Babajide Adebiyi is a former partner at Talentstone Africa Partners, where he led a team advising corporations, institutions, and African government officials on risk management, financial services, energy, and infrastructure financing projects. With experience in more than 25 African markets, he has served as a consultant to multilateral institutions including the African Development Bank. He also has worked as risk manager for the sub-Saharan African region for Renaissance Capital. He also played a key role in co-founding and leading nonprofit volunteering initiatives such as Slum to School and Move Back Africa Network. A chartered accountant, Babajide is the recipient of a McKenna Center Fellowship.
Abeera Akhtar graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, majoring in sociology and anthropology. After graduation, she was a corporate social responsibility officer at Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational company. She has led grassroots efforts for nuclear disarmament in Pakistan, working for the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated movement Global Zero. Abeera also worked to make the Sustainable Development Goals more accessible to youth, working for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Youth Initiative. She is the co-founder of FATE – From Apathy to Empathy, an organization she has represented at forums organized by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the UN, Facebook and Stanford University. Through her work, she aims to use intercultural dialogue and social entrepreneurship as a driver for social change. Abeera is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Jenna Ahn served as a volunteer social worker at Farm of the Child, a children’s home in Honduras. Most recently, she worked in community-based learning at Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center while consulting on a startup initiative focused on providing sustainable and affordable housing options in developing countries. She holds a B.A. in theology and pre-health studies from Notre Dame, and speaks Spanish and Korean. Jenna is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.
Caroline Andridge served as a 2016-17 Princeton in Africa fellow in South Africa, where she worked as an HIV prevention analyst with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Prior to this role, she was a research associate for global health, economics, and development at the Council on Foreign Relations and a volunteer for the economic analysis team at the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.A. in public policy from the University of Michigan. Caroline is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.
Syeda Fiana Arbab
Syeda (Fiana) Arbab is a Bangladeshi Muslim American and transnational feminist who has served as a racial justice and community organizer across the United States. Most recently, she conducted legislative analysis on youth justice for Georgia Shift, a nonprofit that encourages marginalized young people to participate in democracy. She is the former statewide youth organizer for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, where she worked with youth in marginalized communities. Syeda graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a BA in women’s and gender studies and psychology and a minor in sociology. As an undergraduate, she was co-founder and president of the Social Justice League and also student body president. Syeda is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.
Sarah Davies Breen
Sarah Davies Breen has worked most recently in higher education. She has held multiple positions at the University of Chicago, where she was director of academic and faculty affairs in the social sciences and manager of research initiatives and visiting fellows at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Sarah serves on the board of BLUME Haiti, a nonprofit organization focused on music education. Sarah spent two years as a volunteer music teacher in Haiti, where she learned to speak Haitian Creole. She holds a B.M. in music education from Lawrence University and a certificate in project management from the University of Chicago. Sarah is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Patrick Calderon recently worked for a Washington, D.C.-area international nonprofit, where he helped implement a State Department grant enabling undergraduate students from developing countries to study in the United States. He also has worked in education with immigrant and refugee populations in Canada and youth in Morocco. Patrick holds a B.A. in political science and theology from Notre Dame. He is the recipient of a Samuel and Kathleen Awad Global Affairs Fellowship.
Nate Van Duzer
Nate Van Duzer has worked with local policymakers and elected officials for nearly a decade, first as an aide to a Seattle city councilmember and most recently with the administration and elected school board of Seattle Public Schools. These positions allowed him to interact with advocates, constituents, and the media while pursuing legislative and policy improvements in areas ranging from criminal justice reform to early childhood education to gun safety. Nate was active in the Seattle community and volunteered with a nonprofit organization that partners with youth to help them exit street life. He holds a BA in history from Georgetown University, with a minor in Arabic and a certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding. Nate is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Maria Camila Posse Gaez
Maria Camila Posse Gaez has worked in both the public and private sectors, including the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Singapore, and the commodities trading firm ED&F Man. She also is the director and co-founder of Fox & Hedgehog, a global and current affairs review written by young adults. Maria graduated magna cum laude from Yale-NUS College in Singapore with a B.A. degree in global affairs, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Sofia del Valle
Sofía del Valle has worked for organizations focused on inequality and socio-environmental conflicts. Before coming to Notre Dame, Sofía worked at Casa de la Paz, a Chilean-based nongovernmental organization that advises institutions on conflict resolution and community relations. She also has worked as a volunteer with vulnerable children, youth, and women while living in a slum in southern Chile. She holds a B.A. in sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Sofía is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.
Ephraim Bassey Emah
Ephraim Bassey Emah has worked as an intern with Mennonite Central Committee, where he served as a peace activity researcher, documenting conflict occurrences in northern Nigeria. He worked with the Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria as a community engagement program officer, engaging youth groups involved in substance abuse, gang violence, and identity conflict escalation in Nigeria’s Plateau State. Most recently, he worked for the United States Institute for Peace, working in Nigeria to establish of platforms for collaborative problem-solving and prevention of insecurity and crime in conflict-affected communities. Ephraim is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Mayra M. Garcia
Mayra Garcia served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, collaborating with nongovernmental organizations, local authorities, families, and students to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene practices in their communities. Mayra also has worked as a consultant at a private engineering firm and provided transportation design solutions to regional clients. She holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Washington and speaks Spanish fluently. Mayra is the recipient of a Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.
Christine Germann volunteered with the WorldTeach organization as an English teacher in the public education system in American Samoa during the 2016-2017 academic year. Prior to earning a BA in global studies with a concentration in international development in 2016, she conducted independent research in Tanzania, examining the current perceptions of child marriage in a rural region. Christine is interested in language of instruction research, gender equity in education, and program implementation in educational systems within developing nations, specifically sub-Saharan Africa. She is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Laura Judith Guerra, a first-generation Mexican American, grew up in Mexico and migrated to the United States as a child. A passionate advocate for sustainable development, she has worked as a community organizer at ARISE, a nonprofit organization that empowers low-income immigrants through education and leadership training. Laura holds a BA in economics from the University of Dallas, where she received an Outstanding Economics Student Achievement Award. She also was awarded the US Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which enabled her to study in Rome and teach English classes for Italian high school students. Laura has worked in colonias on the US-Mexico border, advocating for infrastructure improvements such as drainage and public lighting. She is the recipient of a Graduate School Dean’s Fellowship and a John Hahn/Leticia Foncillas Fellowship.
Anthony Guidotti triple majored in economics, international studies, and justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduation, he spent a year serving abroad as a humanitarian missionary in 11 countries. He is passionate about the fusion of economic development and the peacemaking process within international policy making and hopes to help implement development processes that de-escalate conflict and improve the living conditions of their targeted populations. He has spent the last three and a half years as a lay minister in a diverse urban community north of Seattle. Anthony is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.
Malalai Habibi lived in Iran for more than 25 years and was undocumented Afghan refugee for most of these years. After completing her secondary education through independent study, she entered university and earned a BA in graphic design form Shariati Technical University in Iran. She volunteered for several nongovernmental organizations in Iran, including the Tehran Peace Museum. She recently returned to Afghanistan to work as a peacebuilding facilitator. Malalai, who is fluent in Dari, is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Brian Hickey most recently worked with migrants and refugee children in a school and center for street children in Djibouti. He also taught English literature and leadership at a Palestinian high school in the West Bank, served as a volunteer at the Indiana State Prison for several years, and spent the summer of 2015 in South Africa and Zambia working with a local nongovernmental organization. Brian holds a BS in business management and a minor in political science from Valparaiso University, where he was a student-athlete. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Shadwa graduated from the Lebanese American University with a BA in economics and minor in international affairs. After graduation she was awarded the Lazord Fellowship, a year-long professional development fellowship. Working at American University in Cairo, she served as a governance coordinator on a joint project between the European Union and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade. Afterwards she worked as a policy researcher at the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority, where she gained experience in the development of the non-banking financial sector. A passionate advocate for participatory development and good governance, Shadwa is the recipient of a Samuel and Kathleen Awad Global Affairs Fellowship.
Seiko Kanda studied Spanish and global studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan. As a recipient of the Mexico-Japan Governments Strategic Partnership Program Scholarship, he also studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in Mexico City. He worked for two years as a treasury and market specialist at MUFG Bank (Mexico) while volunteering at a local nonprofit organization that served homeless, at-risk adolescents. He is fluent in Japanese and Spanish. Seiko’s research interests include Latin American religion and society, the religious and ideological underpinnings of socially oriented activities, and multinational collaborative efforts pertaining to economic development. He is the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.
Mukhlisa Khudayberganova studied international relations at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. She gained experience in the fields of national branding, journalism, and public relations through various internships and jobs. She is interested in national branding by not just promoting a country, but by resolving urgent public policy issues within that country. Mukhlisa is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Novita Liangga Kumala
Novita is a licensed Indonesian advocate and environmental activist. Throughout her career, she has worked in variety of sectors including banking and finance, corporate law, social enterprise, and environmental policy. Her current research interests focus on conflict resolution for land, natural resources, and environmental conflicts. She has worked for World Resources Institute Indonesia, Indonesia’s national agency on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), and a corporate law firm in Jakarta. She also volunteers with the Social Corporate Lawyer Society, a network for corporate law professionals who provide pro bono services. Novita is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Aminata Karim is a social justice and development practitioner who works with the rural and urban poor. She holds a BSc in peace and conflict studies from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Most recently, she worked with the women-led Federation of Urban and Rural Poor, a social action group. She is fluent in Mende and Krio, both Sierra Leonean languages. Aminata is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Mojtaba Kashani holds an M.A. in sociology from the University of Tehran and a B.A. in mechanical engineering from Amirkabir University. As part of a research team in Iran, he analyzed electoral behavior in the 2016 parliamentary election according to religiosity and socioeconomic status. Mojtaba is the recipient of a Keough School Fellowship.
Chista Keramati worked as a translator and research assistant in Tajikistan from 2015-16. While in Tajikistan, she also volunteered as an English tutor. She holds a B.A. in English literature and an M.A. in linguistics, and is interested in education and women’s issues in the Global South. At home in Iran, Chista is part of the minority Sunni community. She is the recipient of a Keough School Fellowship.
Tracy Kijewski-Correa (Ph.D., Notre Dame, 2003) is the Leo E. and Patti Ruth Linbeck Collegiate Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences,and Associate Professor of Global Affairs.
She is co-director of the Integration Lab (i-Lab)in the Keough School and co-founder of Engineering2Empower. She also is a fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications and the Environmental Change Initiative.
Kijewski-Correa’s research focuses on disaster risk reduction and civil infrastructure challenges posed by increased urbanization and vulnerability. Her interdisciplinary scholarship emphasizes collaborative innovation, sensing, information technologies, and simulation frameworks to create scalable paradigms to enhance the resilience and sustainability of civil infrastructure.
Kathleen Kollman lived and worked with refugee and immigrant women at a Catholic Worker house in Houston. She also volunteered with the Maryknoll community in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she worked with incarcerated women and young people with HIV. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester in Jerusalem studying at Bethlehem University and Hebrew University. She holds a B.A. in theology and international peace studies from Notre Dame. Kathleen is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Oleksii Kovalenko worked as a journalist covering economics, politics, and peacekeeping for Focus, a weekly magazine in Ukraine. He holds an M.A. in journalism and a B.A. in international relations and foreign policy. Most recently, he studied media portrayal of internally displaced people from Ukraine’s Donbass region. Oleksii was the recipient of a national journalism award for his coverage of volunteers working amid violent conflict in Eastern Ukraine. He is the recipient of a Nanovic Institute Fellowship.
Derek Lee is interested in global health, culture, and sustainable agriculture, and their intersection with fair and just food systems. Derek has lived and worked alongside farmers in Nepal, fishing communities in the Philippines, and low-income high school students on the south side of Chicago, all with different international nongovernmental organizations. He is committed to living in solidarity with those he serves, and also to grassroots-level development that empowers community members to be the true owners of change. Derek is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Ahmed Makki has nearly seven years of experience working in global development, focusing on education reform. In Pakistan, he worked with a leading consulting firm and global education experts to develop tailored solutions for more than 50,000 public primary schools in Punjab. Specifically, Ahmed designed and implemented one of the world’s largest tablet-based assessment systems for measuring learning outcomes in primary school children. Ahmed also has worked in the rule of law sector, focusing on the improvement of court case management and police data collection systems. He is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.
Pawas Manandhar worked most recently as an area coordinator and an international and diversity fellow at a small liberal arts college in rural New Hampshire. He has experience as a research assistant and a teaching assistant in political studies and has organized various initiatives to encourage cross- cultural education and growth. Pawas also has organized several Model United Nations conferences. He is interested in the interconnected theories of development, education and democracy, especially pertaining to underrepresented minorities in the global South. Pawas is the recipient of a Paul & Regina Rogalski Global Affairs Fellowship.
Jamie McClung served at Bahamas Methodist Habitat, a construction nonprofit organization based on the outlying Bahaman island of Eleuthera. Because of her experiences on the island, she researched small island development and studied Mandarin Chinese while earning a B.A. degree in development studies from Brown University. Jamie is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Asmaa El Messnaoui
Asmaa El Messnaoui has worked as a requirements engineer in the private sector. She also is founder and president of a local nongovernmental organization that strives to promote community service and citizenship among young people. Asmaa holds an engineer of state diploma in materials and manufacturing processes from ENSAM National Engineering School in Morocco, and speaks Arabic, French, and some Spanish. She is the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.
Mian Moaz Uddin
Mian Moaz Uddin has mentored young people in Pakistan by designing wilderness-based leadership development programs as a member of Youth Impact. He speaks Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, and Pushto, the indigenous language of Pathans in the northern region. Most recently, he helped develop an afternoon school for the street children of Peshawar, his native city. He holds a B.S. in economics from the National University of Sciences & Technology. Mian is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Loyce Mrewa has worked as a researcher for legal and multidisciplinary research institutes, analyzing issues related to children, persons with disabilities, and constitutional and human rights law. She has published work focusing on international humanitarian law, women’s rights, and children’s rights. She speaks Shona, an official language of Zimbabwe, and is learning French. She holds L.L.B. and L.L.M. degrees with a specialization in international law. Loyce is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Parusha Naidoo has worked as a researcher for the Human Sciences Research Council and has interned at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, international relations, and media studies, and an honors degree in justice and transformation from the University of Cape Town. Through the Restitution Foundation, she recently developed a series of youth dialogues among young South Africans, focusing on justice, equality, and restitution. Parusha is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.
Patricia Ndagano spent two years conducting research on girls formerly associated with armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She also has worked with nonprofit organizations focusing on humanitarian responses to internally displaced people and refugees in post conflict and hard-to-reach areas in DR Congo. Most recently, she worked as a senior program assistant and project officer for Management Sciences for Health, an international organization that aims to improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable people. Patricia is passionate about community empowerment and believes that quality education and capacity- building can contribute to societal transformation. She enjoys participating in youth-led associations and acts as a youth wing representative at the World Union of Jesuits Alumni. Patricia is fluent in French and Swahili. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is an alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Patricia is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Khuong “Max” Ngoc Nguyen
For two years, Khuong worked as a resident researcher at the Kettering Foundation, a think tank dedicated to the study of democracy in Dayton, Ohio. Later, he spent a year in Cuernavaca, Mexico, collaborating with Augsburg University in its marketing campaigns for its social justice – oriented study abroad programs. At the Keough School he is interested in learning more about international security. Khuong is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Dorcas Omowole has interned at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, where she educated children on conservation issues through stories. She also has work experience in branding, media, and social research, and holds a B.Sc. in geography from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dorcas is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.
Nnadozie Onyekuru earned a B.A. in liberal arts after studying in interdisciplinary seminars at Thomas Aquinas College. He also has studied engineering at the University of Maiduguri, worked for a consultant to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and served as a volunteer writer and assistant editor for Your Commonwealth, a youth development program. Nnadozie is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Sofia Piecuch recently served as a volunteer missionary with Heart’s Home in Senegal and Italy, accompanying vulnerable and socially isolated individuals living in slums. She also has worked with the Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice Human Rights Office in Geneva, advocating for youth and children’s rights at the UN Human Rights Council. Sofia holds a BA in global studies from Saint Mary’s College with concentrations in anthropology and international development. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural communication and understanding in the implementation of development projects. A dual American and Peruvian citizen, Sofia speaks Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Wolof. She is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Joshua Pine is a dedicated connector, communicator, and consultant. Having lived almost 20 years in China, he serves as a bridge between cultures and has worked extensively with Chain Reaction, a Chinese nonprofit organization, to market Chinese handicraft art in the U.S. Joshua also is a skilled translator with experiences ranging from study abroad programs in Beijing to sports camps at Notre Dame. Driven by a passion to serve, he has engaged in multiple nonprofit consulting projects in education, eco-tourism, and community health.
Sangzhu Pubu is the former field officer for Machik, a Washington, D.C.-based nongovernmental organization whose mission is to incubate social innovation in Tibet by supporting and developing new opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, creativity and gender empowerment. As part of 2017-2018 WISE Learner’s team, Sangzhu has worked with other learners to tackle educational challenges faced by refugees in Greece and Uganda. Sangzhu holds a BA in business administration from Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Theresa Puhr recently served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps at Women’s Resource Center in Pennsylvania, providing services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to this role, she spent a year in the Maryknoll China Teachers Program, where she taught English at Jilin Medical University and worked with local grassroots organizations serving rural communities. She holds a B.A. from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese. Theresa is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Steve Reifenberg is associate professor of the practice of international development and co-director of the Integration Lab (i-Lab). He also is senior strategic advisor and faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.
Reifenberg’s current research project, “From Aid to Accompaniment,” explores international development as a process of accompaniment. In his teaching about development, he is interested in interactive pedagogical approaches such as engaging students with international development “clients.”
Juanita Esguerra Rezk
Juanita Esguerra Rezk has worked on the reintegration of former combatants and reparations for victims following decades of armed conflict in Colombia. She also has served in the European Commission Humanitarian Office, focusing on humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons and refugees and its link to development and peace initiatives. Juanita holds a B.A. in political science from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. She is a Fulbright Scholar.
Kevin Richardson is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who worked in youth development in Ukraine, where he also served as a grant-writing coach, a grant committee member, and a trainer for project design and management. He also has taught leadership, critical thinking, healthy lifestyle, democracy, and anti-corruption in addition to several academic topics in various schools, camps, and cities throughout Ukraine. Before joining the Peace Corps, Kevin worked as a translator and interpreter for various industries.
Dominic Scarcelli studied political science and public policy at the University of Notre Dame. As part of a research team at Notre Dame, he published a report on the health of U.S. democracy and impacts of inter-party communication following the 2016 presidential election. He also has interned with the consumer insight team of the Irish Food Board, where he produced reports on the legal and cultural landscape of international markets, and for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he drafted memos advising the Congressman on proposed legislation. Dominic is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Shuyuan Shen earned a B.Soc.Sci. in sociology and political science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Previously, he served as an intern at the Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Shenzhen and a data journalist at Initium Media in Hong Kong. His research interests focus on the political identification and participation of migration and refugees. Shuyuan speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Jacqueline Shrader most recently served as program director to a youth leadership development program serving emerging leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously, she worked in rural Peru on a team of social workers with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, implementing and supporting youth programs. Jacqueline has conducted research in Guatemala on how female civil society and grassroots leaders are confronting gender-based violence. Jacqueline is fluent in Spanish, and she holds a bachelor of arts in theology and religious studies from Seattle University. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Mehak Anjum Siddiquei
Mehak Anjum Siddiquei has worked as a research assistant on the Social Compact Project, part of the Property Tax Experiment at The Center for Economic Research in Pakistan. Previously, she worked at the Planning and Development Department at the provincial government level. She is fluent in Urdu and Punjabi. She holds a B.Sc. in economics from the Lahore School of Economics. Mehak is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.
Rhea V. Silvosa
Rhea V. Silvosa worked as the program officer for the Annual Peacebuilding Training Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, coordinating an international training and developing training in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. She is actively involved in civil society groups that advocate for human rights and restorative and transitional justices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (cum laude) from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Rhea is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet
Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet holds a BA in global studies with an international development concentration. She has worked with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America on issues regarding U.S. foreign policy to Latin American, human and immigration rights, and social justice. Marisa has also interned at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation on genocide and mass atrocities prevention. Most recently, she interned at at the Trust for the Americas, an organization affiliated to the Organization of America States in Washington, DC, for economic and social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. Maria is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Djiba Soumaoro most recently served as advisor to the nonprofit Mali Rising Foundation, which empowers the children of Mali through education. He also has worked as a translator for medical teams and for the NGO Ouelessebougou Alliance in Mali, an organization focused on education, health, and economic development. He speaks Bambara, the lingua franca in Mali, as well as French. He holds a B.A. in political science from Utah Valley University. Djiba is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Frank Spesia’s professional background focuses on education in underserved communities. He worked on primary education initiatives in Malawi and South Africa and taught 5th grade in Los Angeles as a member of the Alliance for Catholic Education. While teaching, he focused on creating a classroom and school community that was academically rigorous, safe, and inclusive. Frank holds an MEd from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in political science and peace studies from Notre Dame, where his research interests focused on social justice and education.
Susan St. Ville
Susan St. Ville has directed the Master’s Program in International Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studiessince 2012. Within the Keough School, she continues to direct the concentration in International Peace Studies within the Master of Global Affairs.
St. Ville holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology (1986) and a master’s degree in social work (2002) from the University of Chicago. Her research and clinical interests focus on trauma healing, gender issues in war and peace, and the psychological effects of violence.
At Notre Dame, St. Ville teaches courses in Gender and Peace Studies and Trauma and Peacebuilding. She also has served as a lecturer in theology and coordinator of the university’s Gender Studies Program. She also has been a lecturer in social work at Saint Mary’s College.
Mark Stevens is the Integration Lab (i-Lab) program manager. He works collaboratively with the i-Lab directors to develop and operate the i-Lab’s Global Partner Experience, which engages master of global affairs students with critical, real-world challenges through links with partner organizations around the world.
Quang Ngoc Thang
Quang Ngoc Thang has worked in both the private and public sectors in Vietnam, focusing on economic policy initiatives for the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also recently interned at a nongovernmental organization that provides legal advocacy and empowerment for communities affected by economic investment and corruptions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economic law from Hanoi Law University in Hanoi, and speaks Vietnamese and French. Ngoc is the recipient of a McKenna Center Fellowship.
Ikromjon Tuhtasunov studied international relations at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. He recently interned at the State Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan. An organizer of several Model United Nations conferences, he also has held internships at government, nongovernmental, and private sector organizations. Ikromjon is the recipient of a Keough School Fellowship.
Sonia Urquidi studied abroad in London as an undergraduate and spent a summer in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she developed a music therapy program for a nongovernmental organization serving people with disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in economics and music. Sonia is the recipient of a Keough School fellowship.
Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme
Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a special focus on peacebuilding programming and youth leadership development training. He worked as a project manager on the Emerging African Leaders Project of the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics, Inc. where he helped students facilitate social projects for community development. Nzubechi serves on the board of AfriPeace Sustainable Development Foundation, a collaborative African partner, and affiliate of AfriPeace Development Foundation, which is focused on promoting peace education. Most recently, he established Students for Peace Network (peace clubs) in 10 secondary schools in the Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying from Federal University of Technology in Nigeria. Nzubechi is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Kara Venzian graduated with honors from Missouri State University, earning BA degrees in anthropology and political science. As a student, she worked as a research assistant for the Department of Anthropology. She also served in leadership positions in campus organizations, gained international recognition for her work as an LGBTQ+ rights activist, and received the Outstanding Diversity Development Award. After graduation Kara served as a youth development volunteer for the Peace Corps in Fiji, working on village development, literacy training, women’s health, and grant writing. Kara is the recipient of a Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.
Mary Mumbi Wachira
Mary Mumbi Wachira served as the national director and coordinator of Global Unites in Kenya. She collaborated in the development and establishment of youth peace-building and conflict transformation initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Liberia. Mary enjoys teaching and mentoring young people in civic participation and character leadership. She is interested in issues related to youth, education, and migration in the global south. She holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry and a diploma in project management. Mary is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Steven Wagner served with the Maryknoll China Teachers Program in Jilin, China, teaching medical English to nursing students at Beihua University. As a Maryknoll volunteer, he participated in development projects focused on China’s rural poor and HIV patients. He holds a B.A. degree from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese. Steven is the recipient of a Katter Family Fellowship.
Leah Walkowski served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, promoting youth empowerment and gender equality among local communities. She speaks Acholi, the language of Northern Uganda, and is conversant in Kiswahili. After returning from Uganda, she worked for the YMCA to promote positive youth development in Minneapolis. She holds a B.S. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Leah is the recipient of a Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.
Maria Belen Zanzuchi
Maria Belen Zanzuchi has worked as an advisor to the Secretary of Trade of the Argentine Republic. There she was involved in topics related to international trade agreements, trade facilitation, sectoral competitiveness, and competition policies. Most recently, she worked with the National Antitrust Commission on the biggest telecommunications merger in the history of Argentina. Belen holds a BA in economics from Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires. She is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.
Raushan Zhandayeva graduated cum laude from Nazabayev University with a BA in political science and international relations. She was awarded a U.S. State Department scholarship to participate in its Global UGRAD Program, and she studied for one semester at California State University Bakersfield. Raushan interned as a research assistant at the Information-Analytical Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan. She also promoted sustainable energy technologies at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Passionate about diplomacy, she has participated in and co-organized several Model United Nations conferences. Raushan is particularly captivated by the global economy and the politics behind it, and aspires to contribute to economic and social development in Central Asia. She is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.