Maria C. Villarraga
I’m driven by an immense desire to contribute to the social and economic development of my country (Colombia). In order to gain hands-on experience in this field, I decided to pursue a Master of Development Practice at the Humphrey School. I am determined to address social and economic development matters by proposing meaningful and optimal solutions with sustainable, social, and entrepreneurial ideas.
I feel passionate about multicultural and interdisciplinary experiences, and, of course, about international development. As IPID’s President I want to be an agent that spread this passion to the UM community. I want IPID to offer the most appealing and engaging events for people interested in development, so that we, as UM community, can build together a strong foundation for a better future.
For more than six years I have worked in community development focusing on building strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors. Prior to graduate school, I worked for a public company on global citizenship, sustainability and community affairs. My role focused on developing local and national nonprofit partnerships, increasing employee community engagement and grant making. Previously, I served with AmeriCorps VISTA in my hometown of Seattle delivering capacity-building grants to nonprofit organizations. I’m currently a second-year student in the Master of Development Practice program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs focusing on natural resource management. Most recently, my work has included researching small business ownership transitions in greater Minnesota and supporting rural livelihoods in Guatemala through a value chain analysis of forest products.
As the Grant Program Chair, I’m excited to support students from a variety of academic disciplines in their international development work.
My name is Sean Hadorn and I am a 2005 graduate of the University of Minnesta – Twin Cities with a degree in human geography and a focus on regional analysis and development. After graduation I spent time working in volunteer camps for Hurricane Katrina as a Team Leader with the National Civilian Community Corps. After that I drove a car from California to the southernmost tip of South America. Upon returning to the States I found myself working in Democratic electoral politics with stints in the Wisconsin Assembly, the Ohio House, and President Obama’s reelection campaign and inauguration. I am particularly interested in how global disaster relief and recovery efforts are organized and executed, the global response to the growing climate crisis, and how to best create policies to address these problems that are acceptable to our political leaders.
Isabel is a first year student in the master of Development Practice and a Colombian economist, who has experienced firsthand the struggle to access the building blocks of development. Isabel is passionate about finding solutions for people battling poverty. She has a keen interest in economic development, gender studies, evaluation program, conflict resolution, rural and sustainable development. Isabel has worked in strategic communication for a public relations firm in Colombia, having as her main client the Colombian Government. There she deepened her knowledge on the Colombian conflict, the struggle of victims, the importance of peace, and the intricacies of international relations.
As the communication chair, her main goals are to reach to all those interested in international development and provide them with relevant information about events and opportunities to enhance their careers as change makers.
Communications Committee Member
I am from the Twin Cities and I lived in Northern WI (Ashland) on Lake Superior for the past four years. This past May (2016) I completed my BS in Sociology with a Social Justice emphasis, BA in Sustainable Community Development, and a minor in Environmental Studies. During my time at Northland College, I conducted research with the Center for Rural Communities and the Social Responsibility Department, and I worked with an immigration attorney on U and T visa cases. I also had the opportunity to have multiple internships including the Center for Victims of Torture and Compatible Technology International in St. Paul, MN, and Peace and Reconciliation Group in Derry-Londonderry Northern Ireland. Through these positions, my interests in human rights, community and international development, conflict, and peace studies grew. I am a first-year Masters of Development Practice student and I am minoring in Human Rights. After completing my Master’s degree, I hope to work in the non-profit sector in Chicago, Minneapolis, or St. Paul and to work internationally. I would like to combine my variety of interests in human rights, environmental conservation, conflict, and development for my job.
Communications Committee Member
My interests in international development are broad ranging, but I am especially drawn to issues of forced migration and refugee resettlement, a passion that stems from time spent working with refugees while teaching and living in Amman, Jordan. Following my time abroad, I worked for several years with adult refugees and immigrants new to the Twin Cities at a small non-profit in the Phillips neighborhood, and most recently have interned and volunteered at American Refugee Committee. I enjoy participating in IPID, because as a Master’s of Development Practice student, I see the interdisciplinary nature of all of the world’s most complex problems. I appreciate the opportunities IPID provides to explore these topics and allow students from disciplines across the University to get to know each other by discussing and learning about a broad range of issues!
Communications Committee Member
Faisal Mukhtar has been working in Pakistan law enforcement for nine years. His most recent assignment is Superintendent of Police (operations) in Capital City Police, Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, He also served as police detective responsible for supervising and coordinating all investigation of criminal cases, and ensuring that procedures are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations.
Mr. Mukhtar has rich experience of policing in militancy and terrorism hit areas in the most fragile and volatile region of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. It was a unique opportunity to fight, arrest and Interrogate extreme supporters and perpetrators of terrorism, which gave first-hand information about the tactics employed by militant organizations. He has gained a strong sense of achievement by taking initiatives such as community policing, establishment of women complaint centers, employment of modern investigation techniques, and the setup of the Police School of Investigation.
Mr. Mukhtar has a BS in computer sciences, and an MBA from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. During his Humphrey Fellowship, he will focus on new skills, theoretical understanding, and relevant practical experience to improve security and the rule of law in Pakistan.
Communication Committee Member
I’m originally from Somalia and lived there until I was 8. My family and I moved to Egypt and lived there until I was 10 so I speak a little bit of Arabic and I can mostly read it and write it. I have been living in the U.S. for the last 12 years and studied Psychology and Political Science at Augsburg College. I’m currently enrolled in the Masters of Development Practice program with a minor in Human Rights. My passion for development work should have started as a child living in war torn Somalia, but I truly became passionate through my studies in political science as a college student. I started to advocate for human development and social capital along with economic development. I joined IPID because of these interests and I look forward to providing social media assistance for IPID.
I am passionate about global health and ways that policymakers can improve international development by focusing on the health and well-being of nations. Because of this I am pursuing MPP/MPH dual degree with a concentration in Global Policy. I’m interested in developing a career in monitoring and program evaluation.
My background is in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and French, focusing on social work programs and theory behind efforts to combat violence against women and LGBTQ communities. From this, my academic interests are centered around programs that empower the health of women and girls.
Programming Committee Member
Since I graduated from high school, I have always been interested in the International field. My first approach was business, which was my undergraduate degree: International Business. Even if I learned a lot about business and I saw great opportunities to make money, not easily but in very step-by-step way, I could not find it as meaningful as I wanted it to be because I felt that I was not going to make a change and my dreams were further those profit making bound. As I went on my 4 years of college, I started thinking more about alternative ways of development and I realized that if there was something that I could do was to get out of my bedroom and see what’s outside, experience reality and see what needs people really have. By now, I have decided that I want to focus on Education. I believe that improving Education can help solve a lot of problems not only in Bolivia but other developing countries. So many people don’t change their lives because they don’t know how to, they don’t know what opportunities they have and how to get ready for them, my job will be to provide them with these tools. Well, that’s how I ended up here and as a first year MDP and a volunteer of IPID I am very excited to have this experience and opportunity to work towards development, inclusiveness and diversity.
Programming Committee Member
I am a junior at the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in economics with urban studies minor. I have been interested in international development since I traveled the Philippines three years ago and saw the social and economic gaps there. I joined the IPID because I’d like to raise the awareness of poverty and potentials of developing countries so that the students can take effective actions for the countries.
Programming Committee Member
After completing my undergraduate in Business from Pakistan, I decided to do something different in my life and joined Teach For Pakistan to teach in under-resourced schools for two years. Teaching in two schools with dilapidated buildings, without clean water or washroom facilities, students who were six years behind their grade levels, and resistant to change school management taught me a lot about the challenges of the public educational system in Pakistan and motivated me to fight for educational equity on a much larger scale beyond my classroom.
After working for four years in education sector in Pakistan, I received the Fulbright scholarship to pursue my Masters in Comparative and International Development in Education at the University of Minnesota.
I am passionate about working on issues of educational equity and justice, and improving quality in public schools in developing countries. After my masters, I plan to work as an evaluator for large scale, private or state funded programs to have an impact on policies and programs that benefits millions of children in getting equal access to quality education. 2015-2016 IPID Leadership
Marc Bellemare, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Applied Economics
Prior to joining the University of Minnesota faculty in 2013, I was an Assistant Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. My research lies at the intersection of agricultural economics, food policy, and development economics. A few specific areas in which I have been conducting research include land markets, market access, risk and uncertainty, agricultural value chains, food prices, and agricultural policy.
Renee Van Siclen, Master of Public Policy Candidate, Population Studies Minor (2016)
My name is Renee, and I am thrilled to serve as the President of IPID for the 2015-2016 academic year. I am a Master’s of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School, concentrating in gender policy and policy analysis. After completing my degree, I hope to go into advocacy work around gender equality and women’s rights in the developing world, and I will be spending this summer in Tanzania interning with a women’s rights organization.
As president, I hope to expand IPID’s outreach to the U of MN community and to bring in members from as many different academic and professional backgrounds as possible. I hope to see you at one of our many awesome events!
Anika Walz, Master of Public Policy Candidate (2016), Program Evaluation Minor
Anika Walz began her Master’s in Public Policy at Humphrey School of Public Affairs as well as a Research Assistant Position with the Hubert Project in the Fall of 2014. Prior to beginning at the Humphrey School she accumulated nine years of nonprofit experience. Walz most recently worked on civic engagement and leadership development efforts in Minnesota. Prior to this work she spent a combined four years managing holistic community-led development projects in East Africa. Additionally, she has worked in food justice, youth development, political organizing, and philanthropy. Walz strives to more effectively and efficiently connect the dots between idea and action for the common good.
Camilo Bohorquez-Penuela, PhD Student in Applied Economics (2017)
My name is Camilo Bohorquez-Penuela, and I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. I have a B.A. and M.Sc. in Economics form the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), for which I was also Teacher Assistant and Assistant Instructor for Undergraduate Introductory Econometrics. I also worked as Research Fellow and Junior Professional Associate for the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, respectively, in Washington, DC. Currently, I am a student in Applied Economics at the U of M and Research Assistant for the Minnesota Population Center (MPC).
My main fields of interest are development economics, labor economics, and public policy. Before starting my Ph.D., I was involved in projects regarding the effect of welfare on individual labor choices in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Actually, in conjunction with my work at the MPC, my research agenda is focused on food security in middle and high income countries. I am a enthusiastic soccer, football, basketball, and baseball fan, and I am also working in honing my photography skills.
Mary Lynn Montgomery, PhD Student in Curriculum and Instruction, International Education Minor (2016)
Mary Lynn Montgomery is a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction – Second Languages Education, with a minor in International Education. Her research interests focus on primary grade literacy instruction in multilingual contexts. This is her first year serving on the IPID board and she is looking forward to becoming more involved with this organization. She hopes to get more students involved from a variety of academic disciplines.
Maria Victoria (Mavic) Punay, Master of Development Practice Candidate (2016)
Maria Victoria Punay earned her undergraduate degree in Development Studies in 2007 from Ateneo de Manila University and has since been involved in the development field in the Philippines. She has worked for the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO, coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Program in the country. Prior to joining UNESCO PH, she worked for the Development Executive Group (Devex) and was involved in providing recruitment services for development organizations. She has a keen research interest in the conservation and sustainable development of natural and cultural heritage sites.
Grant Program Chair:
Kristeen Chachage, PhD Student in Comparative & International Education (2018)
Studying abroad in Tanzania as an undergraduate inspired me to work in development organizations and later in education. Before joining the CIDE doctoral program, I was a teacher and administrator in different parts of Tanzania, and worked with the IB in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. I’m particularly interested in teacher education and teaching practices in developing countries. As the grant program chair, I hope to continue to expand IPID’s support for international research to students in different fields.
Felipe Dyna Barroso, Master of Development Practice Candidate (2016), Applied Economics Minor
My name is Felipe Barroso and I will be serving as the Communications Chair at IPID for the 2015-2016 academic year. I am a second-year MDP student focused on the economic development issues faced by the emerging economies of the 21st century. My academic background as well as my professional professional experience on economics were acquired both in the U.S and my home country, Brazil.
As the Communications Chair, I intend to expand IPID’s outreach within the University of Minnesota and to foster collaboration with other student groups that have interests similar to IPID’s mission, potentially creating mutually benefiting partnerships.
Journal Liaison, Reconsidering Development
Richard Bamattre, PhD Student in Comparative & International Development Education (2018)
My interest in international development was sparked through a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Zambia. Previously, I completed a Masters in Comparative Education at UCLA with a focus on cultural studies. Currently, I am a PhD student in Comparative and International Development Education, and my interests include community schools and alternative education models in developing countries.
As liaison on the IPID board for the open-access journal Reconsidering Development , I hope to expand the scope of the journal, provide an audience for quality academic research and field reports, and provide a platform for students interested in international development.