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Students & Alumni

Admitted 2019

  1. Alli Cope Alli Cope

    Alli was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she worked on youth development programs in Morocco and India. Following graduation, Alli served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Tanzania 2017-2019), where she worked in a rural community on health education projects. Alli is passionate about the intersection of experiential therapy and trauma-informed care in the global context. As a Global Activities Scholar, Alli looks forward to understanding how social work operates in an international setting. After receiving her MSW, Alli plans to continue her career abroad, where she will focus on mental health care for adolescents and women.

  2. Alyssa Rietveld Alyssa Rietveld

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2019

    Alyssa grew up in Hudsonville, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in International Studies and Afroamerican & African Studies. During undergrad she studied in Ghana and Senegal, as well as researched the economic and cultural contribution west African immigrants make in Detroit. Alyssa then served in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso as a community health educator. In Burkina Faso she co-founded a health club for teenage girls where they gained knowledge in pertinent health issues and leadership skills to become peer educators. She also gained fluency in French and Moore. After Peace Corps, Alyssa worked at a refugee resettlement agency in Grand Rapids, Michigan where her interest in refugee services and policy grew. As a Coverdell Fellow in the School of Social Work’s Community Based Initiative, she hopes to learn about inequity and economic rebound through policy and program evaluation. She is also interested in refugee resettlement and child welfare programs in an international context.

  3. Cecilia Galvan Cecilia Galvan

    Cecilia Galvan grew up in Lansing/East Lansing, Michigan and graduated with her B.A. in Arts and Humanities from the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies at Michigan State University. Before attending the University Of Michigan School Of Social Work, Cecilia participated in an internship on the island of Lesvos, Greece to work with unaccompanied minors in two refugee camps providing various services and helping teach integration classes. Cecilia joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to gain more experience working with international communities in global settings, to work with youth and adolescents in a new context, and to continue pursuing her passion for traveling. Cecilia plans to move to Pittsburgh after she graduates from her MSW program and hopes to work with youth and families in a hospital or community setting.

  4. Chidimma Ozor Chidimma Ozor

    Chidimma grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and graduated with Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Michigan in Organizational Studies and Liberal Studies, respectively. When she wasn't able to get a job due to the economic downturn, she moved to Las Vegas, NV and worked in various industries including holistic health and wellness, public relations, and finally landed in healthcare. Unbeknownst to her, the time she spent working in primary care and connecting with patients holistically, her love for the study and practice of yoga, her love of her Nigerian roots, in addition to her brief time in Uganda were the gateways to her desire to formally pursue her social work degree.

    Upon finishing her professional degree, she is looking forward to serving marginalized folks through her private practice, but especially Black folks since there are not enough Black social workers providing individual therapy. She will also continue infusing yoga, especially trauma-informed/sensitive yoga into this practice as she’s been teaching yoga for over a decade. Chidimma also has a desire to continue working with her consulting firm in an effort to bridge the gap between micro and macro social work practice through social policy and research.

    As a Global Activities Program Scholar, Chidimma is looking forward to working towards international/global social work skills,  including true cultural humility, critical analysis, communication (written and verbal), influence, financial and research evaluation, and networking skills. All of which are important to building relationships across networks and the globe.

  5. Devyn Beswick Devyn Beswick

    Devyn is from Long Island, New York and is a recent graduate of the University at Albany, SUNY, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Devyn began to develop a passion for global education reform and providing quality and equitable education globally. Upon graduating from college Devyn became and Education/Social Work mentor for a nonprofit organization in South Africa. Through this experience, she gained a better understanding of the education system and what the needs are of the communities she worked with. Through this program, Devyn hopes to be able to utilize her skills to assist in developing programs and services that meet the needs of the individuals and communities she will be working with.

  6. Justin Woods Justin Woods

    Justin was raised in Colorado and completed his undergraduate degree at George Washington University where he studied Political Science and Philosophy. Upon graduation, he served as a TEFL Instructor in Peace Corps Rwanda for two years, before extending his service to support HIV prevention and LGBTI equity work at a Rwandan health equity organization. Since Peace Corps service, Justin has continued to fight the HIV epidemic domestically, specifically working to address racial health disparities. At the University of Michigan, Justin is pursuing a dual Master of Business Administration degree with the long-term goal of starting a social enterprise. In his global placement, Justin hopes to continue developing anti-oppressive practices, increasing access to healing justice resources, and combating anti-blackness.

  7. Lizzette Rivera Lizzette Rivera

    Lizzette was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern Illinois University with a bachelor's in social work. She has volunteered her time at a girls orphanage in Guatemala and became inspired by community-based organizing in a global context using a grassroots approach. In addition, she has worked on reentry programs in both Chicago and Detroit aiding individuals returning from prison. Her populations of interest are immigrants, indigenous people, refugees, and returned citizens. As a GASP scholar, Lizzette hopes to begin a career in international social work as a community organizer to aid underdeveloped communities in South America. Furthermore, as a first-generation college and graduate student, she hopes to continue in higher education by pursuing a doctoral degree and becoming a professor. One of Lizzette’s favorite quotes is "We must struggle every day so that this love for humanity becomes Reality." - Che Guevara

  8. Mary Heinemann Mary Heinemann

    Coverdell Fellow Student Admitted 2019

    Mary is a fierce, passionate, wandering soul who is always learning how to be a more inclusive, anti-oppressive social worker after living abroad for most of the last 7 years in Tanzania where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer. As a Coverdell Fellow & Community- Based Initiative Scholar, Mary is committed to examining her own privilege, social identity, and abilities to empower those who are marginalized through social work and social justice. 

    Mary grew up mostly in Colorado where she studied Communications and Women’s Studies before moving to Seattle, Denver, and finally Tanzania. Working alongside the strong, warm, welcoming women of Tanzania she realized a dream of starting a social enterprise with women’s cooperatives focused on buying and selling crafts from female artisans in an effort to improve income generation, access to education, and healthcare. She has also worked as an experiential educator all over East Africa and Nepal, as well as with the Denver Boys & Girls Club. 

    During her time at the U-M School of Social Work, Mary is hoping to find ways to connect local systems and communities that face oppression to the international communities facing similar challenges. She believes that by uniting, learning from each other, and sharing space we can attempt to heal and dismantle the systems that oppress. She also loves coffee, yoga, and fans, a little too much some might say.

  9. Micaela Harris Micaela Harris

    Micaela grew up in Kansas City, Missouri before moving to Atlanta, GA to get her Bachelors of Arts in International Studies at the illustrious Spelman College. After graduating from Spelman Micaela went on to spend a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City as a Youth and Immigrant Capacity Coordinator. During that time Micaela also worked as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault with the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. Micaela is excited to continue her education as a Global Activities Scholar and hopes to gain skills in advocating for women and marginalized groups on a global scale.

  10. Sophie Ordway Sophie Ordway

    Sophie Ordway studied English and Women’s Studies at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. She took advantage of Marist’s abroad programs to spend one year in Italy and a semester in New Zealand. After college, Sophie lived in Boston for a few years and then spent two school years working in southern Spain as an Assistant English Teacher. In 2017 Sophie served a year in AmeriCorps in her hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. She was hired into the agency she served with and continued working in their re-entry program, providing employment services to folks recently released from prison. Sophie is looking forward to traveling again through the Global Activities Scholar Program and is interested in learning about criminal justice, education and gender from another culture’s perspective. Sophie would like to use her MSW degree to work towards criminal justice reform but is also very open to a career in international social work.

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