Center for Community Engagement


Sarah Barr, Director

After graduating from Chatham College with a B.A. in Global Policy Studies, Sarah joined the Lutheran Volunteer Corps for a year of service in Washington, DC as the Legal Clinic Coordinator at Bread for the City.  In 2000, she joined the staff of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy at Connecticut College where she worked with students to develop interdisciplinary programs of study that focused on a variety of community-based issues including food security, affordable housing, education, environmental sustainability, and public health.  Sarah works with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community organizations to develop community-based courses, research projects, internships, and co-curricular initiatives. During the summer Sarah spends her time in town preparing for the annual Amherst Community Engagement Orientation Trip.  She recently completed a master’s degree in Theology and Ethics at Hartford Seminary.

Megan Lyster, Director of Innovation Programs

Megan’s work with the CCE focuses on the intersection between social entrepreneurship and innovation and community engagement. She received a B.A. from Hampshire College concentrating in family and developmental psychology and an M.A. from Prescott College concentrating in education. Since 2002, Megan has worked with diverse nonprofit and for profit start-ups in the Pioneer Valley, from adaptive recreation to healthcare technology to historic real estate. She brings seven years of experience teaching and advising students on social entrepreneurship, and volunteers as a facilitator for Valley Venture Mentors.

Zoë Jacobs, Assistant Director

Zoë Jacobs is the Assistant Director of the CCE. She manages the Center's budget and financial records, oversees the Engagement Advisors program, supervises the Front Desk Team, provides vital administrative support to many of the Center's programs, facilitates the CCE Advisory Board meetings, and assists the Director. A native of Massachusetts, Zoë allowed for some time away from the Pioneer Valley to pursue a B.A. in English Literature from Hamilton College, where she graduated in 1994. She later completed a Master's of Education at the University of Massachusetts in 1998. Zoë is an expert at trivia (although she'd deny it), a devoted Boston Red Sox fan, and an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction alike.

Karen Lee Miller, Associate Director & Director of Leadership Programs

Karen began her career at Wheaton College, where she worked as a Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA. She went on to direct a teenage pregnancy prevention program, and has worked in both admissions and housing departments. In 2004, she joined the staff of the Amherst College Community Outreach Program (predecessor to the CCE). Since then, she has focused on student leadership development and strengthening the culture of community engagement. She is interested in experiential leadership program design and the assessment of learning outcomes. Her major programs in the CCE include a Community Engagement Leadership Program, the Athletics Team Engagement Leader Program, and the first-year student Community Engagement Orientation Trip. Karen works to increase communication with and among campus constituencies to create opportunities for meaningful community involvement. She is available to assist individual students and/or student groups with opportunities to get involved. Karen has studied with the School for International Training in Kenya, received a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and an Ed.S. in Higher Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Karen enjoys traveling, eating fudgy oatmeal bars from dining services, and volunteering as a Birthday Wishes, Inc. Party Coordinator at a local homeless shelter.



102 Keefe Campus Center (map)

Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

413.542.5140 phone
413.542.2159 fax

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.