James Madison University

Empowerment3 - Families | Professionals | Community

Overcoming Barriers Staff

Kendall Harrington

Kendall Harrington, Director of Mentors

Kendall is starting her M.S. in speech-language pathology. She has been a mentor working with overcoming barriers for 3 years as both a mentor and a coordinator. She loves being outside, doing activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Coffee and Criminal Minds help keep her going through college.

Mandy Kousen

Mandy Kousen, Director of Programming

Mandy is a senior studying Special Education. She is from the D.C. area and has been working with overcoming barriers for the past three years as a mentor, coordinator and director. She is excited to meet all of the new families and mentees this upcoming year. She is the head goalie JMU’s water polo team in her free time when she isn’t in class or working as a behavioral therapist.

Clarissa Cooper

Clarissa Cooper, Director

Clarissa is a junior Health Science major focusing on Pre-Dentistry. Clarissa is from Virginia Beach and enjoys spending time at the beach and with friends and family.

Janie Jacobs

Janie Jacobs, Director

Janie is a senior from Maryland and is a Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a Special Education minor. She loves olives and traveling as well as volunteering with kids with disabilities.

Ben Kandel

Ben Kandel, Director

Ben is a junior health sciences major from Centerville VA. He has been involved with OB for 2 years working his way up from being a mentor. He is a Saturday aquatics guru and we are lucky to have him on board. 

Rachel Kissel

Rachel Kissel, Director

Rachel is a first year graduate student in the Occupational Therapy program from Chesapeake VA. She has two cats and loves everything with chocolatE.

Justine Orr

Justine Orr, Director

Justine is a senior Special Education major from Vienna Virginia. She has a twin sister Olivia. She worked at a summer camp this summer and loves spending time outdoors especially in the water.

Kara Jones

Kara Jones, Director

Kara is a senior Special Education major from Roanoke VA. She has worked with Overcoming Barriers for 3 years and works with two children with severe disabilities. She loves chocolate and Disney and is excited for another year at JMU.

Lindsay Dempsey

Lindsay Dempsey, Director of Testing and Research

Lindsay is a graduate student studying Kinesiology from Delaware. She took a break from studying to visit Disneyworld this past summer and enjoys family time with her younger sister and dog Roxy.

Julia Simpson

Julia Simpson, Empowerment3 Project Assistant

Julia is a senior studying Special Education from Connecticut. She has been involved with overcoming barriers for the past two years and looks forward to the excitement and thrill of this year.