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Admitted 2021

  1. Yvonne Winer Yvonne Winer

    Hailing from the California Bay Area, Yvonne Winer (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a focus on human rights. She has worked and studied in over 30 countries focusing on the socio-historical context of systems of oppression, colonialism, indigenous knowledge, international development, and refugee issues. Her MSW field placement is at American Indian Health & Family Services in Detroit where she is working on community-based mental health initiatives. In the Global Activities Scholarship Program she hopes to hone in on her passion for global, intersecting social justice movements and liberated spirituality. Yvonne is bilingual in English and Spanish, and aspires to learn Chamoru, the language of her family in Guam.

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.

  2. Bailey Castillo Bailey Castillo

    Bailey Castillo graduated with a BA in Peace, War and Defense from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2016. After graduation she worked for 3 years in corporate America, and in 2019 she left the corporate world to follow her heart. After teaching English in France for almost a year, she found her path at The University of Michigan School of Social Work. In her free time Bailey enjoys cooking, perfecting her cup of coffee, traveling, reading french novels and trying out new things. She is passionate about building connections between people and fostering compassion in communities. In 2015, after spending a summer in Amman, Jordan, Bailey realized her passion for working with refugee populations. As a GASP student, Bailey hopes to learn applicable skills that will prepare her to work on refugee resettlement programs around the globe.

  3. Brandon Wolliston Brandon Wolliston

    Brandon was born in Orlando, Florida but grew up all over the United States. He graduated from Hope College with his BSW. During his time at Hope, he spent a lot of time working on different projects that dealt with supporting international students and at-risk youth. After graduation, he took a job teaching youth English in Daito-Shi, Japan. During which, he found a passion working in a global setting which inspired him to seek out what social work looks like on a global scale. As a GASP student in the MSW program he hopes to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in a global context.

    Over the summer, Brandon will be working in Oakland, California with the International Rescue Committee. He will be working with the Health and Wellness team focusing on prevention and early interventions.

  4. Bryant Hepp Bryant Hepp

    Bryant received a BA in international relations from Michigan State university and studied abroad in Israel, Turkey, and Azerbaijan before completing an internship with the United Nations Development Programme in Azerbaijan. For the next three years, he worked as an English teacher at Pioneers Baccalaureate School in Nablus, Palestine, where he became interested in school social work in the international context. Bryant joined the Global Activities Scholars Program in order to learn about how social workers can support alternative models of international development and plans to work in international monitoring and evaluation. His other interests include permaculture farming, cooperative housing, and intentional communities.

  5. Courtney Petersen Courtney Petersen

    Courtney (she/her) is a third year J.D./M.S.W. dual degree candidate with a particular interest in human rights and immigration law work in remote regions, such as island nations and rural communities, where climate change and forced migration is a direct intersecting issue with the aforementioned topics. She grew up in Iowa and studied Sociology and Religious Studies at Grinnell College for her undergraduate degree. She has worked with organizations in the U.S., India, Namibia, and South Africa engaging with civil and human rights and immigration, asylum, and refugee litigation, policy, and client service work. While at the University of Michigan she has been deeply involved with the First-Generation Law Students organization, serving previously as president, and has regularly served as a Graduate Student Instructor in the Sociology and International Studies Departments. She is currently completing her field placement at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and is excited about utilizing the GASP opportunity to build her advocacy toolset in preparation for her social work and legal career abroad following graduation.

  6. LeDeanea Williams LeDeanea Williams

    LeDeanea grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. During undergraduate studies, she completed the Jamaica Service-Learning Study Abroad program, stationed at Belmont Basic School in the parish of Westmoreland, concentrating on community engagement and supporting resource development. 

    Prior to graduate school, LeDeanea worked fulltime in office management as a support to the facility director, coordinating staff schedules and educational field trips, while aiding with conflict resolution and student enrollment.

    A poet, dancer, and photographer, LeDeanea sees art as an instrument to cultivate cultural community connections for social change. 

    Honored to be continuing her education at the University of Michigan as a Global Activities Scholar, LeDeanea hopes to enhance competency and the skillset to activate and empower community change while advocating for immigrant equity and inclusion, on both a local and global platform.

  7. Sebastian Vidal Sebastian Vidal

    Sebastian was born in Lima, Peru but grew up on Long Island, New York and is a recent graduate of the University at Albany, SUNY, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, and Education. He was a recipient of the 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, SUNY’s highest award. During his undergraduate career, Sebastian grew a passion for global education reform focusing on equal and equitable practices, and working with Latinx youth in the US and abroad. Prior to graduation, Sebastian was sponsored as a teaching assistant/counselor to Dominican and Haitian youth for a nonprofit organization in the Dominican Republic. Through this experience, he gained insight on how education and policy work outside of the US and understood how solutions can be implemented from a macro perspective. Growing up as an immigrant, Sebastian hopes to work with domestic and international organizations that focus on advancing education and human rights for other immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. As a Global Activities Scholar, Sebastian looks forward to learning how social work functions in international settings; how to expand advocacy work abroad; and develop intersectional, inclusive, and holistic programs and services that benefit an organization as a whole but more importantly, the people it serves.

  8. Tinate Zebedayo Tinate Zebedayo

    Tinate Wayet was born in South Sudan and grew up in Bristol, United Kingdom. She studied Fine Art and worked in fashion before returning to university where she graduated with Bachelors of Social Policy from the University of Bristol. 

    In 2016, Tinate returned to South Sudan where she worked as a case manager with a local nonprofit to provide psychosocial support for survivors of Gender-Based Violence and trafficking.  She later joined the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM), where she trained and implemented the Gender-Based Violence program with the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program in multiple regions across South Sudan. 

    Tinate enjoys sewing, gardening, painting, and occasional holler-hopping. 

    Joining the Global Activities Scholar Program, Tinate hopes to gain skills in project development initiatives globally and gender centered practice for social systems. Upon completion of her MSW, Tinate hopes to work in South Sudan and the East African Region on promoting women's equity and elimination of Gender-Based Violence.

Admitted 2019

  1. Alexandra Hill Alexandra Hill

    Alexandra was born and raised in Massachusetts and graduated from Bates College with BAs in Spanish and Sociology. During her time at Bates, she spent a semester in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she studied at the university and interned at a local nonprofit which promoted social-emotional wellbeing through art and creative expression in underserved schools in the community. Upon graduation, Alexandra moved to Diamantina, MG, Brazil on a Fulbright ETA fellowship where she taught English for academic purposes at a federal university in rural Minas Gerais. Upon returning to the US, she worked as an advocate in San Jose, CA where she supported teenage mothers in pursuing their education through one-on-one coaching and peer learning sessions. Alexandra is interested in deconstructing gender-based violence and promoting educational equity and youth empowerment with immigrant and refugee communities. As a Global Activities Scholar, Alexandra hopes to explore social justice and culturally-responsive practices in an international setting.

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