Graduate Program: Masters of Public Service – Nonprofit Leadership
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts – Craft & Material Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
Trinity Nonprofit Agency: The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin
Full-time Service Experience:
As a small business development volunteer in Peace Corps Morocco from 2007 to 2009, I developed and implemented a marketing and management strategy for a local artisan/tourism association which increased sales 50% by identification of new local and overseas markets, including participation in 11 Moroccan craft fairs and exhibitions and the development of a new eco-tourism business. My secondary project focused on increasing energy efficiency and business profitability through the use of improved wood-burning boilers in bathhouses.
Trinity Fellowship Experience: Being able to take electives in different graduate programs in addition to the required class work allowed me to broaden my understanding of public service and develop a wide range of knowledge, which I can apply to the way I understand the world and implementing positive change.
Through my master’s coursework at Marquette and work placement at The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, I solidified my goal of a building a career in the nonprofit sector. I have a better understanding of the nonprofit sector in terms of program development, finance, legal issues and management. I have developed more confidence in my ability to find a meaningful job and make a positive impact wherever I focus my energy.
Agency: As the Program Development Manager at The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, I managed and expanded the organization’s Fresh Produce Preservation Project by securing donations from local farmers and food banks and preserving over 3,000 pounds of produce, which was included in meals for the homeless and hungry throughout the year. I also managed a pilot meal site, enacted a nutrition education program, and engaged in working groups that address homelessness and healthy food access in Milwaukee. Towards the end of my year, I chaired a committee to increase awareness about The Gathering through website redevelopment, storytelling, events, and electronic communications.
Insights/impact – Both the academic experience and the agency experiences helped me to better understand myself and to better envision the type of work I would like to be doing in the future. I have learned a great deal about the nonprofit sector and the nuances of working within it. The overall experience of being in the Trinity Program cannot be matched. It will change your life.
Plans after graduation: I will be working with two natural building schools in Oregon and Michigan to increase their nonprofit organizational skills and learn natural building techniques.