Kentucky Refugee Ministries -
John Koehlinger, Executive Director
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 511
John Koehlinger has been the Executive Director of Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) since 2014. He joined KRM’s Louisville office in 2000 and has worked in a range of educational, client services, and program and grants management positions. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Semsudin Haseljic, Program Leader, Wilson-Fish Case Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 522
Semsudin is responsible for enrolling refugees into the appropriate Wilson/Fish programs, managing cash and medical assistance eligibility, and fulfilling all Wilson/Fish reporting requirements with Catholic Charities and KOR. As a program Leader Semsudin oversees managers and staff responsible for implementation of the agency’s WF programs and programs in the Special Medical and Match Grants areas. Semsudin is from Bosnia, and has been in the United States since 1994.
Semsudin volunteers his time as coach for the KRM UNITED soccer team and wellness program, actively promoting his vision of using this outreach as a means of integrating refugees into our local communities.
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 573
Asmir Terzic, Wilson Fish Case Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 566
As an assistant Wilson-Fish case manager, Asmir is responsible for a wide variety of services served under the Wilson-Fish program. The program offers refugee case management services, refugee cash and medical assistance and refugee employment services to assist newly arriving refugees to our community. Asmir’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, registration and enrollment of the clients from our Louisville agency as well as our Lexington affiliate, conducting orientations, eligibility determinations, applying for the employment incentives, meetings with clients on regular basis, record keeping, reporting, case maintenance and termination of benefits when applicable.
As a head KRM UNITED coordinator, Asmir is responsible for managing the KRM United soccer wellness program, which promotes integration of refugees into our local Louisville community. Moreover, Asmir manages the programs’ budget and applies for the various grants to help fund the program. Asmir meets with the participants on a regular basis, conducts and coaches practices, and manages the team’s registrations as well as participation in the league.
Mariam Jaleel, Receptionist
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 510
As part-time receptionist, Mariam answers the telephone, directs calls, takes and relays messages, directs persons throughout the building to various offices, provides general administrative and clerical support to all staff, and schedules in-house appointments for clients.
Rebecca O’Neill, Immigration Attorney
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 559
Becca is KRM’s resident immigration attorney. Becca provides advice and representation for KRM clients in immigration matters. Her office works with refugee clients to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident, bring family members to the United States, obtain employment authorization cards, replace documents, obtain travel documents, become United States citizens, and other related legal representation.
Becca obtained a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She went on to work as a social worker in Eastern North Carolina, Rwanda, and New York City. Becca attended the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and graduated with a Jurist Doctorate in 2009. She has practiced immigration law since she was licensed in October 2009.
Sarah Mills, Immigration Attorney
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 539
Sarah is an immigration attorney at KRM. She assists clients in obtaining permanent residence, employment authorization, and citizenship. She also helps refugees petition for their family members to come to the United States and speaks Spanish.
Ayad, BIA Immigration Representative
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 574
Ayad is (BIA) Board of Immigration Appeals KRM’s Accredited Representative at our immigration office. As full-time Arabic English language skills Accredited Representative, Ayad works with clients to adjust status, citizenship, bring family members to the United States, scheduling appointments, translating, interpreting, and much more. Ayad obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law from Baghdad/Iraq in 2003.
If you would like to make an appointment with Ayad’s office please call (502)479-9180 ext. 586. Legal questions cannot be answered over the phone or via email.
Emily Vitale, Citizenship and Community Integration Coordinator
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 557
Emily works with both the Citizenship and Volunteer/Community Relations programs, and tries to help provide for client-volunteer interactions whenever there is need. The Citizenship department involves helping refugee clients to become U.S. Citizens, and Emily helps with this goal by teaching Citizenship Classes and helping to involve volunteers in tutoring or language help for students. Emily also helps with community integration, from finding resources for clients and volunteers to creating opportunities for Louisville community groups to connect.
Paige Farris, Volunteer Coordinator and Citizenship Instructor
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 544
As Volunteer Coordinator, Paige works to find opportunities that fit both the interests of volunteers and the needs of a busy organization. Volunteers are the best resource we have, and maintaining contact with new and old volunteers is the key to KRM’s success. She also works with the Citizenship Program, teaching a class to help refugee clients become U.S. Citizens. Paige recently returned from two years as a Teach For America corps member where she taught Spanish in the Arkansas Delta. She graduated from Centre College in 2012 with a B.A. in Spanish and minor in International Relations. In college, she studied abroad in both Mexico and Spain. She is excited to be a part of Louisville’s diverse global community here at KRM.
Napoleon Akayezu, TAG Case Manager
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 561
Napoleon Akayezu works with the Enhanced Case Management program which includes services to long-term clients. Napoleon is also French instructor at the University of Louisville. Prior to his time with KRM, he served as Assistant Community Habilitation Manager with Seven Counties Services, Inc, where he worked in the Refugee Community Assistance Program assisting refugees and immigrants from the African Great Lakes Region, especially from Burundi and D.R. Congo. A former Social Coordinator in Rwanda, Napoleon has a good experience working with war and violence victims including unaccompanied and street children.
“Trying to restore hope in broken hearts and giving back what I received a couple of years ago, is what motivates my enthusiasm and commitment doing this job”
Lee Welsh, Sponsorship Development
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 514
As Sponsorship Developer at KRM Lee works with our national voluntary agencies, Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries, and with our local community partners who donate time, household goods and furniture, and financial assistance to welcome refugees. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is developing relationships with faith-based and community organizations who agree to act as friends, guides, and advocates for newly-arriving families through Co-Sponsorships. As they provide needed assistance, Co-Sponsors benefit from the meaningful hands-on relationships they are able to develop with diverse populations. Through the presence of their new American friends, refugee families are able to become more quickly integrated into our community which promotes early self-sufficiency.
“At KRM, we consider our local partners to be the “heart” of our work, their presence benefiting the whole community.”
Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, Community Outreach Specialist
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 583
Stacy is a part-time Community Outreach Specialist at KRM. Under KRM’s grant from Islamic Relief USA, Stacy does outreach to refugee residents in Louisville to co-sponsor newly arrived refugees and implements strategies and activities to connect the refugee community to KRM. In addition, she does broad-based community outreach to identify new individuals and organizational partners to welcome new refugees and foster relationships between refugee and American-born youth. In addition to her work at KRM, Stacy is the executive director and co-founder of Bridge Kids International. In her 23 year career in higher education Stacy has held a variety of positions in student development, multicultural affairs, and social justice, including serving as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville. Ms. Bailey-Ndiaye has served in a number of community organizations and on non-profit boards related to social justice and international relations. She has managed global projects, federal grants, and has traveled extensively building relationships between people and institutions.
Originally from New York, Stacy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Race and Ethnic Relations from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University at Albany.
Rachel Segretto, Resettlement Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 512
Ms. Segretto has been working with refugees in various capacities since 2008, when she was introduced to the refugee population through the English as a Second Language Intake Center within the public school system. She obtained a Masters in the Science of Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work in 2011 in order to develop the skills needed to serve the refugee population effectively. She became Case Manager at Kentucky Refugee Ministries in 2012, and Resettlement Manager in 2015. Her current role is to coordinate services to refugees, conduct community outreach (including Quarterly Community Consultations), facilitate new and ongoing staff training, and to recruit and train interns to supplement the efforts of full-time staff.
“Welcoming refugees into our midst improves our community in so many ways. Not only do we gain new opportunities to learn from cultures and world-views that may be quite different from our own, but we also benefit simply from the act of opening our arms an being part of a world-wide humanitarian effort.”
Christine Gosney, Refugees of the World Case Worker/ Grants Assistant
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 553
As a case worker, Christine serves as a guide and advocate for refugees who resettle in Louisville. She assists clients with their their basic needs upon arrival to the U.S., as well as coordinates their participation in ongoing services to support their goals. In her Grants Assistant capacity, Christine supports KRM’s efforts to secure and maintain sustainable funding for the agency’s comprehensive services.
Christine is a Maryland native who studied Communication and Media Studies (Journalism) and English at Fordham University in New York. Her professional experience includes case management & job development with residents at an emergency homeless shelter and in a prisoner re-entry program, both in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kamal Bista, Housing Coordinator / Case Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 554
Kamal is responsible for housing coordination , intake and referrals of all newly arrived refugees, interpretation and translation, and assisting in other case management tasks.
Kamal finds working with refugees and for refugees important and fulfilling because of his firsthand experiences as a refugee from Bhutan; Kamal has enjoyed living in the United States since January of 2009.
Mariel Smith, Refugees of the World Case Worker
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 525
Mariel is responsible for receiving incoming refugees at the airport, helping them settle into their new housing, and coordinating initial appointments for social security, SNAP, and other government programs.
Mariel is a Florida native who has a bachelors in English from Centre College and a masters in nonprofit management from Morehead State University. Her professional background is in nonprofit marketing; prior to working at KRM, she worked for the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Meg Lancaster, Refugees of the World Case Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 582
In Meg’s role as a Caseworker, she facilitates the initial resettlement of newly arrived clients by connecting them to community services and all other assistance needed to ensure a positive and smooth transition. She is not only grateful to see how this access to services enriches her life and KRM clients, but how the resettlement of a diverse population strengthens Louisville.
Meg has a background in education and community development in which she has worked nationally and internationally. She is a certified secondary teacher and holds a BA in Art History and a BA in Humanities from the University of Louisville.
Sneha Thapa, Refugees of the World Case Worker
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180
Sneha is a native of Nepal, who came to the U.S. in 2008 for higher education. As a migrant herself, Sneha is an advocate for the basic needs support that the refugees receive during the initial resettlement period. In her role as a caseworker, she assists in resettling the incoming refugees beginning from receiving them at the airport, guiding them to adjust to the American social life — such as using public transportation, paying rent, etc. — to helping them navigate through government programs, such as social security. Sneha has her B.A. (Cultural Anthropology & Economics) from Ripon College, WI; and is currently a Ph.D. candidate (Cultural Anthropology) at the University of Kentucky.
Sean is an AmeriCorps VISTA responsible for increasing capacity for KRM’s housing and community orientation services to newly-arrived refugee clients in Louisville. He will serve as a liaison between staff and property managers to ensure safe, community supported integration for clients as they take their first steps toward self-sufficiency. Sean has volunteered internationally with orphanages in Djibouti as well assisted in building wells in Ethiopia. He graduated with a BA in International Studies from the University of Kentucky and has interned with KRM’s Lexington office. His goal is to build relationships with new housing partners and to educate community members on refugee resettlement.
Dalay Mendez, Cuban Haitian Case Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 516
Dalay joined KRM in September of 2004 after being a KRM client in 2002. She became the Cuban/Haitian Case Manager at beginning of 2011. She is responsible for finding apartments for free cases in the Cuban program. She also helps clients applying for their state benefits, advises them how to manage their budget and helps them to resolve some of the problems they face after their arrival. She enjoys helping the clients become self-sufficient.
Will Farrell, Cuban Haitian Case Worker
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 517
Will graduated from The College of Wooster in OH with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. He spent the last year in Nairobi, Kenya as a Young Adult Volunteer with the PC(USA). As a Case Worker in the Cuban-Haitian Office, Will assists newly arrived Cuban clients with the process of resettlement. He helps pick up new arrivals at the airport, takes them to apply for Social Security, lease signings, among other tasks. Ultimately his work involves helping clients fulfill a plan to be self-sufficient and provide help with other issues that may arise in the course of this process.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 515
Yahima Beatriz Leblanc Nunez, Cuban Haitian Case Worker
email@example.com Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 580
Yahima and her husband arrived in Louisville in August 2012, when they became clients of KRM. She graduated from the University of Havana, where she studied German Language and Literature and English as Second Language. She has worked as an interpreter and translator in Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela. As a Cuban-Haitian Caseworker Assistant, Yahima helps clients with their resettlement process performing a variety of tasks that include: completing public assistance applications, escorting clients to apply for their social security cards, and interpreting during lease signings. She feels blessed working right next to the same people that helped her and her family during the uncertain first months,and hopes to give back some of those good deeds. Now, besides working at KRM, she enjoys being a Spanish Tutor at JCTC, volunteering at Metro Animal Service and the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs, and spending time with her dogs.
firstname.lastname@example.org Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 535
Carmen has a firsthand experience as a KRM Cuban client, which has sparked her interest to join the agency in the effort to support new clients in their resettlement process. She graduated from the University of Oriente, where she studied Biology and recently graduated from The University of Sherbrooke with a MSC in International Ecology. As a Case Worker in the Cuban-Haitian Office, Carmen assists newly arrived Cuban clients by helping them apply for government benefits and guiding them toward self-sufficiency.
Lauren Huter, Job Developer
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 518
Lauren works in the Employment Department where she provides job readiness and job placement services to clients. Services include pre-employment assessments and orientations, assistance during the entire job application process, follow-up with employers, and community outreach. Lauren works with refugees from a variety of countries and uses her Spanish skills to assist Cuban immigrants.
Eric Blair, Job Developer
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 540
Eric is a Pikeville native who spent a year at the KRM Lexington office before transferring to his current position at the organization’s Louisville office. He holds bachelor’s degrees in both History and American studies and speaks fluent Spanish. He likes to travel, eat good food, and relax with a book in hand.
In his capacity as Job Developer at KRM, Eric’s primary responsibility is insuring that employable clients are on a path to self-sufficiency convenient to their needs. This is done by interviewing clients about job preferences and prior work experience and connecting them with employers in the Louisville metro area. Additional duties include documenting the progress of each client’s job search, following up on clients once they have been placed in a job, and networking with employers around the community to create more job leads for KRM clients.
Anita Vivanco, Job Developer
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 572
Anita is originally from Quito, Ecuador and migrated to United States at a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, International Studies, and Spanish. In 2015 Anita spent a year in her home country of Ecuador teaching English to adult professionals at Fulbright. Anita is excited to combine her past experience as an immigrant and her passion for international affairs to help refugees become self-sufficient through employment.
As a job developer, Anita will focus on finding employment for refugees by providing job readiness orientations, pre-employment assessments, assistance during job applications and follow-ups with employers. She will also focus on ensuring more job opportunities for clients by community outreach and networking with employers.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 529
Zita is the Special Medical Needs Coordinator and assists clients in facilitating all aspects of receiving medical care beyond the initial Refugee Health Screening. The goal of the medical office is to facilitate refugee clients’ access to care so that they may become employable. This involves scheduling medical appointments, providing transportation to medical appointments, assisting clients in getting to and from surgeries, and acting as a “medical liaison” between doctors and refugees who may have little or no knowledge about “western” medical care or how the body works. Zita also teaches monthly cultural orientation presentations on topics such as nutrition, family planning, and over-the-counter medications, as well as providing daily education to clients on all healthcare topics.
Jane Evans, Mental Health Specialist
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 563
Jane is the Mental Health Coordinator for Jefferson County (a partnership with Migration and Refugee Services of Catholic Charities) and assists refugee clients in all aspects of facilitating mental health care. This involves educating about the mental health system, scheduling mental health appointments, providing transportation, assisting with paperwork, and acting as a liaison between mental health professionals and refugees who may have little or no knowledge about mental healthcare. Coordination is provided to leverage local resources to ensure appropriate care for refugees and asylees, with the ultimate goal of employability and self-sufficiency.
Gulalai Wali Khan, Special Medical Needs Case Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 529
Gulalai Wali Khan is am a refugee from Pakistan, and she has been in the USA since June 14th 2011. Gulalai is a mother of three boys and a surgeon by profession. She has a post graduate Fellowship degree from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and worked as an assistant professor of surgery at the post-graduate Institute in Peshawar,(Gulalai’s home town). Gulalai was in private practice at the time she was forced to flee her country because of a security situation.
Gulalai’s present position as a medical case worker at KRM entails advocating between the refugee clients and the attending Physician. It also involves assisting in the transportation of clients to various doctor appointments and scheduled surgeries; assisting with the communications between Dr. and client in an effort to provide simplified instructions that the client can understand. Gulalai also performs several orientation lectures on health issues that are pertinent to the refugees enable them able to negotiate the health system in the USA, particularly the use of over the counter medications, and other necessary medical information.
Muhamed Skopljak, Driver to Medical Appointments
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 529
Muhamed provides driving assistance to clients in need of transportation to medical appointments. Muhamed is also an excellent musician.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 523
As KRM’s Rise Up Educational Access Coordinator Jillian provides educational case management services and implements college and career readiness programming for young adult refugees and immigrants. Jillian has taught and worked with international students, refugees, and immigrants through union organizing, adult education, university ESL, and refugee job development. She received her both BA in International Development Studies and MA in Foreign and Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. When she is not at KRM, she is working with her family’s organic vegetable and sheep farm in Oldham County.
Meagan was a McConnell Scholar and Dean’s List student at University of Louisville. She served as a Youth Services Intern and then as Assistant Youth Services Coordinator before taking a position as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia. Through University of Louisville’s Center for Asian Democracy, Meagan made a previous research trip to Burma and Malaysia, where she conducted research interviews with Chin refugees in Malaysia.
Lisa Rice, Family Center and Early Childhood Coordinator
email@example.com — Louisville office (502) 479-9180 x 524
Sabah Anwar Al Ruashedi, Toddler Lead Teacher
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 524
Sabah, as a toddler teacher, works primarily with children 18 months- 3 years. She plans toddler level curriculum that helps our children learn the basics of classroom behavior, as well as basic English. Sabah helps to prepare our toddlers for preschool, Headstart, and daycare.
Eva Nyerges, Services to Refugee Elders Coordinator/ Healthcare Access Specialist
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 556
Eva serves as KRM’s Services to Elder Refugees Coordinator and Healthcare Access Specialist. As Services to Elder Refugees Coordinator, Eva coordinates the programming for the Tuesday/Thursday program at Highland Methodist Church. She is also the caseworker for refugee family cases with an elderly member. As the Healthcare Access Specialist, Eva is responsible for submitting pending Medicaid enrollments to the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange staff for manual data fixes, tracking the status of all pending Medicaid enrollments, and also assisting clients in switching their MCOs. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in French from Centre College and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Kentucky.
Michaela Vaillant, Services to Older Refugees Program Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 581
Michaela provides ESL and Citizenship instruction for the Refugee Elder Program on an intermediate level, serves as Spanish interpreter at community speaker presentations, and assists with case management services on a broader level. She is also providing assistant services in the Cuban/Haitian office. After years of volunteering in different capacities and organizations, Michaela obtained both her BSW and MSW at Campbellsville University while interning at KRM.
“I feel tremendously blessed to witness the resilience and incredible strength of our Refugee elders, and I am amazed of their unending eagerness to acquire English proficiency and contribute freely with their unique cultural wealth. They are a joy to be around.”
Jason Crigler, ESL Program Coordinator
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 528
Jason joined the KRM team in 2012, and is responsible for coordinating the ESL program. The Kentucky Refugee Ministries ESL staff desires to equip our clients with practical, job related English which will help them thrive in their new surroundings. We seek to be part of a greater support system for the refugees entering through Louisville and to provide them with language that will be an asset for the remainder of their time in the United States. We currently serve around 160 students, Monday-Friday from 9:30am-3:30pm.
Jared Zarantonello, ESL Instructor
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 584
Jared is a long-time community educator who has been working along-side the international communities of Louisville since 2009. In addition to teaching ESL at KRM, he runs education projects, trainings, and workshops around the topics of music, media production, and the mobilization of these tools towards goals of social transformation.
Bal Sharma, ESL Teacher / Case Worker
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 558
Bal teaches level 2 ESL. He also works as a case worker in the Refugees of the World (ROW) Office.
Rachel Droste Gwinn, Cultural Orientation Coordinator/ ESL Instructor / Citizenship Instructor
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 587
Rachel teaches the advanced ESL class for students who are perfecting their English language and speaking abilities. She also coordinates our Cultural Orientation program, which ensures all clients obtain the knowledge necessary to adapt to their new American lives during their first 90 days with the agency. Though most of her teaching experience is in teaching Spanish, Rachel has taught ESL before in Spain and in other informal environments in the U.S. She received her M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys connecting with the diverse international community in Louisville.
Cielina Corum, Account Manager
email@example.com — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 520
Cielina manages the accounts payables and accounts receivables for KRM. Cielina is also responsible for creating, monitoring, and maintaining the KRM financial budget and performing all financial reporting to the executive director.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Louisville Office: (502) 479-9180 x 521