MNA Council


About the Nonprofit Student Council (NSC)

Welcome to the NSC! The Nonprofit Student Council formed on August 2015 with the overall mission to provide a unified voice for students with a focus on promoting and improving nonprofit education. Currently NSC is instrumental for channelling the voice of the MNA students, establish a dialogue with MNA Advisory Board, MNA alumni, and MNA administration. It also provides a vehicle for student perspectives, ideas, and a means of promoting events on behalf of the student body. The NSC activities include the promotion of co-curricular activities pertinent to the nonprofit field as well as support and encourage collaboration with other nonprofit professionals.

NSC LogoThe Nonprofit Student Council (NSC)’s mission is to promote nonprofit education, management, and leadership. NSC provides opportunities for professional development, community engagement, and career advancement to students of the University of San Francisco, the School of Management, and the Master of Nonprofit Administration. Through co-curricula activities, the NSC engages students with nonprofit organizations, socially responsible managers, and innovative nonprofit leaders.

The Nonprofit Student Council (NSC) is a recognized graduate student organization under the University of San Francisco’s Student Life and Graduate Student affairs. All MNA admitted graduate students are members of the Nonprofit Student Council and communicate through Canvas MNA Student Depot

For general NSC information, please feel free to contact the NSC current leadership council via email at

Nonprofit Connections – MNA Speaker Series

Nonprofit ConversationThe NSC collaborates with the MNA Advisory Board in the MNA Speaker Series – Nonprofit Connections. The Nonprofit Connections MNA Speaker Series brings on Campus the voice and expertise of nonprofit leaders in a variety of subjects and innovative developments in the social sector. Recent speakers included topics such as effective fundraising, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership, humanitarian services, refugee work, sustainable development, and nonprofit advocacy. Learn and connect for future events announced on our MNA Blog and MNA social Media. 

Nonprofit Council Leadership

Leadership positions and charges

Gabriela Mira Brown – President
Sarah Heraldo – Secretary
Stephen Hamilton – Treasurer
Whitney Hofacker – VP of Programming
Mariela Arriaga – Co-VP of Programming
Charis Hanshaw – VP of Communications
Rakiya Witwer – Co-VP of Communications

Current NSC Board Members 

Gabriela Brown, MNA ‘21

President, 2020-2021

Gabriela Mira Brown works for a criminal and immigration law firm in the bay area as a project manager. A Virginia transplant in California by way of El Salvador, she joined the MNA program after 12 years of working for nonprofit and low-bono organizations in various capacities. She is passionate about creating access to mental health and legal aid services for marginalized and under-invited communities. As a future leader in the field, Gabriela also hopes to ensure a good quality of life for frontline team members who work hard to support their community. When not working or going to school, she enjoys spending time with family and running outdoors.

Whitney Hofacker, MNA ‘22

VP of Programming, 2020-2021

Whitney is originally from Dayton, Ohio and identifies as a midwesterner (of course mayonnaise goes in a salad!). She’s been in the Bay Area since 2013. Whitney is the Associate Director of the Athenian Wilderness Experience, a 26-day backpacking program for teens, at The Athenian School. She also supports Athenian’s International Exchange and Community Service programs. When she’s not in the wilderness, you can find her hosting small dinner parties, talking about her cat and dog, or traveling to practice her burgeoning French and Spanish skills. Whitney is passionate about facilitating programs that can change people’s lives for the good. She is thrilled and grateful to be part of the MNA program.

Charis Hanshaw, MNA ‘21

VP of Communications, 2020-2021

Charis is a Bay Area native with a background in marketing operations and research that spans over 30 years. She recently graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in American Studies, a self-designed interdisciplinary program focused on health and aging in the U.S., and is currently a full-time student in the MNA program. Charis is committed to focusing her comprehensive experience and new learning toward nonprofit endeavors that enhance the quality of life for older adults, particularly those aging alone, and provide planning tools and support for those near the end of life. Charis enjoys wine tasting throughout Sonoma County and live music of (almost) any type, and she loves exploring the natural world, cultures, and architecture through travel. She hopes that her lifelong pursuit of learning and her return to higher ed later in life inspires her young nephews, niece, and grandchildren to stay curious.

Mariela Arriaga, MNA ‘22

Co-VP of Programming, 2020-2021

Mariela was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated with her family to Madera, CA. She completed her undergraduate degree at Fresno State with a degree in Business Administration and concentration in HR and has over fifteen years of combined HR experience in the Food Manufacturing and Nonprofit Sectors. Mariela’s lived experiences combined with her faith are the driving force behind her desire to become a more impactful, strategic, and collaborative nonprofit leader to help create bridges that will address organizational culture divides, increase transparency, and address policies and procedures rooted in workplace inequalities. When she is not studying, she enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, attending meditation retreats, as well as allocating time to connect with her family.

Sarah Heraldo, MNA ‘21

Secretary, 2020-2021

Sarah was born and raised in the Bay Area, and completed her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University in Child and Adolescent Development. Sarah is passionate about education and has worked for a variety of educators sectors. She is currently in the Recruiting / Talent Acquisition field for an edtech company called Course Hero. Sarah is passionate about education and is currently running a volunteer educational organization called Read Write Discover (and is hoping to turn it into a nonprofit soon!). She also sits on the Board for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Greater Bay Area chapter. In her spare time, you can catch Sarah reading a new book or playing with her dogs!

Stephen Hamilton, MNA ’22

Treasurer, 2020-2021

Stephen has a journalism background and worked as a news anchor and correspondent before pursuing his passion for social impact. He is a devoted advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in underrepresented populations. He explores effective community building by bringing together Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Cross-sector collaboration, and Social Entrepreneurship. His motto is “I advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I strive for Diversity, Excellence, and Integrity.©” Stephen also has an expertise in British Royalty, Aristocracy, and Etiquette. In his spare time, Stephen enjoys classical opera, swing jazz, and the spirit of The Roaring 20s.

Rakiya Witwer, MNA ’21

Co-VP of Communications, 2020-2021

My Name is Rakiya Witwer and I go by she, her, and hers. I am a second-year part-time MNA student at the School of Management. I attended University of California at Berkeley where I majored in Social Welfare and a Minor in Global Poverty and Practice. I am an Employment Placement Manager at Year Up a workforce development nonprofit at the Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. Prior to working at Year Up, I was employed at the International Rescue Committee in Oakland. I am originally from Nigeria and have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 20 years. I live in Albany with my husband and son. Some fun facts about me are: I speak 3 languages, I love dancing and I went to an all-girls boarding school in Nigeria.

NSC Past Board Members


Jessi Bailey, MNA ’21

Director of the NSC, 2019-2020

Jessi Bailey is the Client Services Manager at Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. She is a Bay Area native who is passionate about creating affordable homeownership opportunities and preserving homeownership in neighborhoods facing gentrification. When she is not working or studying, Jessi enjoys cooking for her friends and family.


Theresa Hurley, MNA ’21
President, 2020

    • Theresa Hurley is Executive Director of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit.
    • She has worked in the nonprofit industry in a variety of capacities for over 25 years in both the US and New Zealand.
    • She is the proud parent of 3 kids who are now all college graduates!


David Byrd, MNA ’20

President, 2019-2020

  • David served as NSC President in 2019. He completed the MNA Part-Time degree in Spring 2020. He is the Co-Founder and Senior Advisor at Capacity Blueprint, a consulting firm dedicated to providing capacity building tools to local nonprofits. Previous work experience: David has been writing grants for nonprofits in San Francisco and San Diego for the last 13 years and has helped secure more than $60 million in funding for programs and services. David is a California native, born and raised in nearby Davis.

Kelly Cousins, MNA ’20

Kelly completed the MNA Part-time MNA in Spring 2020.

  • Kelly is a Development Associate at Family Support Services, a nonprofit whose mission is to nurture children, youth and caregivers to keep families healthy and intact.
  • Previous work experience: Kelly has been working in Nonprofits in development and administration for years. Previously, she also worked as a teacher.

Kat Alcaraz-Minnick, MNA ’20

  • Kat completed the MNA (Part-Time) in Spring 2020.
  • Kat is employed at Stanford University and works in the Sexual Harassment Policy Office as the Training Compliance Assistant.
  • Previous work experience: Extensive nonprofit experience in higher education institutions and religious organizations. Kat is a San Francisco native who graduated from USF with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing, and founded and co-operated a livery service for 10 years in San Francisco.

Sam Nelsen, MNA ’20

  • Part-Time MNA student
  • Sam is a RN in the Medical ICU at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital and is the head freshman boys Rowing Coach at St. Ignatius College Prep.
  • Previous work experience: Sam attended Seattle University for undergrad, and, while there, discovered a passion for nonprofit work where he led the school’s student-managed competitive club rowing team, and upon graduation started a 501(c)(3) booster organization for the club. While working at the Veterans Affairs as an RN, he coached at a local Seattle rowing team before moving into intensive care.

Amelia Ashley, MNA ’20

  • Amelia was a full-time MNA student and will finish her degree in August 2020.
  • An LA native Amelia is coming to USF right after finishing her undergraduate at Occidental College.
  • Being interested in international development Amelia has volunteered and interned at organizations in that sector, most recently at Plant with Purpose.

Karen Campbell, MNA ’19

Karen served as the NSC President in 2019. She is an accomplished nonprofit professional with more than 15 years experience within the sector, Karen’s previous work at The San Francisco Foundation, Slide Ranch and National Dance Institute New Mexico demonstrates her passion and commitment to social justice, youth development, the environment, education and the arts.

Greg Justice, MNA ’19

President, 2018-2019

Greg Justice served as the President of the Nonprofit Student Council ’17-’18.  Justice double-majored at U.C. Davis in Public Service and Law & Society, minoring in Professional Writing, emphasis in legal and technical writing.  Justice has previously worked for Unitrans, Caltrans’ Division of Rail, Air Resources Board, Cal/EPA’s Scientific and Peer-Review Program, for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Dr. David Long, California Secretary of Education. Justice was also Founder & Editor of TransportiCA, Founder & Principal of Aggie Writing Services, as well as, founder and Chief Sustainability Officer (CEO/ED) of the nonprofit, “California Green Academy.”  His passion for sustainable and active transportation comes from, despite being an L.A. native, not having a driver’s license, nor planning to obtain one in the future.

Lense Eshete, MNA ’18

Leste Eshete served as the Vice President of Communications of the Nonprofit Student Council ’17-’18.  Eshete just recently moved to San Fransisco from Utah. She is interested in the nonprofit sector because she has seen the positive difference they make in our communities. She currently has a small nonprofit called Pangaea Foundation which promotes education in youth. She eventually wants to work for the United Nations and be a part of creating sustainable programs. In her free time she enjoys exploring the city and learning new skills.

Katrielle Veslenio, MNA ’18

Katrielle Veslenio served as the Part-Time Ambassador of the Nonprofit Student Council ’17-’18. Veslenio was part-time University of San Francisco Masters of Nonprofit Administration student. She received two bachelor degrees in Political Science and American Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2012. With experience in the pubic, private, and non-profit sector, Veslenio specializes in event ad program coordination. She currently works for the Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation in Oakland as the Events and Development Coordinator. She is currently a volunteer Gala Committee member for Girls on the Run Bay Area and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee for the Golden Gate chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. When she’s not working, volunteering, or reading for school, she can be found spending time with her family and friends, doing aerial yoga, or trying to cook Blue Apron meals.

Greg Finkelstein, MNA ’18

Greg Finkelstein served as the Director of Standards and Practices of the Nonprofit Student Council. Finkelstein graduated from UC Davis in 2013 with a degree in Animal Science, emphasizing in Animal Behavior and Welfare. He has a deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and his experiences as an eagle scout have helped shape who he is today. Finkelstein is excited to be in the MNA program and contribute to increasing animal welfare while promoting the human-animal bond.

BeatriceBeatrice Cardenas-Duncan, MNA ’19

President, 2018

Beatrice served as the President of the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017 and currently serves as the Immediate Past President, and Chair of Advisory and Alumni Council. Beatrice has served as Board Member of several Nonprofit Organizations in San Francisco. She is currently Shape Up San Francisco Coalition’s Ambassador & Development Chair. Beatrice is also Co-Chair of the San Francisco Volunteer Leadership  Council for the American Cancer Society. Beatrice is also Co-Chair, of the University of San Francisco Latino Alumni Society.


Priscilla Valencia, MNA ’17

Priscilla Valencia served as Co-Vice President of Programming for the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017. She is a full-time MNA student exploring the nonprofit sector in the Bay Area one assignment at a time. She has experience in program development, community organizing, and event planning. She’s passionate about food justice and accessibility. She hopes to use her degree to help organizations build capacity, avoid redundant efforts, and leverage the strengths of private partnerships to have a great impact in our communities.

Stephen Bandy, MNA ’17

Stephen Bandy served as the Vice President’s of Communications for the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017. He is a Bay Area native and a recent graduate of Saint Mary’s College of CA with a BA in Politics. During his time at Saint Mary’s Stephen worked in Oakland as a Corps Member for Jumpstart, a nonprofit focused on childhood education. It is at this time that Stephen was exposed to the inequality of early childhood education in his community. Upon graduation, Stephen began working at Move Loot, a tech startup in San Francisco, as a Customer Experience Manager. Stephen’s passion for travel lead him to Australia and New Zealand for six months where he volunteered on organic farms and practiced sustainability.

Holly Taylor, MNA ’17

Holly Taylor served as theTreasurer of the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017. She began her career as Assistant Behavior Intervention Specialist with the New York based nonprofit organization YAI/NIPD. Serving the residents of New York who had intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition to refining her entrepreneurial skills, she looks forward to networking with her cohort, working with them on creative ideas that would bring about meaningful solutions to the Nonprofit Field.

SergioSergio Cuellar, MNA ’17

Sergio Cuellar served as Co-Secretary for the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017.  Sergio has been in the nonprofit sector since 2003 and has a passion for working with Youth and Communities to tell their stories through research, Planning and Organizing.  Sergio has worked with Youth in Focus as a director of programs, Californians for Justice as the statewide campaign director and is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.

colletteColette Whitney, MNA ’17

Colette served as Co-Secretary for the Nonprofit Student Council from 2016-2017. Currently, Colette is the Development Officer for, a nonprofit in San Francisco that serves the Bay Area watershed and its wildlife. She is responsible for individual giving, major gifts and education grants for all six of’s divisions. Colette also serves on the Board of Directors for the Spinsters of San Francisco, a women’s philanthropic group as the Charity Director.

LorenaLorena Gomez-Barris. MNA ’16

NSC President, 2016

Lorena served as President of the Nonprofit Student Council in 2016. She is Senior Manager of Operations at Rise Up (Let Girls Lead and Champions for Change). She holds a degree in Business Administration and Environmental Studies from Sacramento State University. She has since lived in several countries including England, France and Chile and speaks English, French, and Spanish. Her passion for film has led to her sit on the board of several film organizations including Cine Accion and the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival.

Erica KalingkingErica Kalingking, MNA ’16

Erica served as Co-Vice President of Communications for the Nonprofit Student Council in 2016. She is currently the Director of Development at the Responsible Athletes Program, a nonprofit in the Central Valley that offers athletic programming to at-risk youth, ages k-8. She is also recognized as an Emerging Leader of Color within the nonprofit sector, serving on California School Age Consortium’s 2016-2017 Leadership Development Institute cohort.


Erin Rene’ served as Co-Vice President of Programming for the Nonprofit Student Council in 2016. She works at UC Berkeley with the responsibility of managing 250 donors that financially support a real estate economics center. Before her work with donors she managed conferences, meetings and events. She is passionate about education and serving the needs of children and youth. With her MNA she hopes to fill a leadership role in a nonprofit organization with a mission she believes wholeheartedly in.

IanIan Shore, MNA ’16

Ian served as Treasurer of the Nonprofit Student Council in 2016. In his second year in the MNA program, Ian embraces this responsibility as an opportunity to impact the program’s students, faculty, and staff in a positive way. As the program evolves and grows, so must the NSC. In this next year of growth, Ian is looking forward to connecting the existing cohort with the new part-time cohort and the new full-time cohort. Ian is currently transitioning into a new role as the Youth Director at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette!

TTracy-Harrisracy Harris, MNA ’16

Tracy served as Co-Vice President of Programming for the Nonprofit Student Council in 2016. She works for Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, supporting the Executive Director. In her role, she also assists with fundraising and donor stewardship, as well as working with the Board of Directors and supporting events throughout the year. She hopes to utilize the knowledge attained in the MNA program to refine her leadership and managerial skills and develop a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the nonprofit sector.

NSC Founding Board Members 

Virginia Turner

Virginia Turner, MNA ’16 – Virginia provided leadership and vision through her dedicated service as the NSC Founding President (2015-2016). She is a Nonprofit Accountant professional  currently providing administration and accountability services at The Presentation School in Sonoma. Prior to this she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

ThomaThomas Natales Natale, MNA ’16 – Thomas served as Vice President of Programming during the NSC’s funding years (2015-2016). He is the Executive Director of Autism Heart Foundation and Executive Producer of Joyful Life Productions. Thomas has over 20 years of executive leadership in the private and nonprofit sectors as an entrepreneur and in key administrative positions.

Molly BrennanMolly Brennan, MNA ’15 – Molly served as Vice President of Communication during the NSC’s funding year (2015). She worked as Teaching Assistant in the MNA Program and development key experiential learning components like the Practicum and coordinated few Capstone projects with nonprofit organizations. She worked as Director of Operations for Do Good Lab.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAXbAAAAJGNkMGQxNjM3LTI5ZWUtNDRkOS1hZThkLWI4NDEwMjMzODZhYQJoan Bayston, MBA, MNA ’16 – Joan served as a Treasurer during the NSC’s founding years (2015-2016). She is the Vice Director of the Community Child Care Council of Alameda County. She serves as president of Madad orphanage/hostel in Podilli, Andhra Pradesh, India. She is an active member of United Way Bay Area women’s leadership council and served as financial coach and workforce development with United Way’s SparkPoint. Her corporate career included litigation consulting, investment banking, and financial reporting with JPMorgan  and Chevron.  She has a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia, a Master in Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Business, and a Master in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAT1AAAAJGQ1MmIyN2FhLWYwMjctNDQ3Ny1hNzhlLTNkMGM4NzIzMWRlYgLauren Pinsker, MNA ’16 – Lauren served as Secretary of the NSC in 2015. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with Majors in History and Literature and two years as the only female Coxswain on the prestigious UPenn Men’s Crew team. After college and during two years of law school, she worked for the US Congress, Fabiani & Co.—one of DC’s top lobbying firms—and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Lauren had the opportunity to serve as Personal Assistant to Marjorie Margolies, former Congresswoman and Founder/ President of Women’s Campaign International (WCI), where among other serious duties she TAed Ms. Margolis’ graduate classes at UPenn’s FELS School of Government.

– Educating Social Sector Leaders Since 1983 –

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