INVST Community Studies   RETURNS Dedicated to Our Alumni
Spring Edition, 2009 

INVST Community Studies combines academics with activism for CU-Boulder students. Our transformative programs develop engaged citizens and leaders who work for the benefit of humanity and the environment.  In order to fulfill our mission, we offer:
  • A two-year Community Leadership Program that trains students to engage in compassionate action as a lifetime commitment;
  • Community Studies Electives that foster civic responsibility and leadership potential;
  • A Youth Council for Public Policy that empowers high school and college students to use the legislative process as a tool for positive social change.INVSTcsLOGO
The RETURNS Newsletter, founded in 1995, is dedicated with love to those who have graduated from our Community Leadership Program. For more information about INVST Community Studies,
please visit:   

Congratulations Nizhoni Raíces,
Class of 2009!

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 we congratulated and celebrated the accomplishments of the INVST Community Leadership Program Class of 2007-2009. We want to recognize the hard work of our graduating students from the program who have not only made us proud in the context of their year-long community service project (SOL Projects) that they completed to meet INVST's requirements, but also for their award winning recognitions they received across campus.

INVST students David Hinojosa, Jamie Rozaklis, Alexandra Lansing and Erika Madsen make up the **SOL Project group, SWAP II. This spring SWAP (Student Worker Alliance Program) was chosen as the Student Group of the Year in Diversity by SWAP PresentationCU's student government for their program that matches CU students with CU workers to teach English classes. Through fundraising and outreach, SWAP II worked with SWAP to improve the organizational infrastructure and sustainability. SWAP is a student-run organization that works to build a bridge between students and immigrant workers by providing free ESL classes during working hours on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus.

In addition to this honor, Denise Weber, Haley Sladek & Jennifer Ambrose were also
recognized for their year-long SOL Project. They were honored by Colorado Creed for a journal they created that amplifies the voices of youth, or "uprisers" as they call them, by showcasing their art, poetry, stories and more. (up)rising generations refers to today's younger generations. They feel the term youth is stigmatized because of the way young people in our society are marginalized. They constructed a publication that amplified the voices of the (up)rising generations in their pursuit of inclusive and comprehensive mainstream media. In the continuation of their project, they hope to create the foundation for a sustainable, youth-led movement built upon a network of publications, student and media watchdog groups, and organizations that serve the (up)rising generations.

100% of this year's graduating students from the INVST Community Leadership Program have been acknowledged for their civic engagement. We are so proud!!

**What is a SOL Project? During their second year in the INVST Community Leadership Program, students spend six hours per week on Community SOL Projects (Serving/ Organizing/Leading). They research, design, implement, monitor and evaluate a project of their own, learning valuable skills about community leadership along the way.

Class of 2008, Via Ajooba, Sol
  Community SOL Projects Accomplishments
and Belated Recognition!

Miramontes SOL
Tara Carosa, Virginia Kester-Meyer, Allie Van Buskirk and Alyssa Willet worked with the Miramontes Festival. BELA Sol's goal was to reach out to members of the campus community to increase and encourage participation in the Miramontes Festival, a celebration of women in the arts. They also focused attention on opportunities for women. The project included collaborating with the Women's Resource Center and other campus organizers to create a successful and entertaining series of events. The INVST students also ensured the sustainability of the annual celebration of women-identified musicians and artists. More than 300 people attended the Miramontes Festival last spring! 

SWAP PresentationStudent Worker Alliance Program (SWAP)
Keely Bannon, Sierra Brashear, Taylor Levy and Abby Shepard  worked in partnership with other campus groups to create an inclusive community on our campus, to develop sustainable relationships among students and entry-level immigrant workers, to encourage appreciation for workers, and to make the university a place that educates and empowers workers. Keely, Sierra, Taylor and Abby identified workers' needs by conducting interviews, then conducted further research on what services already existed and what additional services ought to be provided. They also organized an event that brought students and workers together to build community. Finally, INVST students and their allies lobbied the student government until workers won the right to take English classes on campus during the paid work day!

Cambodia Kids
Koun-K'chai, who took their name from the Khmer word for "children," worked in conjunction with the new non-profit organization Sihanoukville Cambodia Kids Education Fund (SCKEF) to increase the effectiveness of SCKEF and create a framework for sustainability. The students developed SCKEF's by-laws, mission and vision statements and enhanced the sustainability of the organization by improving communication strategies and enhancing fundraising capabilities. Avy Harris, Bridget Jankovsky, Marisa McGuire and Christoper Smith  created a brochure, a web site, and raised money to provide scholarships to Cambodian children!

Graduation 2008
Congratulations to Via Ajooba, Sol, the INVST Community Leadership Program Class of 2008, for all of your hard work over two years in INVST. We know you will  continue to make a significant difference in our world and we thank you wholeheartedly.
The 20 Cent Alternatives, Class of 2010
1st-Year Internships and Pictures from Last Summer's Domestic Summer Service Learning Experience
Laura Berglund interned with New Era Colorado. She assisted with voter registration tables and New Era activities including their bus trips and Trick or Vote. She also assisted in the planning, research, and organization of Lobby Days.

Julie Anne Combest interned with Attention Homes. She facilitated activities and discussions as well as work with youth through counseling and mediation. Attention Homes provides sheltering and counseling services to youth in a homelike environment.

Amy Guinan interned at Natural Capitalism Solutions. She helped research for clients, provided admin support, and researched for presentations. She also provided project support and participation in all meetings and workshops (on and off site) available to staff.

John Hallett interned at the Growing Gardens. He helped wit
h maintenance, community outreach, grant writing, and researched community garden models.

Joy Hamilton interned with the Students for Peace and Justice. She worked with the Student Organization Finance Office and helped with tabling, the website, writing grants, researching travel opportunities, and facilitating and coordinating events.

Edie Hulings interned with Project YES in Lafayette. She served as the Youth Center Intern and helped facilitate and plan workshops on teen mentorship.

Kerri Hunter interned at the African Community Center. She provided support to TANF clients, refugee clients who have not found employment. She helped develop their job preparedness through one-on-one trainings.

Melissa Khat interned with the Family Learning Center. She set up an after-school program, and helped out with day-to-day duties including tutoring, playing, and supervising. She also assisted with programing.

Erika Larson interned at the Watershed School. She served as their Student Support Specialist Intern and helped with college counseling research and material support.

Ryan Long was an intern at Natural Capitalism Solutions. He
helped develop tools to assist business and industry to make the transition towards becoming sustainable organizations.

Claire Werthan interned at the Outreach United Resource Center, Inc. She served as the Volunteer Projects Assistant and implemented special volunteer projects under the direction of the Executive Director and the Volunteer Coordinator. She also handled the operation and research aspects of the special projects, including updating and maintaining the data bases.

Brett West interned with Polaris House. He was their Multi-Project Assistant and spearheaded the Poetry Jam and also helped with grant writing, tutoring, mentoring, and research.

Natalie Ziemba interned with MESA, Moving to End Sexual Assault. She served as their Development and Marketing Intern. She determined strategies for marketing and public relations, researched information about industry standards for social networking and web 2.0, and helped coordinate fundraising events.

CU Boulder Receives Presidential Award
for Community Service

Presidential Award TrophyLast year, President George Bush honored the University of Colorado at Boulder as one of only three universities in the United States to receive a Presidential Award for General Community Service.

An estimated 13,397 CU-Boulder students participate in some form of community service and 3,512 of them are engaged in academic service learning, the teaching strategy used by INVST, which integrates meaningful community service with classroom instruction.

"The University of Colorado at Boulder is honored by this award," said former CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "We have a commitment to civic and ethical engagement that goes back more than four decades, when CU-Boulder students answered President John F. Kennedy's call to service by joining the Peace Corps in record numbers. Today ... we continue in that tradition, challenging our students to transform themselves, their communities and the world."

Campus programs recognized by the prestigious award include INVST Community Studies!
President Award Flim CrewSince our inception in 1990, we have collaborated with more than 350 different community-based organizations and contributed well over 175,000 hours of community service, both nationally and internationally, addressing needs in the U.S. and abroad. Our alumni continue to serve after they graduate; CU-Boulder is ranked third in the nation for the number of alumni currently serving as volunteers.

After CU-Boulder received the Presidential Award, INVST Community Leadership Program students Abigale Shepard (far left) and Keely Bannon (second from left, Class of 2008) were interviewed about their service work. They are included in a film  being distributed nationally, promoting service learning on college campuses.
Congratulations! Honorees Elaina Verveer (Instructor)
and Felicia Montano (Class of 2007)
'Women Who Make A Difference'

In December, Elaina Verveer who instructs INVS 1000 and INVST 2909,  was honored at the 'Women Who Make A Difference' ceremony organized by the Women's Resource Center. Elaina was recognized for her outstanding commitment to youth and civic engagement in the Boulder and Lafayette communities. Another INVSTer was honored at this event. Felicia Montano, from the Community Leadership Program class of 2007, was recognized at the ceremony for her leadership and mentorship with the Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority.                   
Elaina Verveer with a student
from INVS 2909, Ashley Pennington.
Intern with INVST!
A letter from Kristen Dummer

I believe in the possibility of a just and sustainable world.  I have INVST to thank for solidifying that belief.
Last Spring (2008), the students, faculty, staff and board members showed me what it looks like to engage in compassionate action for the benefit of humanity and the environment.  Witnessing first-hand the remarkable work that is being done at INVST every day has restored my faith that a service learning-based social change education program can empower today's leaders to make a real difference.

I came to INVST as an intern, to study their educational model and analyze successes and failures.  I hoped my visit would help me compile a general outline of what an effective social change program would look like, so that some day I could share such programs with other schools across the country.
After my time in Boulder, I am confident that programs like INVST are critically important to the design of a peaceful future for our communities, regions, countries and the world.

I believe more than ever that starting with enthusiastic, passionate students is the best path toward a more just and sustainable world.  INVST has shared its energy with me and given me hope for the future. 

Thanks for having me! Peace,
Kristen planting a tree at the
2008 INVST Serve-A-Thon

If you are interested in education for social change, call INVST to inquire about serving as an intern. We are excited to welcome our new intern on board for this summer, Corinne Sober!

  Auction For Action
A Huge Success!

As part of the first year curriculum in the INVST Community Leadership Program, students develop their fundraising skills by helping fundraise for their International Summer Service Learning Experience. This year the 20 Cent Alternatives organized the Auction for Action at Avery Brewery.

There were hand-crafted Avery brews, BBQ'd Brats for carnivores, delicious homemade dishes for vegetarians, brewery tours, a silent auction, live music, and spoken word poetry - featuring internationally acclaimed performance poet Sonya Renee! This was one party not to be missed! Thanks to all who came to join the INVST Class of 2010, the 20 cent Alternatives, for this awesome, student-organized fundraising event at Boulder's favorite brewery, Avery. Also, special thanks to Avery Brewing Co for providing the space and supporting the event.
Serve-A-Thon Events a Success!

Trail Crew

The Serve-A-Thon is an event that INVST organizes to raise funds while serving the local community. INVST staff, faculty, students and board members came together last spring for the
seventh annual Serve-A-Thon. The sun was shining, money was raised, and lots of good work was accomplished. We even made it in the newspaper!

Daily Camera News Article

The Growing Gardens group of INVST volunteers (featured in the Daily Camera article) helped with potting veggies and spices for the Children's Garden.  They mixed the soil and water together, staged the pots, put the soil into pots, planted seeds in the pots and transplanted
small seedlings into bigger pots. Fundraising and Advisory Board member Bill Sebastian said, "My favorite thing was to move the little seedlings to a better environment."  All of the veggies will have time to grow and be sold near the end of May at Growing Gardens annual sale to raise money to expose gardening to disadvantaged kids.  INVSTers work all morning to fill up the greenhouse. "There was very little in the greenhouse at the start so it was very gratifying to physically see the
work we had done by the end," said Sebastian. The second group of INVST volunteers worked at Dowdy Draw to close a trail that was disturbing a natural wildlife habitat for many species.  The volunteers planted trees, installed erosion control, and even erected a fence to further deter visitors from using the newly closed trail.  By the end of the day, the trail was unnoticeable.  Great work team!

Haley building a fence to complete
a trail closing at Dowdy Draw.
This year's serve-a-thon was another success. We kicked off the eighth annual Serve-A-Thon by serving with with Project YES at their annual SeLebration Event in Lafayette, Co. INVST students, staff, alumni and board members worked at Ryan Elementary in Lafayette .doing school clean-up, landscaping and gardening. The event concluded with guest speaker, Representative Jared Polis!

Representative Jared Polis with Sabrina Sideris,

Jenn Ambrose, and Melissa Rubin.
Letters From The Service Front

A Letter from Megan Moriarty
Hey everyone,
Hope all the 14RPMS are doing great.. I wanted to say hey from Mozambique!  I am living in a smaller rural town called chicumbane outside of a larger city called Xia Xia, I have a cute little home with electricity but no running water. I have awesome fruit trees in my yard, I have a mango tree, pineapple and orange! My new community is really cool, very green and the people are all very nice to me, just trying to integrate and continue to study my Portuguese as well it is important for me to learn shengan the local dialect cause that is what most people speak here. I am working for a small community based org called Tsembeka which is serving people in the community that live with AIDS, the org is compiled of 20 activista woman who are awesome. Every week they visit different people in the community who are living with AIDS and check up on them as well as lead workshops and awareness polestras about the virus. A key group that they are working within the future months are infected pregnant moms to try and decrease the transmission rate. But I am soo happy to be hear finally living in Africa.. Mozambique is beautiful I am very close to the coast and the Indian Ocean is extraordinary- so clear! I hope everyone's years are going well wanted to keep in touch with everyone. I have a blog going
Megan Moriarty

New Hope for Former Child Soldiers in Uganda
By R. Avy Harris (reprinted from Mytown with permission of the author)
Lira, Uganda

Children began trickling into the guarded compound in shy groups of 2 and 3 just after noon, leaning against concrete walls to escape the scorching African sun. Most had walked or biked from nearby towns; others had traveled from as far as 100 miles away. The youngest was 14, the oldest 26. One carried an infant on her back. Although most had never met before, their somber silence revealed a common background: all of these children had once been soldiers, abducted by the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). They were invited by Hope Again Uganda to attend a four-day conference last week, the first of its kind intended specifically for returned child soldiers.

The United Nations estimates that the LRA has abducted 20,000 children across Northern Uganda since 1987, when civil war erupted against Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Stolen from their homes and schools during brutal raids, these children are indoctrinated into the LRA by being forced to witness and commit acts of horrific violence. Rebel commanders may force abducted children to kill their own family members, while girl abductees are often used as "wives" and sexual slaves. Since rebel leader Joseph Kony signed a shaky cease-fire in 2006, the majority of surviving child soldiers have escaped from the bush. They are slowly beginning to return home, but their suffering is not over. For many, a whole new struggle has only just begun.

Hope Again Uganda emerged to help ease the transition period for these children. Creating a support network for former abductees was the vision of University of Colorado graduate Zack Gross. The 22-year-old co-director laughed with the participants over the fact that some were his elders -- still, his warm presence earned their trust and respect over the course of the four-day conference. "I believe you youth in front of me are the future leaders of Uganda" Gross told them during the opening ceremonies. Gross initially thought of the idea while studying abroad in Uganda during his junior year as an anthropology student. Many of the former abductees he met had asked him what other children were doing to cope with reintegrating into the community. Inspired, Gross united a team based in Lira to help organize a conference. He also developed a partnership with Concerned Parents Association and UNICEF. Gross then returned to Boulder to finish his degree and seek funding. Along with Boulder-based co-director Brie Stranahan, they inspired friends to help fundraise by writing letters to everyone they knew. The letter-writing campaign was a success: he raised enough money to return to Lira in May to finalize and oversee the resoundingly successful conference.

Over the course of four days, 110 former abductees met for presentations, workshops, and team-building games. They learned tools for nonviolent communication and goal setting, and heard from local politicians and activists. Participants also co-created a declaration asking communities, politicians, and donors for, among other things, support for their education and help changing stereotypes against child soldiers. For 19-year-old Janet Oroma, the most important part of the conference was realizing that she was not alone in facing the problems of reintegration. Abducted in 2000 and raped by rebel leaders, Oroma escaped only after realizing she was pregnant. Out of fear of stigmatization, she had told no one but her mother about her ordeal. The conference changed all that: "coming here I see so many other people like I can go home and know there are others. For me, Hope Again has brought me new life."

The conference also gave the war-traumatized youth the chance to just be normal children again. They played soccer and drew pictures, watched movies, and were treated to a surprise conference by five local musicians. "I had never danced in my whole life before last night" said 26-year-old Beatrice Aciro, who spent ten years in the bush as the forced "wife" of a rebel leader. "It was a big success" an exhausted but happy Gross said of the conference. However, the work is not over. He hopes to find the funding to be able to extend the conference to more children in more districts across Northern Uganda. "We're dreaming big" he says.

To read the entire article visit:

Excerpts from Sierra Brashear's Blog
The University for Peace, Costa Rica
September 28, 2008

I know what you all are thinking...HIPPIES, don't you do any real work at the University for Peace!?! Well...well... in fact we do. Our schedule is actually quite ridged because each 3 credit course we take fits into only a 3 week time period (i.e. hundreds of pages of reading, leading hour class periods, writing 12 page papers in a week etc..). The schedule is like this - first we took a foundations course, to get us all on the same page about all the problems and solutions to those problems in the world. Yeah, a pretty big topic to wrap your head around in three weeks. Then, about a week and a half ago (after a long weekend of swimming and dancing at the beach)... we started classes in our individual departments, 3 hours of class a day 5 days a week...

My current class is called Forests, Forestry and Poverty... we are learning all about deforestation and its causes, how it is related to poverty and about using forestry as a method of poverty alleviation through various programs. This class is actually incredibly relevant to my life at the moment, considering I am applying to this job in Kenya working for an organization that is actually using small forest plantations as a method of helping rural farmers lift themselves out of poverty. I even did a one-hour presentation in class on this idea and how to make it work - which made me even more excited and well equipped to apply for this job. By the way, I have been accepted through to the second round of applicants (only 25% make it through they say)... the second round involves creating an operational tool for the organization, which I have done, and now I am waiting hear back! To me, right now, it seems like the perfect opportunity. But I know that if it doesn't work out, it's because I am supposed to be somewhere else.

There are still more delicious morsels of life experience to tell you about - like the possibility of beginning to work in a slum outside San Jose.. working on a community project there to plant gardens and fruit trees (Greening the Ghetto like one of my heroes, Majora Carter), like taking Spanish classes (and possibly other languages through the student organized language club), and like the incredible conversations I have had with some of my closest new friends who have witnessed or seen the aftermaths of conflicts in places like Darfur, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Israel and Palestine. A great new friend of mine Mohammed Musa just came from Darfur... he just finished university there, but still does not know how to use a computer. He might have the brightest smile I have ever seen.

All of my love to the people in my life who inspire me so much!
In peace,


Alumni Updates

Our graduates are engaged in meaningful community leadership in the state of Colorado, across the United States and all over the world. We celebrate the different ways they have chosen to make a difference. They inspire and renew our hope and faith on a daily basis - because of what they do and because of who they are!

If you have information about an INVST Community Leadership Program graduate whose name does not appear below, please contact our Inclusivity and Outreach Coordinator by e-mailing or calling (303) 492-7516. It's important to us to maintain our network. Also, if we ever print information that is incorrect, we apologize and we invite you to be in touch.

Classes of 1992, 1993 and 1994:
Ted Adams lives in Washington, DC and works with a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in the US. The organization is called KaBOOM!
Jenny Hart is a fourth grade teacher at Ouray Elementary School in Ouray, Colorado. She is fundraising for Ouray Mountain Rescue, along with being highly trained in technical rescue rigging and climbs mountains as often as possible.

Fluxquitos Class of 1995:
Elizabeth Samworth lives in PA and works as the Training & Resource Manager for Philadelphia Teaching Fellows, an alternative certification program that recruits, hires, and trains career changers to be teachers in high-needs schools.         
Amy (Wiedeman) Schiller is the Senior City Planner for the City and County of Denver. She welcomed a new baby girl, Sage Elizabeth Schiller, born on March 10, 2008!
Jeff Schwartz
owns and operates Big B's Fabulous Organic Juices and Ciders in Paonia, CO and he spends time with his family.

Keith Trammell is an attorney with an international law firm, Hogan and Hartson, L.L.P. He also serves on the INVST Fundraising and Advisory Board!
Carlos Windham is known as Brutha Los.  He performs hip-hop with Company of Prophets and lives in Oakland, CA.

Raintangbeanbows Class of 1996:
Christine Ahn works in both San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC with Korean Americans Against War and Neoliberalism, a national coalition working to stop the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement from taking hold. Also, she contributed an essay called "Democratizing American Philanthropy" to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, a book that was edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence.
Juliet Biagi is working at the Children's Museum in Denver.
Michael Garcia serves on the board for New Era Colorado.

Molly (Harlow) Peeples is the Western North Carolina council director of Girls on the Run, a non-profit that helps girls boost their self-esteem. She lives in Asheville, NC.

Transwalants Class of 1997:
Shannon Harker is raising her 9- and 5-year-old children, Harris and Addi, and she returned to school to study Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She is also an AmeriCorps volunteer doing pro-bono design work for non-profits such as Casa Vista, a group that supports migrant workers and their families.
Amy Johnson works in Boulder with the Center for ReSource Conservation, an organization committed to leading Colorado residents, businesses, and governments toward a sustainable future. She is also a silversmith who makes fine jewelry.
Erica Seldon is an Account Executive for Exhibit Sales and Services with New Hope Natural Media in Boulder.
Kristen Seldon is the Regional Sales Director for University Parent, a publication in Boulder that serves the parents of college students when they visit.

CEADS Class of 1998:
David Elsner has been studying to be a Doctor of Osteopathy. He is a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Akron, OH.
Gabriel Guillaume is the Director of the Community Resource Center in Denver where he works to expand affordable housing options in the community.
Cara Hopkins lives in Denver and works as the Editor in Chief of DiningOut Magazine.
Stephanie Mohr Shank works for the Allen County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and coordinates, monitors and advocates services for people with disabilities. She is in the process of adopting a child from Guatamala.

CurrentS Class of 1999:
Stefanie Carroll earned her Master's in Non-Profit Management from Regis University. She is now the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Communication at Metro State University, and she is co-chairing a task force on service learning and coordinating National Make a Difference Day and just joined the INVST Fundraising and Advisory Board!
Lauren Eppinger is a Social Worker for County of Santa Cruz Adult and Aging Services Multipurpose Senior Services Program. Lauren had a baby boy, Josua Eppinger Goldberg in December.
Scott Gorsky is earning his Master's in Education Administration, and is on track to being able to become a principal some day. At Eagleton Elementary in Denver, he works as a facilitator who supports teachers as well as coordinating the Gifted & Talented Program. Scott was elected to serve on the Englewood School Board!
Laurie Lubeck is a spanish speaking bereavement counselor for Hospice by the Bay. She is also working as a marriage and family therapist for a mental health clinic in Richmond, CA, which caters Latino Clients. She just completed her Marriage and Family Therapist license after working towards it for 6 years!

solˇessence Class of 2000:
Monica Delaney is earning her Master's at Kent State in OH and enjoying being married to David Elsner!
Sara Malnati is a French teacher with Prince William County Schools near the city of Manassas, VA but she will soon return to Colorado to take a teaching position at Glenwood High School teaching French and English language learners.
Sara (Nix) Guillaume earned a Master's in Non-Profit Management from Regis University. She works as Grants Coordinator with Adams County Community Development. 
Christine Poirier is in graduate school in Denver.
Beth Schwarting is working as a Registered Nurse in the Women's Health Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital. She is currently in her last year of the Master's Program in Nurse Midwifery at the University of California-San Francisco. She also volunteers at the Homeless Prenatal Program teaching relaxation, meditation and infant massage.
Sabrina Sideris earned a Master's in Peace Education from the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica. After living in Washington, DC and working with a non-profit called Teaching for Change, she has returned to INVST Community Studies! Sabrina is thrilled to be teaching and working as the Program Director.
Adam Van Iwaarden lives in Boulder. In fall 2007, he left the Administrative Assistant position with INVST Community Studies and we thank him for all that he provided while he worked, tirelessly and with gusto, in that role! Adam is currently studying to earn a Ph.D. in Education Research from CU and he works as a research assistant with the Denver Public Schools' Department of Assessment and Research.

remoGoofic Class of 2001:
Stephanie Bonin owns and operates Duo Restaurant in the Highlands and Cafe Colore in downtown Denver with her husband, Keith. Also, she has a baby girl, Maisie, who was born on November 4, 2007! 
Amy LaBorde works in real estate in Boulder.
Georgia Lindsay is a candidate for a Ph.D. in architecture and environmental design at the University of California-Berkeley.
Hilary Moshman returned with her daughter to Colorado, after living in Washington, DC.
Nathaniel Lion Reeder works in Denver at the Five Points Media Center with Free Speech TV ( He is also a dad! He and his wife Noreen, who he married in 2003, had a baby boy on July 18, 2007 and they named him William.
Jamie Smith lives in Denver where she is a social worker.

Earth Tide Class of 2002:
Dana Garfin is Ph.D. Student in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. She is studying the psychosocial adjustment to domestic and international trauma such as personal illness, war and conflict, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Dana received an Honorable Mention from the 2008 National Science Foundation. She is also a volunteer with the International NGO, Psychology Beyond Borders and with the American Red Cross. She got engaged to Kenneth Lopour while surfing in Nicaragua!
Nick Hedlund lives in CA and founded his own business, Integral Synergy Consulting, which uses the Psychosophy Consulting system to support psychospiritual growth and transformation with clients. He is also a Research Associate at the Psychosophy Research Institute. He completed his M.A. in Integral Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in the San Francisco Bay Area! He began his doctoral studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Kaye Jones was married to Adam Hyde! Gaia Mika (INVST Co-Founder/Former Instructor) presided over their wedding. Kaye is an organic farmer with 47th Avenue Farm in Portland, OR. She is also a sustainability consultant.
Daniel Roth purchases and re-models homes for re-sale in Boulder.

Crissy McIntyre-Smith
is a teacher at Port Salerno Elementary in New York. She also runs the Buffalo Zen Center with her husband Vaughn. She and her husband Vaughn had their first child, Ella Nevaeh, who was born on March 3!

Rain Dancing Monkey Scrubbers
Class of 2003
Naomi Allen recently moved back to Boulder after living in San Diego, CA. She is seeking employment in education, living with her husband Brian and enjoying hiking and playing with her dog.
Alex Arbogast is in graduate school for clinical social work in Richmond, VA.
Stephanie Cannon is half way through her accelerated nursing program at Metropolitan State College in Denver. She plans to graduate in May and take the N-CLEX examination to become a registered nurse. She likes taking the mic and playing Rock Band. "INSVT showed me that improving my community while having a meaningful careers is of the utmost importance. That is what inspired me to go back to school and become a nurse."
Audra Caravas traveled to New Orleans to serve with an organization called The Saint Bernard Project. They are associated with Habitat for Humanity, and they rebuild homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Audra is a Tour Guide at the Colorado State Capitol! She also served as a Teaching Assistant with The Honorable Dorothy Rupert, instructor for our Youth Council for Public Policy last year! Audra recently got married to fellow INVST alum, Dustin Craun!
Allison Glass is the coordinator for the annual Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking and she works with the Mid South Peace and Justice Center. She lives with her family in Memphis, TN.
Elly Goetz recently moved to Honduras to work as the Co-Director of the non-governmental organization Un Mundo!
Amy Weiner-Macy is working as an Admissions Counselor at CU, Boulder, recruiting, counseling, and reading applications. She also spends her time volunteering with a Somali refugee family. She is also in Graduate School at CU-Denver, working towards a degree in Counseling Psychology. She also enjoys dancing, hiking, traveling, making art, and hanging out with friends. She recently got married to Travis Macy! They went to Greece and France for a pre-wedding honeymoon.
Jenna Peck is living in Louisville, CO and working as the Program Coordinator for the Gabriel Project, a pregnancy ministry run by the Archdiocese of Denver.  She also volunteers with Project Homeless.
Jocelyn Rice completed her degrees in Studio Arts and Sociology at CU. She now lives in MA with her family.
Leila Cheyenne Sobieniak-Wiseman earned her BA in International Affairs from CU. Now she is in medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Sarah Yoder works in the Probation Department at the State of Colorado Judicial Branch. She also enjoys playing with her dog, turning her compost heap and hiking in and around Fort Collins, CO.

Alumni Updates
Continued From Left Column...

Ansamas OO Reipi Class of 2004:
Dustin Craun is a Researcher and Advisor to the Zaytuna Institute's Tabari School of Islamic Studies in Berkeley, CA. He is also a Master's candidate in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. He and fellow INVST alum, Audra Caravas married this year!
Jennifer Fox lives in Boulder. She is attending the Boulder College of Massage Therapy.
Joshua Lathan is the Environmental Planner/Urban Designer for EDAW Inc. in Sacramento, CA. He is also working on his Master's project for Cornell University on participatory planning and urban design, after having worked in Rome, Brisbane, Chicago and Sacramento on participatory projects.
Carolina Padilla completed her degrees in Fine Arts and Dance at CU. She now works in marketing in Denver.
Lauren Panneck is
the Co-Founder of the Medical Illness Psychotherapy Center in Amherst, MA, which provides mental health services to individuals afflicted with medical illnesses.  She volunteers at a local homeless shelter.  She is also building a house in Southern Vermont on 12 acres of Vermont rolling hillside. She just received her LICSW license, the highest license you can obtain as a social worker.
Gavriel Weiner is an International Toy Producer at Leap Frog, a company that makes educational toys. She does children's writing and content design and she had the opportunity to travel to Paris and London for toy production! Gavi is also climbing, learning Spanish, and playing in California's hills and on the beaches.
Claire Williams is the Development Associate for GirlVentures, a non-profit dedicated to empowering adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths.

T'eesbi Pura Vida Class of 2005:
Sara Ford is working as a Case Manager at Ecumenical Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement agency. She is also enjoying rebuilding her deck, watching SciFi, meeting new people and spending time with old friends.
Michelle Hartel is the Curriculum Coordinator for the Snowboard Outreach Society, helping to build character and self-esteem in at-risk kids through snowboarding. She is also coaching soccer, playing with her dogs and traveling. 
Ellen Hatleberg recently traveled in India and Tibet.  She now lives and works in Washington, DC.
Amy Hutmacher works with a consulting firm that focuses on solving revenue problems for large hospitals in Denver, CO. She recently moved from Washington, DC.
Lara Machiando works for Teavana, a company that sells fair-trade teas from around the world. When she's not working, she enjoys snowboarding, reading, meeting new people and live music.
David Meens earned a Master's in education and he now teaches with INVST Community Studies! He also takes classes at CU, plays music and spends time with his dog.
Sharon Waisman is the Individual Gifts Assistant at Save the Redwoods League. Her position is within development and she works towards the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors and planned givers.  She enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, whale watching, cooking, professional development, and taking donors into the redwood forests. She recently got engaged! She and her fiancé are living in their new house in Pacifica, where she gets to walk her dog to the beach every morning before work.
Taliah Weber recently traveled in Australia. She is now living in Bloomington, IN where she teaches preschool and kindergarten at a Montessori school. She enrolled in an architecture program at Washington University in St. Louis.
14 RPMs Class of 2006:
Jordan Brown made another trip to India and stayed at Amma's ashram. She is now working as a program assistant for a science education program at CU.  She spends lots of time gardening, doing yoga, and riding her bike around Boulder!
Tina Chung lives in CA and is in a Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology.
Matt de Caussin lives in Denver at works in the research department at DU.
Maren Gauldin
spent a month in the Pacific Northwest with the National Outdoor Leadership School on an Outdoor Educator Mountaineering course. She just got back from Egypt visiting classmate Lauren Stanton. This summer she is leading a trip with Girl Ventures and she plans to lead a trip to India with LEAPNOW next fall .
Shaun Galvin is working as a Catholic Missionary for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Billy Innis is getting a business degree at Texas Tech University. He also likes to remodel homes and put out fires.
Stephanie Koutavas is working with Goodwill Industries part-time and studying sign language in Denver.   
Annie Miller  lived in Nicaragua last year working for a wildlife sanctuary. This summer she is leading trips with Women's Wilderness Institute and she also currently works at Espressoria in Boulder.
Megan Moriarty
is a Peace Corp Volunteer serving as a Community Development Promoter serving non-governmental. organizations, local, governmental or grassroots organizations working with HIV/Health Issues in Mozambique, Africa. She hopes to go back to school after her Peace Corp service and gain a masters in International Affairs or Non- Profit management. Megan loves hanging out with friends, watching movies, running, yoga, and palates classes.
Melissa Rubin lives in Longmont, CO where she is spending time with her two-year old August. She is also the Administrative Assistant for INVST Community Studies and enjoys spending time in her garden!

Jillian Sebastian is currently in Law School in New York and interning with the NYCLU.
Lauren Stanton lives in Egypt and is spending another year teaching history at an International School.

Below: Maren Gauldin on her National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course

Sonar Shofar Class of 2007:
Joanne Esch
was a foreign policy intern for the Institute for Policy. She also finished her degree in International Affairs at CU-Boulder with high honors and is working as a Detox Counselor at Boulder's Addiction Recovery Center. As part of a program in peace and conflict resolution, Joanne traveled to Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece to learn about the Cyprus conflict and study the prospect of Turkey's accession to the EU, and she published an
article in Foreign Policy in Focus:

Courtni Frank finished her second year at Teach For America. She was an RSP teaching specialist in an urban school in Richmond, California. She was responsible for the minds, success and day-to-day activities of 28 energetic, hard working freshman with learning disabilities.  She is also working on completing her teaching credentials while working towards a Masters in Education from Alliant International University. She enjoys spending her time in the Redwoods at the beach, and walking around San Francisco drinking delicious coffee.
Stacey Hammond
graduated from CU in May 2008 with a BA in Anthropology and Phi Beta Kappa Honors. Currently she is in Boulder serving a one-year term as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). As part of her service, she works with Access Colorado and INVST Community Studies. She is the Inclusivity and Outreach Coordinator for INVST and helps run the Public Achievement Programs at Centaurus High School.
She also volunteers, teaching English to workers at CU as part of  the Student Worker Alliance Program.
Gisella Kagy lives in Princeton, NJ where she is a Research Assistant at Mathematical Policy Research. She is being exposed to many different facets of public policy and economics. She also volunteers at a homeless shelter. She plans to return to CU in the fall to start a PhD in Economics.
Becca Kaplan graduated from CU! This spring, she finished her student teaching at Centaurus High School and will be working as a 9th grade Language Arts teacher at the Bruce Randolph School in Denver starting next fall.
Lauren Kourabas graduated from CU last December with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science! She currently works at Vicks coffee shop in Boulder.
Anna Koclanes
was a second grade teacher at Winbourne Elementary in Baton Rouge, LA. She worked with Teach for America for the past two years. She will be returning to Boulder this summer.
Matt Zald left this past February for Peace Corps. He will be serving as an Environmental Trainee in Malawi.

ViaAjooba SOL Class of 2008
Avy Harris volunteered in Lira, Uganda, helping to develop an international NGO called the Initiative for the Restoration of Hope, Uganda (IRHO-U), which works with vulnerable youth in war affected areas. While in Uganda, she also volunteered at Lira Baby's Home, an orphanage serving infants and toddlers in Northern Uganda. She also enjoyed riding her biking, exploring other parts of Africa, writing, and learning to cook over a charcoal fire. She now lives in Boulder and works at the Boulder Bookstore and volunteers on various committees with INVST.
Bridget Jankovsky lives in Aspen and teaches at a preschool. She will be moving to Denver this fall after facilitating the INVST Domestic Summer Service Learning Experience.
Christopher Smith lives in Boulder, studying at CU. He will be a Facilitator on the INVST Domestic Summer Service Learning Experience. He has worked hard this past year on organizing the summer experience and we are thankful for all his hard work volunteering with INVST.

"Never surrender your dreams.
It is when we dare not live
that dreams become impossible"
-Amazonian Oral Tradition

Alumni from Class of 2004: Gavi Weiner, Claire Williamson, Jennifer Fox, Lauren Martindale, and David Meens ('05).

We would love to be in touch with others from INVST's early years! Please contact us with news about your friends.

Special thanks to Out of the Blue for printing our new INVST t-shirts!

For your custom t-shirt, sweatshirt, and hoodie needs, contact Out of the
Blue at (303)
339-0916 or view our website at

If you are interested in purchasing our new INVST t-shirt for $15, contact Stacey at 303-492-7516 or email

Invest in INVST Community Studies

Now you can make an Online contribution to help further the good work of INVST! 

Otherwise, please make checks payable to the CU Foundation, with "INVST Community Studies" written in the memo. Mail your contribution to INVST Community Studies, 471 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0471.

Thank you so much for supporting
INVST Community Studies!

Also, we invite your feedback on our new format. An electronic newsletter allows us to conserve resources. We hope Returns delights you just as much as it always has.

INVST Community Studies Staff

The INVST Staff enjoy supporting students in constructing values-based lives.
We thank the staff and all those who make INVST training possible!

Photo taken at Spring Gathering.
From left to right: Sabrina Sideris, Melissa Rubin,
David Meens, and Stacey Hammond.

Vanessa Baird, Ph.D. -- Faculty Director

Stacey Hammond- Americorps VISTA, Inclusivity and Outreach Coordinator
David Meens, M.A. -- Instructor
Ellen Moore -- Instructor
Melissa Rubin -- Administrative Assistant
The Honorable Dorothy Rupert -- Instructor

Sabrina Sideris, M.A. -- Program Director/Instructor
Angela Thieman-Dino -- Instructor 
Jeffrey Tomlinson -- Instructor                     
Elaina Verveer, M.A. -- Instructor

INVST Community Studies:.
1201 17th Street, 
IBS #5 Suite 11
471 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0471, 303-492-7719
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