Meet the Spring 2018 Service-Learning Program Staff!

By Service-Learning Program Assistant Asta MacKie

Take a few minutes to learn about Becca Berkey, Lisa Roe, Amanda Tompkins, Kelsie O’Flanagan, and Asta MacKie – the Service-Learning team behind this semester’s partnerships (and meet their furry friends!).

 

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Becca Berkey and Sully (Lisa’s dog!).

Name: Becca Berkey
Role within Service-Learning: Director of Service-Learning and faculty member for Food Justice & Community Development and Food Justice & Social Change
Education: PhD in Environmental Studies, MS in College Student Personnel, and BS in Biology
Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana

How did you first become involved with Service-Learning?
I was involved with service in high school and college, but never actually had the chance to directly connect it to what I was studying. When I was in my master’s program (at Miami University of Ohio), I learned of S-L, and light bulbs went off- why wouldn’t we want to offer opportunities for students to both deepen their learning as well as ways for institutions of higher education to positively impact their communities in partnership? The rest is history- I’ve been working in higher ed at the intersection of universities & communities ever since- and also incorporated the pursuit of publicly engaged scholarship in my doctoral program in Environmental Studies. I came to Northeastern in 2013, and it has been a great landing place where I’ve been able to connect all of my interests and passions in a vibrant community like Boston- which has become my home.

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Becca’s second cat, Pepper.
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Becca’s first cat, Ellie.

How does service-learning align with your own values and goals within community engagement and student learning?
I have a deep and enduring commitment to social justice, and what drives me in this work is the potential for creating a more just world in very direct ways (by supporting the missions, visions, and goals of our partner organizations) and in some indirect ways (by exposing students across disciplines to the place of what their studying in creating a better world). I also really believe that our lives and world center on our connections to one another, and there is no better place for connecting and relationship-building than in the service-learning and community engagement world. I am truly fortunate, grateful, and humbled to work each day in ways that align with the core of who I am and who I strive to be.

If service-learning were a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
Service-Learning would be Belle from Beauty and the Beast- because she’s always learning (she loves to read!), she stays curious, and she’s open to new experiences and having her assumptions challenged.

 

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Lisa Roe and her chocolate lab and golden retriever mix, Sully.

Name: Lisa Roe
Role within Service-Learning: Assistant Director of Service-Learning and Faculty Member for Community Learning
Education: BA in Sociology, MEd in Higher Education Administration, and working on an EdD in Higher Education Administration
Hometown: Bedford, Massachusetts

How did you first become involved with Service-Learning?
My first introduction to service-learning was as an undergraduate student at Northeastern. I learned about it as a Program Assistant Co-op in the Center of Community Service back in 2005, and then was fortunate enough to take two different service-learning courses before I graduated. I was also one of the first Service-Learning Teaching Assistants during the pilot year of the program in 2007-2008! I was fortunate enough that when I graduated in 2008, a new position was created to support the growth of Service-Learning at Northeastern.

How does service-learning align with your own values and goals within community engagement and student learning?
Service-Learning is all about collaboration and I believe that we can do more collectively than we ever could on our own. As an undergraduate sociology student I was constantly learning about social injustices, but often felt a lack of action towards positive social change. For me, service-learning is that informed action that contributes to greater social impact.

If service-learning were a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
Goofy – seemingly silly at times (service-learning is messy!), but always comes through in the end!

 

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Amanda Tompkins.

Name: Amanda Tompkins
Role within Service-Learning:  S-L Program Assistant & Co-op and S-LTA for Boston in Literature and Writing & Community Engagement
College: College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Majors: International Affairs and History
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington

How did you first become involved with Service-Learning?
I am completely new to Service-Learning this semester! I am a Program Assistant and the current co-op for Service-Learning.

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Amanda’s cat, Muffin.
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Amana’s cat, Winston.
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Amanda’s cat, Tiberius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does service-learning align with your own values and goals within community engagement and student learning?
I think it is incredible important to be serving the community in which you reside and service-learning give students the opportunity (and incentive) to serve the neighborhoods around Northeastern. It also helps them to develop skills and competencies that can help them in the future and the same time they are helping community organizations address the needs of residents.

If service-learning were a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Even in the face of adversity, Piglet always finds a way to remain positive and he really cares about all of his friends!

 

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Kelsie O’Flanagan and her two dogs, Heidi and Shelly.

Name: Kelsie O’Flanagan
Role within Service-Learning: S-L Program Assistant, S-L Team Manager, and S-LTA for Community Learning
College: D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Majors: Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Minor: International Affairs
Hometown: Patterson, New York

How did you first become involved with Service-Learning?
In my first semester, I did service-learning in Dublin with NUin, working as a Teaching Assistant in a classroom at the National Institute for Intellectual Disability at Trinity College. When I came back to Boston in the Spring, I was in a leadership program called Lead 360 where Lisa was the leader of my program. At the end of the program, Lisa invited me to join the Service-Learning Program as an S-LTA, and the rest is history! I’m so grateful that I had the chance to meet Lisa and learn about the program here in Boston.

How does service-learning align with your own values and goals within community engagement and student learning?
I have always worked to be involved in the community through volunteering with local organizations, participating in charity walks and holding leadership positions in student groups with a focus on community engagement. I wanted to make sure I not only continued this in college, but also find new ways to serve the communities around us, and help others to do the same. I also want to be a teacher one day and love having the opportunity to be a Service-Learning Teaching Assistant to learn more about leading a class and working with various professors.

If service-learning were a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus! Service-Learning takes students on a new journey, through exploration in service and reflection in both the community and the classroom. While things may get a bit crazy sometimes, we all always end up happily learning something new about the world around us!

 

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Asta MacKie and her golden retriever, Charlie.

Name: Asta MacKie
Role within Service-Learning: S-L Program Assistant and S-LTA for 5D Fundamentals: Experience & Drawing
College: College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Majors: Economics and International Affairs
Hometown: San Francisco, California

How did you first become involved with Service-Learning?
I first became involved with Service-Learning when I applied to for their co-op position almost exactly one year ago! I had never taken a service-learning course before so it was definitely a steep learning curve at first, but I’m so happy I’ve been able to continue working for the program since the end of my co-op as both a program assistant and a S-LTA!

How does service-learning align with your own values and goals within community engagement and student learning?
Service-Learning is a way for students to capitalize on their learning through real life experiences outside of the classroom while simultaneously providing community organizations around Boston with volunteers with certain sets of skills to complete their own goals. As a student who is trying to find a balance between developing my own career goals and bettering the community around me, I see service-learning as the best of both worlds!

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Asta’s second golden retriever, Odin.

If service-learning were a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
It would be Winnie the Pooh! As cheesy as it sounds, friendship is the most important thing to Winnie the Pooh in the same way that the partnership is the most important thing to service-learning.


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