CEEP STAFF

Maxim Thorne

MAXIM THORNE, Chief Executive Officer

Maxim Thorne earned a B.A. (cum laude honors) in Economics and Political Science from Yale College and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. Maxim has served as the Managing Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Development Officer of NAACP, the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Human Rights Campaign and HRC Foundation and the Executive Director of NJ Head Start Association. As a dedicated leader and advocate, Maxim has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations as well, including the founding Board of Yale Black Alumni Association, Chaired the 40th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, Honorary Co-Chair of the 50th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, the Board of Governors of Yale University, Executive Committee of the Yale Law School, GLAAD, the North Star Fund, Amistad Research Center, Barnert Hospital Foundation and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. He also serves on the Yale Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

“I know what it is like to feel the entire continuum of being young, marginalized and disenfranchised to becoming whole, empowered and American. Now more than ever, we need to reimagine, protect and strengthen the pillars of our democracy. We have to turbocharge and make real an intersectional and holistic democracy movement building on the centrality of the rich diversity of youth. Every innovation and tried and true is on the table, be it texting, digital organizing, short films, dorm storming, student panels, marches and more.” – Maxim Thorne


BRENNA LIMBRICK, Operations Manager

Brenna started with CEEP in 2012 as the State Director for Ohio. After a break to take care of her two young sons, she returned in 2018 during the Ohio midterms, again as the Ohio Director to oversee the Ohio Fellows and help non-fellows campuses continue their democratic engagement. In 2020 she transitioned to an operations role to help CEEP gain its official 501(c)3 nonprofit status and oversee new process implementation. Brenna has a degree in Computer Information Systems and more than 20 years of administrative, technical and program knowledge that helps her administer CEEP’s operational processes. 

She believes that democracy (voting especially!), justice and equity should be taught in our society at a young age.  She is dedicated to her family and kids, volunteering her time in the community when possible. Brenna resides in Pataskala with her husband and two boys who are very active in soccer.

ELLEN WEHRMAN, Michigan Director

Ellen Wehrman received her B.S. in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas and her Master’s in Higher Education – Administration & Policy from Loyola University Chicago.  Before starting at CEEP, Ellen spent twelve years working in higher education student affairs, including roles at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, Marietta College (Ohio), and Central Michigan University. Her work in student activities, student leadership education, and assessment allowed her to work with students, faculty, and staff to create positive social change on and off campus.  Ellen taught multiple leadership theory courses, and has a deep scholarly interest in rural students’ transition to college and patterns of civic engagement. In her free time, Ellen volunteers with her sons’ school and the Michigan nonpartisan nonprofit organization Voters Not Politicians. 

JAN BRENNAN, Mountain West Director

Jan brings a strong background in civic engagement, education and social change to her role as CEEP’s Mountain West Director, working with our campus partners in Colorado and New Mexico. Jan has a Master of Public Administration from the University Colorado Denver. She has held a variety of positions in civic engagement, community-engaged learning and in education and cultural policy. She most recently worked with Education Commission of the States’ National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement, where she published extensively on civic learning policy and served as the project leader for a national service-learning initiative. Jan is a Senior Fellow with the National Civic League and is licensed as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and as a Youth Program Evaluator.

JARED LUCERO, Southwest Regional State Director

Jared is from Santa Fe, New Mexico and is a recent graduate from The University of New Mexico with a degree in Political Science & minor in Entrepreneurship. Jared also studied politics & anthropology in Amsterdam, Netherlands at Vrije Universiteit. Jared enjoys the fast-paced nature of elections and brings years of community organizing, having held roles in finance, field, digital strategy, and governance. Jared also brings his activism for youth in politics as he started his civic engagement in high school, serving on his City’s Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board and was selected to attend the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Jared has also been a volunteer firefighter & EMT student and encourages everyone to take a stand in their local community. In his spare time, Jared enjoys triathlon training, hiking, and video-editing.

JOHANNA MUDRY, Kentucky, New York and Pennsylvania State Director

Johanna is an experienced and dedicated intrapreneur. For the past eighteen years, she’s worked to improve communities and serve those with greatest need. She’s made social change her prime focus since graduating from Eastern University with an M.S. in Nonprofit Management. Earlier she graduated with honors from Temple University where she earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice. Johanna has worked to advance communities and individuals in a wide variety of capacities; whether building homes for families, tutoring and mentoring youth, working for environmental or healthcare improvements, or working on grants and fundraising. She looks to continue this success through empowering others, including students, to become productive and active citizens, while increasing her own power as a change agent.

Johanna is also a proud resident of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, where she actively participates in her neighborhood association, local food co-op, and tends to her community garden.

LIAM HYSJULIEN, North Carolina Director and Associate Director of Special Projects

Liam Hysjulien received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his Master’s in Environmental Sociology from the University of Tennessee. Before starting at CEEP, Liam spent six years working in higher education as a Political Science program coordinator at the University of Tennessee and Duke University. Liam worked on developing and implementing voter-related service-learning initiatives that helped to empower students to become more civically engaged around issues of voter registration, voter awareness, and voter education.

LUKE VERDECCHIA, Wisconsin State Director and Graphic Design Specialist

Luke is driven by a desire to help students make their voices heard and exercise their right to vote, understanding that access to reliable information is paramount to getting out the vote. Prior to joining CEEP in 2017, Luke served as Campus Outreach Coordinator with the City Clerk’s Office in Madison, Wis., a role in which he coordinated electoral engagement efforts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (at which he was also a student) and engaged in outreach with several campus entities to promote voter registration and early voting opportunities available to students. Luke has also served as a fellow with the Center for Journalism Ethics at UW-Madison, a role in which he conducted several interviews with sources to produce a series of ethics-focused pieces of reporting for the Center’s website.

Luke received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Luke is based in Madison.

MEG MCCORMICK, Maine Director & New England Coordinator

Meg (she/her/hers) has supported civic engagement efforts in Maine and New England since 2016.  Previously, as the Director of Programs at Maine Campus Compact, she designed and managed community and civic engagement projects across Maine and New England.  Before moving to Maine, she helped establish Northwest Indian College’s department of service-learning and then co-founded the Institute of Indigenous Foods and Traditions. In this capacity, Meg worked with 28 tribes in Washington on food policy campaigns and revitalizing tribal food systems. After moving to Maine, she was elected as the Curator of the Portland, Maine Global Shapers Hub, housed within the World Economic Forum, where she coordinated public/private partnerships within the City of Portland. In 2019, Meg founded the Maine Students Vote initiative, a volunteer program housed within the League of Women Voters of Maine, that is focused on youth peer-to-peer nonpartisan organizing.  Meg currently supports Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont campuses with CEEP.

MICHAEL NORRIS, Director of Partnerships & Florida Co-Director

Prior to joining the staff of Campus Election Engagement Project, Mike spent ten years as the Associate Director of Florida Campus Compact. Mike is well known for his work with college and university faculty and staff throughout Florida on issues related to civic engagement. While at Florida Campus Compact Mike started the Engaged Faculty Fellows program assisting faculty to redesign course curriculum to include service-learning and community service components. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor of music theater at Tallahassee Community College. In his role as the Florida Co-Director for CEEP, Mike supervises Fellows in North and Central Florida, and consults with staff to increase student voter engagement throughout the state.

Originally from Arlington, Virginia Mike holds the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Samford University in Alabama. Prior to his work in the field of higher education engagement, Mike held full time positions as a music educator and church musician in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Tallahassee.

MICHELLE BLACK, Director for Missouri, Illinois, and Virginia

Originally from the St. Louis area, Michelle Black is a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she is pursuing a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration. She is passionate about civil rights and voter engagement and is excited to join CEEP in helping students find their voice in our democracy. Michelle has experience in non-profit program management, as well as working with students and volunteers in a variety of settings. Michelle earned a B.A. in English from Truman State University, a J.D. from Northern Illinois University, and an M.S.W. from the University of Georgia. In her free time, she enjoys photography, hiking, reading, visiting national parks, and volunteering with the Friends of the Glen Carbon Public Library.

MONICA MATTEO-SALINAS, Florida Director

Monica Matteo-Salinas received her BA in Social Relations & Policy from James Madison College, an honors college within Michigan State University. Monica has worked in the non-profit sector over the past 10 years in Miami. Before her CEEP work, she was the Campus Coordinator for the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at Miami-Dade College. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation. Originally from Michigan, Monica has lived in various international locations, including Mexico and New York City. Monica is a mother to two boys and the Vice President of Advocacy for her school’s PTA. She is an advocate for human rights, quality education & affordable housing. Monica believes that everyone is a leader, and encouraging and empowering young people is her favorite part of her CEEP work. “Student Involvement matters because we have the power to influence positive change in our communities. Our future is in our hands – our future is now!”

NATE HALL, Ohio Director

In his role at CEEP, Nate is returning to his roots in campus organizing. He got his start doing voter registration and GOTV work at Ohio University. From there, he worked on various campaigns in Ohio, including managing two races for state representative, culminating in two years as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives. For the last four years, he has done political organizing work for a labor union, primarily in Ohio and Michigan. As part of this work, Nate managed a team of 20+ organizers working on races across Michigan. He also helped to draft a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives to address payroll fraud and misclassification, and helped managed the bipartisan coalition that passed it out of committee. Nate spends his free time fixing up his house in Columbus, working out, and caring for Harley, a 10 year old pit bull, with his girlfriend Nicky.

RACHAEL HOUSTON, Faculty Resources Coordinator

Rachael is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities studying American politics and political methodology. She studies public perceptions of the Supreme Court and how the justices behave during the Court’s decision-making process. She is extremely passionate about equipping students with the knowledge to become informed voters and active participants in our democracy. As an academic, she also understands how important it is to have faculty on board to support student voter engagement efforts. Prior to moving to the Twin Cities, she lived in South Carolina and attended Coastal Carolina University for a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Communication. 


CEEP Guides Team

Ellen Finkelstein

ELLEN FINKELSTEIN, Lead Campaign Guides Researcher

Ellen holds a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University. She worked at Encyclopaedia Britannica for 19 years, honing her fact-checking skills and sense of nuances as a copy editor for a variety of yearbooks, project coordinator for several books, and project manager for the online Britannica. She worked on all phases of print publications—from concept and development of articles, soliciting authors, review and editing, design, page proofs, and finished product. Ellen worked as organizer for Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, where she wrote, solicited, and edited articles for newsletter, email alerts, & other publications, as well as organized and provided support for programs, forums, and conferences. She was director of a summer program for high school students that helped high-school students develop leadership, competency and confidence, to interpret the world and solve problems, and to advocate for themselves and create positive change in their communities.

“Much of my work and political experience has been, at core, about communication (written and verbal) and about making things accurate, accessible, and clear – to create information that gives different audiences the tools to act for positive social change. I have a deep commitment to empowering people, giving them support, skill, and information to find their voice(s) and become effective advocates for themselves.”

JOHN BOYLAN, Candidate Guide Partner Relations

John Boylan is a Seattle-based writer and producer who helped research and edit CEEP’s 2018 nonpartisan guides. In 2016 he created and produced 9e2, a nine-day festival of art, science, and technology that included work by more than 100 artists, performers, engineers, scientists, and technologists. For more than 20 years, he has hosted a roundtable conversation series about art, politics, and science, featuring major artists, scientists, poets, writers, musicians, architects, actors, activists, and impresarios. Boylan worked in web publishing at Microsoft for 15 years, and has also been an editor, journalist, art critic, and researcher. He holds an MA in communications from the University of Washington and two BA degrees, in history and English literature, from Pennsylvania State University.


CEEP Interns

Jeff Murray_headshot

JEFF MURRAY, Social Media Intern

Jeff Murray is a visual designer living in the DC Metro area who strives to use his creativity to solve tricky problems with elegant design. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he grew up in Seattle and graduated in 2009 from The Evergreen State College. A winding road eventually led him to continue his education in design at Montgomery College in Maryland, taking their Digital Tools for Visual Arts class over the summer of 2016 and General Assembly’s UX Design course in the summer of 2020. During his free time he enjoys playing board games, going to shows, and spending time with his partner (who is an amazing cook) and their lazy, albeit precocious, cat, Des.

Jenna

JENNA SITTLER, Social Media and Design Intern

Jenna is an undergraduate student at American University majoring in Film and Media Arts in the University’s School of Communications and pursuing a minor in Graphic Design. She is interested in gaining experience in the communications field and learning more about social media outreach. Jenna’s other interests include yoga, painting, and supporting her local coffee shops.

Lauren Ban headshot

LAUREN BAN, Faculty Resources Intern

Lauren just recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, obtaining a BA in History and Economics with a minor in Political Science. This fall, she plans to begin law school. Having previously worked as both a CEEP Fellow and an Assistant State Director, Lauren is excited to be able to continue supporting nonpartisan election engagement. When she is not working, you can find Lauren with her nose buried in a book or out in the garden.

NehaUpadhyaya

NEHA UPADHYAYA, Faculty Resources Intern

Neha Upadhyaya is an honors student at the California State University, Fullerton. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Politics. Some of her passions and future career interests include advocacy work on important social and political causes, so she is very excited to work for an organization like CEEP to help further encourage civic engagement. Outside of school, during her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and exploring new restaurants.

TaNiyaBellamy

TANIYA BELLAMY, Fellows Program Intern

TaNiya Bellamy is an undergraduate student at Virginia State University, studying Philosophy and Political Science. She became involved with Voter education and voter registration efforts through her work with The Association of Political Science, and decided to continue her involvement as a CEEP Fellow in Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2021. TaNiya enjoys serving and educating underrepresented communities and people; she believes everyone deserves a voice and a chance to participate in the political process. In her spare time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, volunteering as a tutor and DIY crafts.