Our Staff

Director: Robin F. Bachin, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for Civic & Community Engagement
Email: rbachin@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-4261
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial 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, <i>Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago</i>, 1890-1919, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004 (paperback 2008). Her current book project is <i>Tropical Urbanism: Modernity, Exoticism, and the Creation of South Florida, 1890-1965</i>. 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: Marisa Hightower
Email: mhightower@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-6626
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

Marisa Hightower received her B.A. in English and currently is pursuing a M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Miami. Prior to joining the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, she was the Senior Program Manager at the SEEDS (A SEED for Success) program, which was previously funded by an NSF-ADVANCE Award. For seven years, Marisa worked closely with Kathryn Tosney, Ph.D., SEEDS Director and Professor of Biology, to foster an interactive and highly effective community which helps to create a climate of diversity and inclusion for faculty across all disciplines.

Program Manager: Jorge Damian de la Paz
Telephone: (305) 284-6635
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

The University of Miami Office of Civic and Community Engagement is pleased to welcome Jorge Damian de la Paz as our new Program Manager, focusing on affordable housing and community development initiatives. Previously, Jorge was the Senior Policy Analyst at the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, leading an innovative affordable housing initiative called “Miami Homes for All.” He completed a Masters degree with honors in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and was a participant in the inaugural class of the Community Scholars in Affordable Housing program, co-sponsored by the University of Miami. A Miami native, Jorge was a 2013 Miami Foundation Public Space Challenge winner, a 2015 New Leaders Council Miami Fellow and the winner of the 2015 Rising Star Award at the South Florida Community Development Coalition (SFCDC) Awards for Excellence in Community Development.

Program Coordinator: Carla Santamaria
Email: csantamaria@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-1046
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

Carla Santamaria was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but grew up in Miami. She received her BA in sociology from Florida International University, where she also earned a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and a Medallion of Excellence in Global Learning. As an undergraduate, Carla was a Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow for 2014-2015. She spent a semester as a congressional intern in the US House of Representatives and has since remained an advocate for increased minority representation in the halls of Capitol Hill. Carla is thrilled to join the Office of Civic and Community Engagement as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is most excited about the service-learning emphasis of the office.

Imagining America Research Assistant: Hadassah St. Hubert
Email: h.sthubert@umiami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-6636
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

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 Editor 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.

AmeriCorps VISTA: Carter Gill
Inclusive Communities Coordinator
Email: carter.gill@miami.edu
Telephone: (305) 284-6636
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

Carter graduated from the UM in 2015 with a BA in political science and a minor in philosophy – pre-law track and plans on attending law school once he has completed his year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. While attending UM as an undergraduate Carter was a member of the triathlon team (Go TriCanes!) and held a work-study position in the UM Law School Library. After graduating, he worked as a legal assistant and title preparer for Manley Deas Kochalski, LLC, a creditor’s rights law firm, handling issue-spotting for the firm’s attorneys in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He has consistently played an active role in the community and the nonprofit sector as both an employee and volunteer of organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters - Project Mentor, Besa Community Inc. and City Theatre Co. During his year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the UM Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Carter will work on developing solutions for inclusive development to ensure the stabilization of neighborhoods to promote economic prosperity and sustainable communities.

AmeriCorps VISTA:Ana Acosta
Career Pathways Coordinator
Telephone: (305) 284-8637
Office: 125 Dooly Memorial

Ana was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela. Growing up in countries where poverty and inequality is a lot more widespread is what led her to dedicate her career to the field of development. She graduated summa cum laude from the Florida State University with a BS in Economics and a minor in Public Policy. Ana has worked and volunteered for various nonprofit organizations in different capacities. Most recently, she spent 9 months teaching English at primary public schools in Vietnam and 6 months working for an NGO in Ghana, where she implemented and managed various after-school programs in a village school. Ana is thrilled to join the Office of Civic and Community Engagement as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Career Pathways Coordinator. She is very eager to work on an economic development project that will help build workforce development and economic prosperity in Miami.