Caro Confort is attending NYU’s School of Professional Studies to complete her Masters Degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Gender Studies. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bucknell University in Environmental Studies. After graduating, Caro went on to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She spent her service focusing mostly on HIV Education and gender equality initiatives. She wrote and was awarded a grant that trained and licensed 16 host county counterparts in Psycho-Social Counseling and door-to-door HIV testing. Since the completion of this program, the counselors have reached over 3,000 people with counseling and/or HIV testing, and the number continues to grow every day. She also played an integral role in bringing Grassroots Soccer, Inc.’s program SkillzGirl to Zambia for the first time. This initiative trained host country women in how to lead workshops on female empowerment, self-confidence, bodily autonomy, understanding gender-based violence, safe sex practices, self-efficacy, and more. During her time in Zambia she was a member of the Peer Support Diversity Network, acting as a mentor and peer counselor to her fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. She has taught workshops on everything from sexual and reproductive health, to gender equality, to nutrition and hygiene. In addition to fighting for gender equality she is very passionate about the environment and loves being outdoors, especially in the ocean. Caro hopes to supplement her Global Gender Studies concentration with classes in sustainability.
Michelle Dolinar will be attending NYU School of Professional Studies Master of Global Affairs program. Michelle received a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from Portland State University in 2014. She served as a School and Community Resource Volunteer in South Africa from 2015-2017. During her service, she worked on projects related to literacy and library development, life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention, and girls’ empowerment and leadership programs. The impact of these projects was increasing student access to learning materials, enhancing students’ learning confidence, and supporting female learners’ ability to make healthy and informed life choices.
At the Center for Global Affairs, Michelle’s concentration will be in Human Rights and International Law, as she is passionate about supporting and assisting refugees in their struggle to find safety.
Laila is currently pursuing her Master’s in Professional Writing at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. She is from Brooklyn, NY and received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish and International Studies from the University of Scranton. After graduating, she served for two years as a Peace Corps rural education volunteer in Madagascar and Zambia. One of her main projects in Zambia was the founding of a library, which she is still involved with, and the development of two water systems with Plan International in the rural village she lived in for over a year. Additionally, she was recruited to help develop Peace Corps Zambia’s volunteer education program and she supported the Department of Health through village and school presentations on safe sex. She continued her work in the nonprofit world while working in communication and fund-development with organizations in San Francisco. She has lived in seven different countries and is trilingual. Laila will be studying a variety of writing styles while at NYU, including promotional writing, writing for grants and proposals, and finance writing, as well as writing for digital media. She has multiple interests and passions in this field including copy writing, branding, and content writing for business plans and strategies. Laila is excited to expand her knowledge and experience in the field of writing through NYU’s MS program.
Since 2014 Shane has worked for Doctors Without Borders. He spent two years in the field working on medical humanitarian aid projects as a Logisitics Manager. In Uganda he supported an HIV test and treat project for at risk teenager and fisherman populations in isolated rural villages. Afterwards he supported a public hospital in a volatile region of Central African Republic where there was no alternative access to health care apart from the hospital he supported there. His most recent project with Doctors Without Borders was in Lebanon on the border of Syria opening a pediatric specialized care hospital for refugee children in the camps throughout the region. Currently he serves as Field HR Associate for the New York office preparing U.S. based field workers before they go to the field for assignments and debriefing them when they return. Prior to Doctors Without Borders he worked for the Federal Government as a property manager for courthouses in Brooklyn. During that time he received a Mayorial Service Recognition Award for volunteer works performed as a construction crew leader for Habitat for Humanity in Queens.
Shane’s dedication to public service is rooted in his time after college when he served in the Peace Corps. He was based in Panama and served in a teaching program organized with the Ministry of Education to promote student-centered teaching methods and after school activities in rural public schools. Before serving in the Peace Corps, Shane graduated Magna Cum Laudi from Queens College with a degree in English Literature.
After several years gaining professional experience he is now returned to school as a fellow to gain an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. With the knowledge gained from his studies he plans to combine theoretical and practical experience gained from fieldwork to make an impact in underserved communities both locally and internationally.
Areas of Interest: Inmate Rehabilitation; Medical & Humanitarian Aid; Direct Service; Project Operations & Logistics
Stefani McCoy is pursuing her Master’s in Global Affairs at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. She is from Los Angeles, California and received her degree in Business Administration from DeVry University with a concentration in Sales and Marketing. A few years after graduating and working in the corporate world, McCoy decided to use her degree in a more significant way. In 2015, she was accepted into the Peace Corps Namibia serving as a Community Economic Development Volunteer. During her time in the Peace Corps McCoy worked on a various projects within the economic sector in her community. After conducting a needs assessment McCoy opened a community library for local Namibians to have access to books and basic elementary English and math tutoring. While conducting interviews at an organization she volunteered for in Rundu, Namibia, she saw a need for job preparation. Along with her Namibian counterpart, she opened a Career Service Centre at a training facility so that graduating students can receive mock interviews, resume writing, job placement assistance and career counseling. One of her last projects before she completed her service was, joining a committee called GAIN (Gender Awareness in Namibia). During her time with the committee, she developed a curriculum that each volunteer can now implement within their communities. The curriculum is aimed toward youth audience to increase self-confidence and abilities, challenge traditional gender roles, improve teamwork, train individuals about conflict resolution management, and teach healthy living practices. McCoy’s passion for international development stems from a rough upbringing and she is determined to provide developing countries a pathway to success.
Anna Nathanson is a Masters in Social Work student at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. After majoring in International Development and Economics at McGill University, Anna took a position with the Peace Corps in Cameroon. Alongside community counterparts in Tombel, Southwest Cameroon, Anna worked as an agribusiness advisor; her most prominent projects included a mushroom growing and training center, several primary school garden and compost pit projects, and the construction of a community library and literacy center. As a PCV, Anna also won the international Blog it Home competition for cross-cultural communication.
Upon returning to the United States, Anna took a position as a case manager at BronxWorks HomeBase, a New York City-funded eviction-prevention program. Her career trajectory has developed in her a passion for direct services and mental healthcare, and by obtaining her MSW degree, Anna seeks to make a profession of community-based, person-to-person work. After graduating, Anna plans to work as a psychotherapist with vulnerable and post-trauma populations. On a macro scale, she also sees a role in advocacy and policy change through her passion for social justice and her skills as a writer, a speaker, and a leader.
As an MSW student, Anna will spend three days a week at a field placement at the International High School at Union Square, working with a caseload of students who have lived in the US for less than four years and come from a country where the native language is not English.
Colin O’Brien will be studying in the School of Professional Studies to attain a graduate degree in the Global Affairs Program. Having graduated from American University in 2014, Colin worked in the financial services industry at Northwestern Mutual before joining the Peace Corps.
From July 2015 to August 2017, Colin served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa. Living in the most northeastern region of the country, Colin worked in the education sector to help increase English literacy among primary school learners and increase teacher capacity and teaching practices.
Though engaged in international development for the past two years, Colin’s interests and focus have shifted domestically. With the recent deterioration of a functioning federal government, it is his intention to pursue a degree in Global Affairs to revive expertise in governance.
John is pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Primarily interested in Human Rights and Community Development, and secondarily, the Arts as a tool of social change, John was attracted to the Gallatin School for the autonomy in choosing his area of study, in addition to the curriculum supporting his focus. As a Community Economic Development volunteer in Peace Corps Burkina Faso (2012-2015), John’s primary role was assisting local community members in entrepreneurial creation and advancement by facilitating introductory business classes for local community members and local organizations and facilitating various life skills classes. This role afforded John the opportunity to gain incredible insight on the many factors both bolstering and fettering the economic growth within a developing community. John’s secondary project was a joint collaboration with local community groups for an environmental and hygienic improvement project focusing on waste management and hand washing. The most valuable and pivotal aspect of John’s work in his village was living in the same community as those with whom he worked. The relationships created as a result were the lynchpin of the success and sustainability of his work there. John’s interest in community development and human rights were honed during his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, where John obtained a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture. During his studies there, John acquired an understanding of the ways in which a community’s design impacts the vitality of that community, in addition to the access of numerous resources and facilities. It is John’s hope to continue building upon these experiences and the knowledge gained through his studies at NYU.
Eddie is currently pursuing his Master’s in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at NYU Wagner with a specialization in International Policy and Management. Previously, Eddie served as a Community Health Educator with Peace Corps in Eastern Cameroon from 2011 to 2014 where he worked alongside with UNICEF on Water and Sanitation and LGBTQ Rights initiatives. His work in Peace Corps work was modeled after his work with Haath Mein Sehat, a student-run organization from UC Berkeley that carried out hygiene education programs in Mumbai, India. While at UC Berkeley, he studied Anthropology and Global Poverty and Practice. Eddie has also worked on community development projects in both rural and urban areas of Brazil and Thailand.
After working for Peace Corps for two years in the San Francisco Bay area as a Regional Representative and Equal Employment Opportunity Councilor, Eddie is excited to work overseas again and work in the New York area. He is deeply invested and committed to public service and passionate about protecting civil and human rights. He hopes to invest himself into the New York community with hopes to get involved with large scale international project management in the future.
Julissa is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and Policy at NYU Wagner. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Africana Studies. She credits her Africana Studies coursework and service-learning experiences in stimulating her passion for public service work. After graduating, Julissa moved to China where she taught English for a year in the Shandong province. In 2014, she began her service with the Peace Corps in Madagascar. She served as an ‘English as a Foreign Language’ teacher to 10th and 11th graders at a site located in the south eastern region. She also planned and co-facilitated diversity and inclusion sessions for 80+ volunteers and Peace Corps staff. Her most-fulfilling project was the GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camp she co-lead for 17 female high school students. The leadership camp provided the students with the tools needed to make informed decisions in regard to their personal health and career tracks.
In her third year, Julissa served as a Communications Associate with a nonprofit doing work in the field of information communication technology for development. She assisted in improving the monitoring, reporting and evaluation process of volunteer site projects. One of her other projects included coordinating with Madagascar’s Ministry of Population where she created a social media awareness plan for the United Nations’ campaign initiative on ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.’ At Wagner, Julissa plans to develop her knowledge and skills on best management practices and social innovation.
Alexandria Tritten will begin her Master’s at NYU Steinhardt this fall. In 2010, Alexandria received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Human Services, with a minor in special education from University of Oregon.
From 2013-2015, Alexandria completed her twenty seven month Peace Corps service in East Java Indonesia as TEFL volunteer and teacher trainer. Upon returning to the U.S. she decided her Peace Corps experience was not over, and after six months traveling around the United States and Canada, decided to serve as a Peace Corps Response Education Volunteer in Nyagatare, Rwanda for sixteen months. Both in Indonesia and Rwanda, Alexandria developed English, debate and girls’ soccer clubs, as well as completing a grant based computer lab project in Rwanda. Alexandria’s work both in Indonesia and Rwanda were at the grass-roots level. She found her highest impact was the relationships and strong bonds she developed with the host country nationals, who are still some of her closest friends today.
Alexandria is enrolled in the International Education program at NYU Steinhardt and will be looking to study how conflict and conflict resolution has impacted the educational systems in various countries, specifically in Africa. In addition, immigration and levels of education provided to refugees and immigrant families is another passion and interest area of hers.
Michelle is pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, spending her first year as a global social work student at the NYU Shanghai campus. Michelle hails from the city of Seattle and received her Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Education, Learning, and Society from the University of Washington. After graduating UW, she served 2 years as an English literacy trainer in the Republic of Vanuatu on the isolated volcanic island of Ambae. Michelle assisted the community is securing funding for resourcing a community library, conducting a Health and Nutrition- Cooking workshop, and building a footbridge that opened access for students and community members to safely commute between villages, gardens, and school. During her spare time, she acted as Chairperson of one of the most active Gender and Development (GAD) committees within Peace Corps, conducting annual Youth Leadership camps and Gender-based Violence Prevention workshops. Michelle extended her service for an additional year and a half working with at-risk youth in job-readiness and life skills development at local non-profit funded by Oxfam Australia, Michelle will be focusing her studies on clinical practices with homeless youth, immigrant and refugee populations, mental health, and culturally relevant practices all within a global perspective as she hopes to one day continue her practice internationally. Michelle has always been a passionate advocate for at-risk youth and immigrant/refugee/undocumented families and hopes to expand her skills and experience in the field of global social work through NYU’s unique MSW program.