Our Team

CCESL's work is made possible by the dedication of our staff, students, faculty, and community partners from across disciplines. 



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Cara DiEnno

Executive Director | she/her

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John Macikas

Student Programs Manager | he/him

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Maddie Duven

Business Programs Manager | she/her

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Angelica Ortiz

Outreach & Communications Coordinator | she/her

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CCESL Graduate Leads

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Marielle | she/her
2nd year MS in Management

After spending 22 years in the Lone Star State, Marielle recently graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Texas Christian University. Presently, she is a Master of Science in Management candidate at DU in Daniels College of Business. Fueled by a sincere ardor for comprehending and forging connections with diverse individuals, Marielle eagerly anticipates collaborating with local communities to navigate complex challenges. Her mission is to foster community cohesion while addressing multifaceted issues and creating lasting connections that empower and endure.

Fun fact: I have been skydiving!


Lilith | she/her/hers
2nd year MPP

Lilith is originally from Germany and has continued her interdisciplinary background from her undergraduate degree, a combination of economic, judicial and political studies, in her Master in Public Policy studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She is passionate about diplomacy, negotiation and presentation and has been involved in sustainability topics since 2014, among others working in the WWF Youth Council and as a university sustainability coach all over Germany with the organization "network n". In her free time, she does acrobatics, as well as theatre & music (primarily voice, drums and piano) and all combinations of those.

Fun fact: I prefer to walk on my hands than on my feet!

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Kathleen | she/her/hers
1st year Master of Arts in International Studies

Kathleen McCracken is the Community Outreach and Communications Grad Lead for the Center for Community Engagement for the advancement of Scholarship and Learning (CCESL).

A native of southern Illinois, McCracken attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in international relations and religion and minors in French and Arabic. During her time at Drake, McCracken conducted research in Uganda on the representation of women in Uganda’s parliament and studied the Abrahamic faiths in Israel and Jordan.

Following undergrad, McCracken moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she served as an international relations specialist in the municipal government's Global Engagement Office. She brings to CCESL a passion for research and community service.

Fun fact: In my spare time, I enjoy wildlife photography!


Marve Romero Aguiñaga | they/them
2nd year MSW

Marve is a second year Master of Social Work student at DU. They received a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College. Their career has centered around community building and health promoting within marginalized groups.

Fun fact: I have memorized the script of Pride & Prejudice (2005) dir. Joe Wright!

Community Engagement Luminaries

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Maria Vukovich

Research Associate Professor | Co-Director of IDP: Trauma & Global Mental Health Graduate Program, GSPP

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Rebecca Galemba

Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Co-Director of the DU Center for Immigration Policy & Research (CIPR)

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Julia Roncoroni

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology, Morgridge College of Education

Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality | Center for Immigration Policy & Research (CIPR)


303-871-3784 (Office)

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Community-Engaged Fellows

Meet our 2023-2024 Fellows

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Adwoa Boateng | Health Informatics & Data Analysis
Daniela Chavez | Psychology & Sociology 
Mona Moayedi | Joint PhD in Religious Studies
Kristen Park | 3rd Year PhD, Counseling Psychology
Rachel Roberts | Social Work & Ecological Justice; Systems Change Focus
Naichen Zhao | 5th Year PhD, Educational Leadership in Policy Studies