​​Volunteer Center Alumni Affinity Chapter

This group is for anyone whose lives were touched through their involvement with the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center. This is for all CMU graduates who participated in any Volunteer Center Programs (Alternative Break, Safer Sex Patrol, David Garcia Project, Adopt-a- Grandparent, etc.), or had any other affiliation with the Volunteer Center. 

Alumni group


Becoming a member includes many great things!

As an Alumni Member, you have the opportunity to continue serving others around the globe, reunite with those CMU volunteers you wish you saw more often, enjoy Volunteer Center events throughout the year, head on an Alumni Alternative Trip and so much more!

Become a Member of the Alumni Affinity Chapter! 

Fill out the Orgsync form (linked above) to be added to the Volunteer Center's Alumni Affinity Chapter!

Catch U​​p With The Alumni

Megan Connaghan

Graduation YearCMU 2007, 2010 

VC Involvements at CMU: Student accountant, Alternative Breaks, Lunch Buddies, Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Graduate Assistant for Mentoring Programs.

Post Graduation Involvements: After graduating from CMU, Megan moved to Fairbanks, Alaska and worked in housing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for six years as a Resident Director and then Area Coordinator. She currently lives in Big Rapids, MI with her husband Daniel and three children, Noah, Ivy, and Hans

Jennifer Drevon

Graduation Year: CMU 2007Jennifer Drevon

VC Involvements at CMU: Alternative Breaks Chair, Site Leader, and Participant, Issue Day Committee, Hunger and Homelessness Week Co-Chair, David Garcia Project Facilitator, Issue Day, and Lunch Buddies Participant.

Post Graduation Involvements: Jennifer is currently working at the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU as the AB Program Manager. She also continues her involvement with the VC through the Alumni Chapter and has volunteered in Texas with various agencies through her involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Troy Heffron Troy Heffron

Graduation Year: CMU 2012

VC Involvements at CMUAlternative Breaks Board, Site Leader, Lunch Buddies Volunteer, Special Events Coordinator.

Post Graduation Involvements:  Troy worked in higher education for 4 years, mostly in residence life, and also earned a masters of applied sociology with a concentration in community development at the University of Indianapolis. Troy recently began working as a Volunteer Leader for a nonprofit called Cradles to Crayons in Boston, MA.  

Scott Hillman

Graduation Year: CMU 2010, NYU 2012Scott Hillman

Past VC Involvements: Alternative Breaks (participant, site leader, and board member), Lunch Buddies, VC Staff Member (Special Events Student Coordinator), Issue Day Committee

Post Graduate Involvements: After graduating from CMU, Scott earned a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University. He currently works for CMU but is based in Chicago, IL. Scott is the Assistant Director of Admissions and works on recruiting students from Chicago to attend CMU. He is involved in the Illinois Association of College Admission Counseling and the Chicagoland Area Regional Representative organizations. He has also been on the CMU Young Alumni Board since 2012, currently serving as Vice President.

John Johnstin

Graduation Year: CMU 2006

VC Involvements: Served on the Alternative Break Advisory Board (SLOT), went on ten Alternative Breaks (including two international) and participated in VC programming.

Post Graduation Involvements: John currently works as the Assistant Director of Outreach, Student Leadership, and Assessment for the Gender Relations Center at Notre Dame and is the proud father of a pup named Penelope.

Jennifer JordanJenny Jordan

Graduation YearCMU 2011, GVSU 2013

VC Involvements at CMU: David Garcia Project Student Coordinator between 2009 - 2011; Alternative Breaks member (participant 2007-2008, site leader 2008 - 2009, SLOT co-chair and site leader 2009 - 2010, President and site leader 2010 - 2011)

Post Graduate Involvements: After graduating from CMU, Jennifer went to Grand Valley State University for my Master of Public Administration degree, while also working as the Graduate Assistant for the Sustainability office.  She is currently the Development and Finance Specialist for Kids' Food Basket, a local nonprofit serving nutritious evening meals, called Sack Suppers, to local children.  ​

J.J. LewisJames Lewis

Graduation Year: CMU 2006, SDSU 2017  

VC Involvements at CMU: David Garcia Project Coordinator, Issue Day Conference Chairperson, Webmaster, RSO Liaison

Post Graduation Involvements:  J.J. is currently the Manager of Major Giving for Detroit Public Television and WRCJ 90.9 FM, directing our major giving department for both stations. He is active in the fundraising profession, serving as the Vice President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Detroit Chapter.  J.J. also serves as the AFP-Detroit Sponsorship Committer Chair and Chair of National Philanthropy Day as well as on the CMU Young Alumni Board of Directors, and a few other boards as well.  J.J. currently serves as the President & CEO of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Thousand Oaks, California


Sue Li

Graduation year: CMU 2013

VC involvements: Alternative Breaks Board and Site Leader, Special Events Committee, Issue Day, Adopt-A-Grandparent, and Michigan Service Scholars Program

Post-graduation involvements: After graduation, Sue moved to Boston and joined AmeriCorps*VISTA at Boston Public Schools for a year of National Service. During the year of AmeriCorps, Sue also received her Master's degree in Nonprofit Management - Leadership from Northeastern University. She is a regular volunteer with the local nonprofit Boston Cares where she is a twice recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award honoree from the White House and an Associate Board of Director.

Samantha Sachteleben

Graduation Year: CMU 2010Sam S.jpg

VC Involvements:  Alternative Breaks Board Member, Participant, and Site Leader, David Garcia Project Facilitator, Great Lakes Alternative Breaks Conference, Issue Day Conference, and Be My Neighbor Day participant.

Post-Graduation involvements:  After graduation from CMU, Sam worked for an Americorps program based in Detroit. She then started her teaching career at a center program in the Lansing area where she ran transition program for students from 18-26 with moderate to service cognitive and emotional impairments. After three years, Sam transitioned to a new position to be closer to family. For the last five years, Sam has worked in Woodhaven-Brownstown School District as Special Education Teacher in a cross-categorical classroom. During that time, Sam also earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Michigan State University.

Danielle SchmutzDanielle Schmutsz

Graduation Year: CMU 2010, University of Michigan 2014

VC Involvements at CMU:  Alternative Breaks Board and Site Leader. Post-graduation Danielle served as the AmeriCorps*VISTA in the VC for two years, working with the mentoring programs (Lunch Buddies, America Reads and Counts, Adopt-A-Grandparent), and the Michigan Service Scholars Program and Public Service​ Residential Community.

Post Graduation Involvements:  After serving as a VISTA Danielle went to the University of Michigan for an MSW degree. There she focused on macro Social Work, Nonprofit Management and Social Policy & Evaluation. She also worked with the Michigan Community Scholars Program to engage college students in social justice issues. She now lives in Washington, DC where she is the Director of Programs & Operations at Beacon House, a community organization working with children and youth.

Shannon Schmutz

Graduation Year: CMU 2013

VC Involvements at CMU: Alternative Breaks, Community Outreach

Post Graduation InvolvementsShannon is currently an Area Director with Residence Life at Boston University. She earned her Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy with an Emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Utah. She has stayed connected with Alternative Breaks programs each place she's worked serving and a coordinator or staff partner for the transformative AB experiences.