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Feel free to reach out to any staff member with questions. 

Patricia Preston headshot
Patricia Preston, Executive Director
802.861.2343 X4


A Vermont native, Patricia is a graduate of UVM with a degree in Secondary Education and holds a Master’s degree in International Education from NYU. She studied abroad in England and has traveled extensively around the world, including work as a teacher and curriculum developer in Tanzania. Patricia worked for both the United Nations on women’s issues and the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Food Security. She is also President and Founder of a non-profit that provides nutrition and hygiene education to children in rural Guatemala. When not working, Patricia enjoys skiing, bouldering, hiking with her dog, and playing the ukulele. She is an advocate for environmental conservation and has a strong passion for human rights and empowerment of women and girls. 

Vinson Pierce, Manager of Global Engagement
802.861.2343 X3
Born and raised in Virginia, Vinson has lived in Vermont since the summer of 2011, when he moved to Burlington for graduate school. He earned a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, where he studied issues related to the management of American wilderness and public land. Before moving to Vermont, Vinson attended the University of South Carolina, where he earned a B.A. with a major in Geography and a minor in Political Science.  Prior to joining the VCWA, Vinson managed social science research projects on federally administered public land across the United States, including Olympic National Park in Northwestern Washington and Acadia National Park in Maine.  Outside of the office, Vinson enjoys mountain biking and skiing and volunteers on a local goat farm. He has traveled to more than fifteen countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and looks forwards to adding more to the list. 
James Gunger headshot
James Gunger, Community Development Coordinator
802.861.2343 X222
Born in Syracuse, New York, James moved to Burlington four years ago.  James recently earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Economics and Spanish, and a minor in Community and International Development from the University of Vermont.  James’ focus at UVM was economic development of Latin American.  While a student, James conducted research in Cusco, Peru and organized a volunteer trip to St. Roch, Haiti. James’ passion for all things international began at a young age when his family moved to Saltillo, Mexico. While visiting Saltillo, James frequently works with high school students from Liceo Alberto del Canto. James is fluent in Spanish and enjoys guitar playing, hiking and snowboarding.
Emma headshot

Emma Baylin, Intern
[email protected]

Emma Baylin is originally from Pennsylvania and is a senior at the University of Vermont majoring in Global Studies and minoring in Spanish. While studying abroad last semester in Barcelona, Spain she was able to travel around Europe and Africa. She finds that working with people from other countries is very rewarding and spent last summer teaching refugees and immigrants English in Philadelphia. Emma also loves traveling, hiking, and cooking.