Staff

Emily Shields

Prior to coming to IACC in 2011, Emily served as Chief of Staff of the Rebuild Iowa Office. She also served as the Senate Liaison and Policy Adviser to Governor Chet Culver. Emily also worked in field organizing and fundraising for various campaigns and committees. Emily has a Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelor’s from the University of Iowa in journalism and political science. Emily also spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in San Antonio, Texas.

Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis began at Iowa Campus Compact as a program coordinator in 2013. He graduated from IUPUI with a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies. While there he served as a graduate assistant in the Center for Service and Learning administering a scholarship program among other duties. Justin hails from Minnesota and received his undergraduate degree from Luther College in Iowa.  He manages all of our national service programs including the Iowa College AmeriCorps Program and the VISTA Community Corps.

Sinda Nichols

Sinda joined Minnesota Campus Compact in October 2013. She has a background in counseling, education, and social change work and is an experienced trainer and facilitator. Prior to this role, she managed the Speak Up! Speak Out! youth action civics initiative at The University of Texas at Austin’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. Sinda holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College, is an alumna of HECUA, and has a master’s degree in social work from The University of Texas at Austin. She also views her service with AmeriCorps VISTA as a critical component of her education. 

Monique Ellefson

Monique Ellefson currently works as the AmeriCorps VISTA Program Coordinator. Monique’s journey into civic engagement began as an impassioned student leader at the University of South Dakota. This led her to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Oregon Campus Compact.  Later, she served as the VISTA Leader for Iowa Campus Compact. After her terms of service, she earned her Master’s of Science in Education at Indiana University where she was a Graduate Assistant for Community Engagement. 

Jaquelyn Chagnon

Jaquelyn previously served as the VISTA Leader for the College Health Corps and as a VISTA at a local health department in North Bend, OR working on public health department accreditation, and believes the VISTA program is an invaluable program and resource. Jaquelyn received an individualized B.S. in Public Health, Addiction Studies, and Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She has also worked for the YMCA Twin Cities, including the University YMCA, and St. Stephens Human Services.

Carly Bahnsen

Carly Bahnsen joined Iowa Campus Compact as a program coordinator in September of 2018. She works primarily to support the Summer Reading Corps program and the Iowa College AmeriCorps Program (ICAP). She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics. Carly is an avid Hawkeye fan who, prior to joining the IACC team, worked for her alma mater at the University of Iowa – Des Moines Programs. Outside of work, Carly enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and two children, and doing anything outdoors.                                             

Erik Trelstad

Erik is currently serving as the VISTA leader in Minnesota and works hard to support our AmeriCoprs members for a successful year of service. He previously completed a term of service for our program with Open Door Health Center in Mankato and graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. He has a passion for healthy food and is interested in the role public health has with helping communities have better outcomes relating to quality of life, higher education, and equity.

Mila Kaut

Mila recently graduated from the University of Iowa with majors in History, Music, and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. She is currently a Lead for America Fellow serving as an Equity Research VISTA with IAMNCC and the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission. Mila is committed to exploring and actualizing the links between education and enfranchisement. As an LFA Fellow, she is currently developing the Iowa Community Histories Initiative, which aims to recover, teach, and preserve Iowa’s unheard histories.