Course Spotlight- Applied Development MDP 514


Through Applied Development MDP 514, students engage with instructors that may not be available for teaching a full semester course or on topics that can be covered in a shorter period of time.  This module class allows MDP to bring in subject matter experts whose expertise matches student interest – resulting in a captivating and unique course that changes each year.  This semester, the course will cover processes and planning in monitoring and evaluation, building out inclusive markets, and an introduction to social network analysis.  As a required course, Applied Development is available most Spring semesters and open to both first and second-year cohorts.

The co-facilitators of the Spring 2019 cohort are the types of people who need no introduction at a dinner party.

Dr. Krista Collins is the Director of Evaluation & Insights for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) where she is responsible for developing and managing internal evaluation projects and advising strategic initiatives to optimize BGCA’s youth development portfolio.  The first five weeks of the course led by Dr. Collins will cover processes and planning in monitoring and evaluation. Leveraging her vast and deep experience, students are sure to leave more confident in their programmatic abilities. 

Patrick Kelley, Vice President, Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter at Habitat for Humanity International, will follow with a thorough introduction to building out inclusive markets. Patrick leads Habitat for Humanity International’s global practice to develop market-based solutions for improved and affordable shelter where they seek to strengthen affordable housing value chains, to stimulate innovation and enterprise solutions for shelter and to mobilize investment capital to move housing solutions to scale.  Whether participants area of focus is affordable housing, or not, they will leave with a skillset applicable to a multitude of unique contexts.

Ioulia Fenton, Doctoral Candidate, Emory University Department of Anthropology, is a bit of a local legend around the MDP; her ability to balance research, thesis writing, and academic obligations on top of become a mother of twins is admirable. Her research interests lie mainly in issues of sustainability, food, and agriculture. She spent the summer of 2018 in Guatemala working on a Global Health Institute (GHI) funded Multidisciplinary Field Scholars project, whereby her and three other Emory students delivered participatory research workshops to community health workers in three different Lake Atitlan communities. She also used that time for a pilot study of her academic interests, investigating the nascent but growing local organic food production movement in the country.  Bringing her varied experiences and interest to the table, Ioulia will introduce social network analysis in a four-week hands on module.

“I love the capacity that (MDP514) brings - to bring really phenomenal people to interact with MDP students”, Dr. King, course organizer replied, “and that many of those people are able to answer questions regarding the balance between research and practice - which has proven to be really engaging to students.”

The facilitators are identified by their local and global contributions and asked to effectively and succinctly transfer knowledge and skillset essentials so that one day soon, participants may follow in their footsteps.  “As part of MDP we want to connect you to practitioners who are “in the field” and that may mean they don’t have the capacity to teach a full-term course”, notes Dr. King.  The Applied Development course is the ideal middle ground, providing a rare window into the life of a field practitioner in a condensed package.

This ever-evolving course, based on student feedback, has and will continue to seek out leaders and changemakers from diverse backgrounds and contexts that can offer a unique experience to MDP students. Previous facilitators include Doris Bartel, Senior Research Fellow and Amanda Woomer, Program Associate for the Carter Center. 




The Emory MDP curriculum combines natural, social, health sciences and management.

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The Field Practicum is a core component of the Emory MDP curriculum.

Learn About Fieldwork