Paula Land, Executive Director
Paula Land joined Catherine McAuley Center (CMC) early in 2011 as our Executive Director. Paula is a graduate of Mount Mercy University and most recently held the position of Vice President of Operations and Organizational Effectiveness for Trees Forever. Paula has three children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, Paula enjoys singing and volunteering in the community. She considers herself a lifelong learner. Passionate about nonprofits, Paula’s excited to be back in the education and human services fields.
Marissa Haas, Grants Manager
Marissa holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College, and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Her past experience includes working in various roles in nonprofits dedicated to affordable housing, immigrant and refugee services, and intercultural exchange. She is thrilled to be part of the CMC team, and to have the opportunity to use her love of writing to support CMC’s life-changing programs.
Lisa Klees, Finance & Human Resources Manager
Lisa graduated from Mount Mercy University with a degree in Business Administration and minor in Finance. She joined our staff in January 2017 and is excited to help support the mission of the Catherine McAuley Center. In her spare time Lisa enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Kristin Ossenkop, Volunteer Coordinator
Kristin joined our staff in August 2016 as our Volunteer Coordinator. Kristin is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds a BA in Sociology. Kristin is passionate about helping people who may be facing adversity to reach their goals. She is excited to be part of the Catherine McAuley Center team and proud to be able to help support its mission in our community. Kristin enjoys being outdoors, traveling, attending sporting events, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Kelsey Steines, Development & Communications Manager
Kelsey graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in Not-for-Profit Management. She joined CMC in March 2015 after volunteering as a tutor since October 2014 and is excited to use her degree to support CMC’s mission. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys finding adventure through running, reading, and travel.
Sandy Weger, Systems & Facilities Manager
Sandy joined our staff in January 2015 as our Systems and Facilities Manager. She was a computer programmer for 16 years before resigning to stay at home with their three sons. At that time, she volunteered at church, school, and with their youth baseball program. She is thrilled to be able to serve the staff and community at the Catherine McAuley Center!
Adult Basic Education Staff
Anne Dugger, Education Program Manager
Anne graduated from Coe College with a B.A. in English and is pursuing a Master’s in Education Leadership at Mt. Mercy University. She worked in the healthcare industry for many years and taught job skills and medical anatomy in Barbados for two years before joining CMC. Working at the Catherine McAuley Center is a dream for Anne – the community here, and the motivation of students and volunteers to create that community means it’s a joy to come to work every day. In her spare time, Anne enjoys a very full social life and to balance that, spends a lot of time reading!
Mari Hunt Wassink, Education Program Coordinator
Mari holds a BA in Spanish and History from Coe College. After volunteering at CMC as a tutor, she joined the staff as the Education Program Coordinator in June 2017. While living abroad, she witnessed the power of education and language to cultivate supportive communities. She is delighted to work for an organization that respects the humanity of every individual while empowering people to greater opportunity and fulfillment. Outside of CMC, she can be found singing, gardening, and laughing with her large extended family.
Stephen McTier, Tutor Student Liaison
Stephen’s passion for teaching language led him to teach ESL in Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the exotic land of Minnesota. Through his church, he learned about volunteering at CMC then came on staff as Tutor Student Liaison because “CMC gives people the means to a stable, good life. Who wouldn’t support that?” He has made friends in five countries he had never been to before and has written an unpublished novel. In his free time, he reads, walks, goes birding, watches old and new movies, and cooks.
Achissa Mushimiyimana, Assistant Education Coordinator
Achissa received her BA in accounting at AUCA (Adventist University of Central Africa) in Rwanda in 2000. She came to CMC in March 2015 as a student. She is delighted to be part of the education staff as an Assistant Education Coordinator because it gives women and men the opportunity to expand confidence and empowers them to be who they want to be regardless of where they are from. Achissa enjoys swimming, cooking, and spending time with her family in her free time.
Lindsey Norman, Tutor Student Liaison
Lindsey recently earned her BA in Health Promotion with emphases in Global Health and Health Disparities, and Fitness and Wellness from University of Northern Iowa. Before graduating, she had the opportunity to do an internship at CMC and loved the people and mission so much that she didn’t want to leave! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, and drinking coffee. She is extremely excited to be joining the team at CMC!
Katie Rosenberger, Learning and Curriculum Specialist
While studying for a B.A. in music at the University of Iowa, Katie accepted an Honors Fellowship in the Writing Center, where she discovered a love for tutoring. That led to teaching English Language Acquisition at Kirkwood Community College. Katie joined CMC in January 2016 and is excited to be part of an organization that empowers students by building their knowledge and skills. In her free time, Katie plays bass guitar, sings, and volunteers as a sound tech at Legion Arts’ CSPS Hall.
Refugee Services Staff
Allison Bailey, RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps member
Allison graduated in May 2017 from Coe College with a BA in Political Science and two minors in French and Theatre Arts. She wanted to work with forced immigrants as a career and it the RefugeeRISE position at CMC was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the resettlement process. After working with CMC this summer, she will be moving to Viden, Bulgaria on a Fullbright grant to teach English. In her free time, she likes to get involved in theatre productions and music ensembles. She also enjoys learning new music on the piano and playing old favorites.
Clark Cunningham-White, RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps Member
Clark is a recent graduate of Coe College with a B.A. in English and Political Science. He enjoys reading, dog walking, and being on the beach at Lake Michigan near his family’s home in Holland, Michigan. He is excited to start Reception and Placement with a terrific team at the Catherine McAuley Center and is thrilled to be back in Cedar Rapids.
Shana Kargbo, Refugee and Immigrant Services Coordinator
Shana joined our staff in September 2016 as our Program Coordinator. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Iowa State University. She has a great passion for empowering and equipping people of all ages, from all nations and backgrounds. She has enjoyed living around the world including Turkey, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Minneapolis, and is happy to now serve people from many nations in her hometown of Cedar Rapids at CMC! Shana and her husband Moses, have two daughters and one grandson. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, especially to her husband’s native country of Sierra Leone, spending time with her family, worshipping Jesus, leading Bible studies, teaching children’s church, and taking Zumba classes.
Leya Neema, RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps Member
Leya is working on receiving her B.A. in psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. She came to work at the Catherine McAuley Center through the RefugeeRISE, Americorps Program. She enjoys singing and volunteering in the community. Her parents took English classes at CMC when they first came to the United States. She is excited to get to impact people in the same way that her family was impacted.
Naomi Sengiyumva, RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps Member
Naomi graduated with an Associates degree at Iowa Central and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s at University of Missouri Kansas City. She loves helping out in the community and has a heart for refugees because she was one. In her free time, she writes and performs poetry, babysits her nephews, braids hair, mentors youth, and volunteers with Agents of Charge.
Transitional Housing Staff
Chelsea De Larm, Support Services Coordinator
Chelsea graduated from Cornell College with a BA in Sociology and Civic Engagement. Beginning as an intern under our volunteer coordinator, she joined CMC staff as the Transitional Housing Program Support Services Coordinator in June 2013. She enjoys working with the CMC team to find and create opportunities for the women in the housing program, helping each woman to build and strengthen relationships with her community.
Tracy Ekstrom, Support Services Coordinator
Tracy graduated from Kirkwood Community College with an AA in Law Enforcement and a BA in Sociology and has a minor in Spanish from the University of Iowa. She is in her final semester at St. Ambrose University, working toward her MSW. Tracy returned to work at CMC because working in a gender-responsive program is a passion of hers, as is helping empower people who face adversity. She loves to read, cuddle with her two dogs, and spend time with her boyfriend, Will.
Ashley Keller, Support Services Assistant
Ashley is a CMC alumna who joined the CMC staff because she’s passionate about helping women change their lives. Ashley uses her experience developing partnerships with community groups and businesses as a former gymnastics coach to plan pro-social activities for residents. “I want to make the little things possible. I want to give women a little bit of hope and the opportunity to try things they never have before.” Outside of the Center, Ashley spends time with her four children and advocates for families as a Parent Partner.
Jennifer Tibbetts, Housing Program Manager
Jennifer joined the Catherine McAuley Center as Housing Program Manager in 2008, and has used her 18 years of experience in social services to implement Female-Responsive programming in CMC housing services. Jennifer is proud to be a part of a mission-driven organization like the Catherine McAuley Center and feels privileged to be in a role in which she can help create a safe and supportive environment that allows women to realize their own potential. In her free time Jennifer finds creative ways to be an advocate for women throughout the state, and organizes community groups and female-led initiatives that allow women to connect and find their voice.