Loyola University Maryland

York Road Initiative


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Task Force

The York Road Initiative is advised by a task force of approximately 20 members from across the University. This includes students, faculty, staff members, and administrators such as the vice president for administration, vice president for finance, the deans of the Sellinger School of Business and Management and the School of Education, special assistant to the president for mission integration, and directors of the Loyola Clinical Centers and Center for Community Service and Justice.


Director for the York Road Initiative:  Erin O'Keefe

Erin O'Keefe provides leadership on the creation and implementation of a plan for Loyola's York Road Initiative. She works with a 20-plus-member University task force as well as with York Road community members, neighborhood associations, businesses, schools, and other organizations to coordinate resources and activities that strengthen the York Road area. O'Keefe holds an undergraduate degree from Loyola College and a masters degree in public policy from UMBC. She lives in Baltimore City and sits on the boards of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Greater Homewood Community Corporation, and Rebuilding Together Baltimore.

Program Coordinator for the York Road Initiative: Marie Anderson

Marie identifies, coordinates, evaluates, and implements a variety of projects and efforts that support the York Road community, including strengthening existing York Road businesses and organizations, attracting new and strengthening existing businesses, and promoting the area as a whole. Marie develops a sustainable model for the Govanstowne Farmers’ Market and establishes long-term links between Loyola resources and the community. Originally from Baltimore, Marie is a 2011 graduate of Loyola University, where she studied abroad in Ghana and volunteered regularly with the community.  She returned to Loyola as a VISTA for the York Road Initiative from 2012-2013 and is now a full time staff member of the Initiative. 

AmeriCorps Members


2014-2015 MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA for the Dewees Recreation Center: Jordan Dorsey

Jordan is an MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA working out of the York Road Initiative office.  She is currently working to develop a free after-school program at Dewees Recreation Center.  She is working alongside MidGovans community members, Loyola University of Maryland, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Govans Branch Library, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore City Recreation & Parks, and others to develop a program that combines local resources to bring the best opportunities to local youth.  The program currently focuses on homework help, sports, leadership, the arts, and personal & professional development to provide the youth with a well-rounded experience.  Jordan hopes to create a sustainable structure for the after-school program that will last long after her term as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

2013-2014 AmeriCorps VISTA for the York Road Partnership: Miriam Cummons

Miriam is a graduate of Goucher College, with a B.A. in Sociology and social justice.Since November 2013 Miriam has been serving with the York Road Partnership through AmeriCorps VISTA focusing on public safety and crime prevention. While serving with the YRP Miriam has helped established monthly clean up walks of the York Road corridor with GEDCO (Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation), and will be using the remainder of the term helping the YRP leadership establish programming focused on public safety.


2013-2014 AmeriCorps*VISTA for the Dewees Recreation Center: William Baptist Jr.

A Govans native and Loyola Blakefield graduate, Will attended the University of Delaware where he received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and subsequently spent four years living and teaching elementary and junior high school English for the Tatebayashi and Yokohama Boards of Education in Japan.  Will will be working with Mid-Govans community members and Baltimore City Department of Recreation to develop a recreation council to sustain Dewees operations and programming. 

2012-2013 AmeriCorps*VISTA for the York Road Partnership: Nicholas Jacobsen

Raised in Frederick, Maryland, Nick attended Wheaton College in MA, majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. His hobbies include reading, writing, and solving theorems. We’re excited to work with Nick, who hopes to “learn from and serve with our community, and help change Baltimore for the better.”  As the final VISTA as part of a three year grant, he aims to improve the sustainability and communication for the York Road Partnership, which is the umbrella organization for all neighborhood associations along the corridor.

2011-2012 AmeriCorps*VISTA for the York Road Partnership: Benjamin Wallen

Ben helped to coordinate and strengthen efforts of the York Road Partnership during his year with the York Road Partnership.  He was a 2011 graduate of Goucher College in Towson, Maryland where he studied Historic Preservation.  Born in Philidelphia and raised near Boston, Massachussets, he is now residing in New York City where he plans to continue his work in developing communities by earning a degree in Urban Planning.  

2010-2012 AmeriCorps*VISTA for the York Road Initiative:  Jonathan Hourcade 

Jonathan Hourcade coordinated and implemented projects  between York Road businesses, community members, and the Loyola community to strengthen and support commercial and community revitalization. In particular, Hourcade designed and oversaw two successful season of the Govanstowne Farmers' Market. A 2010 graduate of Indiana University, Hourcade moved to Baltimore in August 2010 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and now continues his community development efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana.

2010-2011 AmeriCorps*VISTA for the York Road Partnership: Maggie Porter

Maggie was the first VISTA to help support the efforts of community and neighborhood revitalization along the York Road corridor.  She was raised in Baltimore and attended Colgate University in NY.  Because of her knowledge and success along the corridor, she now works as Legislative Assistant to the 4th District Councilman, Bill Henry Jr.



Margaret Wroblewski


Summer 2014 Community Health Organizers with the Govanstowne Farmers' Market: Becky Rawle, Janiya Richardson, & Jassmin Young

Summer 2013 Information Management Coordinator for the Govanstowne Farmers' Market: Francis Padre

Hailing from New Jersey, Francis is a Finance major in the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University.  He collected data on payment methods and reported out to partner organizations each week.  He was responsible for the finances and data keeping of the farmers' market.

Summer 2013 Communications and Data Analysis Coordinator for the Govanstowne Farmers' Marker: Pat Moran

Pat was born and raised in Towson, Maryland and graduated from Loyola in 2013 with a major in Psychology.  Pat is responsible for collecting and creating information for the weekly newsletter and distributing advertising materials to help promote the vendors and services occurring each week.  He collects data on the correlation between benefits use and the time to help promote marketing efforts for the future seasons of the farmers' market.  He also completed a dot survey to help figure out the main customer base of the market to help with advertising and promotion efforts. 

Summer 2013 Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Govanstowne Farmers' Market: Meghan McHale

From Syracuse, New York, Meghan graduated from Loyola in 2013 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry.  During her years at Loyola she became interested in nutrition science.  As the Coordinator of Education and Outreach, Meghan completed training to become a Market to Mealtime representative.  Market to Mealtime is a program out of University of Maryland the aims to improve knowledge of nutrition for communities.  She also was the market's main photographer, helped to maintain the social media accounts for the farmers' market, and contributed to the weekly newsletters.  She is now serving as  Jesuit Volunteer Corps member in Houston, TX with a clinic that serves AIDS patients.

Summer 2012 Intern for the York Road Initiative:  Sarah Gervasi

Sarah Gervasi studied Communications and Marketing. She worked closely with Erin O’Keefe, Jon Hourcade, and the York Road Partnership. Her main projects for the summer included organizing Season Two of the Govanstowne Farmers’ Market, revamping the York Road Partnership’s and York Road Initiative’s websites, and updating social media.

York Road Student's Association (YRSA) & Student Volunteers


President: Diana Dautzenberg

2015 Board of Directors: Julia Ainsworth, Lauren Heery, Michael Kamradt, Carly Onorato, Gabby Smith


2013-2014 Board of Directors: Diana Dautzenberg, Lauren Heery, Michael Kamradt, Gabby Smith

Founder and President of the York Road Student's Association: Katherine Clair

Katherine Clair (Bristol,RI) graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science.  She helped to establish YRSA and coordinate events for students to become more knowledgeable about the York Road corridor and interact with local community members.  She is now a Teach For America 2013 Corps Member and serving as a teacher at Brilla College Prep located in the Bronx, NY. 

Anthony Medina, '13

Anthony is responsible for the design of the beautiful and colorful York Road Initiative logo and banner art reflecting the community.  He was heavily involved with the York Road Student's Association and participated in many volunteer events hosted by the Initiative.  He is now serving as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps member at an Ace Leadership High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2012-2013 York Road Youth Service Coordinator: Elissa D' Abusco

Elissa is a 2013 graduate of Loyola with a degree in Communications.  Elissa worked with the Acts 4 Youth after school program at Guilford Elementary to provide student volunteers for homework help and mentoring.  She also completed and installed a mural in vacant windows of a Verizon office building on the York Road Corridor.  She is now working at Verizon through connections she made while installing the mural.  

2013-2014 York Road Youth Service Coordinator: Theda Tann