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Community Outreach

About Community Outreach

As a part of the Department of Student Activities, Community Outreach offers students opportunities to engage in service related activities that enhance the quality of life of others in the community while enriching their own learning experience at the University of Connecticut. Our website provides the UConn and local communities with information about initiatives and resources related to volunteerism, community service, service-learning, and community partnerships.

Mission

Community Outreach’s mission is to enrich learning at the University of Connecticut through preparing students to be active global citizens by engaging them in service activities that enhance the quality of life for both others and themselves.

Community Outreach offers the following services:

  • One-time and regular service programs that meet self-identified community needs.
  • Volunteer and federal work-study positions in local human service agencies and schools.
  • Professional and leadership development for participants and coordinators.
  • Advising for individual students, student organizations, faculty and staff who desire assistance in developing a service-related project.
  • A point of access for community partners wishing to engage the UConn student body in public and community service initiatives.

Staff

Community Outreach has a team of professional staff members and graduate assistants, who support the work of student coordinators, advise and assist students with community service-related issues, and liaison with community based organizations. Full-time staff members are available by appointment or during regular office hours.



Gina DeVivo Brassaw

Gina DeVivo Brassaw - Interim Associate Director (Email)

Gina joined the Community Outreach staff in January 2005. Gina oversees health and human service placements and the alternative breaks and immersion program for the office. Gina earned her Master’s in Social Work from UConn in 2002 with a concentration in community organizing and administration. She previously worked as a community organizer with The Caring Families Coalition in Hartford fighting for stronger health care provisions for Connecticut families. Gina has worked extensively with many local and national community organizations on advocacy issues and is still currently very involved with groups in the area. She is excited to work within the University setting to connect students with new service opportunities.


Ada Elderkin

Ada Elderkin, Administrative Assistant (Email)

Ada joined the Department of Student Activities in July 2009. She is an Administrative Assistant for Student Activities and also assists the Office of Community Outreach. Ada has worked at the University of Connecticut since 1989, working in Career Services, Office of Special Programs and the Dean of Students Office, bringing many years of UConn experience to the department.

Miguel Colón

Miguel Colón - Program Coordinator (Email)

Miguel joined the CO staff in July 2007. He oversees the Youth Development & Education Programs for Children and Adolescents and Special Projects areas. Miguel worked at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT for four years as the Assistant Director of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs, as well as a director of an afterschool mentoring program. While at Sacred Heart he participated in more than 10 immersion programs in Connecticut, North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.


Sara Cook

Sara Cook – Program Coordinator (Email)

Sara joined the CO staff in June 2010. She oversees CO’s transportation services and health and human service placements for the office. Sara previously has held various health care management positions in the areas of Social Services and Adult Day Services. Sara holds a Bachelor of Science in Gerontology and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Adult Learning from the NEAG School of Education at UConn. She is passionate about health education and is currently focusing her studies in this area, specifically to achieving health behavior change. Sara looks forward to working with students to help engage them in both the local and university communities.

Christina Honeycutt

Christina Honeycutt – Program Assistant (Email)

Christina joined the Community Outreach Staff in July 2013. She graduated from Keene State College in NH with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and is currently pursuing an MBA from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. While at Keene State, Christina participated in alternative spring break trips and was involved in many student groups on campus. Before coming to UConn, Christina served a year as a Connecticut Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA at the University of Hartford, worked as a Training and Membership Services Coordinator at CT Association of Nonprofits, and most recently was the Assistant Director of Community Service and Student Conduct at the University of Hartford.


Kelly Zimmermann

Kelly Zimmermann - Coordinator & Senior Site Manager, Jump Start (Email)

Kelly joined the Community Outreach Staff in July 2012. Graduating from the University of Connecticut in 2000, Kelly is an alum of the Community Outreach program having served for America Reads in 1998-1999. Kelly earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2012, and is a certified pre-K through 3rd grade teacher. Currently the Jumpstart Senior Site Manager, and the Language & Literacy Program coordinator, Kelly enjoys bridging the learning connection between university students and the populations they serve. Prior experiences include serving as the Jumpstart Associate Site Manager, conducting research and data collection for a Spencer Grant while a graduate student at Eastern, owning and operating a local dance studio, and working as a special education instructional assistant at a local elementary school.


Kasey Carta

Kasey Carta - Associate Site Manager, Jump Start (Email)

Kasey joined the Community Outreach Staff in July 2013. She has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the United Way of South Mississippi during the 2012-2013 year. There she researched resources and best practices to improve the development of children ages 0-5, and the quality of education for the local community through the Excel By 5 program. Kasey is a UConn alum and graduated in 2012 with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. While attending the university she participated in the Jumpstart program at the Office of Community Outreach first as a Corps Member and then continued her second year of service as a Team Leader. Her passion lies with early childhood education and "working towards the day every child in America enters Kindergarten prepared to succeed".


Ashley Hazleton

Ashley Hazleton – Coordinator Alternative Breaks (Email)

Ashley joined the office in July of 2013 as the Coordinator of Alternative Breaks. Ashley earned her Bachelors of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology with a minor in Anthropology from UConn in 2011 and was heavily involved in multiple student groups, including Alternative Breaks, during her time here. She previously worked in a local hospital near her hometown just south of Boston. Before returning to UConn, she lived in the Superstorm Sandy affected areas of New Jersey, coordinating volunteers in the disaster relief efforts. Ashley is happy to be back at her UConn home and looks forward to continuing her involvement in the Alternative Breaks movement.


Truth Hunter

Truth Hunter – Graduate Assistant (Email)

Truth Hunter has recently relocated from Oakland, CA to join the Community Outreach office July of 2012. She is currently a student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at UConn. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor’s degree in Critical Social Thought, she worked for the Holy Names Upward Bound Project as the Academic Coordinator for four years. Truth is looking forward to organizing inspiring ways for students to get involved in meaningful community service projects.


Andy Nagy

M. Andy Nagy – Graduate Assistant (Email)

Andy joined Community Outreach in June 2012 to coordinate Careers for the Common Good, a joint program also sponsored by the Center for Career Development and the Human Rights Institute. His responsibilities include aiding students in the discovery of ways to merge their passion for service with their career aspirations. After graduating from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Andy served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in which he coordinated disaster relief programs before taking a coordinator role in the Center for Civic Engagement at his alma mater.

Student Leaders
Student leaders coordinate and direct community service initiatives throughout the year. For more information on what student leaders do, how to become a student leader, and who they are, please click here for more information.