2014 News

MDP Graduate Amihan Jones talks about work with Habitat for Humanity in Uganda

December 20, 2014: Emory MDP alumna Amihan Jones (14G) is featured on the Laney Graduate School website this month. In her interview with the Graduate School, Jones reflects on her work as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) consultant with Habitat for Humanity International in Kampala, Uganda, the path that led her to the Emory MDP program, and her plans for the future. Read the full interview on the Laney Graduate School Website.

MDP Student participates in CARE Pathways Review Meeting

November 15, 2014: Hannah Cox, communications intern for the CARE Pathways Program, traveled to India in November for the Annual Pathways Review Meeting (APRM) held in Bhubaneswar, India. Hannah worked with CARE Pathways in India as a qualitative research intern during her 2014 summer practicum. She currently works with country teams from the six Pathways countries: Mali, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, India and Bangladesh. Read more.

MDP advisor recognized as Sustainability Innovator

November 12, 2014: Congratulations to MDP Professional Development Advisor Ioulia Fenton, who was awarded a 2014 Sustainability Innovator Award for her contributions to sustainability at Emory and her leadership in founding the Graduate Sustainability Group. A research project she co-directs with Andrea Rissng was also awarded a grant. That project, which involves a team of MDP students, is mapping the social networks that unite Emory's sustainability community. Read More.

Dr. Amen curates exhibit of Afro-Panamanian Altars

November 7, 2014: Dr. Kali-Ahset Amen, Instructor and Academic and Student Affairs Coordinator for the MDP program, gave a curator’s lecture entitled “Cultural Remembering and Community-Building through Altar Making,” on November 6 at the Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta. The lecture accompanied the exhibit currently on display at the museum, Afro-Panamanian Altars and Shrines, which explores the living traditions of altar making among Panamanians of African descent. Three dimensional installations throughout the gallery illustrate the role of altars in connecting Afro-Panamanians with their ancestors and in the cross-generational transmission of cultural histories and collective values. The altars and shrines reflect a variety of communities and practices, including: Cristo Negro de Portobelo (“Black Christ” domestic altar), Ras Tafari (Rastafarian shrine), Yoruba (Nigerian Ifa practices in Panama) and Altares de Difuntos (Household shrines to the deceased). The exhibit Afro-Panamanian Altars and Shrines is on view through December 30, 2014. Read More.

MDP alum selected as Georgia Women’s Policy Institute Fellow

November 1, 2014: Emory MDP graduate Betsy Root was selected as a 2014 Georgia Women’s Policy Institute (GWPI) Fellow. This innovative public policy training program, sponsored by the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, brings together women from diverse backgrounds to participate in a 15-month curriculum. They learn how to develop and support legislative proposals that impact the lives of women and girls in Georgia, and then work together on specific issues, defining and advocating for specific proposals during the following state legislative session. Read More.

MDP student honored for nonprofit leadership

October 23, 2014: Emory MDP student Lara Wagner was recognized as one of the 2014 “30 Under 30” Nonprofit Leaders by the Georgia Center for NonProfits (GCN) and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Atlanta. Awardees were honored on October 23 at the YNPN Atlanta NextGen Breakfast at The Commerce Club, where they met with some of Atlanta’s top nonprofit professionals. Wagner, who began the Emory MDP program this fall, served as a  Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia and then worked with NGOs in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for several years. She is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Goucher College. After returning from abroad, I realized there was a gap in the nonprofit sector that I could fill,” says Wagner. Read More.

MDP Student presents on Tibet collaboration

October 22, 2014: MDP student Lhamotso Lamaocuo helped to coordinate a gala event in Denver, Colorado to raise money for the Tibetan Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (TSEI). The event built on Lhamo's work during her summer field practicum coordinating a series of social entrepreneurial workshops with the Tibetan Village Project. The gala, which featured Tibetan art, music and performers, raised funds that will help entrepreneurs involved in the TSEI to start or expand the businesses they planned this summer. It also raised funds to support scholarships for Tibetan college students. Before coming to Emory, Lhamo facilitated several development projects dealing with infrastructure building and income generation in her community in Tibet. She has worked for a number of international and local NGOs. When she completes the MDP program, Lhamo hopes to continue working with Tibetan entrepreneurs through the Tibetan Villages Project.

MDP Students share field practicum research at CARE

October 22, 2014: MDP students Nathan Kennedy, Jillian Kenny, and Biruh Zegeye presented results from their summer field practicum to program staff at CARE USA Headquarters in Atlanta. The presentation reported on a comparative study conducted in northern Uganda (by Jillian) and northern Ethiopia (by Nathan and Biruh) for the Global Water Initiative, a partnership of NGOs that includes CARE.  The students used qualitative research to gather data on the implementation and impacts of the Learning & Practice Alliances (LPAs), a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder platform for action research aimed to inform interventions in support of smallholder agriculture. CARE is considering using the LPA approach to other programs and sectors, so the students’ work generated considerable interest and numerous questions from the audience about the contextual factors that may enable and constrain LPA functionality. Read more here, view the report, and listen to the full presentation.

EMDP Student Annamaria Hadjuk Presents on Maternal and Child Nutrition Research at CARE

October 13, 2014: MDP graduate Annamaria Hadjuk (MDP ‘14) presented findings from her summer field practicum at the CARE USA Headquarters in Atlanta. She spent the summer working with the CARE Nutrition team in northern Ethiopia on a baseline project on environmental sanitation and children's health. The study focused on causes and consequences of environmental enteropathy, an intestinal disease that contributes to stunting and anemia in children. Annamaria led the research design, data collection and analysis for the study, which included observations of mother-child pairs in their home environments and interviews with household members and community health workers. Before returning to the US, Annamaria presented a report and recommendations for improving sanitation and hygiene practices for mothers and toddlers to CARE Ethiopia's regional and national field offices. 

Dr. Carla Roncoli participates in Panel on Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

October 10, 2014: MDP Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist Dr Carla Roncoli was an invited panelist for a roundtable discussion on Building Indigenous Knowledge into Climate Change Assessments organized by UNESCO’s Climate Frontlines project. The event took place on September 25th 2014, in New York City, in conjunction with the UN Climate Summit and the World Conference of Indigenous People. The panel included scientists, indigenous activists, and representatives of international organizations and aimed to formulate recommendations for strategies to ensure that indigenous views and voices are represented into global climate change debates and agreements.

MDP Student Mario Corea Selected for Ethics and Servant Leadership Forum

October 1, 2014: Mario Corea (MDP ‘16) was selected to participate in the Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) Forum, sponsored by the Emory University Center for Ethics. The EASL Forum is a weekly interdisciplinary forum focused on service, community building and leadership development. Through a competitive application process, 15 undergraduate and graduate students from across the university are selected for this year-long learning experience. Forum members also participate in retreats, workshops, meetings with outside speakers, and community-based projects.

MDP Student Taylor Spicer Presents on Research at ICSDP2014

September 20, 2014: Taylor Spicer (MDP ‘15) presented “The Fruits of Co-Production: Gender & Inclusion Toolbox: Participatory Research in Climate Change & Agriculture” at the Second Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice, held in New York City, September 17-19. The conference was sponsored by the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs (MDP) in collaboration with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The presentation, co-authored with Nafisa Ferdous (MDP '13), focused on a research for development (R4D) process which generated an innovative Toolbox to guide practitioners in participatory, gender sensitive research on climate change. Read more.

MDP Community Partnership Coordinator Moderates Panel on Human Trafficking

September 20, 2014: Letitia Campbell, MDP Coordinator of Community and Strategic Partnerships, moderated a panel on Human Trafficking at a conference on immigration and religion. Panelists included Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large and Senior Advisor to the Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; Alia El-Sawi, a Victim Assistance Specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, former president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and a former member of the White House Advisory Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The conference was sponsored by the Religion Newswriters Association and hosted by the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion and the Graduate Division of Religion. Campbell co-authored a recent article on the anti-trafficking movement in the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Emory MDP Class of 2016 Learns from Local Leaders in Agriculture and Development

September 15, 2014: The Emory MDP Class of 2016 spent the month of August hard at work — in the classroom and in the field. As part of a course on Development and Social Change in the U.S. South, co-taught by Letitia Campbell and Sarah Franzen, MDP students visited with local partner organizations that work on issues of economic and social development and environmental sustainability throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. Read More

MDP Student Apostolos Kalantzis Presents on Project Evaluation at ICT4D Conference

September 10, 2014: Apostolos Kalantzis (MDP ‘14) shared lessons learned from his work with the Thomas Project in Haiti at the GameChangers Summit in Nashville TN. The conference, sponsored by United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) brought together development practitioners and technology experts to discuss the fast-growing field of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D). Apostolos was part of a panel on “Tracking Success and Failure” that focused on the importance of monitoring and evaluation in development projects. During his summer field practicum, Apostolos conducted an evaluation of the Thomas Project, which has placed computers in several primary schools, to assess how the computer labs are being used and what impacts they are having on educational outcomes. Results will inform funders and project managers as they plan to scale up the initiative (photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS).

Dr. Kali-Ahset Amen Produces Public Lecture Series on Slavery in Georgia

August 30, 2014: Dr. Kali-Ahset Amen, MDP Academic and Student Affairs Coordinator, was awarded a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council to produce Unearthing the Weeping Time, a series of public events exploring the history and legacy of the 1859 Savannah Slave Auction. Produced in collaboration with Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson (Emory PhD ‘14) and prominent Georgia museums, libraries and historical societies in Savannah and Atlanta, the series focused attention on the largest recorded slave auction in U.S. history, and new research on the geography and landscape of coastal Georgia. The series included two lectures, two radio programs, a historical walking tour of the slave sale site in Savannah, and a genealogy workshop. The events were covered by the Savannah Tribune and other media outlets.

MDP Weddings

July 15, 2014: Congratulations to graduating MDP students Annamaria Hadjuk and Kate Jackson, both of whom were married at the end of their 2nd academic year. Anna’s wedding took place Hungary, her native country, on May 31st, Her husband Andras Danis is a professor of finance at Georgia Tech. Kate was married on May 25th in Gainsville Georgia, to Gabriel Reyes, a doctoral student in computer science (human-computer interactions) also at Georgia Tech. Following their wedding, Anna and Kate left for their summer field practicums, respectively with CARE in northern Ethiopia and in Colombia with Fundacion Escuela Nueva, while Gabe also started his own internship with Samsung in California. Good wishes to graduating student Claudia Langford, who is engaged to be married later in the year.

MDP Program Coordinator, Kali-Ahset Amen, awarded a PhD in Sociology

July 12, 2014: Congratulations to MDP Program Coordinator, Kali-Ahset Amen, who was recently awarded a PhD in Sociology from Emory University. Her PhD committee was co-chaired by MDP Director and Professor of Anthropology David Nugent and by Alexander Hicks, Winship Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology. Her doctoral research was based on a year of fieldwork in Panama and was funded by the Laney Graduate School and Emory's Race and Difference Initiative. Her dissertation analyzes the historical and political processes that underlie current dynamics of housing displacement and rising unemployment among Afro-Panamanian in the city of Colón. The study contends that urban planning and service delivery are important arenas where racial inequality may be constituted and reproduced, or could be challenged and redressed by more policy reform and inclusive representation.

Dr. Nugent presents paper on forced labor in Peru

May 28, 2014: MDP Director and Professor of Anthropology Dr. David Nugent presented a paper on forced labor practices in 20th century Peru—a paper which draws on his long term ethnographic and historical research in that country. The paper was part of a in a panel that focuses on State Formation, Capitalism and Citizenship in Mexico and Peru at the annual meetings of the Latin American Studies Association in Chicago IL. He was also a discussant for a panel on new forms of protest, new expressions of democratization and new assertions of citizenship in countries underling rapid political change at the annual meetings of the Canadian Anthropological Society, at York University, in Toronto.

Dr. Carla Roncoli assesses Gold Mining communites in Ghana

May 20, 2014: MDP Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Carla Roncoli is one of four international experts for an Integrated Assessment of Water Sustainability, Infrastructural Inequity, and Health in Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in Ghana, funded by the Graham Sustainability Institute. The assessment addresses the public health, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts of artisanal gold mining and involves an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Michigan, McGill University, and several universities in Ghana. As part of her advisory role, Roncoli participated in a workshop, held at the University of Ghana, Legon on April 21-23, 2014, during which the research team formulated evidence based policy recommendations to present to Ghanaian and global decision makers.

MDP student contributes to Symposium

April 22, 2014: MDP student Morgan Mercer discussed her experience in the MDP program as well as prior work with international HIV prevention initiatives while serving as a panelist at the Laney Graduate School’s inaugural James T. Laney Symposium on April 22. The event was organized around the theme, “Can Graduate Education Solve Global Problems?” and featured keynote remarks by Dr. George Rupp, past president of the International Rescue Committee and president emeritus of Columbia University, as well as a panel discussion. Dean Lisa Tedesco moderated a panel that included Rupp and Mercer, as well as Emory Provost Dr. Claire Sterk and Dr. Manuel Montoya (LGS 10G) of the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. Earlier in the day, Rupp met with MDP students to discuss current issues and challenges facing international relief and development organizations.

MDP Student represents Emory at awards ceremony

April 20, 2014: MDP student Taylor Spicer represented Emory at the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s E3 Awards Ceremony, where the University was recognized for its sustainability initiatives. Emory was honored in the Community Strong category for its partnerships with two local initiatives, the Atlanta Lettuce Project and re:Loom. Emory will begin purchasing hydroponic lettuce from the Atlanta Lettuce Project, a cooperative greenhouse in downtown Atlanta, and is donating uniforms to the nonprofit re:Loom, which provides jobs to homeless and home-insecure families by creating new items from recycled materials. Taylor works at Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives and prepared Emory’s application for the award.

MDP Students present on food insecurity in GA

April 19, 2014: MDP students Biruh Zegeye and Annamaria Hajduk, along with Emory student Courtney McGuire, presented findings from research conducted at the East Lake Farmer’s Market, as an assignment for a course on Food Security and Food Policy. The proect sought to elicit and analyze different stakeholders' perceptions of the Market. The team conducted focus group discussion, stakeholder interviews with religious and community leaders, and a survey of 94 residents of the East Lake Community. They found that the Market is recognized by the community as a significant asset, but participation could be enhanced by greater engagement of local leaders, improvements in transportation, and more frequent and consistent messages about the Market's operations.

MDP Student participates in Ethics & Arts Initiative

April 14, 2014: MDP Student Kunal Patel participated in the Ethics & the Arts Initiative of Emory University, a social engagement project funded by Southwest Airlines. The project — the first of its kind offered through the Emory Center for Ethics – involved Emory students, Atlanta artists, and community leaders working together to create socially engaged artwork that helps raise public awareness for Atlanta-based nonprofits. Kunal’s team produced an art installment for "Trees Atlanta", using fabric prints to virtually "plant trees where it is not possible to do so," such as in indoor public spaces. Kunal contributed to printmaking by helping design the pattern which was then carved into a woodblock and printed over canvas. See More.

Carla contributes to climate change report

April 7, 2014: Dr. Carla Roncoli, MDP Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at Emory is a Contributing Author of the newly released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Operating under the auspices of the United Nations, the IPCC is a scientific body mandated to assess and synthesize authoritative research on climate change into reports that summarize the consensus of leading climate scientists and participating governments. For the last 15 years, Dr. Roncoli, who has conducted research on the interaction of indigenous and scientific knowledge in climate adaptation among African smallholder farmers, contributed to Chapter 22 – Africa of the Working Group II report, entitled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability.  

MDP Students present on nutrition and food security

April 4, 2014: MDP students Alexis Coppola, Claudia Langford, and Morgan Mercer presented research on nutrition and food security at the Second Annual Atlanta Studies Symposium at Georgia State University on April 4. Their presentation, “Is Local and Organic Food an Option for Low-Income Communities? Findings from an Assessment of the Old Fourth Ward,” was based on research they conducted in collaboration with Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, one of the MDP program’s local community partners. You can read more about their research on the website of the Atlanta Local Food Initiative.

Renee Barron applies skills to disaster relief

March 25, 2014: Second year student Renee Barron recently had an opportunity to apply MDP skills to a real-world situation. Renee is a member of Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization comprised of veterans and first responders. When an ice storm hit the Southern US in February 2014, Team Rubicon deployed to Augusta, Georgia to assist with clearing debris and repairing damage to homes. Renee conducted assessments, prioritized work orders and served as the planning chief to make sure the operation ran efficiently. The team used GPS technology to integrate data on storm impacts and household vulnerability that enabled the identification of areas where assistance was most urgently needed.

MDP Task Force sponsors Green Water Panel

March 17, 2014: Together with the Center for Global Safe Water (CGSW) and the newly organized Global Development Task Force (GDTF), the Emory MDP student organization co-sponsored an expert panel on “Green Water: Examining Health, Human Rights, and Business Impacts of Water Privatization” in celebration of World Water Day, on March 22, 2014.  The panel featured a key note presentation by Dr. Mark LeChevallier, Director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship at American Water, and comments by panelists representing a diversity of perspectives, including public health (CGSF Director, Prof. Christine Moe), law (Ms. Atieno Samandari), and business (Prof. Wes Longhhofer). MDP Director, Prof. David Nugent moderated the discussion. Read more.

Anna Ellis - UNICEF MHM education report

March 12, 2014: MDP graduate Anna Ellis is a co-author of two reports published by the UNICEF Wash in Schools program and aimed to promote adolescent girls’ education and empowerment through improved management of hygiene issues. The reports focused on Philippines and Sierra Leone are the outcome of a partnership of NGOs, including UNICEF, Save The Children, Plan International, as well as the Emory Center for Global Safe Water. (CGSW). During her 2012 summer field practicums, Anna contributed to this research through multi-method school-based assessments in different Philippines locations. She then spent the following academic year working for the Emory CGSW and UNICEF conducting data analysis and backstopping of field teams.

Kalie Lasiter and Stephanie Stawicki - CGIAR report

March 10, 2014: A paper authored by MDP graduates Kalie Lasiter and Stephanie Stawicki has been published by the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. The synthesis report is based on Kalie and Stephanie’s 2012 summer internship with the International Water Resource Management (IWMI) in West Africa and proposes recommendations for gender-inclusive water resource management initiatives. Kalie and Stephanie conducted qualitative research in Northern Ghana, under the guidance of IWMI Research Scientist Dr. Jean-Philppe Venot (now at Wageningen University). Read more.

GHI Case Competition

February 3, 2014: Congratulations to MDP students Tsewang Rigzin and Mian “Poppy” Cheng and who were members of interdisciplinary teams that won respectively 2nd place and 3rd place, among 12 Emory University teams who competed in the 2014 Global Health Institute Intra-Mural Case Competition. The MDP was very well represented by 9 students in 7 teams: 2nd year students Claudia LangfordAmihan Jones and 1st year Hannah CoxMian Cheng, Fallon FrappierJoanna GalarisBrooke EstesCharlotte Newman, and Tsewang Rigzin. Second year students Morgan Mercer and Samantha Collins served on the GHI Student Advisory Committee and contributed to writing the case. Read more.