Graduate Assistants

Center for Social Justice Graduate Assistants 

Ina Ajazi

Graduate Assistant, Finance and Administration
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Ina is a second-year graduate student in the Global Human Development Program (GHD). Prior to joining GHD, she worked for Lions Clubs International Foundations supporting the development of eye care systems though human resource training, infrastructure development, and the promotion of eye health awareness in South Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Ina also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. During her service, she was an English teacher and implemented several gender project with a local NGO focusing on gender-selective abortion,  entrepreneurship, and increased participation in local and regional decision making. Ina is a Chicago native. She graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Political Science. After GHD, she aspires to one day return to Southern/Eastern Europe with her future career in development. 

Photograph of Jasmine Curtis
Jasmine Curtis

Graduate Assistant, Alternative Breaks
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Jasmine is a second year graduate student in Georgetown’s MA in Conflict Resolution program. Originally from London, UK, Jasmine received her BA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge. While undertaking the Conflict Resolution MA, Jasmine focuses on religious and cultural conflict. Jasmine recently interned at the Quilliam Foundation, where she was involved in facilitating inter-faith discussions and workshops with teenagers in London. While at both high school and college Jasmine enjoyed volunteering as an English and Math tutor in her spare time, working primarily with children who did not speak English at home.  

Emma Edwards
Emma Edwards

Graduate Assistant, Evaluation
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Emma Edwards is a second-year graduate student in Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service Global Human Development Program. She has recently returned from India, where she worked on evaluation-based project design for rural women farmers. She conducted focus groups with women farmers to assess the impact of current projects as well as areas of need before designing and implementing a pilot program specifically tailored to women farmer’s needs. Previously, Emma worked on the monitoring and evaluation team for a Catholic Relief Services agricultural project in Benin, West Africa. Prior to her role with Catholic Relief Services, Emma served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin. Her work focused on food security and business development for a women’s agricultural cooperative. She is interested in evaluation as a critical tool for effective development.

ByeongMi (Jackie) Lim

Graduate Assistant, Finance and Administrative
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ByeongMi Lim is a first year graduate student at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies in Higher Education Administration program. Born in Georgia, ByeongMi had to move and live in Korea and Taiwan for few years each. She came back to the States to received her BA in International Studies from the University of California, San Diego. ByeongMi worked at Columbia College, a private vocational institute, where she was coordinating academic and vocational programs and assisted instructors and students for their various academic purposes or needs. ByeongMi has also taught children who speak English as a second language. She serves as a teacher at her church and always tries to seek out volunteer opportunities to help those in need.

Lisa López-Escobar
Lisa López-Escobar

Graduate Assistant, DC Schools Project (DCSP)
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Lisa López-Escobar is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Education Transformation at Georgetown University. Born and raised in the DC area, Lisa has volunteered and worked in numerous non-profits and community based organizations serving the Latinx immigrant population. These organizations include Catholic Charities, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Unidos US, the Organization of American States (OAS) and Identity, Inc. Lisa received her bachelor’s from New York University in 2017 double majoring in Latin American Studies and Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights and Development. During her undergraduate career, Lisa was able to explore one of her passions through her undergraduate thesis: Fútbol as a tool for the social development of marginalized youths in the villas of Argentina and the favelas of Brazil. Lisa spent her junior year abroad in Argentina volunteering and conducting field research with Sports for Development (SPD) organizations in Buenos Aires and São Paulo. Upon graduation, she was able to take her knowledge on SDP methodology and help implement a new soccer program employed at a Montgomery County high school’s wellness center for students learning English as a second language (ESL). Also at the Wellness Center, she facilitated numerous youth groups for ESL students focusing on positive youth development as well as social and emotional learning. Working with immigrant students, Lisa recognized that schools continue to lack the proper skills to engage ESL learners and other marginalized youth. At Georgetown, Lisa aspires to learn how to mobilize students, parents and community members to advocate for themselves, create multicultural curriculums and implement measures to best support ESL learners.

Alexandra Munoz photograph
Alexandra Muñoz

Graduate Assistant, Training & Compliance
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Alexandra Muñoz is a second-year graduate student in the Global Human Development Program. She spent the past 6 years working with communities in Latin America, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer and then went on to found a grassroots non-profit organization. Her work was focused on topics including gender-based violence, environmental justice, and sustainable development. Alexandra started a financial literacy program for rural women—resulting in the establishment of a community banking system and support network for survivors of gender-based violence. She also partnered with the municipal government of Quito, Ecudor to develop efficient recycling systems that protect the dignity of the city’s waste-pickers. Alexandra graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a BA in Sociology. She is interested in the ways in which development systems can improve resiliency through community organizing that is both inclusive and empowering to those most affected by socio-economic and environmental shocks.

Elena Napolitano
Elena Napolitano

Graduate Assistant, DC Reads and DC STEM
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Elena is a first year graduate student in Georgetown’s Masters in Education Transformation program pursuing a concentration in advocacy and policy. She holds Bachelors degrees in English and Psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Following undergraduate years, she held a position as a Character Educator and Art Coordinator for the Living Classrooms nonprofit. In this role, she had the opportunity to synthesize 21st Century curriculum and develop a cross divisional Spanish and Art curriculum for school students aged 7-13.  She spent two years as a Pre Kindergarten educator in the Baltimore Independent School system. During this time, Elena had the opportunity to participate in the AIMS early Math and Reading literacy programs, which sparked a passion for early education policy and the potential for universal PreKindergarten programming. During her time at Georgetown, Elena is interested in the opportunity to participate in the Jesuit mission of social justice through education. 

Photograph of Kayla Owens
Kayla Owens

Graduate Assistant, Communications and Outreach
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Kayla Owens is a second year graduate student in Georgetown’s MA in Conflict Resolution program. She received her BA in Peace, Global Security and Conflict Resolution from the School of International Service at American University. In the Master’s program, she focuses on post conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding in the African region as well as in the United States. Kayla recently traveled to South Africa where she studied the social transformation of the country post-Apartheid. Kayla is originally from Albany, NY. After her time at Georgetown, Kayla hopes to assist in providing marginalized communities with resources to combat hate and bias-motivated offenses.

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Mary Jane Reese

Graduate Assistant, Social Justice Curriculum and Pedagogy
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Mary Jane is a second year doctoral student in Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies Liberal Studies program. She received her BA in History from Mount St. Mary’s University and her Master’s in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.  Mary Jane has recently worked as a corporate recruiter, but her favorite job was as a substitute teacher in both nursery and elementary schools. She is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has been living in Maryland long enough with her husband and sons that she considers herself a Washingtonian.  Mary Jane is interested in studying the impact of service learning and mentorship on at-risk students in urban schools.

Madelaine Santa

Madelaine Santa

Graduate Assistant, Alternative Breaks
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Madelaine Santa is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications at Georgetown University. She is originally from Jakarta, where she co-founded the Global Issues Network Indonesia (GINDO), a national platform for administrators, students, and teachers to discuss and implement solutions to global issues. As an undergraduate, Madelaine worked at Penn State’s Center for Career & Professional Development, where she designed and executed a data-driven marketing campaign that improved over 4,000 students’ access to career resources and guidance. She received her BA in Advertising and Public Relations from Penn State University. Madelaine is also a longtime volunteer at Habitat For Humanity and has organized and participated in builds in Thailand, Indonesia, and the United States since 2014. A passionate and socially conscious creative, she is interested in harnessing the power of marketing and communication to drive social change in her community and beyond. After completing her degree at Georgetown, she hopes to use her education to influence companies to adopt ethical business standards and advocate for pro-social and environmental reform.

Ian Schwenke
Ian Schwenke

Graduate Assistant, Alternative Breaks
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Ian Schwenke is a first-year graduate student in the Global Human Development program. Born in Washington D.C, but having spent much of his life in Africa with family and for work, he is currently coming from a two-year position in Benin, West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In Benin, Ian taught English as a foreign language to secondary education students, as well as led youth development programs, and wrote and implemented large grants in the school and community. These grants included health-oriented programs such as the construction of latrines in the community, and malaria trainings with the local population, in addition to girls-education projects, such as the construction of a library and safe study place for female students. Before Peace Corps, Ian received two BA degrees in both International Public Policy and French from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he worked for the study abroad office, and study abroad company AIFS. At Georgetown, Ian plans to study international development with a focus on education in the Africa region. 

Photograph of Diana Winter
Diana Winter

Graduate Assistant, Reseach
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Diana Winter is a second-year student and Coverdell Fellow in Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service Global Human Development Program. Diana recently returned to the Washington, DC area after two years as an English Education Specialist with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia where she worked to expand the community’s English-language capacity as a direct teacher and technical trainer in a rural high school. She also worked to implement female-empowerment programming throughout Ethiopia as the Outreach Coordinator for the post’s Gender and Development Committee. Before moving to Ethiopia, Diana attended the College of William and Mary where she worked for three years at the research institution AidData on a survey project aiming to understand the impact of development organizations on reform outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. After completing her degree at Georgetown, Diana hopes to continue doing research on education reform and policy in the developing world.

Danchen Xu
Danchen Xu

Graduate Assistant for Special Projects
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Danchen Xu is a first year graduate student in Georgetown’s MA in Conflict Resolution Program. Danchen received her BA in International Relations and Political Science from Boston University. Following undergraduate years, Danchen worked for the City of Boston, where she helped build the city’s first universal affordable housing online application and promoted housing equity. She was then appointed by the mayor to be the liaison to neighborhoods in Downtown and Chinatown of Boston, where she did extensive work in civic engagement, community advocacy, and policy advising. Danchen is interested in post-conflict development and human security during her studies at Georgetown. Danchen is originally from Zhengzhou, China.