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Global Activities Scholars Program Students

Admitted 2021

  1. Aiman Irshad Aiman Irshad

    Aiman (she/her/hers) was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was just two years old. Aiman was raised in Chicago, but moved back to Pakistan at the age of 12, where she also completed high school. She eventually returned to the United States, where she graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. During her time in Pakistan, Aiman worked at NGOs with youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, including drug rehabilitation centers and orphanages. In the United States, she has worked with refugees and asylum seekers, as well with children who have autism, as a behavioral therapist. She has also specialized in psychological research concerning the efficacy and benefits of Child and Adolescent Health Centers in school settings. Aiman joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to gain advanced knowledge and skills working with minority youth in both domestic ethnic populations, as well as in an international context. Upon completion of her MSW, Aiman plans to continue work with her intern organization, ACCESS in Dearborn, MI, with Middle Eastern and South Asian adolescents.

  2. Ella Imes Ella Imes

    Ella (she/her/hers) was born and grew up in southern Wisconsin. She attended Earlham College for her undergraduate studies and earned a BA in both Spanish and Peace & Global Studies. During her studies, she spent 2 months interning at a refugee camp in central Greece, which drew her to seek out a more praxis-driven approach to the theories she was learning in class. After graduating with college honors Ella worked for a year in wilderness therapy in Clayton, Georgia; there, she combined her passion for the outdoors with supporting folks on the road to recovery. During her MSW Ella hopes to learn community organizing techniques, develop trauma informed care practices, and continue to explore what other cultures and societies can teach her about social work and people.

    Over the summer, Ella will have the wonderful opportunity to work with the International Rescue Committee in Dallas, Texas. She will be working in the mental health program with adults and young adults that are newly arrived to the United States.

  3. Grace Park Grace Park

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2021

    Born in Daegu and raised in Philadelphia, Grace (she/her/hers) is a first-generation graduate student. She attained a Bachelor’s of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Penn State University, where she was challenged to value her education not as a one-way road to a career, but an opportunity to learn about herself and the needs of our society and world. Grace served with the Peace Corps in Malawi as a Secondary School English Teacher. She lived and worked alongside community members to enhance teaching practices, develop after-school programs, and engage parents in the academic success of their children. Although shortened by COVID-19, her service led her to one definite conclusion: She wants to not change the world herself, but empower the youth who one day will.

    Over the summer, Grace will be joining Making Cents International and its Youth Engagement team. She will be focusing on bettering youth programs, policies, and strategies and increasing youth engagement in development efforts.

  4. Justine D’Souza Justine D’Souza

    Justine D’Souza (she/her/hers) is a Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work dual degree candidate. A fluent French speaker, she has worked in the fields of international education, community management, and crisis counseling in New York, New Jersey, and France. She returned to graduate school to combine her interests in international affairs, human services, comparative politics, government, mental health, labor rights, and intercultural dialogue. Justine obtained her BA in French, with minors in Planning and Public Policy, International Business and Political Economy, and Organizational Leadership from Rutgers University. She currently holds positions as a Research Assistant for the Just Futures Lab, a Preferred Communities Program Intern for Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, and a Student Facilitator for Change it Up! Disrupting Anti-Blackness workshops at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. When Justine is not studying or working, she enjoys singing classical music and performing onstage, reading novels and non-fiction, and watching documentaries and foreign language series. While in the GASP program, Justine hopes to learn about community building models and practices from across the globe, Eastern human services and organizing paradigms, effectively collaborating with a diverse client base, and transformative social work practice.

  5. Katie Kurnick Katie Kurnick

    Katie (she/her/hers) is from the Cleveland, Ohio area. In 2018, she graduated from Ohio State with a BA in International Studies, with minors in French and Nonprofit Management. She served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Columbus, Ohio before moving to Denver to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado. She is passionate about furthering equitable education here and abroad. As a GASP scholar, she intends to advance her knowledge of international issues and would like to learn more about ethical and justice-centered change that is taking place in communities globally.

    Over the summer, Katie will be working with the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations. She will be focusing on disarmament and demilitarization advocacy work.

  6. Katy Rose (Catherine) Robeson Katy Rose (Catherine) Robeson

    Katy Rose (she/her/hers) graduated with her B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies in 2019, and returned to the University of Michigan to pursue her MSW in global social work and research & program evaluation. Her interests lay in narratives of trauma and healing, particularly with regard for gender-based violence and Indigeneity. She has experience in thematic research on testimonies provided by survivors of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, along with research on the impact of 9/11 on the youngest generation to recall it in living memory, and the impact of trauma from gender-based violence on women’s connections to themselves and others as they heal. Through the MSW program, Katy Rose aims to gain the practical skills to apply research in addition to conducting it. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy fiction, gardening (which sounds better than plant-hoarding), and cuddling her very large fluffy rabbit.

  7. Maddison Buschur Maddison Buschur

    Maddison grew up on a dairy farm in a small town in Ohio. After a year of serving as Ohio FFA State President, she pursued her undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and minors in International Relations & Diplomacy, Creative Writing, and Nonprofit Studies. As a social worker, Maddison has held multiple roles within domestic and refugee therapeutic foster care, as well as worked in suicide prevention and mental health awarenes. Upon graduating, she plans to focus her career on the research and development of best practices in child welfare and family preservation globally. As a Global Activities Program Scholar, Maddison hopes to grow her preparedness to work with communities and governments in an international context, with a special interest in Eastern European and Central African countries. In her free time, Maddison likes to paint abstract art, perform improvisational comedy, and practice her cooking skills.

  8. Mariam Alamshahi Mariam Alamshahi

    Mariam (she/her/hers) is interested in learning about how systems and programs can fail its intended audience and the general consequences of working reactively rather than proactively. Her undergraduate studies in journalism, public relations, and philosophy cultivated her curiosity and encouraged her to advocate for others, to challenge traditional modes of thought, and to think critically about the ripple effect of every decision. Professionally, she worked in annual giving where she educated students about the power of community and engaged them in philanthropic activities. As a first generation Afghan, she is excited to be interning at a legal aid non-profit where she provides support in immigration cases. As a GASP scholar, Mariam hopes to learn about successful international social programs and systems that vary greatly from the approach taken in the United States. She believes that in order for radical change to occur, everyone must leave their egos at the door and welcome ideas that work rather than compete over credit. In her free time she oscillates between nihilistic and existential crises, but combats the two by listening to pop punk bands from the mid 2000s, looking for the moon in the sky, and rereading The Alchemist once a year.

  9. Melody Fakhourie Melody Fakhourie

    Melody (she/her/hers) is from Wilmington, Delaware, and received a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Peace Studies from Barry University in Miami, Florida, where she spent her formative years. Melody studied abroad in Indonesia at Universitas Airlangga, concentrating on Multicultural Communications and Relations and Religious Pluralism, and teaches English online to students located primarily in East Asia. Melody has a music-focused arts background that includes recording and performing songs of freedom and empowerment, creative writing, expressive arts in social work practice, and multi-disciplinary arts program management for youth in non-profit settings. She considers artistic disciplines to be effective vehicles with the political agency needed for raising awareness and creating change. Melody joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to gain more experience with global social work settings and empower her plans to address issues caused by international conflicts, poverty, and economic exploitation. She is honored to continue her education as a Global Activities Scholar at the University of Michigan.

    Melody will spend the summer in Accra, Ghana, with the Pan African Heritage Museum leveraging social work knowledge and skills within the development and mission-aligned programs of the organization.

  10. Reilly Diggins Reilly Diggins

    Reilly (she/her/hers) grew up in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and recently graduated from Grove City College where she studied Social Work and Spanish. Her undergraduate field placement was at a shelter for unaccompanied minors, which sparked her passion for working with immigrant and refugee populations in the United States. She also experienced many international travels, including a summer in the Dominican Republic, a semester in Spain, and smaller trips to Uganda and around Europe. These opportunities gave Reilly an appreciation for cultural differences and a greater understanding of showing cultural humility in cross-cultural interactions. In her free time, Reilly enjoys hiking, spending time with family, and investing in her local church. Reilly joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to further develop her skills working with international populations and to expand her competency in implementing effective and inclusive community change, both locally and worldwide.

    Over the summer, Reilly is excited to be working in Baltimore with Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS). She will be working with unaccompanied refugee minors in their therapeutic foster care program.

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