Lancaster, Pa: Advisory Board

Michael-O-ConnorMichael O’Connor, President of the CWS/Lancaster Advisory Board, is Human Resources Director of the Marriott Hotel at Penn Square, Lancaster.  Michael is passionate about improving the quality of life for workers in the Lancaster community.  He pioneered a Refugee Job Shadowing & Paid Work Experience Program, where CWS refugee clients were offered full-time jobs at the Marriott Hotel after shadowing successful Marriott employees and completing a Job Skills course that Michael himself taught.  Because of Michael’s dedication to helping refugees find sustainable employment, he won the Outstanding Employer Award of 2011 from the Pennsylvania State Refugee Resettlement Program.  He also regularly participates in fundraisers and awareness events for the Relay for Life Cancer Society and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.




Tammy HendrixTammy Hendrix is a licensed social worker with over twenty-five years of experience in human service program development, implementation, and monitoring. She has held case management positions in the fields of child abuse prevention, early intervention, developmental disabilities, and domestic violence. She is a local and national member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Tammy received a B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University in 1990. She was a Peace Corps volunteer, serving as a forester from 1982 to 1984 in Senegal, West Africa.

Currently, Tammy is a Division Manager Regional Technical Assistance for the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network through Family Design Resources. She is an adjunct faculty member at Harrisburg Area Community College in the human service department. She is an active member of Faith United Church of Christ and serves as a member of their consistory and social outreach committee.

Tammy resides in York, Pennsylvania with her husband, Michael Hendrix, and two daughters, Julia (22 years) and Ellen (18 years).  Her family also includes a sweet West Highland Terrier, Frankie, and a sour patch cat, Miss Kitty.

Jerry LappJerry Lapp and his wife, Mary Ellen, took a "short” trekking vacation to Nepal in 1999, fell in love with the people and their culture, religion and mountains, and ended up staying until 2003. After landing back in the U.S., they spent the next five years missing the country immensely and hoping to go back; serendipitously in 2008 Nepal almost literally came to them in the form of Bhutanese refugees.

Since that time, Jerry has immersed himself in the Lancaster refugee community, helping with translation, transportation, medical needs, and establishing enduring friendships. In particular, he's tried to lend a hand where the needs are most urgent. Throughout this period however, he can honestly say that he's received much more from the refugees than he could ever possibly give in return.



Joan M MaruskinJoan M. Maruskin is a United Methodist minister with the Susquehanna Conference in South Central Pennsylvania.  She is in extension ministry as the National Administrator of the CWS/IRP Religious Services Program, which provides spiritual care to immigration detainees of all faiths in government run immigration detention centers. She previously worked with CWS/IRP as its Washington Representative advocating for immigrants, refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers. She served as the executive director of the York County Council of Churches in York, Pa. From 1992 through 2000, she pastored Christ United Methodist Church in Yoe, Pa.  During that time, she founded and was coordinator of The People of the Golden Vision, an interfaith immigrants’ rights group.

She is presently a member of the Advisory Board for CWS Lancaster, Pa., and on the Salem Square Neighborhood Association Board in York, PA.  She is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, an immigration advocate, and a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary where she earned her M. Div and D. Min. in Race, Ethnicity, and the Wesleyan Perspective.  She has authored a text, "Immigration and the Bible: A Guide to Radical Welcome", which will be used for the 2012 United Methodist Women’s School of Missions as well as for Bible studies and Christian education classes.

Steve Weaver 2.jpgSteven C. Weaver is the Middle East Regional Coordinator for CWS for which he develops and monitors program plans and partnerships in Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Egypt and Lebanon.  Through his work in the Middle East over the past five years, Mr. Weaver has collaborated with the UN, donors and other NGOs to ensure effective programming across the region.






Dr. Karen Rice is Assistant Professor and Department Chair of the Social Work Department at Millersville University. She obtained her PhD in 2011 in social work from the University of Maryland Baltimore and her MSW from Temple University in 2000. She is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania. Prior to entering the academy in 2006, Dr. Rice worked in public child welfare in Lancaster County for 14 years. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the following areas: research, statistics, diversity, child welfare, international social work, program evaluation.