Princeton AlumniCorps Thunders at Princeton University’s She Roars Conference

Kef Kasdin ’85 (left) moderated the Tigresses in Nonprofits panel (left to right): former Fellow Melissa Wu ’99, CEO, Education Pioneers; Kathy Roth-Douquet *91, CEO, Blue Star Families; former AlumniCorps board member Margarita Rosa ’74, Adviser/Consultant; and Elizabeth Lindsey *07, Executive Director, Byte Back, Inc., AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders (EL) alumna, and current EL Washington, D.C. program leader.

AlumniCorps was well represented at Princeton University’s alumnae conference, She Roars: Celebrating Women at Princeton, held October 4 – 6, 2018. Several AlumniCorps volunteers, program alumni, and board members participated in various panels. In particular, AlumniCorps’ President and Executive Director, Kef Kasdin ’85, acted as a thought leader for the panel entitled Tigresses in Nonprofits: Amplifying Our Impact. As such, she recruited nonprofit leaders and moderated the interactive panel discussion.

Liz Duffy ’88, AlumniCorps Board Chair, and President, International Schools Services, sat on the Women and Leadership: Strategies for Success panel, while current Project 55 Fellow My Bui ’18 joined AlumniCorps volunteer Olivia Loksing Moy ’06, and former Fellow Jessica (Mayer) Herthel ’96 on the panel entitled Forging Spaces of Inclusion. Olivia was inspired, as the thought leader for this panel, by the Project 55 interview she conducted with My this past January. Elizabeth Ramey *13, Emerging Leaders alumna, and Human Resources and Operations Director, Indivisible Project, moderated the panel on Activism & Movement Building. Anne Marie Maman ’84, former AlumniCorps board member, and Executive Director, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, spoke on a panel entitled Starting a Start Up: The Art of Founding and Funding. Anne Marie also facilitated a roundtable: Single Mom by Choice. Pyper Davis ’87, a regular guest speaker at the Emerging Leaders D.C. program, and Executive Director, Educare, was on the panel: College Ready or Life Ready? Reimagining K-12 Schools. Kerry Brodie ’12, Founder and Executive Director of Emma’s Torch, an ARC Innovators and Project 55 program partner, was on the panel: Social Entrepreneurship: Women Addressing Issues Across the Globe.

Our Strategic Plan in Action

Our strategic initiatives continue to gain traction! Plans for the inaugural Project 55 Fellows Retreat— one strategy for strengthening our existing leadership programs as described in our current Strategic Plan are well underway.

Chauncey Conference Center in Princeton, NJ

Thanks to our generous donors, all expenses for our 57 Project 55 Fellows will be covered by AlumniCorps! The dates for the retreat are April 5 – 7, 2019 and the event will be held at the Chauncey Conference Center in Princeton. Staff members are working on surveying new Fellows to assess what they want to gain from a retreat, developing content, and working on finding speakers and facilitators. Get to know our Fellows by reading their bios and seeing their headshots in the On the Path directory.

AlumniCorps staff are also collaborating with our Emerging Leaders facilitators to strengthen that program by offering “Booster Shots”— full-day professional development opportunities offered to over 200 Emerging Leaders alumni. Read more about our current Emerging Leaders in the update here.

Yet another outgrowth of our strategic plan—our Bold Idea initiative co-hosted a regional gathering in downtown Chicago on June 7, 2018, with Appleseed titled From Learning to Action: Working with Chicago’s Immigrant Communities. The event included a morning panel featuring speakers Seemi Choudry, the director of the Office of New Americans at the Chicago Mayor’s Office, and Meg Benson, the executive director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, as well as an afternoon session dedicated to brainstorming and networking among the participants. View more photos from the event, taken by 1871 photographer Gregory Rothstein during a brief portion of the afternoon brainstorming.

Also under the umbrella of the Bold Idea initiative, AlumniCorps hosted a Reunions panel discussion and Q & A session, In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities. Over 40 people listened to a panel of Princetonians who are working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees. Read details in our Reunions 2018 Update.

Another strategic plan priority is addressing deferred maintenance and performing essential upgrades to our building at 12 Stockton Street in Princeton, NJ. We are pleased to announce that in June 2018 we were one of 25 organizations to receive a historic preservation grant from The 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the New Jersey Historic Trust to repair the exterior of the building. AlumniCorps was one of 12 organizations to receive the maximum grant amount of $15,000. Princeton Town Topics interviewed President and Executive Director Kef Kasdin ’85, highlighting the historical significance of the Charles Steadman-designed building.

Staff Update at 12 Stockton

Kimme Carlos & Brielle Blackshear
Kimme Carlos, newly promoted Operations Manager, and Brielle Blackshear, newly promoted Project Assistant

We’re pleased to announce that Kimme Carlos has been promoted to Operations Manager as of July 1, 2018, formally recognizing the excellent contribution she has made since she joined our staff in August 2016 as Office Administrator. Prior to joining Princeton AlumniCorps, Kimme founded the New Jersey nonprofit Urban Mental Health Alliance, where she continues to contribute her time as the volunteer Executive Director. Since joining our team, Kimme has gone above and beyond to professionalize our operations. In addition to managing our human resources and facilities, she developed systems and procedures to streamline administration across the staff team.

In particular, Kimme leveraged her experience as an event coordinator to handle logistics for a myriad of AlumniCorps events, including our Board meetings, staff retreats, Emerging Leaders sessions, Project 55 Fellowship interviews, and annual Project 55 Fellowship Orientation. Kimme is responsible for overseeing maintenance and renovation work on 12 Stockton, which is one of the priorities outlined in our current strategic plan. She also manages an administrative team and coordinates their support of the AlumniCorps staff. As AlumniCorps expands our programs and impact, we will rely on Kimme to manage our operations at headquarters and support the events we host across the country.

Brielle Blackshear joined AlumniCorps as our Administrative Intern in 2017. Her work ethic and team spirit made her the perfect candidate for a long-term role at 12 Stockton; we are pleased to announce that as of June 1, 2018 Brielle was promoted to the role of full-time Project Assistant, supporting all of our strategic initiatives. Brielle is a recent graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in Labor Studies and Employment Relations and a minor in Public Health. She brings a passion for nonprofit work and advocacy to Princeton AlumniCorps and hope to one day start a nonprofit of her own.

Learn more about Kimme and Brielle on our staff team page.

Reunions 2018 Recap

AlumniCorps hosted three well-attended events at Princeton University’s Reunions on Friday, June 1, 2018. All our activities took place at Princeton’s Neuroscience Building, off Poe Field. Our morning workshop, In The Nation’s Service: Mapping Your Network for the Public Good, featured a panel of four Princeton alumni. About 20 attendees learned how Charlie Lucas ’71, Kristen Smith ’03, Brandon White ’09, and Ayana Woods ’98 have all leveraged AlumniCorps’ programs, as well as their own networks, for systemic change.

Charlie has volunteered with AlumniCorps’ ARC Innovators program, which provides nonprofits with pro bono assistance from experienced professionals in the AlumniCorps network. Learn more about Charlie’s work by reading about him on page eight of our 2016-17 Annual Report. Kristen is a Project 55 Fellowship alumna who volunteers on our Chicago Area Committee and recently joined AlumniCorps’ Board of Directors. She reflected on her continuing bond with Fellows from her cohort: “I continue to … reach back to those folks….” As Kristen’s career in housing and economic development has blossomed in Boston, New York, and now back in Chicago, “Princeton AlumniCorps [has provided] even more benefit” in understanding these various nonprofit landscapes. Brandon, who completed our Emerging Leaders program for young nonprofit professionals in Washington, D.C. in 2018, shared that in a new job role he was “…thrown into the deep end [and/but] Emerging Leaders was there to catch me… it was like having a cheat sheet going forward.” Ayana, also an alumna of Emerging Leaders, said, “People have personalities… Emerging Leaders is an opportunity to learn skills to manage people’s personalities, and our own.” After the panelists’ comments, attendees participated in an interactive exercise to discover how their connections, skills, and resources could be leveraged for systemic social change.

Bill Shafer ’55 ends the informal introductions at lunch with a few remarks about the founding of AlumniCorps

We continued the conversation during “In the Nation’s Service Together: A Networking Lunch,” where like-minded Princetonians gathered and shared how they are mobilizing networks for the public good. 

Board Chair Liz Duffy ’88 led an informal round of introductions so attendees could get to know each other. Bill Shafer ’55 brought us full circle by closing out our time with remarks about the founding of Princeton AlumniCorps as Project 55.

As a part of the Bold Idea initiative, AlumniCorps hosted a panel discussion and Q & A session, In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities. Over 40 people listened to a panel of Princetonians who are working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees: Phillip Connor *10, Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center; Maribel Hernández Rivera, Esq. *10, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; José Quiñonez *98, Founder and CEO of Mission Asset Fund; and Maya Wahrman ’16, Former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant (Forced Migration) at Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life. Learn more about our panelists by reading their bios here.

Phillip laid the groundwork for understanding patterns of immigration and how they have changed in the United States by presenting data from the Pew Research Center. In particular, he noted that the number of refugees in the U.S. was reflective of the refugee population around the world until 2017, when the number of refugees in the U.S. plummeted disproportionately. Watch all of Phillip’s talk here.

The audience was riveted as Maribel, who was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. when she was 13 years old, shared how her father’s sudden and mysterious death acted as a catalyst for her career in immigrant rights. She explained why she went to law school at NYU after getting her Masters at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School: “Understanding the law was almost harder than learning English! But not understanding the law is disempowering for undocumented communities.” Maribel also shared her personal stake in the debate over immigration policy: Her husband, who is from Honduras, may have to leave the U.S. in January 2020 based on current regulations. She admitted, “My husband and I are in a very lucky position because we have a network. Not everyone is so lucky. We want to advocate and speak for them.” Watch all of Maribel’s talk here.

José, who has been awarded the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the Aspen Institute Fellowship for his work at the Mission Asset Fund (MAF), described how the MAF had to quickly pivot from being primarily a lending institution to launching the largest Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal campaign in the days after the Trump Administration ended DACA on September 5, 2017.  In the fall of 2017, MAF provided over $2.5M to fund over 5,000 DACA renewal applications in 46 states. Read more about the details of the process in an article José wrote here, and watch all of José’s talk here.

Maya closed out the panel by describing how she has helped Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life (ORL) think out their theological approach to refugee work through their Interfaith Program in Refugees and Forced Migration. She humanized the challenges refugees are facing by speaking about Ashar, a refugee from Pakistan with whom she has forged a friendship. She described the international interdisciplinary conference of over 300 participants, Seeking Refuge: Faith-Based Approaches to Forced Migration, that she co-curated while a Project 55 Fellow with the ORL, stating “Religion is a way to respond to the issues in the world.” Watch all of Maya’s talk here.

Reunions 2018 Events to be held at Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute Building

The Princeton Neuroscience Institute is located near Poe Field– the end of the P-Rade route– a familiar site to us all! As seen on the map below, the building is right beside Scully Hall. You can use the embedded Google Map to navigate to the building from your location and see an image of the building below.

If arriving by car, we recommend parking in the University’s lot 20 or 21. For details and maps on parking at Reunions 2018, see the University’s page here.

Neuroscience Building
The Neuroscience Building. In the fall of 2006, Rafael Moneo was chosen to design a two-building complex to house the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Psychology. Work began in the spring of 2010, and the building was occupied in December 2013. The building covers 248,000 square feet and meets LEED Silver standards.



Join AlumniCorps at Princeton University Reunions 2018!

Join us for a slate of activities on June 1, 2018— the Friday of Princeton Reunions. All of our Reunions activities will take place at Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute Building off Poe Field (see tips on how to get there here). Note specific room numbers below— also found in the Reunions 2018 Schedule of Open Events booklet.
We are also hosting our quarterly Board of Directors Meeting on June 3, 2018— the Sunday of Reunions weekend. Our meetings are open to the public, but RSVP to is required by 5/18/18.

June 1, 10:00 am – 11:30 am

In the Nation's Service: Mapping Your Network for the Public Good. Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Faculty Conference 101


Left to right: Charlie Lucas ’71, Kristen Smith ’03, Brandon White ’09, and Ayana Woods ’98
When it comes to effecting social change, where do you fit in? Come and discover how your connections, skills, and resources can be used for the public good. You’ll hear how four Princeton alumni (pictured above)— Charlie Lucas ’71, Kristen Smith ’03, Brandon White ’09, and Ayana Woods ’98— leveraged AlumniCorps’ programs, as well as their own networks. Then you’ll participate in an interactive workshop to understand how to use your connections and create new connections—great and small— for systemic social change.

June 1, 12:00pm – 1:30pm In the Nation’s Service Together: A Networking Lunch
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Study Hall & Patio A

Continue the conversation around mobilizing networks for the public good over lunch with like-minded Princetonians. Lunch is free of charge, but RSVP is requested by 5/25/18 at

June 1, 2:00pm – 3:30pm In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities (Panel)
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Room A32.
Left to right: Phillip Connor *10, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center; Maribel Hernández Rivera, Esq. *10, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; José Quiñonez *98, Founder and CEO, Mission Asset Fund; Maya Wahrman ’16, Former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant (Forced Migration), Princeton University Office of Religious Life.

As a part of Princeton AlumniCorps’ Bold Idea initiative, we are hosting a panel discussion and Q & A session featuring speakers who have experience working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees.
Featuring (pictured above) Phillip Connor *10, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center; Maribel Hernández  Rivera, Esq. *10, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; José Quiñonez *98, Founder and CEO, Mission Asset Fund; Maya Wahrman ’16, Former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant (Forced Migration), Princeton University Office of Religious Life. Learn more about our panelists by reading their bios, here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018, 9:30am – 3:00pm Board of Directors Meeting
Location: International School Services, 15 Roszel Road, Princeton NJ.
AlumniCorps board meetings are open to the public.
Please RSVP to Kimme Carlos at or (609) 921-8808 ext. 1 by Friday, May 18, 2018.

We hope you will be able to join us!