The Office of Engagement builds upon the University’s land-grant mission, serving as a “front door” to the University for private, public and non-profit entities and communities looking to access UVM’s many strengths and capabilities.

To increase its effectiveness in partnering with the state in the areas of workforce development, retention, and growth, UVM received $2 million in funding from the Vermont Legislature in 2020. The UVM Office of Engagement will use these resources to respond directly and comprehensively to challenges articulated by Vermont Governor Phil Scott during his 2020 State of the State address in January: an aging population; the need for additional skilled workers; and inadequate growth in the number of well-paying jobs.

Christopher Koliba, Director

Christopher Koliba, DirectorChristopher Koliba, Director

Chris Koliba is a professor in the Community Development and Applied Economics Department at UVM, and former director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program.  He is serving as the President's Fellow for Engagement and serving as the Faculty Director for the UVM Office of Engagement. He is also the co-director of the Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation (SEGS) Lab and a fellow at the Gund Institute for Environment. Koliba holds a Ph.D. and an MPA from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His research interests include environmental governance, governance networks, community resilience, network performance and accountability, with applications to water quality, food systems, energy systems, emergency and disaster response, and sustainable transportation systems. He has served as PI, Co-PI or science leader on grants from the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Vermont Department of Education, and the Spencer Foundation. Koliba is the Associate Director of Vermont EPSCoR.

Read more about Koliba's background and research interests.

Kristen Andrews, Internship Coordinator

picture of person

Kristen’s role as Internship Coordinator at UVM is informed by her experience building community through social service, the non-profit sector and experiential education in K-12 schools and higher ed. She holds a BA in chemistry from Williams College, an M. Ed in creative arts in learning from Lesley University and an MS in leadership for sustainability from UVM. Her areas of specific interest and expertise are ecological leadership models, regenerative agriculture, medicinal herbalism, food access and nutrition and food waste management. Kristen is inspired by Nature’s wise embrace of diversity, interdependence and self-organization as she engages in practices which cultivate reciprocity, connection and gratitude.

Maureen Hebert, Employee Partnership Manager (PACE)

Maureen Hebert is the current employer partnership manager for PACE at UVM. Prior to joining PACE, she was the former associate dean of continuing education & workforce development division of Vermont Tech. Maureen has worked in higher education, focusing on workforce and professional development, for over 27 years to support business and industry in realizing strategic and organizational goals through well-planned and implemented training programs. Before joining Vermont Tech, Maureen worked with the University of Vermont Division of Continuing Education as the regional director of the UVM Center in Montpelier where she coordinated both credit and non-credit programming utilizing, in part, distance learning technologies. Maureen has a B.A. and an M.P.A. from UVM. She received a certificate in workforce development from the University of Virginia and is a DDI certified trainer. She is a board member of CVHHH CVEDC, and was appointed by the Governor to the GWEDC board. Maureen has been a long-time member of UPCEA and former Commissioner and a member of NERHRT, ASTD and Rotary. In 2019, Maureen received the Above and Beyond award from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. The Above and Beyond Awards is given to individuals who have taken that extra step in their profession, industry, or community work, thus contributing to a more vibrant state for Vermonters to live, work and play.

Michele Karode, Outreach Professional

Michele Karode’s role as an outreach professional focuses on the non-profit, municipal government and education sectors in Vermont. Having earned her bachelor of science degree in the school of Education and Social Services at UVM in 2012, she is eager to reconnect and engage the university’s community in their outreach and job retention goals and help the developing workforce in Vermont grow. As a recipient of the Patriot Award in 2020 in her previous role as the executive director of a Heartworks  Preschool, Michele’s focus around leadership, workforce development, teamwork and supporting the community is her highest priority. She looks forward to utilizing the university’s talent and resources to further engagement throughout the state.

Kathleen Kemp, Program Support Generalist

Most recently Kathleen Kemp worked at the University of Vermont as an administrative assistant in Human Resource Services and Operations. She also worked as an assistant trainer for the Child Welfare Training Partnership, a collaboration between UVM’s Department of Social Work and the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF). She received a UVM master’s degree in education in 2021. Kemp has a deep commitment to social justice and building strong, resilient communities. “My approach to work is rooted in a life-long, foundational commitment to social justice, radical welcome and inclusion practices,” she said.

Wayne Maceyka, Senior Business Outreach Professional

Wayne Maceyka was appointed as the office’s first dedicated outreach professional in October, 2021. Maceyka earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He went on to earn his M.B.A. from Presidio Graduate School in sustainable management. Most recently, Maceyka served as director of sales and marketing for AllEarth Renewables in Williston, a solar energy company creating solutions for homes and businesses. Prior to joining AllEarth, he worked for SunCommon in Waterbury, Vermont (recently acquired by iSun.) As a solar home advisor, he helped Vermont homeowners migrate to solar power or share in a community solar array. In the non-profit sector, Maceyka founded the HinesburgHub, a pop-up shared workplace/coworking community space for remote workers, work-at-home professionals, and local entrepreneurs in his home town of Hinesburg. 

Naomi Parekh

person facing camera

Naomi Parekh (she/her), a native of Massachusetts, worked in the United Nations system for nine years where she focused on the political prioritization of Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 6, and 11. At the U.N., Naomi managed protocol and curated communications campaigns for high-level meetings around the world and several events during the United Nations General Assembly. She served as an advisor to the president of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Naomi also worked at the Fulbright Association as senior director, membership development, where she advocated to members of the U.S. Congress for an increase in federal funding for international education and exchange programs. She was a Fulbright fellow in Jamaica and holds a master’s degree in sustainable development and international policy management and a B.A. in anthropology. Naomi has been an active volunteer for over 30 years raising funds to support abandoned children in areas of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Emma Spett, Research Assistant

Emma Spett is a graduate student at the University of Vermont. In 2020, she completed an MS in Community Development and Applied Economics, and will begin doctoral studies in Sustainable Development Policy, Economics, and Governance in 2021. As a MS student, Emma was a member of the International Joint Commission’s Social, Political, and Economic technical working group, which explored the acceptability and feasibility of transboundary flood mitigation options in the transboundary Lake Champlain Richelieu River basin. She is a member of UVM's Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security's Transboundary Water In-Cooperation Network, and recently completed a graduate certificate in Community Resilience and Planning. Prior to arriving at UVM, Emma worked as a farm-based educator at Shelburne Farms, and as a community organizer for Environment Colorado. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Policy from New York University in 2016. In her current role, Emma carries out research on community resilience and economic development in Vermont, on behalf of the Office of Engagement.

Contact the Office:

UVM Office of Engagement
109 S. Prospect St., Burlington, Vt.
Phone: 802.656.8911