Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Meet our staff

Keep an eye out for some new faces joining us soon for the 18-19 academic year and goodbyes as student staff move on to other educational experiences!

Professional Staff

Rachel Vaughn, Director

Rachel Cropped

Director 206-685-2705 rvaughn@uw.edu

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 purschk@uw.edu

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 sarahh4@uw.edu

Associate Director
206-616-2964
sarahh4@uw.edu

Sarah Hamilton

What I do: I manage Jumpstart, an early learning outreach program that places UW undergraduates in South Seattle preschool classrooms and I oversee the Ruby Linsao Early Learning Scholarship.

Why I do this work: I learn from and am inspired by the breadth of communities I have the opportunity to work with from preschoolers to UW students to public school educators and advocates.  I am reminded on the daily of the strength and power of relationship-building; and I learn from my mentors, colleagues, and students what it means to show up for others and how to be a part of my own community.

My favorite volunteer experience is singing songs and dancing in my daughter’s preschool classroom.

 

 

Student Staff

Kriya Velasco, Community Partner Liaison

Graduate Student, 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, 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.

Iman Mohammed, Community Engagement Assistant

Undergraduate Student, Community Engagement 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!

Heaven Tesfamariam, Community Engagement Assistant

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Undergraduate Student, Community Engagement Assistant

Heaven Tesfamariam

In the Carlson Center, I…support service-learning as an undergraduate student assistant, through communication with students, faculty and community partners. I also help coordinate the Gen ST 350 registration process, a way for students to get credits for demonstrating the learning done through their internship.

I do this work because…I have done service-learning in the past and I believe that it is an excellent way for students to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world through incredible community experiences. I strongly believe that working in these communities and witnessing firsthand the social issues facing our society today is the first step towards creating a more equitable world.

My favorite volunteer experience has been…working with the kids club at Mary’s place. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career.

Hanna Youn, Community Engagement Assistant

Undergraduate Student, Community Engagement Assistant

Undergraduate Student, Community Engagement Assistant

Hanna Youn

In the Carlson Center, I… communicate with students and community organizations regarding Service-Learning courses or General Studies 350, hoping to encourage long term relationships across the community.

I do this work because… it teaches me that admin work is not the end goal, it’s a tool which facilitates a deeper goal of engaging the neighborhood. It reminds me that my job is not to be a task-completer, but to honor the tasks at hand out of my commitment to the relationships at hand.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… singing and playing the favorite songs of a woman in hospice care. To be invited into a stranger’s vulnerable hours was a unique gift that reminded me that service is not a performance, it is freely offering what you have.

Erica Ratner, UCBI Graduate Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Erica Ratner

In the Carlson Center, I…am part of a team that coordinates Undergraduate Community-Based Internships (UCBI). I act both as a liaison for community partners located downtown, the in the international district, and in pioneer square, and as a mentor for students engaged in serving these partners.

I do this work because…I am passionate about community, social justice and diversity. I believe in serving others and in the power of community-engaged service to deepen our understandings of equity, politics, and civic engagement.

My favorite volunteer experience has been…participating in a year of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a national community service program. I travelled across the Midwest and worked with different nonprofit partners every 4-6 weeks in team-based direct-service.

Suzanne Spencer, UCBI Graduate Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor


Suzanne Spencer

In the Carlson Center… I am a graduate student liaison and mentor (GSM) with our Undergraduate Community-Based Internship (UCBI) program. We support undergrads and community partners as they achieve amazing work together that’s grounded in equity and social justice.

I do this work because…. it’s energizing to connect incredible local organizations with brilliant students – I love being that nexus.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… building and distributing solar ovens in rural Bolivia, and writing a solar cookbook in Spanish.

Amaury Avalos, UCBI Graduate Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Amaury Avalos

In the Carlson Center,… I work as a liaison between the community organizations that make Seattle stronger and the students who want to contribute to the greater good of the city they live in. I offer guidance and support to organizations and their undergraduate student interns as they embark upon partnerships in often new and unfamiliar territory.

I do this work because…I believe that change starts within our communities and that without the engagement and endorsement of people on the ground-level, progress cannot truly be progressive. I believe that at any institution, but especially an institution as prominent as the University of Washington, it is vital that we step outside our bubbles and get to know the greater Seattle community within which we all reside.

My favorite volunteer experience has been…living with the Beehive Collective in Machias, Maine. During that time, I engaged in various community development projects but my favorite was building a deck above the scenic Bad Little Falls. The Collective and I unveiled the deck the day of the Blackfly Ball, an event that draws people from all over Maine. That evening, people danced on the deck and generally enjoyed the newly accessible view of the falls. It was incredibly fulfilling to see our hard work pay off in such a visible way.

Lauren Jensen, UCBI Graduate Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Graduate Student, UCBI Mentor

Lauren Jensen

In the Carlson Center,… I am a graduate student liaison and mentor (GSM) with our Undergraduate Community-Based Internship program.

I do this work because…  I am passionate about working with and learning from the wonderful organizations and assets in the community and engaging with and sharing ideas with undergraduate students/future leaders.

My favorite volunteer experience has been… collaborating with villages in Peru to change and implement new medical practices and providing healthcare to women.

Nicole Shearer, Graduate Student Assistant for the Carnegie Project

Graduate Student, Student Assistant for the Carnegie Project

Graduate Student, Student Assistant for the Carnegie Project

Nicole Shearer

In the Carlson Center, I’m helping to coordinate the data collection and analysis for the Carnegie Community Engagement application process for the UW Seattle campus.

I do this work because I think the Carnegie Community Engagement classification offers a great opportunity to evaluate the community engagement activities across campus. Both to highlight great community partnerships and to identify areas for growth.

My favorite volunteer experience has been my time an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Washington County, Oregon. It was the warmest and most welcoming team to work with.