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.


Marie-Elizabeth Hebert
Program Coordinator and Rancing Revolution Liaison, AmeriCorps VISTA
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"Having recently graduated from UVM in Community Development and Applied Economics, I couldn’t be happier to return to this community and serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Civic engagement was a constant thread through my university career both locally and abroad, where I spent time volunteering in Vietnam, Ghana, and ultimately settling down in South Africa for six months where I worked at a local non-profit organization. My senior capstone project introduced me to Rancing Revolution with the Dewey House, and I immediately knew it was a place for me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spend the year with such positive, like-minded individuals in the Dewey House, and share all that Burlington has to offer. " Marie supports Dewey's partnership with Rancing Revolution, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform cultures of bullying into cultures of kindness.


Michael Hill
Masters in Social Work Graduate Student Intern
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575



Dawn Graham
Program Specialist
Community Service Scholarship Program (CSSP) Coordinator

Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

"Throughout my life, I have sought ways to be involved in helping the communities I have been a part of. I am especially passionate about working with youth, fighting discrimination and prejudice, and working against intimate partner violence. The Dewey House fosters civic engagement and social change in a very real way that makes me excited to be involved. Aside from being at the Dewey House, you'll find me out at local music shows and munching on yummy vegan treats. I enjoy getting to know Dewey students and what you are passionate about!"


Jess Cohen
Student Program Director

Jess Cohen is the Student Program Director and is a sophomore studying elementary and special education.  She lives on the Dewey floor in Harris 103 and is always available to chat with Deweys!!  She is also very involved in FeelGood on campus so you can usually find her at the kiosk in the Davis center.



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 2nd 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 Monisha Murjani (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.
“I’m looking forward to a successful partnership between Residential Life and the Dewey House. 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 would like to play a part in creating similar experiences for UVM students.”


Monisha Murjani

Harris/Millis Assistant Residence Advisor

Monisha is in her second year as an Assistant Residence Director. She is a graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at UVM. Monisha works closely with the Residence Director and the Residential Assistants to ensure that Harris Millis s a safe and secure environment for its residents. She serves as a resource to Harris Millis residents and helps coordinate educational and social programs by working closely with RAs and Hall Council. Her office is located in room 117 of HM Commons.


Amanda Leathers

Dewey House Residence Advisor

Amanda is a second-year Dewey student and will be proudly serving as an RA in Harris/Millis. She is most looking forward to bringing the compassionate, open-minded and hard-working spirit of the Dewey House into her new residency hall and collaborating with both affiliates and non-affiliates of the Dewey House to usher in a year of great service to the community.


Allie VanSickle

Dewey House Residence Advisor

"As an RA and a second year Dewey, I am excited to work with other individuals who are committed to Community Engagement. I am looking forward to interacting with other Dewey residents and building substantial programs that will not only benefit Dewey, but also the community. Dewey taught me so much about myself last year, and it is my hope that incoming Deweys can have a similar experience. If anyone ever has a Dewey and residential collaboration idea, please feel free to reach out to me. I am an available resource for Deweys and UVM residents alike."


Last modified February 05 2014 12:56 PM