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Introducing Amelia Bochain, our new State Coordinator

Virginia Civics is thrilled to welcome Amelia Bochain to the team as our new State Coordinator! Amelia has devoted her professional life to effective social studies education that fosters civil discourse. As a classroom teacher for nine years, she implemented project-based learning that focused on civic engagement and encouraging effective discussion skills. She is particularly passionate about the We the People program, where she coached teams that placed in regional, state, and national competitions.

Amelia will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the We the People and Project Citizen programs in Virginia. She’ll be the main point of contact for teachers and volunteers, as she works to grow both programs through thoughtful and effective training programs. A main focus of hers will be to manage all of the programmatic aspects of the James Madison Legacy Project Expansion and the Civics Empowers All Students grant programs, both funded by Supporting Effective Educator Development grants from the U.S. Department of Education to the Center for Civic Education and sub-granted to Virginia Civics.

Virginia Civics co-founder and co-executive director Emily Voss will remain involved in Virginia Civics operations and the strategic growth of all of our programs, while Amelia will handle the day-to-day of program management. Emily announced in August that she would be joining the team at the Center for Civic Education as its Manager of National Programs, where she helps to grow the We the People and Project Citizen programs across the country.

The Virginia Civics staff and board are excited to be working with Amelia to expand professional development opportunities for teachers around the state and continue the success of the Virginia We the People and Project Citizen programs.

About Author


Jen Patja Howell

Emily Voss

Emily Voss comes to civic education from the museum world, where she was passionate about making museums relevant to the modern world. She currently serves as the Manager of National Programs for the Center for Civic Education. Prior to that, she served as the Education Director at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier where she spent the past decade developing programs for adult professionals that invited engagement with America’s founding documents. She served as the Virginia State Coordinator of the We the People program for 10 years and is a co-founder of Virginia Civics. Emily holds a BA in History from Gettysburg College, and an MA in Museum Education from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY). She and her family currently reside in central Virginia.

Co-Executive Director & Chief Programs Officer

Jen Patja Howell

Jen Patja Howell has dedicated her career to strengthening constitutional self-government through her work with Virginia Civics, the Center for Civic Education, and Montpelier’s Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, where she served as Deputy Director. Jen is a co-founder of Virginia Civics, and serves as a House of Delegates-appointed member of the Virginia Commission on Civic Education, a state legislative commission. She is the producer and editor of “Rational Security,” a weekly foreign policy and national security roundup, and “The Lawfare Podcast,” a daily audio production in cooperation with the Brookings Institution. Jen has held teaching and research positions at the University of Virginia, most notably in Criminology and the school’s University Internship Program with the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. She received her master’s in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Co-Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

Amelia Bochain

Amelia Bochain has devoted her professional life to effective social studies education that fosters civil discourse. As a classroom teacher for nine years, she implemented project-based learning that focused on civic engagement and encouraging effective discussion skills. She is particularly passionate about the We the People program, where she coached teams that placed in regional, state, and national competitions.

State Coordinator