Jennifer Knapp Beudert
As Manager of the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC), Jennifer Knapp Beudert has responsibility for directing the operations of the RCLC in accordance with its goals of “hospitality, education, partnership, civic engagement, and sustainability.” This includes oversight of program development, supervision of staff and volunteers, general administration, facilities management, and fundraising. Jen is also responsible for managing the RCLC’s community and University educational partnerships, and coordinating the RCLC AmeriCorps program.
Jen arrived at the University after 13 years in Oregon, where she served as a faculty member at Linn-Benton Community College. In this position, Jen was Director of the Periwinkle Child Development Center, the lab school for the Education, Child and Family Studies Department, as well as co-director of the Early Education Partnership, a professional development program for early childhood educators funded by a Federal Early Childhood Education Professional Development grant with the goal of improving educational outcomes for at-risk children.
A native New Yorker, Jen holds two master’s degrees from Bank Street College of Education in NYC, one in early childhood/elementary education and one in educational leadership. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from Swarthmore College (PA).
Andy provides administrative and organizational support for the Center and its staff. He is charged with managing the RCLC website and program data. He also enjoys serving as the AmeriDad for the Center's thriving AmeriCorps program.
Andy is also responsible for scheduling the use of various rooms in the facility to outside organizations, as well as insuring the Center’s trademark spirit of hospitality is upheld.
Andy started his 16th year at the RCLC. He is a lifelong resident of the area, graduating from Notre Dame more years ago than he cares to remember, and his favorite pastimes are the Chicago Cubs, ND athletics, and giving grief to Ms. Marguerite.
Entrepreneurship & Advanced Skills Program Director
Michael provides vision, instruction, and opportunities to the Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Michael is responsible for overseeing programming for high school and middle school students to expand academic capacity and personal development. The concentrated focus of his program is entrepreneurship and creative problem solving. Through practical, hands-on experiences, the staff and mentors give the students a wide variety of marketable skills, including problem solving, public speaking, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Michael is homegrown, born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. Michael’s life goal is to make a lasting and positive contribution to this world by always listening first, and just smiling. Michael believes that joy is the fuel within the heart that sets fire to passion and dreams.
Take Ten Program Director
Youth Development Program Director
A native of Northwest, Indiana, Ty was determined to build a quality life for her family and community. Acknowledging her gift in working with youth, she fully embraced the value that came in educating children. For more than 15 years Ty has invested in the lives of youth, driven by the simple philosophy that we all have the potential to be and do whatever we make up in our minds.
Ty attended Purdue University Northwest where she received her Bachelors degree in primary education and Masters in educational leadership & administration from Ball State University.
Her belief in the value of early exposure of youth to new experiences and rich opportunities goes beyond her own children. As Youth Development Program Director, Ty maintains high standards when designing programs that guide and support the development of literacy, and writing skills, as well as curriculum that enhances students’ global competencies, and allow them to prepare for a postsecondary education.
Shakespeare Outreach Director
Christy Burgess attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and received her M.A. in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick. Before moving to South Bend, Christy worked at the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre as their Education Manager and had the pleasure of traveling to parts of rural Alaska where she led Shakespeare workshops with youths and Alaska Native Elders. In 2011, Christy was fortunate to be a North American Teaching Consultant for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
As the Shakespeare Outreach Director, Christy leads the Robinson Shakespeare Company through three performances a year and participation in Shakespeare at Notre Dame's English Speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue Competition. Through the Robinson Shakespeare Outreach, Christy and her AmeriCorps team teach over 20 classes weekly in South Bend schools through in-class drama integration workshops and after-school programs.
Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega
Literacy Programs Director
Jennifer studied humanities, math, and science at Northwestern University, and received her Master of Education from the Erikson Institute in Chicago. She currently runs the Literacy Programs, including the English as a New Language Preschool, LitCorps tutoring, and the After School Programs at the Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation.
Talk With Your Baby Coordinator
Valerie is the coordinator for the Talk With Your Baby program, and her passion is in education, community work, and helping families. She has vast experience working with community youth, parents, and families. For the past decade, Valerie has worked in the community of South Bend. She is a native of northeast Ohio, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Science from the University of Akron. Valerie is very excited to be working with Talk With Your Baby and meeting all of the wonderful families! She is a Mom and understands the importance of parenting and how children enrich our lives! Parents are the first teachers and she truly looks forward to sharing this journey with us!
Lu Ella Webster
Adult Programs Coordinator
LuElla is responsible for adult programming at the Center after serving as a three year member of the AmeriCorps program.
LuElla is a lifelong resident of the Northeast Neighborhood who and she serves on Northeast Neighborhood Council, Inc., Campus Community Advisory Coalition, the Kelly Park Renovation Project, and the Northeast Neighborhood Crime Committee.
Volunteer/Community Based Learning Coordinator
Emily is responsible for recruiting and coordinating student volunteers at the RCLC, where she also oversees the afterschool tutoring program.
Marguerite represents the RCLC on a number of community boards and organizations, making sure the best interests of the Center, as well as the entire Northeast Neighborhood are considered. Marguerite serves on the Northeast Neighborhood Council, the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization, the South Bend Heritage Foundation, and the United Religious Communities, to name a few.