MDP Current Students

Class of 2019
Anna JacksonTucson
Northern Arizona UniversitySociology & Spanish

I am a Tucson native and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a dual-bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish. During college, I participated in Americorps as a resource specialist in an employment center for Goodwill Industries, serving low-income and homeless adults. After college, I dabbled in several different fields and most recently have held sales representative positions for local craft... More...
Philana JeremiahBronx, New York
Georgia Southern University Bachelor's in Geography with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Born in the Bronx, New York, I have lived in numerous cities, three US states, and four countries. I consider myself a citizen of a global community, having traveled extensively.  I obtained a Bachelor's in Geography with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and a minor... More...
Amel LebattNouakchott, Mauritania
University of NouakchottBachelor's in Private Law

Originally from Mauritania, West Africa, I earned a licence (equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the French education system) in Private Law from the University of Nouakchott. Apart from my academic achievement, what I can say about myself is that I am both an introvert and extrovert, which I attribute to my extensive travel experience. When arriving in a new place, I am at first... More...
Michelle Schatz
Northern Arizona UniversityBachelor of Community Planning, Minor in Ethnic Studies

Living in twelve cities before the age of eighteen, I learned from a young age to analyze human relations to space. This drove me to study Community Planning in my undergraduate career, during which time I developed a love for human geography. Traveling through Europe and South East Asia only increased my interest in this field: witnessing the vast inequality, poverty and... More...
Joseph StewartMiami, Florida
Florida State UniversityBachelor's in Criminology

A native of Miami, Florida, I graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor's degree in Criminology. I have spent the better part of the last fifteen years on a series of travels and escapades that have ultimately led me to Tucson, Arizona - the unofficial, ‘more sunshine state.’ However, it was not until my experience in East Java, Indonesia as a Peace Corps volunteer (2012-... More...
Sandra WiebeCarman, Manitoba, Canada
University of Manitoba; University of WinnipegBachelor in Kinesiology; Dual Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in International Development Studies and Human Rights & Global Studies

It was my focus on health that originally motived me to pursue a Bachelor of Kinesiology. It was my wider understanding of the importance of the social determinants of health, however, that led me to pursue a second Bachelor with Honors in International Development Studies... More...
Kelli WilliamsPhoenix, Arizona
University of ArizonaBachelor of Anthopology

I received my Bachelor in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 2014 before serving in the Peace Corps as a potato enthusiast and environmental volunteer in Junín, Perú. This experience shaped my view of development and altered the course of my career. My research interests include climate change adaptation, indigenous rights, and water rights conflicts. In my time not spent thinking about... More...
Class of 2018
Kelly AmslerSeattle, WA
University of Miami

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 worked with at-risk student-athletes at UCLA, University of Miami, and is now... More...
Bianca N. ComerPhoenix, Arizona
University of ArizonaCare, Health and Society

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... More...
Devin Crim Birmingham, Alabama
University of ArizonaB.A. Sociology

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 CuevasLong Beach, California
University of ArizonaB.A. Sociology

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... More...
Deborah Dimmett
University of Arizona Ph.D. in Language, Reading, and Culture

Deborah is the co-founder of Youth Envision, a nonprofit organization that focuses on youth development and education in areas of greatest need. She has been the organization's Executive Director since 2004 when it was first launched and is currently engaged in the development of two accelerated education programs. Her first experience in internatinal education began in Jérémie, Haiti in 2003 where she... More...
Amanda HixonTucson, Arizona
University of Colorado and University of IdahoBA in Environmental Studies and Master of Education

 Expect nothing, and live frugally on surprise. This is one of my many life mantras. I would say that it is a culmination of many unexpected twists and turns in life that has brought me to this MDP program. I lived in Tucson until I was ten years old, and never thought I would be coming back here. I first started my undergraduate career at New York... More...
Shannon JonesTampa, Florida
University of South FloridaB.A. Geography

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... More...
Karina Martinez Hermosillo, Sonora
Sonora State UniversityIndustrial and Environmental Engineering

I was born and raised in Hermosillo, Sonora, where in May of 2016 I graduate with honors from Sonora State University as an Industrial and Environmental Engineer. During my years in the program I was a volunteer tutor in a program, which the main focus was to orientate students in different subjects offered in the school year. While studying at the University a tragic event occurred;... More...
Chris Mazzarella

Chris has had a lifelong love affair with food and so has found himself working at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona where his love meets work in food security and justice.  Chris spent many years working on the organization’s farms and now runs a program working with local, low-income schools where he and his team create experiential learning opportunities through school garden programs.  Because of his work, his love of food has grown... More...
Amanda MonroyTucson, Arizona
Northern Arizona UniversityB.A. International Affairs

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... More...
Class of 2014
                                       Benten Anders
Benten Anders

Undergrad: Practicum Partner: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) | UgandaFinal report: Climate Change and Smallholder Farmers in Rural Uganda Current Employer: Technical Consultant at Rehabilitee Organization of Afghan War Victims
                                       Elizabeth Cuellar
Elizabeth Cuellar

Undergrad: University of ArizonaPracticum Partner: Tango International (Bangkok, Thailand)Final report: Current Employer: Research Consultant,Tango International (Tucson)
                                       Deguene Pouye
Deguene Pouye

Undergrad: Practicum Partner: Senegal Final report:Current Employer:
                                       Lauren Simonis
Lauren Simonis

Undergrad: University of ArizonaPracticum Partner: University Research Co., LLC | CambodiaFinal report: Health Equity Funds: An Innovation in Health Care Financing in CambodiaCurrent Employer: Director of Operations, Flame Tree Initiative   How MDP helped shape what I'm doing now: The Arizona MDP helped take my amorphous desire to be involved in international development and focused it in a way few other options could have. I gained a depth of... More...
                                       Roli Teko-Folly
Roli Teko-Folly

Undergrad: Practicum Partner: Universidade Estadual de Maranhao | BrazilFinal report: Rich waters, poor fishermen: The enigma of the fishery of RaposaCurrent Employer: Communications Officer, UNHCR (Togo)