Our Team

Student Leadership

Silver Wolf // Board Chair

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Silver is the State Board Chair of MASSPIRG Students. She is a Senior at University of Massachusetts Boston majoring in Biology and minoring in the History of Medicine in Society. Her first semester with MASSPIRG was spent working to register students for the 2018 Midterm Election. Since then she has worked on a wide range of campaigns, becoming the Chapter Chair at UMass Boston and focusing on getting out the student vote and making sure student voices are heard! After college, Silver hopes to continue to have a positive impact on others by working in museums and making knowledge more accessible to her community. When not organizing on campus, she lives in Middletown, NJ where she spends time with her dogs, Tiki and Stella, goes on hikes, and reads on the beach.

McKenzie Saunders // Statewide Treasurer

MassBay Community College

McKenzie is the Statewide Treasurer for MASSPIRG Students as well as the Chapter Chair for her campus. She is a sophomore at MassBay Community College studying Political Science. She first got started with MASSPIRG in the Fall of 2019 as someone who had always wanted to get involved in advocacy but didn’t know where to start! That semester she became the Chapter Chair for her campus. Since then, she has taken on leadership in a few different campaigns such as the New Voters Project and the 100% Renewable Energy campaigns. When not working with MASSPIRG, McKenzie enjoys making art, playing guitar and video games, but most of all enjoys spending time with family and friends. Post-graduation, she hopes to continue work in politics and advocacy to continue helping people to make their voices heard and making the world a better place. 

Emily Vitale // Board Member at Large

Fitchburg State University

Emily is the statewide board member at large as well as the chapter chair for Fitchburg State University. She is a junior Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. She started with MASSPIRG in the fall of 2019. She joined the Hunger and Homelessness campaign and has taken on leadership in other campaigns such as affordable textbooks and 100% renewable energy. Emily ran the first fully virtual reaffirmation vote on her campus and won. When she is not spending time working on campaigns you can find Emily on the soccer field for the Fitchburg state women’s soccer team or playing video games. 

Salena Mam // MCC Chapter Chair

 Middlesex Community College

Salena Mam is a sophomore majoring in nursing. She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. During Salena’s college experience, a major take away she’s learned is that taking every opportunity available to her is the best thing possible to enrich her academic and professional career. Currently, she is an intern with MASSPIRG at MCC. Salena has learned about crucial issues and that her involvement has helped her reach out to students in ways that she never considered in the past. She understands that everyone is busy, especially with classes and work, but encourages every student to get involved.

Our Staff

Samantha Gibb  //   Organizing Director

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Sam oversees student leaders on college campuses across New England and directs campus organizing efforts on a variety of public interest issues. In previous roles with CALPIRG Students, she worked with USC and UCLA students to run a grassroots petition drive and city council lobbying campaign to pass a plastic bag ban in Los Angeles, effectively eliminating 3 billion bags from circulation. Over the past nine summers, the canvass offices she has overseen have raised $3 million for nonprofit advocacy groups. Sam lives in Boston where she enjoys biking, swimming and visiting beautiful places around Massachusetts.

Julia McLaughlin  //   Assistant Organizing Director

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Julia McLaughlin is the Assistant Organizing Director for MASSPIRG Students. Julia got her start as a student organizer with her own MASSPIRG Chapter while she was an undergrad at UMass Amherst where she studied English and French. She spent her first two years on full time staff as a campus organizer at UC Riverside and UCLA with CALPIRG Students, working to help successfully pass SB100, a state bill committing California to 100% clean electricity by 2045. In the summer, Julia enjoys spending her weekends at the beach, laying out in the sun and swimming in the ocean.

Andy MacDonald  //  Executive Director

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Andy manages the staff who work on 37 campuses in eight states, as well as training, staff development, volunteer programs, campaign strategy and canvassing for the Student PIRGs. Andy has maintained a funding base for the student chapters, built a pipeline for students and staff to become lifelong activists, and been a part of a variety of social change campaigns. He has held numerous positions within the network, including regional director and assistant national summer canvass director for Fund for the Public Interest. Andy lives in Amherst, Mass., with his family, and enjoys all outdoor sports, especially running.

Dan Xie  //  Political Director

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Dan directs the national political strategy and grant fundraising for the Student PIRGs. Dan has managed successful campaigns from coast to coast to cap global warming pollution, fight the high cost of higher education, and make voting more accessible for students. She has recruited and trained hundreds of students and staff on public interest campaigns. Dan lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she is an avid cyclist and climber.

Leigh-Anne Cole  //  Deputy Director

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Leigh-Anne is Deputy Director of the Student PIRGs. She coordinated the Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project from 2008 to 2012, which registered more than 300,000 people to vote and made more than 1 million “get-out-the-vote” contacts. As Director of Recruitment for The Public Interest Network, she recruited thousands of candidates to apply to join our network, hundreds of whom have found jobs or careers here, while others have gone on to pursue other public interest positions. Leigh-Anne lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she loves to go hiking with her dog, Aspen, and her daughter, Rosie.

Marissa Zampino // Campus Organizer

Marissa is a Campus Organizer for MASSPIRG Students. She graduated from Emory University in 2019 with a degree in History. Prior to joining staff in August 2020, Marissa completed an AmeriCorps VISTA service year at Morehouse College. Marissa first worked on the New Voters Project. She is excited to work on getting Massachusetts to pass the 100% Renewable Energy Bill.

Molly Callahan // Campus Organizer

Molly is the MASSPIRG Campus Organizer at UMass Lowell. She graduated summa cum laude from Muhlenberg College in 2019, where she studied vocal and trumpet performance, theatre, and sustainability studies. Before coming onto staff at the beginning of 2020, Molly worked as a farmer at a local, organic vegetable farm in her hometown, and on a sheep farm in Iceland. Since joining MASSPIRG, she has focused on increasing youth voter turnout and advocating for renewable energy in Massachusetts. When she’s not working with college students, Molly loves spending time with her family (especially her dog, Rascal!), cooking delicious food, doing puzzles, and getting outside any chance she gets!

Luke Otwell // Campus Organizer

Luke is the MASSPIRG Campus Organizer at Fitchburg State and Brandeis University. She graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 2020 where he studied musical theatre, political science, and human rights. Since joining in October of 2020, Luke helped get young voters to turnout to vote in the New Voters Project and is looking forward to working on the 100% Renewable Energy campaign this spring!

Brian Andersen // Campus Organizer

Brian is a campus organizer with MASSPIRG Students, working in the Berkshires at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Community College. Brian graduated from George Washington University in 2019 with a degree in international affairs, and a minor in geography. He first worked on the new voters project, and is excited to work on passage of the 100% Renewable Energy Act and on renewable energy projects and other campaigns in the Berkshires. On the weekends, you can probably find Brian on a run or a hike.

Erin Clark // Campus Organizer

Erin is the MASSPIRG Field Organizer working at Amherst, Williams, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Tufts, and Boston College this spring. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in 2020, where she studied geography.  This past fall, Erin worked on the New Voters Project with Florida PIRG Students and is excited to work  on the 100% Renewable Energy campaign and more in MA this spring. When she’s not working with college students, Erin loves spending time by the water, sharing poetry with friends, and hanging out with her cat Gylfie.

Alex Benthien // Campus Organizer

Alex is a campus organizer for MASSPIRG Students, working at Middlesex CC in Lowell, MA, and Boston University. Alex graduated from Boston College in 2020 with a B.A. in English. Alex has worked two summers as a Canvass Field Manager with Environment MA in the Boston office; he campaigned to ban polystyrene foam, and neonicotinoid pesticides, statewide in MA. In 2020, Alex helped run successful New Voters Projects on his respective campuses, helping to increase the youth vote in MA. He is excited for future campaigns working to combat climate change! Alex likes to write, jog, travel, and cook… sometimes all at once. 

Julia Geskey // Campus Organizer

Julia is the MASSPIRG Campus Organizer at UMass Dartmouth. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mary Washington in 2020, where she studied Political Science and Business Administration. Before joining the MASSPIRG team, Julia worked on increasing youth voter turnout with the New Voters Project in Georgia. Now she is focused on helping move Massachusetts to a more sustainable, renewable future! When she is not working on our campaigns, Julia likes to go for a swim or a nice long run.