Ellen Andrews has been the  Director of the CWS Durham Office since December 2014. Ellen began working with refugees at CWS in 2009; first as an Employment Specialist, and then as the Employment Services Coordinator, managing our refugee employment programs. In her current role as office Director, Ellen manages the overall and daily operations of the Reception & Placement, Matching Grant, Preferred Communities, RAP, TAGD and Immigration Services programs at the Durham office and provides leadership and supervision to direct services staff. Ellen holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

nasseer2Nasseer Naji started working as a Refugee Case Manager at CWS in February 2013. Before coming to CWS, his first job in the US was as a Cargo Agent at American Airlines. In Iraq he worked for  seven years as a Material Control Specialist for Kellogg Brown and Root, a contractor for the US Department of Defense. Nasseer has a BA  in Agricultural Science from Baghdad University. He speaks both Arabic and English.


Naw Diana Ler Yee joined CWS as a Refugee Case Manager in Feb 2014. She was born in Burma and resettled to the US in 2007. She graduated from UNC Greensboro in December 2013 with BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Naw Diana loves working with the diverse community of clients served at CWS-Durham.


IMG_0295Samantha Kubik has worked as a Refugee Case Manager with CWS Durham since April 2014.  After living in Alexandria, Egypt for five years, she returned to NY and earned her BA in History and Arabic. Her passion for justice, equality, and opportunity serve as a foundational platform in refugee resettlement. Samantha speaks English and beginner Arabic.

JenJen Skees began working as the Preferred Communities Refugee Case Manager in January 2014. Prior to working for CWS, she conducted trainings on cultural competence, human rights, and non-profit management throughout New York City.  Jen has advocated for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers at the International Institute of New Jersey and the United Nations. She holds a MSW in International Social Work and Human Rights and a BA in Visual Art. She has lived and studied in Nepal, Austria, Ireland and Guatemala. She speaks English and intermediate Spanish.

jourdiJourdi Bosley joined CWS as the Community Resource Coordinator in April 2015. She earned a BA in International Studies and a certificate in Human Rights from the University of Cincinnati in 2011. After cycling across the country after college, Jourdi focused on developing her bike mechanic skills to merge self-sufficient transportation with refugee empowerment. She worked with CWS as a volunteer and later as an intern, building a partnership with the Durham Bicycle Co-op to connect refugees with their own two wheels. She speaks English, beginning Arabic, and beginning Swahili.

Mandy Maring is the Employment Services Coordinator. She began working as an Employment Specialist for CWS in March 2012.  Prior to that she worked in human resources and staffing in Madison, WI.  Mandy holds a BA degree in both Psychology and Human Development with minors in French and Political Science.  She has studied and lived in Senegal and New Zealand.  She enjoys volunteering and has taught ESL in Cedar Rapids, IA and Orange County, NC.

erin4Erin Edmiston began working at CWS in the fall of 2013, transitioning from intern to Employment Specialist. She works on the TAP-F employment program, providing targeted employability services to increase employment upgrade opportunities. She graduated from UNC Greensboro with a BA in Psychology and minor in American Sign Language. Erin’s first experience working with refugees was as an assistant teacher for the Doris Henderson Newcomers School- a school for refugees and 1st generation immigrants. Erin has also worked in Northern Ireland researching the regions political/ ethnic conflict and in Botswana teaching sign language.

moniqueMonique Lohmeyer joined CWS as an Employment Specialist in April 2015. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from UNCG. From 2013-2014 she participated in The World Race and traveled in 11 countries in 11 months. Working alongside local non-profit organizations in each country, she assisted in projects ranging from building schools to assisting in medical clinics, from visiting IDP camps in Haiti to aiding women leaving the sex industry in Thailand. She speaks English and German.

erinchessonErin Chesson began working with refugees at CWS in 2014 as a part-time AmeriCorps ACCESS Member, transitioning to Employment Specialist in July 2015. Erin holds a BA in Global Development Studies with a minor in French and a TESOL Certificate from the University of Virginia. She has studied and lived in Senegal and Haiti. She speaks English and intermediate French. Erin lives in Wake Forest with her husband.

emilywebsiteEmily Milsaps joined CWS as an Employment Specialist in November 2015. She holds a BA in International Studies and Spanish and a minor in Geography from the University of Kentucky. She has lived and studied in Costa Rica and Mexico. She began working with refugees as a volunteer ESL instructor at Kentucky Refugee Ministries. She also worked as an Americorps member, mentoring youth and working as an interpreter.


Edwin Harris began working as the ESL Instructor at CWS in January 2014. He first worked with refugees as a volunteer teacher at CWS in 2013. He has taught English in Costa Rica and Chile. Edwin holds a B.A. in English and Spanish from Kalamazoo College. He speaks English and Spanish.

Rebecca Schaeffer became the CWS Immigration Services Coordinator in March 2012.  Prior to that, Rebecca served as an Employment Specialist for the CWS Durham office beginning in June 2010.  Before joining CWS, Rebecca worked for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in Washington, DC.  Rebecca holds a BA in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. She speaks French and Arabic, and has lived and studied abroad in England, France, Jordan, and India.

kellystaffKelly Chauvin joined CWS as an Immigration Counselor in September 2013. Prior to that, Kelly served with the NC Immigrant Rights Project and El Centro Hispano working in immigration law with a focus on immigrant rights and fighting racial profiling. Before working in immigration, Kelly served in the Peace Corps for 3 years in Guatemala. Kelly holds a BA in Psychology. She speaks Spanish and has lived and studied abroad in Spain and Guatemala. 


Cas Cogswell is a part-time paralegal at the CWS Immigration office and joined the legal team in June of 2015. Prior to CWS, Cas worked at Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy as a Research Project Manager on a national high school dropout prevention initiative.  Before moving to Durham, Cas served as a Project Manager with the Seattle Workforce Development Council, developing programs that increased family opportunities to self-sufficiency.   In addition, Cas has worked as an ESL Instructor at Durham Technical Community College and with McDonald’s English Under the Arches program.  Cas has traveled in Central and South America, Spain, and India and speaks Spanish.

sandywebsiteSandi George is the Accounting Assistant on the CWS team. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from NC State in 2012. After graduation, she and her husband decided to start their family, and she spent the next few years at home raising her son full time. When the timing was right, she decided to pursue a career that would be both meaningful as well as fulfilling, and began working at CWS in October of 2015.



Meet Jennifer, Rebekah, and Soni, our three AmeriCorps interns who started at CWS in September and provide supplemental case management and employment services to new arrivals until August 2016.