MDP Students

ALYSSA BOVELL: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Alyssa Bovell is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science. She is a recepient of the Dr. Margaret P. Karns Award for Academic Excellence and Service in Global and Local Issues. As an undergraduate, she spent a summer in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for a cross-cultural immersion experience, participated in a summer practicum on rights-based development in Malawi with Determined to Develop, and interned with the anti-human trafficking organization Abolition Ohio. Following graduation, Alyssa worked with International Partners in Mission, a non-profit that provides funding and technical assistance to community-based projects in over 20 countries. Alyssa’s research interests focus on women's empowerment. In her free time, she enjoys tennis, watercolor painting, reading, and travel.

MARC ANTHONY BRANCH: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Marc Anthony Branch holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond. While studying social movements and human rights in Argentina, he acquired an interest in development, and from 2013 -2017 served in the Peace Corps in Peru. During his tenure as a health volunteer, Marc Anthony worked with families and youth teaching child, maternal, and sexual health and life skills. As a Volunteer Coordinator, Marc Anthony trained health volunteers and assured accurate reporting and proper M&E practices. He also worked with a local HIV prevention and policy NGO and Peru’s Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion’s Juntos Program. His professional interests focus on partnerships between civil society and government agencies. Marc Anthony enjoys traveling, fitness, outdoor activities, photography, movies, and music.

BANTIE BROWNELL-MORRIS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Bantie Brownell-Morris was born in Gbarnga, Liberia and raised in the United States. She served as an executive director for Measuagoon, a non-profit organization founded by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf which seeks to empower rural communities, women, and youth. Bantie has also worked for the Land Commission, Liberia General Service Agency, and USAID Governance and Economic Management Support project. Throughout her career she has served on delegations to the UN General Assembly, UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Trade Center World Export Forum, and CSO Forums at World Bank/IMF meetings. Bantie has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Oral Roberts University, and a graduate degree in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary. Her interest is in the role of faith, ethics, and governance in development Africa. Bantie is a candidate for ordination, and serves in ministry with her husband, who is a Baptist minister.

MELANIA CROCE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Melania Croce, a native Italian, was raised in Mozambique before returning to Italy as a four-year-old. She graduated with a dual master’s degree in Engineering Management from Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, and Economics and Management from Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Before joining Emory, she worked as a business analyst for the Digital Innovation Observatories, consulting with European companies on human resources and digital transformation. Her current research interests are gender equality, women’s empowerment, and socially and environmentally responsible business practices to improve local and global communities. In her free time, Melania enjoys running, yoga, outdoor activities, and a good book.

KEANDRA DIAMOND: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Keandra Diamond was raised in Fayetteville, Georgia and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2017 in Psychology from George Mason University where she concentrated in Human Factors/Cognition and Developmental Psychology. During her time at Mason, she served as a Clinical Research Intern with Emory University's School of Medicine working in the Department of Neurology. As an intern, she recruited patients for Emory's Healthy Aging Study and assessed how age-related illnesses are crucial in understanding human development. Keandra has dedicated many hours of volunteer work with the National Epilepsy Foundation where she aims to combat stigma surrounding neurological disorders. Keandra is interested in the education and provision of mental health resources for families. Keandra enjoys cooking, traveling, coding and thrifting.

 RACQUEL FIGUEROA: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Racquel Figueroa received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Skidmore College. During her program she studied abroad in Panama focusing on tropical ecology as well as the intersection between the arts and environmentalism. Her senior capstone research examined communications between the environmental scientific community and the public, studying the efficacy of different PSA framing on transforming consumer behavior. She is passionate about sustainable development, nationally as well as internationally. She hopes to catalyze social and behavioral change through social enterprise and public-private partnerships. Racquel is also a performer and loves creating art and speaking Spanish.

ERÉNDIRA FORTANEL: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Eréndira Fortanel is a Mexican professional with 10 years of work experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and holds a diploma in International Conflicts and Resolution Processes, issued by the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico. Before joining the MDP, she worked for several years as Regional Human Resources and Regional Health and Safety and Security Lead at Oxfam Great Britain’s Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean. Through her experience at Oxfam, she managed multi-country business processes and humanitarian emergency responses in the region. Her research interests focus on climate change and food security. Eréndira is a passionate reader with a special interest in astrophysics; she loves to travel and practice free diving and scuba diving.

MARINANGELES GUTIERREZ: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Marinangeles Gutierrez is the daughter of Nicaraguan parents and the first to go to college in her family. She graduated with a bachelor's in Business Administration and Management from Florida State University, with a focus in Hospitality Management and Human Resources. Landing in the advertising industry, Marinangeles worked for five years creating targeted multimedia marketing solutions, from research and strategy to implementation and analysis. She has also been a community organizer for various social causes and campaigns, such as Sierra Club and Amnesty International. Over the last year, she has transitioned to be a consultant working on sustainability strategy and planning, and facilitating partnerships. Through her participation in city development projects, like the 100 Resilient Cities program, she has become interested in cultivating resilient communities internationally.

ANDREW HARRISON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Andrew Harrison is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, specializing in Comparative Politics & Political Economy. During his undergraduate study, he was afforded the opportunity to work with a social enterprise organization, which sparked his initial interest in sustainable development. Upon graduating he began working as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management division within a group specializing in the Impact Investing platform and later on transitioning to Emory’s Department of Medicine, where he served as a financial analyst in grant management. His predominant academic interest is leveraging private enterprise to address the various social, environmental & development issues on a local and international level. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his family.

KATHERINE PONS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Katherine Pons is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she studied psychology, sociology, and French. During her time at Vanderbilt, she discovered a love of international affairs, traveling during breaks from school. Additionally, she studied abroad for a year, spending one semester in South Africa, working in a prison to promote literacy development. Following graduation, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana. There she focused her efforts on nutrition promotion, as well as water and sanitation. Through the MDP program, Katherine is interested in learning more about the role of women in sustainable development. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to trivia nights, binge watching Netflix documentaries, and drinking coffee.

REBECCA SPENS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Rebecca Spens, a Bobby Jones Fellow and native Londoner, graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 2017 with a MA (Hons) in History and French. In the third year of her degree, she studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. Rebecca has always been fascinated by international politics, languages and cultures. Rebecca initially encountered development work while interning for a London-based NGO - Forum for the Future - that advises businesses and governments on sustainable development. This interest grew even stronger while she was taking a course about contemporary India at the University of Hyderabad. Rebecca is interested in learning more about women’s literacy and education projects in the developing world. In her spare time, she is a keen artist, long-distance runner and windsurfer.

MALLORY ST. CLAIRE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mallory St. Claire is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, and earned her bachelor’s degree in international business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She was first introduced to economic and sustainable development through programs and internships at her business school, where she worked on microfinance projects in East Africa throughout her undergraduate career. In 2015, she was accepted into the IDEX Accelerator Fellowship, and worked in Bangalore, India with a nascent education-technology social enterprise. Before coming to Emory, she worked at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy as a research associate and managing editor of a major research publication. Mallory is interested in impact assessment and program design. Mallory loves travel, whitewater rafting, hiking, and trying new food.

 YACOB ZURIAW: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Yacob Zuriaw grew up in Los Angeles, the first-born son of a single mother fleeing a war-torn nation. He initially intended to study astrophysics, but a trip to Ethiopia inspired a complete redirect in life. Upon returning home, he turned his focus towards economics, enrolling at Santa Monica Community College, where he was also actively engaged in student politics. As an activist he advocated for equal access to public higher education, against massive state budget cuts. After completing his associate’s degree at SMC, Yacob transferred to the University of California, Davis where he majored in Internal Relations with a minor in Agricultural & Resource Economics. While at Davis, he conducted research into remittances and their impact on household welfare in rural Ethiopia. In his free time Yacob enjoys playing and writing music, backpacking, and is an avid fútbol fan.

TOLUWALOPE ADE BABINGTON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Toluwalope Ade Babington was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She graduated with a BSc in Economics and Computer Science from Illinois College. Before joining MDP, she worked as a policy fellow in the Illinois state Office of the Governor where she was able to explore her interest in economic development policy. Her additional interests are how female empowerment, technology transfer, and intellectual property laws can promote economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. In her free time she likes to draw and read fantasy fiction novels.

TYLER BREEN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Tyler Breen received his Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, focusing on GIS analysis of forest dynamics and age stratification. After graduation, he left for the Peace Corps in Paraguay where he worked with biodigesters, reforestation, and trash management. For the last two years, he has been working in the Dominican Republic and Cuba leading eco-service and cultural exchange trips. Tyler’s research interests are broad but mostly focused on environmental conservation and resource management in rural areas. Aside from his research interests, he loves playing guitar, sitar, banjo, or ukulele and keeping up his Spanish and Guarani.

JESSICA DOANES: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jessica is a native Atlantan. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree at Hampshire College where she concentrated in International Relations, Foreign Policy and Human Rights. A trip to The International Criminal Court for the trial of Charles Taylor, sparked Jessica’s initial interest in development work. Jessica has worked and volunteered with various agencies such as AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps managing government funds and Department of Homeland Security traveling to several U.S. states to brainstorm future disaster response plans. Jessica looks forward to learning how to use the role of technology/social media in developmental practice. She is also interested in how to apply restorative justice approaches to assist communities to cope with the social impacts of natural & man-made disasters. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys dancing, reading, watching movies and various athletic activities.

SARAH DURRY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sarah Durry is a first generation Ethiopian-American who grew up in Atlanta, Yemen, and Kenya. Her dedication to serving those living in need started from a young age witnessing her father’s life work eradicating polio globally. She graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has worked with several non-profit organizations with missions to empower women and girls including Cool Girls Inc, Women in Technology, Dining for Women, and One Billion Rising. She plans to focus her studies within the MDP program on access to information, education, and health for women and girls. Sarah also programs the wellness curriculum and manages community outreach at the Atlanta co-work start-up, the Elevator Factory. She is certified as an ashtanga yoga teacher and loves being a part of experimental communities focused on individual development and expression.

VALERIE ELKINS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Valerie Elkins is a proud alumna of Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in History. Valerie discovered her development interest by interning with Lake Oconee Community Church (LOCC) Youth Alliance, where she assisted and mentored underserved students in order to help them complete high school. She cultivated community partnerships through home visits and asking for support by donating their time. In Valerie’s spare time she enjoys hiking, painting, reading and spending time with friends.

JONATHAN EOLOFF: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jonathan Eoloff holds an undergraduate degree as well as a law degree from the University of Minnesota. For more than ten years, Jonathan worked as an immigration attorney for non-profit advocacy agencies in Chicago and Atlanta, most recently serving as the Immigration Services Director at the Latin American Association. Jonathan also worked for the government of Mexico assisting Mexican nationals facing the death penalty in the United States. During law school, Jonathan spent a summer clerking for the Center for Justice and International Law in San Jose, Costa Rica, where he assisted in litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Prior to law school, Jonathan worked for Witness for Peace in Guatemala and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights in Mexico City and Oaxaca. Jonathan enjoys reading, cooking, playing tennis and international travel.

SAM FRIEDLANDER: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sam Friedlander is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied linguistics, international development, and creative writing. During her time as a Penn student, she spent a year in Chile, Jordan, and Nepal, studying human rights, and then Ecuador, studying the history and challenges of the bilingual intercultural Kichwa education system. She has taught and mentored at university-assisted community schools in Tennessee and Philadelphia and has worked with refugee youth through the Nashville International Center for Empowerment. Her interest in education inspired her to research the right to intercultural, bilingual education in both Ecuador and Philadelphia. As a journalist, she has worked as the managing editor of a student-run, social justice-themed magazine and as a freelance writer for Huffington Post and Unity Magazine. Sam enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

SYDNEY HERNDON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Sydney Herndon graduated in 2013 from Auburn University with degrees in Anthropology and Art History and minors in Spanish and Sustainability. Throughout her undergraduate studies she spent time abroad including 7 months in Costa Rica conducting interviews with farmers and a summer in Fiji conducting a desk review and ethnographic research among the Mali tribal community. Most recently, she has spent three years working with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) based in Rome, Italy, also traveling to Africa and Asia to conduct operational reviews of WFP’s emergency responses. Through the MDP program, Sydney is interested in the role that social enterprise can play in sustainable international development. She enjoys rock climbing, leisure traveling and good food.

RAVEN HINSON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Raven Hinson is an Atlanta native and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Georgia. Her interest in development began in high school with mission trips to Montana to assist on an Indian Reservation and Mobile, Alabama to provide support to hurricane victims. This led to her civil and human rights focus during college and to her commitment to further her studies to learn how to assist with women and minorities’ education and empowerment. Raven has spent the past year working at a professional development firm that works to advance women’s careers. In her free time she likes to watch documentaries and read any social science book she can get her hands on.

SIDRA KHALID: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sidra Khalid is a Pakistani American who graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sociology. Before starting at Emory, she worked as an English teacher in China for two years. Her interest in international development solidified when she was in college and volunteered abroad in Ghana with an NGO called the Ghana Health and Education Initiative (GHEI). Sidra helped run a girl’s empowerment camp with local teens, focusing on self-esteem, leadership, and family planning. After Ghana, she worked in Pakistan with an NGO called Roshni Helpline which seeks to combat child abductions and provides counseling services to exploited women and children. Sidra hopes to create gender-inclusive education policies and programs and to address gender-based violence in the Global South. In her free time she enjoys traveling, baking, and drinking chai while binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix.

XIN LI: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Xin Li studied international affairs at Fudan University in China. While in college, she went to Paris to attend the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum as a delegate of China, an experience that triggered her interest in sustainable development. In particular she is interested in improving NGO business development through brand marketing. She cultivated her marketing skills while working with Bosch Ltd. Co in China providing market research and analysis for three companies. Xin enjoys dancing and swimming.

RYAN MINTZ: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Ryan Mintz was born and raised just outside of Atlanta. He attended the University of Georgia (UGA) where he triple-majored in Economics, International Affairs, and Political Science. In college, Ryan traveled or studied abroad each summer and gained an interest in development from trips to Costa Rica, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey. After graduation, Ryan moved to China and spent the next year and a half teaching English. Ryan’s time in China led him to join the Peace Corps, where he served for two years as a small business development volunteer in Nicaragua’s Autonomous Caribbean region. Ryan is interested improving development organizations through the process of selecting, implementing and monitoring projects. Ryan enjoys sports, board games, camping and reading.

MIA NIEVES: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mia Nieves was born and raised in South Florida to parents from Puerto Rico and El Salvador. She is fluent in Spanish and French, and conversational in Mandarin Chinese. In 2014, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and in French and Francophone studies from the University of Florida. After graduation she worked with the UF Center of Arts and Medicine in Kampala, Uganda assisting in research on the use of arts in public health programs. She then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guizhou province, China, where she taught English as a foreign language. Daily observations in her host-community ignited her passion for sustainable development and promoting eco-friendly health practices in the Global South. Mia enjoys fitness, dancing, hiking, and reading.

KATIE OSWALD: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Katie Oswald grew up in Virginia and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. After graduation, Katie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta, Georgia, and in March 2013 she moved into a full-time position with the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. In her current role with the Affiliate Tithe program, Katie helps to support nearly 1,400 U.S. Habitat affiliates in their tithing of unrestricted funds to more than 50 country programs abroad, such as Habitat Nepal and Habitat Malawi. She plans to apply her MDP studies to strengthen her capacity to address issues with housing security. Katie also enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, taking photos and working in the garden.

Tim Rupnarain: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Tim Rupnarain was born in Paramaribo, Suriname but grew up in the United States. He graduated from Emory University where he studied Religion with a focus on ethics, community building and social change. During his first two years in Atlanta, Tim observed the food insecurity issues which motivated him to work with non-profits, local governments and resident leaders to address the needs in low-income Atlanta neighborhoods. These projects included pastoral care, community-food gardens, youth development and community activism. Tim plans to combine his passions to create two social enterprises that address development issues in Atlanta and the world at large including a non-profit for youth and a tea café.

BETHANY SIKES: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Bethany Sikes, a Bobby Jones Fellow, is from Edinburgh, Scotland and graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2016 with a MA (Hons) in International Relations and Modern History. Bethany’s interest in sustainable development practice has grown through experiences such as building vegetable gardens in South Africa and assessing the monsoon season disaster risk for the village of Montola with Tearfund in Bangladesh. Bethany is interested in learning about humanitarian response and long-term reconstruction in the context of natural disasters. Bethany looks forward to the opportunity to explore Atlanta and travel around the United States. Alongside her hobbies of cooking and reading, Bethany is a passionate life-long supporter of Leicester City Football Club.

JULIAN WYATT: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Julian Wyatt is a native of Los Angeles, California and graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. As an undergraduate student he interned as the curriculum facilitator with ForeverFamily, a non-profit organization that provides services to children with incarcerated parents. He now serves as a member on the organization’s Young Professionals Board. Julian's interest in international development was sparked while at Morehouse when he got the opportunity to spend a summer working on an assessment of community-based capacity to develop solar energy production in Ghana. After graduation, he served as a mental health specialist providing culturally tailored behavioral health interventions to the impoverished and elderly population in the Metro-Atlanta area and also worked to address mental health disparities among minorities. His areas of interest include conflict resolution and peace-building, global mental health, and disaster relief. In his leisure he enjoys spending time with friends and family, and taking walks with his adopted greyhound.

GABRIELA ARTASANCHEZ: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Gabriela grew up in Puebla, a beautiful baroque city two hours away from Mexico City. She received a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Financial Strategies from Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla. After graduating, she worked at the Mexican branch of Citigroup in wealth management. She is interested in addressing global challenges facing many communities similar to the one she grew up in, including issues of poverty, migration, health, corruption and indigenous rights. She is interested to apply her MDP studies to the field of corporate social responsibility and facilitating access to education in marginalized areas of Mexico. In her free time, Gabriela enjoys cooking and reading.

ADZA BEDA: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Adza Beda is an Ivorian American student from Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Buffalo State University with a degree in Communication Studies. As a student, Adza interned as a Maya Mountain Research assistant in Belize, where she gained a passion for development practice. Adza also worked as an AmeriCorps employee for two terms, an experience that provided her with the opportunity to ground her global concerns into a US domestic context. While at Emory she intends to continue her learning process and one day start her own nonprofit organization aimed to restructure Fair Trade Practices in the Ivory Coast cacao agriculture industry.

RUOFEI CHEN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Ruofei is Peruvian with Chinese roots born and raised in Lima. She graduated from Sun Yat-Sen University in China with a Bachelor’s in Biotechnology. Her first interest for international development started during her high school years when volunteering in Youth Mother Refugee Reina de la Paz in Lima. During college, Ruofei led the projects department in the Youth Volunteering Association and managed a continuous weekend tutoring program for children with limited access to quality education. Her first job with Colgate Palmolive enabled her to engage with several development efforts supported by the company, including Operation Smile, Water for People, and other local non-profits. Most recently Ruofei has been working at Teach for China, part of Teach for All’s network, as a Recruiting and University Relationship Manager. Her development interests include education, child protection, child nutrition and livelihoods. She enjoys trekking, swimming, riding a bicycle and traveling.

ANDREINA CORDOVA: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Andreina graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014 with a major in International Development Studies along with a minor in Gender Studies. Her interest in development began at age 13 through her involvement with advocacy and education with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. At age 18, she became a National Board Director for Planned Parenthood Federation and is currently an active board member of Planned Parenthood Global.She has had the opportunity to work with various nonprofits focused on diverse issues such as education, healthcare, and community development, both domestically and abroad, and is particularly interested in issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the developing world. In her free time Andreina enjoys board games, trying new food, creating crafts and watching Korean dramas.

ALEXANDRA GORDON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Hailing from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Alexandra graduated from Lehigh University May 2015 with an Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences and concentrated on general engineering and environmental sustainability. Staying true to her Hispanic roots, she traveled to Nicaragua twice with Engineers Without Borders to assess a possible community-level water system. She also spent a summer in Costa Rica studying national sustainability policies and participated in carrying capacity studies in Carara National Park. Her love of this beautiful planet (especially Latin America) has led to her interest in community-based natural resource management and to an appreciation for multi-sectoral approaches to development which integrate environmental concerns. Alexandra's athletic passion is horseback riding, which she has been doing since she was six years old. She also enjoys hiking, biking, camping, and skiing.

MARIA GUZMAN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Maria was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the United States in 2004. She obtained her bachelor's degree from Kennesaw State University in International Affairs with a concentration in Diplomatic and Human Services. She has worked for several non-profit organizations including the Latin American Association, the United Way, and Junior Achievement of Georgia. After spending a year teaching English in Quito, Ecuador, Maria decided to pursue her longtime interest in development. Her professional and personal experiences have cultivated her interest in sustainable development with the goal of empowering women to own their economic success. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, exercise and travel.

RACHEL LASTINGER: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she studied Political Science minoring in International Studies, Economics and Leadership. During her time at OSU, she visited Ethiopia with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) and worked at an after school program for international students’ children. After graduating, she returned to Ethiopia, where she worked for CRU for 2 years, to empower, mentor, and train female university students. Rachel is passionate about empowering the next generation of women and fighting for their rights to an education and rights to pursue their dreams. She is looking forward to learning more about how development practice can contribute to improving the lives of girls in the Global South as well as enhance every child learning abilities and opportunities. Rachel loves traveling and exploring, growing in her faith, dancing, baking and reading.

NICOLE MCCOY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Nicole McCoy is pursuing a dual MDiv/MDP degree. She comes to Emory University with several years of experience as an educator, having taught children and adults on a wide range of subjects including science, history, liberal arts, and English as a Second Language. She lived and taught in South Korea and Morocco for three years, developing an interest in ethnographic research, particularly focused on gender issues and human rights. Upon returning to the US, she worked with the Settlement Department of the International Rescue Committee on a Women’s Empowerment project for refugee women, and later with the Refugee Ministries of All Saint’s Episcopal Church. Nicole enjoys historical non-fiction books and documentaries, swimming, traveling, and speaking French.

MACKENZIE MOODY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mackenzie grew up in a small-town in North Carolina where she earned a degree in philosophy at Western Carolina University. While working on her degree, she also spent time with AmeriCorps VISTA, where she gained knowledge of sustainable food sources through the expansion and initiation of new and existing programs and community gardens. Her term as an AmeriCorps member opened new doors and led the way for work with other organizations, such as CARE USA. As a result, Mackenzie decided to devote her life to development and focus on food insecurity and human rights. She hopes that the knowledge and skills gained from MDP along with her background in philosophy will help her better serve communities worldwide and be a better advocate for environmental sustainability and social justice. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys hiking, knitting and live music.

BILLY RICE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Billy is a Coquille Native American born and raised in Los Angeles, California and has lived in and traveled to many U.S. and international destinations. For the last three years, he has served as a Board of Director on the Coquille Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO) and currently serves as a Board of Director – Secretary/ Treasurer or both CEDCO and the Mith-Ih-Kwuh Economic Development Corporation, overseeing $50M in revenue generated from a multitude of businesses. Some recent projects include: log exports to the Asian Market, the development of an additional Casino, and overseeing investments in Perpetua Technologies. Additionally, he served for over 13 years as a firefighter/EMT with Fire Departments in the Atlanta area. Billy graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and a Master's in Public Administration, receiving honors recognition with election to the Pi Alpha Alpha Honors Society. He enjoys reading, traveling, and adventure sports.

DAVID SABINO: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

A native Atlantan, David completed a degree in biology with a minor in Portuguese at the University of Georgia (UGA). As an undergraduate, he interned with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, where he used genetic approaches to understand seed dispersal patterns of tropical trees. Upon graduation, David served four years in the Marine Corps as a logistics officer with two overseas deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his second overseas tour, David served as a military logistics advisor working directly with his Iraqi counterparts. After completion of his active duty obligations, David returned home to Atlanta and has spent the last seven years teaching high school biology and chemistry. His development interests include wildlife species and habitat conservation as well as post-conflict/disaster relief and redevelopment. In his leisure time, David's hobbies include trail running with his pit-bull, kayak fishing, camping, cooking, and gardening.

TARANGINI SAXENA: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Originally from Dehradun, India, Tarangini has been shaped by multiple cultural influences. Through her B.A. in Environmental Systems from the University of California and field-study in the Brazilian Amazon, Tarangini became aware of the disconnect between global production of food and energy and local rights of access to natural resources. In Brazil, Tarangini had the opportunity to work with the national chapter of Vía Campesina in their efforts to identify socio-political barriers to sustainable land reform and distribution. Interested in learning about community empowerment, Tarangini went to observe the work of various organizations across India, an experience that enabled her to learn skills in agriculture, handicraft and theater. She was especially inspired by the approaches and achievements of the Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (Farmer-Laborer Strength Association) and the Navdanya Seed Bank and Learning Center. Tarangini is interested in contributing to the establishment of decentralized economies that value ecology and human dignity. Tarangini loves identifying birds and plants, playing sitar and reading fiction.

ANDIE TUCKER: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Andie is an Atlanta native and received her degree in Global Studies from Azusa Pacific University. During undergraduate studies, she had the opportunity to work and study in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with community development and anti-domestic violence organizations. As part of this work, Andie authored a report documenting the Malaysian police force's response to domestic violence which was published in the Pennsylvania State University’s Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research. After graduation, Andie returned to Atlanta and began working with a local NGO focused on capacity building and community development among Atlanta's homeless women and children. She loves to play guitar, travel, and kayaking.

SARAH TURKALY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sarah’s interest in development began when she traveled with her church to Haiti in 2010. As a result of this experience, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs and a minor in Global Sustainability at the University of Virginia (UVA). While in college, Sarah traveled to Bangladesh on a short-term study abroad program to study social entrepreneurship and development efforts. Following the trip, she and three other students secured a grant from the university to partner with BRAC, a large NGO based in Bangladesh, to conduct a needs and capabilities assessment for a community library system. This experience solidified Sarah's desire to pursue a career in international development. Through her MDP studies, Sarah plans to focus on climate change, disaster resilience, food systems, and the role of technology in development. In her free time she enjoys reading, cheering on UVA's sports teams, and being with friends.

DANIELLE VEAL: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Danielle was born and raised in the Stone Mountain/Lithonia area, outside of Atlanta. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at UNC, she spent a semester abroad studying globalization and nation-building in Southern Africa, an experience that ignited her interest in international development. As a Teach for America Corps Member in Houston, Texas, she learned the art of teaching, which she later applied to teaching English in South Korea. While in the MDP program, Danielle hopes to learn about social justice and women’s rights and empowerment. She enjoys music, cooking, and spending time with family.

MELANIE ALEMAN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Melanie graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a double major in English Literature and Communication and a minor in Music Industry Studies. In 2012, Melanie decided to act on her interest in development and public service and joined the Peace Corps. For the past two years, Melanie has been an English Education volunteer in East Java, Indonesia teaching in a madrasah and working with youth development and girl empowerment camps in her small, Islamic community. Melanie is originally from Quito, Ecuador and intends to focus on environmental education and conservation and sustainable livelihoods in the future. During her free time, she loves listening to and creating music, playing guitar and going to concerts, as well as reading, conversation, travel, photography and writing.

PAULITA BENNETT-MARTIN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Paulita is a Belizean American with a passion for coastal life, and the Caribbean in particular. Her curiosity about human impacts on ecology in coastal communities and the waters surrounding them led her to perform extensive field work tracking spatiotemporal trends in marine debris through small towns and villages of Belize. This study resulted in a fully funded honors thesis in 2013 that she has presented internationally. In May 2014, Paulita graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University with a BA in Geography and a minor in Film and Video, and was selected for an academic year Fellow with the Atlanta BeltLine. Previously, she was a researcher and community coordinator for National Science Foundation and Association of American Geography research teams. Paulita is driven to work in developing coastal communities, with an end goal to ensure healthy human relationships with wildlife and natural environments while stimulating the economies of what she believes are the most precious and vulnerable locations on earth. Outside of school, she is most excited about spending time with her family, aimless and endless walks, new Cousteau books for her collection, making her own clothes, and swimming with whales, sharks and rays.

VICTORIA CHUONG: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Victoria hails from Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She majored in Political Science and invested much of her free time in Model United Nations. After graduation, Victoria did advocacy and civic engagement work for the Asian and Pacific Islander community in North Carolina followed by a year in Ningbo, China, teaching English to primary school children. In the MDP program, she plans to focus on governance and democracy building.

AMELIA CONRAD: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Amelia was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. She attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where she majored in International Relations and International Development. Her interest in development work began as a child, but was solidified during a service trip to Mexico in high school. During college, she studied in Peru, where she conducted independent research in a Lima shantytown and became involved with a shelter for abused and abandoned girls in the rural Andes. Amelia has been involved with service organizations throughout her life, receiving the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award in 2012 and the Tulane Leaders in Service Award in 2013. She has had the opportunity to work with various nonprofits focused on diverse issues such as education, immigration, hunger, and community development, both domestically and abroad, and is particularly interested in issues of gender equity in the developing world. In her free time, Amelia enjoys running, hiking, and exploring new places!

MARIO COREA: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mario Corea graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and certificates in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Raised in Miami, Florida by parents who fled Nicaragua during civil war, Mario’s interest in development grew from a desire to learn about and give back to the community his family left behind. After graduating from UF he got involved with education-based nonprofits, serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer through City Year for two years and as a refugee youth program assistant with Youth Co-Op for an additional year. Motivated by these experiences, he hopes to focus on the power of community-based service learning to promote civic engagement and socially conscious leadership. In his free time he enjoys exploring new cultures through books and travel, and staying active by biking, boxing, hiking, and doing yoga.

JESSICA FRYE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jessica grew up in Texas, and earned a B.A.  in International Business with a minor in International Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Her passion for international development work was ignited through her experiences and work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.  During her three years in Senegal, she engaged her community in Shea butter production and food security gardens, coordinated gender development scholarships and worked with youth leadership camps, wrote grants for the construction of a community well and latrines, and held business and accounting trainings for local women’s groups. Her biggest achievement as a Peace Corps volunteer was writing a grant for the largest Peace Corps Partnership in history, raising over $54,000 in nine months to build a six-classroom high school that now benefits over 25 villages. Jessica plans to continue development work, establishing schools and health systems in remote areas of Africa and raising awareness about the importance of education. Jessica speaks Spanish, French, German and Fulani and enjoys traveling, reading and going to Zumba classes.

KATHERINE GROENEVELT: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Kate grew up in Rochester, New York where she also attended the University of Rochester. She graduated in 2012, double majoring in Political Science and International Relations. During the summer after her freshman year, she studied abroad in Malawi. Finding the experience both illuminating and confounding, she returned five more times as a teaching assistant for the program and as a research assistant studying agricultural decision-making among smallholder farmers in the context of chronic food insecurity. Through conducting this research, she developed an appreciation for the complexity surrounding issues of local development, which she hopes an Emory education will help her to sort through. In her free time, Kate enjoys watching Yankees baseball, exploring and photographing new places with her friends and family, and cooking new foods.

KATIE HIEBERT: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Katie received her bachelors degree in History and Politics from New York University in 2008. After a lovely post-college jaunt in Paris and New York with jobs in education and finance, she turned her attention fully towards a passion for service and international development. With the Peace Corps from 2010-2012, she worked as an English Education consultant with a small school in northeast Moldova as well as the Director of Training for GLOW Moldova, a youth and female empowerment organization that utilizes peer training as a tool for development. For the past year, she has been working with an independent non-profit dedicated to improving cancer care in the state of Georgia. Her wanderlust keeps calling, but Katie has enjoyed exploring a new city here in Atlanta with her husband Brad and dog, Abe Lincoln. She loves to spend her time laughing with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors and cooking delicious vegan fare.

TYRELL KAHAN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Tyrell grew up in Yalaha, a small town in central Florida. He received a Bachelor’s in Animal Science and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. He has a special interest in goat production that was sparked while working on research farms in south and central Florida. Before becoming a veterinarian, he worked as an extension agent at Florida A&M University, serving limited-resource farmers. These experiences, combined with his study abroad experiences in Brazil and Mexico, eventually led to his desire to pursue a career in international development. While in veterinary school, Tyrell traveled to Liberia with Veterinarians Without Borders to train community animal health workers. Tyrell’s professional interests include public health, agriculture and food security. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading and traveling.

ERIN KIM: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Erin was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the melting pot of the suburbs of Atlanta. Erin is passionate about youth development. While working towards Bachelor's degree in International Studies at Emory, she volunteered at Our House, a daycare center for homeless families in Atlanta, mentored local Korean adoptees, and taught immigrant and Native American students. While studying abroad in Kyoto, Japan, during her junior year, Erin volunteered at Eruwha, a center for Korean minorities who are descendants of the captives of World War II. Internships at the South Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. and at the Carter Center in Atlanta fed Erin’s interests in international development. Erin teaches immigrant and refugee children from Africa, Eastern Europe, East and South Asia in the Atlanta suburbs and occasionally travels to Lenoa Vicario, Mexico to work with indigenous children. Erin enjoys playing piano during her free time.

BRADY MOTT: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Brady began traveling at a young age, and through his interest in politics, public health and human rights, started working in development shortly after graduating from high school. Over the years he has contributed to environmental movements in Ecuador, clean water projects in Vietnam, indigenous rights campaigns in Chile, cultural events in India, sanitation programs in Guatemala, human rights advocacy in Mexico, and disease prevention initiatives in Peru. Brady’s enthusiasm for fieldwork led to his academic pursuits at the University of Vermont and the School for International Training, where he studied Political Science and International Development. He hopes to one day open a medical clinic in Peru, work towards the treatment and prevention of neglected tropical diseases, and live in a giant treehouse in the jungle. When he's not engaged in development work, Brady can be found whitewater paddling, bouldering, and building art in the desert.

VICTORIA PHOENIX: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

While growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Victoria developed a passion for human rights and development. Throughout her life, she volunteered and worked for many nonprofit organizations in various ways, including Americorps NCCC as a corps member, a rape crisis center as a Rape Crisis advocate, and CopWatch as an organizer and lobbyist. After graduating from high school, she moved to Vienna, Austria for two years and volunteered with the United Nations Women’s Guild and studied art. In 2012, she graduated with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Social Welfare from the University of New Mexico. Since graduation, she has worked with the Equal Opportunity Commission and Habitat for Humanity International on various projects including helping to establish a disability recruitment incentive for the US Air force. Victoria's research interest and passion is in transitional justice, especially reparations, apologies, and memorials. Victoria enjoys traveling and immersing herself in the different cultures; she has traveled extensively and has visited five continents, living in three.  She also enjoys painting and attending art events.

SUMON RAY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sumon Ray is a native Georgian who graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Public Health. On his journeys to Cambodia, Ghana, and India, he knew that he was meant to live a life exploring the unexplored. Recently, Sumon went through 3 months of Health Education training through Peace Corps Ghana focusing on Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Malnutrition, and Reproductive Health which confirmed his passion for international development. Through the MDP Program, Sumon hopes to understand the complexities of development issues and further his interests in disaster relief. His hobbies include cooking different cuisines, dancing, writing, reading, and karaoke with his friends.

LAUREN REEF: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Lauren is from North Carolina, where she also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in International Studies at North Carolina State University. After graduation, Lauren decided to gain experience in development by volunteering with Peace Corps. She was assigned to work in Paraguay, where she spent three years working as a health volunteer. Her first two years were spent working primarily on reproductive health education and improved cookstove projects in a small rural community. In her third year she moved to a city and continued working with cookstove projects as well as collaborating with Plan International on youth initiatives. Lauren hopes to use her MDP degree to pursue a career in Program Evaluation.

HAYLEY ROBINETT: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Hayley grew up in Saudi Arabia, but currently lives in Ormond Beach, Florida. Her interest in international relations and development has been influenced by her academic, professional, and personal opportunities to live in and visit more than thirty countries. Hayley graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and French. She spent a semester studying abroad in France’s Loire Valley before finding an English tutoring position on the island of Corsica. After graduation, Hayley served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, where she worked on various health, educational, and environmental issues. In this capacity, her primary goals were to educate local community members on health issues such as Malaria, HIV/AIDs, and nutrition, and to implement behavior change programs throughout the community. She also organized and facilitated the construction of an additional two-classroom block for the local junior high school. Hayley’s development interests include basic education and educational policy, public health, and women’s empowerment. She enjoys baseball, cooking, traveling, and anything to do with the beach!

ROBERT SHANNON: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Robert grew up in Virginia, but completed high school and college in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated from Morehouse College. While at Morehouse College he studied psychology with a focus on African American Male Identity. Leaning on his background and resources in Atlanta, Robert worked within his community to mentor at-risk youth and teenage fathers. He also studied in Ghana where he shifted his focus to international affairs. Robert began to intern abroad, studying sustainable development and identity orchestration across varying context. Most Recently, Robert worked as the Program Coordinator for the Morehouse Pan-African Global Experience, a study abroad program, where he had the opportunity to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue, service learning, and sustainable development projects in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo. His development interests include economic sustainability, ethical systems, gender equality, and African politics. He also enjoys reading, running, travel, and playing the Blues on guitar.

BARRETT SMITH: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Barrett is a born and raised Texan pursuing a dual Master of Divinity and Master's in Development Practice. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked for three years as a minister at Carpenter's Church in Lubbock, TX where he accompanied many men and women who were living on the streets. In addition to typical pastoral activities, he engaged in social work and community activism and development. His favorite projects included the development of a community garden and tent city. He also lost many games of dominoes and billiards. The real importance, however, was found in the relationships developed within the community. Barrett has traveled internationally in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.  He enjoys riding a bicycle, playing basketball and board games, and cultivating fruits and veggies.​

LAURA WAGNER: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lara graduated cum laude from Goucher College. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts, Lara served in the Peace Corps where she worked closely with low-income students in Khovd, Mongolia. She also served on the Peace Corps Volunteer Advisory Council and Peer Support Network. Lara later moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she worked with two NGOs aiding indigent women in universities and children of garbage scavengers, respectively. Since returning to the United States, Lara has taken courses in evaluation and grant writing in addition to founding Skylight Consulting, a consulting firm serving nonprofits. Through the MDP program, Lara hopes to expand her evaluations skills in real-world settings and collaborate with host country nationals in developing countries. In her free time Lara volunteers with homeless teens, hosts dinner parties and travels anywhere she can.

TANYA WITLEN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Tanya is a New Jersey native, but has growing southern roots. She spent her undergraduate years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. Her undergraduate research focused on marine and limnological biogeochemical systems. She hopes to apply her environmental science background to her MDP studies by focusing on the impact of development on water quality and coral reef ecosystems. Since graduation, she has taught science in Thailand and worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Reading Partners in Charleston, South Carolina. Tanya enjoys swimming, cooking, and watching college basketball.

HELENA WORRALL: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Originally from the south of England, Helena attended the University of St Andrews in Scotland, graduating in 2014 with a BSc in Sustainable Development. Her undergraduate degree had a strong environmental emphasis, focusing on subjects such as resource management, climate change and environmental ethics. During the summer of 2012 Helena had the privilege of travelling to Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, spending a month volunteering with a Burundian-led NGO in Gitega. Her time in East Africa served to broaden her interest in development work to include topics such as community empowerment, peace-building and poverty alleviation. Having also travelled widely in Europe with longer trips to Mexico and Australia, Helena has fostered a strong interest in different cultures and foreign languages. In her free time she enjoys tennis, korfball, skiing and photography. 

Mian Cheng: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mian graduated from Wuhan University, China with a Bachelor’s in Economics. While at WHU, she received the Erasmus Mundus scholarship to study abroad in Groningen, the Netherlands, where she shifted her focus from economics to development. Her interest in development practice was sparked while volunteering as a teacher in an impoverished village of China in the summer of 2011. She hopes that the MDP program will help her improve health and wellbeing for children in resource-poor areas. Mian enjoys sports including swimming, badminton and volleyball. She also loves to read, travel and make desserts.

HANNAH COX: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Hannah Cox participated in many mission trips throughout her childhood which groomed her for development work before she understood what it was. At the University of Georgia, Hannah majored in Anthropology with a second major in English and a minor in Religion. After college, she broadened her development experience by serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania where, in addition to teaching Math and English at a government secondary school, she trained volunteers and counterparts, and chaired a support group dedicated to addressing the diversity and struggles of PCVs in Tanzania. Hannah intends to use her education and experience with international development to shape paradigms of mission and mutuality in the Christian church.

Brooke Estes: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Brooke grew up in Virginia and received a Bachelor’s in Spanish and a Masters in Teaching at the University of Virginia. Her interest in international development was sparked by opportunities to travel and volunteer in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bolivia and Swaziland. Upon graduation from UVA, Brooke spent two years serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, where her interest in development and commitment to community empowerment deepened. She then spent another two years managing the volunteer programs at the Birmingham Zoo. In her free time, Brooke enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, soccer, traveling and practicing her Spanish.

Fallon Frappier: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Fallon is from Longwood, Florida and attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She graduated from Furman in May 2013 after earning her Bachelor's degree in Global Health Journalism. In the summer of 2012, Fallon had the privilege of traveling to Africa, including Botswana, where she focused on HIV/AIDS and Zambia and South Africa, where she met with different organizations that receive US foreign aid, as an intern with the ONE Campaign. Fallon's specific interests lie in global health and women’s empowerment. Fallon enjoys baseball - especially the Yankees - photography, cooking, visiting with friends and family, and getting to the beach as often as possible.

JOANNA GALARIS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Joanna lived in Greece, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Qatar, Ghana, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates before coming to live in the United States for the first time as a freshman at the University of Florida. While working towards her Bachelor's in Anthropology and Minor in African Studies, she served as a student ambassador for Multicultural and Diversity Affairs and volunteered with her university's Center for Arts in Medicine in Rwanda. Since attending the East-Central Africa Arts and Health Forum in Kigali and working with Barefoot Artists and Rwanda Sustainable Families in Gisenyi, she has developed a strong interest in mental health rehabilitation in trauma-affected areas. She is also interested in sustainability, NGO management, and LGBTQ issues. Joanna enjoys riding her bicycle, listening to Rokia Traoré and eating Ethiopian food.

LAUREN GODFREY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Lauren is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and she graduated from Syracuse University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in International Relations. While at Syracuse, Lauren interned at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where she researched foreign assistance reform and learned about conflict areas around the world. After graduation, Lauren worked for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in San Francisco. Prompted by her interests in education and development, Lauren served as a WorldTeach volunteer in rural Tanzania from June 2011 to May 2012. Since then Lauren has worked as an ESL teacher at a Bay Area adult school. In her free time, Lauren enjoys exploring new places with family and friends, playing golf, practicing yoga and baking.

SARAH HARLAN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Hailing from northwest Georgia, Sarah received her BS from Georgetown University in Middle East studies and has worked in Washington, DC since 2009. Her professional work has focused on Muslim-West dialogue, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and health and economic development through the public-private partnership model. Her geographic areas of focus include the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. Prior to attending Emory, she worked with the Aspen Institute on promoting economic development in the Middle East and North Africa, raising the profile of fast-growing sectors for investment in Turkey and Pakistan, and supporting partnerships for healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, yoga, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

JULIE KEDROSKE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Julie grew up in Michigan and graduated from Kalamazoo College, where she majored in Human Development and Social Relations and minored in Political Science. Her passion for community organizing began with a community development project in Kalamazoo and deepened as she worked with LIFT Communities, a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to eradicating domestic poverty by connecting individuals with resources in their community. Most recently, Julie has been working with the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber to coordinate community building efforts among individuals, community organizations and local businesses. In addition to community development, Julie’s interests include gender issues, global health, and nonprofit management. In her free time, Julie enjoys cooking, reading and traveling.

JILLIAN KENNEY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jillian is from Charlotte, North Carolina and attended Appalachian State University. She graduated in the summer of 2013 with a B.S. in Environmental Biology and B.A. in Sustainable Development. Jillian is interested in the intersection between resource use and poverty alleviation. While in college, she served with community development organizations in Puerto Rico and San Diego. Jillian also completed research at the University of Notre Dame involving stream restoration, and interned at Appalachian Voices, an organization working with communities affected by mountain-top removal. She finished her undergraduate degrees while studying abroad in South Africa. Her personal interests include dancing, biking, and going on adventures.

NATHAN KENNEDY: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Nathan was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University in the summer of 2013 with a BA in Global Studies and a BA in Sustainable Development. While studying abroad in South Africa, he served as an intern with an organization serving underprivileged youth affected by HIV/AIDS. Nathan also traveled to the Dominican Republic where he worked with a grassroots community development organization. His development interests include the economics of development, sustainability, and community empowerment. He enjoys traveling, playing banjo and learning languages.

LHAMOTSO LAMAOCUO: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Originally from Tibet, "Lhamo" transferred to the MDP program from the Women’s Studies Department at Emory University. This summer, she managed three microloan projects in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Tibet. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Qinghai Normal University through the English Tibetan Programin 2007. She has facilitated several development projects dealing with infrastructure building and income generation in her community in Tibet. She has also worked for several international and local NGOs including Machik, an NGO based in Washington DC, Ventures in Development, based in Hong Kong, and Green Kham, in Tibet, and served as Director of the Gender Program at Shem Women’s Group for four years. Her interests focus on the unintended impacts of NGO development work on women and on the environment in Tibet. She loves herding yaks and sheep, traditional music, and pilgrimages.

CHARLOTTE NEWMAN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Charlotte is from North Carolina, where she received a Bachelor’s in International Studies from North Carolina State University. While in school, she served as an intern at a non-profit that focuses on addressing hunger issues in developing countries. After graduation she moved to Mexico to teach English among indigenous populations in Chiapas, where she became interested in pursuing a career in development practice. Subsequently, she moved to the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where she spent two years working with a nonprofit poverty relief foundation that combines microfinance and sustainable tourism. Her responsibilities included teaching financial education classes and workshops to women in indigenous communities as well as facilitating educational visits centered on micro-finance and small business development. She also works as a research associate and assistant editor for MicroCapital, an online microfinance news publication. Charlotte's principal interests are food security and women's rights. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys all kinds of music, swimming and playing with her dog.

WINNETTE RICHARDS: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Born in Liberia, West Africa, Winnette developed an interest in international issues early as a result of her experiences as a child during the Liberian Civil War and subsequently as a refugee in both the Ivory Coast and Ghana. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Buffalo, with a concentration in International Relations. During her undergraduate studies, Winnette interned with the DC based NGO, Refugees International, where she gained deeper insight into the issues of displaced persons and refugee communities. After graduating, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia and interned with the Human Rights Program at The Carter Center. She conducted research on the plight of children in the mining regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the dangers faced by human rights activists in the DRC. These invaluable experiences have helped shape Winnette’s focus on advocacy for refugees and children’s rights; especially their rights to education in post-conflict and developing areas. She enjoys traveling, learning about different cultures, thrift-shopping and the arts.

TSEWANG RIGZIN: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Tsewang Rigzin is a Tibetan, who was brought up and educated in India. Fueled by a strong desire to work for the welfare of marginalized and less privileged section of society, he completed his Bachelor and Masters Degree in social work studies from Mangalore University, India. Tsewang worked at Pragya, a non-governmental organization, focusing on social development. In that capacity, he traveled throughout the Indian Himalayas working with projects that promote the sustainable development of remote mountain communities. His research and development interest include capacity building and education, sustainable livelihoods, and social enterprise. Tsewang enjoys travel photography and playing soccer.

Taylor Spicer: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Taylor grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and received her Bachelor’s in Anthropology and International Relations with a concentration in African Studies from the University of Arkansas. Her passion for development work emerged during a school-building trip to rural Kenya and deepened through research on land sector reforms in Rwanda and the cultural politics of fisher movements in Northeastern Brazil. Taylor recently served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, where she focused on the role of nonprofits in community development. She is interested in social movements, community empowerment, environmental justice, and nonprofit management. Taylor enjoys hiking, singing and dancing to 90's R&B, playing soccer, doing yoga and volunteering.

WENLU YE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Wenlu grew up in Xi’an, an ancient city in China. She earned her Bachelor’s in Public Affairs Management from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU), with a minor in English. While at FAFU, she pursued coursework and research which inspired her passion for sustainable development. During her senior year, Wenlu worked with the Fujian Economic Broadcasting Station as an intern reporter and editor focusing on social and economic news. She then served as a project management trainee with NetDragon, a large IT company, where she honed her skills in project management. After graduation, she interned at the Economy Research Institute, where she conducted research on urbanization. Wenlu also volunteered as a teaching assistant at a special education center for autistic children. In her spare time, she enjoys Chinese tea ceremonies, painting, making handcrafts, and traveling with family and friends.

BIRUH ZEGEYE: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Biruh Tesfaye Zegeye was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management from Haramaya University, the country’s premier agricultural university. After graduation, he worked as a project supervisor for an agribusiness. In 2008, he came to the United States to complete a Master’s in International Development Administration at Western Michigan University. While in graduate school, he served as an intern at Tillers International, an NGO that works with rural farm communities in Mozambique and Uganda, promoting low-capital technology to increase the sustainability and productivity. He also served as a research assistant for the Center for African Development Policy Research at Western Michigan University focusing on governance and democratization policy issues in Africa. He enjoys watching movies, playing basketball and tennis, reading, traveling, and socializing with friends and family.

Renee Barron: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Renee is originally from Maryland and earned her Bachelor’s in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduation, she lived in Germany for four years. Traveling throughout Europe, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Renee participated in Habitat for Humanity International trips and other service projects where she gained an appreciation and understanding of the challenges that developing nations face. Her specific interests lie in the areas of human rights and trafficking. She hopes to use the MDP degree to inspire teenagers and young adults to step out of their comfort zone and take action to solve these problems in their local communities and abroad. In her free time, Renee enjoys running, cooking, reading in the hammock and attending festivals, concerts and theater productions.

Samantha Collins: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

As a result of growing up in the Bermuda and England, Samantha began engaging in international issues at a young age. She attended Bowdoin College and received a BA in Romance Languages and East European/Eurasian Studies. During her time at Bowdoin, she became active in the immigrant/refugee non-profit community in Portland and was the Fellow for International Connections in Maine through Bowdoin. After graduating from Bowdoin, she moved to Chile as an English teacher, followed by a move back to Maine to continue working with the Portland refugee/immigrant communities. She had the experience to work as a grant-writer and language arts teacher at Portland Adult Education. In the future, Samantha is interested in researching the role of gender in refugee communities. Besides traveling, Samantha has a long list of interests that includes learning languages, meditating, and writing. 

Alexis Coppola: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Alexis is from Jamestown, Rhode Island. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies from the University of Rhode Island, with a minor in Peace and Nonviolence Studies. After graduating, she worked on a congressional political campaign in RI and then moved to sub-Saharan Africa, where she spent six years implementing a wide range of development projects. Working with organizations such as the Peace Corps, BeadforLife, and UNICEF, she was involved primarily in public health work and community-based entrepreneurial projects. She also spent time working with an NGO that helps resettle refugees to the United States. Her focus areas are global human health, gender issues, and human rights. Her personal interests include travel, cooking, running, and reading. 

Anna Hajduk: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Anna was born in Budapest, Hungary, but moved to Pittsburgh, PA as a child. She received her undergrad studies in International relations at George Washington University and then decided to move back to Europe. She first lived in France where she taught English in elementary schools and after which she moved to London, earning a degree in Politics and Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science. At LSE, she wrote her master thesis on Hungary's refugee policies. She worked for a progressive think-tank in Budapest, focusing on immigration issues. Her next position was at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, operating projects in eight countries in Central Asia and south-eastern Europe. She had the opportunity to visit many countries in the region, including Albania, Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and Turkey. She is interested in food security and nutrition as well as international migration, particularly as they affect children. She has been a leader at Hungarian scouts for over ten years, and also enjoys skiing, reading and cooking with her grandma.

Kate Jackson: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Kate grew up in Michigan, where she graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a double major in psychology and communication. Kate spent several years coordinating and managing capital campaigns for economic development entities in Colorado, including the Metro Denver EDC and the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. In between campaigns, Kate traveled extensively through Latin America volunteering with education programs in Sololá, Guatemala, and Quito, Ecuador. She most recently served as Development Director for Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit organization outside of Portland, Oregon. She has been an active member of various service organizations, including Alpha Phi Omega and Rotaract. Kate's professional interests include education, community development, social enterprise, and non-profit management. She plans to focus  on the role of technology in cultural preservation. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading. 

Amihan Jones: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Amihan grew up in various parts of the U.S. including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Texas before earning her B.A. at the College of Wooster in Ohio. While majoring in Philosophy and Religious Studies she had the opportunity to study the HIV/AIDS epidemic abroad in South Africa and Thailand and wrote her senior thesis on human rights and the practice of female genital cutting in The Gambia. After college she moved to Washington, DC as a young adult missionary through the United Methodist Church, working in a local congregation supporting social justice programs such as homeless missions, ESL classes for day laborers, and prison ministries. After two years in DC, she then moved to Thailand to volunteer at an HIV/AIDS orphanage where she has spent the last year learning about Thai culture. She enjoys Thai food, frisbee and friends.

Apoltolos Kalantzis: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Apostolos is from Chicago and graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in International Relations in 2011. While at Wheaton College, he also obtained a Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) certificate, which included a six month internship in Cairo, Egypt with the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), from May to December of 2010. While there, he researched the relationships and differences between Muslim and Christian NGOs. At Wheaton and after the Earthquakes in Haiti, he founded the Haiti/Wheaton Partnership which organized service trips to Haiti. After graduating from Wheaton, Apostolos spent a year in South Korea teaching English to Elementary and Middle School students. His research interests include peacemaking and reconciliation in post-conflict areas as well international development policy. In his free time, Apostolos enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, following White Sox baseball, and watching Superhero movies.

Paul Kennedy: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Paul discovered his passion for development work during his time living in Jamaica as a Peace Corps Volunteer. There he worked on rural outreach with the Ministry of Health as an HIV/AIDS educator, and assisted with program development for the Jamaican Red Cross. He also conducted environmental advocacy with the Jamaican Caves Organization. Upon returning to the U.S., Paul completed his undergraduate education at Kennesaw State University with a B.S. in Nursing and became a Certified Nonprofit Professional. Paul continued working with development NGOs and became increasingly active politics, even running for state-wide public office in 2010. While his background is in health, Paul's primary interest is in addressing all the interconnected factors impacting socioeconomic disparity, both in the U.S. and abroad. Paul loves to experience new cultures, especially the food, and planning new adventures with friends and family.

Claudia Langford: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Claudia grew up in Calhoun, GA and completed her B. A. at the University of Georgia, with a major in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Ecology. While attending UGA, Claudia pursued coursework that deepened her understanding of the unique relationships between environment, community and development. Her initial interest in development was sparked while traveling in Ecuador, where she assisted in the development of a biodiversity-friendly coffee label and worked with anthropologists to study market restrictions for cacao farmers in an Afro-Ecuadorian community. Claudia plans to use her experiences and background to continue work in development as a framework for conserving ecosystems and resources that serve as natural assets to poor communities. In her spare time, Claudia loves to cook, work in her garden and to escape to the North Georgia Mountains to hike, canoe and rock climb.

Caitlin McColloch: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Cait is from Texas where she received her B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from Texas A&M University in 2010.  At Texas A&M, Cait was an executive member of an environmental student organization focused on promoting environmental awareness on campus. She also studied sustainability and eco-tourism in a semester abroad in Fiji and Australia. After graduation, Cait worked in Kazakhstan as an education volunteer with the Peace Corps, where she taught English at a local school. Cait also participated in teacher trainings and workshops, ran ESL camps, managed women empowerment groups, and started an organization benefiting children with cancer.  After Kazakhstan, Cait traveled to Bolivia and volunteered at an orphanage, then to Nicaragua where she worked on a farm. Her interests include youth development, environmental education and awareness, and natural resource management. Cait loves traveling and practicing Russian and Spanish. 

Morgan Mercer: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Morgan was born and raised in Dayton, OH and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Political Science. While at USC, she received a university scholarship to study abroad in Tours, France to further her French language competence. Upon graduation, Morgan moved to Washington, DC where she began working with an international development organization, focusing on CDC-funded HIV prevention programs that aimed to scale out effective behavioral interventions. During her work in DC, Morgan gained invaluable insight into how critical community participation and partnerships are to the success of development initiatives. While at Emory, she hopes to continue deepening this learning, focusing particularly on social and structural determinants of HIV-AIDS impacts as well as on gender and empowerment. Morgan has traveled through India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia. When she's not daydreaming about where to travel next, Morgan can be found watching college sports, enjoying live music or spending time outdoors.

Kunal Patel: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Kunal grew up in Lowell, MA and in suburban Atlanta. He attended Emory University receiving his B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and B.A. in Economics in the summer of 2012. He also studied in Paris and traveled extensively throughout Europe and India. He is interested in sustainability and mental health, particularly the economic aspects. In his free time, he loves cooking, travel, photography, movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Jacob Wood: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jacob, from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, is a program manager for Emory University's Global Health Institute – China Tobacco Control Partnership. He received his M.A. at Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University where he spent three years in a small town in the mountains of Yunnan Province carrying out research on the culture of the Bai ethnic minority while working for the NGO, SIL International. Previously, Jacob served with the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention under the China CDC and before that as an intern for the global think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Jacob enjoys mountain climbing, pick-up basketball or just relaxing with a book and fresh brewed cup o' Joe.

Sarah Brooks: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Sarah, from Richmond, Virginia, recently finished serving as a Community Development volunteer in Thailand with the Peace Corps. In Thailand, Sarah worked to strengthen youth groups, start a recycling center, and help create small businesses for those living with HIV/AIDS. Before Peace Corps, Sarah worked on a presidential campaign and for an advocacy group focusing on children and youth. Sarah received her B.A. in Religious Studies and Chinese from Rhodes College in 2008, where she enjoyed studying abroad in Namibia and China. Her development interests include youth development and empowerment and small business development targeted towards women and people living with HIV/AIDS. Sarah loves to travel, learn about different languages and cultures, sail and spend time with family and friends.

Myriam Van Dorp: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Myriam was born in Cameroon, West Africa and spent most of her younger years between Indiana and Massachusetts. She received her BA in Religious Studies at Indiana University where she completed her thesis on the religious culture of Brazil. While in Brazil, she became acutely aware of the importance of advocacy and empowerment. Since then, she has worked as a Curriculum Specialist for adults with Disabilities and as the Youth Programs Manager for the Oakhurst Community Garden Project. Through her work in the garden, she is able to interact with a diverse community of people teaching self-reliance, sustainability, and asset-based development. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing Capoeira Angola, crocheting, feeding people, and traveling.

Anna Ellis: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Anna is from Minnesota, where she received a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota with a concentration on the study of immigrant populations in the United States. After graduation, she tutored GED students in English and math; she also volunteered at a shelter for homeless youth. Her interest in travel and education led her to volunteer with WorldTeach as an English teacher on a remote atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. She continued her work with WorldTeach as the Field Director of their Bangladesh program in partnership with the Asian University for Women. In its inaugural year, she developed the pre-university education courses for underserved women from six different Asian countries. Anna’s development interests include maternal and child health, education and empowering communities to serve themselves. Anna enjoys reading, baking, hiking and gardening.

Nafisa Ferdous: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Nafisa received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in political economy and ethnic studies in 2008. She has been an organizer and youth worker with CBOs and initiatives in NYC since being a youth herself. She has facilitated year-round social justice programs in public schools, youth spaces as well as in outdoor/environmental programs. In 2009 she accepted the AIF-William J. Clinton Fellowship to work for a grassroots women’s rights NGO in Calcutta, India. As a fellow she supported projects in sustainable rice cultivation, community-owned microfinance and farmer-led direct action campaigns. Nafisa has also worked on domestic workers rights campaigns in Bangladesh. Her research interests include participatory action research and gender and empowerment with a focus on Asian communities. In her free time she loves to karaoke and paint.

Trinity Findlay: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Trinity, from Durham, NC, received her B.A. in Spanish from Davidson College in 2006. She first became interested in development while writing her thesis about El Salvadoran refugee children. Upon graduating, she moved to Colombia, South America to volunteer with a non-profit organization that focuses on outreach to families displaced by the war. While in Colombia, she traveled to over fifteen pueblos working mostly with children and teenagers. The highlight of her travels was living with the indigenous Tikunas during a two month trip to the Brazilian Amazons. There, she experienced first-hand the great need for health and education-related development programs. After eighteen months abroad, Trinity returned to the States and served as a high school Spanish teacher for two years at a charter school in North Carolina. Her research interests lie in the role that political violence plays in poverty and development, especially in the lives of women and children. Trinity’s favorite pastime is speaking Spanish, but she also enjoys cooking with her husband, learning to play the guitar, and watching old M*A*S*H episodes.

Aliya Firozvi: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Born in Karachi, Pakistan and raised in various parts of the United States, Aliya received her B.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University. She owes her interest in development to her experiences and travels abroad as well as a plethora of post-colonial literature. While in college, she tutored in underserved schools in her community, and also served as a counselor in an English summer camp for the underprivileged in Karachi. After graduating from MSU, she went to Peru, where she volunteered as an English teacher and then to Bangladesh, where she was a field study intern at a major non-profit organization called Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB). Besides traveling, Aliya has a long list of interests that include music, reading, drawing, being outdoors, hiking, and observing the South Asian diaspora.  

Esther Joe: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

A California native, Esther graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2010 with a B.A. in International Development Studies. She is also a recipient of the 2011 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship. An aspiring journalist, Esther spent her initial undergraduate years anchoring for and reporting for Daily Bruin Television. While covering a broad range of stories dealing with sensitive interethnic issues, she yearned to learn more about the world and went abroad to Ghana her freshman year summer to work for a local newspaper in Accra. During college, Esther served as an intern in South Korea, where she taught North Korean defectors English and spent one semester as an exchange student and Gilman Scholar in Brazil where she also volunteered in the favela of Vidigal. She also served as an intern with USAID in Washington DC and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Esther loves traveling and learning languages (she speaks Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and some Chinese). She also enjoys hiking, swimming, dancing, writing, and horror films.

Kalie Lasitert: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Kalie had the wonderful opportunity of growing up in various areas, including Tennessee, Vancouver, Thailand, Singapore, Illinois, Georgia, Russia, and finally Indonesia where she graduated high school from the Jakarta International School. She then received a Bachelor's of Arts in Anthropology, with a minor in Political Science, at the University of Delaware in May 2010. After graduation, Kalie joined AmeriCorps Public Allies of Delaware - a 10 month long non-profit leadership development and apprenticeship program. She was placed at Wayfarers' House of Meeting Ground, Inc., a transitional homeless shelter for single women and women with children, where she did continuous case management with the residents there, as well as volunteer management and community development. Her MDP interests include gender and economic development, especially in Southeast Asia. She also enjoys cooking, reading and fishing.

Connor Radkey: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Connor comes to Emory from the Pacific Northwest, having been born in Spokane, Washington, and receiving his BA in International Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle. While at the UW, he had the opportunity to study development politics at Sussex University in Brighton, England through an exchange program. Upon graduation, Connor served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland where he worked to build awareness and support for HIV/AIDS issues and those affected within his community. He extended his experience in Swaziland with the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), working to establish a safe water initiative with rural clinics. His interests in development include health structures, law, disaster relief and complex emergencies. Connor enjoys Seattle Mariners baseball and hip-hop.

Larissa Sanford: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Raised in Calhoun, Georgia, Larissa received her B.A. in Anthropology from Wake Forest University in 2008. She first became interested in development while studying abroad on Roatan Island, Honduras. While conducting ethnographic field research, Larissa became fascinated by the island's sudden tourism boom and its effect on the local Garifuna people. Upon graduation, Larissa accepted an internship position with the Shanti Trust, a community development project in rural Malawi that aims to improve local access to education, healthy living, and the sustainable use of resources. Larissa's role with the Trust was to coordinate the development of the Chikumbuso Museum and Culture Centre. Working with a committee from the local village, she gathered works from local artisans, traditional hunting and fishing tools, and even musical instruments for public display. Since her return to the states, Larissa has worked with a private local clinic devoted to providing health care and equipment to those who are uninsured. Larissa's research interests range from the effects of western tourism in developing countries to indigenous rights. In her free time, Larissa can be found playing team trivia, doing crossword puzzles, or experimenting in the kitchen.

Kristin Tanis: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Kristin moved to Atlanta from Michigan where she worked as an Art Director at an advertising agency. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Aquinas College, she joined Peace Corps Paraguay where she worked as an Agriculture Extension Volunteer. During her service she helped form a committee made up of local women. Together they designed a sustainable chicken project that increased meat and egg production and added an additional source of income for each family that participated. She also worked with the local agricultural committee to educate farmers about soil recuperation techniques and with PLAN Paraguay to repair the running water system. After completing her service, she returned to Michigan where she was involved in several local community development projects. Kristin intends to focus on social responsibility, human rights and community development. She enjoys running, cooking and working in her garden.

Anna Tarrant: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Anna received her Bachelor’s degree from NYU in politics and history with a minor in French. In college, she became interested in international development while studying abroad in Accra, Ghana. While there, she was part of a team that filmed and produced a documentary called “The Milk” about a free health clinic in the northern city of Tamale. After graduation, Anna interned at Amnesty International’s Southern Office where she was involved with grassroots organizing for Demand Dignity, a campaign that exposes the link between human rights abuses and poverty. Anna also interned for the ACLU’s LGBT/AIDS Project. Her personal interests include French cinema, cooking, traveling and gardening.

Jiabing Wang: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jiabing Wang, was one of the first cohort graduates majoring in Development Studies of China. After graduating from China Agricultural University, Jiabing worked in the NGO field for over 8 years where he managed and co-managed dozens of projects, many of which focused on citizens’ capability-building and rights protection. Although these projects differed in specific topics and activities, all of them shared the similar goal that ordinary citizens could know more about their lawful rights and be able to protect them. Due to the nature of this work, Jiabing has become more and more familiar with such topics as China's political transformation, development process, historical development of Chinese NGOs, the situation of vulnerable groups' rights, and development of grassroots democracy. Jiabing’s current interests are in peoples' participation, the relationship between institutions and project sustainability, and the management of NGOs and his personal interests include photography and traveling.

Linling Zhong: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Linling graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison, majoring in International Relations, Economics and Asian Studies. Since 2010, Linling has worked as Assistant Program Coordinator for The Carter Center's China Program. During her time with the Carter Center, Linling went to China to observe village elections, where she helped supervise the election process and gave feedback to the local government. Linling also built the China Africa website for the Carter Center, a bilingual website that serves as a platform for scholars and officials to share comments and opinions on issues related to China-Africa relations. In addition, she served as volunteer for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and interned as an assistant to the vice mayor of Hangzhou City, China. Linling was born and raised in China and moved to San Diego when she was 17. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating good food and being with others.

Lise Afoy: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Born in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe) and raised in Paris, Lise has studied international relations and anthropology at the City College of New York and Columbia University. She has served as a project coordinator for CARE in Ghana, Togo and Benin, where she organized community-based teacher trainings and developed a project on the prevention of HIV/AIDS among gold miners.  Lise founded and directs a non-profit organization that provides assistance to school-age orphans in Algeria and Benin and has developed community-building programs for hospice patients in New York City.  Her vision as a development practitioner is to help reshape the role that non-governmental organizations play in developing countries.  Lise is fluent in several languages and likes swimming and volleyball.

Jenna Blumenthal: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Jenna received her B.A. in government and politics and French from the University of Maryland at College Park.  She began studying French at an international magnet elementary school, where her interest in global issues began, and she pursued studies in the French language and literature at the University of Nice (France).  In college, Jenna tutored elementary school students in reading at a Title I (underserved) school. She also worked with her university’s Office of Sustainability on efforts to teach students strategies to reduce their impact on the environment.  Jenna served as an intern at a Baltimore newspaper, the Department of Education, and with a U.S. senator on Capitol Hill, where she became interested in policy issues.  In addition, she traveled to South Africa where she learned about human rights and HIV/AIDS.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Jenna enjoys running and yoga.  

Miranda Bodfish: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Miranda comes to Emory from Seattle, where she coordinated a citizenship preparation program for low-income immigrants and refugees.  She graduated from Denison University in Ohio in 2005 with a degree in International Studies and Black Studies.  She studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal where she conducted research on the role of Islam in rural development.  After graduation, she volunteered for Heifer International in California, teaching community groups about global poverty and leading agricultural service projects.  Miranda’s development interests include gender and economic opportunities for women as well as non-profit management and program evaluation.  Miranda loves bicycling, running, cooking and making handmade paper.

Grey Clevenger: Miranda Bodfish: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Gray was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where he developed an interest in international affairs and world traveling.  Upon graduating from Furman University with a B.A. in History, Gray taught English in the Japanese public school system in Ishikawa Prefecture as a participant of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.  He has also worked in the health care and corporate sectors for an international law firm.  Gray has traveled extensively through East and Southeast Asia, as well as Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.  His interests range from providing health services to underserved populations to children's education. Gray enjoys playing the guitar and banjo, photography, and biking.

Alicia Clifton: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Alicia hails from Houston, TX, and received her B.A. in Intercultural Studies and Linguistics from Houghton College in western New York and a certificate in non-profit management from SUNY at Buffalo.  Before joining the MDP Inaugural Class, Alicia served as the Director of Health and Family Services at Jericho Road Ministries, a community development organization in Buffalo, NY, where she had also previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.  At Jericho Road Ministries, she focused on perinatal health, early literacy, and refugee resettlement issues.  She has engaged in service travel in many countries (Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, India, Papua New Guinea, and others) and spent a semester in the Middle East, where she practiced her knowledge of Arabic.  She is the lead author of a scholarly article on facilitating the self-empowerment of women at-risk in healthcare encounters (Gender Issues, 2009). Alicia's interests include the nexus between conflict resolution and development, as well as the linkages among community nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and global commons issues.  She likes painting, gardening, sailing with her husband, and being an aunt.

Jennie V. Dowdle: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

JennieV comes to the MDP program from her home in Western North Carolina.  She has a B.A. in Spanish and philosophy from Western Carolina University and spent the last two years as a College Readiness Coach in low-income schools and teaching adult education and ESL.  In addition to working with various international communities and programs in theUnited States, Jennie V spent a semester in Ghana and a year in Costa Rica as a Rotary Scholar, working on environmental, housing, health, and education projects.  Her development interests include community development and social and educational programs directed to underserved youth.  In her spare time, Jennie V enjoys hiking and contradancing.  

Mia Gallegos: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Mia graduated from Wake Forest University in May of 2009 with a degree in political science and is completing a certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While in college, she studied and volunteered in multiple developing countries, including Honduras, Vietnam, Jamaica, Thailand and Tanzania.  Since her graduation, Mia has worked as a teacher and youth program coordinator in the greater Atlanta area. Her interests include migration, social policy, poverty reduction, human rights, and disaster assistance.  Besides traveling, Mia loves the outdoors; hiking, kayaking, swimming, and scuba diving as well as drawing and painting.

Haley Holt: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Haley graduated from Carson-Newman College with a BA in Applied Psychology, a minor in Mathematics, and a concentration in Conflict and Justice Studies.  She also studied at the Imperial College of the University of London.  Haley has worked as a certified teacher in mathematics in underserved U.S. secondary schools and has served as a tutor, mentor, and supervisor for many youth programs.  Haley’s considerable international experience includes teaching English and Swahili in rural Tanzania, providing health education to women in Myanmar and Thailand, and working with orphans in South Africa.  These experiences instilled in her the desire to work with development organizations that seek to provide opportunities for people who do not have access to adequate education and healthcare.  Haley enjoys traveling, working out, dancing, reading, cooking, and chocolate.

Betsy Root: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Betsy’s interest in development began when she studied abroad in Ecuador through the Minnesota Studies in International Development program.  In Ecuador, Betsy spent time in a rural town working with a women's cooperative and teaching in an elementary school.  Betsy graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa in 2006 with a double major in Political Science and Spanish.  After graduation she volunteered in Santiago, Chile with the nonprofit organization VEGlobal, which seeks to expand children's educational and social opportunities.  After returning to the United States, Betsy taught Spanish for two years in Washington, DC as a Teach for America Corps member and earned a Master Degree in Education from the American University. Before joining the MDP program, Betsy was teaching Spanish in Atlanta, her hometown.  She is particularly interested in the role of education in development.

Claudie Sossah: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Claudie is originally from Togo, West Africa and is interested in health, education, community development and social entrepreneurship. She graduated from the University of Paris II and the University of Pennsylvania with a specialization in non profit management.  She has significant work experience in project development and grants management with universities, non-governmental organizations and foundations. Prior to joining the MDP, she worked with the Women’s Health Coalition on reproductive health and rights and with the International Institute of Education, managing grants on critical languages programs.  As an IFESH Fellow, she implemented community based programs on onchocerciasis control, health education, adult literacy and income generating activities in Nigeria.  Claudie is currently assisting an orphanage in Benin, West Africa, to become financially self-sufficient and provide education to the children.  She is fluent in French and English and plans to learn Arabic.  An experienced hairdresser and tailor, Claudie also hopes to master the art of fine cuisine.

Stephanie Stawicki: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Stephanie graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. in both international affairs and Russian and Eastern European studies.  While in college, she studied abroad in Australia, Russia, Poland, Kenya, and Tanzania. Upon graduation, she worked as a district representative of immigration for a U.S. Congressman.  In 2007, she joined the Peace Corps and served for two years as a health and community development volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa.  While in The Gambia, she worked with women’s groups to revitalize their community gardens and organized maternal and child health campaigns focusing on malaria and diarrhea prevention. Stephanie also served as lead trainer for the Peace Corps administration to design, implement, teach, and evaluate training for Peace Corps trainees and volunteers.  Stephanie’s development interests include public and environmental health, community assessment methods, appropriate technology, and training curricula and tools for development practitioners.  In her free time, she enjoys biking, hiking, painting, and cooking.

Molly Winston: Master's in Development Practice: Emory University

Molly has a Bachelor's in Political Science and Sociology from Fordham University. Molly has worked as an intern with an international philanthropy consulting firm, with the American Red Cross in Greater New York and with Senator Hillary Clinton's constituent affairs office. In addition, she worked with the NGO Unite For Sight to improve vision care among the youth in Ghana. Born and raised in a small town in upstate New York, Molly plays guitar and loves music.