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OGA Faculty & Staff

Kathleen (Katie) L. LopezKathleen (Katie) L. Lopez

Assistant Director, Office of Global Activities & LEO Adjunct Lecturer

Katie Lopez (LMSW) is the Assistant Director of the Office of Global Activities at the University of Michigan School of Social Work where she is responsible for the overall administration of the office including overseeing the Global Activities Scholars Program, the Peace Corps Master's International and Coverdell Fellows programs, the Certificate in Global Social Work, and the Visiting Scholars program. She also serves as the Office of Field Instruction liaison for students completing global field placements. Ms. Lopez has lived and worked abroad in various locations including Mexico, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Honduras. Her work with those living in extreme poverty has strengthened her resolve to build positive, sustainable, intentional collaborations among schools of social work and institutions aimed at training social workers to address global issues. Ms. Lopez is an active member of NAFSA, Association of International Educators, where she has presented on various topics.

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Brandon PattersonBrandon Patterson

Graduate Intern, Office of Global Activities

Brandon Patterson is a graduate student studying higher education in the School of Education. His interests include international education and digital learning technologies. He assists with coordination of OGA student programs, arranging international faculty and student orientation, and advises students interested in participation in Global Independent Study. In addition to these responsibilities, he is working on projects for the office including a global social work career guide and program assessment.

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Lauren BirksLauren Birks

Peace Corps Office Assistant, Office of Global Activities

Lauren Birks is a graduate student with a practice method in Interpersonal Practice and practice area in Children and Youth in Families and Society in the School of Social Work. She also has a minor practice method in Community Organization and is completing the Social Work in School Settings Certification. Lauren is in the Master's International Program, which allowed her to serve as a Youth Development volunteer in Peace Corps Costa Rica in conjunction with her MSW. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren assists OGA with student programs, advising, and coordinating specifically related to Peace Corps and student relations.

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Madel LealMadel Leal

Graduate Student Services Assistant, Office of Global Activities

Madel Leal is a graduate student with a practice method in Community Organization and practice area Community and Social Systems in the School of Social Work. Madel is part of the Global Activities Scholars Program and hopes to enhance her social work experience on an international level. Some of her passions include, youth empowerment, women empowerment, LGTBQ+ rights and exploring the intersectionalities of social identities. When not in the office or in school Madel enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling to new places. She is the Graduate Student Services Assistant for OGA, assisting with student programs, coordinating events, and other related student relations programming.

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PeiNi OngPeiNi Ong

Social Work Resident, Office of Global Activities

PeiNi Ong (MSW) is the Social Work Resident of the Office of Global Activities at the University of Michigan School of Social Work where she assists to support the international students assimilate and excel in the MSW program. PeiNi, a U-M MSW alumna was previously living in Singapore and working as a social worker in a community-based agency. Her interests include international and cross-cultural adaptation and implementation of programs, looking at how social work practices can be translated on a global scale. PeiNi is also currently involved in international research projects with the University.

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