Students

Jessi Barnes

Jessi BarnesDesigning public spaces since 2007, Jessi Barnes is a landscape architect who has collaborated with communities both domestically and abroad, focusing her attention on grassroots design efforts that prioritize the public interest and foster community resilience. Holding a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from Ball State University and a Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design from Mississippi State University, Jessi encourages Low Impact Development (LID) strategies, mindful selection of materials, and robust community engagement in all of her projects.  She strives to design locally and culturally appropriate landscapes that respond to and enhance the communities they serve.

Jason Becnel

jasonbecnelJason P. Becnel graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Homeland Security Studies. In 2015, Jason was inducted into the Theta Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. Jason was born and raised in Metairie, LA and after High School enlisted in the US Army, where he began his career in Ft. Campbell, KY. After leaving the Army, he returned home and began work at the St Charles Parish Sheriff's Office where he was employed from 2004-2011. He is a member of the Louisiana Army National Guard, deploying to Iraq twice. Jason currently works as a security supervisor at a local high school and spends his free time with his four kids, at present coaching his 5 year old son's soccer team.

Claire Bourseleth

Claire BourselethOriginally from Detroit, Michigan, Claire Bourseleth has a Master of Science in civil and environmental engineering with over 15 years experience in engineering consulting services. She is currently pursuing a Master's of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership. Claire has been living in New Orleans on and off over a 4 year time span and recently came back to New Orleans to make this City home. She has been involved in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts from both avenues of working for FEMA and also as a consultant to the City of New Orleans. She has lived and experienced disasters while serving as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Jamaica and rode out a hurricane.  Her service to the island included community sanitation engineering and damage assessments during disaster response. Claire has witnessed the effects of natural disasters while supporting recovery operations in Hurricane Ike (Houston), Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans), Hurricane Sandy (New York City) and has been able to be an advocate for hazard mitigation. Claire has an interest in continuing to work in the hazard mitigation and long term resiliency fields, both locally and abroad, as well as continuing to research coastal restoration. She is also active in Engineers without Borders and has been a mentor for 4 years to various water and sanitation projects in Central America.

Stewart Carrington

Stewart CarringtonStewart Carrington is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Disaster Resilience Leadership.  Stewart and his wife owned a small organic farm near Port Townsend, WA for four years.  During that time Stewart also worked as a computer technician and customer support for Creative Systems, Inc., a hydrostatic software firm.   The couple moved to Seattle, where Stewart worked for Mimic Technologies, Inc., creators of the da Vinci robot’s surgical training simulator, as part of their technical support team.  While there, he finished his B.A. of Social Sciences and Anthropology Minor at the University of Washington.  Wanting to become more active with NGOs, experience the impact of the U.S. on developing nations, network, and travel, Stewart and his wife joined the Peace Corps.  They were sent to Nepal, where Stewart learned about Nepali language and culture, focused on community outreach, and worked at a Nepali Government Agricultural Center.  In late April 2015, a series of high-magnitude earthquakes prompted the Peace Corps to evacuate their volunteers.  This experience created a drive for Stewart to work in disaster and development related fields.

Leila Darwish

Maura Johnson

Maura JohnsonMaura Johnson recently graduated from the University of North Florida with her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She will be receiving her dual degree in DRLA and Social Work. She had her field placement at Lone Star Charter High School where she offered resources in the local community to the students. She was president of the UNF Social Work club and helped lead her fellow classmates to volunteer in the Jacksonville community. She was North East Florida’s National Association of Social Workers (NASW) BSW student representative where she brought a voice for the students. She participated in an extracurricular activity with United Way to help end the stigma of mental illness in charter schools. The summer of her junior year she volunteered in Nicaragua where she built sustainable schools, developed a clean water source, and cleaned the coral reefs. After this volunteer trip she realized this is the field of work she wanted to focus on. Maura is excited to turn her passion of helping vulnerable populations into her profession.

Jennifer Jumonville

no image available icon Jennifer Jumonville received a Master's degree in International Affairs at the George Washington University and a Bachelor's in Anthropology at the University of Iowa. Her international experience includes undergraduate studies in India and Trinidad and Tobago as well as six years of grammar school in Nigeria and Togo. Her academic studies have concentrated in humanitarian action, development, security, conflict and displacement. She is particularly interested in the protection and human rights of internally displaced persons. Her professional experience spans over ten years in non-profit administration and fundraising. She currently serves as the assistant to the President at Tulane University and volunteers her time as a Board member of Start the Adventure in Reading and a member of the Junior League of New Orleans.

Carolyn Kelly

Carolyn KellyCarolyn Kelly graduated from the University of Iowa where she studied K-12 Spanish and English and an Additional Language Education. Teaching led her to Madagascar, where she taught at the American School of Antananarivo and co-founded, Hay Kanto, a for-purpose organization for Malagasy artists and youth. Upon return to the United States, Carolyn served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and developed after school programming for newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth. Working with students who had experienced the trauma of displacement, she noted several similarities to the challenges faced by the youth she had gotten to know through Hay Kanto during the 2015 floods of Antananarivo. These parallels motivate her to pursue a Masters of Science in Disaster Resilience Leadership with a focus on education and youth development in crisis settings. 

Elizabeth Lopez

Elizabeth LopezElizabeth (Betsy) Lopez is excited to be a part of the DRLA program while working at Tulane at the Newcomb College Institute as the Program Coordinator of Internships and Experiential Learning. The DRLA program combines Betsy’s passion for solving environmental challenges, management, and empowering communities. Betsy is a Louisiana native and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Newcomb-Tulane in 2010 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Communication and dual minors in Latin American Studies and Philosophy. After graduating, Betsy wanted to further her commitment to the city and she completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA at New Orleans Outreach and Tulane Center for Public Service. She was hired on as the Volunteer Coordinator to manage and grow the AmeriCorps team, create and implement an internship program, and work directly with partner schools to oversee all volunteer-based programs, including 18 university partnerships, 500 long-term volunteers, and countless one-day volunteers. She then spent three years working for CASA New Orleans as the Volunteer Recruiter / Trainer where she trained everyday citizens to serve as committed CASA Advocates for children in foster care and expanded the program by more than 50% in order to provide services to all the children in the program. Betsy cannot wait to utilize the academic training she will receive in the DRLA program.

Magin Maier

Magin MaierMagin Maier jumped at the chance to move to sunny New Orleans to pursue psychology and studio art at Loyola University after having spent a good chunk of her life bouncing around from small farm town to Rust Belt city. After graduation, she taught volunteers how to rebuild Katrina-damaged homes as an AmeriCorps Site Supervisor with St. Bernard Project, tried to get over her fear of giant bugs while working on a cacao farm in the rainforest of Costa Rica, and practiced behavior therapy with children on the Autism spectrum. Having dabbled in various fields, Magin decided she wanted to continue working with those affected by disasters, and is excited to pursue further education in a city that is still recovering itself. She is particularly interested in learning more about humanitarian leadership and wishes to conduct research focusing on the role dehumanization of survivors plays in emergency response and recovery efforts. She eventually hopes to work with vulnerable communities to mitigate the effects of disasters. Magin is happy to hunker down in the Crescent City for a bit longer. You can usually find her attempting to unicycle in City Park, counting down the days until crawfish season, and doodling with sidewalk chalk.

Bethanie Mangigian

Bethanie MangigianBethanie Mangigian joins the Tulane University community as a dual degree student pursuing her Master's in Social Work and Disaster Resilience Leadership. Originally hailing from Ann Arbor, MI, Bethanie has spent the last nine years living in New York, where she graduated from Barnard College with her B.A. in Theatre. As a descendent of genocide survivors, Bethanie's experiences volunteering in Armenia led to her interest in working with vulnerable communities post-trauma to build local capacity and leadership. Bethanie is particularly interested in the psychosocial impact of disasters and protracted conflict on communities and the exploration of inherited trauma. As a performer, Bethanie believes in the transformational power of artistic expression as a therapeutic tool. Prior to pursuing her Master's degree, Bethanie worked for IvyWise, a college admissions guidance company, and Explore Charter Schools, where she served as a recruiter for under-resourced neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

 

Nancy Mayhall

Nancy MayhallNancy Mayhall received her BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011. She was president of the UCSC Anthropology Society and participated in an archaeology field program in Benin. Following graduation, Nancy moved to Puerto Cortes, Honduras to teach English for a year. Nancy returned to the US, working as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the State of Utah Refugee Services Office in Salt Lake City. Nancy assisted with capacity building, grant management,and technical assistance for refugee community-based organizations. After her year of service, Nancy worked at Catholic Community Services of Utah for two and a half years as a Refugee Foster Care Case Manager, serving youth resettled to the United States as part of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program. Nancy joins Tulane University as a dual degree student in the MSW/MSDRL program. Nancy’s future career interests include refugee protection, child protection in emergencies, and fostering resilience in children and youth.

 

Lindsay McBeth

Lindsay McBethLindsay McBeth has always been passionate about helping others, and this is what pushed her to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University.  At Tulane University, she is currently pursing a dual Master's degree in Social Work and Disaster Resilience Leadership.  A native of Long Island, NY during her undergraduate studies, Lindsay facilitated  and lead several community organization projects including a fundraiser for a toddler with leukemia and a water drive/fundraiser for the residents affected by the Flint, MI water crisis.  She is an outspoken advocate for vulnerable and oppressed populations and would like a career heavily focused on macro level social work practice, policy, legislation and humanitarian aid.  Lindsay plans to use her knowledge and experience gained at Tulane to further advocate  for and empower marginalized groups. 
 

Julie Norman

Julie NormanJulie Norman is pursuing a master's degree in social work and disaster resilience leadership. 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.


 

Daniela Rivero Bryant

Daniela RiveroOriginally from Bolivia, Daniela Rivero Bryant is an industrial engineer with over 15 years in community development and disaster recovery. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at Tulane University as, as well as the Master of Disaster Resilience Leadership. Daniela has been living in New Orleans for over 9 years, where she has devoted her career to supporting the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. After moving to New Orleans, she worked with Rebuilding Together New Orleans, a non-profit organization which combines volunteerism with affordable and sustainable housing reconstruction. Daniela began as the Director of Field Operations and was later appointed Executive Director of the organization. Following this role, Daniela was the Development and Property Management Director for Louisiana Land Trust. In this position, she coordinated the statewide disposition of several thousand properties, creating affordable housing programs throughout Louisiana, in coordination with the state of Louisiana's Road Home Program. Daniela's career in community development began in El Alto, Bolivia, where she worked crafting public policy and establishing public-private partnerships to improve the quality of life for the city's residents. After several years of working in El Alto, Daniela was honored to be Bolivian President Evo Morales's first Chief of Staff when he took office in early 2006. Daniela has lived, worked and volunteered in disaster recovery operations in various countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. She is fluent in Spanish, English, German and Portuguese.

Jennifer Sato

Jennifer SatoJennifer Sato has just returned to the academic world to pursue a MSc in Disaster Resilience Leadership Studies. For the past few years she  worked as program coordinator with the Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights, an outpatient clinic serving survivors of torture. At the Center she developed trauma informed, psychosocial health courses for survivors, and assisted with research and grant reporting. She is an ardent human rights advocate and has travelled extensively. She holds a MA in Conflict Analysis & Peacebuilding from SIT, and a BA in Modern Language with a minor in Japanese. She is currently studying the intersections of conflict, disaster, social justice, and mental health with the DRLA Program. She intends to pursue a PhD in Boston, despite the cold, whilst continuing to advocate for the mental health needs of populations affected by conflict and disaster. She has the sweetest pup this side of the Mississippi.

Phallon Treece

Phallon TreeceA Michigan native, Phallon Treece holds a dual Baccalaureate in Sociology and Healthcare Administration, as well as an MPA in International Health from Central Michigan University. Considering herself a global citizen, she has participated in many projects having to do with international health, health policy, immunizations, mobile medical clinics and preventive medicine. While living in Italy, she co-founded Human Dignity International--an international NGO founded to promote change and stimulate holistic global development through signature projects in Haiti, France, Kenya, Morocco and Zimbabwe. She also was a volunteer with the Bologna Chapter of Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders). A year later, in France, she piloted the Medical Apprenticeship Program as a multi-tiered training and enrichment program to promote practical skills for youth and community workers interested in healthcare and emergency medicine. In 2013, Phallon spent time in Geneva at the World Health Organization as a part of the the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) while also in collaboration with the Afro-European Medical Research Network (AEMRN). After living in Europe for some time, she has recently returned stateside with her family. She has spent the last year serving with the New Orleans Health Department’s 10-Year Post-Katrina Emergency Preparedness Plan and as a volunteer with the New Orleans Medical Reserve Corps amongst others. Eager to participate, Phallon joins DRLA to gain useful tools and build competency for use and future collaborations.

Elizabeth West

elizabethwestElizabeth West is a first year Master of Science student at the DRLA. Previously, Elizabeth served a Disaster Services AmeriCorps term in New Orleans with the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) where she assisted in the development of the Opportunity Housing program and served on a disaster deployment team in Texas. After her AmeriCorps term, she was hired by SBP as a Community Engagement and Operations Manager to co-manage the affiliate’s recovery efforts in Texas. She has since worked for United Way as a Corporate Relations Manager developing standards for corporate social responsibility engagement of local companies. Her academic experience includes a B.A. in International Studies from University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a focus on African Studies. During her studies, she spent a year in Ghana collaborating on a project to develop multiple social enterprises. Her focus at DRLA is disaster risk reduction at the city government level.

Jonathan Woodcock

Jonathan WoodcockJonathan (Jon) Woodcock is a first year Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy student from the New York metropolitan area, and recently completed the summer institute in Washington DC. Jon received his Bachelor’s in History with a minor in International Studies from Louisiana State University in 2013. During his time at LSU Jon served as co-president of UNICEF and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Tuscaloosa, AL and El Salvador. More recently Jon spent three months in Peru teaching English as a volunteer in an orphanage, and in August 2016 worked with the Red Cross GIS mapping team after the flooding in Louisiana. Jon has always been passionate about helping people; at 16 he joined his local fire department, where he was lucky enough to learn from well-trained FDNY firemen. Through the DRLA program Jon hopes to acquire the knowledge and skills to work with populations affected by conflict and help refugee youth. In his spare time Jon enjoys going on hikes and being outside, as well as exploring his new surroundings.