Preston Nielson

Preston Nielson

Trinity Fellow Class of 2011

Graduate Program: MA, Public Service- Nonprofit

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: Economics and Management, Beloit College

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: Badger Association of the Blind

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

Peace Corps, 2006-2008, Mauritania

Service Experience:

From 2006 to 2008, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania. As a Small Enterprise Development agent, I worked with local entrepreneurs and cooperatives to develop sustainable, revenue-generating business ventures. I also spent time teaching English and supervising activities at a local girls mentoring center. At the close of my service, I remained in Mauritania for three months to train an incoming group of 14 development volunteers.

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

For my work placement, I was paired with the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired. In my first year at the agency, I worked extensively on the planning and implementation of $1.4 million capital campaign. As the campaign entered its second year, I transitioned away from development, and focused on marketing and outreach. In this position, I helped rebrand the organization (following a merger) and market its expanded mission to the community.

Throughout my time at the Badger Association, I relied on my Marquette coursework to bolster my knowledge of nonprofit management. Courses such as “financial matters in the nonprofit sector” and “nonprofit legal considerations” provided me with a strong academic understanding of the real-world situations I faced on a daily basis at the Badger.

Just as my graduate studies enhanced my work experience, my work experience enabled me to contribute unique and well-rounded perspectives to class discussions. This coupling of academic and experiential learning transformed me from an eager, but somewhat inexperienced grad student, to a passionate and accomplished nonprofit professional.

Plans after graduation:

I am staying at the Badger Association until we reach our capital campaign goal of $1.4 million. At that point, I plan to move west, get a dog and find a new nonprofit adventure.

Current Position:

Associate Director of Employment Engagement, University of Utah

Fellows Class of 2011

Quick Links


Carole Ferrara, Director
(414) 288-5861

Carolyn Swabek, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0637

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473