VISTA ALUMNI NETWORK
there's a seat for you in the VAN!
FEBRUARY 9, 2015
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Welcome to our new Executive Director
Leslie Garvin!
 
We are excited to announce that our very own 
Leslie Garvin has been appointed as the new Executive Director of NC Campus Compact as of January 1, 2015. The Compact's long time Associate Director, Leslie filled the role of Interim Executive Director since June 2014. We look forward to her continued commitment to NC Campus Compact in her new leadership role. Read more on the NC Campus Compact News Feed
AmeriCorps VISTA celebrates 50 years of fighting poverty in America!

2015 is an exciting year for VISTA programs as we complete 50 years of service.VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs. AmeriCorps VISTA taps the skills, talents and passion of more than 7,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty. For more information about how you can get involved, visit the 50th Anniversary Website.
In This Issue
Blast From the Past!

Each issue, we'll pull some one of our favorite photos from the NC Campus Compact VISTA archive. In this photo, Abby Burkland (glasses), Queens University of Charlotte VISTA 2011-12, helps prepare some Christmas cheer for families at Sedgefield Elementary.
Alumni Spotlight: Monica Palmeira
 
Monica Palmeira was the first VISTA at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Chapel Hill. During her year of service, she helped the young non-profit improve its organizational systems and strengthen a partnership with Heavenly Groceries, a food ministry serving the Northside community. Through her work there, Monica learned she is "passionate about housing and neighborhoods." When her term ended in 2013, Monica headed west to Sacramento, California. An internship with Housing California led Monica to her current position at the California Coalition for Rural Housing, one of the oldest affordable housing coalitions in the country. We spoke with Monica recently to learn more about her work and the lessons she took from her VISTA experience.
2015 PACE Conference registration deadline February 9th!

Our annual PACE Conference will be held on February 18th at Elon University. Registration will be open until Monday, February 9th. This is a great opportunity for those still in the field to network and connect with the Compact. The conference brings together faculty, staff and administrators to inform and advance the research and practice of community engagement. The day will include various workshop sessions and an awards ceremony for outstanding contribution to civic engagement by a faculty and staff member. Click here to register.
Hump Month Blog Series on VISTA VIEW

January was the mid-way point in the service year for our 2014-2015 VISTA members,and a perfect time for our "Hump Month" blog series on the VISTA View. Throughout the month, every Wednesday, we posted a piece by one of our members. Four VISTAs took upon the challenge and it was quite impressive to see everyone's unique personality come through in each story. Read posts by: George Barrett (Marian Cheek Jackson Center), Natasha Vos (WFU), Meghan Engstran (Meredith College) and Hannah Paek (ECU).

NC Campus Compact VISTAs mobilized 1300+ volunteers on MLK Day of Service! 
VISTAs Naijla and Natasha at WFU
Every year our VISTAs work tirelessly to organize MLK Day of Service events to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year a few members of the cohort organized events and service projects that allowed more that 1300 volunteers to participate statewide and serve for a collective 4600 hours in one day!

Not one but TWO VISTA Leaders join the team!

For the first time, we have two VISTA leaders join our NC Campus Compact family, Catherine Casteel (Left) and Perdita Das (Right). They both started their positions at the end of 2014 and after a whirlwind PSO the first week of December in Dallas, they jumped right in to the work of supporting our cohort. We are really excited to see what they bring to the table. 

Calling our Alums to join a VISTA Alumni panel on April 10th 

Every month we offer professional development webinars, known as Scrums, for our VISTAs. Now that members are more than halfway into their service year, we will be focusing the rest of the Scrums on helping them prepare for the next step. And who better to talk to them about the process but YOU! 

On April 10th we will be hosting an Life After VISTA Alumni Panel scrum where you can share your stories about life after VISTA, tips for transition, resources and any other last-minute advice. It will be extremely beneficial for our cohort to hear from Alumni who have exactly been in their shoes and it will encourage them to look forward and learn from your stories.

If you are interested in being a panel member, please contact Perdita at pdas@elon.edu.
Where are they now?

Alejandra O'Connor (Virginia Tech, 2012-13) is in Indonesia with the Peace Corps.

Camille Smith (NC State, 2013-14) is working as the Assistant Program Manager at Stop Hunger Now in Washington, DC.

Carla Davis (VISTA Leader, 2013-14) is working as an Operations Associate at the D.C. Regional Office of Teach for America. She writes, "While there is never enough time in the day, even though I spend the 1 hour train ride to and from work...working, I am learning and growing in so many ways. It is exhilarating and exhausting, but that's what I was looking for, and I feel inspired."

Dalton Hoffer (UNCP, 2013-14) is currently the Assistant Director of Student Development at UNC Pembroke and will be starting Grad school for Higher Education at UNCW in the fall.

Elizabeth Corney (ECU, 2012-13) is halfway through the Masters of Divinity Program at Wake Forest.

 

Jeri Rae Beckens (Duke U., 2012-13) writes, "I am in my last semester of grad school and am back home in New York to be a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)."
 

Jillian Hauf (NC Wesleyan College, 2011-12) is currently in San Francisco working as a Student Advisor at an English Language school where she coordinates an experiential learning program for international students.

 

Sally Parlier (Durham Tech, 2011-13) is still the Volunteer Services Coordinator at Durham Tech and is working part-time on her MPA through UNC's online program.
 

Sara Brown (UNCA, 2012-13) was hired full-time by Heifer and is still living and working in Boone working with farmers to develop sound and sustainable business practices. 
 

Sarah Cohn (Community Empowerment Fund, 2013-14) is working as a Housing Specialist at Goodwill Central Texas through the AmeriCorps program "Keep Austin Housed."

VISTA Alum Shifra Sered representing in the Golan Heights
VISTA Alum Shifra Sered
representing in the Golan Heights

Shifra Sered (ECU, 2013-14) is on a social justice fellowship working with two grassr
oots NGOS in Israel and currently lives in Tel Aviv.

 

Tiara Pugh (Elizabeth City State University, 2012-13) writes, "I am working as a Pre-K teacher in Apex and on the weekends I am a CNA. I am hoping to go to Nursing school soon."
 

VISTAs in the News...

VISTA Brittany Johnson (Hospitality House of Boone) was featured in the local All About Women online Magazine.

VISTA Kali Hackett (UNCG) organized a Homelessness Panel which was covered by the Carolinian.

VISTA Elizabeth McIntosh was featured in a YouTube video on PAGE's channel.

High Point University news featured second-year VISTA and HPU alumna Anna Mahathey. 

Feast Down East and VISTA Justin Brantley was featured on WWAY New Channel 3 for their Food Day Wilmington Event.

Do you have an update for us or news to share? Reply and share.
Civic Engagement Jobs
Looking for a new challenge?

You can learn about many other non-profit and higher education jobs by following the NC Campus Compact Jobs Blog. As an AmeriCorps VISTA alum, you can also check out the VISTA Campus Jobs Board and the AmeriCorps Alums Career Center (log-in required). 
More ways to stay connected...

Email Leslie Garvin to receive our bi-monthly Digest!

Bookmark our VISTA VIEW Blog to get your VISTA fix.

Visit our website for campus-community engagement news, resources, and upcoming events!

Join AmeriCorps Alums. It's free! 

Join our group on LinkedIn group! Log your LinkedIn account, type "North Carolina Campus Compact" in the search bar, then request to join!