Dan A. Lewis

Faculty Director
Professor of Human Development & Social Policy, School of Education & Social Policy

Dan A. Lewis’ research agenda provides an approach to studying social policy that meets the challenge of a profound transformation in social policy over the last 40 years. Gone are the days of new federal programs to solve national problems. The New Deal and the Great Society are seen by many as the source of our problems rather than solutions. Lewis’ work responds to these changes in the political climate.

In addition to being Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, Lewis holds a professorial appointment with the department of Human Development & Social Policy at Northwestern's School of Education & Social Policy.

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John Kretzmann
Community Liaison
Research Associate Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Director, Asset-Based Community Development Institute

John (Jody) Kretzmann is co-founder and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern, which works with community building leaders across North America as well as on five other continents to conduct research, produce materials and otherwise support community-based efforts to rediscover local capacities and to mobilize citizens’ resources to solve problems.

Kretzmann has taught about community development and public policy with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Urban Studies Program (which he co-founded), Valparaiso University, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and McCormack Seminary. He serves on a wide range of civic, community and foundation boards. His BA is from Princeton University (magna cum laude), his master's degree is from the University of Virginia, and his PhD (in sociology and urban affairs) is from Northwestern University.

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Robert Donahue
Associate Director

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Heidi Gross
Assistant Director


As Assistant Director for the Center for Civic Engagement, Heidi is responsible for overseeing all of CCE's programmatic offerings. She started Northwestern's Jumpstart program in 2009 and served as the Jumpstart Site Manager for three years before moving into her current role. She now works most closely with the Engage Chicago, NUPIP, Civic Engagement Certificate, and CCE Fellowship programs.

Heidi received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana. She is currently enrolled in Northwestern's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

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Katrina Weimholt
Assistant Director


Katrina Weimholt joins the Center for Civic Engagement as an Assistant Director with expertise in service-learning and experiential education, nonprofit management, and political engagement. She previously led civic engagement programs at Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development as the Program Director of the Civic Education Project. Katrina founded the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago, a volunteer-run association that strengthens the nonprofit community by providing professional development, resources, and networking opportunities to young professionals. She was also a founding director of the New Leaders Council in Chicago, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports the next generation of progressive leadership. Katrina holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political communication from Northwestern, and is completing a master’s degree in public policy and administration.

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Micaela Moran
Jumpstart Program Coordinator

Micaela coordinates the Jumpstart program at Northwestern where she recruits, trains, and provides ongoing support and feedback to Corps Members serving in preschools. Prior to working at Northwestern, Micaela managed a team of recent college graduates at AmeriCorps Project YES!, a program of the Northwestern Settlement. Micaela served as an AmeriCorps member with Project YES! for two years. During her service she supported students at Polaris Charter Academy, engaged youth and adults in service projects in the community, and assisted with the Golden Agers program for senior citizens at the Northwestern Settlement. 

Micaela earned a BA in Elementary Education and Human Development at Boston College.

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Kerry Brown

Program Coordinator

As a Program Coordinator at the Center for Civic Engagement, Kerry works closely with a variety of experiential learning programs. Along with a team of faculty and graduate students, she coordinates and facilitates AMPED, a program that connects Northwestern students with residents at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center on Saturday mornings. She also contributes to the Civic Engagement Certificate and Engage Chicago programs.

Kerry first came to the Center as a Northwestern undergraduate and has since worked at CCE in a variety of capacities, including most recently as a Northwestern Public Interest Fellow. She graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a BS in Social Policy and International Studies.

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Alexandria Jacobson
Program Assistant

Alexandria Jacobson works as a program assistant at the CCE, helping support campus programs and managing the center’s communications and online media. She served as a Fellow at CCE through the Public Interest Program, a year-long fellowship for students interested in the public sector. Her CCE career began as the Center's work study student throughout college.

Alexandria also is an adjunct lecturer for the Medill Media Teens program where she co-teaches Saturday morning journalism classes for teens on Chicago’s South Side. Additionally, Alexandria is a Fellow at the Communications Residential College where she helps mentor Northwestern undergraduates. She graduated magna cum laude from the Medill School of Journalism with both her Master’s and Bachelor's degrees.

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Beatrice Choi
Graduate Assistant

Beatrice Choi joins CCE as a graduate assistant, assisting with civic engagement programs that encourage students and faculty to interface with the surrounding Chicago community. Recently, she spent two years conducting fieldwork in Brazil, and her work focuses on cultures of innovation and the intersections between the social uses of technology and identity. Prior to joining Northwestern, Beatrice worked in start-up technology companies in a marketing capacity, and in a global translations company as a project manager. She has also worked as a curatorial fellow at the September 11 Memorial & Museum. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in communication, and has a master's degree in media studies from New York University (NYU), and bachelor's degrees from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in international studies and communication.

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Natalia Smirnov
Graduate Assistant

Natalia Smirnov is a Graduate Assistant at CCE and PhD Candidate in Learning Sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy. Her dissertation research examines how teachers design and students experience digitally-mediated environments for civic and political learning. Prior to Northwestern, Natalia taught media production and literacy at University Community Collaborative in Philadelphia and founded a youth-produced public access news show called POPPYN (Presenting Our Perspective in Philly Youth News). She holds a B.A. in American Culture + Media Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Diversity Leadership from Temple University. 

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