Meet the Staff
Before coming "up North" to open the SSSR office, "Dean Vereene" split her career between political activism, social service, higher education and spiritual community-building. She taught in colleges and seminaries, worked on Capital Hill for the Quaker lobby, trained police officers in domestic violence intervention and cooked (over a wood stove) for the crew of the environmental flagship Clearwater for 13 1/2 years. Dean V thrives on creating coalitions of partners who would, frankly, prefer to inhabit separate planets. As she often tells anyone who will listen, "You almost never learn anything by talking to people who agree with you. Go take a conservative (or liberal) to lunch!" If you can't find her in the Chapel Basement, look for her outside–being walked by her dog, Obie.
Cassie Peltola '14
Education Partnership Specialist
Cassie Peltola majored in Psychology and English with a minor in General Education during her time as a student here at Wheaton. She began working in the Office of SSSR soon after her graduation in May of 2014. Cassie is responsible for the coordination of all service involving education. She works closely with our community partners, the Norton Public Schools and the Head Start, in order to provide enriching and invaluable opportunities for Wheaton students to volunteer or work as tutors and mentors. She also works with faculty members in order to coordinate experiential learning opportunities for practicum, internship, and education courses at Wheaton. Having been a first-generation college student herself who was in awe of the incredible wealth of resources that Wheaton had to offer her, Cassie deeply enjoys drawing on Wheaton's many assets to share with members of the Norton community.
Patti Sheinman is the Associate Director of Hillel Council of New England, and consults and works directly with students and staff from campuses across New England. She has worked within the Jewish Community for thirty years. In addition, she has developed campus-wide multi-faith service opportunities visiting and working with other constituent organizations throughout New England and abroad. In 2010, the President of Wellesley College recognized her with a Work and Service award for volunteerism. Patti is working directly with the International Hillel Center and Repair the World Foundation in mentoring Jewish professionals who are interested in developing alternative service trips. As a licensed certified social worker Patti brings her experience working with agencies that provide assistance
to underserved populations.
Obie Wan Kenobi
Spiritual Guide Dog, Ex Officio
Major: Discarded Food
One word that describes you. I'm torn between wise and humble.
What does the Chapel Basement (SSSR) mean to you? A place where my fan club hangs out.
Where would you like to be in 5 years? Starring in my own T.V. show about a college professor who is a real dog (The Shaggy PhD) and whose office mate is an spunky orange cat.
What project or program are you most proud of? Our spiritual guide dog program (by appointment only).