The Campus Y Staff are professionals who devote their time to the efficient operation of Campus Y efforts, guidance, and counseling for Y members and committees, training of officers and co-chairs in leadership skills and outreach to other units of UNC and the community.
Richard Harrill was chair of a homelessness and hunger committee and co-president of the Campus Y as an undergraduate at UNC (1988-91) and became its executive director in 2009. He has a three decade career as an education entrepreneur and human rights advocate in Europe and the United States, which he says stems directly from his Campus Y student experiences. He lived in Hungary off and on throughout the 1990s and 2000s, serving first as a Peace Corps teacher in Veszprem and later as the Director for Europe at the Public Interest Law Institute (now known as PILnet), a human rights NGO in Budapest that spun out of Columbia University School of Law. He also founded Demokratikus Ifjusagert Alapitvany (DIA), a non- profit organization that was awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship in 1999 for its groundbreaking work building a national infrastructure for youth civic engagement in post-communist Hungary. In the US, Richard has served as Senior Fellow at the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, NJ, where he developed the values framework for the Bonner Scholars Program known as “the Common Commitments.” He directed Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA) in Manhattan for five years, establishing its experiential learning partnerships while teaching courses on civil society development for the political studies department. Richard was head of youth policy research at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, where he focused on civic engagement and school-to-work transition pathways for youth in OECD countries. Throughout his career, Richard has helped the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the International Foundation for Election Systems build out their youth civic engagement programs in Central Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus Region.
Assistant Director and Director of the Bonner Leader Program
Yalitza is a double Tar Heel, having earned from UNC a Masters in Social Work in 2014 and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish in 2005. Between studies, Yalitza has worked for Carolina on local, statewide, and global projects in the areas of program evaluation, early childhood education, high-quality instruction, educational access, asset development, and financial empowerment. As part of her field work and in partnership with Volunteers for Youth, Yalitza taught a service-learning course for Buckley Public Service Scholars in the SMART Mentoring program. For over a decade she volunteered in the community with organizations such as the Orange County Literacy Council, Girls on the Run of the Triangle, former Family Violence Prevention Center, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools. Most recently, she was at Durham’s Partnership for Children working to ensure high-quality standards and compliance for funded partners, build strong partnerships within communities, and engage families and communities in leadership and advocacy. Yalitza lives in Durham with her husband and daughter.
Campus Y Business Manager
Christine Arnsberger, originally from Germany, has lived in the U.S. since 1994. She’s been living in Carrboro with her husband, daughter and Cat for the past 15 years. Before she’s been living in several intentional communities in Germany, Denmark and the U.S.
Throughout her professional career Christine has worked as a Paralegal for several Law Firms in the Triangle area, with a major emphasis on Affordable Housing; Bankruptcy; and Intellectual Property Law. She enjoys working at the Campus Y as the Business Manager, interacting with students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Christine has a BA in Sociology and MA in German Literature from the University of Bielefeld, Germany; a Law/Paralegal Degree from Germany, as well as a Paralegal Degree from Meredith College.
Dr. Tom Sowders
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Armed with a PhD in English and a research-based commitment to social action based on collaboration, imagination, and critical thought, Tom, an alum of East Chapel Hill High School, is back in Chapel Hill using his experience in content development, digital media, and education to coordinate Campus Y communications efforts. He is very fond of his son, Leo, and he likes to play music.
UNC Global Civic Engagement Coordinator
Sarah came to UNC in 2006 to study archaeology but soon realized her passion was in public service. In 2010, she earned her B.A. in anthropology with minors in social & economic justice and Asian studies before joining the staff of the Carolina Center for Public Service. As Student Services Specialist, Sarah worked directly with the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, the Service-Learning Initiative (APPLES), and the Bryan Social Innovation Fellowships.
Sarah recently completed her M. Phil. in international peace studies from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. During her two years in Dublin, she helped develop policy for Trinity around ethical development volunteering and taught a course on intercultural competencies in partnership with two NC schools.
UNC Social Innovation Initiative Coordinator
Laura Fieselman’s favorite challenge is making good things happen with limited resources. Born and raised in North Carolina, she’s taken up this challenge at the local, national, and international levels. From co-founding Raleigh City Farm to launching sustainability programs for colleges and universities to work with the executive teams of national and international non-profits, Laura gets things done. She’s a social entrepreneur, a sustainability professional, a tar heel, and a foodie, and is thrilled to be working with CUBE teams to bring ideas to impact.
Senior Global Assistant
Thomas Elliott is a graduate of Chapel Hill High School from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. During his gap year through the Global Gap Year Fellowship he lived on a game reserve in north-eastern South Africa where he worked with a professor of Socio-ecology studying the ways in which humans interact with their environment. A member of the Class of 2019, Thomas intends to double major in political science and geography, focusing on the migration of people into Western Europe. Thomas is looking forward to working with the fellowship and using his experiences to help others plan successful gap years.
Junior Global Assistant
Brian Riefler is from Buffalo, New York. He took a gap year in Ecuador with Global Citizen Year, an organization for high-school graduates modeled after Peace Corps. He lived and volunteered in the Amazon for 9 months, working in ecotourism and youth sectors. Brian is now a chemistry major with a business minor, with an interest in addressing climate change. He is excited to bring his experience to the Y Global Office and to connect with other students who have been abroad.
Gabi Palacio, a Class of 2019 student from Charlotte, North Carolina is pursuing a BA degree in Journalism with a specialization in Multimedia. She is working as a photographer and videographer as well as a writer and editor for the various websites that are run by the communications department here at the Campus Y. Gabi is excited to be a part of the Campus Y’s communications team this year and is eager to help broaden their reach both on and off campus. Her passion for social justice drives her to advocate for those who may not be able to do so for themselves and she is thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of an organization that so ardently supports this.