Culture and Cultural Aspects of Development

Below is a listing of Payson People (we refer to ourselves as Paysonites) who specialize in Culture and Cultural Aspects of Development.

Janet M. Lopez

Janet M. Lopez
M.S. Candidate

I am originally from Miami, FL and attended Florida International University, from where I have a B.A. in International Relations and Cultural Anthropology as well as a Certificate in African and African Diaspora Studies. I am currently in Panama with the Panam Field Work Experience as an intern for the United Nations Development Programme Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rebecca Emel

Rebecca Emel
M.S. Candidate

I am originally from Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 2012 with a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Law and Society and BA in Women’s Studies with minors in Political Science and Black American Studies. I was fortunate enough to take part in a short internship in Rondebosch, South Africa where I worked in a human right’s law firm writing legal opinions and offering free legal advice through a local clinic. This experience was extremely transformative and has greatly impacted my areas of interest.

Sonita Singh

Sonita Singh
Doctoral Student

Evaluation Specialist currently evaluating international, federal, state and city projects in:

  • Criminal Justice and Correctional Research
  • Child Survival and Early Childhood Development
  • HIV, specific to Prenatal Exposure
  • Co-occurring Disorders (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Illnesses)
  • Health Systems Research in West Africa (Gambia) 

Quantitative and Qualitative Research Development, Logistics, Execution and Analysis

Lauren Messina

M.S. Candidate

I currently live in Chicago, where I am starting the program as a distance-based student for my first two semesters before moving to New Orleans in 2016.

Adelia DeMarsico

Adelia DeMarsico
M.S. Candidate

My name is Adelia and I am a South Florida native.  As an enthusiast for Latin America, I majored in Spanish as an undergraduate at the University of Florida and have spent significant time in Latin America traveling, teaching English, and interning. Before moving to New Orleans to pursue my post graduate degree in International Development, I worked as a middle school Spanish teacher.  Through this experience, my passion for children and education became apparent to me.

Sydney Gray

M.S. Candidate

My passion lies at the intersection of women and water and I spend every minute I can with Mama Maji, a New Orleans-based nonprofit dedicated to using water to empower women.

Susan Lightfoot Schempf

Susan Lightfoot Schempf
M.S. Candidate

Susan Lightfoot is a community food systems development professional with 15 years of hands-on experience in food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and youth development programming. After co-founding and directing the Noyo Food Forest, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in rural northern California, Susan designed and implemented an innovative regional Farm to Fork program to increase smallholder farmers' income and improve school feeding programs in the region.

Tiffany Martindale

M.S. Candidate

Shea Garrison

Shea Garrison
Doctoral Student

Shea Garrsion holds a Master of Science (MS) in International Development from the Payson Center. While pursuing her MS, Shea worked with Drs. William Bertrand and Elke de Buhr developing capacity building classes and reporting documents for a Department Of Labor contract with the purpose of eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) in cocoa production in Western Africa.

Susan Webber

Alumna, M.S., Peace Corps

Susan Webber works in the Office of the CFO at the Peace Corps in Washington, DC as a systems analyst. Currently, she is working on a project to re-architect a financial application that is deployed at all overseas Posts. Her longer term goal is to work for a development agency that is focused primarily on finding solutions for energy poverty (e.g. efficient cookstoves, micro-grid technologies). While at the Payson Center, Susan's studies focused primarily on development issues in Africa, particularly Kenya.

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