Amy Potthast, Editor, is Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs at Idealist.org. She hosts The New Service podcast from Idealist, and educates people about civilian service opportunities as one entry point to social-impact careers. She’s recently published the book Service Corps to Social Impact Career – A Companion to the Idealist Guides to Nonprofit Careers. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Fuling, Chongqing, China, 1998-2000), as an AmeriCorps member with Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps (2000-01) and as a VISTA Leader with Clara Barton AmeriCorps VISTA Corps. She lives in Portland with her husband, sons, dog & cat.
Marissa Pherson, AmeriCorps VISTA member, was born and raised in St. Peter, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a degree in Sociology (concentration in Law, Criminology, and Deviance). She’s a dog lover, tornado survivor, bike commuter, genealogy geek, and former Girl Scout. She started her first AmeriCorps VISTA term in April 2008 and her second term in July 2009.
Richard Melo served with AmeriCorps for two years in the middle 1990s in Portland, OR. At present, he works at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory researching and writing learning materials for national service participants.
Katrina Mathis is based at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in Washington, D.C. and serves as the National Recruitment Specialist for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). She began her public service career in Recruitment, in Peace Corps’ Atlanta Regional Office, where she oversaw the implementation of outreach and recruitment strategies for the southeast region. Prior to joining the staff of the Peace Corps, Katrina was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, 1994-1996. Katrina is an Atlanta native.
Sarah Kaplan, Training Specialist for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the National Service Inclusion Project, completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member through Massachusetts Campus Compact. During her at placement at Northeastern University she expanded the Community-Based Federal Work-Study program and coordinated a variety of campus-community forums. Her work served to increase the number of students, staff, and community members who were positively impacted by the Northeastern Center for Community Service. She will be focused on distance education for NSIP and is passionate about increasing the opportunities for people of all abilities in service. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Wright State University and her M.A. in Ethics and Political Theory from University of Reading in the U.K.
Colleen Hammelman serves as the Program Associate at Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), working with the Executive Director to manage national and international projects advancing strategies for youth civic engagement including capacity building in South Asia, highlighting opportunities for green youth service, and researching and developing Pathways to Teaching for AmeriCorps members. Previously, Colleen served as an advocacy associate at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and undertook research on international human rights for the Institute for Strategic and International Studies – Malaysia while studying in Malaysia for several months. Colleen completed her MA in International Affairs at American University and her BA in Technical Journalism and Political Science at Colorado State University.
Leslie Dolland, a former collegiate student-athlete of Northwestern University, is a health-enthusiast who believes there is enough room for both red velvet cupcakes and treadmills in life. She recently worked for President Clinton’s Foundation within the Alliance for a Healthier Generation initiative and currently is finishing her two-year service program in Dr. Mehmet Oz’s organization, HealthCorps. As a HealthCorps Coordinator, she empowers South Bronx high school students and their communities to live their healthiest lives. She resides in Harlem.
Erin Barnhart directs Volunteerism Initiatives at Idealist.org. She served in AmeriCorps*NCCC from 1997-1998 and studied in Canada on a Fulbright Scholarship from 2004-2005. She lives in Portland where she continues to work on a Ph.D., studying international civic engagement, at Portland State University.