2013 News

Jacob Wood GHI China

December 2013: MDP student Jacob Wood travelled to northwest China to conduct a field site visit with Emory Global Health Institute’s China Tobacco Control Partnership (GHI-CTP), where he works part time as a program manager. Kelamayi, a remote oil town in China’s northwest corner on the border of Kazakhstan is one of 17 cities engaged in the GHI-CTP smoke-free cities project created in 2008 with a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to reduce tobacco use in China. Jacob and the project team carried out unannounced site inspections throughout the city to assess the progress of tobacco control interventions.

Nugent AAA panel

December 3, 2013: MDP Director, Prof David Nugent was a discussant for a panel on "Ambivalent Democracies" at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Chicago IL. The panel examined different forms of democratic practice as well as people's understandings of democracy in a variety of cultural contexts. MDP Teaching Fellow Sarah Franzen also attended the meeting, presenting a research paper on ”Rural Development Strategies Among African American Farmers in the Southeastern US”.

GHI Photo Contest

November 24, 2013: Second year MDP student Amihan Jones is one of 5 winners of the Global Health Student Photography Contest. The winning photograph was taken in Kenya, where Amihan spent the summer working at Nyumbani Village, a bio-friendly, self-sustaining community for HIV-AIDS orphans and their caretakers. The image represents a young girl from the community surrounding Nyumbani, who attended school at the village and whose family Amihan befriended over the time she spent there. Amihan’s summer internship was part of Emory’s Interfaith Health Program. See her winning photograph.

Food Commons

November 23, 2013: MDP students Biruh Zegeye, Charlotte Newman and Jillian Kenny participated in the Health Food Initiative Forum in Athens, Georgia. The conference, which was sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, brought together members of Georgia’s food and agriculture sectors and the state’s banking community to discuss community health and development. Students attended the event alongside Kwabena Nkromo and other leaders of the Atlanta Food Commons initiative, one of the six Atlanta-based organizations where MDP students are conducting their field practicum during the current academic year.


November 22, 2013: MDP students Alexis Coppola and Claudia Langfordpresented research findings on inner-city food accessibility to the Atlanta Local Food Initiative (ALFI). The study focused on the Old Fourth Ward, a largely African American, low-income neighborhood near downtown Atlanta that includes a USDA-certified "food desert", lacking establishments where residents can purchase fresh food. The student team, which also included Morgan Mercer, conducted the research in collaboration with Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture as part of their engaged learning field practicum. MDP alumna Myriam Dormer attended the ALFI meeting in her new role as the Food Security Coordinator for the Clarkston Community CenterRead more about the study. 


November 21, 2013: MDP students traveled to Lumpkin, GA to learn about the work of El Refugio and visit immigrants detained at the Stewart Immigrant Detention Center, a privately operated, medium-security facility that houses men who are awaiting immigration hearings or deportation. El Refugio is a hospitality house that provides free meals and lodging to families who travel to Southwest Georgia to visit detainees and conducts advocacy and awareness raising on immigrant issues in the state. MDP student Samantha Collins coordinated the trip, which was sponsored by Emory’s newly chartered Global Development Task Force.

Global Development Task Force

November 15, 2013: The MDP students have formed the Global Development Task Force, officially chartered as a new campus organization at Emory University and funded by the Graduate Student Council. The Task Force will organize social events and service projects for MDP students and serve as a platform for campus wide conversations and activities centered on issues of global inequality. Congratulations to the organizers for their initiative and leadership!

Visual Research

November 14, 2013: MDP Students Alexis Coppola and Caitlin McCollochparticipated in the  "Visual Research Across Emory: A Panel Discussion." The event brought together faculty and students from across Emory University for a conversation about the variouis forms of scholarship that engages with still and moving images. Alexis and Caitlin conducted PhotoVoice projects, while working with Global Health Institute research teams for their 2013 summer field practicum. Alexis worked in a slum of Paraguay's capital city, Asuncion, where she explored residents' concerns about flooding and other environmental threats. Caitlin was part of a team that investigated socio-ecological aspects of dengue fever in Yucatan, Mexico, and used the technique to better understand community attitudes towards risk and prevention.

CCAFS Gender Workshop

October 22-25, 2013: MDP Director Carla Roncoli and MDP graduate Nafisa Ferdous served as trainers/facilitators for the Qualitative Research Track at a Gender Training and Strategizing Workshop, held at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya on October 22-25, 2013.  The Workshop was organized by the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program and attended by about 80 representatives of NGO, universities, and government agencies from all over the world. Nafisa served as an intern with CCAFS during summer 2013, conducting research in Western Kenya, and is currently working as CCAFS Gender and Social Learning Consultant. Read more about Nafisa's work.

Dalai Lama

October 8, 2013: Emory’s 2015 MDP students attended a public event with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. This all-day event was part of the Dalai Lama's visit to Emory University in his capacity as Presidential Distinguished Professor. In the morning, His Holiness presented a lecture titled “The Pillar of Responsible Citizenship in Global Village" in which he discussed ways of brokering a more peaceful and compassionate 21st century. An afternoon panel on “Secular Ethics in Education” featured the Dalai Lama in conversation with distinguished scientists and educators. In this session, His Holiness stressed the importance of infusing education with principles of morality that are shared across religious and secular traditions

ICSDP Conference

September 6-7, 2013: Emory MDP Director David Nugent and Coordinator of Community Partnerships Letitia Campbell participated in the 2013 International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice at Columbia University in New York City. Read more.


August 16, 2013: Emory’s incoming class of MDP students spent the day in Clarkston, Georgia, as part of a course module led by MDP Coordinator of Community Partnerships Letitia Campbell and designed to help prepare students for the Atlanta-based internships they will complete during their first academic year. Read more.

Truly Living Well

August 9, 2013: As part of a course module focused on the history of development issues in the U.S. South and the greater Atlanta region, incoming MDP students toured Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture’s Wheat Street Farm and met with K. Rashid Nuri, the organization’s founder. During his career in agriculture, Nuri has worked all over the world, managing farms of all sizes and working with policymakers. Today, his urban farms provide food to areas of Atlanta where poverty is high and fresh produce is scarce. Read more.

Morgan Mercer and Jacob Kennedy

August 9, 2013: This summer, MDP students Morgan Mercer and Paul Kennedywere part of an interdisciplinary team, including Emory students from the School of Nursing, the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Department of Environmental Studies, conducting research in Madagascar. The team, recently featured in the Emory Report, gathered baseline data on the health of people, domesticated animals and wildlife in and around the Ranomafana National Park. This “one health” approach may be key to solving the complex problems facing the Malagasy people and their environment. View video Read more.

Esther John Kerry

July 20, 2013: A Thomas Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship enabled MDP student Esther Joe to spend several weeks working as an intern in the Economics section of the US Embassy in Kuwait City. Esther’s assignments focused on foreign assistance, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, banking related issues and intellectual property rights. She met with members of the Kuwaiti government, private sector, and media, and with Kuwaiti philanthropies involved in development assistance in the Arab world. She also had an opportunity to assist with Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Kuwait.  Esther has graduated in August 2013 and is now serving as Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.


June 15, 2013: MDP Associate Director, Dr Carla Roncoli traveled to Kenya to participate in an international workshop organized by the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program and funded by USAID. While in Nairobi she visited MDP students doing summer field practicum in Kenya. Nafisa Ferdous is working with CCAFS on gender and participatory research, Apostolos Kalantzis is designing leadership development curricula for faith-based organizations, and Amihan Jones is developing a monitoring and evaluation system for Nyumbani village, a self-sustaining community for AIDS orphans.

Aliya Firozvi

June 9, 2013: MDP graduating student Aliya Firozvi has been awarded an American India Foundation Clinton fellowship. The AIF Clinton fellowship pairs young professionals with NGOs and social enterprises in India for ten months of fieldwork. Aliya has been matched with CREA and will be based in Delhi, starting September 2013. CREA is one of very few international women's rights organizations based in the Global South and works to advance the sexual and reproductive freedoms of all.

Global Growers Network

May 6, 2013: More than 130 interdisciplinary student teams competed during the Georgia Tech Design Expo, which celebrates students’ accomplishments in Capstone Design. Two of 8 teams that won awards for different categories included MPD students Larissa Sanford (with the winning team for the Interdisciplinary category) and Renee Barron (with the winning team for Industrial Design). The projects were realized during a course in Humanitarian Design and Engineering taught by Georgia Tech’s Prof. Jonathan Colton, which Larissa and Renee participated in during the Spring 2013 semester. Read more.

the Global Health Institute-China Tobacco Control Partnership (GHI-CTP)

April 16, 2013: MDP student Jacob Wood traveled to Beijing with the Global Health Institute-China Tobacco Control Partnership (GHI-CTP) where he works as a program manager to hold meetings with national grantees and international partners. The GHI-CTP program was launched in 2009 with a $14 million five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the burden of tobacco use in China. GHI-CTP provides funding and technical support to 17 selected cities to establish tobacco control projects with a multipronged focus on policy formation, media advocacy and program specific work.

Truly Living Well

April 2, 2013: As part of their Atlanta-based internships, MDP students Morgan Mercer, Alexis Coppola and Claudia Langford are conducting a community-based assessment in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, using focus groups, in-depth interviews, and GIS mapping to explore issues related to food and nutrition. Read more.

MDP Student Trinity Findlay (’13) Participates in Surgical Brigade to Honduras

March 9-16, 2013: Trinity Findlay, a 2nd year MDP student, joined the ECHO Foundation and a team of doctors and volunteers in San Pedro Sula, Honduras during March 9-16, 2013. The team provided over 90 blind and low-vision patients with the surgeries they needed to help them see again. Fluent in Spanish, Trinity interviewed patients and served as a translator for the team. Read more.

 MPD Director attends 2013 Global MPD Forum, Dakar, Senegal

March 5-7, 2013: MDP Director, Prof. David Nugent participated in the 2013 Global MDP Forum, held in Dakar, Senegal on March 5-7. In attendance were also representatives from all other MDP programs around the world, as well as leading development experts, such as Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. Among agenda topics were the development of shared field practicum sites, the establishment of an International Advisory Board, and the planning of a Global MDP Conference, to be held on September 2013, in conjunction with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, just prior to the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

Kali Ahset New York Times

February 27, 2013: A Phd candidate in Sociology at Emory University, MDP Program Coordinator, Kali-Ahset Amen, is also the producer of Moving The Center, a public affairs radio show with Pacifica Radio Network station WRFG-FM Atlanta. Her interview podcast with New York Times correspondent Patricia Leigh Brown was recently selected to accompany the Times’ cover story on homeless female veterans. Recently, Kali-Ahset was awarded a 2013 Gracie Award by the Alliance for Women in Media for "Outstanding Radio Host" in the Entertainment/Information category. To hear the podcast scroll down to the "Audio" link in the left column of the article.

MDP Wins Case Competition

February 2, 2013: MDP wins again! Congratulations to MDP students Alexis Coppola and Morgan Mercer who were members of teams that won respectively 1st place and 2nd place in the 2013 Global Health Institute Intra-Mural Case Competition. Read more.