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Meet the Staff

The OACS Team!

 

 Vacant | Director

Meagan Smith, M.S. | Assistant Director

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Meagan Smith received her Master of Science degree in College Counseling and Student Development at Azusa Pacific University, where she focused her graduate studies on the development and impact of academic service-learning. Meagan leads the OACS Community Engagement Strategy,  facilitates the Local OACS DIVE: Affordable Housing and OACS Global Program in Morocco, advises student-led service organizations, coordinates the VandyVotes committee and civic engagement initiatives, and provides administrative leadership for the OACS team. In previous roles she worked closely with faculty and community partners to integrate service engagement with academic coursework, oversaw voter engagement initiatives, led division-wide program assessment review efforts, managed the university’s web-based service involvement tracking platform, supported development of service-learning faculty fellows programs, and advised student organizations. Meagan has also has experience as a residence hall director, and learned and served with a community in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India for four months to develop an internship program for the organization. She is a member of the Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) Affordable Housing Task Force Steering Committee, the Hands On Nashville Volunteer Action Network (VAN) Council, and The Nations 615 Neighborhood Association, and volunteers with Room in the Inn as a winter mobile shelter coordinator. Meagan is passionate about inspiring students to become active members of their communities who are committed to creating a more just society. She also loves a good hike at Radnor Lake, teaching knitting classes with Nashville Community Education, spending time with her husband and her family, and discovering new podcasts.

Contact Meagan: meagan.smith@vanderbilt.edu or (615) 322-7822

Melissa Looby, M.Ed. | Senior Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Melissa Looby earned her Masters of Education at the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Higher Education Administration – Student Affairs. Melissa joined the OACS team in 2017 after serving as the Graduate Assistant since 2015. Melissa came to Vanderbilt following the pursuit of her B.A. in Music, Spanish, and Secondary Education from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. By combining each of these areas of study, Melissa found her passion for working with diverse populations. Through these experiences, Melissa gained experience in both domestic and international community development and non-profit consulting, specifically interested in Spanish-speaking countries. In her work through OACS and guided by critical service-learning theory, Melissa seeks to challenge students to think critically about their role in sustainable community engagement work, make critical connections between social injustices locally and globally, and develop leadership skills that enable students to be active citizens in their own communities. In her free time, Melissa enjoys volunteering as a refugee youth mentor and tnAchieves college access mentor, backpacking, attending sporting events, dog-sitting, and exploring Nashville.

Contact Melissa: melissa.v.looby@vanderbilt.edu or (615) 343-4856

Vacant| Administrative Assistant II

 

Tandra Martin| Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Tandra has been deeply inspired and influenced by local communities in the U.S. and around the world. She is proud to play a role in helping students develop the skills and mindsets needed to build resilient communities through civic engagement and service. She was born and raised in Murfreesboro, TN and holds a B.S. in International Relations from Middle Tennessee State University. Tandra is currently pursuing a Master’s in Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University. Prior to joining the OACS team, Tandra served as the Director of Postsecondary Coordination and Alignment at the Tennessee Department of Education helping to create and implement policies that expanded students’ access to advanced coursework and industry credentials with a particular emphasis on students from underserved backgrounds. As a Fulbright scholar in Bloemfontein, South Africa she supported literacy initiatives and began a college access program for high school learners. She was also awarded a Boren scholarship to Morocco where she studied Arabic and completed her undergraduate research thesis on women and girls’ access to education in the middle east. Tandra remains committed to actively engaging with whatever community she finds herself a part of and she’s excited to learn alongside the Vanderbilt community!

Contact Tandra: tandra.martin@vanderbilt.edu

Vanessa “v” Santana, M.S.| Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers & They/Them/Theirs

Vanessa “v” earned their Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University, and their Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies with a minor in Religious Studies from Florida International University. V is passionate about affirming the intersections of folks’ identities and life experiences, and challenging themself and students to do the inner work that is necessary to do the “outer” work well. They believe in the power of social justice and service as a catalyst for self-awareness, consciousness, and healing of self and community. In this way, V hopes to hold space for students and encourage students to live authentically and intentionally by aligning their actions with their values. V has experience with alternative breaks service and leadership, multicultural student organizations, Gender and Sexuality Alliance advising, diversity and social justice facilitation and training, restorative justice, women and gender centers, interpersonal violence prevention and advocacy, comprehensive sexual health education, youth development, and (fun fact!) training as a labor and postpartum doula. V also served as an AmeriCorps member with Public Allies Miami. V is a lifelong learner, and loves attending (and planning) a good retreat! In their free time, they enjoy learning more about their Afro-Latinx roots, being in nature, watching women’s professional and collegiate basketball, writing, dancing, meditating, listening to anything by Oprah, and being in the present moment.

Contact V: vanessa.santana@vanderbilt.edu

Tiffany Vazquez | Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Tiffany Vazquez is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at Peabody College. Tiffany received her B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered with Schools of Hope and The Urban League of Greater Madison. From 2014-2015 she served as an AmeriCorps member with Public Allies Chicago; her AmeriCorps placement was as an Enrichment Program Coordinator in a Chicagoland charter school. From 2015-2017 she worked as a Language and Culture Assistant in Madrid, Spain. At OACS, Tiffany works with OACS global service-learning program. Additionally, she advises student service organizations and collaborates with OACS staff on campus wide strategic planning initiatives. At Vanderbilt, she is a member of First Friends with International Student & Scholar Services.