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."

Karen Obertubbesing
Program Coordinator
Harris-Millis Commons 100B
Telephone: (802) 656-2575

“I graduated from UVM with a degree in Environmental Studies from the Rubenstein School. During my time as an undergraduate student, my interest in sustainable development and social justice encouraged me to find opportunities for experiential service-learning coursework. As a student, I mentored a student at a local elementary school through an after-school nature education program; I studied sustainability in Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, and India; and I took on a variety of leadership and facilitation positions including roles with Service TREK, Alternative Spring Break, New Student Orientation, and the Adventure Ropes Course.  I am thrilled to have an opportunity, through the Dewey House, to build community among a group of incredible, action-oriented students. When I’m not on campus, you can find me somewhere outside—biking along the lake, lounging in a hammock beside a mountain stream, or running on the trails at local parks.”

Maisha McCormick
Masters of Social World 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."

Olivia Harris
Dewey Student Program Director

Olivia is honored to be serving as the Student Program Director of the Dewey House for the upcoming year. She looks forward to creating and participating in programming that gives back to the community while also building bonds amongst Dewey students. Olivia is currently a second year student studying Community and International Development within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is a member of the UVM Program Board, leader of UVM Queer Women’s Group, participant of Alternative Spring Break Program and resident of the Greenhouse. Her passions range from community engagement to cultivating succulent gardens.

Amanda Nattress
Dewey Collective Student Leader

Hey! My name is Amanda Nattress, I was born on October 30th (the day before Halloween). I am a sophomore Biochemistry major pursuing a minor in Nutrition and Food Sciences as well as Molecular Genetics. A fun fact is that I was not originally signed up for Dewey, I joined after attending the informational session and the rest was history. I am really passionate about children- especially those with language barriers- animals, and healthcare. I volunteer in a multitude of places, but my favorites are All Breed Rescue, UVM Medical Center, and the American Red Cross. I have lived in Winooski, Vermont my entire life and am hoping to get out for medical school. I have a goldendoodle named Curly, although he thinks he is a human. I love to read and be outdoors in my free time. My favorite things to do include hiking, kayaking, skiing, traveling, and having an exuberant time with friends. If for some reason you ever need help with school work, need to vent, or just want advice feel free to email me or stop me in person.


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.

Bryan McKinney

Residence Director, Harris- Millis Residential Complex

Doretha Benn

Harris-Millis Assistant Residence Advisor

Doretha is a first year Assistant Residence Director at UVM. Doretha is originally from Knoxville, TN. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Doretha graduated ETSU with a B.S. in Communication and a minor in Leadership. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program at UVM. At ETSU, Doretha was involved in Student Government Association, Relay For Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Preview and Orientation Leader Organization, and the Diversity Educator program. Her passions are for social justice, music, and learning, and she’s incredibly excited to see her residents build community and grow!


Kelsey Neubauer

Dewey Collective Harris Second Floor Residence Advisor

Alexander Weingart

Dewey Collective Harris Second Floor Residence Advisor

Alexander is thrilled to share his enthusiasm and passion for empowering citizenship with all students through continuing his work with the Dewey Community as a Resident Advisor. The Dewey House provided Alexander with the opportunity to refine his leadership skills while forging relationships with other students from across campus.  He is committed to abolishing prejudices regarding youths ability to make a positive difference in their local community and global community. Alexander is currently a sophomore studying Neuroscience and Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences. When not in the library, he is actively involved in UVM Hillel, Residential Life, Relay for Life, Dewey House for Civic Engagement, intramural sports (especially volleyball), the Ski and Snowboard Club, MassSTAR in addition to serving as the student representative on the UVM Academic Integrity Council, and Students Rights and Responsibilities committee.


Last modified September 06 2016 02:11 PM