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Meet the CEL Staff


Renee Sedlacek Lee, ABD, Director

Renee joined the CEL team in September of 2015. She brings more than 10 years of experience. 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 in 2013, Renee served seven years as the Service-Learning Coordinator at Wartburg College and one year 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, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Education at Drake University.

As director Renee provides strategic oversight of external and internal relationships that affect community-based service and learning, i.e. service-learning, engaged scholarship, and community-based research.


Headshot of Renee Sedlacek


Amanda Martin, M.Ed., Assistant Director

Amanda joined the CEL team in September of 2015. She brings more than 10 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 CEL 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).


Headshot of Amanda Martin 



Jazlin Coley, Service Coordinator for Equity & Inclusion 

Jazlin spent most of her undergraduate career at Drake University discovering ways to encourage college students to partake in opportunities underlying service-learning within the Drake Neighborhood. In 2017, she served as a Service Learning Ambassador creating a College Positive Volunteer program, where she promoted confidence and enthusiasm towards going to college for local youth, especially underrepresented students, by providing support and information about college preparation, paying for college, financial resources, and a mentoring relationship with Drake students. Jazlin also aided in Drake maintaining a strong relationship with the ByDegrees Foundation and the Des Moines public K-12th schools. She received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from Drake, along with a minor in psychology and a concentration in Leadership Development. 

Jazlin joins the office as a full-time AmeriCorps member focusing on equity and inclusion research and initiatives.

 Jazlin Coley Headshot


Service-Learning Ambassadors

Service-Learning Ambassadors (SLAs) are students paid out of the Office of Community Engaged Learning who are committed to working with service-learning and community engagement. 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.

 The role of a Service Learning Ambassador is to:

  • Connect Drake students to the community and recruit volunteers to fulfill community needs
  • Educate the campus on meaningful service and social issues
  • Engage students in reflection
  • Raise awareness of community engaged learning and its impact on Drake students and the community
  • Plan and organize events and opportunities to achieve these goals
Student StaffProgram
Liza Vinyon Social Media and Marketing
Carissa Dannen Sprout Garden Coordinator
Hannah Cohen and Ashly Frazier Food Recovery Coordinators
Peyton Maulsby Community Engaged Learning Events & Training Coordinator
Katie Carlton IRIS Coordinator
Sydnei Washington Equity and Inclusion Service Learning Ambassador
Community News