Thanks to all who participated in the May 8, 2015 conference.   

Thank you all for volunteering your time and talent!

All of the speakers are volunteers, who share their time and knowledge to help volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs grow. While most of these speakers and the conference focuses on Chicago, we encourage people from other cities to attend and share your ideas, while borrowing from what we're doing and applying it in your own community.

If you'd like to become involved with future conferences, contact the Tutor/Mentor Institute.

Workshop and Panel Participants

Darryl E. Allen, MPM, RMP, The Mentorship Institute, Kettering, Ohio
Workshop Topic: Discovering your "Why"
Darryl E. Allen is a certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP) through the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and a Risk Management Professional (RMP®). As an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati and Indiana Wesleyan University he has published compelling journal articles. He created a working model for effective and financially efficient mentoring programs. His model satisfied the University of Pennsylvania’s, and Public/Private Venture’s benchmarks for research-based programs.

Daniel F. Bassill, D.H.L., President, Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

Dan Bassill has spent more than 40 years, mostly as a volunteer, leading organizations that connect workplace volunteers with youth living in  inner-city neighborhoods like Chicago's Cabrini-Green. He and six other volunteers formed Cabrini Connections in 1992 and the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993. Through the TMC, and the Internet, Bassill leads a global learning strategy  intended to draw needed resources to all volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs, including Cabrini Connections, in Chicago and other major cities. Bassill was a Commissioner on the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteering and Community Service from 2001 - 2009. In July 2011 Bassill created Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC as a new strategy to support the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and similar strategies in other cities.  Visit ; and  Connect on Twitter @tutormentorteam

Brittany Barton, Educator, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Workshop Topic:  Erin's Law: Responding to Disclosures
Brittany Barton is an Educator at the YWCA. She works in schools, with community groups, and professionals providing educational programming addressing issues of sexual violence. She received her M.A. in Social Justice and Community Development at Loyola University in Chicago, IL and her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA.

Mark Cassidy, President, Hoku Scholars
Workshop topic: Using Technology to Advance Mentoring Program Progress
Mark Cassidy currently serves as the President of Hoku Scholars, a mentoring-based education non-profit serving 70 students in leeward Hawaii and the South Side of Chicago. Mark is a former Teach for America teacher from the region of Hawaii. His expertise is in teaching, business development, non-profit management, and technology. 

Hoku developed a software tool to help get all of its progam participants on the page, to simplify data tracking, and empower communication. It has been using the tool for the last 2 years and has recently been leasing the tool to other mentoring organizations in Chicago. The presentation will serve as a platform for Hoku to share its story and specifically its journey of embedding technology into its program to advance its cause.

Jennifer Clary, Senior Research Associate, Social IMPACT Research Center
Workshop Topic:  What's Data Got to Do With You?
Jennifer Clary is the senior research associate for economic security projects at the Social IMPACT Research Center. Her work focuses on providing data and education on the dynamics of poverty and economic security to advocates, organizations, policy-makers, other decision-makers, and the public. Jennifer leads IMPACT's annual Report on Illinois Poverty, Census Bureau data release analyses, cost of living efforts, and broader data services. This timely analysis drives the debate on how best to alleviate poverty in Illinois. Jennifer holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, and Master's degree in urban planning and policy (MUPP) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Elizabeth Coughlin , Associate Director of the DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL)
Workshop Topic: High School and Community - University Alliances Through Writing
Elizabeth Coughlin is the UCWb's Writing Center Program Director and Director of Outreach and Community Relations. Along with overseeing mentoring and outreach initiatives, Liz works closely with departments, programs, and offices throughout and beyond DePaul, and coordinates the DePaul Peer Tutor and Mentor Summit. Liz also teaches Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy and technical and professional writing for DePaul's Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse.

Eric Coleman,  Program Coordinator, Working in the Schools (WITS)
Workshop Topic:  Lessons Learned from Saturday Sessions
Eric Coleman received his BFA from Columbia College Chicago in Studio Arts, focusing primarily on printmaking, design, and drawing. For the past few years Eric has been involved in education work, beginning as an instructor of an after-school science program and followed by serving two years with City Year Chicago. Believing in the power of service, Eric brings to WITS his experience and passion to encourage others to find joy in giving back to their community.

Daniel Cotter, Chair, Lawyers Lend A Hand to Youth Program
Workshop topic:
Developing Programs and Initiatives with Tutor/Mentor Organizations
Dan Cotter is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Fidelity Life Association. He is currently President of The Chicago Bar Association and Past Chair of Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth.

Mark Duhon, Executive Director, Highsight
Workshop Topic: 
Engaging Volunteers to Build Organizational Success
Mark has spent almost two decades coaching students to colleges across the country.  In just the past four years, his organization has coached 100 students to be awarded more than $12,000,000 in scholarship and grants they are using at their respective schools.

Kathy Engelken, MPS, Executive Director, Illinois Campus Compact
Workshop Topic:  Building On-Campus Tutor/Mentor Programs led by VISTA volunteers, student groups, etc.

Kathy Engelken has been Executive Director for Illinois Campus Compact located in Chicago, Illinois at DePaul University, Chicago, for the past 15 years. 45 Illinois Colleges and Universities make up the current membership. As Executive Director, Kathy is responsible to recruit new members, consult with Presidents, faculty, staff and students and help cultivate the vision of civic engagement and service each college/university is developing or involved in at their individual campuses. She assists in training, resources, funding and consults with each campus about integrating service learning and civic engagement on campus as well as in the overall development of democratic partnerships with local public schools and their communities. Kathy has been committed to the mission of Illinois Campus Compact since its beginning in 1992. She has served as the Executive Director for ILCC for nine years. Kathy serves on the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition and the Illinois Service Learning Advisory Committee. As a part of the National Campus Compact, she often speaks and presents at civic engagement conferences and workshops.

Melanie Foote-Davis, Educator, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Workshop Topic:  Erin's Law: Responding to Disclosures
Melanie Foote-Davis is an Educator at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Sexual Violence & Support Services.  She is certified in Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention. She received training as a Co-Active Coach and Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching from the Coaches Training Institute. She is a former Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected youth for Cook County. Melanie provides tools and support to make confident choices and foster healthy relationships. She works with professionals, community organizations, parents, teachers and students in schools, providing education to address the effects of sexual violence in their communities.

Fiona Hays,  Program Coordinator, Working in the Schools (WITS)
Workshop Topic:  Lessons Learned from Saturday Sessions
Fiona Hays served two years in AmeriCorps as an ESL instructor with the Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program. She acted as a liaison between this program and several Grand Rapids public schools, in which she taught daily English classes to parents and led monthly family literacy nights. During her service, Fiona witnessed great improvements in overall confidence as individuals acquired literacy skills. She is thrilled to be able to continue her work as a literacy provider with WITS.


Gary Goldman, President, Kidz America
Workshop Topic:  A New Vision of Hope for All Young People
Gary Goldman holds an M.A. in organization development and is a nationally recognized leader in education reform and youth empowerment for over 25 years. His mission is to empower students and adults as leaders, change agents, and lifelong learners who work collaboratively for building healthy and safe communities. He is the co-author of Empowering Students to Transform Schools. He has worked to build sustainable and healthy communities in Chicago K-12 schools and communities across the nation. Goldman has developed a comprehensive youth-centered community model and is working collaboratively on an Education Empowerment Plan, Adopting CVommunities for Excellence, utilizing the power of innovative and comprehensive youth/community development. He has been featured in the media including CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and has hosted his own weekly Chicago radio show, A Voice for America's Children. He has presented at major conferences including the National Governor's Conference, United States Mayors Conference, and the Council of Great City Schools. Mr. Goldman has published articles nationally on his innovative work and has guest lectured overseas and at major universities including Northwestern, Depaul, Loyola and the University of Illinois on educational leadership and reform and student empowerment.

Nicole Lind, Community Engaged Scholarship Coordinator, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Workshop Topic:  College Readiness: Starting with the High School Application Process
Nicole Lind is serving The Chicago School of Professional Psychology as an AmeriCorps VISTA through Illinois Campus Compact. As the Community Engaged Scholarship Coordinator at The Chicago School, Lind works to provide opportunities for community involvement to the students of The Chicago School. Connecting students to partner sites and providing spaces for reflective conversations stirs her interest in civic engagement, which she believes is a core component in the development of community and self. Through her year of service, she is also working to provide educational material and supportive programming for parents and students pursuing Chicago's rigorous high school selection process.

Scott McFarland, Executive Director, Serve Illinois Commission
Workshop Topic:  What can National Service do for you?
Scott grew up in the Quad Cities Area of Illinois.  He earned his Bachelors of Arts in History with a Teacher’s Certification from Western Illinois University in 2006, and his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2008.   In 2014 he was named Executive Director of the ServeIllinois Commission. He has been a participant of many past conferences.

An Eagle Scout, Scott takes great joy from camping, community service, and teaching.  He also has six years of governmental experience from the National Archives in Washington DC, Senator Obama’s Moline Office, and at the Department of Human Services.  As a full time staff member at the Serve Illinois Commission, he hopes to continue living by his motto, “better yourself by serving others.”

J.P. Paulus, President, Do-Gooder Consulting
Workshop Topic: Twists on Traditional Fundraising
JP Paulus grew up in Hoffman Estates, educated at Northwestern University, and then emigrated to Chicago's North Side. Over time, JP served with various youth ministries, becoming a leader in networking and resourcing youth workers.  He also spent time with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, gaining much knowledge and passion to help students get to college and find resources to graduate.  He now lives in the Chatham community on Chicago's South Side.  As president of Do-Gooder Consulting, JP is using the sum of his experiences to provide services for churches, non-profits and small businesses to 'help you help others'.  Read blog.

Carolyn Rudinsky , Writing Tutor and Graduate Assistant, of the DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL)
Workshop Topic: High School and Community - University Alliances Through Writing
Carolyn Rudinsky is a Writing Tutor and Graduate Assistant for DePaul's University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL). As a G.A. to the UCWbL, Carolyn works in a leadership position on the Outreach and Community Relations Team. Carolyn received her B.A. in English with a minor in History from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. Currently, she is in her second year of DePaul's Master of Arts in English (MAE) program. She is also involved in Chicago-area nonprofits, including volunteering with WBEZ (Chicago's NPR-affiliated radio station), and is the VP of PR for the House of the Good Shepherd (HGS) Associate Board.

Amy Terpstra, Director of Research, Social IMPACT Research Center
Workshop Topic:  What's Data Got to Do With You?
Amy Terpstra is the Director of Research at Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center. Amy is a social worker turned researcher who is passionate about the role research and data can play in creating social change. Through leading IMPACT's research and evaluation services, Amy helps social programs and policies be more effective at reducing poverty and hardship. Amy has a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Frank Walker, CEO, Pathfinders
Workshop Topic:  Black Lives Matter: Mentoring Street Based and Homeless Youth
Frank Walker is a Homeless Youth Drop-In Specialist at La Casa Norte, the largest provider of homeless youth emergency beds in Chicago. he is the CEO of Pathfinders For Black Adolescent Success, former leader of Austin Dream Makers and Mars Hill Baptist Church Mentoring Program and has facilitated capacity building workshops for the Illinois Mentoring Partnership.