Paul is the author of Soul of a Citizen,  The Impossible Will Take a Little While (named the #3 political book of 2004 by the History Channel and the American Book Association), Generation at the CrossroadsNuclear Culture, and Hope in Hard Times. His books have over 300,000 copies in print. He’s written on social involvement for The New York TimesWashington PostUSA Today, Los Angeles TimesAARP Bulletin, Chronicle of Higher EducationPsychology Today,Redbook, Inside Higher Ed, Christian Science Monitor, Parents Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune. Paul has been interviewed on CNN, NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, Fox News, NBC TV, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America and national German and Australian radio, and has lectured on over 400 college campuses. He attended Stanford University and the New School for Social Research and participated in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2011 round-table on higher education and civic engagement. Paul founded CEEP in 2008.

“Colleges and universities can do so much to help their students engage as active citizens, but too often they don’t, in part because they don’t know how. I’ve spent a lot of the past thirty years visiting campuses and speaking at academic conferences to talk about my civic engagement books, so it made sense to found CEEP as a way for schools to learn from the most effective approaches nationwide. There’s a lot of political cynicism in our culture, but to me the antidote starts with citizen participation.”  

AMY LUDWIG, National Director

As Illinois Campus Compact’s former Associate Director, Amy oversaw programming and coordinated and developed conferences for faculty, staff and students. She was responsible for helping member campuses grow and develop their service learning and civic engagement programs and for managing the finances of the organization. Amy graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism and spent her first three years working in advertising. In search of a change, Amy enrolled and graduated from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a Master’s in Higher Education Administration, and upon graduation, moved to Chicago and began working at DePaul University in the Office of Student Life. While working at DePaul University, Amy became passionate about student’s involvement in their community and the electoral process, which led her to Illinois Campus Compact. For six years, Amy has worked to ensure the highest possible quality of ILCC programs and works with each institution’s community service staff to bring resources, ideas and experts to better their work. Amy joined CEEP in 2014 as the Illinois outreach director and saw the direct positive impact CEEP had on engaging students, faculty and staff.  As the new National Director, Amy is excited to continue working on bringing new and innovative resources to schools across the nation and to further help implement long term strategic goals for schools to implement electoral engagement programs on their campuses.

“Students should be asking themselves what laws are or aren’t in place that allow for a homeless shelter down the street from my classroom building which is valued at more than $4 million. What’s going on in our political system that allows for this dichotomy to happen. Once students start to ask themselves these types of questions, how can they not participate in the electoral process?”

COURTNEY COCHRAN, National Fellowship Director & Associate Director 

Summer 2015 marked the beginning of Courtney’s journey with CEEP. Courtney is an alumna of California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U), gaining a Master of Science in Legal Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Throughout her collegiate career, Courtney served as an employee to Cal U’s Alumni Association and Annual Fund Office, working with, and as a board member, to increase scholarship funds and promote Cal U For Life, instilling a sense of lifelong commitment and responsibility to her alma mater. In 2011, as an undergraduate Courtney worked with Organizing for Action organizing on-campus and in the local community, taking on the responsibility of proving to her community that college students are aware and interested in elections. She maintained her love for grassroots campaigns and followed her feet to Tucson, Arizona, where she worked on the most competitive DCCC frontline race in the country as the only female field organizer in Pima County for Ron Barber’s re-election campaign. Courtney is glad to be back in her home state of Pennsylvania enjoying all the culture Pittsburgh has to offer and is enthusiastic and ready to fulfill her duty in engaging youth in voter education and enlightenment.

JULE MEYER, Director of Development

Jule has spent her career raising funds to fight poverty and activate citizens. Her roles have varied from leading teams of fundraisers for national organizations (RESULTS, Bainbridge Graduate Institute) to serving as regional director for Global Impact and the Student Conservation Association. Recently she served from 2010-2017 as a national major gifts officer for Oxfam US. In that role, Jule enjoyed meeting and supporting activists and donors across the country. She enjoys kidding and learning from her many family members who are on campuses today or are involved in critical causes after having recently graduated. She joined CEEP in the spring 2018 with anticipation and eagerness to serve.


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!”

DA’JUH SAWYER, Central Florida Assistant Director

Da’juh Sawyer is a proud native of Saint Petersburg, FL. In 2014, she graduated from Gibbs High School. Very active on campus during her tenure, Miss Sawyer was the Student Government Association President. Passionate about the community in which she lived in, Da’juh was an active public servant In the Saint Petersburg community. Miss Sawyer was a tutor/ mentor at the Precious Angle Preschool, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, and has host college 101 seminars at Barlett Park recreation Center, Gibbs High School, and the Royal Theater. Currently, Da’juh is a Graduating Business Administration Student at Florida A&M University. In her spare time Da’juh enjoys traveling the Tallahassee area speaking to younger adults about the importance of education, registering to vote, self -confidence, and college opportunities. Her favorite quote is, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

BEN CARSON, North Florida Assistant Director

Ben Marcus has been worked in campaigns and activism for 15 years. From organizing national chapter networks, to leading people in knocking on doors for municipal, state, and federal candidates, he has developed a deep understanding of campaigns and activist organizations. Ben has been a stalwart advocate of face-to-face, meaningful engagement with constituents in mission-driven work, and has been entrusted with critical roles in which to practice these principles. In addition to this work, he has served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year and VISTA, delivered dozens of trainings on constituent management and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), assisted organizations in revamping programming and development strategies, and worked with a number of groups in building advocacy agendas and volunteer frameworks. Ben has a bachelors degree in Social Sciences and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy with a focus on civic engagement and electoral policy. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children, taking in gorgeous Northeast Florida, and playing and listening to music.”


Samantha Bayne is a sophomore studying Political Science, Law, Politics, and Society, and Philosophy at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. She joined the Iowa Campus Compact and CEEP team in October 2017. Samantha is very passionate about dialogue and voter registration, so she is incredibly excited to begin working on election engagement projects at institutions across Iowa! Samantha brought non-partisan discourse programs to her school and interned for a nonpartisan voting rights organization as a first-year, and she is now using that experience as the Student Services Senator in Drake’s student government. She cannot wait to begin connecting with other higher education institutions and start working on projects to engage students across Iowa in the political process. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions for her, please feel free to reach out via email.

KATY BUTLER, Michigan Director

Katy has a Bachelors Degree in Women’s Studies and Sociology from The George Washington University in Washington DC and a Masters in Diversity and Equity Education from the University of Illinois. For the past 6 years she has been working in activism and social justice, focusing on community engagement and education, managing online communities, and using social media to start and win multiple online campaigns. Having been bullied in middle school for being gay, Katy initiated a successful national campaign when she was 15 to get the Motion Picture Association of America to change of rating of the film Bully from R to PG13, so students across the country could watch it and start conversations on the subject. Gathering a half million names on a petition to change the rating, Katy was covered or interviewed by ABC NightlineCBS This MorningThe Ellen Show, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, and Teen Vogue.  In addition to working with community organizations and national non-profits, Katy spent 3 years in Washington DC spearheading the Congressional Caucus to End Bullying, working with Caucus chair, Congressman Mike Honda (CA17).

JAN BRENNAN, Mountain West Director (Colorado, New Mexico, Montana)

Jan brings a strong background in civic engagement, education and social change to her new role as CEEP’s Mountain West Director. Jan Brennan 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 was responsible for key publications on civic education policy and served as the project leader for a national service-learning initiative. Jan is currently completing a Master of Public Administration at the University Colorado Denver. Jan is licensed as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children.

PARKER LINDNER, Nevada Director

Parker holds a B.A. in Communication and Community from The Evergreen State College and M.P.A. (Masters of Public Administration) from The Evans Schools of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Parker worked for the Seattle Community Colleges for 13 years where she created instructional media, founded distance learning programs and spearheaded the coordinated studies program “Power, Politics and Persuasion in the Information Age.” Long interested in telecommunications and information policy, she worked on issues of universal service, access to technology, privacy and the digital divide. She was Senior Policy Analyst for the Washington Higher Education Coordinating board; Instructional Designer at Microsoft; Advisory Board member to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission; and board member of ACLU Washington.

“As a lifelong advocate for access and inclusion, I believe the way to make democracy work is to encourage and enable everyone’s voice to be heard. Voting is fundamental to navigating our path to the future. I’m delighted to participate in this project to bring student interest, passion and excitement back into the democratic process.”

CHAD FOGLEMAN, North Carolina Director, North Carolina Campus Compact Assistant Director

Chad oversees the Compact’s communications efforts and coordinates network events and professional development, awards, and the Campus Election Engagement Project. He also assists in organizational and fund development. Prior to joining NC Campus Compact in 2012, Chad worked at Brown University’s Education Alliance, conducting educational policy and practice research related to the academic success of diverse K-12 learners. He was a program officer at UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for Public Service, where he helped establish what is now the Buckley Public Service Scholars Program. He taught middle and high school English at an independent school in Raleigh, and he spent a year living and teaching in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program.

LESHA FARIAS, Ohio Director

Lesha has a B.A. International Studies, Miami University of OH, MA International Relations, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

When inequality’s negative effects bring local communities to their knees, the question remains: What can local citizens do?

This question has driven my career and avocations throughout my life. From directing VISTA volunteers to implementing the Connect to Complete Program, my professional work for 14 years with Ohio Campus Compact has been about getting campuses to recognize and address the unmet needs and human rights of their students and local communities. In parallel, all of my local electoral politics and community work have been similarly focused, from working at the grassroots level on teams to develop community gardens, emergency shelters, a thrift store and food pantry, to addressing the emergency needs of people facing evictions, utility shut offs, empty refrigerators, and unfilled prescriptions. Ultimately we must work for systemic change so all people can have dignity and live in a just society.

I am happy to now be working  with the Campus Election Engagement Project, and hope to bring my professional background and personal experiences to bear on the work campuses are doing to build cultures of engagement.

DASNI LAKPRIYA, Ohio Assistant Director

Dasni is a sophomore at Denison University and an International Studies and French major. On campus, she is involved in Amnesty International and the Denison International Student Association. During her middle school and high school years, she lived abroad in France with her mother, who worked for the Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris. This is where she would accompany her mother to many events, and first became interested in civic engagement and working to unite groups of people together. She is excited to work with CEEP and to help get students enthusiastic about a very important cause!        

MATT SCOBLE, Southeast Regional Director (GA, VA, and WV)

Matt has worked for several law firms as staff in Virginia, California, D.C., and Massachusetts before catching the political and civic engagement bug. In 2012, he led a successful effort to advocate for a majority-minority community in Salem, Massachusetts by organizing and holding voting rights training for the public. In 2013, he was successful in helping elect the first female majority to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in the history of the county and ultimately help elect nine candidates to political office. In addition, Matt was instrumental in the launch of a leading redistricting reform non-profit in 2014 and has consulted for several other civic organizations and political campaigns during his career.

Matt is a 2004 graduate of West Virginia University, a 2008 graduate of Marymount University and 2013 graduate of Suffolk University Law School. He is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C.

CHRIS SHEFELTON, Southeast Regional Director (TN, MS, and GA)

Chris received his Masters of Education in Community Development and Action from Vanderbilt University where he studied how to make political campaigns more community-oriented and make neighborhoods more civically-engaged. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas in International Relations and minored in European Studies. While at the U of A, he studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, one of the capitals of the European Union. Though he loved being abroad, he knew that there were still plenty of issues that needed aid back in the US. Chris has worked in a number of state and local political campaigns in both Tennessee and Arkansas, both partisan and nonpartisan. He has also worked in a number of fields including manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and the service sector which he believes helps him better connect everyday problems with more structural issues. Voting is the first step to being civically engaged, which means we must first empower people to vote. In a climate of distrust and disenfranchisement, education and communication are the most powerful tools we have to combat these negative effects which is the reason why Chris joined CEEP and he hopes to help lead the fight against low voter turnouts in the South.

LUKE VERDECCHIA, Wisconsin Director, Wisconsin Campus Compact

Luke joined CEEP in 2017 and is currently a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Journalism and Spanish. During his time at UW-Madison, he has engaged in voter outreach work through an internship with Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, where he has created a long-term communications plan between the City and the University. Because of his work, the City now can display important voter outreach material across campus, something that has historically been of great difficulty. He has also served as a Special Registration Deputy (SRD) and Election Official (EO). He is driven by a desire to make sure everyone can perform their civic duty easily and efficiently, a goal he believes can be achieved through education.

MARGOT LAIRD, Special Projects Coordinator

Margot earned her B.A. from Washington University, her M.A. from Northwestern, and her Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. She worked at the University of Minnesota for twenty years doing graduate level teaching, program development and management, and educational research and evaluation. Her Ph.D. studies and work focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning; alternative research & evaluation methodologies; and community engagement. She also served as Associate Director of the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse and as the Professional Development and Leadership trainer for the International Humphrey Fellowship Program for mid-career professionals from developing countries around the world, sponsored and funded by the U. S. Department of State. In addition to her work in academia, Margot has done extensive professional development training in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her work for CEEP has included supervising our wonderfully-received nonpartisan candidate guides, conducting our post-election precinct analysis, working on fundraising development, and developing campus resource materials.

“My all-time favorite quote regarding service comes from Lilla Watson, an Indigenous Australian activist who stated ‘If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.’ Her statement captures beautifully the essential aspect of working together toward a better future for all. Not only do I believe passionately about the importance of voting, but I see this project at its core as a vital community service initiative that reflects the spirit of Watson’s statement and changes those that serve as much as it changes those that are served. It is a project that is both energizing and hopeful to be involved in.”

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.”

JONATHAN S. ROMM, Webmaster and Senior Advisor

Jonathan holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Marquette University and an M. Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. He served in the United States Peace Corps in Vanuatu as a Math and English volunteer from 2002-2005. Upon successfully completing his service, Jonathan, along with two other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers founded the Tsunami Assistance Project, which funded and built an orphanage in Nagaputinam, India. After receiving his master’s degree, Jonathan worked for four years with North Carolina Campus Compact managing their AmeriCorps*VISTA, Summer Associate, and  Student Conference projects, and their 2008 CEEP efforts. Jonathan was CEEP’s 2012 National Director and has been consulting with us ever since.