Elliott Students Tell Their Stories

photo: Giving Tuesday
November 20, 2017

December 2017

As Elliott counted down to this year’s global day of thanks on November 28, our students shared their passion for making a difference in the world – and how philanthropy helps them realize their dreams. In the words of one student, “my fellowship is helping me gain the knowledge and skills I need.” Check out all their stories here and read about how our amazing students plan to use their Elliott degrees to empower communities, promote peace, and protect the environment across the map. By sharing their stories, these and other students helped make GW’s #Giving Tuesday a great success!


photo: Nik Sorensen

Meet Nik!

Hi – I’m from southern Oregon and am a master’s degree candidate in International Development Studies at the Elliott School. I joined GW so that I could jumpstart my career in community empowerment and humanitarian aid and have already found the resources provided here beyond compare. I am very grateful for the generosity of my Moore Graduate Fellowship for making my studies and future career possible. I look forward to the coming two years and all I will gain and become because of my time here at GW. By the way, my photo was taken in Jaipur, India, while studying abroad in 2016.


photo: Max Schriner

Meet Max Schriner

I am a first year master’s student in the Latin American & Hemispheric Studies program. After four years in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences studying political science and Spanish, I graduated in May and jumped right over to the Elliott School of International Affairs. Every bit of the experience has been worth it so far. I’m grateful for the financial assistance of the Quinn Fellowship which allows me to stay in school and develop, both personally and professionally. My colleagues in the Elliott School are all very talented and motivated people, and they bring out the best in me; often encouraging me to attend events and guest lectures with them. I’m thankful for the opportunity to further explore my talents at GW in a program that’s just right for me. By the way, my hometown is Vernon, New Jersey and my photo was taken at Monticello. A two and a half hour drive from GW, or you could enjoy the longer scenic route through the Shenandoah Mountains on Skyline Drive!


photo: Cristina Guevara

Meet Cristina Guevara

My name is Cristina Guevara. I was born and raised in Panama City, Panama. I am pursuing an MA in Global Communication, a program that combines the field of international affairs with the study of the global information environment. There is no better city to study this than Washington, DC, and for that I am grateful to have received help from the Joetta Miller Fellowship and be able to be here.


photo: Michael DeFurio

Meet Michael DeFurio

Hi! I’m originally from Tampa, Florida, and I’m pursuing a master’s in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies, with a focus on development and security. My Quinn Fellowship means that a master’s degree is a reality for me and something I couldn’t have afforded to pursue without it.


photo: Stephanie Heredia

Meet Stephanie Heredia

Hi - I’m concentrating on Latin American and Hemispheric Studies with specializations in Hispanic literature and anthropology. I’m also a literary translator focusing on Latin American literature. I've always gravitated to Hispanic literature since it reveals the soul of the political and social concerns in Latin America. This fellowship was the push I needed to continue fostering my interdisciplinary research, and I am so thankful to Mr. Quinn for this!


photo: Marguerite CISS

Meet Marguerite CISS

Hello - My name is Marguerite CISS, I'm from Senegal, and I was born and raised in Dakar. I’m enrolled in the Master of International Policy and Practice program with a concentration in international development, because I’m passionate about good governance, integrity, and anticorruption. The impact I aim to have in the future is to contribute to more transparency in the management of public funds and development projects in Africa. My career dream is working in Africa, for development! The Hoffman Fellowship is helping me gain the knowledge and skills I need. In just one semester, I have learned so much, not only about leadership and international development, but also about economics.


photo: Mini Mohan

Meet Mini Mohan

Hi – I’m Mini Mohan, a graduate student in the Master of International Policy and Practice Program (MIPP). Prior to joining the Elliott School, I spent more than a decade working in my hometown of Mumbai, India, primarily in banking and financial services. I also volunteered at NGOs that provide education to economically disadvantaged children. 

My Hoffman Fellowship enabled me to study at the Elliott School. The faculty here are outstanding, all renowned in their fields. The school has a very strong community, in the US and globally. Being part of such a prestigious school and drawing on its network is enriching. I plan to leverage my skills and education towards a profession focused on conflict mitigation, education, empowerment, and climate change. My aim is to work at organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, and UN. 

My favorite Elliott moments are interactions with my classmates. Getting to know students from eclectic cultures and professional backgrounds has enhanced my perspective on global issues and allowed me to create new friendships, some of which I’m hoping will last me a lifetime.