Our trainers are a collection of talented leaders from the civic and nonprofit world, all of whom have extensive student government or student organizing experience. Here are just a few of the trainers in our network:
|Laura Deehan has more than a decade of experience as a campus organizer. As a student at the University of California, Davis, she ran community service projects to help the hungry and homeless and organized campus voter registration drives.
Laura currently works as the Campaign Organizing Director for Impact, a nonprofit which wins positive change for the environment and our democracy. Prior to that position, she worked as the Organizing Director for CALPIRG. Laura is a recognized expert in youth electoral and issue-based organizing. Over the past decade, she has coordinated programs that have helped register more than 100,000 young voters. She has also helped organize ballot campaigns and legislative efforts to expand public transit, protect public health, and increase civic engagement.
|Clayt Freed is the former Executive Director of the Minnesota State University Student Association. In that role, he organized Minnesota college students to halt years of continuous double-digit tuition increases.
As a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Clayt helped establish a new student government, Associated Students of Madison. After winning campus approval of the new government, he then served on the ASM Council and was Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, Chair of the Nominations Board, served on the Student Segregated Fee Committee, and served on the board of directors for the United States Student Association. During that time, he led a 1,000-student rally at the state capitol and helped collect more than 10,000 postcards to state and national legislators on tuition and financial aid issues. During his senior year, Clayt was also elected the President of the Wisconsin Union and helped oversee a multi-million dollar budget and over 1,000 student-run programs.
Clayt is currently the founder and president of 360 Campaign Consulting, a boutique firm that helps nonprofit organizations run more effective campaigns. Prior to that position, he was the Field Director for Grassroots Campaigns, a national political consulting firm that specializes in small donor fundraising, volunteer organizing, and helping groups develop winning strategies.
|Stacey Hafner is the former Executive Director of the United Council of UW Students, Wisconsin's statewide student association. While there, she coordinated statewide campaigns to win funding for higher education in Wisconsin and protect student control of student fees. She has more than 15 years of experience training and organizing college students.
Stacey attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she was active with the Associated Students of Madison for all four years and served as ASM Chair during her senior year. While there, she worked on projects to prevent tuition hikes, increase student voter participation, and protect federal financial aid programs. She was also involved with United Council, Wisconsin's state student association, and served on the Board of Directors for the United States Student Association. Since graduating, she's worked with various organizations to oversee nonpartisan voter registration drives, organize national student leadership conferences, and coordinate campaigns to make college more affordable.
|Sujatha Jahagirdar is a national expert on young voter participation, with more than 15 years of experience organizing college students. She has appeared widely in major media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and News Hour with Jim Lehrer, providing analysis of youth voting trends and mobilization techniques. She has also testified before Congress regarding the importance of reducing barriers to young voters at the polls.
Sujatha currently works as an Environmental Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Prior to that position, she served as the Political Director for the Student Public Interest Research Groups and the Program Director for the Student PIRGs' New Voters Project, the nation's largest grassroots nonpartisan youth voter mobilization program. Sujatha graduated with distinction from Yale University with a Bachelor of Science.
|Ethan Senack is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he served as the External Affairs chair for the Undergraduate Student Government. He worked on campaigns to protect student interests and increase student involvement on campus, including registering students to vote, banning carcinogenic pesticides on campus, and lowering the cost of textbooks. He also organized a coalition of Connecticut student body presidents to advocate for increased funding for higher education on the state level, and built a student advocacy program to bring students to testify and lobby at the state capitol.
Ethan is currently the Higher Education Advocate for U.S. PIRG in Washington, D.C., where he works with legislators and a wide coalition of student and education groups to stand up for investment in education and keep the opportunity to earn a college degree open for all Americans.
|Serena Unrein is the former Executive Director of the Arizona Students' Association, where she worked with student leaders across Arizona to increase higher education accessibility and affordability. At ASA, she led successful campaigns to triple state-based financial aid and to pass state legislation making textbooks more affordable. She also created a statewide grassroots organizing system to engage more than 100 interns and 1,000 volunteers each year, established an annual statewide student leadership conference, and co-led a coalition that ran the largest student voter registration and voter mobilization effort in state history.
Serena currently works as the Director of the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, where she works with nonprofits, foundations, businesses, and government agencies to foster and support collaborative projects that promote public health. She is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University.
|Dan Xie attended the University of California, Davis, where she served as a Senator on student government. With ASUCD, she helped plan the campus Earth Day celebration and campaigned to convince the university administration to make their new student center meet LEED Platinum standards for sustainability.
Dan now works as the Organizing Director for NJPIRG, where she oversees the group's student organizing on Rutgers campuses. Prior to her current position, she was a campus organizer at various campuses in the University of California system, where she worked with students to address rising student loan costs, establish textbook rental programs, and oppose anti-environmental legislation.