Director:  Robin F. Bachin, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for Civic & Community Engagement
Email: rbachin@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-4261
Office: 606 Ashe Administration Building

Robin Bachin received her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. Her areas of research and teaching include American urban, environmental, immigration, and cultural history. Her award-winning first book, Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004 (paperback 2008). Her current book project is Tropical Urbanism: Modernity, Exoticism, and the Creation of South Florida, 1890-1965. Bachin also has published numerous articles and delivered scholarly presentations on topics including universities and community engagement; urban planning and public space; sustainability and urban design; and the intersections of urban and environmental history. She is the Past President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, and has served on the Boards of Directors
of the Urban History Association, the Miami Consortium for Urban Studies, the Coral Gables Museum, and the Urban Environment League of Greater Miami.

Associate Director:  Mara Leventhal
Email: m.leventhal@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-6626
Office: Rhodes House Ste. 37W

Mara Leventhal is thrilled to bring her passion for civic engagement to the University of Miami. After graduating from Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, she spent five years working in New York, first as a producer at MSNBC and then at the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Since relocating to Miami, Mara has worked in the nonprofit and political worlds, including the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, a political campaign and a government relations firm. Most recently, Mara was the Communications Director for the Genetics Policy Institute, a non-profit science advocacy organization. Her freelance writing has appeared in Forbes.com, Miami New Times and Huffington Post and her PR campaigns for theatre and non-profit organizations have garnered stories in outlets including The New York Times, Time Out and NBC Miami. Her volunteer involvement includes leading WMN Miami, a grassroots women’s network creating space for community and political engagement and co-hosting Let’s Talk About It!, a Miami-based radio talk show. Mara was a 2015 New Leaders Council Fellow and remains involved with NLC Miami.



AmeriCorps VISTA: Tanya Desdunes
Civic Engagement Fellow
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone: (305) 284-6636
Office: Rhodes House Ste. 37W

Tanya Desdunes is from Long Island, New York and graduated from St. John’s University in Queens, New York with her bachelor’s and master’s in history. As a master’s student she completed her thesis on African Diaspora and Women’s Studies. She interned with the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s Manuscript and Archives Division. Tanya continued to remain involved in her community by tutoring after school children in Brooklyn. During her undergraduate years she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and completed a summer research project where she presented at national conferences in the United States and Puerto Rico. Aside from her scholarly interests she studied abroad in Salamanca, Rome, and Paris. She is very excited to be working in the Office of Community and Civic Engagement. As an Americorps VISTA her goal is to preserve the local history of Miami by developing public programs to build community partnerships between the University of Miami and the greater Miami community. 



Service and Engagement Coordinator: Samantha BonenClark
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone: (305) 284-8637
Office: Rhodes House Ste. 37W

Samantha, or Sam, BonenClark was born in Virginia but grew up in Ocala, FL. She spent two years as a Division 1 swimmer for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) before transferring to the University of Florida and studying Spanish, Latin American Studies and International Relations. Prior to working with Public Allies at UM, Sam served a year with the AmeriCorps program, City Year, and worked at Southridge Senior High School with ESOL (English as a Second Language) students. After her year with Public Allies and UM, Sam plans to pursue international service opportunities and a graduate degree in Global Policy. As the Service and Engagement Coordinator in the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Sam serves as a liaison with the UM Butler Center for Service and Leadership and manages the Civic Scholars Program. Outside of the office, Sam enjoys planning trips with her identical twin Loren, and practicing the martial art, Brazilian Jiujitsu.




High School Partnership Coordinator: Daniel D. Mervil
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone: (305) 284-1046
Office: Rhodes House Ste. 37W

Daniel D. Mervil recently earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Public Health from Rutgers University. Originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, Daniel is extremely excited to work in the Office of Community and Civic Engagement.  Daniel serves as the Civic Engagement High School Partnership Coordinator, managing the program and assisting University of Miami students who mentor high school students, inspiring them to achieve their greatest potential. While at Rutgers, Daniel interned at the Hyacinth Aids Foundation, increasing awareness about HIV/AIDS and teaching community members about the AIDS epidemic.  In addition to his work in the HIV sector, Daniel participated in the Rutgers Bonner Leaders Program which allowed him to work for organizations such as Civic League and Making It Possible to End Homelessness.  He also participated in service trips to the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, providing health services to the inhabitants of these communities.



Imagining America Research Assistant: Hadassah St. Hubert
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone: (305) 284-6636
Office: Rhodes House Ste. 37W

Hadassah St. Hubert is a doctoral student and a McKnight Doctoral Fellow. Hadassah earned her B.A (2009) & M.A. (2010) degrees in American History from St. John’s University in Queens, New York.  Her research specialization focuses on late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Haiti and its participation in World’s Fairs and Expositions. She is currently the Assistant Editior for Haiti: An Island Luminous, a site dedicated entirely to Haitian history and Haitian studies. An Island Luminous pairs books, manuscripts, newspapers, and photos digitized by libraries and archives in Haiti and the United States with commentary by more than 100 authors at 75 universities around the world and will launch in December 2013. She works under the direction of Dr. Kate Ramsey.