New Faces at JF&CS! Meet some new staff, interns and Americorps members who have joined JFCS since the summer of 2018.
Rebecca Remson is the Director of Development & Communications. She oversees the marketing, public relations and development associates that handle fundraising, digital marketing, media relations, social media, website design and maintenance and more. She is responsible for JFCS’s public presence, visibility, and regular fundraising efforts.
Raised in Pittsburgh, Rebecca graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in urban studies in 2010. Shortly thereafter she moved to Israel, where she lived until early this year.
Rebecca has extensive experience in marketing and communications, including management positions at Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) and One Family Fund, both international nonprofits, focusing on services to people with disabilities and victims of violence respectively. She has been responsible for global communications development and fundraising duties ranging from regular appeals to major donor management.
Rebecca married Leland Remson in May; the couple lives in Squirrel Hill.
Dave Offord is the Marketing Specialist with JFCS. In his current role, he is responsible for digital marketing, launching the Google Ad platform within the agency and supporting every service with marketing initiatives.
Prior to joining the staff of JFCS, Dave comes from a marketing firm that specialized in the oil industry.
Dave has 4 separate certifications from Google and a degree in Commercial Art from the Oakbridge Academy.
Oydinoy Nazarova is a Service Coordinator for the ISAC (Immigrant Services and Connections) program. She connects clients and their families to needed services such as housing, medical appointments, benefits, school enrollments and child care, and helps resolve other challenges faced by individual immigrants and immigrant communities in the Pittsburgh area.
Prior to joining JFCS, Oydinoy was an Uzbek interpreter in the ISAC program. assisting with interpretation for ISAC Service Coordinator meetings, Employment Services meetings, Home visit meetings, and more. Oydinoy served as a point of contact between the Uzbek Community and the City of Pittsburgh School District, and also has supported the Greentree office as an interpreter since last year.
Oydinoy graduated from Duquesne University in 2016 with a Master of Education, ESL specialist and received TESOL Certificate too. Oydinoy received her Bachelor’s Degree in ESL in Uzbekistan. Oydinoy likes music in her free time, but is also busy with her two lovely children.
Emily Pence is a service coordinator for ISAC (Immigrant Services and Connections) in the refugee department. She connects individuals facing language or cultural barriers to needed services, such as housing, public benefits, medical services, education, or childcare.
Prior to joining JFCS as a staff member, Emily was an MSW intern in the refugee department. She assisted the Preferred Communities program, which serves refugees with high service needs, such as elderly individuals, single parents, LGBTQ+ individuals and those with serious health conditions. Other places where Emily has worked or interned include the Borough of Wilkinsburg; Family Services of Western Pennsylvania (now Wesley Family Services); Asian Services in Action, Inc. (in Cleveland, OH); and AJAPO. Prior to graduate school, Emily was an AmeriCorps member in Pittsburgh for two years.
Emily graduated from the University of Pittsburgh last April with a Master of Social Work and a Master of International Development. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Ohio University. In her spare time, Emily enjoys cooking vegetarian food and watching scary movies.
Abby Jo Krobot is a Refugee Case Aide at JFCS Refugee and Immigrant Services. Previously, Abby Jo served two years in AmeriCorps as a Refugee AmeriCorps at JFS of Western Massachusetts, and JFS of Washtenaw County. Prior to working in refugee resettlement, Abby Jo was an ESOL Teacher and Site Supervisor for adult immigrants and refugees at The Gray House.
Abby Jo graduated from Bay Path University with a degree in Liberal Studies, having created her own major—Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis on Human Awareness. She chose to study different aspects of society through courses across a wide variety of disciplines in order to serve in a diverse, humanitarian aid setting. Abby Jo is passionate about diversity and celebrating people’s differences. Abby Jo has also recently adopted her first puppy and would be glad to show puppy photos to anyone who needs a smile!
Hunter Milroy is a Food Pantry Resource Specialist and Critical Needs Caseworker at the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. He helps support clients through casework and resource coordination. He works with clients to solve emergencies and to find solutions that lead to stronger self-sufficiency. He also assists with operational needs in the food pantry.
Prior to joining JFCS, Hunter worked in emotional support in an elementary school and as a caseworker for Allegheny County Children, Youth, and Families.
Hunter holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Chatham University and a master’s degree in social service from Bryn Mawr College.
Pam Day is a Career Consultant with JFCS Career Development Center where she provides career counselling and job search skills training to individuals who are seeking employment or looking to make a career change.
Pam served as both the Assistant Dean for Career Services and the Director of Career Services and Public Interest Opportunities at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she helped students and alumni explore opportunities in the private, public and non-profit sectors and craft individualized strategies for professional success. She also presented job searching and networking programs and worked to develop relationships with local, regional and national employers. Prior to joining our staff, Pam served as a volunteer with the JFCS Career Development Center for many years. She has a deep understanding of the challenges jobseekers face and is dedicated to helping clients build the skills and connections they need to achieve their career goals.
In addition to her career development experience, Pam is a licensed attorney who has held a variety of positions with both law firms and higher education institutions. She most recently worked as a Senior Content Writer for PaperStreet Web Design, Inc., a law firm web design, SEO, and internet marketing company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Pam earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and her J.D. and Ed.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She also served as the coordinator and a facilitator with Pitt’s Emerging Leaders Program – a leadership development program for undergraduate students.
Pralad Mishra is an ISAC (Immigrant Services and Connections) service coordinator. Pralad is responsible for screening clients to determine and assess gaps in service, English proficiency level, medical needs, social service and other needs, provide referrals, develop service coordination plans and track progress on a regular basis. Being bilingual in Nepali and English, Pralad also helps with phone calls,interpretation and translation.
Prior to joining JFCS, Pralad worked at Norther Area Multi-Service Center as a language interpreter, refugee case-aide, bilingual Navigator and later as an ISAC Services Coordinator.He has been with the ISAC program from its beginning.
Pralad is one of the founding members of Global Hindu Organization (GBHO) and Omkar Pariwar of Pittsburgh.He is actively working towards betterment of Bhutanese American community in the US.
Pralad has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from University of North Bengal, India.
Allie Reefer is a Service Coordinator for ISAC (Immigrant Services and Connections) with JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services. She is responsible for helping immigrants and refugees connect to services, advocating on their behalf to access services, and connecting with community providers and organizations to better serve immigrants in our city.
Prior to joining JFCS, Allie worked as an ISAC Service Coordinator at Northern Area Multi-Service Center (NAMS). She also worked for Living in Liberty, a local shelter for victims of human trafficking, and interned with the International Organization for Migration in Serbia, USAID Central Asia (remotely), and the US Dept. of State Trafficking in Persons Office.
Allie holds a Master’s of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School for Public & International Affairs and a BA in Informational Writing from Geneva College, as well as a Certificate in Russian & Eastern European Studies from Pitt. In her free time she writes freelance lifestyle blogs and human rights articles, volunteers with the GPAC Artsburgh marketing team, and sings and plays bass guitar.
Dawn Nash is a Receptionist / Administrative Assistant with JFCS. In Dawn’s current role she is the first point of contact for all visitors to JFCS.
Prior to joining JFCS Dawn spent several years as a Data Conversion Operator and PSE Clerk for the United States Postal Service.
In her spare time Dawn enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking and reading.
Sarah Krause is a social work intern with the Immigration Legal Department. She is responsible for assisting the attorneys with immigration cases and connecting clients to resources.
Sarah is the Education Chair for Pitt’s chapter of FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), raising awareness among Pitt students about global and local refugee issues. Previously, Sarah served as the coordinator for FORGE’s College Prep Program, connecting college mentors to high school immigrants and refugees. She is also a Nordenberg Scholar and a transcriber for the University Center of Social and Urban Research.
Prior to joining JFCS, Sarah was a social work intern at Neighborhood Legal Services. While studying abroad in New Zealand, she interned at Creative Spaces, an art space for low-income members of the local community with mental health diagnoses.
Sarah is completing her Bachelors of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in Studio Arts on the pre-law track.
Natalia Valdes is an ISAC intern. She is responsible for completing intakes, calling clients to assist in connecting them with services, and providing interpretation for Spanish-speaking clients.
Prior to joining JFCS, Natalia worked at Pittsburgh’s Wildlife Center as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern. She has also volunteered with Church World Service, Casa San Jose, and was part of the founding Define American chapter at her school.
Natalia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and French from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Beth Sheridan is an MSW intern with the refugee resettlement department. She is responsible for assisting in refugee resettlement efforts. She will be helping with tasks such as scheduling, attending, and case noting appointments and more.
Prior to JFCS, Beth interned with the refugee resettlement department at Catholic Charities and was an ESL volunteer with JFCS her sophomore year in college. Beth has also worked as an employment specialist for Chrysalis in downtown Los Angeles and as the House Operations and Donations Coordinator at a maternity home, Maggie’s Place, in Mesa, Arizona.
Beth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Duquesne University and will graduate in April 2019 with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.
Marcia Hoinville is a Compass AmeriCorps in the Career Development Center at JFCS. She is responsible for assisting unemployed or underemployed refugee and immigrant clients in their job search, as well as helping organize and teach the Refugee Youth Employment Program (RYEP) which leads refugee students in Baldwin and Brashear High Schools to make more highly informed choices with regard to higher education opportunities and their future careers.
Prior to serving at JFCS, Marcia worked as both a Volunteer Supervisor at Global Links, a global health non-profit, and an ESL tutor at Literacy Pittsburgh, assigned to teach adult students in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh.
Marcia has a BA in Political Science from West Virginia University, an MA in Government from The College of William and Mary, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Georgia. An avid international adventure traveler and social entrepreneur, Marcia has two wonderful college-aged daughters and lives with her husband Dave and two sheepadoodles in Mt. Lebanon.
Rachel Bridges is the Assistant Intake Coordinator with JFCS Immigration Legal Services. In her current role, she is responsible for assisting clients in obtaining consultation with lawyers and coordinating scheduling, appointments, and interpreters so that clients can receive the help they need for immigration issues.
Rachel currently is serving JFCS as a member of Compass Americorps. Prior to her service, Rachel spent a year abroad in Scotland, obtaining her Masters in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. Rachel is also a proud Banana Slug, with a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Eileen Chung is a MSW Intern with JFCS’s Preferred Communities Program. She is responsible for assisting case management of newly arrived refugees in their acclimation to living in the United States, referring clients to resources, and monitoring their progress.
Prior to working at JFCS, Eileen received her Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduating in June 2018, she moved to Pittsburgh to become a candidate for a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Her specialization is in direct practice with individuals, families, and groups. She hopes to relocate to her hometown of San Francisco, California upon completion of her program to pursue her clinical licensure in the mental health field.
Paula Marie Cuellar is an AmeriCorps member working with the Immigration Legal Services department. In her current role, she is responsible for assisting clients and coordinating appointments so that they can get the consultation and help needed.
Prior to joining the staff of JFCS, Paula was traveling outside of the country to areas such as Brazil and India for volunteer and shadowing hours for medical school.
Paula attended school in Texas at Texas Tech University and studied Biochemistry.
Kira Panzer is a member of Compass AmeriCorps and joins JFCS as a Medical and Public Benefits Caseworker within the Resettlement Department. In her current role, she is responsible for helping orient clients to their new lives in Pittsburgh and assisting them as they navigate the U.S. health care system.
Prior to joining the JFCS staff, Kira volunteered with Church World Service’s refugee resettlement program in Durham, North Carolina and taught a beginner level ESL course at the Durham Literacy Center.
Kira holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from Duke University. She is excited to be a part of the JFCS family!