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Students & Alumni

Admitted 2021

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Stephanie Aguayo Stephanie Aguayo

    Stephanie A. (she/her/hers) is from Westchester, New York, and attended Stonehill College where she graduated in 2018 with her Bachelor in Healthcare Administration and a minor in Sociology. Stephanie is passionate about advocating for others and equal healthcare access. Being bilingual, Stephanie has had experience working with the LatinX community and is now doing her field placement at CHASS in Southwest Detroit. She hopes to have an international field placement over the summer where she can learn more about people, and communities, different than her. Whenever Stephanie is not in class or at field you could find her with her Corgi, Rubi.

    Over the summer, Stephanie will be working in Chicago with Asian Human Services. She will primarily be working on different programs the organization has to offer for their geriatric population.

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