Introducing the 2013 PCSE Peer Advisors

The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) supports students and alumni who wish to tackle society’s problems with innovative, system-changing solutions. PCSE programs include workshops and trainings, several grants and subsidized professional conference tickets, extensive advising and networking services, and incubator workspace in the Allbritton Center.

Starting this week, Patricelli Center Peer Advisors will offer drop-in hours every Wednesday 7-8 p.m. and Sunday 8-9 p.m. in the PCSE Board Room (Allbritton 022). Students are invited to stop by to learn fundamentals of social entrepreneurship, hear more about PCSE programs and partners like WES2 and WAPPS, explore career paths within the field of social innovation, begin working on a business plan for a new enterprise, or simply connect with social changemakers on campus. Whether you already have a specific ideas for a social enterprises or you simply have a cause you care about and want to address, these sessions are for you.

If you have a question for the PCSE Peer Advisors but you cannot make it to drop-in hours, you can contact them at

The Fall 2013 PCSE Peer Advisors are:

Jason Brandner '16Jason Brandner ’16

Jason is a sophomore pursuing a double major in Economics and Government. He enjoys playing for Wesleyan’s varsity squash team.  Jason’s work experience includes an internship with Congressman Earl Blumenauer, research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as a term as Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach at Zawadi by Youth, a student run 501(c)3 microfinance organization based out of the Bronx in New York City. Jason is currently Chief Marketing Officer of Wesleyan student startup The Germinal Fund.


Alex Cantrell '14Alex Cantrell ’14

Alex is a senior Science in Society major with concentrations in Sociology and Environmental Science. He spent his last semester in Argentina where he conducted a research investigation on social entrepreneurship in Buenos Aires. Alex is a Startingbloc fellow (Boston ’12) and is continuing to study cultural trends of entrepreneurship this semester as part of Wesleyan’s Money and Social Change class. On campus, Alex does graphic design and public relations for the MINDS Foundation, writes for Wesleying, plays the pipe organ, and is a member of AEPi. He also loves writing and teaching piano.


Val Demuynck '16 190x192Val Demuynck ’16

Val is a sophomore prospective Government and French major with the Middle Eastern Studies Certificate from New Jersey. He began his involvement with the Patricelli Center at the beginning of the second semester of his first year at Wesleyan. He spent a month this past summer in Kenya teaching at the Kibera School for Girls with Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a non-profit organization that was founded by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09. Val is also a tutor for Middletown students through the Office of Community Service.


alicia gansley '14 190x192Alicia Gansley ’15

Alicia is a junior at Wesleyan majoring in Computer Science and Economics. She serves as the Director of Community Affairs for The MINDS Foundation, a non-profit founded by Raghu Appasani ’12 that specializes in mental health awareness and treatment. Alicia is the Web Editor for The Argus this semester as well as a course assistant for Intro to Programming and a publicity assistant at the Wesleyan University Press.



Marina King '16 190x192

Marina King ’16

Marina is a prospective Sociology major from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She spends most of her time on campus working with Shining Hope for Communities. This summer, she spent a month in Kenya with SHOFCO and the girls of KSG. As a freshman, she was a part of the Patricelli Student Advisory Board. Marina is excited to work with the Patricelli fund more this year and help students with their social entrepreneurial goals.



BrentPacker 190x192Brent Packer ’15

Brent Packer is a Presidential Fellow of Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment, pursuing majors in Economics and Environmental Studies. He has experience in developing strategic plans to advance the environmental and financial benefits of riparian buffer construction on Amish farmland. Brent has performed statistical analysis with Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) for U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program. With the assistance ofSmartMarkets LLC andVolunteer Morocco, Brent designed and implemented a market-based water conservation program in the drought-prone village of Asaka, Morocco. Along with Wesleyan University’s Hichem Hadjeres, Brent discovered that assigning a value on conserved water incentivized villagers to revert to their historical, water-efficient practices. In his free time, Brent enjoys watching Phineas & Ferb and singing with Wesleyan’s best dressed a cappella group – Notably Sharp.


Maeve Russell '14 190x192

Maeve Russell ’14

Maeve is a senior at Wesleyan, double majoring in Government and Environmental Studies. She is going into her second year as the student coordinator for the non-profit organization on campus: Shining Hope for Communities, which fights the intergenerational cycle of poverty and gender inequality in the slum of Kibera. Last summer, Maeve was an intern for RefugePoint, a refuge rescue NGO founded by Sasha Chanoff ’94. As a student coordinator for the Office of Community Service, she also has been privileged enough to work alongside many different programs for community service within the Middletown community.


Yekaterina Sapozhnina ’16 190x192Yekaterina Sapozhnina ’16

Katya is a sophomore, potentially majoring in Psychology, Economics, and Computer Science. Although she has always been an entrepreneur at heart, Katya labeled herself as such February 2013 when she founded Wesleyan Entrepreneurship Society (WES²). Since then, she has been advising various start-ups on campus and working on several of her own ventures. Katya is working closely with the Patricelli Center of Social Entrepreneurship. She has also attended many business workshops such as those by StartingBloc and DoSomething. Katya is passionate about disability rights, neuroscience and all art forms. Katya is working hard to raise awareness about Synesthesia. She cares a lot about raising self esteem in children and providing more opportunities for anyone struggling. She is very excited to be a part of the Wesleyan start-up culture.


Ted Shabecoff copy

Ted Shabecoff ’16

Ted is a sophomore majoring in the College of Social Studies. A Connecticut native, Ted has grown up well aware of the state’s educational and financial inequality. In high school, Ted volunteered with Horizons, an enrichment program which extends educational opportunity to less privileged inner city youth.  In 2010, Ted moved to Rennes, France, where he spent a full academic year and learned the ins and outs of the French language. In 2013, Ted founded The Germinal Fund, and he currently serves as CEO. Previously, Ted was a representative on the Wesleyan Student Assembly, serving on the Student Budget Committee.  Ted loves reading a good book, and can be often found swimming, biking or running.

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