University of Vermont

Dewey House for Community Engagement

Contact us!

Dewey House for Community Engagement
Harris-Millis Commons Room 100
67 Spear Street
Burlington, VT 05405-0379
Phone: (802) 656-2575

Who are we?

Kailee Brickner-McDonald
Harris-Millis Commons 100A
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"I've learned the most about the world and what's important to me through hands-on, community-based experiences-- from service-learning courses and working with non-profit organizations, to contra dancing and gardening. These experiences shape my passion for supporting others' involvement. I've worked in various service-related roles and offices across the UVM campus as a graduate student, AmeriCorps VISTA member, as the Dewey House's Program Coordinator, and now as the Director. I'm excited to work with the Dewey House because it's a place for an amazing group of students to figure out what they bring to their communities and what they can learn from others."

Grace Matiru
Faculty Associate
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"I love being part of the team at the Dewey House for Community Engagement. I hope my varied experiences both as a part-time faculty and graduate student here at UVM will be valuable in bringing out our best as we endeavor to learn together and hone our skills in being vital, active members of the UVM and greater Burlington communities." Dr. Grace Matiru brings extensive experience in service-learning and community development. In particular, Grace has studied, researched, taught, and worked with agriculture in Kenya, Albania, and South Africa, agribusiness management in the Philippines, and agricultural economics and international development of West Bengal at Penn State. She teaches regularly in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at UVM and is also pursuing a further degree in Plant and Soil Science.

Carlisle Jensen
Program Coordinator
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"As a recent UVM graduate and former Dewey house student, I am thrilled to rejoin the team as the program coordinator. Over the years, I have made a conscious effort to build reciprocal relationships with community partners both personally and professionally. As a student at Connecticut College and at UVM, I volunteered with numerous community programs, focusing on literacy, economic development, and socially responsible business. My senior year, I had the opportunity to volunteer on an international community development project in St Lucia as well a locally with COTS in Burlington. These opportunities coupled with my desire to work in the non-profit sector made returning to Dewey an obvious choice. I strongly believe that one can do well and do good and know the Dewey House shares this notion."

Maisha McCormick
Masters of Social Work Graduate Teaching Assistant
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"'Begin anywhere' - John Cage. Taking the first steps to anything is the hardest part and I am looking forward to watching people being their journeys and to see where they end up. After graduating with an undergraduate degree from Clark University in Women and Gender Studies and Sociology I took a job at a residential treatment center for teenage girls. After learning a variety of lessons (including when to duck and how to play Wii Dance), I decided to pursue my graduate degree in Social Work and I am excited to join the Dewey House staff Fall 2015. I have also previously worked with LGBTQ and ALANA students at a college level and volunteered as a sexual assault counselor. I can't wait to work with such a dedicated community."

Cicely MacKenzie-Baker
Student Program Director

"As a second year Dewey I’ve had the pleasure of working [as a student employee] with the Dewey Squad for a year already. It was not until I became a member of The Dewey House that I truly found my love for committing to service. Being a part of the Burlington community brings so many hands-on opportunities for students, and I feel that it is important that the students know how to take advantage of these opportunities. The Dewey House makes it easy for students to find passion in all sorts of social issues and as a member I found how powerful it is to be able to advocate for people in ways others cannot.  Among the many events I attended with other Dewey members I also had the privilege of going on a service trip to New Orleans.  There I spent a week demolishing and rebuilding the entire inside of a woman’s house that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina 5 years ago. The week was such an amazing way to spend my spring break and get to know great people who were just as committed to providing this woman with a house that she would be able to call 'home' again. It is important to me that people who share this passion know how to be involved and stay involved, not only in our community but in communities all over the country. It is because of this passion of my own that I am happy to take on the role of Student Program Director and to stay involved as a Dewey member for this coming school year!! 'Once a Dewey, always a Dewey.'"


John Sama Living/Learning and Residential Learning Communities, Director

John is the Director of the Living/Learning Center and Residential Learning Communities. He reports to the Associate Provost for Curricular Affairs and works closely with faculty and students in developing the Center's programs. John has a long history at L/L, starting in 1980 when he was a member of the Emergency Medicine Program during his first year at UVM. He became a student director of the E-Med Program during his sophomore and junior years. He also served as an RA in L/L during his senior year. John started his working career at L/L as Program Coordinator in 1984, and was appointed Director in 2004. Starting in 2005 John was also charged with developing the Residential Learning Communities at UVM. He presently is responsible for oversight of the Arts Initiative, Global Village, GreenHouse, and Health & Wellness. John also serves as the liaison with the Department of Residential Life and many other departments, schools and colleges, and serves on a variety of institutional committees and task forces.

David Dearden

Residence Director, Harris- Millis Residential Complex

Dave is entering his 2nd year as a Residence Director at UVM. Dave works with the Assistant Resident Director to oversee all of the residential elements of the Harris Millis Residential Complex and partners with groups housed within Harris Millis including the Dewey House for Community Engagement.

Em Huang

Harris-Millis Assistant Residence Advisor

Em is a first year Assistant Residence Director at UVM. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, they are a graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Sociology, minors in Natural Science, Psychology, and Gender Studies, and are currently pursuing their M.Ed in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at UVM. At USC, Em was an RA and was involved in the queer and Asian Pacific American communities on campus. Their passions are for social justice, music, and learning, and they’re incredibly excited to see their residents build community and grow!


Kelsey Neubauer

Dewey House Harris First Floor Residence Advisor

Ryan Vaillancourt

Dewey House Harris First Floor Residence Advisor



Last modified January 06 2016 02:11 PM