DAME

Gabrielle Hurley

Gabrielle Hurley


Gabrielle Hurley, a Silver Spring, MD native, is the MDCC-VISTA Community Service and Outreach Coordinator for the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She received her BS in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with minors in Elementary Education and Spanish at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During her undergraduate career, she was highly involved with JMU's Office of Community Service-Learning as the Youth and Adult Education Services Coordinator and Senior Service Coordinator for their community-based program. She was a participant and trip leader for two Alternative Spring trips to Lakeland, FL and Atlanta, GA as well. Gabrielle is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Project Description: The Sister’s Academy Partnership provides educational outreach, tutoring, and leadership education to fifth through eighth grade girls of limited economic means with the potential and motivation to be leaders in their communities. The MDCC-VISTA member develops a leadership-tutorial program for the Academy, coordinates Notre Dame and/or Sister’s Academy student participation in national service events (i.e. Martin Luther King Day, National Volunteer Week, Youth Service Day, and make a Difference Day). Additionally, she strengthens current relationships with community partners that deal with poverty, assists faculty in their use of service-learning, provides logistical assistance and coordination for servicelearning events, recruits and trains Notre Dame student volunteers for Sister’s Academy, and evaluates volunteer programs and services.

COPPIN STATE UNIVERSITY

Shayla Redfearn

Shayla Redfearn


Project Description: The Coppin Heights-Rosemont Family Computer Center is one of only about twenty public computer centers in the country to be awarded a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is the only award recipient in Maryland. The MDCC-VISTA member works with the new Family Computer Center providing sixty new workstations, job training programs, and developing courses to create jobs and improve education and health in West Baltimore. These efforts reduce poverty and improve quality of life in this area of the city. The Family Computer Center utilizes many university students who are engaged in service-learning projects. The students tutor clients of the Center, assist program instructors, and complete various projects. The students work with clients who exhibit a wide range of ages (from elementary school thru senior adults) and levels of expertise (from beginners to sophisticated users). The MDCC-VISTA encourages interaction between Coppin State students, faculty, and the community by bringing students and faculty into the center to teach and assist users in computer skills. Coppin’s students and faculty are expected to provide more than 7,500 hours of volunteer service over the course of this grant.

GOUCHER COLLEGE

Alexandra Papagno

Alexandra Papagno


Project Description: The Goucher Latino Center assists the burgeoning Latino population in Baltimore County by providing computer courses, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes and enrichment activities. The MDCC-VISTA member works with Goucher’s France-Merrick Professor in Service-Learning to develop partnerships between the College’s Spanish Department, existing service organizations that serve the Latino community in the Greater Baltimore area, and the Latino community itself, living in Baltimore County. The MDCC-VISTA member assists in identifying programs that meet the community’s needs, coordinates after-school and weekend programs and activities, Hispanic Heritage Month activities, and helps recruit and coordinate Goucher students from community-based learning courses. She serves as the primary liaison between the college and community agencies such as faith-based institutions, government agencies, and health agencies.

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

(SOURCE)

Alexandra Papagno

Armella Crabbe Gilbert


Armella is a proud Maryland native. She graduated from Elon University in 2008 with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science. While a student, she held many leadership positions in volunteering and New Student Orientation. Following graduation, Armella joined the Massachusetts Campus Compact as the AmeriCorps*VISTA at Northeastern University as the Service-Learning Assistant Coordinator. Now, after a year as a Health Educator in the Washington, D.C. area, Armella is looking forward to combining her passion for health and higher education in Baltimore

Project Description: The Healthy Community Schools MDCC-VISTA, working with the JHU Center for Social Concern and the Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE), coordinates a student volunteer pilot program providing monthly evening parent and family health education programming at community schools in both the East Baltimore and Charles Village communities. The MDCC-VISTA coordinates with area community health partners to offer weekend trainings for JHU students, communicates with school partners about on-site logistics and parent and family communication, and facilitates reflection activities for JHU student participants. The MDCC-VISTA networks with Hopkins faculty within the undergraduate public health studies major, as well as faculty at the graduate Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine to develop communitybased learning courses to build a lasting infrastructure which will benefit the community on a long-term basis.

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

(Campus Kitchens)

Amy Bachman

Amy Bachman


Amy is the Campus Kitchen coordinator at Johns Hopkins University. She graduated from Wake Forest University in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in International Studies. At Wake Forest she was very involved with volunteer service, serving on the advisory board of the Volunteer Service Corps and Amnesty International. She also was very involved with Wake Forest’s Campus Kitchen, an involvement that inspired her continue to work with the Campus Kitchen project at Johns Hopkins to promote food justice.

Project Description: The Campus Kitchen Project at Johns Hopkins University (CKJHU), housed within JHU’s Center for Social Concern, is part of a national food recovery program. The MDCC-VISTA coordinating this project works with a student leadership team to coordinate JHU student and faculty volunteers, who recover surplus food from university dining services, local businesses, and farms to address food scarcity in Baltimore City. The MDCC-VISTA works with student leadership committees to foster partnerships with community organizations by providing food to supplement their meal programs, nourish their clients, and remove some of the burden of the cost of food from these organizations. The MDCC-VISTA also coordinates weekly delivery shifts, seasonal gleaning trips to area farms, work days at an on-campus garden, and volunteer cooking shifts twice a week at the kitchen, located in the University Baptist Church. The CKJHU Coordinator also serves as a state-wide resource, distributing fact sheets, offering workshops, and helping establish Campus Kitchens at other MDCC member institutions.

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

(Public Health)

Kimberly Puccetti

Kimberly Puccetti


Kimberly Puccetti is the Public Health Studies Applied Experience VISTA at Johns Hopkins University. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Wellesley College with an economics and Spanish double major in 2009. She has over four years of health education experience which includes developing campus wide health campaigns for her college's Health Education Department and designing nutrition workshops for the low income communities of her home county. As an experienced volunteer and public service employee, she is looking forward to working with students and local nonprofit organizations to facilitate public health practicums in the Baltimore community.

Project Description: Project HEALTH meets the public health needs of some of the Baltimore area’s under-served populations and develops the capacity of non-profits to serve their communities. Through the Public Health Studies Applied Experience, the MDCC-VISTA develops and maintains partnerships with community partners, pairing students trained in public health with community partner organizations to promote public health in impoverished communities. Project HEALTH’s mission is to break the link between poverty and poor health by mobilizing college students to implement sustained public health interventions throughout the city. In conjunction with Project HEALTH and several other community based health-organizations already doing work throughout Baltimore, the MDCC-VISTA oversees a program through which JHU students help community youth and families focus on health and wellness. The MDCC-VISTA guides JHU students in developing health programming, education materials, and workshops focusing on the prevention aspect of public health (e.g., healthy eating, acquiring fresh food, monitoring nutrition, etc.) and promotes Baltimore City residents taking active ownership of their own health.

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY

Jonathan Hourcade

Jonathan Hourcade


Jon Hourcade, a St. Louis native, graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana with a Bachelor of Science in Business. His desire to leave the Midwest along with his interest in commercial development led him to his current position with Loyola University Maryland. After his year of service, he hopes to join a non-profit organization or governmental agency focused on economic development. His interests include fitness, literature, and St. Louis and IU sports.

Project Description: The York Road Project helps to implement a Business Resource Center that will develop marketing plans, competitive analyses, and financial analysis for small businesses in the Govans neighborhood, adjacent to Loyola’s campus. The MDCC-VISTA member serves as the primary link responsible for maintaining relationships between the University and the Govans community. He assists with recruitment, selection and training of business student volunteers who staff the Resource Center and will be involved with all aspects of program development and implementation. In 2009 the Govans neighborhood identified financial literacy and this Business Resource Center as a need of their community which was presented to the Dean of Loyola’s Business School, then to a University committee dedicated to the redevelopment of Govans. The Govans Neighborhood Listening Project involves one-on-one interviews between a trained interviewer from Loyola and a member of the Govans community to solicit input from community members to shape the creation of the business resource center and its programming. Community members, the Govans Business Association, the Sellinger School of Business, and the Center for Community Service and Justice collaboratively plan and facilitate this project.

MARYLAND INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART

Becky LeFevre

Becky LeFevre


Rebecca LeFevre is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia. She attended the University of Pittsburgh from 2002-2004 focusing on business. In the fall of 2004 she began studying photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated with a Bachelors degree in 2007. During her career at AIP she interned with the Families for Learning Center and taught basic photography classes to newly relocated refugees. In 2008 she accepted a state/national AmeriCorps position with the Washington Reading Corps and worked as a literacy tutor in the Seattle Public School District. Wanting to finally unite art and community service she applied for the MDCC VISTA position at Maryland Institute College of Art where she presently works.

Project Description: The MICA CAP internship program focuses on increasing partnerships related to trauma survivors. Our existing site partners, including groups serving homeless adults, adults in treatment for addiction, and HIV+ African American woman have identified a large number of trauma survivors amongst their clients. The MDCC-VISTA member recruits and trains MICA undergraduate, graduate, and postbaccalaureate students who engage under-served Baltimore City residents through community arts. The MDCC-VISTA member identifies and contacts appropriate community partners to help facilitate the use of art as a tool to enhance psychological treatment and to provide professional skills for those affected by trauma. The MDCC-VISTA member, in collaboration with community partners, is developing a sustainable program curriculum with assessable learning outcomes for current and future MICA students and the community members and partners participating in the program.

MCDANIEL COLLEGE

Naomi Raphael

Naomi Raphael


Naomi Raphael grew up in Maryland, and attended McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. Throughout her college Career she felt the disconnect between the college and the Westminster community. In an effort to give back to the campus that provided her with so much, Naomi decided to apply for the AmeriCorps*VISTA Maryland Campus Compact position which she now holds.. It is through this project that she has finally come to feel a part of the community she spent so much time in.

Project Description: Through the Westminster Boys & Girls Club (B&GC) Partnership and the Head Start Program of the Non- Profit Center of Westminster, the College deepens and expands the College’s support of local programs for children from low-income families. The MDCC-VISTA coordinates the curricular and co-curricular servicelearning and volunteer projects which provide early education, child development, and intervention services to low-income children and their families in Carroll County, establishing structural systems through which the College can partner more efficiently with both agencies, such as arranging a new public transportation stop serving the B&GC and campus. The MDCC-VISTA serves on the Community Service Council Board of Westminster, and the Board of the Boys and Girls Club.

MONTGOMERY COLLEGE, Takoma Park Campus

Laura Stagnaro-Green

Laura Stagnaro-Green


Project Description: The Montgomery College Takoma Park (MC-TP) Partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) focuses on engaging first-generation, diverse college students in mentoring partnerships with local middle and high school immigrant youth who are in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs in the MCPS system. This access-success project is a cascading model of service engaging both college and K-12 students in servicelearning projects to benefit the larger community. The MDCC-VISTA member establishes a series of servicelearning projects through which the multi-aged firstgeneration students become service providers and change agents in their own communities, enhancing their selfesteem, knowledge and involvement in their communities, and increasing their retention. The MDCC-VISTA identifies appropriate service-learning projects, monitors program and student progress, and assesses both student learning and community impact. This project addresses firstgeneration, immigrant retention at both secondary and tertiary levels. MCPS is in the process of expanding this model program county-wide.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY

Patrick Stiver

Patrick Stiver


Patrick Stiver is the Service Learning VISTA for Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He graduated in 2009 from Baldwin-Wallace College, in Berea, Ohio, with his undergraduate degree in Broadcasting and Mass Communications. While at B-W, he developed a passion to give back to his college and community through organizational leadership and service opportunities. Patrick enjoyed working as an advocate for responsible drinking behaviors, children's issues, social justice, and international service. He is excited to partake in a new adventure as the VISTA at an exciting institution!

Project Description: Through the Mount’s Community Partnership Project the MDCC-VISTA member involves community partners in identifying both humanitarian and infrastructural ways the college-community partnership can assess local needs and evaluate the effectiveness of current involvement. Over three years a culture of service and civic engagement on campus is expanding to enhance the campus’s impact on and through community-based organizations, especially in the area of child and youth services and education. In particular, the MDCC-VISTA member collaborates with community partners to assess needs which the university and its students can provide, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of current community service and service-learning programs in fulfilling the needs of the community partner. The MDCC-VISTA assists faculty in establishing sustainable, effective service-learning partnerships with CBOs. The MDCC-VISTA member establishes and strengthens current and new relationships with community partners, especially in the areas of child services and education.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Mary Nesbitt

Mary Nesbitt


Mary Goins Nesbitt, a South Carolina native, has worked as a high school English teacher, department chairperson, coordinator of several programs, and a high school administrator. She received her B. A. degree from Claflin University with honors, M.S. in Administration and Supervision, Johns Hopkins University and is taking a year's sabbatical from an Ed.D in Educational Administration and Policy. She, currently, serves as the Service-Learning Facilitator, Prince George's Community College where she is developing a collaborative program that will increase financial literacy awareness of juniors and seniors at Largo High School, Largo, Maryland and provide service-learning opportunities for students at Prince George's Community College. She, firmly, believes that her life is richly enhanced by working to "level the playing field for those unable to achieve that goal for themselves".

Project Description: The Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) Financial Literacy Program provides financial mentoring, tutoring, and financial literacy workshops to high school students and local residents at Largo High School, adjacent to the PGCC Campus. The MDCC-VISTA member develops and coordinates the involvement of community college students and faculty volunteers. The MDCC-VISTA member identifies and contacts community partners to facilitate the program and creates and updates a database of partnership information. In collaboration with community partners, PGCC develops a comprehensive strategy for showcasing and celebrating the program’s effects on changing financial attitudes of participants. The MDCC-VISTA member builds an effective, sustainable service-learning program at the College with appropriate community partnerships to sustain the program at Largo High School and begin to replicate the program at other high schools.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY

Kayla Tufares

Kayla Tufares


Kayla Tufares is the VISTA Service-Learning Coordinator for Stevenson University. She is in the process of completing her BA from Stevenson University in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. As an undergrad, Kayla worked as a Lead Job coach for an agency providing care to adults with disabilities as well as taught a Career Exploration Class for students who had special needs. She served as a Facilitator for ten years at a Leadership Seminar, HOBY and has devoted her time to volunteering within the community, and taught dance classes and motor skills trainings to children with physical disabilities.

Project Description: The Center for Learning Beyond establishes collaborative programs with Baltimore City Public Schools to enhance K-12 students’ academic success through tutoring, mentoring, and career/college choices. The MDCC-VISTA works with Ashburton Middle School faculty, staff, students, and families to enhance their active participation in the local school. Increased academic and community engagement correlates with a decrease in crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy within the middle school age group. The MDCC-VISTA member engages the Ashburton Middle School faculty to encourage more participation in service-learning, tutoring, career-focused training, and college workshops to benefit the Ashburton youth and community. The MDCC-VISTA develops and coordinates a model Service Club with over 100 student participants serving Westminster and Baltimore bi-weekly and effective, “Days of Service” which involve in excess of 350 participants.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY

Katelyn Victor

Katelyn Victor


Katelyn Victor is the AmeriCorps*VISTA Service-Learning Coordinator at Towson University. She received her Bachelor's Degree in 2009 from The Ohio State University where she studied Geography and Anthropology. As an undergraduate, Katelyn discovered her passion for community service while participating in an extracurricular service-learning course. Following the course, she became actively involved in her community and spent several months volunteering abroad. Prior to becoming the VISTA at Towson, Katelyn served as an AmeriCorps Member in Columbus, OH, working as a Community Development Coordinator at a non-profit affordable housing developer. There, She worked with low-income families and individuals to access supportive services, plan events, and acquire funding for community-based programming.

Project Description: The Towson Community Partnership Program increases the capacity of community partner organizations serving low-income populations through long-term, effective service-learning partnerships. This project addresses the need of non-profit organizations to expand their capacity by more effectively partnering with Towson University. With more than 21,000 students, Towson University is the second-largest public university in Maryland. As a metropolitan university, Towson combines research-based learning with practical application through multiple community partnerships. The MDCC-VISTA creates resources such as publications and professional development workshops for community partners and faculty to ensure servicelearning projects meet the needs of the community partners and members. The MDCC-VISTA provides one-on-one assistance pairing community organizations and faculty members to help establish reciprocity-based service-learning partnerships which address poverty.

UNIVERSITY of BALTIMORE

Tina Dudley

Tina Dudley


Tina Dudley graduated from Goucher College in May with Phi Beta Kappa and honors in her major. She joined AmeriCorps*VISTA to gain experience working in the non-profit sector. She loves living in Baltimore and plans to stay in the city after her AmeriCorps*VISTA year. She hopes to find work at another non-profit while she pursues a graduate degree in Conflict Resolution or Urban Planning.

Project Description: The Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) builds on UB’s commitment to four long-neglected, economicallydisadvantaged neighborhoods adjacent to the campus in the heart of Baltimore City to establish a financial literacy program which will build wealth in this district. The MDCC-VISTA member works with the CBP, community stakeholders, and members of the UB community (business school students and faculty) to organize tax preparation workshops, financial literacy workshops, and one-on-one counseling sessions to enhance the economic circumstances of Central Baltimore residents. Through tax preparation workshops, residents will be apprised of current federal tax benefits which they may be able to access. The MDCC-VISTA member works with community members, university faculty, staff, and students to create a sustainable, effective partnership which will elevate the financial stability of local community members in Central Baltimore and ensure measurable long-term outcomes.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY

Melissa Fennell Huselton

Melissa Fennell Huselton


Melissa Fennell Huselton is the MDCC-VISTA serving in the Service-Learning department of The Shriver Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Melissa earned her B.A. in English from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2006. After graduation, she moved to Japan for one year to teach English at Sanuma High School through the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. In 2008, she relocated to Ellicott City and worked as a community organizer for Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy organization, where she developed a passion for civic agency. Melissa considers her current position to be an outlet for her two strongest passions, civic engagement and higher education.

Project Description: The Service-Learning Program at UMBC is an accesssuccess project linking the resources of higher education to two middle schools located in high needs communities in Baltimore. Through the first phase of the project, College Access, the MDCC-VISTA coordinates campus visits to UMBC for these two middle school partners. In the Service- Learning Coordination aspect of the project, the MDCCVISTA works with these partnering schools in developing curriculum-based service projects that will aid the students in increasing their academic success through applied learning. In the Service-Learning Placement component of the project, the MDCC-VISTA recruits UMBC students to participate in weekly service-learning activities with many community partners. Additionally, the MDCC-VISTA member coordinates small and large scale service projects with students living in the Shriver Living Learning Center, a residential hall that houses and supports UMBC students who are committed to civic engagement and service activities on campus and in the local community.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK

(Partners in Print)

Paola Maria Hernandez Barón

Paola Maria Hernandez Barón


Paola Maria Hernandez Barón and her family are from Colombia. They came to the U.S.A when she was a young child. Paola graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory, but left the military route after knee surgery. She attended and graduated from the University of Maryland in December 2009 with a double degree: a B.A in Psychology and a B.A in Criminology Criminal Justice and double minors in Terrorism Studies, and Leadership Studies. While at UMD, she worked with the Partners in Print program during all of her undergraduate years. She is excited to continue to work with the program Her interests and experiences are quite diverse, including academics/education, applied research, counterterrorism, law enforcement, athletics, and the arts. Paola believes in positive social impact through the improvement of communities, but most importantly the empowerment of individuals.

Project Description: The Partners in Print (PIP) program is a family literacy program which serves numerous local elementary schools near the UMCP campus. The MDCC-VISTA member coordinates student mentors who conduct bilingual (Spanish/English) evening workshops at local elementary schools centering on techniques parents can use at home to help their children learn to read. Bi-lingual UMCP.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK

Jenna Brager

Jenna Brager


Jenna Brager is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a BA in American Studies with a certificate in LGBT Studies, and is very excited to stay on campus as a MDCC-VISTA. In her spare time she likes to do direct service, draw cartoons, and apply to graduate school. Jenna is very excited about building partnerships between the University and the local community.

Project Description: The UMCP “2010-2011 Spotlights” Program fosters relationships and strengthens communication between the university community and twenty of the many local community agencies serving low-income residents. The MDCC-VISTA member at UMCP creates avenues to connect University resources with local community agencies which work with local low-income communities. By developing a co-curricular service and civic engagement model with learning outcomes and community voice in program development and assessment, the MDCCVISTA engages student organizations in more effective, meaningful, reciprocal, and sustainable partnerships with the community agencies with whom they volunteer. Workshops deepen the quality of the volunteers, establish on-going committed partnerships, and offer technical assistance to the agencies to help them identify ways the college volunteers can expand their capacity to serve their clients. The MDCC-VISTA member also maintains and expands the Service-Link Database of local community agencies which facilitates the volunteer recruitment.