STAFF

 

Advancement

 

  • All
  • Advancement
  • Tim Shriver
    Tim Shriver
    President
  • Bridget Barry
    Bridget Barry
    Ignatian Entrepreneur
  • Kevin Breen
    Kevin Breen
    Recruitment Manager
  • Shelby Christopher
    Shelby Christopher
    Executive Associate
  • Cassie Clemente
    Cassie Clemente
    Chief of Staff/Director of Advancement
  • Jo Pressimone
    Jo Pressimone
    Development Manager
  • Jennifer Svetlik
    Jennifer Svetlik
    Advancement Associate
Tim Shriver
President

Tim Shriver

President

Fun Fact: Has broken 12 bones.


What passions and experiences have brought you to JVC’s staff?

I am passionate about young people working in service and solidarity in pursuit of social change. I grew up within Special Olympics where I worked on youth leadership initiatives with young people with and without intellectual disabilities from across the world to build inclusive communities and campuses. Then I got the chance to help launch a non-profit called The Future Project, where we worked with young people in urban public high schools to lead transformative student-led change in their schools. Coming to JVC has allowed me to combine this passion with my own journey of exploring my Catholic faith and in particular Ignatian Spirituality – and for that I am hugely grateful.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I went to Yale University where I received a degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Academically I was shaped by this degree which challenged me to look across disciplines and see the ways in which the world we live in is shaped by the intersections of these areas. Beyond the classroom, the experience of captaining the Yale Rugby Team and launching Spread the Word to End the Word (a campaign to end the use of the word “retard”) shaped me by instilling in me an unwavering belief in the power of a great team.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

More than anything I love spending time outdoors with family and friends – hiking, biking, anything that floats, and team sports.


Who is your role model and why?

My grandfather. He was a dreamer and a builder who was tireless in his devotion to his family and those closest to him, as well as those living on the margins of our world. He was deeply grounded in his faith, unwavering in his integrity to who he sought to be, and dedicated to sharing a message of love and service with the world.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

The most rewarding part of my role is the chance to travel the country and meet members of our community from all walks of life – volunteers, Jesuits, campus partners, donors, agency partners, and so on. I get to hear the stories of how impactful JVC has been in so many lives and get the chance to dream about the future and ways we can continue to grow and improve.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

I wish people knew how incredibly dedicated and hard-working the people on our staff at JVC are – so much of their work is behind the scenes and goes unnoticed!

Bridget Barry
Ignatian Entrepreneur

Bridget Barry

Ignatian Entrepreneur
JVC Scranton 15
Email: bbarry@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Favorite food is quesadillas.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I enjoy running, doing yoga, and am an avid reader. These activities are restorative and stimulating for me.


Who is your role model and why?

My grandmothers. They both have exemplified selflessness in small, daily ways for my whole life. They also both have a great sense of humor, which concurrently brings a stability and lightness to our family.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

Women’s issues: I hope to be working to create a more just and equitable society for females throughout my life. I am equally passionate about mental health and access to mental health resources for underserved communities.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

It is an opportunity to learn about yourself and the complexities of the social issues we face. People considering JVC should think less about the change they want to instigate outside of themselves, and more about the change they hope to instigate within themselves.


What’s your favorite quote?

“Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.” Mary Oliver

Kevin Breen
Recruitment Manager

Kevin Breen

Recruitment Manager
JVC NW Yakima 15
Email: kbreen@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Enjoys fiction writing.


What experiences brought you to JVC’s Staff?

I spent a semester abroad through the Casa de la Solidaridad program in El Salvador, which set me on the path I’m on now. My outdoor education experiences in college also informed my interest in JVC’s value of simple living.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I studied writing and Spanish at Loyola University Maryland. Loyola gave me an entry point into Ignatian spirituality and also helped me discover some personal passions–writing, speaking Spanish, outdoor access, and others–that are a big part of my life now.


What makes you laugh?

I think it’s funny when the absurd is taken as true or sincere. That happens among friends when a silly joke is deepened through ten minutes of additional conversation, or in movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

When a JV comes up to me at Orientation and reminds me that I spoke in their class way back in the fall, or when they remember who I am just by a half-day interaction at their alma mater. That makes me feel like our recruiting work has real, direct impact on others.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

I wish people knew how much our staff care about the work we do. I feel like decisions are made with many voices at JVC, and after a lot of reflection. Both things are a testament to the care our staff have for the mission.

Shelby Christopher
Executive Associate

Shelby Christopher

Executive Associate
Email: schristopher@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Sets her alarm at weird times (e.g. 6:57 am) because she likes to tell herself “just 3 more minutes before I actually have to get up.”


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s Staff?

I had never heard of JVC until a few months after graduating from college. I actually wanted to be a JV but I had just gotten my dog, so instead I thought “why not work for JVC?” I applied to one of the open positions and was hired soon after.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I love getting outside to take walks with my four month old son and our little black pug. We all love the fresh air, change of scenery, and exercise.


Who is your role model and why?

My great Aunt Estelle. She was the most hardworking, kind, independent, and adventurous person I have ever known. She was the first U.S. American woman to summit Mount Fuji in Japan, and was one of the oldest women to attempt to climb Mount Everest. My Aunt ‘Stelle never married but would visit our family often bearing gifts (simple things like pencils or a new coloring book). When she visited she would do yard work, laundry, cooking, and whatever needed to be done. She genuinely loved working hard and helping out. She was also a devout Catholic with steadfast trust in the Lord.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about the right to life. Mother Theresa said, “The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child.”


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

The most rewarding part of my role is assisting others in tasks that feel very simple to me, but can feel very burdensome for others.

Cassie Clemente
Chief of Staff/Director of Advancement

Cassie Clemente

Chief of Staff/Director of Advancement
JVC Milwaukee 06
Email: cclemente@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Was born on Friday the 13th (April)


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, go Seahawks! I spent a lot of time on the river, barefoot, building community, and just being present. St. Mary’s is a state school on the St. Mary’s River (not religiously affiliated), and it is one of the most community-oriented places I’ve ever been. It’s the place I call home and where I can be my fullest expression of God’s love. I hope one day we will get more JVs from SMCM!


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I love to cook – the creativity and using my hands helps me relax after a hard day. I especially love to have a friend over and chop veggies together, maybe drink a beer or two, and just hang out in the kitchen chatting freely. I also love spending time in the woods or on the water, which brings me back to the wonder of God’s love and my connection to that through nature.


How would your friends or family describe you?

A little quirky, nerdy, probably too deeply reflective, full of energy, and way too committed to my work. My siblings describe me as “a barefoot, rabbit food-eating hippy,” which is an interpretation of my defiance against “dressing to impress.”


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

I see a big part of my role as holding and honoring the stories, joys, and questions from our community. I have the opportunity to connect with students, campus contacts, JVs, FJVs, donors, staff and former staff, friends and family, and anyone who is desiring a deeper connection to our mission – to enter places of prayer and longing together, to offer perspective and a listening ear. We at JVC are in the business of building a world that is more connected, more rooted in faith, and more intentional – more just and more hopeful – this is exactly how I want to be in business.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

That it is a lot of fun. I think we often, myself included, take ourselves so seriously. There is so much pain and injustice in the world, and it can be easy for me to get lost in that darkness sometimes. There is such light, joy, and hope in JVC – we are a community of people who love getting to know one another, having fun, laughing, playing games, and finding light and love in the ordinary. Where else do you start meetings with questions like “what type of mode of transportation best describes how you are coming to this space?” or other ways to bring our fullest hearts and souls into a conversation?

Jo Pressimone
Development Manager

Jo Pressimone

Development Manager
Email: jpressimone@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Has seen every movie on the AFI top 100 Films list.


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s Staff?

I am a born collaborator and have found great opportunities to work closely with just about every member of the staff on something. Also, I am a bit of a social planner and like to find fun activities to do with co-workers, from movie screenings to trivia nights.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I attended Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. I was involved in music, theater, residence life, and campus ministry. I loved my religious studies courses, and still nurse a passion for interreligious dialogue as a means to peace. My Edmundite education gave me a foundation for pursuing a life grounded in service and justice. Also, Vermont is the best state.


How would your friends or family describe you?

When I asked them, they said I am imaginative, creative, funny, outgoing, energetic, empathetic, and a team player. They also mentioned my freakish ability to rattle off obscure movie trivia. And that I am easily distracted by family text messages.


What makes you laugh?

Nothing makes me laugh harder than being told not to laugh. And awkward silences. And my family’s responses to “How would your friends or family describe you?”


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

There are many ways to stay involved with JVC after completing a year or two of service, from serving as support people in the communities where volunteers live and work, to participating in FJV retreats and social gatherings, to supporting the current volunteers with prayers, messages of encouragement, and gifts made in their honor.

Jennifer Svetlik
Advancement Associate

Jennifer Svetlik

Advancement Associate
Email: jsvetlik@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Recently discovered how to ferment vegetables – easy and delicious!


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s Staff?

A passion for forming young people in deepening of faith and responding to oppression and brokenness, leading to a revitalization of the U.S. Church through justice and tenderness. My volunteer year with Sojourners in Washington DC was formative and I’m grateful to help support that experience for others.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

Gardening is a full-body experience that brings me closer to our Creator. Helping tend and steward the earth’s creativity provides models for how to live the rest of my life, seeking to foster environments where others can thrive.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about and why?

Racial justice. Over past five years I’ve been on a journey to understand my whiteness and privilege, the impact it’s had on me and others, and what my response can be particularly as a Catholic in a church with a sinful, racist history. Seeking reconciling relationship has been my primary lens while living in Washington DC over the past eight years, and the journey is just beginning.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

Being able to share the stories of JVC with our community of JVs, FJVs, supporters and funders. I am also thankful for the flexibility to work part-time while caring full-time for my son Ezra.


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

Jeremiah 18:1-6, because it challenges me to be open to God’s abundant, unexpected creativity in my life & in the world. Perhaps JVC is like a Potter’s House – a place where people open to change are molded into service for and with others.

 

Finance & Administration

 

  • All
  • Finance & Administration
  • Keysha Handy
    Keysha Handy
    Office Manager
  • Deb Schechter
    Deb Schechter
    Finance Associate
Keysha Handy
Office Manager

Keysha Handy

Office Manager
Email: khandy@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Once marched in a parade on Main Street in Disney World.


What aspects of JVC’s mission and values speak to you most?

I appreciate the emphasis on social justice and the progressive work behind it. Our staff is constantly looking for improvement and seeking equality.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I enjoy spending time outside. Something about it is very peaceful and I always feel centered after being in nature.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

Every single person on staff makes a difference, and that level of commitment is recognized. It is extremely rewarding to feel like your contributions are valued.

Deb Schechter
Finance Associate

Deb Schechter

Finance Associate
Email: dschecter@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Previously had a business called Deb’s Dogs, where she boarded up to 10 dogs in her one- bedroom apartment.


What did you study and how did the experience shape you?

I received my MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Clay. I was the youngest student in the program and being surrounded with very talented artists helped me to formulate my vision of beauty.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I love to walk to a nearby park that has a beautiful path with streams and meadows; to witness the change of seasons surrounding me and to have the time for reflection. I also love to care for plants and it brings me such delight when my plants have a new leaf or flower.


Who is your role model and why?

Avatar Meher Baba. His life revealed Godliness as truth through love.


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

Deuteronomy 6:5. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart….” If I could practice this always I would be able to respond with wholehearted loving kindness in any situation, with the determination and commitment of true faith.

 

Program

 

  • All
  • Program
  • Chris Bargeron
    Chris Bargeron
    Program Coordinator - Bridgeport, Boston and Portland
  • Ben DeGarmo
    Ben DeGarmo
    Program Coordinator - Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis
  • Sarah Estrada
    Sarah Estrada
    Program Coordinator - Phoenix, Tucson, and San Diego
  • Erika Franey
    Erika Franey
    Program Coordinator – Los Angeles (West, Central, East)
  • Liz Hughes
    Liz Hughes
    Director - International Program
  • Paige Katzfey
    Paige Katzfey
    Program Coordinator - Micronesia and St. Francis, SD
  • Michele Kelley
    Michele Kelley
    Program Coordinator - Belize and Tanzania
  • Curt Klueg
    Curt Klueg
    Program Manager (Detroit)
  • Jill Kress
    Jill Kress
    Program Coordinator - Austin, Houston, San Antonio
  • Mike Kurpinski
    Mike Kurpinski
    Program Associate
  • Miranda McOsker
    Miranda McOsker
    Program Coordinator – Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis
  • Beth Pawuk
    Beth Pawuk
    Program Coordinator - Detroit, AY Program, AmeriCorps
  • Francie Varner
    Francie Varner
    Program Coordinator - Mobile, New Orleans, Albuquerque
  • Pat Washington
    Pat Washington
    Program Coordinator – Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose
Chris Bargeron
Program Coordinator - Bridgeport, Boston and Portland

Chris Bargeron

Program Coordinator – Bridgeport, Boston and Portland
Email: cbargeron@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Played collegiate rugby and won two divisional championships with Molloy College.


What passions and experiences have brought you to JVC’s staff?

In the past two years, I’ve been blessed to work with refugees. It was a spiritual experience to listen to their stories and experiences. The best part has been knowing that by helping them in a significant point in their lives, I am part of their success story in the U.S.


Did you participate in a volunteer program?

Yes, Dominican Volunteers USA in 2014-16. During my first year, I was an ESL and job class instructor for refugees in Chicago. In my second year, I was an employment specialist in Atlanta.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I went to Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY where I studied Secondary Math and Special Education. I was involved in rugby, campus ministries, student government and the performing arts club. The people in each of those groups shaped my perspective on life.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I enjoy being a great sports fan and playing different sports. I’m really competitive, and playing a casual game of baseball, softball or rugby allows me to forget stress.


How would your friends or family describe you?

The most important descriptors they would name are my humor and ability to listen. Laughter makes each day enjoyable, and it’s important to be attentive and intentional in conversations as you never know how close of a connection you might develop with someone.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

Being able to guide volunteers in their time of service, influencing them through struggles, and hearing their successes throughout the year. Also, helping recruit new young adults who wish to give of themselves and journeying with them in their discernment process.

Ben DeGarmo
Program Coordinator - Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis

Ben DeGarmo

Program Coordinator – Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis
Email: bdegarmo@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Completed the Around the World Beer Club at Logan’s Alley in Grand Rapids, MI.


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

A passion for retreat planning, specifically around leadership development. I worked in residential treatment and saw both a nonprofit’s need from that viewpoint and the impact a full-time volunteer can have.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology with a storytelling focus. It led me into the theological viewpoints of Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis, GK Chesterton, and the works of Joseph Campbell. I also enjoyed writing poetry and non-fiction.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I am an avid comic book reader, picking up almost everything DC Comics. I love to play table top games, and am thrilled that a new game shop just opened up close to our home. Since its arrival to the U.S. in 1997 I have been playing Pokémon is some form, competing at a state level in college with a close friend. My wife Monica and I enjoy hiking when possible and make sure to see all the movies that get nominated for the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

It starts off as a year or two of service, but that is just the core of what it really is all about. JVC is a lifestyle that includes practicing the four values, learning the ideals of St. Ignatius, and seeing each person as a wholly unique human. The commitment of service is just the beginning.

Sarah Estrada
Program Coordinator - Phoenix, Tucson, and San Diego

Sarah Estrada

Program Coordinator – Phoenix, Tucson, and San Diego
JVC Syracuse 14
Email: sestrada@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Big fan of basketball.


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

My year as a JV and my semester in the Casa Bayanihan alternative study abroad program brought me to work on JVC’s staff.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

During my undergraduate career at the University of San Francisco, I traveled to Spain, the Philippines, and Brazil, where I worked with local communities and learned about justice issues facing the urban poor. These experiences helped me see the face of God in the poor and understand the practice of accompaniment.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I enjoy reading and watching the news to stay up-to-date on happenings in my community and in the world. I also enjoy discovering new music on Spotify.


How would your friends or family describe you?

They would say I am someone who eats and laughs a lot.


What social justice are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about racial justice, issues about homelessness and urban poverty, immigration reform and refugee resettlement. I’m also passionate about international issues and analyzing the U.S. role in global politics and society.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

The ability to walk along individuals doing the work of confronting social injustices and walking with marginalized individuals.

Erika Franey
Program Coordinator – Los Angeles (West, Central, East)

Erika Franey

Program Coordinator – Los Angeles (West, Central, East)
Email: efraney@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Loves Harry Potter.


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

I love love in all its forms, and this was solidified in my own year of service with Amate House in Chicago. Coming to JVC has been a series of answering invitations to love more deeply and more generously, and I’m excited to continue answering God’s call at JVC!


How did your college experience shape you?

My time at Loyola Marymount University is a huge part of who I am today. LMU is where I first learned about Ignatian spirituality, where I first read feminist and liberation theologies, and where I began to really claim my faith as an adult. LMU also provided me with incredible service opportunities that highlighted the necessity of a faith that does justice, and challenged me to think more deeply about unjust structures.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

More often than not, you’ll find me with my nose in a book recharging my introvert batteries. I also love yoga, hiking, and searching for the best fries in the United States.


How would your friends or family describe you?

Most likely as a lover of words, children (both in age and the child within), and big ideas. Also probably frequently over-caffeinated and utterly lacking a sense of direction.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

I wish people knew the breadth and depth of the larger JVC community. There are probably FJVs in your midst (I can’t seem to go anywhere without bumping into someone affiliated with JVC) – ask them about their experience!


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

Psalm 33:5 – “The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” This verse reminds me to look for God everywhere, and that the work of justice is rooted in God’s love for creation.

Liz Hughes
Director - International Program

Liz Hughes

Director – International Program
Email: ehughes@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Has been honored to travel to all six of the international countries where JVs serve.


What aspects of JVC’s mission and values speak to you most?

I can’t think of a mission closer to my heart than JVC’s mission! The duality of accompanying young people through such a formative time in their lives, coupled with the honor of partnering with communities and Jesuits overseas, anchors each and every day.


Did you participate in a volunteer program?

Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) in Birmingham, AL in 2000-02 and Olancho Aid Foundation in Juticalpa, Honduras in 2010.


Where did you go to college? What did you get your degree in? How did the experience shape you?

I attended Boston College as an undergraduate, double majoring in International Studies and Management. I also have a Master’s in Education from the University of Notre Dame.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

So many parts of my work bring me energy! Among the highlights are working with the tremendous group of individuals that comprise JVC’s international program team; being inspired by the commitment and stories of the JVs; and holding many who I meet along the journey (Jesuits, women religious, overseas partners) up as role models.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

The staff strive to live the four values just as the JVs do.

Paige Katzfey
Program Coordinator - Micronesia and St. Francis, SD

Paige Katzfey

Program Coordinator – Micronesia and St. Francis, SD
JVC Chuuk, FSM 11-13
Email: pkatzfey@jesuitvolunteers.org

 


Did you participate in a volunteer program?

I participated in AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA, and JVC international. I served with NCCC 03-04 in the west. We were based out of Sacramento, CA and the team I was assigned to serve in UT, AZ, and CA. I served with VISTA 09-10 in Philadelphia, PA with an organization called Earth Force. And then I served with JVC 11-13 in Chuuk, Micronesia where I taught and helped out with whatever was needed at a parochial high school.


Where did you go to college?  What did you get your degree in?

My undergraduate degree was from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in communications. I went to graduate school at Arcadia University and studied international peace and conflict resolution.

Michele Kelley
Program Coordinator - Belize and Tanzania

Michele Kelley

Program Coordinator – Belize and Tanzania
Email: mkelley@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Worked as a barista in college and could serve you some heart or foliage art with your latte.


What passions and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

I come to JVC by way of studying at Boston College and experiencing faith-based international service with Rostro de Cristo in Ecuador. My passions for broadening my global perspective of the church and how it functions in different societies and cultures, as well as working to promote a model of social justice rooted in accompaniment and relationship-building attracted me to work at JVC.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I look for different ways to explore creative outlets and learn fun new skills. I like to sing, am learning guitar and piano, and am a music aficionado who likes to make playlists for any type of day or mood. I also enjoy hiking, playing tennis, and going on walking or biking city adventures around the DC area with friends.


What makes you laugh?

When things get lost in translation, people who make goofy facial expressions when they are being very serious, looking at photos of capybaras, bad jokes, toddlers doing or saying anything, and my dad.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

The accompaniment of Jesuit Volunteers. Living out a two-year service commitment in an international context is demanding and every day I am impressed and humbled by how the JVs engage with their social environment through the lens of JVC’s mission and values. It is also life-giving to manage relationships with our partner organizations and local support people as it allows me to learn about how various social ministries function in Tanzania and Belize.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

JVC is actively striving to create an inclusive community for Jesuit Volunteers, former JVs, staff, and all of our constituents so that anyone who desires to deepen their engagement with issues that matter to life on the margins can do so in a supportive environment and hopefully develop sustainable practices for a lifelong pursuit of social justice.

Curt Klueg
Program Manager (Detroit)

Curt Klueg

Program Manager – Detroit
Email: cklueg@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Speaks Kiswahili.


What experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

I formerly worked for JVC and before joining staff again spent one year as a Salesian Lay Missioner and seven years in Kenya as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in university and hospital chaplaincy settings.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

Playing sports and reading with my two daughters (Rehema 11, Bethany 10). Also biking, hiking, eating out watching movies.


Who is your role model and why?

Susan Nagele, a fellow Maryknoll Lay Missioner who has served in East Africa for 30+ years as a doctor. She has an amazing commitment to culture, simplicity, and her Catholic faith (even though she confronts it for its imperfection on a regular basis). Also Roy Bougeoius, MM, a fellow Maryknoller who works for justice from roots in faith and is willing to suffer consequences for his beliefs.


How would your friends or family describe you?

Passionate, silly, welcoming, and approachable.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

It is training for counter-cultural living.


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

Luke 4: 16-30. Jesus speaks his social mission of justice and it is so provocative that he nearly gets tossed off a cliff!

Jill Kress
Program Coordinator - Austin, Houston, San Antonio

Jill Kress

Program Coordinator – Austin, Houston, San Antonio
JVC Detroit 99
Email: jkress@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: She’s from Pittsburgh and loves her Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.


What passions and experiences have brought you to JVC’s staff?

My own experience as an undergraduate in campus ministry, followed by a year of service in JVC. Seeing that I could really live my faith was transformative, and I am eager to help shape an environment that fosters these transformations for others.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I earned a BA in History from Millersville University of PA, and a Master of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union. I loved history because it’s about stories and how we understand the past and it helped me to understand the ‘lens’ through which I view the world. History was a great foundation for studying theology and ministry.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I like to bake and knit. They are both creative activities–take a pile of flour, some eggs and sugar and it could be cookies (which I love to share with coworkers). Same with knitting – sticks and string create any number of items. I enjoy the process!


Who is your role model and why?

Jane Addams – she helped define social work as a profession, and chose to use her life in the service of others. She cared deeply for others and worked to bring about peace.


What makes you laugh?

Being with kids. Knock-knock jokes. Silly puns. My coworkers, at least once a day.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

It is not *just* a service program, but a springboard for how to live. So much of my life AFTER my JVC experience has been shaped by the values I learned and continued to grow in as a JV.


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

Micah 6:8, also popularized in the song “We Are Called.” That’s what it’s all about, to live and love and pray in alignment with God and creation.

Mike Kurpinski
Program Associate

Mike Kurpinski

Program Associate
Ignatian Volunteer Corps ’08
Email: mkurpinkski@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Is only 11 states shy of completing his goal of riding bicycle at least 20 miles in each of the 50 states.


What passions and experiences have brought you to JVC’s staff?

When I retired from the corporate world almost 19 years ago I did so with the intent of using my IT and business skills to help nonprofits better meet their objectives without having to hire specialists. When I was first introduced to JVC and their values, I knew that I could be happy helping this organization. Over the years, I have experienced many great things going on at JVC and feel honored to be considered a part of the organization.


Where did you go to college and what did you get your degree in?

I attended the University of Michigan from 1969-1973 where I received a B.S. degree in Mathematics. In 1983, I earned a Master’s degree in Computer Science attending Wayne State University part-time while working full time in the field of Information Technology.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

If I have to pick just one thing it would be riding a bicycle. I get much pleasure and joy when either riding with others or finding some solitude when riding alone.


Who is your role model and why?

My parents were able to do so much for our family (including six children) without a lot of income. They showed me by example what happiness really is and how to have it even in the most trying of times.


How would your friends or family describe you?

I think my children might describe me as, “the man who tried saving the planet one plastic straw at time,” as they heard me say, “…and no straw with that…” whenever we ate out.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

Hunger in a country where 50% of our crops and land are used to raise livestock.

Miranda McOsker
Program Coordinator – Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis

 

Miranda McOsker

Program Coordinator – Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis
JVC Cleveland 12, Chicago 13
Email: mmcosker@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: While in high school won a jalapeno eating contest as a part of a local news segment.


What experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

I recently made a 19th Annotation retreat and among many revelations was the call to work more closely with my faith. In the same way that I felt transformed by the spiritual exercises, JVC offers a transformative experience to hundreds of volunteers each year. As a staff member I am able to aid in that formational change.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I attended Loyola University Chicago and the campus was a perfect home base for further exploration of the city. It was an easy train or bus ride to other neighborhoods and new experiences. The unlimited transportation pass that the school gave heightened my sense of independence, freedom, and wonder of the world and the people in it.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I love to coach! I have been coaching since I was 16. I started with basketball and moved into rugby. It challenges me to communicate effectively, set goals, and create a constructive environment for my players to both fail and succeed.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

I love that the staff of JVC work toward the four values of spirituality, simple living, community and social justice as much as the volunteers. I am not holding the volunteers to a standard that I do not follow myself. Even as we express the values differently, it is rewarding to share the desire to live the values.


What is your favorite passage from the bible and why?

I am drawn to the parable of the workers that were hired at different times during the day but were all paid the same amount. This parable is as jarring to our sensibilities today as it was in Jesus’ time. This passage reminds me to stay humble to appreciate that everyone has their own relationship and path to God.

Beth Pawuk
Program Coordinator - Detroit, AY Program, AmeriCorps

Beth Pawuk

Program Coordinator – Detroit, AY Program, AmeriCorps Administrator
JVC Houston 98
Email: bpawuk@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Has done the luge!


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

Ball State University, a state school in Indiana, where I obtained a Bachelor of Social Work. It was a formative time and led me to think of taking an alternate path after college (no one I knew had ever participated in a full-time volunteer program!)


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I love baking for family and friends. I enjoy the act of creating something tasty, and the pleasure it brings to others’ taste buds.


Who is your role model and why?

Pope Francis is a wonderful model of living the Gospel. I appreciate his desire to promote mercy for all, as well as the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching.


What makes you laugh?

I enjoy cleverly-written parodies of just about anything.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

The rights of immigrants and refugees.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

JVC is more than an excuse to take a year “off” or a gap year. It is more than a way to pad a resume for graduate school. It is a transformative experience that can influence your life’s path and impact choices you make for the rest of your life.

Francie Varner
Program Coordinator - Mobile, New Orleans, Albuquerque

Francie Varner

Program Coordinator – Mobile, New Orleans, Albuquerque
Email: fvarner@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Interned at a brewery in Duluth, MN.


What personal passions and and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

My experience as an Amate House volunteer in Chicago was life-giving and made me passionate about the opportunity for a year of service. I joined JVC’s staff to have the opportunity to recruit and support JVs through their year.


Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I attended St. Cloud State University for two years, then transferred to the College of Saint Benedict where I graduated with a B.A. in Business Management. College provided many opportunities to build leadership skills and work in team settings. It was also challenging, as I faced mental and physical health issues along the way.


What makes you laugh?

I laugh a lot. But one of the things I miss most about Minnesota is the exchange of movie quotes between my siblings and I. It’s a gift, really, that between us we have so many classic comedies from the 90s and early 2000s memorized. Whatever comes up in “real life,” someone has the perfect movie quote for it.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about mental health and wellness, as mental health issues are pervasive, multifaceted, and (seemingly) within all communities of people. It’s an issue that challenges traditional ideas of “who is in need,” as those struggling with mental illness come from any mixture of economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.


What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

I am amazed by the involvement and dedication of our local support teams. These people live and work in the same cities as JVs and are entrenched in local nonprofits and churches. It’s evidence that JVC is not just a one-year program, but an ever-growing community of people working for change.

Pat Washington
Program Coordinator – Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose

Pat Washington

Program Coordinator – Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose
JVC Bridgeport 15
Email: pwashington@jesuitvolunteers.org

Fun Fact: Actually related to President George Washington.


What experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

I had an enlightening and formative year when I was a JV, and I want to provide that space for others.


Where did you go to college and what did you get your degree in?

Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV where I earned my BA in English.


What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?

I enjoy exploring new places and trying new things because it helps me feel connected to the area.


Who is your role model and why?

Elizabeth Bennet. She is strong, knows what she wants out of life, and is capable of owning up to her mistakes and growing from them.


How would your friends or family describe you?

Well, now they might describe me as adventurous or impulsive, given that I accepted this job and moved across the country in the span of a week! Normally I think they would describe me as caring, funny, and quiet.


What is most rewarding about your role at JVC?

The connections that I make and the people that I get to know.

 


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