Alumni Updates

Alumni Spotlight: Where Are They Now?

We have amazing alumni. It’s just a fact. This section highlights BSC alumni; where they are, what they’re doing, where they’re going!

Many thanks to BSC alumni who have contributed! Alumni are encouraged to share information by emailing Border Servant Corps.

Most recent updates listed first:

Sam Plonk (Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey, 2004-2006)

Sam Plonk teaches high school Spanish near his hometown in South Carolina. He and his wife Elena, along with their two children, worship at University Lutheran Church in Clemson. – March 16, 2016

Kat Heavner (Habitat for Humanity and Jardín de los Niños, 2008-2009)

I’ve moved back to Columbia, SC, because I’m enrolling in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of South Carolina this fall (2012). I have a field placement at Midlands Community Development Center, although I’m not sure what I’ll be doing there. I’m going to go hunting for information about adopting a cat this afternoon.  – August 10, 2012

Maren (Loken) Hooper (Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey, 2001-2002)

Maren is living in southeastern WI with her husband Brian and two kids, Norah (5) and Benjamin (2). Maren was ordained a Lutheran pastor in 2010, and is currently working with youth at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in West Allis, WI. – May 17, 2012

Ally Brantley (Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach, 2009-2010)

I’m currently working towards my PhD in History at Yale University. I’m focusing on 20th century US History (with some side stuff on Mexican History). My dissertation will look at boycotts and social movements, especially in minority communities in the southwest (like El Paso!), in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. While at Yale, I’ve also been involved in community organizing with local unions and was an assistant campaign manager for two successful races for the New Haven Board of Aldermen. In 2011, a group of community activists beat the Democratic Party machine and brought a diverse group of local activists and union members to power in the city. We’re now trying to advance a local jobs pipeline,
among other really cool initiatives! – May 10, 2012

Karen Bortvedt (Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, 2009-2010)

After completing Border Servant Corps in 2010, Karen moved to Silver Spring, MD – right outside Washington, DC. She has spent time working in non-profit fundraising, recruitment, and non-profit management. She has also been lucky enough to travel, chaperoning student trips to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Ghana. She is currently considering grad school, considering finding a ‘real job,’ and considering why more people do not live in community. Her favorite past-time continues to be cooking/baking for large groups of people – bi-monthly gatherings at her house of any people that want to come are a great way to put that food to good use and build some community. She also continues to enjoy advocating for immigrant rights whether in helping folks to find legal services, protesting in front of the supreme court, or explaining to anyone who cares to listen the actual push and pull factors of immigration from Mexico. – May 8, 2012

Jillian Cain (Habitat for Humanity, 2006-2007)

After leaving the BSC, I moved to Charleston, South Carolina where I took an AmeriCorps position with Habitat for Humanity. I worked there for another two years full time and left in 2010. I moved to Raleigh, NC in 2011 where I work for another Habitat affiliate managing a portion of their deconstruction program. I will be attending NCState in the fall to pursue a masters in Public Administration: non profit management. I am engaged to Scott Fister. We are planning our wedding for the Fall of 2013 in Charleston. – April 29, 2012

Jenny Dragseth Odden (Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, 2002-2003)

I was a volunteer at Las Americas with the VAWA program for the 02-03 year. I am married and living in Minneapolis and have 2 kids. A 2 year old and a 2 month old. I have been working as a school social worker and will be taking some time off to stay at home. – April 24, 2012

Mariam (DiPasquale) Weekes (Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach, 2007-2009)

Mariam has recently gotten married to the best man in the world, and as a result has become overly-gushy and romantic. Also, she has started taking kickboxing classes and will kick your ass if you try anything on her. Finally, she has recently become addicted to two-steppin’ and has started listening to lots of silly country music as a result. – April 12, 2012

Ann Bolling (Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey, 2010-2011)

Currently, I am waitressing at a seafood restaurant saving for a year abroad in Spain in which I will be teaching English. The program is CIEE and I leave in September. I’m planning on going to grad school after for a Masters in Social Work with a bilingual or Spanish program. – April 4, 2012

Becca Winship (Habitat for Humanity & Peace Lutheran Church, 2007-2009)

Becca Winship is an Accelerated Nursing student in a second-degree BSN program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is marrying Alex Lenzo, a Las Cruces native at the end of May and the two will make their home in West Philadelphia (for at least the next few years…until the border beckons us again!) – April 3, 2012

Maria Doria (Community of Hope Outreach Services & La Casa, Inc. Domestic Violence Shelter, 2009-2011)

I live in Austin, TX with Nate Robbins, another BSC alumnus. I’m a full-time ESL instructor with Literacy AmeriCorps of Central Texas, and I work part-time for Loveisrespect, the National Dating Abuse Helpline. In the fall, I will begin working on my MSSW at the University of Texas at Austin. – April 3, 2012

Clair Keene (La Casa, Inc. Domestic Violence Shelter, 2009-2010)

After an amazing year in the BSC, Clair started a Ph.D. program in Agronomy at Penn State. Agronomy is crop and soil science, i.e. agriculture. I am thankful for my BSC experience, the wonderful friends I made, and all the time spent in the Southwest. I have a few years of graduate school left, but I hope to work in South America as an agronomist or researcher after graduation. My time at La Casa has helped me recognize, understand, and (not as much as I wish I could say) confront the pervasive culture of violence in which we find ourselves while at the same time walk in solidarity with those directly affected without losing hope for a different and better future. I am not currently involved in domestic violence advocacy, but I feel ready and willing to be a safe confidant for anyone who has suffered or is suffering abuse. – April 2, 2012

Josie Beavers (Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, 2005-2006)

After living at Su Casa Catholic Worker for 4 years, I have started graduate school in Chicago in nursing at DePaul University. I will complete my masters in November and hope to use my nursing skills to serve underprivileged Spanish-speaking folks, here in the Chicago area, and abroad. – April 2, 2012