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Peace Corps Masters International and Coverdell Fellows Students

Admitted 2017

  1. Biannca Fisher Biannca Fisher »

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2017

    Biannca is a proud native of Detroit. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bennett College with a BA in Special Education. After graduation, she completed a term of service in the Peace Corps as a Special Education and Youth Literacy Advisor in Jamaica. After Peace Corps, she served in AmeriCorps for a year in Philadelphia at College Possible as a High School Coach helping low-income scholars navigate the college admissions process and SAT prep. She has worked extensively with academically gifted and academically challenged scholars and is proud of the significant achievements of her scholars. Biannca's desire for sustainable, results-oriented community building led her to the field of Social Work. As a Coverdell Fellow in the School of Social Work's Community-Based Initiative program, she hopes to gain more practical skills to become an effective community organizer. Knowing that there is no comparison to the transformative power of a superior education, she is currently working on forming an educational non-profit. After earning her MSW, this 21st century global-minded champion will leverage her knowledge and resources via technology to provide 24/7 access to exceptional educational opportunities to underrepresented students in underserved communities.

  2. Sarah Cullen Sarah Cullen »

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2017

    Sarah grew up in Seattle, Washington and graduated from Western Washington University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and French. She served in the Peace Corps in Benin,West Africa from 2013-2015 as a rural community health volunteer. There she focused on maternal and child health as well as education advancement at the local middle school. One of her biggest projects was fundraising to expand the school and add four more classrooms. She most recently worked for Seattle Public Health, meeting with families who participated in a food assistance program. She worked with them on nutrition education, child development and access to resources. As a Coverdell Fellow in the Community Based Initiative she wants to work with the people of Detroit in pursuing social change and economic sustainability. She has a passion for working with children, youth and families as well as immigrant and refugee populations. She also hopes to work internationally again to gain further knowledge into how social workers in America can be more effective in the fight for social justice.

  3. Tahrima Khanom Tahrima Khanom »

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2017

    Tahrima is a first-generation American who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh at the age of 5. She grew up in the vibrant city of Hamtramck, MI and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit. After college, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Uganda for 2 years as a Literacy Specialist. Her proudest achievements in the Peace Corps include co-directing a national conference on corporal punishment and gender-based violence; serving as a facilitator and a lead curriculum development team member at the annual Youth Technical Training Camp; and developing a series of sexual/reproductive health and reusable menstrual pad workshops for teenage girls. Tahrima continued her efforts against gender-based violence domestically and currently works with teenage girls in the foster care system who have suffered severe physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. As a Coverdell Fellow in the Community-Based Initiative Program with a concentration in Management of Human Services, Tahrima hopes to hone her leadership and community organization skills.

Admitted 2016

  1. A’lice Frazier A’lice Frazier »

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2016

    A’lice Frazier is a graduate student studying Community Organizing and Community and Social Systems at the School of Social Work. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and completed her Bachelors of Arts in English Literary Studies and Psychology: Child Maltreatment and Family Practices at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. A’lice served in Zambia as a Youth and Community Education volunteer from 2014 – 2016. Along with her primary role as an English teacher, A’lice worked with her community to implement community-wide health projects including HIV Awareness and Prevention Initiatives and a Water and Sanitation Project. A’lice is excited to join as a Coverdell Fellow in the Community Based Initiative, where she plans to continue her work of educating youth in communities on HIV and sexual reproductive health. A’lice’s hobbies include reading, binge watching Netflix, and having a great talent for choosing and consuming delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

  2. Mikayla Bowen Mikayla Bowen »

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2016

    Mikayla Bowen spent most of her life in Michigan, which is perhaps the very reason she desired to see more of the world. Mikayla attended Michigan State University for her undergraduate studies, specializing in Social Sciences and Secondary Education. Education is what drew her to social justice issues, as she saw how schools perpetuate systems of oppression. After two years of teaching in the United States, she knew it was time for a change and joined the Peace Corps. She served as an education volunteer in South Africa. While her primary focus was teaching English to grade 6 and 7 learners, her favorite moments occurred outside the classroom. Her proudest accomplishment was applying for a Let Girls Learn grant, through which she was able to host a workshop on challenging gender norms. The workshop brought together stakeholders from diverse organizations, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Basic Education, and rural schools, clinics, and non-profit organizations. She also cherished the time she spent teaching literacy to grade 1 students and simply enjoying being welcomed as a true member of her host family and community. Mikayla's experiences in South Africa have taught her cultural humility and have inspired her to pursue community organizing in her career as a social worker.

Admitted 2014

  1. Andrea Guerrero Andrea Guerrero »

    Masters International Student Admitted 2014

    Born to immigrant parents, Andrea grew up in a predominantly Latino immigrant community in Los Angeles, California. Through her life experiences she discovered her passion for immigrant and refugee populations. She was aware of many issues her community faced and wanted to be an agent of change and support. She knew that becoming educated was key to do so. She attained a Bachelor's of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis. She was the first one in her family to pursue a college degree. Living in border towns was her effort to better understand the migration phenomenon. She was accepted to the University of Michigan under the Master's International Social Work program which allows her to gain a Master's of Social Work while gaining international experience trough serving in the Peace Corps. She served for two years in Costa Rica under the Youth Development Program in a border town with Nicaragua. Through this educational opportunity Andrea hopes to integrate the multiple perspectives she has gained and become a better support system for immigrant and refugee peoples experiencing challenging life transitions.

Admitted 2013

  1. Claire Williamson Claire Williamson »

    Returned Peace Corps Master's International Student Admitted 2013

    Claire Williamson grew up in Dyersville Iowa and graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She is currently a Peace Corps Master's International Social Work student with an area focus in Interpersonal Practice and concentration in Children and Youth in Families and Society. From 2014 to 2016, Claire served as a Youth and Families Development volunteer in Peace Corps Ecuador. During her two years of service, she worked at an orphanage with at-risk infants, children and youth. As a volunteer in the orphanage, she co-taught in the day care, did case management in the social work office, created and facilitated a youth group and offered after school English tutoring. As a Peace Corps Master’s International student, Claire feels as though she has grown personally and professionally. She has a new understanding of the significance of building strong, interpersonal relationships as well as the importance of the intercultural exchange of knowledge and skills.

  2. Greta Kaempf Greta Kaempf »

    Returned Peace Corps Master's International Student Admitted 2013

    Greta grew up in Maryland and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of North Carolina.  After several years as an early childhood educator, she entered the University of Michigan School of Social Work as part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program, studying Community Organizing with an area concentration in Children, Youth, and Families.  After her first year of MSW studies, Greta left for Guatemala to serve in the Peace Corps as a Youth Development volunteer.  Working in a rural village in the western highlands, she collaborated with local middle schools, NGOs, and the Ministry of Health to support youth in developing and achieving their educational and lifetime goals. She also worked with community leaders, parents, and youth service providers to promote positive environments and growth opportunities for community youth.  Now in her last year of MSW studies, Greta is thankful for the variety of rich learning experiences in cross-cultural community organizing she has been able to take advantage of as a PCMI student, both in the classroom in Michigan and in Guatemala.

  3. Lauren Birks Lauren Birks »

    Returned Peace Corps Master's International Student Admitted 2013

    Lauren Birks was born in raised in Dallas, Texas. Her passion for service began at a young age, but it was a high school mission trip to Honduras that opened her eyes to international service. While completing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Teacher Certification in Middle Grades Math from The University of Texas at Austin Lauren was introduced to social work through an internship at Wediko Children's Services in Windsor, New Hampshire. Upon graduating from UT Austin Lauren hoped to pursue a Master of Social Work and the Peace Corps to further her passion in working with youth, service, and cross-cultural experiences. Through the Master’s International Program she was able to combine her graduate work and Peace Corps service. Lauren served as a Youth Development volunteer in Costa Rica, in which she appreciated having a year of grad school prior to serving to help her think and learn about global social work and the importance of cultural context. Lauren’s time in Costa Rica taught her that desiring tangible results for change is understandable, but it is the relationships you build with someone that have the lasting impressions. In her short time as Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren sees how the skills she learned from her Peace Corps projects and her community are helping her implement new and creative interpersonal interventions.

  4. Lillie Scribner Lillie Scribner »

    Returned Peace Corps Master's International Student Admitted 2013

    Lillie is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Peace Corps Botswana 2014-2016 in the Life Skills program area. In Botswana, Lillie taught elementary students library and computer lessons, facilitated an after school leadership club, and built a community garden. She is a Management student with a minor in Social Policy and Evaluation and is working towards a Child Welfare Certificate. She has interned with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County, Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center, and Child Protective Services. Currently, Lillie works on campus with University Productions as a House Manager at the beautiful Power Center and Lydia Mendelssohn Theaters. Previously, she worked for Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Children’s Home Society of Washington, and Hopelink. Lillie hopes to learn more about systems change in the field of child welfare during her final year in the MSW program. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, cooking, reading, and hiking.

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