Meet our staff
Rachel Vaughn, Director
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 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
Feben Gebremichael, Undergraduate Student Assistant
In the Carlson Center, I… support the service-learning team by assisting with various tasks including, but not limited to, processing student service-learning and internship registration, representing the center at outreach functions on campus, and managing student service-learning and Gen ST 350 questions. I also have had the awesome opportunity to sit on the planning committee for the Spring Celebration of Leadership and Service.
I do this work because… I enjoy supporting the Carlson Center, which has given me so many amazing service opportunities throughout my time at UW. It is fascinating to be on the other end and help administer service learning opportunities to other students that will enrich their learning experiences just as they had for me.
My favorite volunteer experience has been… working with the United Way of King County Free Tax Campaign as a tax return preparer! It was a great opportunity to apply skills that I had learned in my business courses to do work in a non-profit.
Iman Mohammed, Undergraduate Student Assistant
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
In the Carlson Center, I…
I do this work because…
My favorite volunteer experience has been…
Shantá Lindo, MSW Practicum Student
In the Carlson Center, I… am an administration and policy practice practicum student who supports the Carlson Center in its daily functions. I am also excited about getting involved in the Pipeline Project.
I do this work because… a full educational experience is more than simply reading a few books and taking some notes. The learning that happens in the classroom should transcend the 4 walls that the learning is taking place in and move throughout the community itself.
My favorite volunteer experience has been…donating blood as often as I can. I’ve come to learn that I am a universal donor, so I make sure to attend blood drives as often as I can.
Will Schlough, MSW Practicum Student
In the Carlson Center, I… am completing my foundation practicum for my MSW program. I’m participating in a number of exciting projects that help inform my understanding of service learning, education, community partnership, and how to be thoughtful when dealing with these ideas.
I do this work because… human relationships are what it’s all about. The Carlson Center works hard to connect people from the campus community and the Seattle community at large, strengthening relationships and furthering education in a variety of ways.
My favorite volunteer experience has been… providing companionship and respite for Hospice patients and their families. For me, nothing has better exemplified the power of being present with another person.
Kriya Velasco, Community Partner Liaison
In the Carlson Center, I… help with general Carlson Center work. But mostly service-learning.
I do this work because… I believe that service is essential to one’s growth as a human being. I think that service 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
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.
Huan Lu, UCBI Graduate Intern
In the Carlson Center, I… work as a Graduate Student Liaison and a Graduate Student Mentor for the Undergraduate Community Based Internship Program, which is a wonderful program that support students’ work at local non-profit organizations. I am in charge of coordinating with the interns and organizations in the “super community” (Downtown/International District – Beacon Hill) as well as planning and organizing weekly cohort meetings with my team.
I do this work because… I believe that our university should cooperate with nonprofits to work for equitable outcomes for not only our students but also our society. The other reason why I do this work is because I LOVE mentoring students. I love to listen to and learn from my mentees and witness their growth.
My favorite volunteer experience has been… teaching critical thinking and sociology at an ethnic minority area in Guangxi, China. It was a wonderful experience getting to know the students there and to share some of my understandings and knowledge. My students taught me and inspired me a great deal, and sometimes they were the mentors for me.
Marsha Dubuk, UCBI Graduate Intern
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
In the Carlson Center, I…
I do this work because…
My favorite volunteer experience has been…