UACT Staff and Facilitators, 2014-2015


Kristie Herman

Kristie is a junior double majoring in psychology and a BDIC in Social Justice through Sustainability with a certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming.  In addition to being inspired by the work she shared through GCO, her experience facilitating Eco-Rep, a student run course centered around sustainability education, and doing work with climate justice, has allowed her to further understand the importance of environmental, social, and economic justice and their connection to one another. She is excited to reach her love for organizing and community even further. Kristie also loves SNL, flowers, & dancin’.


Lily Kofke

Lily attended university in Canada and Chile before finding her way as a senior to UMass Amherst, where she is now a Spanish major with a Five College Certificate in Latin American studies.  Her other interests include education, critical thinking, language, and communities.  She is happiest in the sunshine, with the people she loves, cooking and eating good food, or on an adventure (and actually happiest when all these things happen at once!).   


Sarah Duey

Sarah Duey is a fourth year working on double majoring in Sociology and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. She is a co-coordinator of the Stonewall Speakers Bureau, a leader of the Coalition to End Rape Culture, and an active member of VOX: Students for Reproductive Justice and the Pride Alliance. She has also founded a dialogue space called Queer Conversations and a socializing space for people on the asexual spectrum in and around Western Massachusetts.


Molly Brown-Hill

Molly is a senior at UMASS majoring in Anthropology. It took her a long time to find the right major and she didn't think she ever would but she's thrilled she finally did. Molly is from Northampton Massachusetts and can't wait to get out of the area after graduating but will always return home. Molly tries not to judge people because she believes it is unfair and stops you from experiencing/learning from someone that has awesome ideas and important stories. Molly believes stories are super important and are a crucial piece needed to bring us together in order to create change. She likes dancing, running, laughing, and eating.   


Jordan Bensley

Jordan is a third year at Hampshire College, studying the intersections of design, critical social thinking, and trans/queer activism. They see an importance in actively learning about the webs of identities in this world and all of the stories in those webs. They are very interested in working on exploring more trans resources on the web and trans driven social projects. They took GCO last spring semester and will be helping out UACT this year. ***Fun Facts: passion for horses is a bit on the obsessed side, affinity for mingling at social events, curiosity for all the little things.    


Olivia Espinoza

Olivia Espinoza is a junior at UMass Amherst. She is majoring in Social Thought and Political Economy and working towards minors in Spanish and History. Olivia spent her summer interning with the T Riders Union, a part of Alternatives for Community and Environment, in preparation for facilitating GCO. She loves going on long walks to process life, drinking super bitter tea, and traveling/exploring. 



Jenny Lanza

Jenny Lanza is a senior majoring in public health sciences and minoring in biology. She has been involved with UACT for one year as a facilitator and will be staying involved by training facilitators during her final year at UMass. She is passionate about ways of teaching and learning that are engaging and inspiring. Her other interests are reading, writing, hiking, and learning about ecology. 


Kinsey Foreman

Kinsey Foreman is a junior studying Social Thought and Political Economy at UMass. She is also pursuing a certificate in Civic Engagement and Service Learning. The most frequently asked question she receives (especially from her parents) is “so what can you do with that after you graduate?”. If you have any ideas, please let her know! Her GCO class spent last Spring Break working with the Maine People’s Alliance where she discovered her love for organizing, tough conversations and coffee.


Jackie Brown

Jackie is a sophomore at UMass in the process of creating her major through the BDIC program. She has found that the place she feels most pushed yet comfortable in college has been in the UACT community and is excited to stay involved. She enjoys reading a good book, laughing, and seeing new places.  



Nina Haddad

Nina Haddad is in her fourth year at UMass Amherst, majoring in Social Thought and Political Economy with a minor in Anthropology. She spent her summer interning at the National Network for Abortion Funds in Boston, Massachusetts as well as co-facilitating at the Honors College Summer Institute in Documentary Filmmaking, working with high school students in the fight for social justice. Nina loves bonfires, raspberries, and coffee shop chats with friends.




Director Jen Sandler Ph.D.

Jen Sandler, Ph.D.

Jen is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. In her research, Jen focuses on the knowledge practices of activist organizations and movements, asking how those who are trying to change the structures of society learn and teach about the problems they aim to address. Jen has conducted research with urban educators, community organizers, policy activists, parent activist groups, and popular education organizations in several urban centers in the United States as well as in Mexico. She also engages as a participant in many organizations and collectives that work with people to understand their shared struggles and to gain the power to shape the institutions and policies that affect them.

Jen received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, and subsequently held visiting faculty positions at Trinity College and Bates College. As a professor, she has worked with many local community activists and organizers as partners to teach students, through engagement with both theory and practice, about different ways of understanding contemporary power, social inequalities, and diverse approaches to social change. Her classes have frequently involved efforts to disrupt the traditional power dynamics of the classroom to create collective environments for learning and community engagement. Jen comes to UMass this year ridiculously excited to work with the UACT staff along with graduate students, faculty, and community partners who are interested in thinking critically about engaged teaching and research on activism.