Meet The Staff

Clive Mentzel, PhD | Director

Raised in South Africa, Clive comes to Vanderbilt University from London and joined the Office of Active Citizenship & Service as Director in July, 2012. He has a PhD in Political Science from Johannesburg University and has a special interest in emerging democratic governments and political processes aimed at securing increased political accountability, especially at the local level. In London for the last decade, Clive has been leading the development of a nationally mandated accountability process that holds elected representatives accountable to their constituents. Prior to that, Clive worked as an adviser to some of the participants in the South African negotiation process in the nineties that led to a peaceful transition to democracy in that country, and participated in post-apartheid institution-building. This, together with a comparative course on the theory and practice of Conflict Resolution and dealing with deep rooted conflict, is what Clive teaches in the Political Science Department.  He also has an affiliated faculty position with Medicine, Health and Society.

Contact Clive: or 615-322-3127


Holly Jones, B.A. | Administrative Assistant

Holly Jones earned her Bachelor’s in Human Services from Lindsey Wilson College.  Holly performs all administrative duties for OACS and she is the primary person for the vehicle loan program, reserving P-cards, and room reservations. Holly has had the opportunity to intern and volunteer with many non-profit organizations and some of her volunteer work includes: working with children in a after school program at Gallatin Shalom Zone, help raise funds for Potter’s Children Home in Bowling Green Kentucky, and volunteering at a day camp in Gallatin Tennessee. During Holly’s spare time she enjoys gardening and boating with her husband.

Contact Holly: or 615-343-7878



Erika Larson, M.Ed. | Assistant Director

Erika  joins OACS after two years of serving as a graduate assistant. Erika is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College where she earned a MEd. in International Education Policy and Management. Prior to Vanderbilt, Erika worked as an Alternative Breaks Coordinator at the Volunteer Resource Center at University of Colorado-Boulder. While studying at CU, Erika cultivated her roots in service while earning a BA in Political Science and a certificate in the Study and Practice of Leadership, with an emphasis in Social and Environmental Justice. She was part of the INVST Community Leadership Program, which trained her in grassroots organizing, group facilitation, and strategic communication in the context of social change. Erika looks forward to leveraging her commitment to service-learning and international experience to facilitate critical discussions about alternative approaches to community development, and to design opportunities that encourage students to reflect deeply on their lived experiences and the lived experiences of others.

Contact Erika at: or 615-343-2205


Dave Brown, B.A. | Senior Program Coordinator

Dave Brown earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Davis in 2002 after spending his senior year abroad at the University of Stirling, Scotland. From 2004 to 2006 he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Azerbaijan, working as an ESL teacher in a rural secondary school and acting as a community organizer and partner to multiple international NGOs dealing with refugee affairs from the Nagorno-Karabakh War. He returned to the United States after a three month tour of Southeast Asia and worked for six years as an Enrollment Coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth mentoring program in Boston, Massachusetts. Dave moved to Tennessee in 2013 with his fiancée Anna who is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt. They live in West Nashville and enjoy music, travel, baseball, cooking, and the outdoors.

Contact or 615-875-8360




Lauren Moon, M.A. | Program Coordinator

Lauren joins OACS following work with the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise in Hyderabad, India where she designed sustainable programs for institutions in the Affordable Private School sector and developed a curriculum to address gender inequalities in education. Prior to India, Lauren worked and studied at Columbia University, earning her M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teacher’s College. As an undergraduate at Furman University, she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies with a focus in rhetoric. Through a variety of domestic and international work with NGOs and for-profit social ventures, Lauren studied the importance of humility and respect for culture and community when serving others. At OACS, Lauren seeks to spark a curiosity within and among students, such that they critically question and explore the nuances of service while learning and affecting social change in their broader world.

Contact Lauren: or 615-343-8904


Melissa Looby, B.A. | Graduate Assistant

Melissa is currently a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt University. Hailing from Marengo, Illinois, Melissa recently graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida with a B.A. in Music and a double minor in Spanish and Secondary Education. Her passion for working with students to develop their leadership skills through the lens of service has led her to OACS where she is thrilled to be serving alongside the students, faculty and staff of Vanderbilt. Melissa is so excited to create meaningful relationships with the Vanderbilt, Nashville and global communities and continue pursuing active citizenship during her time at OACS. During her free time, you can find Melissa hiking Tennessee’s beautiful trails, reading in her hammock, singing and playing music, going to songwriting rounds, or hanging out at a local coffee shop.

Contact Melissa: or 615-343-7878



We would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions working with our staff:

Janessa Dunn | Graduate Assistant

Catherine Kelly | Graduate Student Worker

Alyson Farzad | Practicum Student

Hamp Price | Practicum Student

Paco Payne | Practicum Student

Noemi Monnerville | Student Worker

Devon Reese | Student Worker

Jonathan Davis | Graduate Assistant

Amy Bugno | Graduate Assistant

Joi Hayes | Practicum Student

Kiersten Chresfield | Site Leader

Amanda Blewitt | Site Leader

Hemant Nelaparthi | Site Leader


OACS runs on the passion of individuals from various fields, disciplines, and years at Vanderbilt.  A number of undergraduate and graduate students have contributed or are contributing to our work and have made a significant impact.  Should you be interested in supporting some aspect of our work through a practicum, internship, or volunteer position, we would be happy to speak with you about your interest.  Please contact or stop by Rand 305 to learn more.