MPS student Kellie Del Signore, right, works with her colleague while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia.

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Global Development welcomes MPS class of 2022

Cornell Global Development is pleased to announce its Master of Professional Studies (MPS) class of 2022. This year’s program will provide in-depth training to more than two dozen students who are mid-career professionals, scholars and aspiring development professionals from more than ten countries across the globe.

Each student brings a unique specialty to the program, ranging from food security and inclusive economic growth to renewable energy and environmental sustainability, according to Maricelis Acevedo, research professor and co-director of the MPS program in Global Development.

Cornell’s Global Development MPS program prepares graduate students for field-based development careers and development policy roles. The program focuses on serving low-income and rural communities across the globe, and trains student to both assess and create solutions for development challenges.

“This class is representative of the transdisciplinary nature of the Global Development field,” Acevedo said. “We are excited to have professionals from diverse backgrounds, areas of expertise and cultures united at Cornell.”

Members of the MPS Class of 2022 and the grand challenge they seek to confront in their work are:

  • Tewodros Abera: Design, delivery and management of agricultural extension and advisory services for smallholder farming communities in emerging markets
  • Homari Aoki: Global renewable energy development
  • Thomas Arminio: Soil and human health
  • Ashish Aryal: Inclusive and holistic development with limited public resources
  • Shannen Chua Protection gaps against shocks resulting from natural disasters
  • Michelle Corio: Education at the intersection of climate change, poverty, and nutrition; and data-driven policies
  • Tommy Crocker: Food insecurity, climate change, and economic inequalities between the global North & South
  • Kellie Del Signore: Gender equity especially in agriculture; rural and community development; food security
  • Sumire Doi: Zero hunger, farmer empowerment, food security policy and inclusive economic growth
  • Andrea Durmiaki: Equitable opportunities and fair access to experiential learning/global education opportunities
  • Jackson Hart: Environmental sustainability of agriculture; food sovereignty and economic independence in smallholder farming communities; optimization of controlled environment agriculture
  • Dolgorjav Jigmedsenge: Urbanization, mobility challenges and vulnerable employment; Unemployment and shortage of experienced or skilled workforce
  • Jyothis Joy Mazhuvanchery: Minimizing food wastage in perishable commodities; minimizing incidences of food borne illnesses through food safety; nutrition of staple foods
  • Joyce Kabui: Energy poverty, climate change and rising inequality in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Cody Kugler: Sustainable food systems; facilitating SMEs in emerging markets, especially smallholders
  • Emily McGinnis: Inequality, gender inequity and structural racism
  • Windu Adi Prastowo: Corruption and its impact on poverty, inequality in education, and lack of healthcare
  • Garrett Quade: Agricultural productivity in rural communities through climate-resilient practices and sustainable food systems
  • Jarsm Russell: Food security including crop yield, food waste management, income generation and nutrition in small scale agriculture systems
  • Nicholas Twyman: Equitable food, energy, and financial systems that empower people in developing countries
  • Iskender Usupbaev: Water scarcity and quality, mining waste, social inequality and corruption

The one-year MPS program offers a transdisciplinary education to enhance students’ technical and practical skills in development. Most students in the program have at least two years of field experience in a range of sectors, including government agencies, Peace Corps and non-governmental organizations. The program combines coursework and a capstone project which uses problem-solving skills to approach a real-world issue.

“This vibrant cohort is full of inspiring individuals committed to building a more equitable world,” said Terry Tucker, professor of the practice and co-director of the MPS program in Global Development. “We look forward to a year of rigorous study, creative thinking and a hands-on approach to confronting the greatest challenges confronting people and the planet.”

Kelly Merchán is a communications specialist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Global Development.

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