Meet the Staff

To request the assistance of Drake student volunteers or to propose a project please use our community partner contact form.


Renee Sedlacek, Director

Renee joined the office of Community Engaged Learning August 2013. Renee has spent her career supporting the development of service-learning and co-curricular service programs at small private liberal arts institutions. Prior to joining the Drake staff Renee served seven years as the Service-Learning Coordinator at Wartburg College and one as an Iowa Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA at Central College. Renee received her B.A. from Central College in Sociology and Psychology and her M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa in Post Secondary Education: Student Affairs.

As the director Renee provides leadership and management of community-based learning, service-learning and co-curricular service initiatives for the Drake University Office of the Provost. Serving as the primary public face for students, faculty, staff and community partners Renee provides strategic oversight of external and internal relationships that effect community-based service and learning, i.e. service-learning, engaged scholarship, & community-based research. In her free time Renee enjoys cycling, gardening, and finishing DIY up-cycle projects around her house, a northside craftsman built in the 1920's!


Amanda Martin, Program Coordinator

Amanda Martin joined the Community Engaged Learning team in September of 2015. She brings more than 9 years of experience in the areas of community and national service. Amanda received her BA in Communication from Clarke University and her Masters in Student Affairs from Iowa State University. Prior to joining the CESL team, she worked for the Corporation for National and Community Service, as the Member Development Associate for AmeriCorps NCCC members. She is also an AmeriCorps VISTA alum, having served two years at the Volunteer Center of Story County in Ames. 

Amanda coordinates the Engaged Citizen Corps, supervises the Service Learning Ambassadors, and advises the student organization CAB (Community Action Board).

Additional Community Engagement Contacts:

Neighborhood & Community Relations Manager
Nick Valdez | University Advancement, 515-271-2394,

Drake Adult Literacy Center
Terri Morrow | School of Education, 515-271-3982,
Anne Murr | School of Education, 515-271-3982,

Global Service-Learning Abroad
Maria Rohach| Drake International, 515-271-3651,

Service-Learning Ambassadors


Service-Learning Ambassadors (SLAs) are students committed to working with service-learning and community engagement. Currently, we have 8 SLAs in our office. Each SLA works with a community partner on a specific project in which Drake students can be involved. 

SLAs commit to working 6-8 hours a week on their project, working to plan and organize the event/project, recruit Drake students, and perform follow-up.


Student StaffProgram
Jazlin Coley  College Positive Volunteer Coordinator
‌‌Ellen Converse Social Media and Marketing
‌Lindsay Finnell Sprout Garden Coordinator
‌Gabrielle Miller Next Course: Food Recovery Program and Food Security Issues
‌Gabriella Gugliotta Community Engaged Learning Events and Training Coordinator
‌Julia Uram Food Security Coordinator
‌‌ Emily Larson IRIS Coordinator
Chamindi Wijesinghe  Global Service Learning Coordinator

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University News
March 23, 2018
Drake University’s Center for Professional Studies will host a pair of one-day seminars that teach business professionals to understand and interpret financial statements.