Community Fellows And Projects - 2014-2015

Jenny Alpert

City of Bethlehem Department of Community and Economic Development
Jenny is the Pennsylvania Champ Holman Community Fellow, working for the City of Bethlehem’s Department of Community and Economic Development on Housing Maintenance, Enforcement and Rehabilitation initiatives. She is collecting and analyzing data related to the housing stock and housing trends within the City of Bethlehem, and mapping them onto ArcGIS. With Jenny’s assistance the City of Bethlehem will use this information to assess various housing programs, and set goals for the future. Additionally, Jenny has been researching potential partnerships, similar communities and additional funding sources that could assist the DCED’s objectives, with a focus on housing rehabilitation. Jenny is an M.A. Candidate for Sociology.

Elena DeSantis

Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Elena is a Community Fellow with Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), a community development organization committed to the success of children from cradle to career. Elena is managing the organization’s expansion into Bethlehem. Her work has involved collecting and analyzing data on Bethlehem’s education, safety, economy, and health, and she is conducting community town meetings to share this data with residents in order facilitate their input into selecting the location of the Bethlehem Promise Neighborhood. Elena also meets with leaders in local government, education, business, and other nonprofits in order to establish partnerships to carry out PNLV’s nine promises. Elena is an M.A. candidate in Political Science. 

Marissa Galante

St. Luke’s University Health Network, Community Health Department
Marissa is a Community Fellow with St. Luke’s University Health Network in the Community Health Department where she is working on collecting and analyzing data for the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) required under the Affordable Care Act. She is gathering primary and secondary data for the study, including developing and leading community focus groups, as well as developing research poll surveys. Marissa will assist in writing the final report, creating trend diagrams and tracking and summarizing demographic and health disparity statistics for the six hospitals in the St. Luke’s network. The position provides experience analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data within the healthcare sector. Marissa is an M.A. candidate in Political Science. 

Julissa Lopez

Donegan Elementary School, Bethlehem St. Luke’s Community Health Department
Julissa is a Community Fellow at Donegan Elementary School in Bethlehem, working with St. Luke's Community Health Department. Julissa is working on Donegan’s “Youth Succeeding in Schools” program, tracking student attendance, along with family social services, in order to determine if supporting a family’s basic needs leads to increased school attendance. In addition to completing two YSS reports, Julissa is also working on school-wide vision initiatives, to make sure every student who is in need of a pair of glasses receives one. She facilitates two programs that promote literacy in the Southside, and in the spring will undertake project to better connect the Fowler Family Center at Donegan with the Donegan Elementary School community. Julissa is a M.A. candidate in Sociology.

Brooke Kohler

Nuture Nature Center
Brooke is a Community Fellow at the Nurture Nature Center (NNC) in Easton, PA, which creates programming for the Easton community and the greater Lehigh Valley, focusing on raising awareness of local environmental risk. Brooke assists with program development, event coordination and promotion, community engagement, environmental educational outreach, grant-writing and research, and she oversees NNC volunteers and interns.  In spring Brooke will also assist with a community needs assessment study led by Nurture Nature Center, which seeks to understand environmental concerns and awareness in the Easton community. Brooke is an M.A. candidate in Environmental Policy Design

Cristiano Lima

Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion
Cristiano is a Community Fellow with the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, where he serves as a research assistant to Professor Christopher Borick. At the Institute he assists in the development of polling instruments, runs statistical analyses, writes data-specific opinion pieces, and synthesizes study results into briefs that are utilized for public outreach and media engagement. His projects include the Lehigh Valley quality of life survey, a regional health survey, and an expansive national survey on attitudes toward climate change. Cristiano hopes to build upon these experiences by pursuing further graduate studies.

Ellie McGuire

Bethlehem Area School District
Ellie is a Community Fellow with the Bethlehem Area School District. She serves as project manager for the Climate and Sustainability Commitment, which focuses on improving environmental sustainability in district operations, implementing more sustainability-oriented curricula, and promoting community engagement with district initiatives. Ellie is managing a district-wide curriculum inventory of existing sustainability-oriented curricula in order to identify gaps and potential areas for improvement. Additionally, she is writing a series of columns on district initiatives for local publications and working on improving communication and transparency with the greater BASD community. Ellie is an M.A. Candidate in Political Science. 

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