MDP Current Students

Class of 2020
Avery Baker
Middle Tennessee StatePublic Relations

Natalia Ann Cachora
University of ArizonaCare, Health and Society

Abbey Marie Fluckiger
Oregon State UniversityEnvironmental Economics and Policy

Robert Hartwell
Univeristy of New HampshirePsychology and Justice Studies

Amata Rwagashayija Inshuti
Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, RwandaAgriculture

Paul Maynard
University of UtahUrban Planning

Laura Elizabeth McCann
University of FloridaEnvironmental Science and Russian

Jake Andrew MeyersRichboro, Pennsylvania
Washington And Jefferson CollegeEnvironmental Studies

Jake was raised in Pennsylvania before completing a B.A. in Environmental Studies at Washington
Mary Ngugi
University of ArizonaPublic Health

Abdulfetah Abdulselam Sigal
University Of California-DavisManagerial Economics

Samantha Jane Turner
University of ArizonaGender and Women's Studies

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 breweries. I am an avid traveler and have had many opportunities to visit developing countries, which has motivated me to pursue a Master’s in Development Practice.
Philana A 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 in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Georgia Southern University. Before applying to graduate school, I started an enterprise in 2016 named Shea Adora, a skin-care business that sources shea butter from Ghana. My research interests include sustainable eco-tourism in Eleuthera, Bahamas and exploring
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 disoriented and introverted, but when I finally become comfortable in a new setting, I become confident and extroverted.In terms of what I hope to accomplish through the Arizona MDP, I can think
Denisse Ortega Lorona
University of ArizonaPolitical Science

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 suffering that encompasses the world ignited my passion for global development. This led me to purse a Master's in Development Practice, as well as a yoga training certification focused on mediation and
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 (2012-2014) that I became interested in pursuing a career in development. Within the field, I am most interested in environmental challenges (particularly those regarding water conservation) and
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 and Human Rights. an understanding that has further driven me to pursue the MDP program. My academic studies and professional work have focused not only on the social determinants of health, but also on community development, newcomer settlement, and social justice research, including a study on Woman and Homelessness
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 sustainable development, I like to ride, fix, or look at bikes.
Class of 2018
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 provided professional development for 76 teachers.  Since that first experience, she has continued to provide seminars and workshops to teachers, community groups, and shelter workers
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 University on September 9th, 2001. Yikes! What a shocker! After a year at NYU and a semester in Prague, I transferred to University of Colorado and obtained a BA in Environmental Studies, with a 1.5 year volunteer mission in Spain in the
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; in which an industry accidentally spilled leachates on the state's main river, causing serious damage to the environment, as well as public health and socio-economic problems in riverine communities. This is
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 into a passion for food justice and security.  Much of the work he’s done is in the realm of community development and so