Samantha Oliver

Trinity Fellow Class of 2017

Graduate Program: MA, Educational Policy and Foundations

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: International Development, Calvin College

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: International Institute of Wisconsin, New American Programs Coordinator

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

Peace Corps Georgia, 2010-2012, Republic of Georgia

Service Experience:

I had always wanted to join the Peace Corps because of my knowledge of it from my studies. One of the deciding factors for me was the fact that Peace Corps only goes where they are asked. The organizations and schools where Peace Corps volunteers work have to apply to get a volunteer. This means they are wanted in the places they are going. I come from an international development background where so many foreign organizations go places where the organization sees a need without waiting for the community or organization to ask for them to come. Unfortunately, this changes the entire dynamic of service, development, and aid.

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

I began looking at graduate studies before I finished my Peace Corps service, but I didn't think that I could get into the Trinity Fellows Program because I hadn't taken the GRE at the time. Thus I applied to a few other programs. Those program didn't end up working out and so I studied and took the GRE. I was interested in the Trinity Fellows Program because I really wanted my graduate school experience to be paired with real life experience. I wasn't interested in only studying academically, I wanted to be able to apply the things I was learning in the classroom to work in the field. That was something quite unique about the Trinity Fellows Program. I was also very attracted to the social justice aspect of the fellowship.

I really enjoyed my time at Marquette and my experience working for the International Institute of Wisconsin. Working with refugees was such a joy, seeing people begin to build a life here in Milwaukee was the highlight of my experience. Once you are a Trinity Fellow you're always a Trinity Fellow. I really appreciate the camaraderie that comes with being a Trinity Fellow and I look forward to continuing the friendships that I have begun through the program for many years to come.  

Plans After Graduation:

I'll be staying in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future and I am hoping to work in the field of education in some capacity. This could be for a nonprofit that serves schools or students, or for a school directly. I'm excited about what the future holds.  

Current Position:

Program Manager for the MarVan Scholars Program, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Quick Links


Carole Ferrara, Director
(414) 288-5861

Carolyn Swabek, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0637

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473