Staff

Campaign Coordinators

Mohita Abbaraju is currently a junior at UMass Amherst studying WGSS, Journalism, and Education. She is also involved with the Women of Color Leadership Network and various programs through the Stonewall Center. Her interests lie in understanding how colonialism and the construct of the nation state informs and shapes various forms of oppression, as well as the resistance work of marginalized peoples in response to such forces. In her free time, she enjoys watching cat videos, singing, and playing the piano and ukulele.

 

James Cordero is an English and Social Thought and Political Economy double major and a Co-Campaign & Advocacy Coordinator for CEPA. He provides strategic counsel to students organizing campaigns around issues of affordability, restorative justice, food access, and more. James can often be found delivering fiery oration at town halls and local political events; or, in his second home, the W.E.B DuBois Library.

 

Education & Training Coordinators

Isa Leonard-Rose is a student at UMass Amherst graduating in the Spring of 2020. She is majoring in Social Thought & Political Economy and double-minoring in Spanish and Women Gender & Sexuality Studies. Isa is the Co-Education and Training Coordinator at CEPA and works on the Restorative Justice Campaign. She cares deeply for the people around her and believes in the value of education as the most powerful tool to effect change. She loves CEPA and would like to see the agency continue to take action in making the campus a more inclusive, politicized, sustainable, and empathetic place.

 

Lou Purington is a senior Social Thought & Political Economy major. They have been working at the Center for Education Policy & Advocacy for the past year and are excited to build off their organizing skills and continue learning. When they are not in the CEPA room, you can usually find them at Franklin Dining (the best dining hall on campus.)

 

External Communication & Outreach Coordinator

Klara Ingersoll (she/they), is a transfer sophomore at UMass. Klara completed the “foundation year” a one year philosophy program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada before coming to UMass. At CEPA, Klara works with CEPA campaigns on communicating powerfully and visually. Klara started organizing in high school, where she helped changed her school district’s dress code and sexual violence policies to be less embedded in victim blaming. She believes the way to end rape and cultures of violence is through emotional education and restorative justice, so she is excited to be working on the CEPA RJ campaign. Klara is doing an independent major (BDIC) in Social Change and Data & Informatics. In her free time, Klara organizes community events, plays soccer with friends, and makes different kinds of art.

 

Media Coordinator

Wafi Habib is a Communication major at UMass Amherst, graduating class of 2021. He is an international student originally from Brunei, and is currently fulfilling his dream of studying abroad. In CEPA, he is the Media Coordinator who takes care of social media and will be involved in creating short videos for the organization. He is also passionately working on the Food Justice/ Affordable Higher Education campaign. In his free time, he enjoys photography, bullet journalling, and hanging out with friends..

 

Policy, Legislative & Research Coordinator

Carys Lamberg is a transfer junior at UMass. She is majoring in Political Science and an independent major (BDIC) in Political and Legal Communication. She is also pursuing a minor in History and a certificate in International Relations. Carys is passionate about uplifting underrepresented voices, sparking social change and restorative justice, and is excited to begin working with CEPA as the Policy, Legislative & Research Coordinator. Off-campus, Carys has gained legislative experience as an intern in the offices of State Senator Stan Rosenberg, Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and for the Office of the Senate President of Massachusetts. She hopes to bring the skills that she has gained from these offices to campus to make UMass a more restorative, informed, and inclusive environment. In the future, Carys hopes to pursue graduate school or law school and ultimately influence public policy and criminal justice reform.

 

CEPA Director

Koni Denham has served as the director since 2014. 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.