Staff

Campaign Coordinators

Stephanie Higgins is a fourth-year studying Public Health and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She has been with CEPA since she arrived at UMass Amherst, working with the Student Labor Action Project. She lead a lobby group for free public higher education at the Boston State House and worked as an educator/advocate at the Center for Women & Community. Her interests include singing like she means it, getting too excited when she sees puppiesand babies on campus, and spending money that she does not have on concert tickets. She is passionate about accessibility, reproductive justice, transformative and restorative justice, building interdependent communities, and quality ice cream. As Campaign and Advocacy co-director, she is excited to build on coalition-based student power.

 

Timmy Sullivan is a second year student at UMass majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. He is also involved in campus politics as an elected Class of 2020 Senator with the Student Government Association (SGA) and an appointed Undersecretary of Sustainability with the SGA. After spending the summer working for local political campaigns, Timmy is excited to be back effecting change on the UMass campus. When he isn't at class or in the Student Union, you could probably find him at Frank or in Greeno.

 

Education & Training Coordinators

Nathalie Amazan is a second year undergraduate from Long Island, New York. She is a double major in Political Science and Legal Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She works on campus at the Stonewall Center, which is the LGBTQ+ Education Center, advocating and working to address the needs of queer people on campus. She is a co-founder of the UMass Prison Abolition Collective, a student-run group aimed to educate the student body on the discriminatory practices of the US Prison System. She describes herself as a Progressive and firmly believes in the power of unified grassroots activism to make real, systemic change in society. She loves writing and performing poetry, especially spoken word, reading books by Black revolutionaries and authors, and being outdoors. She hopes to eventually write her own books and continue doing the much needed work towards the liberation of black, brown and queer communities after graduating from UMass.

 

Lou Purington (they/them) is a third year student studying Social Thought & Political Economy at Umass. They are a transfer student, however did extensive LGBTQ+ organizing at their first college, The New School. They have spent the past year and a half working as a crisis counselor at The Trevor Project and believes that education is the foundation of social justice. In their spare time, Lou enjoys perusing Petfinder, drinking coffee, and being trans.

 

External Communication & Outreach Coordinator

Gaelle Rigaud is a fourth-year English and African-American Studies double major with a specialization in creative writing. She has been secretary of the Black Student Union since her freshman year, Chair of the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee of the Student Government Association, an RA for first-years, and also a member of the Prison Abolition Collective. She has ambitions to become an English teacher someday, and has a drive to better the public education system for students. In her free time, she likes to write, sing, and pick her ‘fro. She can not wait for the opportunity to serve as a voice representing CEPA this year!

 

Media Coordinator

Grace McCabe is a fourth-year student studying Sustainable Community Development with a concentration in Urban Studies and Planning. She came to CEPA through her organizing over the past year with the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, which she is energized to continue working with. Growing up in Cambridge, MA, Grace began developing a commitment to social and education justice early on, and believes in the power of organized communities to radically transform our world. She enjoys long meals, good books, and spontaneously moving around the furniture in her house.

 

Policy, Legislative & Research Coordinator

Thomas Chalothron is a second year student studying Political Science and Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He will serve as the Policy, Legislative, and Research Coordinator. Thomas is from New York City and is excited about organizing student power. In his spare time he enjoys running, cooking, hiking and the outdoors.

 

CEPA Director

Koni Denham has served as the director for the past two years. She enjoys working with student organizers on campus as they strive to bring awareness to the issues impacting the campus community. Koni is inspired by students’ commitment to making the University a more socially just place to learn and work. Koni is an RPCV having served in Kazakhstan (1997-2000). She received her MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations from the School for International Training located in Brattleboro, VT. Her capstone explored the effects of interethnic mentoring on ethnic minority youth in Istanbul, Turkey. Koni also received a Master of Education with a concentration in higher education from the UMass Amherst in 2007. She has worked in the field of civic engagement, critical service-learning, and student organizing and activism for the last 10 years. She is currently working on her PhD at UMass. Her dissertation is exploring the topic of international critical service-learning. Koni loves to travel with her partner and spend time with their three dogs.