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Students & Alumni

Admitted 2023

  1. Matt Conahan

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2023

    Matt (he/him/his) was born and raised in Michigan. His journeys and work have taken him around the country and the world. Working mostly in technology after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism (specializing in photojournalism) Matt has lived and worked in Maryland, Chicago, Virginia, Belize, and the Bay area of California, where he spent the bulk of his post-degree years after serving in Belize as a Peace Corps information technology and then as an HIV/AIDs education volunteer. Returning to Michigan after nearly 14 years in California, Matt was far into the process of managing his own farm when illness stopped him from realizing his goal of making the farm a residential therapeutic treatment farm. Determined to continue his lifelong desire to serve others, Matt entered the MSW program with the intention of helping others who face life-altering illnesses. Matt enjoys spending time with his family as well as hiking (he has hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail), running, reading, and fishing. As a Coverdell Fellow, Matt hopes to learn how to best help patients facing undiagnosed diseases.

  2. Oliva Diaz Melgarejo Oliva Diaz Melgarejo

    Oliva Diaz Melgarejo (she/her/hers) is originally from Paraguay but has lived nine years in Columbus, Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University, graduating summa cum laude in 2021 with a Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Science. Oliva is eager to pursue her passion for social work and her goal to positively impact the lives of people experiencing vulnerability and limited social protection. Her work in Paraguay, where social protection is influenced by culture, class, gender, and geographical location, has fueled her interest in public policymaking. She has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by impoverished and indigenous communities in the Chaco Region of Paraguay. She has worked with the government and international agencies to support their access to water, food, and housing opportunities. She also employs her practical expertise in child development, working with families, and collaborating on projects with UNICEF and the European Union to implement childhood-oriented protection policies in collaboration with the communities affected.

    She is currently doing her field placement at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) in Detroit, Michigan. Oliva expects to have the opportunity to experience and analyze programs and policies designed to provide social protection to people in situations of vulnerability, their communities, and the natural environment.

  3. Reilly Krawczyk Reilly Krawczyk

    After a decade living in Arizona, Reilly (she/her/hers) returns to her Michigan roots where she was born and raised. She received her BSW from Northern Arizona University, complemented by minors in French and Psychological Sciences, where she uncovered a profound passion for understanding the complexities of international systems, particularly those affecting refugees, immigrants, and vulnerable family dynamics. Additionally, Reilly’s wanderlust has taken her to diverse corners of the world, with extensive stays in Southeast Asia, Western Europe, and Central America. Her travels have driven her to investigate critical global social justice issues, including sex trafficking in Thailand, international human rights law in France, the practice of Chhaupadi in Nepal, and migration patterns from the Maghreb region in Africa. Reilly has social work experience with survivors of domestic violence abuse, and currently interns with an institute in their legal immigration program. As a Global Activities Scholars Program recipient, she desires to expand her skillset to effectively cultivate grounds for creating a network of opportunities to serve local populations, advance social justice, dismantle institutional oppression, and promote human equality. When Reilly takes a break from her studies, she enjoys backpacking, kayaking, teaching dance, discovering coffee shops, reading, and playing games with friends.

  4. Renee Alves Renee Alves

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2023

    Renee Alves (she/her/hers) is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in the Philippines from 2019-2020 in the Children, Youth, and Family sector. While in the Philippines, she worked at a shelter for impoverished youth, assisting the organization's social worker and developing musical, agricultural, and athletic programming for the residents. Renee was raised in Fresno, California, and holds a BA in Sociology and minors in Public Affairs and Civic Engagement from UCLA. After being evacuated from the Philippines due to the pandemic, Renee began working as the Communications and Development Manager at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a public policy research and advocacy nonprofit located in Charleston, WV. As a Coverdell Fellow in the MSW program and Interpersonal Practice pathway, Renee hopes to develop the clinical skillset and foundational knowledge necessary to provide person-centered, culturally appropriate therapeutic care to people who have survived extreme trauma. She aspires to eventually become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing therapy with people impacted by incarceration. In her free time, Renee enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, and trying new ice cream spots.

  5. Yu-Yu Lin Yu-Yu Lin

    Yu-Yu Lin (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Taiwan and completed her undergraduate studies in Economics at National Tsing-Hua University. She is passionate about sustainability and social justice. Previously, she has done fieldwork with Indonesian coffee farms looking at exploitation in the international coffee trade. She is also a co-founder of a social enterprise aimed at building older adults’ mental and physical health.

    Yu-Yu worked as a program manager in the Corporate Sustainability Office at Cathay Financial Holdings, one of the biggest financial companies in Taiwan. She introduced the Theory of Change in managing and evaluating over 100 projects related to sustainable business opportunities, rural education, financial literacy, donations, and community involvement. Yu-Yu is a candidate for dual Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Social Work, focusing on international development, refugees, and social impact evaluation. Her field placement is with Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County as an Employment and Empowerment Economic Intern serving refugees. As a Global Activities Program scholar, Yu-Yu seeks to further her knowledge of individuals interacting with systems and structures globally and acquire the skill of addressing systemic failures through evidence-based intervention evaluation. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in an international organization and ensure that resource distribution is fair and respectful to the community’s decision. She enjoys hiking, exploring nature, traveling, and jogging in her free time.

Admitted 2022

  1. Annie Maguire Annie Maguire

    Although Annie (she/her/hers) claims she is new to the field of social work, she has been passionate about social work for her whole life. Born and raised in Madison, WI, Annie remembers the view from her parents' shoulders at city-wide protests distinctly, as this was a perch that she took to engage in movements for social change before she could even walk. Annie is particularly passionate about contributing to the common good, as it relates to advocating for immigrants and refugees. She had the profoundly impactful experience of living and working at a shelter for refugees in Texas after her undergraduate degree, and has worked in the non-profit sector since. She is an avid nature-lover, and when she is not studying, she likes to keep herself busy by working with children, volunteering, brewing coffee, hiking in nature, playing music, and spending time with others. She loves exploring new places and meeting new people, and she begins her chapter at the University of Michigan School of Social Work with an open mind and open heart.

  2. Clancy Loebl Clancy Loebl

    Clancy (she/her/hers) was born and grew up in the Milwaukee area and attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She graduated summa cum laude in 2020 with her Bachelor in Russian Studies and minors in Economics and Creative Writing. Following graduation, Clancy worked in youth advocacy and college access at College Possible Minnesota, working with underserved and low-income students on the east side of Saint Paul to promote education equity. She is currently doing her field placement at Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County where she works within the Refugee Youth Services Department. Clancy joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to continue working with underserved youth and gain a more holistic understanding of how immigration and displacement affect education access domestically and internationally. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping, reading, and ice skating in the winter.

  3. David Hay David Hay

    David (he/him/his) is a Master of Social Work candidate in the Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse and Global Social Work Practice pathways. He was born and raised in New York City. David graduated from Hunter College with a BA in economics and music and from the University of San Francisco with an MBA in strategic planning and finance. His professional experience includes V-Day, a global women's activist organization, and SGI USA, a community-based Buddhist organization. For this fall and winter term, David is a clinical therapist trainee at CAPS at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. As a GASP scholar, David wants to learn and advance strength-based social work in higher education internationally.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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