MDP Alumni

MDP students on a trip to study agricultural practices in the nearby Mexican state of Sonora.

Class of 2018

Bianca N. Comer

Bianca Comer was born are raised in Phoenix, Arizona and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona in Care, Health and Society with a minor in both Public Health and Studio Art. Her interests lie in maternal and child health, specifically the issues that women face due to social and structural constraints. As a domestic focus, she hopes to improve maternal and child health outcomes for women of color in the U.S. Globally, her interests are... More...
Devin Crim

Devin is a Birmingham, Alabama native who graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arizona in 2016. He was inspired to work in Development after being assigned to South Korea while on Active Duty in the Army.
Cecy Cuevas

Cecy received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona in May of 2016. During herundergraduate studies she participated in the Poverty in Tucson Field Workshop where she used field research to study the living conditions of Tucson’s poor and presented the findings to city officials as well as the general public. Through this experience and her experiences coming of age in Long Beach, Cecy has always been interested in improving quality of... More...
Amanda HixsonFrom: Tucson, Arizona
Master's Report: "The Missing Piece of World Food Program’s Strategic Plan: Cambodia as Illustration of WFP’s Need to Lead and Collaborate in Addressing the World Obesity Epidemic"LinkedIn

For the past twelve years, Amanda’s focus has been directed toward the nexus of issues related to sustainable food systems:  people’s access to food, how the foods people... More...
Shannon Jones

Shannon was born and raised in Florida, residing most of her life near Tampa, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Geography in 2015 from the University of South Florida. Her interests in development began with her undergraduate courses, and two in particular (Globalization and Regional Geography of Africa) led her to pursue a graduate degree in Development Practice. This interest in development grew further while she was working as a youth development... More...
Karina Martinez
Challenges of Studying Energy Poverty in Hermosillo, Sonora

Karina is interested in evaluating environmental problems or risks, as well as their social and cultural impacts. Her current research project focuses on identifying energy requirements and obstacles to meet the needs of vulnerable social groups located in Hermosillo, Sonora. Before joining the MDP Program, Karina completed her undergraduate studies in Environmental and Industrial Engineering at the... More...
Amanda Monroy

Amanda is originally from Tucson, Arizona. She graduated in May 2016 from Northern Arizona University with a degree in International Affairs. Amanda has a wide array of experiences that have led her to pursue a Masters in Development practice. Her passion is women’s leadership at both the domestic and international levels. In her free time Amanda stays civically engaged through volunteering on local campaigns. 
Sandra WiebeFrom: from Carman, Manitoba, Canada
The Integration of More Plant-Based Foods in Our Diet: Reformulating our Assumptions about Consumption Posting on MDP Blog

Sandra’s focus on systems of oppression that work to marginalize communities is what led her to pursue a degree in development practice. During her time in the MDP program, Sandra extended her... More...

Class of 2017

Robin Al-haddadFrom: Dallas, TX
Considering the Gendered Nature of Post-Harvest Losses in the Barotse Floodplain, Western Provence Zambia

Robin is from Dallas, Texas. She and her husband served together as Peace Corps volunteers in the Republic of South Africa from 2010-2012, where she worked as a Schools and Community Resource Specialist teaching English literacy to rural primary school and secondary high-school kids. Additionally, she taught adult sewing classes in order to... More...
Lee AllenFrom: Orlando, FL
Addressing Farmer Health Initiatives in Rwanda

Lee grew up in Orlando, Florida and completed his undergraduate studies at Elon Univesity in North Carolina. During his time there he majored in International Studies with a concentration in non-violent studies while running cross-country and track. He became interested in Development work after service/volunteer trips to Namibia, Angola, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. From there he continued his passion for... More...
Kelly AmslerFrom: Seattle, WA
Youth Decision Making in Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change An Analysis in East Africa

Having dabbled in fields of social justice during college, Kelly Amsler launched this lifelong passion by spending nine months at an orphanage in South Sudan, aiding with educational/medical/administrative needs, and developing a running water system on the orphanage compound. Since then she’s pursued her belief that education begets opportunity and has... More...
Ida Nadia DjenontinFrom: Benin, Africa
At the interface of science and decision-making: Environmental Governance and Natural Resource Management in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nadia is from Benin Republic, a West African Country. She studied agriculture sciences and holds an engineering degree in Agricultural Science – Rural Economy and Sociology at the University of Rarakou. Nadia got connected with a former lecturer of the University of Arizona during her experience as a... More...
Chloe HeinFrom: Tucson, AZ
Youth Decision Making in Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change An Analysis in East Africa

Chloe is a Tucson native who graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 2013. Since then, she was living in Trujillo, Peru, working for a small non-profit, Vive Peru. During her undergraduate she focused on international politics and Middle Eastern studies, which fostered her interest in development that was honed during her... More...
Johannes Katoko From: Namibia, Africa
Wildlife Conservation in the Kingdom of Swaziland: Challenges and Prospects

Johannes Katoko is from Namibia (Africa) and he is currently a resident of Tucson, Arizona. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Public Management and Policy, with a minor in Agribusiness and Economics. He became interested in MDP program after working in a developing country. He did an internship at the International... More...
Genét Klasek From: Kirkland, Washington
Youth Decision Making in Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change An Analysis in East Africa

Since she was a teen, Genet has been part of the social justice activism community. Prior to her undergraduate degree she held a career in social services in the areas of sexual and domestic violence, teen homelessness, and community organizing. Genet, a non-traditional student, became interested in international relations and the Middle East... More...
Paige KlotzmanFrom: Northern Arizona University
Perceptions of Education in Chacraseca: Where to Target Education Projects to Improve Quality and Equity

Paige is from Flagstaff, AZ and did here undergraduate studies at Northern Arizona University in cultural anthropology. She was inspired to pursue international development by a study abroad experience in India that focused on social issues. Her development experience includes working with local agencies in India as well as house... More...
Elizabeth Koleski From:
Aiming for behavioral change: The looming Zika epidemic as a springboard to better community health.

I grew up as a “global nomad” attending ten schools in twelve years in six countries, that experience led me to have had a keen interest in working internationally with disadvantaged people.  After obtaining a Bachelor in Science in Nursing, I worked as a community health nurse in urban poor communities and with migrant farm... More...
Fardous RahmaniFrom: Heret, Afghanistan
The Role of Technology and Innovation in Development: Lessons Learned from UNICEF's Innovation Initiatives

Rahmani grew up in Herat, Afghanistan and received a BA in Education and Teaching Methodology from Herat University in 2009. He has worked and participated in several governmental and non-governmental programs in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Dubai and the United States in the last few years. In addition to developing EFL project for... More...
Karla Rascón-Garcia
Foot and Mouth Disease Virus in Latin America

Karla is originally from Northern California and received her B.S. in Animal Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Growing up in a Mexican household she was exposured to farming, livestock and trips to her parents’ villages in Mexico. Through these experiences she drew a desire to serve those in need and this became an unshakable aspiration in her life. Karla first... More...
Mona Lisa Paguntalan Teves From: Miagao Iloilo, Philippines
Poverty Alleviation Through Collaborative Development

Monalee has 17 years of professional engagement in the development sector particularly in the following areas : Anti-Corruption & Governance, Persons with Disability (PWD), Children, Youth, Women, Volunteers. She has extensive experience in Project Development and Organizational Management. She was the former Executive Director of Transparency... More...
Jessica Uren From: Des Moines, Iowa
Assessing the Right to Information Act in Bangladesh

Jessica is from Des Moines, Iowa. She received a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Central College. During her undergraduate studies she also studied abroad in Bangor, Wales where she studied linguistics and culture. Her interest in development was spurred from trips to Mexico and Peru, as well as service learning in the Des Moines area, where she taught English and... More...

Class of 2016

                                       Emma Baker-Perez
Emma Barker-Perez

Emma grew up on a small island in Washington State that instilled in her a deep appreciation for environment and community. Her travels around Europe as a teenager inspired her to seek a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington, with an emphasis on Environmental Studies. Through UW, she spent a summer in Iceland studying economy, culture, and environment. Her studies, combined with two years as a DJ with UW's Rainydawg Radio, led to a... More...
Albert Casella

Undergrad: University of Arizona: AnthropologyPracticum Partner: Sakala-Haiti: Location: HaitiFinal Report Title: Many hands make the load lighter: A retrospective analysis of participatory action research for youth development in Cite-Soleil, HaitiCurrent Employer: Global Health Corps Fellows with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and Partners in Health, Rwanda
                                       Ashley Erbe
Ashley Erbe

An avid student, Ashley is a graduate from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. She also holds a certificate in International Public Health from the Institute of International Medicine. During her time as an undergraduate, Ashley worked as the Director of Public Health for the Flying Samaritans, a student-run organization... More...
Padriac Finan

Raised in a bi-cultural home and the son of an anthropologist, Padraic’s awareness of the global community began at an early age.  This awareness developed into interest during his studies in political science at ASU; where he was intrigued by the connection between governments and ideologies and its influences on development within their communities and society.  Padraic’s path towards Development Practice continued during his tenure in Brazil... More...
                                       Sophia Jones
Sophia Jones

Sophia Jones first became interested in a career in development after receiving a Rotary Youth Scholarship and pledging to the organization’s mission of “service over self.” Sophia has studied abroad in Antigua, Guatemala, where she volunteered at Casa Jackson, a center for malnourished infants and children.  During this time she studied the historical failures of development projects along with the environmental and social consequences of the... More...
                                       Daniel Kebede
Daniel Kebede

Daniel is a naturalized US national but he was born and raised in Ethiopia. After attending an undergraduate study in Sociology and Social Administration at Addis Ababa University, he spent almost seven years traveling to parts of Ethiopia, dealing with the problems of local communities, specifically issues such as internal displacement, child and women trafficking, HIV/AIDS and human rights working with both government agencies and international development... More...
Kierstin Kohn

Undergrad: University of Arizona: Sociology Practicum Partner: (Technical Assistance to NGOs International (TANGO) + CARE Raks Thai Foundation | Location: Thailand)Final Report: A Theory of Change:Climate Variability and Livelihoods in Chiang Mai and Nan Provinces, Northern Thailand
                                       Valon Osmani
Valon Osmani

Valon Osmani completed his Bachelor’s degree at the American University in Kosovo. His majors were Public Policy and Economics. During his studies, Mr. Osmani worked for several NGOs and interned at the Government of Kosovo, in the Ministry of Finance. Parallel to his work, Valon participated in numerous campaigns, showing commitment to social issues such as discrimination and delivery of assistive devices. His interest remains specialization in developing programs... More...
                                       Nikki Skelton
Nikki Skelton

Undergrad: University of ArizonaPracticum Partner: Swaziland National Trust Commission Location: SwazilandFinal Report: "Conservation and Development in Mhlumeni, Swaziland: A Community Needs Assessment Completed on Behalf of the Swaziland National Trust Commission"Current Employer: International Rescue Committee Location: Tucson, AZ