Community Fellows and Projects - 2013-2014

Joseph Celentano

Bethlehem Area School District
Joseph is a Community Fellow at the Bethlehem Area School District. He serves at the central offices of the BASD, where he coordinates communications, organizes and executes events, and provides feedback on school district policy. Joseph has penned op-eds with the superintendent and written profiles of programs administered at the local schools. He has analyzed charter school applications and provided feedback to the administration. Joseph has also written multiple legislative briefs and created presentations to be used in educating the administration, the school board, and teachers. Joseph is an M.A. candidate in Political Science.

Sara Fiorot

St. Luke’s Community Health Department
Sara is a Community Fellow with St. Luke’s Community Health Department. She has been working in conjunction with the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley, with the ultimate goal of promoting health equity in the local community. Her work has included assisting with strategic planning, capacity building, and data analysis. She has also been involved in the development of a new program aimed at increasing the engagement of fathers in their children’s lives. Going forward, she will be assisting with the planning and implementation processes associated with the Community Health Needs Assessment that is to be conducted by St. Luke’s University Health Network. Sara is an M.A. candidate in Sociology.

Gabriel Hurtado

West End Alliance
Gabe Hurtado is a Community Fellow with the West End Alliance, a 501(c)(3) organization that looks to stimulate revitalization in the West End Theatre District of Allentown, by envisioning and catalyzing positive change among residential, commercial, governmental, and institutional entities. Through the enhancement, diversification, and support of local businesses and services, the West End Alliance promotes a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly community atmosphere. Gabe’s main responsibilities include: fostering stakeholder interaction, promoting business development, managing electronic media content, preparing budgets, supporting community events, strengthening organization’s master plan, and facilitating neighborhood outreach. Gabe is an M.A. candidate in Political Science.

Natalie LaVan

Family Answers, Inc. and Pinebrook Family Services
Natalie is a Community Fellow serving not one, but two Lehigh Valley nonprofit human service organizations: Family Answers, Inc. and Pinebrook Family Services. She is assisting them in the review of  their policies, procedures, communications and other administrative work, as she learns what it really takes to run a nonprofit organization. Natalie has been able to meet with board members and staff, investigate how each organization functions on a day-to-day basis while working closely with both Executive Directors, and has been developing and implementing recommendations for each organization to strengthen their operations and efficacy.  Natalie is an M.A. candidate in Environmental Policy Design.

Ybelka Medina

United Way’s Alliance on Aging
Ybelka Medina is a Community Fellow working with the United Way’s Alliance on Aging.  Her main role with the Alliance has been planning, implementing and launching the Alliance’s version of the Gatekeepers Program. The program will use non-traditional referral sources (community members whose jobs put them in contact with older adults, such as grocery store clerks or postal employees) to identify and refer isolated older adults who are not connected to non-profit or government programs, so they can receive the services they need to stay in their homes. Ybelka’s work includes meeting with community focus groups, the creation and development of a curriculum presentation and training guide that will be used to train the community members, and marketing materials for this program. Ybelka is an M.A. candidate in Sociology.

Gelmar Orestes Moraga Fernández

Lafayette College’s Landis Center for Community Engagement
Gelmar is a Community Fellow with Lafayette College’s Landis Center for Community Engagement. The Center plays a central role in fostering community partnerships between the college and the cities of Easton and Phillipsburg. As a Community Fellow, Gelmar facilitates student-led programing, such as the Teens in the Community program. Additionally, Gelmar aids in collecting and analyzing data to enhance the enrichment of civic engagement among students in a newly established branch of the Center for Community Engagement. Gelmar is an M.A Political Science Candidate.

Andrew Rigotti

Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust (LVCLT)
Andy is a Community Fellow with the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust (LVCLT), a subsidiary of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley. LVCLT is an organization committed to providing affordable homeownership to residents of the Lehigh Valley. They strive to achieve this goal by purchasing houses from the aging housing stock, renovating the properties, and selling them to potential homeowners while holding the land in trust, ensuring the home remains affordable. Andy’s work at LVCLT includes creating and implementing a plan for member development, providing housing options for the underserved veteran population, and developing documentation for the Land Trust’s Owner Occupied Rehabilitation program. Andy is an M.A. candidate in Political Science.

Community Fellows Profiles

Current Community Fellows Profiles

Community Fellows Profiles 2015-2016

Community Fellows Profiles 2014-2015

Community Fellows Profiles 2013-2014

Community Fellows Profiles 2012-2013

Community Fellows Profiles 2011-2012

Community Fellows Profiles 2010-2011