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Our Staff


Professor of Education

David Donahue
(415) 422-4293
Pronouns: He/Him/His

David Donahue joined the McCarthy Center as Senior Director in 2015. Before coming to USF, David was the Interim Provost and Associate Vice Provost at Mills College in Oakland, California, and worked there for more than twenty years as a professor of education. David earned his doctorate in Education from Stanford University after earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in History as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. David is a widely-published scholar on topics including service-learning in higher education, human rights, diversity and personal identity. He came to USF committed to the continuation of building a strong community while leading the McCarthy Center in its mission of helping inspire and prepare USF students for lives and careers of ethical public service.

Karin Cotterman

Director, Engage San Francisco
Karin Cotterman
(415) 422-5469
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Karin Cotterman joined the McCarthy Center in 2011 as the Assistant for External Relations. Currently, she directs Engage San Francisco, an intentional, systematic and transformative university-community initiative focused on achieving community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition through student learning, research and teaching. Prior to working at USF, Karin was the Associate Director for Engaged Scholarship at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Karin has an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and holds a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies. Her special interests include ethical considerations in service, community-campus partnerships, and the intersections of identity and service. 

Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Learning
Fernando Enciso-Márquez
(415) 422-2033
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Fernando Enciso-Márquez joined the McCarthy Center in 2012, and currently serves as Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Learning. He graduated from San Jose State University in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science, and from USF's Master of Public Administration program in 2015. He previously worked with the San Francisco Public Defender's Office in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood through its community-building agency, BMAGIC. In his role, he advances USF campus-community partnerships and oversees local to global student civic engagement programs. As a native San Franciscan, he is passionate about developing students as responsible social change agents to advocate for marginalized communities. He is actively involved in local social justice causes, and serves on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission Equity Advisory Committee, in addition to the SFUSD's Public Education Enrichment Fund Community Advisory Committee.

Leslie Lombre

Director, External Relations
Leslie Lombre
(415) 422-2983
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Leslie Lombre joined the McCarthy Center in June 2014 as the Associate Director, leading Development and Communications for the Center’s programs. She previously worked as the Director of Development for the Museum of the African Diaspora and the San Francisco Center for the Book. Leslie comes from an extensive background in the public and commercial broadcast marketplace including the promotion/syndication of PBS-produced series and programs including Time Magazine, Money Magazine and Goldman Foundation Award Specials. Leslie serves on numerous Boards of non-profits. With a B.A. degree in Communications and Public Policy from UC Berkeley, Leslie has uses her expertise and cultural competency to promote diverse images across broad audiences.

Director of Community Engaged LearningStar Plaxton-Moore
Star Plaxton-Moore
(415) 422-2156
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Star Plaxton-Moore is the Director of Community-Engaged Learning at the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at University of San Francisco. Star specializes in working with faculty to integrate community-engaged pedagogy into their courses, and plays a critical role in shaping institutional discourse, practices, and policies related to community-engaged program design and assessment, community partnerships, and faculty development. Additionally, Star directs the McCarthy Center’s Public Service and Community Engagement Minor, an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to be engaged and informed citizens. In her 12 years at the Center, she has overseen undergraduate academic public service and service-learning programs; designed curriculum for, and facilitated, the Advocates for Community Engagement student leadership program; and coordinated outreach, support, and training for campus-community partnerships. Star co-authored the article, “Faculty Development for Service-Learning and Community Engagement in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature and Survey of Current Trends,” which was recently published in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Additionally, Star has presented on aspects of community-engaged learning at regional and international conferences, and provided consultations and invited talks at K-12 and higher education institutions on social-justice oriented community engagement and service-learning models. She has taught service-learning and capstone seminar courses at USF, and previously served as a classroom teacher in public schools in Virginia and California. Star received her M.Ed. from The George Washington University and is currently completing course work for a Doctorate in Multicultural Education (Ed.D) at USF.

Kresten Froistad-Martin

Program Manager for the Urban and Public Affairs Graduate Programs
Kresten Froistad-Martin
(415) 422-5683
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Kresten Froistad-Martin joined the McCarthy Center in 2017 as the Program Manager for the Urban and Public Affairs Graduate Programs.  She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Ethics and Social Theory PhD program at the Graduate Theological Union. Her research interests include ethics, poverty, and efforts toward addressing justice issues. Outside of the office, she is involved with volunteering with a program for families without homes, and teaching at San Quentin State Prison.

Program Assistantbeth_gonzales
Beth Gonzales
(415) 422-5836
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Beth Gonzales joined the McCarthy Center in 2016 as the Program Assistant. Beth was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Francisco. She graduated from Mercy High School and studied business management at Holy Names College. Beth previously worked for a global energy and sustainability consulting firm. Outside of the office, Beth loves to travel and is an avid softball player in the Bay Area.

Amelia McKennaProgram Assistant
Amelia McKenna
(415) 422-5060
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Amelia McKenna joined the McCarthy Center in 2017 as the Program Assistant for Engage San Francisco and the Masters Degree Programs in Urban and Public Affairs. Amelia was born in Sacramento and grew up in Las Vegas, NV. She graduated with a BA from the University of San Francisco in 2016 where she studied English with a concentration in creative writing. She is passionate about higher education and student affairs. In her free time she enjoys writing poetry, singing, and baking sweets!

Community-Engaged Learning Program Manager
Angeline Vuong
(415) 422-5205
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Angeline Vuong joined the McCarthy Center in 2017 as the Program Manager of Community-Engaged Learning. She oversees the Center’s undergraduate public service programs and supports community-engaged learning across the institution. She has a diverse background in the public sector, specializing in immigration, economic and community development issues for government agencies and non-profit organizations. Most recently she worked with UNICEF to design mentorship and education programs for in Vietnam and at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., managing social and economic policy analyses for communities of color. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Trinity University. A native of Texas, Angeline is passionate about social justice, educational equity, youth engagement, and immigration issues.

NolizweAssociate Director - Programs and Partnerships, Engage San Francisco
Nolizwe Nondabula
(415) 422-4241
Pronouns: They/Their/Theirs

Nolizwe Nondabula joined the McCarthy Center team in 2016 and currently serves as the Associate Director of Programs and Partnerships for Engage San Francisco. They additionally sit on the steering committee of the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP), a project fiscally sponsored by the Transgender Law Center. They graduated from Clark University with a BA in Economics and from the University of San Francisco with a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs. Prior to Engage, Nolizwe served as the AmeriCorps Financial Grant Coordinator for YouthBuild USA and cultivated the next generation of LGBTQ leaders as the Mentorship Program Coordinator for the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition. Additionally, they served on the Board of Directors of multiple organizations including New Leaders Council, Brookview House and BUTCH Voices. When they're not basking in Blaqueer excellence, you can find them jiving to the sounds of Afro-house or recharging with the power rangers.

Director of Graduate Programs, Urban and Public Affairs
Rachel Brahinsky
(415) 422-2667
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Rachel Brahinsky serves as director of the graduate programs in Urban and Public Affairs. She also teaches in the undergraduate Urban Studies program. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching center around the challenges of race and inequality in the context of rapidly changing American cities. Her current projects are focused on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Community Program SpecialistLiana Molina
Liana Molina
(415) 422-2033
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Liana Molina joined the Leo T. McCarthy Center in August 2018 to lead the Community Empowerment Activist program. Liana brings nearly two decades of faith-based, labor and community organizing experience. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she came to the bay area to attend Santa Clara University, where she earned her B.A. in Sociology.

VISTA Community Liaison, Engage San FranciscoZorrae Bowie
Zorrae Bowie
(415) 422-5662
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Zorrae Bowie is our most recent VISTA service corps member. She comes to us from Kansas where she recently received her BA in Psychology from Washburn University. Zorrae has a strong desire to learn, build, and organize with community.

America Reads Graduate InternJamie Capetillo
Jamie Capetillo
(415) 422-5662
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Jamie Capetillo is here as the America Reads Graduate Assistant, where she coordinates K-3 literacy tutoring at various school sites in San Francisco and prepares undergraduate tutors working with the program. Jamie is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Students Affairs at USF.

Contact Info

Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Masonic, Room 106
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5662 (415) 422-5641