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New Leaders Council

2015 Fellows

Heather Alvarez, Consulting Psychologist/Sole Proprietor, Health & Education Support Solutions

Dr. Alvarez is a licensed psychologist that specializes in the development of research-based programming for schools and healthcare companies as well as special education consultation and evaluation. Dr. Alvarez graduated from Colby College in 1997 with a B.A. in Psychology and received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2004. She has been published in numerous academic journals and has presented internationally on topics related to child psychopathology, school mental health, supervision and teaching, and psychological intervention.

Dr. Alvarez has received grant funding to enhance school and community partnerships, develop multidisciplinary training programs, and study the impact of childhood aggression in schools. She has taught a variety of graduate-level courses in Clinical Psychology and School Psychology, has supervised a number of predoctoral interns in School Psychology, and currently serves as a postdoctoral fellowship supervisor. She was the Clinical Director of the Sebago Educational Alliance from 2008-2014, where she oversaw the development and implementation of clinical services for this pilot special education program, supervised clinical staff, and supported the evaluation and intervention needs of students in attendance. Most recently, Dr. Alvarez started a small business, Health and Education Support Solutions, LLC. She is passionate about bridging research and practice across disciplines, and dedicates her work to the support of effective and sustainable health and educational interventions for children and adults in the state of Maine.


Marshall Archer, Veterans Specialist, City of Portland, Maine

	Marshall	Archer	Marshall Archer currently serves as the Veterans and Compliance Officer for the City of Portland, Maine where he assists homeless and at-risk veterans in maintaining long term stable housing. He has assisted many veterans obtain VA healthcare, compensation, pension, education and various other benefits that are available. He has served as the Regional Director of Student Veterans of America, served on the Veterans of Foreign Wars Current Conflict committee, advising the National Commander on various Iraq and Afghanistan issues, and served as a member of the VFWs Department of Maine Council of Administration.

In addition Marshall assisted in the creation of a Veteran Student Organization and a Veterans Resource Center at the University of Southern Maine. In 2009, Marshall's efforts led to the creation of L.D 1488, a law that provided Maine's Veterans complimentary access to Maine's State Parks. From 2001 to 2005, Marshall served in the U.S Marines. He deployed to Iraq twice and provided security support in the Anbar Province. He holds a BA in Social Work from the University of Southern Maine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work at the University of New England. In May, 2013 Marshall was selected by the American Council of Political Leaders to participate as a delegate to China.


Kate Brown

	Kate	Brown	Kate Brown is a third generation Portland, Maine native. She attended the city's public schools before matriculating at Bates College in Lewiston where she graduated in 2008 with a BA in Anthropology. Her courses and fieldwork led her into various classroom settings and sparked her interest in education. After working with students in various grades and subjects Kate now understands the wisdom of Mark Twain's quote "don't let your schooling interfere with your education." She believes that current schooling needs to change and wants to be a part of it.

She's worked with students in Maine, New York City, Santiago, Chile, and Greater Boston. Over the last year she has partnered with educational organizations and movements that are re-imagining education in and outside the traditional classroom setting. She is organizing a student-track for the 2015 Maine Start-up and Create Week in Portland. Her career goal is to create engaged and innovative communities through formal and informal learning platforms.


Emily Cramer, Grants Administrator, Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation

	Emily	Cramer	Emily works for the Lerner Foundation in Portland, Maine. Formerly, she was the Deputy Finance Director for Eliot Cutler's Maine gubernatorial campaign. She has worked and volunteered extensively in fundraising and development for four years for political campaigns and nonprofits. In addition she volunteers her time to continue to help local nonprofits by organizing fundraisers and writing grants. Through her volunteering she has helped organize fellow progressive veterans to meet President Obama and the First Lady during their respective visits to Maine. In addition, she is a member of the Truman National Security Project and attended their first Veteran Leadership Program in Washington, DC. She is an alumni of the 2013 ACYPL Veterans delegation to Japan.

Emily continues to be an active participant in the local and national veteran communities today. Emily served in the Army National Guard for 12 years while attending college. She was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom ('04-'05) where her unit worked to rebuild Iraq, the region of Kurdistan, and the facilities of the US Army and Iraqi Military. She was also deployed to Louisiana in support of Hurricane Katrina Relief in Bogalusa, LA. During her mission in Louisiana she assisted local volunteers and politicians as an advisor and project manager for the reconstruction of public property using resources provided by her National Guard Unit. For their efforts the unit was awarded the key to the city. In 2006 Emily enrolled in the University of Maine Farmington in the Creative Writing program. While in college she focused her writing on the experiences and political history of regions that she visited during the war. Through her writing she helped educate and promote political and cultural understanding in her own community. In 2008 she graduated from UMF and was awarded the 2008 Best Nonfictionist award. Emily hopes to enroll in the University of Maine School of Law in 2015.


Cheri Crossman, Support Staff for Homeless Youth & Teens, Preble Street

	Cheri	Crossman	Cheri Crossman is the second person in her family to attend college, and the first to attend graduate school. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in social work with a GPA of 3.7, and a minor in criminology with a GPA of 3.6. Ms. Crossman was Vice President of the Social Work Student Organization, a member of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and is now pursuing her MSW as an Advanced Standing student at USM, and currently has a GPA of 3.95.

Currently Ms. Crossman works at Preble Street at the Resource Center and Teen Services, where she works with adults and youth who are experiencing homelessness providing supports and resources. Ms. Crossman volunteers for Family Crisis Services helping those who are victims of domestic violence and is also a court appointed special advocate for Maine CASA. Ms. Crossman is a co-founder of "Street to Heat", a group dedicated developing innovative and affordable housing for low income and homeless individuals and families. As a MSW intern Ms. Crossman is placed at Southern Maine Health Care's Pain Clinic, providing group and individual therapy, for patients suffering with chronic pain and other mental health issues. Ms. Crossman is a former youth in care, and since aging out of foster care she has been an advocate others who are in foster care. She recently was a speaker at Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative at the National Summit on Authentic Youth Engagement. Ms. Crossman has provided testimony to the Maine Legislature advocating for the Maine Act LD 1683, "An Act to Improve Degree and Career Attainment for Former Foster Children" which was signed into law in 2014. Mr. Crossman is dedicated to providing support and leadership for change for social justice and equal opportunity for all and is excited to be a part of the New Leaders Council Fellowship, class of 2015.


Matthea Daughtry, State Representative, State of Maine

	Matthea	Daughtry	Rep. Mattie Daughtry is serving her second term in the Maine Legislature. She is the House chair of the Maine Commission on College Affordability and College Completion. Daughtry, a lifelong Brunswick resident, graduated from Brunswick High School and Smith College. Daughtry runs her own local photography and video company: Matthea Daughtry Media. She also assists a local photographer and works as a freelance writer and researcher.

Previously, she was the communications associate for Maine's Majority and did legislative research for the organization. She has also worked as a curator for Brunswick-based VSA Arts of Maine, an organization serving people with disabilities through the arts. Daughtry also co-owned and ran a small business featuring the VSA artists at 11 Pleasant St. in Brunswick. Daughtry founded and ran the news department at WOZQ 91.9 FM and also worked in thenews department at WFCR 88.5 FM, an NPR station in western Massachusetts. She worked in Congressman Tom Allen's office as an intern in college. She has extensive experience working in her local community, on a local farm, as awaitress in town, as a counselor at several local camps and at the Times Record.


Laura Dorle, Campaign Organizer, Environment Maine

	Laura	Dorle	Laura is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management. She spent her college career organizing for environmental change--first as a student at the University of California, Davis working on a successful effort to ban plastic bags in the City of Davis. Then, as president of U Students Like Good Food, working with Real Food Challenge to get the University of Minnesota to purchase food that supports a just and sustainable food system.

Laura moved from Minnesota to Maine in 2014 to work for Environment Maine, where she focuses on our climate and energy work. When she's not organizing you can find her playing with her dog Buddy and cat Felipe.



Kathryn Ende, Legal and Program Associate, Consumers for Affordable Health Care

Kathryn Ende is the Legal and Program Associate at Consumers for Affordable Health Care, a Maine advocacy organization that strives to ensure a strong consumer voice in decision making at all levels and in all forums in order to advocate for a consumer-oriented health system in Maine and the United States. In this position, she represents individual clients for the Consumer Assistance Program with appeals and helps them to resolve disputes with insurance companies. She also conducts trainings for partner organizations and stakeholders, as well as educational outreach to raise public awareness of the Affordable Care Act and other health care programs.

Kathryn is a graduate of Wheaton College with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. While a student, Kathryn interned at the Disability Rights Center of Maine. After graduating college, she worked as field staff in Colorado for Organizing for America and volunteered for the Maine ChildrenÕs Alliance, before joining Consumers for Affordable Health Care.


Dana Fadel, Health Coordinator, Wayfinder

	Dana	Fadel	Dana Fadel, originally from Louisville, Kentucky, is a certified sex educator through Planned Parenthood, and teaches health at Wayfinder School in New Gloucester, Maine.

Dana facilitates a women's sexuality workshop called Sex of Self, and writes a sex and relationship advice column, Public Affection, for the Portland alternative paper. In her other life, Dana teaches weaving through private lessons or retreats.




Will Gattis, Substitute Teacher, Lewiston Public Schools

Will Gattis is a recent college graduate with a BA in Economics and Minor in Mathematics from the University of Southern Maine. Will is in the midst of applying to MSc programs in economics and plans to pursue a PhD. His primary research interest is the manner in which and degree to which government policy affects inequality. Before discovering economics, he was a professional singer/songwriter. 


Jamie Lasden 

Jamie recently graduated with her Masters of Social Work from the University of New England. While In graduate school Jamie developed a keen sense for the social and political issues surrounding poverty homelessness and hunger in Maine. Jamie plans to continue her professional career in the areas of housing, poverty and hunger as an advocate and community organizer.

Before attending graduate school Jamie recieved her BFA in integrate design from Parsons School of Design. Jamie's work at Parsons focused primarily on community and participatory based artwork. Jamie has experience and a deep passion for being a co-advocate alongside the people and communities whom she works with. Jamie has lived in Massachusetts, Colorado, New York, Montana, Wyoming and Maine. She enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with her two dogs Foxi and Zoe.


Nyawal Lia , Student Assistant III , WMPG

Nyawal Lia, was born on 1/3/1994 making her 21 years old this year. She is currently attending the University of Southern Maine, studying political science. Her family moved to the U.S. in 2001. The first state her family moved to was FL, in the next year during the summer of 2002 her family decided to move to Portland,ME. When they got here Nyawal was placed at Reiche Elementary school in a third grade class. She then attended Lincoln Middle School and from 2009 to 2012 attended Portland High school. Nyawal ran cross country for 4 years she became captan of the team her junior year. Her freshmen year she made it to states in her individual 800 race. After graduating from Portland HIgh Nyawal ran cross country for the University of Maine at Machias for a year before transferring to USM. Nyawal has been apart of a children's multicultural choir since she was in 6th grade. The choir's name is PIHCINTU, beginning last spring Nyawal started doing short speech's on behalf of South Sudan in front of crowds that would attend the shows.

Nyawal is currently working at WMPG as a work study student. Through her job she recently go the opportunity to join a radio show called "Speak Freely" which air's on Mondays from 1:30-3:00PM on WMPG. Nyawal is a role model to her siblings and also, a role model in her Southern Sudanese community being one of the first girls to attend college. Nyawal is very involved in her community. In fact just this December she with some people in her community hosted a candle light vigil in remembering the innocent 20,000 lives that South Sudan has lost over the course of the year, also, at a prayer that was held by the Southern Sudanese Community of Maine. Nyawal had a real inspirational speech for the youth on the the topic of how important their role of involvement is for the future of South Sudan. Nyawal's future goals are to bring resources and peace into South Sudan.


David Lydon, IT Manager, Berkeley Mailings

David Lydon is a Web Marketing and IT Management professional with over 10 years of experience. David was a member of the pioneer class of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics before graduating from Windham High School in 1997. Anxious to join the dot-com boom he pursued an AAS in Video and Multimedia studies from SMTC (now Southern Maine Community College). Following his passion for online marketing he started doing search engine optimization for the largest web broadcaster at the time- BroadcastAmerica based in Portland, ME. From here he was invited to join Oracle in California where he was a streaming media technologist- developing e-learning content and streaming networks for content marketing initiatives. With his grandfatherÕs health waning- he left Oracle and drove across the country. Back in Portland with family, he became Technical Director for Broadcast Marketing, and developed video-based sites in health and admissions verticals. In pursuit of new experiences he picked up a Network Specialist certificate from NTI, and spent some time developing information graphics for defense proposals as a contractor at Bath Iron Works. Unable to escape the beautiful mid-coast he followed with roles as Systems Development Manager for Morningstar Marble and Granite in Topsham and Web Manager for the Hyde Schools in Bath. Next David seized an opportunity as a Web Project Manager for Kemp-Goldberg in Portland, leading development of over $1M worth of content development work for Hannaford. He found great joy in the work- but lost the position due to the Hannaford credit card breach along with much of his team. David began to search for similar roles, joining Digital Goat managing web development for NPOs, contracting with Mahoney Internet Marketing as a project manager, then landing at Hall Internet Marketing developing web marketing strategy for clients.

Currently, he is the IT Manager at Berkeley Mailings in Falmouth. David has been an Ambassador for Women, Work & Community and has led training programs for unemployed professionals and an online marketing seminar for entrepreneurs. He has made two bids for the Windham town council and aspires to answer the "Call of Civic Duty". David resides in Windham with Katherine, his wife of 10 years and three children- Rosario, Benjamin and Nathan. As a family, they raise awareness and funds for Autism. They share their home with a miniature Dachshund named Jordan Franklin Lydon, and a cat-- Beans.


Todd Martin, Grassroots Community Organizer, Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM)

Todd is a grassroots community organizer at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), Maine's largest and most respected non-profit environmental advocacy organization. To build support for NRCM's environmental legislative agenda in Augusta,Todd recruits citizens for important bill hearings, organizes lobby days and in district meetings, helps people write testimony and letters to the editor, and more. On staff at NRCM for four years (during the LePage administration), Todd has been a part of several important environmental campaigns. These include protecting Maine from tar sands oil, defending Maine's mineral mining regulations, pushing for solar and wind energy, and building support for a new National Park and National Recreation Area east of Baxter State Park.

Todd hails from Portland, ME and attended Green Mountain College in Vermont where he graduated with B.S. in environmental studies. He is grateful to go to work everyday and advocate for environmental safeguards and justice.


Emily Postman, Grassroots Coordinator, Environmental Health Strategy Center / Prevent Harm

Emily Postman is a life-long organizer and activist for progressive issues, with a focus on environmental justice and public health. Currently she works at the Environmental Health Strategy Center and Prevent Harm, sister organizations that work in tandem to promote public health and safer chemicals in a sustainable economy. In this role, Emily builds connections with members to recruit new supporters and volunteers, while coordinating and implementing the program to systemically grow the organizations' dedicated supporter base.

Currently, she is working hard to mobilize Maine moms, dads, grandparents, scientists, and businesses in the fight to protect vulnerable populations from toxic chemicals and secure clean drinking water for all Mainers. She also leads the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy MaineÕs Organizing Team, and manages the Environmental Health Strategy CenterÕs Summer Internship Program. Emily has also worked with Food & Water Watch in Washington D.C., and the Silent Spring Institute in Boston. Emily graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2011, where she studied Human Ecology with a focus on Environmental Justice and Food Systems. Her thesis explored coalitions between labor unions and environmental organizations around toxics issues. Emily grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and currently resides in Portland, Maine.


Gordon Spinney, Datacenter Analsyst, Main Security Surveillance

	Gordon	Spinney	Gordon Spinney is currently a Datacenter Analyst at Main Security Surveillance in Augusta, Maine. In this role, Gordon works on a team of network and systems administrators to ensure data security and integrity for a variety of business and residential clients. He is currently participating in training to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Associate (MCSA) and a Kaseya Certified Administrator (KCA) to further enhance his technological skills. As a member of the company's enterprise IT committee, he has also provided valuable input to assist management in making critical business decisions regarding technological infrastructure. In 2014, Gordon also worked as a treasurer and volunteer for a local political campaign. As treasurer of the Rebecca Cornell du Houx for State Senate campaign, he managed the financial accounting and reporting requirements for a Maine Clean Elections Act campaign. He also worked closely with Rebecca to assist with canvassing, polling and data collection efforts. Before the Senate campaign, Gordon also volunteered on the Rebecca Cornell du Houx for State Representative Campaign earlier that same year.

Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information System from the University of Maine at Augusta, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maine at Farmington. In his spare-time he enjoys photography, hiking and spending time with friends.


Jennifer Thibodeau, Director of Communications & Marketing, Maine Family Planning

	Jennifer	Thibodeau	Jennifer Thibodeau is the Director of Communications & Marketing at Maine Family Planning, Maine's largest provider of reproductive health services and sexuality education. Prior to joining Maine Family Planning in 2012, she directed a Healthy Maine Partnership in southern Maine, which allowed her to exercise her commitment to prevention and health promotion within Maine's public health system. Before moving back to her home state of Maine in 2008, Jennifer spent several years in Boston and New York City. While in Boston, she worked on breast cancer prevention research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was an organizer at NARAL Pro Choice Massachusetts. In New York City, Jennifer worked on community education and outreach programs to promote sexual and reproductive health with Planned Parenthood of New York City, Gay Men's Health Crisis, and FIERCE.

Jennifer received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from New York University, where she focused on health psychology and body image. Jennifer attended the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, graduating with her Master's of Public Health with a concentration in Sexuality and Health. Jennifer plays competitive roller derby, is an enthusiastic (if clumsy) mountain biker, and hopes to never stop accumulating books and tattoos. Although she will always be a bit homesick for the city, she's happy to be putting down roots in Maine. 


Shannon Thibodeau, Creative Director, Self- Emplyed

I am a highly motivated creative individual. Graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in communication arts. I now am starting my own production company based out of my office in Cape Elizabeth. 


Nils Werner

Nils is 25 years old and a recent college graduate from an immigrant background. Despite this, Nils very much considers maine his home, and his near and longterm goals primarily revolve around wanting to do his part to make maine a better place for everyone. 


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