2016 News

Kate Reyes speaks at CIEN 2016 in Colombia

December 27: MDP staffer and 2014 alumna Kate Reyes was invited to present at the III International Congress of Escuelas Nuevas (CIEN) 2016 conference in Bogotá, Colombia. The event was coordinated by Fundación Escuela Nueva, the organization behind the acclaimed Escuela Nueva (EN) global education movement, currently being implemented in 40 countries. International scholars presented papers on international education to an audience of over 1,000 participants. Presentations focused on student-centered pedagogies and deep-learning, peace and democratic studies, and education in post-conflict settings. Kate presented her published research on the theoretical underpinnings of the EN model, particularly as it relates to aspects of school environment and academic achievement. Beryl Levinger, co-founder of  the EN model and Emory MDP visiting faculty, also presented at the event.

Ambassador Charles Shapiro speaks with Emory MDP students

December 20: Ambassador Charles Shapiro is the current President of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and formerly held numerous senior positions with the United States Department of State, including Ambassador to Venezuela. Over lunch, he discussed with MDP students about Venezuela's political and economic conditions both past and present as well as current events in Latin America. MDP students - particularly those who have worked in Latin American countries or plan to do so in the future  - benefited from the Ambassador's insights on how political and economic transitions can impact development and their future careers. MDP ‘16 student, Maria Guzman, together with other MDP classmates, organized the event which was sponsored by the Global Development Student Council (GDSC).

MDP Students Recognized at Symposium

December 13: On Thursday, October 27th, The Emory Global Health Institute (EGHI) held its annual Global Health Scholars Symposium and Photography Contest. Three MDP students, Adza Beda (‘17), Ruofei Chen (‘17), and Mario Corea (‘16), were part of teams with posters featured at the event. In addition, Ruofei won honorable mention for a photograph. EGHI holds the symposium annually to honor students who participated in the EGHI Field Scholars program, which sends students to the field to work on public health projects each summer. The photography contest is open to all Emory students who participated in a global health project in a low- or middle-income country, whether or not their project was sponsored by Emory. Adza, Ruofei, and Mario participated in the EGHI Field Scholars program as part of their 2016 field practicums in Kenya, Nicaragua, and Cambodia, respectively. Congratulations to all three students on their accomplishments!

MDP Garden on Emory’s Campus

December 6: This semester, MDP students maintained a garden as part of Emory’s Educational Garden Project, sponsored by the Emory Sustainability Initiative. The MDP garden is spearheaded by first-year students Mia Nieves and Tyler Breen, who both have extensive agriculture experience. Nieves volunteered at a community-supported farm as an undergraduate at the University of Florida in Gainsville, which supplied a homeless shelter. Breen’s worked with small scale farmers while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. He also aquired experience with integrated pest management systems in the Dominican Republic. The MDP garden produced broccoli, chard, collards, peppers, tomatoes, beets, lettuce, rosemary, sage, oregano, mint, and famously large squash that the first-year MDP cohort enjoyed as a snack during class one afternoon! In the future, these enthusiastic MDP gardeners hope to involve more students, diversify their crops, and educate their peers about food systems—while also helping garden volunteers banish their fears of a little dirt!

Prof Nugent wins internationalization award

December 1: MDP Director, Prof. David Nugent won the 2016 Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization for advancing the university’s commitment to global engagement. The awards recognizes unique creation of new ideas, products, or programs products that promise to eliminate global inequities, promote cooperation, or foster respect for human dignity. Prof. Nugent played a key role in securing the MacArthur Foundation grant that enabled the development of the Master’s in Development Practice in 2010. Prof. Nugent is also co-directing the newly established Laney Graduate School’s Communities of Practice initiative, a pilot program funded by the Henry Luce Foundation that aims to better incorporate global skills into doctoral education. Prof. Nugent’s nomination was co-sponsored by the Laney Graduate School, the Development Studies Program, the Global Health Institute, and the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory. Read more and view slideshow.

MDP 2016 Alumna Paulita Bennet-Martin Publishes Article on Marine Debris Mapping in Belize

November 22: MDP congratulates Paulita Bennet-Martin, from the MDP class of 2016, on being first-author of an article in the October 2016 issue of the scientific journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. The article, “Mapping Marine Debris across Coastal Communities in Belize,” presented the results from GIS mapping of marine debris, or marine litter, in four communities in Belize. The project included subsequent cleanup and removal of the mapped debris. This study expands on Paulita’s previous work: as an MDP student, Paulita worked on marine debris projects in Belize during her first field practicum and even helped to organize a symposium on plastic pollution in collaboration with Georgia State University professor Pam Longobardi. The article was co-authored  with Christy Visaggi of Georgia State University and Timothy Hawthorne of University of Central Florida and can be accessed here.

Emory MDP hosts a conversation with Francois Grunewald

November 16: Emory MDP co-hosted a visit by Dr. Francois Grunewald, Associate Professor at the University of Paris VII and Executive Director of Urgence-Rehabilitation-Developpement (Groupe URD). Trained as an agronomist, Dr. Gruwnewald has extensive experience in evaluating emergency response programs. He has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross and consulted with several UN agencies and NGOs. Dr. Grunewald participated in a public forum on Global Emergencies and Mental Health, including representatives of CDC, the Carter Center, and Doctors Without Borders and moderated by Prof. Dabney Evans, Director of the Emory Center for Humanitarian Emergencies. The event was part of the annual France-Atlanta celebration, which seeks to promote business, cultural, and scientific cooperation. Dr. Grunewald also met with MDP students to discuss his recent work. He spoke on the importance of collaborative learning stating that, “we are in a period of much uncertainty in the world. There is a need for alliance and dialogue in all this.”

Dr Roncoli presents at UNESCO conference on indigenous climate knowledge

November 8: MDP Associate Director participated in Indigenous 2016, a conference organized by UNESCO and the Indigenous People of Africa Coordinating Committee. The conference took in Marrakech, Morocco and brought together researchers and indigenous activists from around the world to share experiences and formulate recommendations for the inclusion of indigenous people's concerns in the upcoming COP22. Dr. Roncoli presented a paper on how local farming communities perceive and address climate-related water scarcity in Burkina Faso. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Research Environmental Research (CRED), and included CRED scientists Profs. Ben Orlove and Brian Dowd-Uribe and Burkina Faso collaborator Dr. Moussa Sanon.

MDP at CARE’s Walk in Her Shoes

November 1: MDP students and administrators participated in CARE’s Walk in Her Shoes annual fundraiser walk on October 1st. The walk aimed to raise the Atlanta community’s understanding and recognition of the struggles of women and girls living in poverty, while also raising money for CARE initiatives. The event was hosted by CARE, an international non-governmental organization working to empower communities living in poverty and achieve social justice, often through women and girl-centered projects. CARE and Emory have a longstanding partnership, and MDP is proud to play a role in this relationship through student internships and events such as Walk in Her Shoes. Read more and view slideshow.  

Emory MDP Students Attend the 2016 International Conference on Sustainable Development

October 25: This year Emory MDP students attended the annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) hosted at Columbia University.  This conference is held in partnership with the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice. The theme of ICSD was “Moving Forward: The SDGs in Practice” and was held just one year after the official adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conference intended to bring individuals into the dialogue on finding solutions to the complex challenges of sustainable development. ICSD hosted students and academia from around the world, professionals from the private sector, civil society members, top scientists, and world leaders from politics to government to the UN. Read more and view slideshow.  

Emory MDP Director, David Nugent, presented his paper at a recent Wennergren Conference

September 20: Emory MDP Director, David Nugent, participated in a conference called “The Anthropology of Corruption,” a conference sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation held in Sintra, Portugal on September 8th-15th. The purpose of the conference was to highlight the contribution of anthropology to analyses of corruption. It acted as a symposium that gathered pioneering scholars working on corruption from a wide range of perspectives. A well known political anthropologist with extensive research experience in Latin America, Professor David Nugent presented a paper titled, “Is Corruption Exceptional?: Time, Affect and Concealment in 20th Century Peru.”  The paper analyzes the strategic use of corruption claims, and the ways in which charges of corruption may or may not advance the cause of transparency and democratic participation.

Dr Carla Roncoli publishes in UN journal on water resource management in West Africa

September 6: MDP Associate Director Dr. Carla Roncoli recently published an article in Natural Resources Forum, a United Nations Sustainable Development journal. The co-authored paper, entitled “Who Counts, What Counts: Representation and Accountability in Water Governance in Burkina Faso”, analyzes the opportunities and challenges of implementing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) approaches in a context defined by climate uncertainty and conflicting claims by multiple actors endowed with different levels of power and knowledge. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University and conducted in collaboration with the country’s Institut de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles. MDP alumna Katie Hiebert (MDP ’16) served as research assistant on the project.

Ruofei Chen Awarded MMMF Grant

August 2: Emory MDP student (’17), Ruofei Chen, was awarded a prestigious Margaret McNamara Education Grant to support her studies with Emory MDP. The year long grant is issued by the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund on a competitive basis to exceptional women from Global South countries who are committed to working to empower women and children in their own countries or regions. Ruofei is from Peru, with Chinese roots, and received the grant in recognition of her professional and volunteer experience promoting economic and education opportunities for women and girls. Ruofei has worked in both the non-profit and private sector and plans to integrate Corporate Social Responsibility in her future work as a development practitioner. Ruofei is looking forward to the opportunity to pursue empowering women and girls and to network with other MMMF grantees.

GDSC volunteers with Junior Achievement

July 26: The Emory MDP student group GDSC contributed time, talent, and expertise to Junior Achievement Atlanta (JA Atlanta), a local organization that seeks to inspire and empower youths to envision a better future for themselves and their community. One way JA does this is by hosting middle school students at Finance Park where they have the opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Emory MDP students, Rachel LastingerAlexandra GordonAndie TuckerMaria Guzman,Tyrell Kahan, and Lara Wagner, were able to introduce these young students to the idea of managing a paycheck and budget, as well as the importance of philanthropy and giving back to your community through your time and money. Their intended goal was to serve the youth in Atlanta and teach them how they can be involved in the global economy.

MDP students help host UNICEF event

July 19: UNICEF USA recently celebrated its biggest fundraiser of the year and Emory MDP students were involved in organizing it.  Two of Emory MDP’s students, Jessica Frye (‘16) and Maria Guzman (‘17) are interns with UNICEF and helped plan the event.  They also volunteered at the event alongside Emory MDP students, Andreina Cordova (‘17) and Gabriela Artasanchez (‘17).  Two of the students involved – Jessica and Andreina – are conducting their summer field practicum with UNICEF’s programs respectively in Uganda and Indonesia.  The fundraising event, UNICEF’s Evening for Children First, was hosted at the Foundry at Puritan Mill in Atlanta.  It was attended by more than 300 guests and raised over $730,000 to support UNICEF’s work around the world to put Children First. The event  was emceed by CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and honored entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner with the Global Philanthropist Award. It was exciting for our students to be involved!

Jessica Frye receives grant for public health work

July 12: Jessica Frye received a grant from the Healthcare Innovation Program/Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute. The grant was for a team proposal to build the capacity of lay health workers to do pediatric vision screenings. The project seeks to address vision deficiencies that if untreated can result in irreversible vision loss affecting a child’s quality of life and abilities. Jessica is part of team that includes Dr. Karen Andes – a member of MDP teaching faculty - and MPH students Rebecca Russ, and Kate Furgurson. The grant will support a collaborative partnership between Emory University and Ventanillas de Salud (VDS) to expand a previously tested pediatric vision-screening model and develop bilingual video training and vision screening materials to be piloted at three U.S. Mexican Consulates. The team expects that educating VDS staff on child vision will increase awareness and participation in pediatric vision screenings and ensure early detection of vision loss and better access to adequate treatment.

MDP student publishes blog for DEVEX

July 5: MDP alumna Winnette Richards (MDP ’15) recently published a blog for DEVEX Impact, a social enterprise and media platform for the global development community. This recent blog post identifies and synthesizes key work  on women’s entrepreneurship in the development literature. Winnette’s blog sheds light on the growing recognition of the vital role women entrepreneurs play in boosting economic productivity and growth. Winnette currently works at DEXIS, a development consulting firm focused on strengthening management systems for economic prosperity and better governance. Read the blog here.

Emory MDP students help teach Global Health Course

June 28: MDP students bring a broad set of interdisciplinary expertise and practical experiences to the classroom. For this reason, several of them have been selected for Teaching Assistantships for courses in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Paulita Bennett-Martin (’16), Jessica Frye (’16), Lauren Godfrey (’15), [RC1] and Tyrell Kahan (’16), have assisted professors including Dr. Carlos, del Rio, Dr. Amy Girard, Dr. Neil Mehta, and Dr. Bob Bednarczyk, teaching Global Health 500, a comprehensive review of global health conditions and interventions around the world.

Students active in Georgia Organics

June 21: Kate Groenevelt (’16) and Tyrell Kahan (’16) attended the 19th annual Georgia Organics conference in Columbus, Georgia. The students represented  Emory’s Department of Environmental Sciences  and Common Market Georgia, a new non-profit food hub organization that seeks to connect local small farmers to large institutions that can purchase their products. The event offers a forum for promoting organic agriculture throughout the southeast region, by connecting farmers, organizations, and businesses that value organic food. The “Eat Local, Drink Local” pioneer, Joan Gussow, gave a keynote address entitled Race and Gender: The Faces of Injustice within the US Food System. Kahan remarked “I was struck by the wide range of backgrounds represented by the participants of the conference. The conference crossed cultural, racial, age, and geographic lines in a manner that I have not experienced at any other conference. This wide range of interest leads me to believe that organic food and sustainable agriculture has nowhere else to go but up in the state of Georgia”.

Andreina Cordova Wins 2016 GHI Case Competition

June 14: Every year the Emory Global Health Institute hosts an intramural Emory Global Health Case Competition and MDP students have often been part of winning teams. This year’s case competition was focused on sex trafficking, a pervasive and persistent problem plaguing many of Atlanta’s communities. MDP ‘17 student, Andreina Cordova participated in a team that won third place.  Her team, composed of students from RSPH and MDP, proposed non-profit accelerator model within Metro Atlanta. They sought to use a $75,000 dollar grant to invest in community partnerships that will return capital gains. These would then be used to fund existing non-profit organizations as they seek to provide services to those affected by sex trafficking within the Atlanta community. Their model would be focused on funding non-profit community-based organizations such as, Lost N’ Found, ChopArt, and Street Grace Inc, that can address sex trafficking through methods like Media Campaigns, Forums, Corporate Activism, and Photovoice.

MDP student develops city wide pledge

June 7: In March of 2016, Emory MDP student Paulita Bennett-Martin was part of an alliance of people from around the world that worked to get the impacts of plastic pollution on the radar for the City of Atlanta. As a result, professor Pam Longobardi and City of Atlanta Council Member Kwanza Hall, publicly proclaimed March 27th as Plastic Reduction Day Atlanta at the Center for Disease Control. This year the team worked to create a citywide pledge to commemorate the 2nd annual Plastic Reduction Atlanta day. The pledge calls for local Atlanta businesses to reduce their single use plastic footprint. Read more and view slideshow.

MDP student receives Fulbright and AAAS fellowships

May 31: MDP student Tyrell Kahan is a veterinarian who is passionate about international development, and focused on issues related to the human-animal interface in agricultural expansion and disease transmission. Close to graduation in August 2016, Kahan was a semi-finalist for the American Veterinary Medical Association Fellowship, and winner of two prestigious fellowship, the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship and a Fulbright Student Program to conduct research in Uganda. Read more and view slideshow.

MDP student marshals 2016 Emory graduate commencement

May 24: Each year the Emory Commencement solicit nominations from faculty and staff for students from their departments and programs who display leadership in their fields. Two graduate students and three faculty members from the Laney Graduate School are selected for the honor of marshaling the Emory Master’s Degree award ceremony. This year, an Emory MDP student was selected to marshal. Congratulations to Paulita Bennett-Martin on representing Emory MDP.

LGS gets grant for global skill development

May 17: Every year as Emory approaches graduation season, Laney Graduate School celebrates Graduate Student Appreciation Week. A number of students who have done outstanding work at Emory are are nominated by faculty, staff, peers and mentors for outstanding s and featured on the LGS website. Two Emory MDP (’16) students were featured this year. Congratulations to Tyrell Kahan, and Helena Worrall. Visit the Laney Graduate School page to read a full listing of graduate students celebrated in April 2016.

LGS gets grant for global skill development

May 10: Building on the experience and accomplishment of the MDP program, the Laney Graduate School received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Higher Education Program to pilot a new project for transforming doctoral education in ways that better prepare students to address today’s global challenges. Led by Dean Lisa Tedesco and MDP Director Prof David Nugent, the 18-month project will establish an interdisciplinary “community of practice," (COP) aimed to help students recognize the potential applications for their expertise outside of their scholarly fields under the supervision of Emory faculty with have global interests and expertise. The COP will include 16-20 students, including Master’s and PhD students from across the humanities, social sciences, public health sciences, and the natural and biomedical sciences. They will be involved in fieldwork to address practical problems in the Global South, capitalizing on the MDP’s established partnerships with leading humanitarian and relief organizations operating in a wide range of sectors. Read more here.

Emory MDP creates soccer team

May 3: A new paper titled “Climate finance for agricultural adaptation”, has been published by the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program, a collaborative research initiative of the CGIARs. Emory MDP alumna, Wenlu Ye, is the first author of the publication, which is based on her summer field practicum research in Kenya and co-authored with CCAFS senior scientists who supervised the work. The study explores financial mechanisms for agricultural adaptation that are currently in place and identifies research priorities that “research should focus on exploring and designing innovative investment opportunities and models to mobilize and scale up private capital, while unlocking agricultural financing”. Considering the anticipated impacts of climate change on agriculture, the paper offers insights for prioritizing adaptive and mitigating responses. Read more here. Download paper here.

Emory MDP creates soccer team

April 26: Emory MDP students know how to have fun and let off a little steam! MDP class of 2017 students have used the MDP program as a way to form community and promote the Emory MDP program through a soccer team. Come out and support the Emory MDP soccer team every Thursday at 8pm at the McDonough field. They rock!

GDSC Conversations on Development

April 19: This Spring, the Global Development Student Council (GDSC) hosted a series of professional development speakers. Each event was focused on conversations between academics, professionals in practice, and MDP students, to highlight the diverse needs in development work, both locally, and internationally. This year’s speakers included guests from CDCEmory Goizueta Business SchoolNOAA, and the TARA Project, as well as consultants to CARE. While the events were coordinated for and by GDSC, a MDP student group, guests attended from across campus. We are pleased to see MDP students building awareness for development at Emory.

Emory MDP students featured in IDN news

April 12: Emory MDP Students, Robert Shannon (‘16) and Rachel Lastinger (‘17), are both graduate interns at Emory University’s Institute for Developing Nations, IDN. The IDN is committed to connecting research and academic programs at Emory and The Carter Center to strengthen scholarship on development and provide direct support to development efforts in countries across the world. Both MDP students were recently featured in the IDN newsletter, for their work in News and Events, and Communications. Read more here.

Dr. Carla Roncoli invited to discuss climate research at GAO

April 5: MDP Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist Carla Roncoli was invited to discuss her climate research with the Government Accountability Office (GAO)’ s Natural Resources and Environment team. The NRE team is responsible for GAO's work on agriculture and food safety; science; federal land and water resources; energy; environmental protection; and U.S. and international nuclear cleanup. In addition to its auditing and investigation activities, GAO is responsible for performing policy analyses and advising congressional committees on whether and how government agencies are meeting their goals. Roncoli’s presentation focused on her work among smallholder farmers in West Africa and Southeast U.S. – which was funded by federal agencies (NOAA, USDA, NSF, USAID). The meeting took place at the GAO Atlanta field office and virtually connected with GAO headquarters in Washington DC and other NRE teams across the country. The invitation was part of GAO’s efforts to highlight work by women who are influential on environmental issues in honor of Women’s History Month.

Emory MDP students at Local Food Community Workshop

March 29: In early February, the new Director of Urban Ag for the city of Atlanta, Mario Cambardella, held workshops around the city to better define his role. The event was not only a great way to learn more about the obstacles faced by those involved in the Atlanta local food community, but also a great demonstration of participatory research methods. Emory MDP students, Sarah Turkaly and Melanie Aleman attended the workshops. The attendees were able to learn from City of Atlanta experiences, discuss the obstacles faced in dealing with local food, and develop action steps that the Urban Ag Director would apply. The event demonstrated the importance of working with different groups of many sizes to generate ideas and allow all participants to feel comfortable sharing their views. Sarah and Melanie look forward to seeing what Atlanta’s new Director of Urban Ag accomplishes in the next year, using the recommendations and ideas they were a part of creating.

Emory MDP spotlighted in the EMORY LEADS annual report

March 22: Emory MDP is pleased to be featured in the Emory University Annual Report of the President, entitled Emory Leads. Every year, President James Wagner, publishes the report which highlights departments for their competitive edge, and why students from across the globe choose Emory. Check out the report here, and learn about what makes the Emory MDP program a top choice.

Andie Tucker works on GBV Legislation

March 15: This February Paulita Bennett-Martin presented to an international audience at the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM2016) in New Orleans. Over 4000 guests attended from across the world to cover all areas of Ocean Sciences. Paulita presented Plastic Free Belize, People, Plastic, and Pollution in a developing Caribbean nation. Using participatory methods, she mapped 255 meters of coastline with community members in Belize, and collected 11,166 pieces of marine debris, of that over 93% was plastic. Further, Paulita discussed major themes in community response to participatory mapping and campaigns, "many people in Belize are used to participating in cleanups and data collection, which is a positive example of community engagement".  Read more and view the slideshow. 

Andie Tucker works on GBV Legislation

March 8: The Georgia Women’s Policy Institute (GWPI) is a signature advocacy program within the Greater Atlanta YWCA.  Now entering its fifth successful year, GWPI is a leadership, advocacy and civic engagement training for women from diverse backgrounds. Emory MDP student Andie Tucker (‘17) began a fellowship in April 2015 for GWPI. The GWPI Fellows meet over the course of one year for education, team building, and hands-on learning experiences, as they work collaboratively on a real world policy project that impacts the lives of women and girls in Georgia. On February 23, Andie joined with the other GWPI Fellows to lobby for and pass HB 827, Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act. As an MDP student, Andie, who is passionate about doing development work related to Gender Based Violence and Gender Equity says that the these Fellowship experiences allow her to combine her passions with her development career path on a local level. Great work GWPI and Andie!

MDP student attends Ethiopia workshop

March 1: Since Fall of 2014, Amelia Conrad (MDP ‘16) has been interning with the CARE Pathways program, and has grown to become a valued part of the team. Amelia works directly with Emily Hillenbrand on GRAD, a five-year USAID-funded project designed to help the Government of Ethiopia find sustainable solutions to chronic food insecurity. The MDP student was invited to join the CARE team for a 2-day workshop in Addis, Ethiopia, on February 1st and 2nd. She summarized her time at the workshops as a full schedule including, “presenting findings from the GRAD program quantitative midterm review, sharing methodology with CARE staff, and to working with these staff members to develop a set of indicators and a plan for monitoring gender-related behavior changes in GRAD and other CARE programs”. Visit the CARE Ethiopia page to learn more about this program.

Paulita Bennett-Martin is AGU grant recipient

February 23: This year, the American Geophysical Union selected Paulita Bennett-Martin (MDP ‘16) as a grant recipient. AGU is dedicated to the furtherance of the Earth and space sciences, and to communicating our science’s ability to benefit humanity. Paulita’s proposal for funding was to present work from her MDP summer practicum work with Oceana Belize.  The  paper entitled Plastic Free Belize: People, Plastic, and Pollution in a developing Caribbean nation will be presented as part of a panel discussion on The Emerging Science of Marine Debris: From Assessment to Knowledge that Informs Solutions at the Ocean Sciences meeting in New Orleans.

Emory MDP Family Celebrates Babies and Weddings

February 16: Over the last several months, the Emory MDP family has had many new additions. We would like to take a quick moment to say congratulations to those students and staff who have been blessed with children and marital unions. Read more and view the slideshow.

MDP interns featured on CARE website

February 9: Since Emory MDP’s inception, CARE has been a major partner providing student practicum placement and internships abroad as well as in their Atlanta headquarters. Several students have worked with CARE’s Pathways to Empowerment program, a multisectoral initiative aimed to realize women farmers’ potential to contribute to livelihood security for their families. Two recent MDP graduates Charlotte Newman and Lauren Godfrey contributed to a mid-term review, by working at CARE’s Atlanta headquarters during the academic year and in the field - respectively in Ghana and in Malawi - during summer 2014.  Charlotte is currently a Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow for the CDC, while Lauren is a Program Associate with World Learning in Washington DC. Their work with CARE is currently featured on the CARE Pathways Blog. Learn more about Charlotte or Lauren’s own pathways to development practice.

MDP central to sustainability at Emory

February 2: Back in the summer of 2014, a group of Emory MDP students piloted a study looking at sustainability networks across Emory University. The study was the brainchild of Emory Anthropology PhD student, Ioulia Fenton. The anthropologist was interested in how social network analysis (SNA) could help “get to know our own community” at Emory, “and by identifying who is who, we can learn about where clusters or gaps in the sustainability network exist”. With the help of MDP faculty Dr. Kristin Phillips, she recruited a team of research assistants, including MDP students: Melanie Aleman ('16), Alexandra Gordon (‘17), Katie Hiebert (‘16), Lauren Reef (‘16), Robert Shannon (‘16), Barrett Smith (‘16), and Tanya Witlen (‘16). The SNA project has been supported by two years of funding from the Emory Sustainability Incentives Fund. Read more.

Robert Shannon participates in the Human Rights Defenders International Forum in Ghana

January 26: The Carter Center, together with West African partner organizations and religious and traditional actors, convened a Human Rights Defenders International Forum in Accra, Ghana. The event was hosted by the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana and chaired by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to provide a space for actors from all segments of society to exchange resources and understandings on the abuse and oppression of women, and means of countering narratives and interpretations of faith-based teachings that perpetuate inequality and gender-based violence. Emory MDP (‘16) student, and Institute of Developing Nations Graduate Intern, Robert Shannon worked as a Gender consultant, reviewing conference agenda and objectives, to ensure that the forum considers an intersectional examination of gender throughout the programming, specifically that the role of Men and Boys in empowering women and girls. Read more.

Hayley Robinett presents work HIV conference

January 19: Emory MDP (‘16) student, Hayley Robinett is a co-author in a presentation at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta Georgia. The presentation draws upon a Positive Influences study focused on Understanding Multilevel Factors Contributing to Women’s Entry, Engagement, and Adherence to HIV Treatment and Care. Hayley participated as a research assistant to Dr. Paula Frew at Emory University’s School of Medicine. Robinett assisted the research team with data analysis – including codebook development and thematic coding. The HIV Prevention conference brought together researchers and practitioners to learn about and implement HIV prevention and treatment programs. Sessions highlighted the decline in HIV diagnoses in the general population, but noted considerable work remains to be done to address significant health disparities affecting certain demographic groups, including women. Eager to share her work, Robinett stated “our results have uncovered driving factors that influence continuity of care for HIV positive women”. The research is being submitted to a scientific journal in Spring 2016.

Dr. Carla Roncoli participates at COP21 planning

January 12: MDP Associate Director, Dr. Carla Roncoli participated in a pre-COP21 conference on Resilience in a Time of Uncertainty: Indigenous People and Climate Change held in Paris on November 26-27, 2015 and sponsored by UNESCO’s Climate Frontlines project.  The event was attended by hundreds of scientists from all disciplines, development practitioners, and indigenous people’s representatives and activists from all over the globe, including leaders of pastoral communities from Burkina Faso with whom Dr. Roncoli and her colleague Dr. Ben Orlove (Columbia University) have worked for many years. Partly as a result of the conference’s efforts to raise awareness, indigenous people’s concerns were included in the COP21 Paris Agreement, which mentions the word “indigenous” several times. Dr Orlove writes more on the complementarities of indigenous and scientific knowledge at Glacier Hub.

Emory MDP student Paulita Bennett-Martin still raising awareness abroad

January 5: Mario Corea (MDP ‘16) published an article on challenges facing asylum seekers, “Outcomes among Asylum Seekers in Atlanta, Georgia, 2003--2012” in the International Journal of Cuban Health and Medicine. Corea, was interning at the Atlanta Asylum Network (AAN) to fulfill his Human Rights Certificate when he met the director of the study Dr. Dabney Evans and was invited to join the evaluation. The study analyzes nine years of data to assess whether and how AAN services benefit asylum seekers in the Atlanta area. Results showed that almost 64% of the asylum seekers had positive outcomes.  The full article is available here.