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Meet the Staff

Patrick Donohue, MA, Assistant Provost for Community Engaged Learning Programs and Partnerships

Forcina 323 – (609) 771-2362

As Assistant Provost, Patrick is responsible for overseeing and managing the Community Engaged Learning efforts of the College. Pat is responsible for the Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, the Sustainability Institute, the Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach. He also oversees the Bonner VISTA Fellows program, the National and State AmeriCorps programs, the TrentonWorks Initiative, and the Trenton Prevention Policy Board initiative. Pat received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University, where he was the student Vice-Chair of the U.S. Public Interest Research group while an undergraduate. Before joining the staff at TCNJ, Pat was a political science professor at Middlesex County College for 11 years, where he also founded Democracy House, the oldest replication Bonner program in the country. He is the co-author of several journal articles and one book on community engaged learning and civic engagement. A past Board President of Isles Inc. and volunteer with local youth programs, Patrick works most directly with TCNJ Bonner students on the prisoner magazine project in addition to directing the Center. An avid Red Sox fan, Patrick roots for the Phillies when the Nation is not in the playoffs.

Paula Figueroa-Vega, MPA, Director

Forcina 329 – (609) 771-2217

As Director, Paula oversees all of the operations of the Bonner Institute at TCNJ. Paula first joined the TCNJ Bonner Center as the Associate Director in 2008. She is a well known and highly respected non-profit professional with deep Trenton roots. Paula helped establish El Centro de Recursos para Familias and, prior to coming to TCNJ, Paula ran one of Womanspace’s largest divisions, the Emergency Services program. Her responsibilities at the Bonner Center are to support students and staff and manage the Community Engaged Learning program. She also works closely with a number of professors to design Community Engaged Learning projects related to their First Year Seminar classes. She had a lead part in putting together the forums entitled “Sex Slaves in America:  A Personal Story” and the “Human Abilities Unplugged Colloquium”, in addition to being part of the initial conversations with Dr. Gray’s Ecofeminism course that led to the creation of the Demonstration Garden at TCNJ. Paula has worked closely with TCNJ in 2009 and 2010 on Martin Luther King Service Day activities. Paula received a Master in Public Administration degree from Rutgers University.

Amy LoprinziCoordinator for Finance and Administrative Services

Forcina 325 – (609) 771-2249

Amy Loprinzi joined the Bonner Institute after many accomplished years in the Grants office at TCNJ. She has long been a staple in the administration of TCNJ and the Bonner Center is very excited to have her join the team.

Brittany Aydelotte, CEL Coordinator for the Education Division

Forcina 333 – (609) 771-2481

Brittany Aydelotte graduated from TCNJ in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. Brittany has now spent over seven years working in the community of Trenton, first as a Bonner Scholar and currently as a staff member of the Bonner Center. She now manages the Education teams, including teams at Hedgepeth Williams Middle School, Trenton Central High School, and Isles Youth Institute. Much of the success the Bonner Institute’s Education Division has had over the past several years is a result of the close relationships Brittany has built with the Trenton school system. Brittany also organizes the large Youth Development projects, which are her favorite part of working at the Bonner Institute because they provide a creative way to get youth from Trenton excited about learning and thinking about going to college. Brittany also coordinates recruitment for the Bonner Center as well as the Bonner Summer Fellows program.

Karina Lopez, CEL Coordinator for Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Reentry Division

Forcina 335 – (609) 771-2656

As CEL Coordinator for Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Reentry, Karina manages Bonner Community Scholar teams at PEI Kids, Mercer County Correctional Facility, and Wagner Youth Correctional Facility. Karina also works closely with the Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach at TCNJ on the New Jersey STEP prison mentoring program. Karina is a graduate of TCNJ, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree or in Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies, and a minor in Psychology. She is also an alum of the Bonner Community Scholars and Women in Learning and Leadership programs.

Michael Nordquist, Ph.D., CEL Coordinator for Environment and Community Development Division

Forcina 331 – (609) 771-2731

Michael Nordquist has been teaching at TCNJ as an adjunct faculty member in the Political Science department for the past year, and recently joined the Bonner Institute team to manage the Environment and Community Development Division. Prior to TCNJ, Michael was an Assistant Professor of Political Science and History at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, and has also taught at Quinnipiac University and the University of Minnesota. Michael’s academic focus is on environmental justice and how people think about, relate to, and engage with our nonhuman surroundings.

Natasha Perez, CEL Coordinator for Health and Human Services Division

Forcina 326 – (609) 771-2421

Natasha Perez is a graduate of TCNJ the Bonner Community Scholars program. She now works full-time at the Bonner Institute as the Division Coordinator for Health and Human Services, managing the Bonner Community Scholar teams serving at the Trenton Area Soup KItchen, Visitation Home, and El Centro de Recursos Para Familias. Natasha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from TCNJ in 2011.

Kayla Simpkins, RN, CEL Coordinator for Health & Housing Teams

Forcina 328 – (609) 771-2548

Kayla Simpkins is a graduate of TCNJ and the Bonner Community Scholars program. Kayla oversees the Bonner health and housing teams that serve with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, and the Habitat for Humanity of Trenton. Kayla graduated from TCNJ will a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and is a registered nurse.

Full-time AmeriCorps  Staff Members

Ryan Dawson, Literacy and College Access Mentor Assistant

Forcina 334 – (609-771-2548)

As a Literacy and College access mentor assistant, Ryan helps out with projects directly related to Bonner’s educational division.  Ryan will be assisting in managing programs coordinated by Bonner Community Scholars at Hedgepeth-Willams Middle School, Trenton Central High School, and Isles YouthBuild.  After finishing a degree in English Literature and Education at Temple University in spring of 2013, Ryan spent time pursuing a position in higher education and is focusing his AmeriCorps term of service on gaining experience in both community outreach, and academic advising.

Ryan Pilarski, Program Assistant – Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Reentry Division

Forcina 334 – (609) 771-2548

Ryan is completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Sociology at The College of New Jersey, and served as a Bonner Community Scholar for several years at the College. Ryan is serving with the Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Reentry Division in the Bonner Center. He is working closely with A Better Way and PEI Kids in Trenton to manage Bonner Community Scholar activities at the two sites, including job readiness and GED preparation programming.