David Cowell

Trinity Fellow Class of 2014

Graduate Program: MS in Applied Economics

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: International Relations/Psychology, Boston University

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: IndependenceFirst

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

I served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, from 2009 to 2012. I had a tremendous experience teaching English, working with small businesses, and eventually serving as the Food Security Coordinator for the country. An incredibly rewarding experience, I learned so much about myself, Africa, and about my own requirements for happiness. This experience guided my trajectory for grad school and, hopefully, my career. It also taught me that the most important thing you can do for your career is be honest with yourself; happiness will coincide with a consciously driven life.

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

I learned a lot of professionally-rewarding skills from both my graduate studies and my agency placement. First, I worked with a really great local organization providing a whole slew of services to people with disabilities. They had a really great advocacy component that really made you feel how much everyone at the organization really cared, and that’s infectious! I assisted in writing grants, developing contracts, tracking inventory, and marketing. As is often the case, I wore many hats, as does everyone at IndependenceFirst.

I had a wonderful experience in the Economics department at Marquette. The teachers were available and seemed to really enjoy teaching, which is not always the case. As a result, I really didn’t mind going to night classes, as I learned an incredible amount about the practical side of economics. I am not a theorist, but I do love economic work, and the program set me up with the foundation needed to start a career involving economic analysis.

After this program, I am more aware, more informed, and more honest. I have definitely grown on a personal level in my two years here, and it has everything to do with the people you’re surrounded by in the program. The whole Trinity community is open, engaged, and reflective. I hopefully will carry these on to my professional endeavors, and will ultimately be a greater asset to the workplace than just the sum of my technical skills.

Plans after graduation:

I will be moving to New Haven, CT, where I am hoping to work as an analyst at Innovations for Poverty Action, an international nonprofit working to bring evidence-based programs to developing countries to assist in their economic and agricultural proficiency.

Current Position:

David is the Regional Grants Manager at Innovations for Poverty Action in New Haven, CT.

Fellows Class of 2014

Quick Links


Carolyn Swabek, Director
(414) 288-0637

Alisha Klapps Balistreri, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0260

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473