VISTA: Meet our Members

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Class of 2021

Aidan Bassett

Born in Oregon and raised in Washington and Massachusetts, Aidan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020 with a B.A. in economics. As the Data Systems VISTA for the Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office, he is motivated to build data capacity and achieve more progressive, rehabilitative outcomes in the criminal justice system. He is passionate about fighting poverty, homelessness, and climate injustice and hopes to pursue a career in law and public service to help make equitable public policy. Aidan’s hobbies include distance running, hiking, musical theatre, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Lauren Bosserman

Lauren has called the west coast home her entire life, living in Southern California for the past 12 years. Riverside raised, just an hour outside of Los Angeles, she felt the calling to involve herself in her community and fight for its progress; as community awareness is a passion for her. She spent her time in community college transitioning from YouTube content creation to getting involved in local politics, volunteering and interning for local campaigns. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and has been seeking a way to improve the world around her, happily landing with AmeriCorps! In between her career aspirations, which can (often) bounce all over the place, she loves photography, music, and being in the great outdoors.

Bryan Burzon

Bryan graduated from Purdue University Fort Wayne with a degree in Computer Science. He previously worked as a software developer with a software consulting company where he assisted in various data related projects. Public Defender office and his technical background, Bryan hopes to learn how the intersection of these two domains help in the community they serve in. After his AmeriCorps year, he plans on pursuing a master’s in Data Science. In his spare time, you can find Bryan staying active by playing volleyball, tennis, and also playing the violin.

Ashley Conyers

Ashley Conyers and is happy to be serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Augusta, GA at the Law Office of the Public Defender. She is a Florida native who enjoys all the stereotypical sunshine state activities like going to the beach, boating, and yoga at sunset. A two time graduate of the University of the South Florida in Tampa, Florida, she received a BA in Communication Studies and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration. She selected to serve in the VISTA role because of her passion for service and a commitment to the betterment of others. After her time in AmeriCorps, she will be going to Law School and is so thankful for the hands-on, real world experience through AmeriCorps!

Peter Gaber

After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in Economics, Political Science, and History, Peter Gaber moved to Georgia to serve as the Community Partnerships VISTA for the Augusta Judicial Circuit's Office of the Public Defender. As a native southerner, he is proud to advocate on behalf of indigent clients in his home community. Prior to his service term, Peter worked in the federal government and as a researcher for various legal theorists. At the conclusion of his year of service, he plans to matriculate into law school and begin fighting for systemic change. Outside of the office, you can find Peter searching for the best iced coffee in town and/or reading a contemporary work of political theory.

Elizabeth Hansen

Elizabeth Hansen is the new VISTA volunteer at the Office of the Appellate Defender in NYC. She graduated from Tulane University last spring with a degree in Sociology and Public Health. Elizabeth is hoping to pursue a future career in legal work and am excited to begin working with NLADA.
 

Grant Hoffman

Grant Hoffman was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia where he spent his early life along the banks of the Ohio river. There he experienced the mix of Midwestern and Appalachian culture that has come to define the mid-ohio valley. He moved further into the heart of West Virginia graduating from Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Grant then left the state to attend The Savannah College of Art and Design, earning a BFA in Film and Television while also receiving a scholarship as a walk-on for the school's lacrosse team. Returning home, he sought a way to give back to the community that shaped him by proudly serving as a VISTA member.

Jade Mapp

Jade is the Program Coordinator for Books Beyond Bars at the Center for Appellate Litigation. She loves art, animals, and advocacy! She's excited about sharing her passion for literature while learning more about the criminal justice system.

Dalton Oberfoell

Dalton grew up in Colorado and is thrilled to be back serving his home community in Denver. He attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Politics and International Studies. His involvement has been working on environmental racism and sustainability and working against systems that marginalized communities. He is excited for another opportunity to serve under-resourced communities and to help produce a greater sense of justice in a system that hardly recognizes the humanity in its defendants. He plans to attend graduate school in Berlin for international relations with a focus on human rights.

Daniel Odunukwe

Daniel Odunukwe just recently graduated from Northeastern University with a Justice and Criminology degree. He is originally from Nigeria, Africa, and he and his family moved to the U.S when Daniel was fourteen. Daniel attended a military High school where he was involved in the ROTC program. He graduated high school in the year 2014 and attended Blackburn college for two years before he took a break from college and worked a little. After a full year break, Daniel went back to college to get his degree before he finally graduated. Right now, Daniel’s goal with the Americorps program is to gain experience and knowledge and insight into what he wants to do in the future.

 

Vanessa Reis

Vanessa graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020 with a double major in Criminal Justice and Journalism. During her time as a student, she immersed herself in justice issues through various avenues including legal advocacy, writing/reporting, and organizing. As an intern and consultant at Advancement Project National Office in Washington, DC, Vanessa undertook writing, research, and media outreach for the organization's grassroots campaigns for racial justice and democracy. Before that, as an intern at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which provides pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children, she assisted attorneys and provided research to support asylum cases and special immigrant juvenile status relief. Prior to joining the Center for Appellate Litigation through NLADA VISTA, she worked with attorneys providing free civil legal services at Neighborhood Legal Services of Western New York. Vanessa hopes to pursue a career in public interest law in the future.

Gracie Western

Gracie Western graduated from Harvard College in May 2020 and has since worked as a paralegal for a private criminal defense firm in New York City before serving as an AmeriCorps Vista member with the Office of the Appellate Defender. Gracie has a deep interest in accessible public defense and working to dismantle structural racism and inequality. Gracie is thinking about attending law school in the future and enjoys reading and doing stand-up comedy in her free time.

Julia Wicker

Julia is from Baton Rouge, LA and graduated in May 2021 with a double major in Business Administration and Sociology with a minor in Political Science from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. After spending four years in Jackson attending college, she decided to stick around a while longer to work for the Office of State Public Defender. With this position she hopes to learn more about the complexities within the criminal justice system in the state of Mississippi.

Loïs Vincent

Loïs Vincent is a public health and social justice advocate. She graduated from UMASS Boston with a B.S in Biology in 2020. After completing a year of service at Boys Hope Girls Hope with Notre Dame, she has stayed in New Orleans to attend Tulane University for her MPH degree and to serve as a Data VISTA at The Orleans Public Defenders office. Loïs believes in reforming and sometimes abolishing parts of the justice system that do not serve its citizens. In her free time, she can be found traveling, working on poetry, or getting to know her second home in NOLA.

Class of 2020

 

  • Isabelle Appleton - Center for Appellate Litigation, New York, NY
  • Elizabeth Barnes - Augusta Judicial Circuit Office of the Public Defender, Augusta, GA
  • Emma Baylor - Office of the Public Defender, Maryland
  • Kristen Brown - Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel, Colorado
  • Jess Gaughan - Pima County Public Defender, Tuscan, AZ
  • Daniel Goldstein - Orleans Public Defender, New Orleans, LA
  • Nichele Hudson - Public Defender Services, Connecticut
  • Batya Kemper - Santa Barbara County, Public Defender, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Shantih Kleen - Public Defender Services, West Virginia
  • Alex MacDonald - Office of Appellate Defense, New York, NY
  • Donna Marain - Augusta Judicial Circuit Office of the Public Defender, Augusta, GA
  • Jason Masino - Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel, Colorado
  • Maisy Menzies - Contra Costa County Public Defender, Richmond, CA
  • Noah Mlyn - Orleans Public Defender, New Orleans, LA
  • Betsy Molgano - Aurora Public Defense, Aurora, CO
  • Logan Montel - Pima County Public Defender, Tuscan, AZ
  • Cara Netzer - Public Defender Services, West Virginia
  • Sarah Rothschild - Santa Barbara County, Public Defender, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Luis Vivaldi - Office of Appellate Defense, New York, NY

Class of 2019

 

  • Thomas Bacher - Public Defender Service Corporation, Guam
  • Pietro Bartoli - Center for Appellate Litigation, New York, NY
  • Daniel Breen - Montgomery County Public Defender, Norristown, PA
  • Dametrick Evans - Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Chicago, IL
  • Kellianne Elliot - NLADA, DC
  • Breonna Hendricks - City of Atlanta Public Defender, Atlanta, GA
  • Aimee Hernandez-Meza - Brooklyn Defender Service, Brooklyn, NY
  • Sonya Joseph - NLADA, DC
  • Wan Qi Kong - Orleans Public Defender, New Orleans, LA
  • Meagan McDaniel - 13th Circuit Public Defender, Greenville, SC
  • A'Narris Monger - Michigan State Appellate Defender Office, Detroit, MI
  • Trung Nguyen - Solano County Public Defender, Fairfield, CA
  • Grace Ortez - Office of Appellate Defense, New York, NY
  • Amanda Paison - Santa Barbara County, Public Defender, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Lizzie Sluchak - Office of the Public Defender, Maryland
  • Coulter Ward - Orleans Public Defender, New Orleans, LA

Class of 2018

  • John Brogden - Wisconsin Public Defender, Madison, WI
  • Andrea Dowlen - Montgomery County Public Defender, Norristown, PA
  • Julio Gomez -Public Defender Service Corporation, Guam
  • Deondra Henderson - City of Atlanta Public Defender, Atlanta, GA
  • Carly Jones - Public Defender Service Corporation, Guam
  • Shannon Kelley - Office of the Public Defender, Maryland
  • Anna Ladd - NLADA, DC
  • Cynthia Mar - Alameda Public Defender's Office, Oakland, CA
  • Daniel Mangoubi - Lubbock Private Defender's Office, Lubbock, TX
  • Grace Ortez - Office of Appellate Defense, New York, NY
  • Amanda Paison - Santa Barbara County, Public Defender, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Yamilex Pena - Lubbock Private Defender's Office, Lubbock, TX
  • Tanisha Pierrette - Orleans Public Defender, New Orleans, LA
  • Jen Santangelo - Maricopa Office of the Public Defender, Phoenix, AZ
  • Kameryn Sessoms - NLADA, DC
  • Celcise Stany - Defender's Office of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, MT