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Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Meet our staff

Leadership Team

Rachel Vaughn, Director

Rachel Cropped

Director 206-685-2705

Rachel Vaughn

In the Carlson Center, I… have served as the director for five years, and have worked with the Carlson Center for a total of 12 years. My role is to think about the strategic vision for the center, advocate for Carlson and Jumpstart staff, and learn from our students, staff, faculty and community partners to insure our programs are always growing and changing.

I do this work because… I believe deeply in the power of community-campus partnerships to create a more equitable world.

My favorite volunteer experience… is hard to pin down! I have loved my time volunteering in food banks and shelters, being engaged with neighborhood clean ups and trail restoration/urban forest restoration, and fundraising for my son’s school. In the coming year I am deeply looking forward to engaging in volunteer work as a family, now that my kids are old enough to be helpful out there in the world!

Kathryn Pursch Cornforth, Associate Director

Kathryn cropped

Associate Director 206-616-0784

Kathryn Pursch Cornforth

In the Carlson Center, I… manage the service-learning team, focusing much of my energy on developing and maintaining relationships with departments and individual instructors. I love helping students develop a critical lens on what it means to “do good” and how they can craft a career path that is aligned with their personal and professional goals.
I do this work because… working in/with/for communities has helped me learn who I am, taught me to recognize the privileged positions that I hold, and given me tangible ways to participate in creating justice for all. I want to facilitate other people finding these (or other) gifts through community engagement.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… teaching self-defense through an anti-oppression framework through an organization called Home Alive.

Sarah Hamilton, Associate Director


Associate Director 206-616-2964

Sarah Hamilton

Student Staff

Iman Mohammed, Undergraduate Student Assistant

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Iman Mohammed

In the Carlson Center, I… support the service-learning process as a student assistant and engage in daily communication with students and community partners. I also take part in amazing projects and great discussions on how to support all students interested in service-learning.

I do this work because… I enjoy helping students connect with communities and creating mutually-beneficial relationships between organizations, students, and faculty. I also strongly believe in promoting social justice and working with the Carlson Center gave me the opportunity to not only have discussions, but to focus on ‘how to improve’.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… putting together a back-to-school event with Neighborhood House where we provided low-income families with school materials, winter coats, and shoes!

Jolee Melink, Undergraduate Student Assistant

Undergraduate Student Assistant

JoLee Melink

In the Carlson Center, I… support coordination for the Service-Learning program between students, community partners and faculty! I also register students for GEN ST 350, a way to get credit for the learning that you do through an internship experience. I have piloted the Buller Fellowship and had the opportunity of participating in the Undergraduate Community Based Internship Program (UCBI).

I do this work because… I have a passion for social justice and equity and believe that the very first place to start is by giving back to your community and seeing first-hand what systemic issues are prevalent in the community. I believe that service is a way to bridge the various communities in Seattle, and it is through serving together that we begin to work together for our interlocking liberation.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… working with 21 Progress and joining the Immigration Reform Movement. My favorite moment of this experience was when I participated in my first rally for worker and undocumented rights and justice. I also really enjoyed volunteering at their annual dinner because I got to see this organization highlight all the work they have done for the population that they work with and raise hope and funds for coming years of work.

Kriya Velasco, Community Partner Liaison

Graduate Student Assistant, Community Partner Liaison

Kriya Velasco

In the Carlson Center, I… manage faculty, community partner, and student connections. I’m also designing a curriculum for our stakeholders to better integrate the elements of service and learning together.

I do this work because… healthy communities create healthy citizens, and it is the active participation of people that creates stable, flourishing communities. I believe that service is essential to one’s growth as a human being and to our society’s progress toward equity. Service, to me, is an expression of our love for life.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… teaching yoga classes! Yoga has vast transformative powers–physically, emotionally, mentally, and otherwise–and I feel honored to pass this tradition to students.

Danya Clevenger, Community Partner Liaison

Graduate Student Assistant, Community Partner Liaison

Danya Clevenger

In the Carlson Center, I… try to add as much value as possible to the wonderful work of the Center.

I do this work because… every person has so much to teach, and that we grow when we are able to teach others. I am thrilled to support students in this kind of exchange so that they not only learn from others’ experiences, but also help our partners learn and grow as well.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… as a database cleaner for a first generation college student scholarship fund. I loved peeking behind the curtains and using my skills to help the wonderful people who work everyday to get first generation college students through 4 year universities do their jobs more easily, and giving them more tools to talk about their work to funders. I learned a LOT about who those students are and what they go through, while feeling like I was leaving a more long term positive impact.


Dulce Diaz, UCBI Graduate Intern


In the Carlson Center, I… am compiling a resource guide that will outline core student leadership competencies that are vital when engaging with diverse communities. This guide will include fundamental elements of each leadership capacity, along with theories, readings, activities, and other resources that can be used for leadership workshops, trainings, curriculum development, etc.

I do this work because… leadership can take different forms in different settings and it is important that we identify fundamental competencies that will strengthen our leadership capacity specifically within the context of civic engagement. I hope that my work will provide a model to students who are actively engaging with communities and intentionally developing as leaders.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… a founding member of the Central Valley Project at UCLA, a student-run organization developed to provide mentoring and academic support to students in California’s Central Valley.

Marsha Dubuk, UCBI Graduate Intern

Graduate Intern, Undergraduate Community-Based Internships

Marsha Dubuk

In the Carlson Center, I… am part of a team that is implementing the Undergraduate Community-Based Internship (UCBI) pilot program. More specifically, I am in charge of coordinating the interns and organizations in the University District. I am also involved in evaluation of the UCBI pilot program and the Carlson Center.

I do this work because… I see the value in fostering mutually beneficial partnerships between the University of Washington and community-based organizations. Both parties have great resources and knowledge that, through ethical collaboration, can help improve and further the work of their respective institution or organization in Seattle.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… when I spent several months in the Dominican Republic working alongside some amazing grass roots organizations to host service projects. It was great to educate students on what sustainable development should look like and help facilitate great experiences for them in a beautiful country. The experience challenged my personal definition of community development and I met some inspirational leaders who are transforming their communities in the Dominican Republic!

Meaghan Ferrick, UCBI Graduate Intern

Graduate Intern, Undergraduate Community-Based Internships

Meaghan Ferrick

In the Carlson Center, I…

I do this work because…

My favorite volunteer experience has been…

Lauren Jensen, UCBI Graduate Intern

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