Secretary of State hires Palmer as Education and Civic Engagement Coordinator

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas has hired Robyn Palmer for the newly created Education and Civic Engagement Coordinator (ECE) position. Palmer is well-known in the non-profit sector in Vermont for her work over the last 10 years as Director of an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Program based at the Vermont Agency of Human Services. Palmer’s hiring marks a significant step in Secretary Copeland Hanzas’ civic education initiative and the secretary is enthusiastic to ramp up the overall campaign.

“Thus far, the response to our plan to reenergize civics education in Vermont has been overwhelmingly positive, it’s so heartening to have people excited about democracy,” said Secretary Copeland Hanzas. “Robyn’s passion for community building and civic engagement, as well as her incredible network across the state, brings the level of expertise the civics campaign needs. We are so lucky to have her!”

Palmer’s work in the AmeriCorps VISTA program, a national service program that engages volunteers to build organizational capacity, supported participating members and organizations in implementing projects to lift people out of poverty. Palmer has managed hundreds of program volunteers over the years as they worked with Vermont organizations in affordable housing, public health, food security, and workforce development.

Each year, Palmer helped place up to 35 volunteers at organizations of all sizes across the state of Vermont and provided ongoing support for the volunteers and the organizations involved.

“I am passionate about public service and have loved guiding others as they help organizations succeed,” said Palmer. “The ECE position is a great next step in my career. I can leverage the skills and network I have built up and look forward to meeting more Vermonters as the Secretary of State’s civic campaign unfolds.”

Among other outreach and engagement work, Palmer will assist the secretary with creating a 2024 General Election voter guide and in developing resources for a statewide K-12 civics curriculum.

A two-term AmeriCorps alum herself, Palmer credits her service experiences with her own lifelong commitment to civic engagement. Palmer has a B.A. in American Studies and Art History from Temple University in Philadelphia and earned her Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Maryland. She is Board Vice Chair at the Common Ground Center in Starksboro and lives in South Burlington with her husband.

Source: 4.17.2023. Montpelier, VT- Office of the Vermont Secretary of State