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Community Engagement Peers

Community Engagement Peers are student staff in the Office of Community Engaged Learning who are committed to working with service-learning and community engagement. Community Engagement Peers each have their own project they oversee, along with providing 1-1 consultations to students on ways to get involved in the community.  

 The role of a Community Engagement Peer 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

Read more about the 2022-2023 Peers below:

Nachalah Gardiner - Food Security Community Engagement Peer

My name is Nachalah Gardiner and I am a transfer international student from The Bahamas. My major is Bachelor of Health Sciences, Clinical and Medical Sciences with a concentration is Global and Comparative Public Health and Interdisciplinary Studies of Humanities and Science. I am interested in food wastage and pain management.

Madison Luna - Sprout Garden Coordinator

I am a current senior at Drake, double majoring in Environmental Sustainability and Resilience and Law, Politics, and Society. I have always had a passion for the environment but this past summer I have become really interested in issues of water quality. I hope to have a career that looks at the intersection between law and the environment and how use the legal realm to combat climate change!

Corinne Sidebottom- Sprout Garden Youth Coordinator


Hi I’m Corinne Sidebottom! I am an Environmental Sustainability & Resilience major and an Economics minor. I am interested in issues such as environmental justice, climate change, and improving communities to be more sustainable. I am also involved in Epsilon Eta, environmental science professional fraternity. In my free time I like to play tennis and hang out with friends.

Kirby Nelson - Events & Training Coordinator

  Hello! My name is Kirby Nelson, and I am a senior double-majoring in Marketing and Public Relations from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Some of the social issues that I am most passionate about are food insecurity, housing insecurity, and youth development. 

Melanie Sedacki - IRIS Coordinator

  Hi! My name is Melanie Sadecki and I am a senior studying political science and biology with minors in math, data analytics and human rights. I plan to apply this course work into my passion for public health equity and human rights. I am looking forward to spending another year with the CEL office and helping connect Drake students to the greater Des Moines community. 

Stephanie Kiel, Community Engagement Peer for Voter and Civic Engagement

Hi there -- my name is Stephanie Kiel, and I am a junior majoring in Politics; Economics; and Law, Politics, & Society. I am thrilled to be serving as a Community Engagement Peer for the 2022-23 academic year! I am passionate about issues surrounding civic engagement, gender equality, social and economic equity, and climate change.

Sydney Skemp, Graphic Design and Social Media Intern

My name is Sydney Skemp and I am originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin. At Drake I study Public Relations and Advertising and enjoy being a part of the Drake Choir, Drake Dance Team and my sorority Alpha Phi. I am passionate about community and creating deep, meaningful connections with people. I value learning from and creating relationships with others with different backgrounds and interests. Social issues I care deeply about include civil rights and racial injustice, gender equality, poverty and homelessness, gun violence and health care availability.

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