Drew Alums Share Their Career Journeys and Passion for Service to Others

On Dec. 3, 2020, the evening before the final day of Fall semester classes, Drew students took a study break to meet five impressive alums committed to civic engagement and to making our world a better place.  Our Launch Social Impact Career Community hosted the event, along with Prof. Amy Koritz from the Center for Civic Engagement. Our alums shared their compelling stories that led them on the path to interesting and diverse careers and to a life of service to their communities and our shared world. During the event, they provided insights into how their Drew experiences informed their career paths and ongoing commitment to community; the role mentors played for them at Drew and along their way; the social issues they are most passionate about and the work they do to address them; and advice to help our students make the most of their years at Drew so they are able to find purpose and meaning in their lives and be prepared to serve the greater good in their future. They spoke eloquently about the need for compassion, empathy, asking questions and following their passions. The students left with an abundance of useful information and some of their first contacts in their professional network.

Link HERE to watch the video.

Meet the Panelists:

Will Andrews C’18

Major: Sociology

Social Work Case Manager, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Currently, I am a social work case manager at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  While at Drew, my exposure to the Civic Engagement classes, internships, and Sociology department mentors created a passion for healthcare and I decided to continue my studies at the graduate level. Upon graduation from Drew, I enrolled in Rutgers School of Social Work and completed my MSW (Masters of Social Work) degree. While in the program, I was able to intern at Robert Wood and upon graduating and passing my licensing exam, began my career as a healthcare social worker in one of the state’s premier hospitals.

Jonathan Van Dongen C’17

Major: Psychology

Finance and Operations Associate, ACRONYM

Jonathan (C’17) is currently a Finance and Operations Associate at ACRONYM, an organization that focuses on building power and modern digital infrastructure for the progressive movement. While studying Political Science and Psychology, Jonathan participated in a variety of programs and extracurricular activities including the Civic Engagement Scholars, Baldwin Honors Program, Student Government, Volunteer Resource Committee, Drew Honduras Project, and the co-ed a cappella group All of the Above. Shortly after graduating, Jonathan joined Teach For America, where he taught secondary mathematics at Hardy Middle School in Jackson, Mississippi for two years. Seeking policy- and politically-oriented opportunities, Jonathan relocated to Washington, D.C., where he worked in the Congressional Office of Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) before ultimately joining ACRONYM. He is deeply invested in the success of the Drew community and currently serves as the Outreach and Programming Manager for the Drew Young Alumni Association, aiming to offer more comprehensive support and connectivity for graduates of the last decade.

Michael Johnston C’82

Major: Political Science

President, Lubetzky Family Foundation, KIND Foundation

Michael Johnston is President of the Lubetzky Family Foundation and The KIND Foundation and serves as Chief Philanthropic Advisor for Daniel Lubetzky (Executive Chairman & Founder of KIND Healthy Snacks). Prior to joining the Lubetzky Family Foundation, Michael served as President and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford (JCF) and as CEO of the United Way of Western Connecticut. Before joining the philanthropic sector in a professional capacity, Michael spent more than 20 years working in financial services with a variety of firms including Moody’s Investors Service, Kidder, Peabody & Co., Paine Webber & Co., Sandler O’Neill + Partners, GE Capital and two venture capital backed e-commerce businesses. He holds Masters Degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Urban Planning (MUP) from New York University and has a BA in Political Science from Drew University.

Xiomara Gueverra C’98

Majors: Political Science; Spanish Language and Culture

Executive Director, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs

Ms. Guevara has held the position of Executive Director for the Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA) for the past 14 years.  During her tenure, the organization has increased its reach in the community and has founded new programs.  MCOHA now serves over 13, 000 Morris County low-income residents yearly.  Under Ms. Guevara’s Leadership, the organization has added new health literacy initiatives, in 2014 opened the Center for Citizenship and Legal Immigration (CCLI) which provides high quality, low-cost immigration legal services to all community members and in 2020 started the Center for Latina Empowerment.  CCLI, where Ms. Guevara is also Of Counsel, has served since 2014 over 3,500 immigrants from ages 5 to 90 in varying stages of their journey to citizenship.  In addition, Ms. Guevara has also held the position of adjunct Professor for Fairleigh Dickinson University- Petrocelli and Becton College for the past seven years.  Ms. Guevara received her B.A. from Drew University, a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University and her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Law School-Newark. 

Emily Musil Church C’00

Major: American Studies

Senior Director of Global Market Development, Milken Institute

Emily Musil Church, PhD, is dedicated to harnessing technology and innovation to address global challenges for social good. Church currently serves as Senior Director of Global Market Development at the Milken Institute. Her team partners with leaders in emerging markets to develop innovative financing and other strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Church specializes in entrepreneurship and prize competitions. Church spent over a decade in academia where as a college professor she specialized in African history, global development, human rights, and women’s global issues. She then joined the XPRIZE Foundation, where she worked on a suite of innovation prizes and initiatives for human equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Amy Sugerman
Amy Sugerman Assistant Director, Center for Civic Engagement Amy Sugerman