Tulane National VISTA Network


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Michael Pizzolatto



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VISTA Alumni Resources

As an AmeriCorps VISTA alumni, we value your hard work and dedication to the city of New Orleans. AmeriCorps alumni have a unique opportunity to share their experience, knowledge, and resources with their community.

Please explore some of the following options available to you after your AmeriCorps term of service has ended:

Stay Connected with Fellow Alums

AmeriCorps alumni are bound together by a common commitment to service and a desire to participate as active members in their communities.

Join AmeriCorps Again

We want you back! Your experience and commitment to service add value to AmeriCorps programs throughout the United States. And you can serve as a role model or leader for new members: your experience could make you eligible to serve with AmeriCorps NCCC as a team leader of to coordinate several AmeriCorps VISTA members.

Advance Your Education / The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Congress established the National Service Trust to provide a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for members who successfully complete service in AmeriCorps. You can use your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. You can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to claim the award.

Recruit or Support Members

Another way you can stay involved with AmeriCorps is by assisting projects in or near your community and supporting current members during service.

Incorporate Service into the Rest of Your Life

Other Ways to Stay Connected to the AmeriCorps Community

VISTA Alumni

2012-2013 Cohort

Ben Brubaker, Program Coodinator
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Ben Brubaker serves as the Tulane VISTA Leader, helping to recruit, coordinate and support the 15 Tulane VISTA’s at their various Community Partner sites around New Orleans. Before coming to CPS, Ben served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the NFL Youth Education Town, a unit of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana. Ben graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in Philosophy and African & African Diaspora studies, where he served as the Director of Hip-Hop for Hope, an annual not-for-profit benefit concert to raise money for New Orleans education. Coming up on his 7th year living in New Orleans, Ben spends his free time in the city seeing live music, playing soccer in City Park, and camping in the Louisiana wilderness.

Betsy Bateman, Kedila Family Learning Services
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Betsy was born in rural Bogalusa, Louisiana and was raised in suburban Mandeville, Louisiana. For college, she attended Tulane University, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. Before and during her time at Tulane, Betsy volunteered in her rural, suburban, and urban communities. She looks forward to giving back to the New Orleans community full time this year and getting to know the city better as she works for Kedila Family Learning Services. After her year of service, Betsy will attend Tulane University School of Medicine and will specialize in internal medicine.

Jason LaCoste, FirstLine Charter Schools
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Born in New Orleans and raised on the move, Jason lived in six different cities before starting high school at Grace King in Metairie. He was accepted into Tulane's Psychology program and eventually earned a B.A., the first in his family to do so. But it was no easy path, and in 2003 Jason dropped out, packed a bag, and bought a bus ticket. His travels were an eye-opening adventure; from a mountaintop commune in New Mexico to being elected a Washington state delegate in the 2004 Presidential election, then to southern Arizona subsisting on a raw food diet for three months and on to a Buddhist retreat center in Colorado. In 2006, he returned home to finish what he started. Since graduating in '07, Jason has been working on a teaching certification through Tulane. He taught for two years at Audubon Charter Montessori School and one year in Taiwan. Unsure now about his path, Jason is dedicated to building relationships and serving the community.

Lauren Lim, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Lauren hails from the Detroit area. She attended Tulane for undergrad, where she studied Cellular and Molecular Biology. Her passion for community service was sparked by her experiences working with the children of Banneker Elementary as a reading buddy. She loves working with children and aspires to become a pediatrician. She is very excited for the opportunity to work with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.

Jon Hourcade, Sanofka Community Development Corporation
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Jon Hourcade, a Saint Louis native, studied business and music at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Upon graduation in May of 2010, Jon moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he performed commercial revitalization on the York Road commercial corridor of north Baltimore City. In Baltimore, he designed and implemented a farmers' market that continues to serve low income families and senior citizens and laid the framework for a Main Street program. Jon looks forward to continuing his work in food access at the Sankofa Community Development Corporation.

Richard Tang, Broadmoor Development Cooperation
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Richard has constantly moved eastward ever since being born in Hawaii, most recently attending Tulane University, where he majored in Biochemistry and minored in Economics. He has always been interested in community service, and is excited to spend a year working for the Broadmoor Development Corporation before attending medical school.

Kathleen Duffy, Joseph S. Clark high School
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Kathleen grew up on Long Island in New York (Yankees all the way, for those interested) and attended the University of San Diego where she majored in Political Science and French. Over Spring Break of her senior year, she went on a service-oriented immersion trip here in New Orleans where she and a group of 11 other students constructed a public mural for the Community Book Center on Bayou Road. Kathleen fell in love with the culture, community, and just about everything else about New Orleans. She is looking forward to serving here and getting to know the city even more through AmeriCorps.

Kylie Kastes, ARISE Academy
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
I'm a recent Tulane Grad and a semi-retired Tulane Swimmer and Cross Country Runner. I am originally from Clearwater, Florida and when I decided to move to NOLA for school, I just couldn't leave! I have an identical swim who also swam at a Division I school, Cal-Berkeley. My favorite things to do are run, get tan and shop! I am excited to be a VISTA!

Kathleen Duffy, Joseph S. Clark high School
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Kathleen grew up on Long Island in New York (Yankees all the way, for those interested) and attended the University of San Diego where she majored in Political Science and French. Over Spring Break of her senior year, she went on a service-oriented immersion trip here in New Orleans where she and a group of 11 other students constructed a public mural for the Community Book Center on Bayou Road. Kathleen fell in love with the culture, community, and just about everything else about New Orleans. She is looking forward to serving here and getting to know the city even more through AmeriCorps.

Jack Hua, Kids ReThink New Orleans Schools
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Jack Hua is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) in New Orleans that helps to expand and build capacity for organizations. Jack will be working with the organization Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, an organization that was created after the devastation of hurricane Katrina, to help rebuild New Orleans to be even better than it once was. Prior to his service with AmeriCorps VISTA, Jack was an undergraduate at Tulane University studying chemistry, receiving a BS in Chemistry in 2012. Jack has a lot of experience working with kids at many different camps and in many different areas in both academics and sports. In his free time, Jack likes to weight lift, play frisbee, work with computers, and enjoy everything New Orleans has to offer.

Jean Hsu, Homer A. Plessy School
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Jean grew up in Los Angeles and went to UC Berkeley to experience something a little further from home. There she started working in Education and continued to pursue her MA in Education from USC. Her current position at Plessy Community School will allow her to experiment and experience educational reform at a local level.

Noel Chacha, APEX Youth Center
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2013
Noel comes from an artistic background and hopes to us his experience and education to help grow the capacity of the APEX Youth Center. Born in Nairobi, Kenya Noel has traveled the world taking pictures and making films and considers himself a world citizen. He claims to have an angelic singing voice and can be heard belting a tune in the shower early on weekday mornings.

2011-2012 Cohort

Mike Jayes, Firstline Charter Schools, Joseph S. Clarke Preparatory Academy
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
Mike grew up in Washington, D.C. and studied history at McGill University in Montréal, Québec. Mike moved to New Orleans in August 2010 to serve an AmeriCorps National Direct term with the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, where he worked as a volunteer manager and a disaster services client caseworker. He has since fallen in love with New Orleans. Mike is excited to have the opportunity to work with Tulane CPS and Firstline Schools, where he will be able to explore two of his biggest professional interests: community organization and education.

Paul Kramer, Firstline Charter Schools, Samuel J. Green
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
Paul received his B.A. from Bard College in 2007 and his M.Phil. from Oxford in 2008. He wrote his dissertation on communist organizing in West Bengal. As part of his degree program, he interned at Transparency Maldives, an international anti-corruption watchdog, where he worked on outreach and community development. After graduation, Paul worked at a public relations start-up in Chicago, where he helped several organizations reform their marketing strategy and spearheaded their social media campaigns. He now works as a VISTA with Firstline Charter Schools in community partnership building.

Malliron Hodge,
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
Malliron was born and agriculturally raised in Bunn, North Carolina. She received a BS in Business Management, with a concentration in Human Resources, from Winston-Salem State University in 2009 and a Master's in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Non Profit Management, and a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Indiana University in 2011. While Malliron truly enjoys learning from books and such, she felt it was time to take her learning into her own hands. Given what she believes is her true calling, she has taken a keen interest in serving her community. Because of that interest she was blessed with this opportunity to join the Tulane VISTA team. She will be serving at Sophie B Wright Charter School within the realm of building community partnerships. While the year is only beginning she can already feel the it is going to be wonderful.

Brian Templet, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
I was born in Texas, but moved immediately to Washington state where I grew up amongst the constant rain, trees, and mountains. I began serving my community at the age of 4 through Boy Scouts, which I stayed in until I moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where I got a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology as a cliché pre-medical degree. After this year I'll be attending Tulane Medical School, where I'll continue towards my goal of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. I've been to five continents (and plan to cross Australia and Antarctica off the list within five years), I enjoy reading, and I fence.

Adrienne Roth, Kedila Family Learning Center
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
Adrienne was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She first got involved in helping her community through a volunteer group she formed with some of her friends in high school, and fell in love with it after volunteering at a local Austin organization geared toward helping young immigrant children and their families adapt to life in America. She moved to New Orleans to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University and quickly fell in love with the city. She is looking forward to starting her year of service with Kedila Family Learning Center, and then to study Infectious Diseases at Tulane University School of Medicine afterwards.

Adil Youssef, Upward Bound
Term of Service: July 2011 - July 2012
Adil Yousuf moved to Kenner after his hometown, Chalmette, flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 9, he gained an interest in the medical field. He has completed his undergraduate studies at Tulane University and plans on attending Tulane Medical School in 2012. He is excited to spend a year giving back and helping the youth in New Orleans. An important aspect in his life has always been good role models, and he hopes to serve as one as a part of the New Orleans Upward Bound Program while assisting underprivileged youth graduate from high school and enter into the university of their choice. He is a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan and loves competing in mostly all sports including basketball, football, and swimming.

2010-2011 Cohort

Cynthia "Cindy" Corrales, Green Light New Orleans
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
Cindy was born and raised amongst the agriculturally rich lands of Nothern California. During an epic road trip from California to Connecticut during the summer of 2009, Cindy was able to have a quick taste of the unique liveliness and culture that New Orleans had to offer. She graduated in the spring of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Enviromental Biology with an emphasis in microbiology and biotechnology and a minor in Regenerative Studies at the California Polytechnic University in Pomona. Having had the opportunity to visit family in the Phillipines at a young age, Cindy was quickly exposed to the relationship between social inequalities and environmental injustice. Vowing to address these issues and moved by the current economic and environmental challenges faced by the greater communities of Louisiana, Cindy joined AmeriCorps VISTA as a liaison between Tulane University and Green Light New Orleans.

Christina Caryl, Communities in Schools
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
Christina was born and raised in West Virginia. There she began serving her community through participating in Big Brother/Big Sisters and performing with her dance troupe at elderly homes. She continued serving the community when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue her undergraduate degree at Emory University. She found herself often working with minority youth as she obtained her Bachelors of International Studies. Interning at Refugee Family Services in Atlanta solidified that she wanted to follow a career path in non-profit management. After returning from teaching English in South Korea, she immediately moved to New Orleans to begin her AmeriCorps VISTA position. She looks forward to working at Communities in Schools to ensure that New Orleans youth graduate from high school to have as many educational opportunities as possible. After she completes AmeriCorps, she plans to return to school to acquire a Masters in Public Administration.

Emma Storm Herr,
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
I grew up in NYC and always thought I would return there after graduation, but I just couldn't leave New Orleans. I am so excited to work with my alma mater, Tulane, and my partner organization,

Jan Jugran, Puentes New Orleans
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
After earning a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law, Jan worked as a book editor for several years and authored over thirty children's books in the process. She began her transition into the nonprofit industry in 2009 by working as an ESL instructor with Literacy*AmeriCorps of New Orleans. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Jan has also lived in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston, but she now officially calls New Orleans home.

Megan Nuismer, Hollygrove Market and Farm
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
Megan is from Grand Haven, Michigan and received her Bachelors of Science in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University in 2007. After attending Krewe du Vieux her first Mardi Gras parade in 2008, Megan decided that she was finished with winter and moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. At first Megan concentrated on Disaster Management but found after a disappointing internship, her passions lay elsewhere. After living in New Orleans over a year, social injustices were becoming more apparent and the issues of "food justice" and "food deserts" gained Megan's attention. She began volunteering with the New Orleans Food & Farm Network and began to discover her new niche in public health. She spent five months in Portland, OR where she was working on the Operations Crew for the Portland Farmers Market, assisting with daily operations of four markets throughout the city and learning about locality and sustainability in the Northwest. Now back in the city she considers home, Megan is excited to apply what she has learned from her experiences in public health and at the Portland Farmers Market and become a valuable team member at Hollygrove Market & Farm for her year of service.

Meaghan Reid, Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Term of Service: November 2010 - November 2011
Meaghan is a St. Louis, Missouri native who migrated to the wonderful world of New Orleans. She wanted to participate in a meaningful volunteer program after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2010 with a Political Science degree. Meaghan has always volunteer her time in community service throughout the years. She has participated in Habitat for Humanity New Orleans, Service First St. Louis, Salvation Army and various recycling programs. Southern Food & Beverage Museum is a wonderful fit for Meaghan's VISTA volunteer work as it focuses on engaging New Orleans' natives and tourists alike to the vast world of southern food, its culture and utilizing resources to help a new and upcoming non profit museum.

2009-2010 Cohort

Dominica Garza, TU Center for Public Service
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
Dominica was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in May of 2009 with a BA in Communication Studies. Additionally, she completed support work in the area of Business Administration. Dominica is active in the San Antonio community, serving as a member of the Mexican American Business and Professional Women's organization, a child mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and as a volunteer at Child Safe of San Antonio, a child advocacy group. As the Social Media Liaison at the Tulane Center for Public Service Dominica serves as a consultant to AmeriCorps VISTA partner organizations in the area of social media and online networking. She plans on aiding partner organizations in the development and expansion of their social media marketing and public relations efforts. Through this, she plans on increasing awareness and generating support for the mission of the various partner organizations serving the New Orleans area.

Jodine Gordon, The Idea Village
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
Jodine works with the Entergy Innovation Center, a project of The Idea Village focused on fostering self-sustaining economic development in the Upper 9th Ward through entrepreneurship. Born in Jamaica and raised in New Jersey, Jodine attended the University of Pennsylvania where she studies Political Science, sang her heart out as an a cappella vocalist, and engaged in public service whenever possible. She studies medical infrastructure in South Africa as an International Scholar Laureate, researched education policy and taught 8th grade students as a Penn Public Service Intern, and was introduced to New Orleans as a Fox Leadership Intern in the Summer of 2008. Jodine also traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, this summer to launch YouthBank, a microenterprise organization focused on youth entrepreneurship. She is excited to live in a city with such rich and unique culture with a passion for social entrepreneurship and can't wait to join the efforts of economic revitalization. She also looks forward to pursuing her passions for singing, music, film, and developed diction in a city filled with plenty of inspiration for the creative mind.

Ashley Hardy, Communities in Schools
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
Ashley first came to New Orleans in the summer of 2007 while completing a service-learning project with Catholic Charities Operation Helping Hands. Originally from Indianapolis, Ashley received her BA in History and Sociology from the University of Notre Dame in May of 2009. After graduating, Ashley chose to participate in AmeriCorps VISTA because she wanted to work with Communities in Schools, a national organization dedicated to reducing dropout rates by connecting schools with much needed community resources. Her interests include running, reading, and football.

Lindsey Roper, Green Light New Orleans
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
Lindsey was born and raised in Atlanta. She studied at the University of Georgia, working toward a dual degree in Philosophy and Landscape Architecture, along with a certificate in Environmental Ethics. Lindsey obtained her Philosophy degree in May of 2009. Wanting a break from her collegiate career, Lindsey looked to AmeriCorps VISTA as an outlet for doing something meaningful and productive with her time away from school. Lindsey was drawn to New Orleans for obvious reasons- the lively spirit of the citizenry, the great music and culture, and the unfortunate need for assistance in rebuilding the city and its economy. As a VISTA Lindsey will assist in the Tulane partnership with Greenlight- a non profit organization which engages community members in discussions of benefits of energy conservation and other forms of low-impact living as a simple step toward reducing spending in the home and promoting community initiated efforts toward sustainable rebuilding.

Jackie Thornton, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
While Jackie is originally from New Jersey, she moved to New Orleans four years ago in order to escape the cold and to experience a new city and a new culture. She graduated from Tulane University in May of 2009 and received her BA in English and Women'S Studies. In the future, she is interested in pursuing a career in the field of education in which she can help both students and faculty. She decided to join AmeriCorps VISTA because New Orleans will be her home for at least the next four years and she wants to do something to help give back to the city. To Jackie, working with the Tulane Center for Public Service is an invaluable and incredible opportunity to stay connected with the university that she loves and to help students to serve the community. She will work with Catholic Charities in the volunteer services department.

Laura Mellem, 7th Ward Neighborhood Center
Term of Service: November 2009 - November 2010
With a passion for social justice, Laura is excited to join CPS and the 7th Ward Neighborhood Center in continuing the work of addressing the needs of the New Orleans community. Originally from Minneapolis, Laura often finds herself migrating to warmer climates. She received a BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice and a minor in English and Comparative Literary Studies from Occidental College in sunny Los Angeles and is now excited to call New Orleans home.

Brendan Connery, New Orleans Food & Farm Network
Term of Service: August 2009 - August 2010
Brendan came to New Orleans via Detroit and is a VISTA volunteer at the New Orleans Food and Farm Network. Brendan attended college at Western Michigan University and graduated with a double major in Comparative Politics and Comparative Religion. While attending college, Brendan spent four years working at a greenhouse in Kalamazoo, Michigan where a variety of herbs, trees, shrubs and flowers were grown. After college he spent two years with Peace Corps serving as a agriculture volunteer in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. Brendan is looking forward to getting to know the city of New Orleans better and is excited about his work here.

Beth Stelson, The Green Project
Term of Service: August 2009 - August 2010
Beth volunteers at The Green Project where she is working to expand its collaboration and community presence as the Marketing and Outreach coordinator. The Green Project is a non-profit salvage center that provides quality used materials to the New Orleans community at affordable prices. The long term goal is to develop a "culture of creative reuse" by building a marketplace for reclaimed material. Origianally from Minnesota, Beth received her BA in History from Brown University and is thrilled to return to Louisiana where she served with AmeriCorps NCCC in 2008.

Kelly Holmes, New Orleans Outreach
Term of Service: July 2009 - July 2010
Kelly received her BS in Neuroscience and Psychology and her Master's degree in Psychology from Tulane. As an undergraduate student she dedicated many hours in service to the New Orleans community by participating in an internship and a variety of service learning course. She was also chosen as a Public Service Fellow. Upon finishing her undergraduate degree Kelly was a recipient of the Runsdorf Award for Excellence in Public Service and her thesis was on post-traumatic stress disorders in youth, by way of examining cortisone levels. Kelly currently enjoys living in downtown New Orleans, outside of the uptown "bubble." Future goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology and marrying a New Orleans native.

Kate Harding, Hispanic Apostolate Community Services
Term of Service: July 2009 - July 2010
Kate serves with Hispanic Apostolate Community Service ESL program, coordinating service learning students and community volunteers who assist with English language instruction. Kate moved to New Orleans to volunteer with VISTA after completing her degree in International Studies and Visual Arts at Marlboro College in Vermont. She had spent time in New Orleans researching an undergraduate thesis and is very excited to be back for a much longer stay. Kate's interest in immigration issues has brought her to the Hispanic Apostolate, where she hopes to expand and improve the English language services available to the greater New Orleans area.

Jim Trombella, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Term of Service: July 2009 – July 2010
Jim is the Americorps*VISTA Leader of the CPS AmeriCorps VISTA program. He recruits, mentors and coordinates the work of VISTA members who serve the Center’s partner agencies across New Orleans. Jim has 30 years of previous experience in mental health and human services management and, just prior to coming to CPS, he served for two years in the Peace Corps teaching ESL at a primary school in a small Romanian town. His other volunteer efforts have included: work with war traumatized children in Croatia; peace education in Capetown, South Africa; and coordination of a literacy program at a homeless shelter in his hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. Jim received his BA in Developmental Psychology from Antioch University and completed his Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at California State University, Northridge.

Victoria Wilson, New Orleans Outreach
Term of Service: April 2009 - April 2010
Victoria works as a Volunteer Coordinator for New Orleans Outreach. New Orleans Outreach is dedicated to directly enriching the quality of education in New Orelans' public schools by bringing community resources and volunteers into the classroom. Victoria is originally from Long Island and received her BA in Political Science from New York University. While attending NYU, she worked as a tutor in New York public schools and realized that many low income children do not understand that their dreams and aspiration should not be limited. This led Victoria to New Orleans where she hopes to impact the lives of children and help them to a brighter future.

Christina Decker, Puentes New Orleans
Term of Service: April 2009 – April 2010
Christina Decker is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and in 2008 received her BA in Spanish and Modern Literature from the University of Santa Cruz. Later that year she moved to New Orleans hoping to work in the non-profit sector and eventually started working with Tulane’s Center for Public Service and Puentes, New Orleans as a VISTA volunteer. Puentes is a non-profit community organization focused on uniting Latinos and improving services for the growing Latino population in the greater New Orleans area. At Puentes, Christina is busy creating service learning projects to assist Tulane students in completing their graduation requirement and, concurrently, contributing to the New Orleans community. She is also dedicated to expanding LatiNOLA, Puentes’ civic engagement program that encourages volunteerism and helps community leaders create their own initiatives.

Bill Pastellak, Hollygrove Market & Farm
Term of Service: April 2009 – April 2010
Bill works with Carrolton/Hollygrove CDC, a non-profit organization whose mission is the development of affordable housing to low and moderate income households and to promote neighborhood revitalization and recovery in the Hollygrove and Carrolton neighborhoods. Additionally, C/HCDC partners with New Orleans Food and Farm Network on the Hollygrove Market and Farm, a non-profit retail store selling locally grown and organic produce, as well as training ground for residents interested in urban farming. While serving at C/HCDC, Bill works on developing relationships with community partners to increase the capacity of C/HCDC services. Bill first became interested in community development, urban farming, and food security while working as an environmental education coordinator with the Student Conservation Association in Pittsburgh, PA. Bill received his BA in Anthropology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Holley Roberts, TU Upward Bound
Term of Service: April 2009 – April 2010
Holley is a self-styled Frisbee-throwin’ hippie from the green hills of Tennessee. After graduating from Maryville College in 2007 with a degree in Sociology she joined the Peace Crops and served in West Africa where she coached basketball, tutored English, taught environmental education and learned to speak French. Upon her return, Holley spent time back in Nashville re-grouping, volunteering and lifeguarding before packing up all of her belongings and heading for La Nouvelle Orleans. Holley is looking at various vocational options before pursuing grad school after her VISTA service. Her VISTA assignment is Upward Bound Tulane where she coordinates a youth mentoring program and helps students navigate their way through an array of college essays, forms and applications.

Matt Sweeney, Alliance for Affordable Energy
Term of Service: April 2009 – April 2010
Matthew Sweeney, was born in Baton Rouge, but raised in Chicago. He received his BA in General Business Management and Justice & Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Running from the cold, he returned to Baton Rouge shortly after graduation to work as a carpenter. He is currently contributing as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Tulane Center for Public Service at the Alliance for Affordable Energy. He hopes to contribute to AAE’s capacity to provide fair, affordable, community-based energy polices to the people of New Orleans and Louisiana; respectively. Accumulating applicable green-building and weatherization skills along the way would be a welcomed bonus too. He believes that intelligent energy-efficiency strategies would benefit everybody.

Michael Barr, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Term of Service:
Michael served with AmeriCorps Project FIRST a decade ago and has returned as a VISTA to assist the city of New Orleans in its crucial mission to recover, restore, and keep vital its rich cultural heritage. With a background degree in Philosophy, and a Certificate from Harvard University Extension in Museum Studies, currently writing a thesis for a Masters, a position in a small curatorial department of an active museum allows him to contribute to many aspects of exhibition staging and its educational interpretation for younger audiences. Mike has worked as a professional painter and served in the U.S. Army.

2008-2009 Cohort

Sarah Howard, Neighborhood Housing Services - 7th Ward Neighborhood Center
Term of Service:
Sarah works for the 7th Ward Neighborhood Center, a program of Neighborhood Housing Services, where she assists the organization in strengthening the neighborhood's social fabric and supporting local resident leadership through a range of programs, with a focus on arts and cultural initiatives. Originally from Piscataway, New Jersey, Sarah graduated from Harvard College in June 2008 with a B.A. in Studies of Women, Gender, Sexuality and African American Studies. After a lifetime in the Northeast, Sarah is happily adjusting to a warmer, sunnier, and greener New Orleans.

Lindsay Finlayson, Communities in Schools of New Orleans
Term of Service:
Lindsay works with Communities in Schools as a volunteer coordinator. CIS is a national organization dedicated to dropout prevention. In an effort to address children's unmet needs in school, CIS utilizes caring and knowledgeable individuals from the community to support and aid students in successful learning. Lindsay first came to New Orleans in the summer of 2006 while serving as an AmeriCorps NCCC member. During her time in New Orleans she led groups of volunteers in gutting and mold removal for Hands On. Subsequently, Lindsay fell in love with the city and has recently relocated to New Orleans from her hometown of Albany, New York. Lindsay received her B.A., in Anthropology, from the SUNY at New Platz.

Collin Thomas, Gulf Resoration Network
Term of Service:
Collin is from Schenectady, New York, and graduated from the University of Albany, where he majored in Political Science focusing on Public Law. He worked with the New York Public Interest Research Group on campus, organizing students around environmental concerns. Collin later lobbied for NYPIRG as a Legislative Associate, specifically on recycling legislation, and some energy issues. His job is to promote GRN's campaigns to the community at large, working closely with volunteers throughout the region. The goal of these partnerships is to raise student awareness regarding the environmental problems facing the Gulf Coast and build a wide range of support to increase the visibility of these concerns.

Stephanie O'Brien, Catholic Charities
Term of Service:
Stephanie works in the Office of Volunteer Services at Catholic Charities. Over her year of service, she hopes to build many connections between Tulane and Catholic Charities' 50 plus New Orleans area programs. Stephanie receive her B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University, where she developed an interest in service learning and campus-community relations. Her passions include food, friends, track and field, and various outdoor activities. Stephanie is from Newton, Massachusetts.

Joshua Lewis, The Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research
Term of Service:
Joshua works with the Tulane/Xavier Center For Bioenvironmental Research (CBR), as a part of their UrbanEco Initiative. The CBR provides both a public forum and expertise for the development of resilience in rebuilding City of New Orleans, as well as other urban centers worldwide. Research and education at the CBR promotes revitalization of the environmental, cultural, and economic values of the region. Specifically, Joshua is partnered with the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement, and also works to support Tulane University's goal of becoming a community leader on issues like recycling and green building.

Gwyn Garrison, The Idea Village
Term of Service:
Gwyn serves with Idea Village, an economic development organization, in her second year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. After graduating from the George Washington University, Gwyn moved to New Orleans to work as a VISTA in the Development department of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. The Idea Village provides high-growth enterprises with strategic advising and technical assistance, and works to create a linked entrepreneurial climate in New Orleans.

Meaghan Callahan, Hispanic Apostolate - Community Services
Term of Service:
A native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Meaghan moved to New Orleans in August 2004 to begin her studies at Tulane. She graduated in May 2008 with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish. Meaghan began her involvement with the Hispanic Apostolate ESL classes as an intern and continued as a paid part-time staff member. Upon graduation she decided to stay in New Orleans and continue working with the program as her first VISTA year. The program serves over 500 immigrants living and working in the Greater-New Orleans area through volunteers from the community as well as Service-Learning students and Interns from Tulane. Meaghan's main role as a VISTA is to facilitate student involvement and assistance with the growing immigrant community and the Hispanic Apostolate ESL classes.

Nicholas Roosevelt, The Green Project
Term of Service:
Nick will be working with The Green Project to revamp and oversee their paint recycling program. He will also be focusing on creating more avenues for Tulane faculty, students and staff to become involved with The Green Project's many exciting environmental and arts-based initiatives. Nick is the result of a childhood centered in and around Berkeley, CA and an undergraduate education from the University of Pennsylvania. Nick is very excited to be living in New Orleans again, after having spent the summer of 2006 volunteering with 'Hands On New Orleans'.

Christine "Hunter" Savard, Alliance for Affordable Energy
Term of Service:
As a project coordinator for the Alliance for Affordable Energy's BuildSmart Resource Center, Hunter is overseeing the design, construction and program implementation of the center that will include a model house showcasing energy efficient building products and techniques, a library, conference area and workshop space. Hunter received her Bachelor of Archictecutre degree from the University of Texas at Austin. A non-traditional student, Hunter received a GED at the age of 27 and soon after began studying building construction with an emphasis on "sustainability." She previously served as a construction volunteer and framing crew leader for Habitat for Humanity Austin. She believes the goal of sustainable, affordable, energy efficient, and healthy homes for all New Orleanians is achievable and she wouldn't trade living in this time and place for any other.

Joshua Fertitta, New Orleans Outreach
Term of Service:
Josh works with New Orleans Outreach, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education through community volunteerism and enrichment programs. He will be working with New Orleans Outreach to strengthen community partner relationships, especially with Tulane faculty, students, and administrators. Josh was born in New Orleans and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. He recently earned his B.S. in Psychology from Tulane College and would like to pursue a career in public policy and civic engagement.

Mary Blair, VISTA Leader
Term of Service:

Erica Johnson, Neighborhoods Partnership Network
Term of Service:
Erica Johnson came to New Orleans from coastal North Carolina. She has Bachelors degrees in Anthropology and American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her academic work has focused on international development with a research focus on HIV/AIDS programming in Africa. Erica hopes to pursue a lifelong career of service through work with nongovernmental organizations. She has served in positions with the WHO, Population Services International and several university based initiatives. She is passionate about community based programming and has a special interest in the role culture plays in such programs. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cooking and watching college sports (Go Heels!). Erica is serving as the Capacity Building Coordinator with Neighborhoods Partnership Network. She is excited about the many opportunities and experiences she will have as an AmeriCorps VISTA with NPN and the Tulane Center for Public Service.

Asya Gough, Upward Bound
Term of Service:
Asya Gough joined Upward Bound in June 2007 as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America) as part of the Lieutenant Governor's Summer Service Initiative. Gough remained with Tulane Upward Bound as a full-year AmeriCorps Vista. Gough serves as the Mentoring Program Coordinator. Additionally, she works with the Guidance Counselor on other programs that assist our high school seniors with the transition to college including the college application process, financial aid and planning, as well as support program initiatives designed to ensure full matriculation for our students. Gough graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She is currently working on her Master's Degree in School Counseling at Clark Atlanta University.

Robert Fogarty, City Of New Orleans Mayor's Office of Public Advocacy/VIGOR
Term of Service:
Robert works in the Mayor C. Ray Nagin's Office of Public Advocacy. A vibrant and active volunteer program called VIGOR (Volunteers in Government of Responsibility) had operated in City Hall since 1973. Due to budgeting restraints VIGOR was inactive for nearly two years. In his VISTA role, Fogarty has restarted VIGOR, re-recruited volunteers and has begun the conversation about increased citizen engagement at City Hall. He works closely with Tulane students each semester promoting internships and service learning courses in several City departments. Fogarty is a 2005 journalism graduate from the University of Oregon and was born and raised in Omaha, Neb.

2007-2008 Cohort

Cole Judge, Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research
Term of Service:
Cole serves with the Center for Bioenvironmental Research (CBR). She is originally from New York, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hobart and Smith College, and spent a VISTA year working for the Minnesota Conservation Corps in St. Paul, MN. Her interests lie in sustainable living, urban studies, environmental conservation and rebuilding New Orleans. Cole's current work at the CBR falls under the Urban Eco Initiative, which looks at cities and communities in the context of their natural ecosystems, toward the better understanding of resilience, recovery, and sustainability. Through this initiative, CBR works with the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association's Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development in the Lower 9th Ward.

Pavel Leykin, Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organziations
Term of Service:
Pavel grew up in suburban Boston. After graduating from the University of Mary Washington in Fredricksburg, Virginia, with a degree in Economics, he relocated to New Orleans to work with children in a summer enrichment program in New Orleans East. From September 2007 through April 2008, he worked with The Renaissance Project to increase food access in the 9th Ward through a farmer's market and community garden project. Pavel now works with LANO in New Orleans.

Danielle Miles, Ashe Cultural Arts Center
Term of Service:
Danielle Miles hails from Houston, Texas. She is working with the graphic visual arts program at Ashe Cultural Arts Center through Tulane's AmeriCorps*VISTA program.

Narda Hernandez,
Tulane Community Health Center at Covenant House
Term of Service:
Narda feels at home in the vicinities of New Orleans. She has been working as a VISTA member at the health center since June of 2007. The main projects she in engaged in are developing patient wellness and advocacy programs and establishing a Spanish Interpreters Training Module with the Center for Public Service, the Spanish & Portuguese Department, and the Newcomb Institute. Through her VISTA work, Narda is dedicated to reinforcing the connections that university students can make within their new homes to improve the distribution of resources and increase the access to basic health care services.

Jenny Durkin, New Orleans Outreach
Term of Service:
Jenny works with New Orleans Outreach building their volunteer coordinating capacity. She is originally from Boston and graduated in May 2006 from Tulane University with dual degrees in Anthropology and Communications. In the volunteer coordination program, she works closely with Tulane faculty and service learning students on projects to help New Orleans Outreach's partner schools. She also works closely with community members to increase involvement in, and support for, New Orleans public schools. After her VISTA service she hopes to teach and ultimately start her own school.

Jared Heuter, CITYbuild
Term of Service:
Jared grew up in west Tennessee and attended his first year of college at Freed-Hardeman University focusing on religious studies. He then moved to Arkansas to pursue a degree in Architecture at the University of Arkansas. As president of the student community design organization Re_Vision, Jared helped co-found the New Orleans based non-profit CITYbuild consortium of schools. After graduation, Jared moved to New Orleans to take the VISTA position as program developer/coordinator with CITYbuild.

Amy Medtlie, Gulf Restoration Network
Term of Service:
Amy grew up in Milwaukee, WI and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2006 with a degree in Global Studies. Amy recently completed a term of service with AmeriCorps NCCC before beginning her work with the Tulane VISTA program. During NCCC, the rebuilding work on the Gulf Coast inspired her to continue service in a more focused setting. After her VISTA service, she would like to attend graduate school.

Lindsay Pick, VISTA Leader; Hispanic Apostolate
Term of Service:
Lindsay is a native New Orleanian and a graduate of Tulane University with a degree in Psychology and Sociology. Lindsay is in her second year of VISTA service with Tulane. She spent her first year with For the Children and is now serving as VISTA Leader and working to expand programs at the Hispanic Apostolate.

Brittany Jones, The Neighborhood Gallery
Term of Service:
Brittany is originally from Baltimore County, Maryland. She completed her degree in English and African American Studies at Temple University, and is now serving as the VISTA member at The Neighborhood Gallery.

Alison Phillips, Hispanic Apostolate
Term of Service:

Jules Goins, Neighborhoods Partnership Network
Term of Service:

Dela Gross, Catholic Charities
Term of Service:

2006-2007 Cohort

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000