Bert Cramer is joining the DRLA after working in Central Asia since 2011. While in Central Asia he served with the Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic at the Ministry of Health, and with Peace Corps Response as a PEPFAR volunteer together with the CDC in piloting a nationwide, comprehensive harm reduction program. Bert has also served as an advisor with Arysh, a community based NGO that works in the Kyrgyz Republic's informal settlements and slums. Most recently he completed a fellowship at the OSCE Academy, part of which was spent in Turkmenistan at the UN's Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA). Prior to his work in Central Asia Bert worked in Baltimore as Program Manger for the Maryland Violent Death Reporting System (MVDRS), part of the CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). He has also worked as a volunteer in the Maryland prison system to help inmates attain their GED. In all his work Bert focuses on community resilience building, a key component of which is bridging the gap between marginalized communities and structures of governance, whether on the local, state, or national level. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Development Sociology from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy.
Allison Kalnik graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, focusing on international development, from the State University of New York at Purchase in 2012. She spent a semester abroad in Cameroon, where she completed an independent study project at an organization that provided micro-credit loans to low-income mothers. She was inspired by her experience to write her undergraduate thesis on the impacts of climate change and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, she worked for the Student Conservation Association in Brooklyn, leading a crew of high school students to complete Hurricane Sandy recovery projects designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. At DRLA, she is now researching the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill with the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities and advancing her knowledge in courses on environment and development. She hopes to help shift the notion of development away from simple economic "advancement," which often leaves communities more vulnerable to disasters by contributing to climate change and erasing previously existing social mechanisms and morals of mutual protection, and instead prioritize development that is community-led, holistic and sustainable.
Julie Norman is pursuing a master's degree in social work and disaster resilience leadership. She previously completed a BA in International Development Studies from McGill University. She has worked with refugees in the US and Tanzania, and with women's empowerment and health projects in Congo and Central America. She hopes to work with leaders in vulnerable communities to develop reconciliation and conflict resolution programs for people whose lives are affected by violence, displacement, and trauma.
Hailing from the tundra of Minnesota, Anna Feigum is a second year graduate student and research assistant at the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University. She is also the DRLA Vice President for the School of Social Work's SGA. Anna's focus is in community resilience, specifically in the implementation of mitigation and preparedness activities. Driven by her educational background - a BA in Mathematics and Norwegian and an MA in International Relations - and experience volunteering for New Orleans-based organizations that focus on community hazards, Anna strives to continually hone her knowledge of and skills in community engagement and research in both qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis. In her spare time, Anna enjoys producing art for her small business, photography, exploring nature, and training for marathons/barefoot running.
Jennifer MacNeill is currently a GRA for the DRLA program, a Teaching Assistant for the School of Social Work Trauma MOOC classes, and a second year student in the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, a masters program academically housed in the Tulane School of Social Work. She is already an alumna of Tulane, having earned her B.A. Degree in Social Sciences in 2012, followed by a Master of Science from New York University in Global Affairs/Human Rights and International Law in 2014. She has volunteered in a humanitarian capacity or conducted research in more than ten countries around the world, including India, Rwanda, Malawi, Brazil, Guinea, and others. In 2015 she gained valuable case management experience working at the International Rescue Committee NYC office in the intensive case management department and is also currently a volunteer disaster responder at the American Red Cross. Her focus area of previous academic research has included evaluating reparations accessibility for survivors of sexual violence in conflict (SVC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (seven months, 2014) as well as other transitional justice mechanisms in post conflict societies. In May 2016 she completed a nine-month certificate in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery through the Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma. For her career path, she aims to find a place at the intersection between trauma recovery and providing direct humanitarian assistance, working in operations. As a side note, she also loves photography and believes it is an important and effective tool for inspiring social change.