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?

The Dewey House for Community Engagement RLC supports socially just change through service, learning, and leadership.


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 (Carly) Jensen
Program Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
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 and women’s rights. 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 applying to be a VISTA a no brainier. I strongly believe that one can “do well and do good” and know the Dewey House shares this notion. I can’t wait to see the awesome work the Dewey house will accomplish in the upcoming year. Go Team Dewey!!"


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

Cicely is a second year Dewey House student and her bio is coming soon!



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.


Kester Barrow

Residence Director, Harris- Millis Residential Complex

Kester is entering his 3rd year as a Residence Director at UVM. He is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.A. in International Relations ’10 and a M.Ed. in Globalization and Educational Change ’12. Kester 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.
“Giving back to my community (both immediate and extended) has always been an important part of my life. My experiences with local non-profits and other groups really added value to my undergraduate experience and I enjoy playing a part in creating similar experiences for UVM students.”


Josephine Gonzalez

Harris-Millis Assistant Residence Advisor

Josephine is entering her first year as a Assistant Residence Director. She is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh with a B.A. in Gender & Women's Studies ’13 and she is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs at UVM. During undergrad Josephine was involved in Student Government, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Res Life, and the Multicultural Alliance. Whether its through a programming event or lunch date she finds comfort and pride in working with other women to build self-esteem and confidence.



Kelsey Neubauer

Dewey House Residence Advisor

Ryan Vaillancourt

Dewey House Residence Advisor



Last modified July 29 2015 04:29 PM