Goodbye to Last Year's VISTAs, Hello new VISTA

September 26, 2022
Haley Katz and Maddy Cox, former VISTAs

Haley Katz and Maddy Cox, former VISTAs

Caroline Bañuelos
Caroline Bañuelos

Over the last twelve months, things have changed at SSU and for the community.  Flexibility has been our guiding light.  Our VISTAs took this on with vigor.

Maddy Cox, served as a VISTA for the City of Santa Rosa in the Violence Prevention Partnership and just completed her service in August of this year. Now Maddy is moving on and going to London to participate in a Master’s program. We are so grateful for the time she spent in our office. Being a VISTA for a year is not an easy undertaking.  Nevertheless, Maddy persevered. She had this to say as she was preparing to leave her position: “...thank you for giving me this opportunity. Despite all the ups and downs I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Maddy was great to work with; she was dependable and always approached assignments with a critical eye. Which I really appreciated. Maddy asked the right questions before digging into the project. We will miss her and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Haley Katz served as a VISTA in the Office of Community Engagement at the City of Santa Rosa and spent the last month of her service in the CCE full time.  We really enjoyed having her in our office and she was a great help to us. Haley had this to say about her experience as a VISTA: “…During my service, I got the chance to participate in several exciting community events, as well as interview and write stories about many amazing community members and their contributions to the betterment of Sonoma County. My experience working with Sonoma State University’s Center for Community Engagement was especially positive, and it reinforced my desire to continue serving my community with a focus on making educational resources accessible to all. AmeriCorps VISTA provided me with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of my community’s needs. It also helped me better understand my strengths, as well as highlight some things about myself that I need to nurture in order to most effectively serve myself and those around me in the future…!”

Will Haering, new VISTA at the
City of Santa Rosa.

Welcome Will Haering!  Will is serving as a VISTA for 2022/2023 for the City of Santa Rosa in the Violence Prevention Partnership. Will comes to us as an MBA student at St. Mary’s College. When I asked Will how he viewed his new position at the City, here is what he shared: “I see my job as a VISTA as twofold. First and foremost, is to assist in building capacity for SSU and the city of Santa Rosa, and second is to liaise between both organizations; serve as a mutual point of contact. What this means in practice is essentially just keeping both organizations exchanging relevant information with each other… I hope to continue learning, hopefully more about project development and management, as I'm trying to focus my career on that type of work.” In addition to the tasks Will has mentioned here he is also the liaison between faculty and students, the City of Santa Rosa and their community partners.

We will miss Maddy and Haley. We are also excited to work with Will and look forward to a very busy and productive year.