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Coverdell Fellows Students

Admitted 2022

  1. Emilia Martinez Emilia Martinez

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2022

    Emilia (she/her) is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Uganda from 2016-2018 as a community health volunteer. Her interest to serve in Uganda stemmed from her BSW-practicum site placement in Uganda working in maternal/child health. After serving in Uganda, Emilia moved to Bolivia for a year to work with a family as their au pair and English teacher. Since returning to the United States, Emilia is now working as a children's advocate at a nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  As a Coverdell Fellow in the MSW program, Emilia would like to grow as a professional to find ways to support individuals and communities in healing from systems of oppression.

  2. Hannah Collins Hannah Collins

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2022

    Hannah (she/her/hers) grew up near Flint, Michigan. She attained a degree in Comparative Cultures & Politics and Social Relations & Policy with a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Michigan State University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia as a Secondary Education English Teacher Trainer. There she taught English with Colombian Co-Teachers from grades 6-11 while working on secondary projects with Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Colombia, a girls empowerment organization, and on the Gender Equity Committee for Peace Corps Colombia. Following evacuation from the Peace Corps, she started serving as a College Adviser at Kearsley High School in Flint, Michigan through Michigan State University College Advising Corps and AmeriCorps, helping high school students plan for life after high school. As a Coverdell Fellow, Hannah hopes to expand her social work knowledge in order to serve refugees, immigrants, and migrants in a culturally competent and trauma-informed way. In her free time Hannah loves reading, reading over 50 books a year, and hiking, mostly day hikes.

  3. Priscilla Flores Priscilla Flores

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2022

    Priscilla (she/her/hers) was born in Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States to reunite with her family when she was six years old. Priscilla grew up in Queens, New York, and attended Barnard College where she graduated in 2014 with her Bachelor in Psychology. Priscilla has experience working with global communities in governmental and international development settings. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, from 2019 to 2020, where she served as an English teacher at a secondary school and implemented youth programming on HIV prevention. Priscilla is passionate about implementing anti-racist and cultural-informed interventions as well as centering communities in social justice initiatives. As a Coverdell Fellow student, she hopes to learn about how to empower global communities - including refugee and immigrant communities - and how to apply mezzo and macro skills to effectively reduce power imbalances in the global context. During her free time, Priscilla spends time in nature, going to a local ethnic restaurant, or listening to her favorite LantinX and Afrobeats playlists.

  4. Shannon Carter Shannon Carter

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2022

    Shannon's values as a Coverdell Fellow echo a desire for a continuation of Peace Corps service, as well as a myriad of activities she continues to be involved with. She served an extended service in Zolotonosha, Ukraine from 2017 until she was a part of the COVID-19 global evacuation in March 2020. Since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War, Shannon continues to support her friends in Ukraine through various avenues of humanitarian relief efforts, communications via nonprofits such as Partnering for Peace and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Alliance for Ukraine. She recently finished her first master's degree in Project Management and Development at the University of Bradford International Peace and Development Center in England as a Rotary Peace Fellow. Shannon currently holds various roles including as a Peace Corps Advisor at the U-M International Center, a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Nursing, and a part-time clinical intern for the U-M Counseling and Psychological Services, all while pursuing her MasterTrack MSW focused on Interpersonal Practice.

Admitted 2021

  1. 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.

  2. Helen Seddelmeyer Helen Seddelmeyer

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2021

    Helen (she/her/hers) grew up in Texas but calls Denver, Colorado home. She graduated magna cum laude from Wofford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Anthropology and German. Helen is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, who served in Zambia as a Rural Education Development agent. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at a substance use and mental health residential treatment center. Helen is passionate about social justice and is interested in promoting action and change in diverse communities through movement, the outdoors, and shared spaces. As a Coverdell Fellow in the School of Social Work’s Community-Based Initiative, she seeks to learn how to best aid the houseless populations of urban areas.

  3. Leslie Leong Leslie Leong

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2021

    Leslie (she/her/hers) was born in Sacramento, CA and graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health. After graduating, she focused on serving the health needs of low-income communities in the U.S. as well as in Guatemala, where she served in the Peace Corps. She then served in AmeriCorps, focusing on environmental stewardship and land conservation and has most recently been working on COVID-19 emergency response efforts. As a Coverdell Fellow in the School of Social Work’s Community Based Initiative Program, Leslie hopes to develop the skills necessary to enact sustainable change in the Detroit community and other urban cities with the goal of enhancing their abilities to lead healthy lives.

  4. Sara Livingston Sara Livingston

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2021

    Sara (she/her/hers) grew up in Erie, PA, but now calls Chicago home. She majored in Sociology/Anthropology and Spanish at Denison University. After graduating from Denison, she began teaching high school Spanish in Gary, Indiana, as part of Teach for America. Having developed some foreign language teaching strategies, she felt prepared to assist Ecuadorian English teachers by joining Peace Corps, Ecuador as a TEFL volunteer. While in Ecuador, Sara began cooking with her host family, taking culinary classes, and cooking at a Peruvian restaurant. From there, Sara turned toward culinary exploration, working in kitchens throughout Latin America and then in Chicago over the next three years. Sara is drawn to pursue an MSW in order to promote social justice in areas related to food access, labor rights, and education. As part of the Community-Based Initiative program, Sara hopes to learn from successful food-based social justice initiatives in Detroit to inform her future work in Chicago.

  5. Shaylyn MacKinnon Shaylyn MacKinnon

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2021

    Shaylyn (she/her/hers) was raised in Colchester, CT, but considers home as Portland, ME. She attended Drew University where she triple majored in International Relations, English Literature, and Spanish Language & Culture, initially intending a career in English language education. Shaylyn's goals shifted to refugee resettlement from the policy research and social service perspectives after witnessing a mass arrival of asylum seekers in Portland just before departing for her Peace Corps service in Rwanda. Upon her return, she began an AmeriCorps service assisting in an ELL classroom and an internship with a local nonprofit researching workforce-focused adult English language education. Shaylyn is currently a dual degree student pursuing her Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work hoping to combine her passion for direct service with her interest in macro-level policy research in order to help ease the legal, cultural, and social integration process of refugee resettlement within Maine.

Admitted 2020

  1. Alejandra Alvarez Alejandra Alvarez

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2020

    Alejandra (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. They served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco in the Youth Development Sector, and prior to joining the Peace Corps she was a housing organizer in Chicago working with communities to improve their quality of life through housing advocacy for poor working-class tenants. Alejandra has also worked as an ESL instructor in Peru and learned about art and activism in Chile through their own independent research study. Alejandra considers herself an internationalist and would like to continue learning from young people and communities about social transformation through art projects. After completing their MSW they would like to do research abroad on youth driven social change and community praxis.

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