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Due to these uncertain times, we won't be able to wish our graduating research assistants well and say goodbye in person. We want to, however, recognize these six graduating students who have contributed greatly to the work of CCRS. We have been lucky to have these talented students and know they will fare well wherever they go next. We enjoyed getting to know you and working with you and wish you all only the best in your future!
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Christy leaves the University with a BA in Public Policy and Political Science. She says her undergraduate experience was unique in that she was able to study abroad three times as part of the World Scholars Program. She studied her first semester freshman year in Rome, Italy; fall of junior year found her in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and, winter session of senior year in Budapest, Hungary. In addition, she interned on Capitol Hill during the spring of junior year and took coursework as part of the Biden Schools semester in DC program.
Christy began her work with KIDS COUNT as a public policy fellow in the summer of 2019. Her main project was the creation including content and graphic design of an annual legislative wrap-up, summarizing legislative decisions which had occurred in the previous session.
Next steps for Christy include applying to graduate schools to continue her education in public policy. But hopefully she will first be able to take her first post-COVID vacation to Mexico to visit family and travel!
Ive sort of had an unconventional college experience at UD, which I have loved, but it has also made me more grateful for what remains constant and steady when everything is changing and moving. This includes the friends I have made while on campus or abroad, and the people who have supported me as I transitioned from one opportunity to another.
Talla graduates with a Masters in Public Administration with a focus on state and local finance. As a graduate research assistant, Talla worked with CCRSs KIDS COUNT and assisted with Wilmingtons Blueprint Communities. He was the 2019 Lee Summer Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Centers Teaching Tolerance where he participated in the development of the top 10 list of inequitable school policies and how districts can address them. He co-authored a poster on child poverty which won first prize in the UDs Annual GIS Day. In December of 2019 he established a non-profit that provides medical supplies and staff to under-resourced, rural communities in Senegal.
In the fall, Talla will be entering Harvard Universitys PhD program in Education Policy.
He hopes that, after quarantine, he will be at Ruths Steakhouse, ordering three or four items on the menu and just eating for a couple of hours.
"I am so grateful to Dr. [K.C.] Morrison for recruiting me to UD and guiding me through the last two years! Additionally, I can't thank enough my colleagues Alisia Drew and Dianna Roberto for all their guidance and support.
Alexandra Guterbock is graduating from the University with a dual BA degree in public policy and international relations.
As an undergraduate fellow, she worked with Steve Metraux, CCRS Director, on the topic of evictions in Delaware. Their work resulted in a brief titled Eviction and Legal Representation in Delaware An Overview which she co-authored with Dr. Metraux. In addition, she presented her eviction work at UDs Annual GIS Day. Alex was also a very active student leader in the UD Alternative Breaks program one of the four students who ran the whole organization.
Post-graduation will find Alex in Milwaukee, WI where she has accepted a one year public policy and social work fellowship with the Work First Foundation.
Her first post COVID vacation? Out west to some of the beautiful national parks Grand Canyon first!
"I have really learned a lot through my time at UD and working with CCRS and I am excited for what the future holds!"
Olivia Malinowski leaves the University with a BS in Human Services with a concentration in Administration and Family Policy. She also has minors in public policy and organizational community leadership. Olivia started with CCRSs KIDS COUNT in a volunteer capacity in spring of 2019, she transitioned the role into internship course credit and then continued with the project as an undergraduate student assistant. Olivias work included designing a social media campaign to debut the KIDS COUNT in Delaware 2020 Leadership Award winners and supported work to complete a 2020 update of a CCRS Medicaid Policy Brief.
Her plans for the near future are applying for jobs and enjoying her last summer before she starts a full-time job and hoping that everything will go back to normal soon! The post-COVID normal will include going on her familys annual vacation in upstate New York.
"My last four years at UD have been life changing. I have gained so much valuable knowledge about myself, the world, and my areas of study. While I still can't believe these four years are coming to a close, I am extremely excited to see where life is going to take me and I know that I will be ready for whatever is thrown my way! I have had amazing opportunities to broaden my learning through UD- like studying abroad and internships, like KIDS COUNT, and I will always be so grateful for everything I have experienced here over the last 4 years!"
Hira Rashid leaves the University with a MA in Urban Affairs and Public Policy in 2015 and a PhD in UAPP that was successfully completed this year. Her dissertation Health and Vulnerability among Internally Displaced Persons in Burundi and Somalia has already been the basis for her presentation at the American Public Health Associations Annual Meeting in 2019.
As a graduate research assistant with CCRS, Hira was a valuable team member on two long-term evaluation projects: the State Innovation Model and Del-CAN, a contraceptive initiative. In addition, she was a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Public Health course.
Hiras plans for the near future is to work with a policy research center or think tank focused on evidence-based research on health policy and drivers of population health. Hira hopes to spend her first post-COVID vacation in Cabo, Mexico.
The years I spent at UD have been some of the best of my life. Getting my doctorate has been about growing as a person and finding the courage to do the things that I am passionate about. I am so incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement I got from my advisors, my husband and my parents along the way."
Sarah Warkentin graduates from the University with a Masters in Public Administration. Her concentration areas were in housing policy, community development and planning.
Her first graduate assistantship was working with CCRS on the Healthy Communities Delaware Initiative. She loved being a part of that amazing innovative project. During the 2020 school year she worked with the Wilmington City Council on policy and legislation.
After graduation, she plans to finish scrapbooking her undergraduate and graduate years, and to apply for jobs sending a lot of resumes to Girl Scouts and the Carter Center. Hopefully she will be able to take her first post-COVID vacation to Florida to visit two of her best friends, go to Harry Potter World, and also see as many musicals as possible.
Anyone who has talked to me for more than 5 minutes knows my love for former President Jimmy Carter, and I just want to give him another shout out as my role model and guide during my masters studies.
I also want to give a shout out to Signe Bell who has been my mentor and wonderful supervisor for these past two years; I appreciate everything you have done for me and I will miss you so much (unless you know of a job where I can stay nearby).