Master of Public Administration

MPA Alumni

The Evergreen MPA program has over 1,000 alumni working in responsible positions within state, local, tribal and federal governments, nonprofit organizations and for-profit firms. Profiles

Our graduates work in a wide variety of interest areas, including: health, law enforcement, social services, education, environmental issues, homelessness, legislative policy, community development, transportation, human resources, budgeting, strategic planning and project management. Check out more on our Alumni Blog .

Here is a broad spectrum list of selected job titles of our students and alumni

  • Training Specialist for a non-profit organization
  • Communications Manager for a state agency
  • Executive Director for a non-profit
  • Director of Tribal agency
  • Human Resources Consultant for a state agency
  • Tribal Council Member
  • Comprehensive Planner for a local city
  • Legislative Analyst for a state agency
  • Administrator for division of state law enforcement agency
  • Tribal Liaison for a state agency
  • Program Manager with local non-profit
  • Prevention Manager for a state agency
  • Research Manager for a federal agency
  • Recruitment Manager for a state agency
  • Education and Outreach Specialist for a local county
  • Capital Campaign Manager with local non-profit
  • Lobbyist for a local non-profit
  • Senior Research Analyst for a state agency
  • Legislative Liaison for state agency
  • Housing Division Manager for a state agency
  • Sustainability Coordinator for a college
  • Forecast Analyst for a state agency
  • Faculty at a college
  • Operations Manager for a library system

Become a part of our alumni family today!

Career Development

Contact Randee Gibbons for help with career development, keeping in touch with the college and the MPA program, and related subjects. You can also join the mpa-jobs listserv and receive regular notices about jobs with nonprofit and government organizations in the region. Follow the instructions on the listserv page or email Jan Hays,  MPA Program Assistant, for assistance.

Get to Know Your Fellow Alumni

Check in with the Office of Alumni Affairs to find out about alumni events and programs on campus and around the country.

Find Out What's Happening on Campus

Visit the Evergreen Community Calendar to learn about special events, including art, music, dance and other programs.

Alumni Profiles and Interviews

Kendra Aguilar, Luiseno- MPA 2012,  pursuing PHD in Indigenous Studies

Kendra is part of the first ever cohort of U.S. Tribal students to pursue their Doctorate in Indigenous Development and Advancement (IDA) through Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi, an Indigenous-Maori University based in New Zealand. The cohort is led by Alan Parker, Evergreen’s Co-founding faculty of the Tribal MPA program. While studying she has continued to work as an Independent Consultant on community building projects involving local nonprofits, Tribes, and City & County agencies. She is also the Co-Founder of a Native organization, One Totem, and donates her talents as the Assistant Director of Seattle Women In Jazz.


Why did you choose the Evergreen MPA program and how did you determine which concentration would be the best fit to your career goals?

 As a student of Evergreen’s Reservation Based Community Determined Program (RBCDP) I was encouraged and inspired to actively take part in making a difference in my community.  After building the foundation for a Native nonprofit with a fellow RBCDP student, we knew we would benefit from the top-rated MPA program Evergreen had to offer.  Although some would have thought it more prudent to choose the Nonprofit concentration, the opportunity to learn from and along-side faculty and students with similar cultural values and a foundation of understanding of the complex history and current issues impacting Tribes and other Indigenous peoples made it the natural choice. It is the first MPA program to work directly with local Tribes to develop a curriculum suited for building a career in Tribal Governance or in serving Native communities. I had witnessed what other graduates of the Tribal cohort had done to benefit their peoples and was compelled to honor the sacrifices of my own ancestors by becoming a part of that legacy.

Were/ Are you impressed with the convenience, cost and value of the program?

There were no other MPA programs in the country with a Tribal Governance focus. The convenient weekend schedule made it possible for me and many other out-of-town students to travel for classes without having to leave our homes, jobs, families and cultural communities.

What was/ is your greatest take- away from the Evergreen MPA program and how have you applied that knowledge to your current professional position?

I’ve taken with me several great things from this program. It gave me the tools I need to succeed in any public service related field  as well as a lifelong network of friends and colleagues who will continue to work together towards building a brighter future for our peoples.

However, the greatest contribution this program has made to me in my career serving Native communities is the knowledge that together we can apply standard as well as our own traditional values and ways of knowing & learning to create a clear and proven pathway for Native student success.

How has/ does the unique platform of the MPA cohort, faculty interaction and seminar structure benefited you in meeting your career and life goals?

I feel very passionately about the importance of having the opportunity to be part of a cohort of faculty and peers with a shared cultural perspective within an environment that mirrors many of our own traditional ways of learning. This allowed us to create a safe space for the sacred work we consider education to be, without having to explain ourselves or face the same hurtful ignorance we often do in all other aspects of our lives. Being Native means we are already full-time teachers, whether it is for our children or those who do not understand us. In other institutions I attended in the past, I felt I was paying tuition in order to teach those around me. Although I acknowledge that such an environment can have some benefits for all parties, having the Tribal cohort allowed us the rare opportunity to draw the focus away from having to teach others and instead focus on sharing our knowledge with each other. This Tribal cohort structure, which allowed for the strengthening of knowledge and relationships among Indigenous peoples, prepared me for the experience of learning across unique yet similar cultures with the Maori of New Zealand in my doctoral program. 

What advice would/can you offer to prospective and current students?

The journey may be yours alone and at times you may face challenges, grow weary and doubt your ability, but remember; the spirits of those who came before you and those you have yet to touch are always with you. The success of one is the success of all and we are cheering you on.

matt profile

Matt Lemon- MPA 2013, Policy Research Analyst

Prior to my enrollment in the Evergreen MPA program, my work experience was entirely in the private sector in various capacities.  My first job in the public sector was an internship at WSIPP in early 2012.  WSIPP offered me a full-time job as a research assistant and I have since worked my way up to research associate.

Why did you choose the Evergreen MPA program and how did you determine which concentration would be the best fit to your career goals?

I chose the Evergreen MPA primarily due to the program’s unique focus and approach.  The program offered an opportunity for an educational experience that effectively combined challenge and rigor with an inclusive, diverse, and collaborative atmosphere.  Evergreen’s location was another major selling point for me.  The chance to learn about public policy while living in the heart of state government seemed ideal to help me further my professional goals. 

When I first enrolled, I thought I would stay in the public/non-profit administration concentration.  However, my experiences in core classes and electives during my first few quarters revealed that both my skill set and interests were actually more closely aligned with the public policy concentration.  This was solidified during an amazing internship with a public policy focus.

Were/ Are you impressed with the convenience, cost and value of the program?

The program was wonderfully convenient.  I was able to take classes in the evening and through intensive weekend seminars, which allowed me to work full-time throughout most of the program.  This, combined with generous institutional aid and flexibility, allowed me to keep costs more than manageable. 

In purely economic terms, the MPA program provided me with a tremendous amount of value.  For a relatively low cost, I was able to improve my skills and position in the labor market and open doors to new professional opportunities.  However, the true value of the program is much broader - the benefit I gained from my intellectual and social development and through building new relationships with classmates, faculty, and future colleagues is (perhaps) incalculable. 

What was/ is your greatest take- away from the Evergreen MPA program and how have you applied that knowledge to your current professional position?

I actually have two major take-aways from my experiences in the program.  The first is a renewed sense of optimism in the power of people to come together and work to make the world a better place.  It is all too easy to become cynical about the public sector from time to time, but the dedication, passion, and knowledge of my classmates (and the program’s faculty and staff) was truly inspiring.

My second major take-away was an enhanced ability to engage in meta-cognitive strategies (i.e. thinking about thinking).  That is, I have a much better grasp of the various methodologies, methods, and approaches that people use when thinking about public policy.  This has been a tremendous boon in my professional work, as it has allowed me to more effectively understand and work with a variety of stakeholders that represent multiple perspectives. 

How has/ does the unique platform of the MPA cohort, faculty interaction and seminar structure benefited you in meeting your career and life goals?

The cohort model provided a sense of continuity and consistency in the learning environment that I see as one of the most important positive factors in my educational experience.  In a very real sense, we (classmates and faculty included) were on a journey of discovery together.  The cohort model allowed for a sense of comfort in which you felt safe to explore intellectually, while the seminar model constantly exposed you to unique insights and perspectives.  The overall platform helped me to develop my ability to embrace diversity and work collaboratively – two skills that I use on a daily basis in my work (and in my life).

What advice would/can you offer to prospective and current students?

Remember that the Evergreen MPA program is a unique opportunity and that you will get as much out of the program as you put into it.  Don’t be afraid to embrace new challenges or experiences.  Take electives in areas outside of your intended concentration.  Take advantage of internship opportunities or investigate a topic through an independent contract.  This is a chance to explore - get out there and see what you can find. 

Alicia LeDuc- MPA 2011, Entering Law School at Willamette

Alicia embodies the spirit of both Evergreen and the MPA program.  She is inquisitive, focused on social justice and motivated to do everything she can to grow and learn in a vast capacity.  From volunteering in Tanzania (see photo above), working with Washington State, to entering law school, Alicia is being the change!

Why did you choose the Evergreen MPA program and how did you determine which concentration would be the best fit to your career goals?

 My career goal has basically been to do whatever I want to do. That has generally focused on international economic and social development, but not in any specific area... I have been active in a number of realms, including HIV/AIDS activism, Social Responsible Investing and microfinance/access to capital issues, homelessness issues, community development, environmentalism/conservation, clean energy, education, religious freedom, criminal justice/prison issues, and more recently medical cannabis patient rights and rural economic development.

 I chose the Evergreen program because:  I knew I wanted to work in a capacity that influenced the way the world works, and the dual focus on government and non-profit governance was attractive in this regard.  I studied business administration and finance in my undergraduate, and rounding out that education with training in government and non-profit administration seemed like it would round out my education and allow me to get almost any type of job. I disdain student aptitude testing based on standardized tests, and Evergreen’s lack of a GRE requirement, coupled with their philosophy regarding grades and evaluations, was attractive to me. The lack of a GRE requirement meant I could apply at Evergreen to start in the coming year, rather than having to wait an additional admissions cycle after taking the GRE (I was scheduled to take the GRE in June, but was able to apply to Evergreen in February and actually start class in June, thereby negating my need to ever take the test). Evergreen was local (I’m a Washington native), and known for being controversial/open-minded and non-traditional. Having been through the program my opinions and impressions about the school have changed, but the school’s reputation as a forward-thinking institution and activism hot bed was attractive. The MPA program was recommended to me by a professor at my undergraduate institution whom I respected, who was an Evergreen alum and the school was relatively low cost.

Were/ Are you impressed with the convenience, cost and value of the program?

I was very impressed with the cost and convenience of the program. The Summer/Evening scheduling allowed me to get a head start on classes before the fall quarter began, and the evening scheduling allowed me to pursue multiple employment and internship opportunities, many of which directly contributed to my current, and I imagine future, success. The evening option also allowed me to offset program costs through daytime employment, which coupled with the program’s low tuition and scholarship opportunities, made the program extremely affordable for me as a working young professional.

What was/ is your greatest take- away from the Evergreen MPA program and how have you applied that knowledge to your current professional position?

My greatest takeaway from the MPA program has been the training and skill building I received regarding conducting and analyzing social research. I applied those skills firsthand in my capstone work in Tanzania, and have been able to carry the knowledge with me in my current work as a research analyst with the Department of Commerce and volunteer work I do in the community. Understanding how to develop research; acquire, analyze and vet data; and harness that analysis and information to achieve goals or understand situations has been invaluable, on multiple occasions setting me apart from my peers in the field in a lucrative way. The MPA program walked the line between practice and theory in a way that allowed me to directly engage the coursework materials and apply them, in an informed way, in my professional endeavors.

How has/ does the unique platform of the MPA cohort, faculty interaction and seminar structure benefited you in meeting your career and life goals?

The cohort model developed many close connections between the students in my class, the vast majority of which I am still in connection with today. During the program, this meant after-hours study groups, weekend socials that inevitably led to policy and theory discussions, and what I believe will be lifelong friendships. Years later, we are now serving on each others’ board of directors, helping classmates start and support small businesses and non-profits, serving as references and job seeking resources, and continually networking with each other to provide professional – and personal – development opportunities for growth and mobility.  From a social and professional standpoint, the MPA cohort model has exceeded my expectations and benefitted me personally.

The close faculty interaction was also personally beneficial. I received timely feedback on my assignments, and was able to approach faculty for references and perspectives on major life endeavors. In particular, Amy Gould was there for me 100% of the way as I drafted multiple research projects, ILCs, and conducted non-traditional overseas social research using Grounded Theory research methods, still considered somewhat pioneering in many ways. My experience was that faculty were open to new and non-traditional ideas, and welcomed and encouraged students to design projects and research that helped the students achieve their personal learning objectives in a way that challenged the students from an individual perspective.  I was able to tailor my education to a personal fit I didn’t think possible in higher education, and what I gained from it was extraordinary professional results and personal accomplishments. 

What advice would/can you offer to prospective and current students?

The more time spent with the material – reading, reflecting, testing – in your current situation, whatever that may be, will help you learn the deeper lessons and patterns that will stick with you in the long run. No matter what the topic, take the material and find a way to apply it to your situation, generally or specifically.  Learning to do that will help you see the broader application of the teachings to the myriad circumstances we face in life, and help you further develop your own perspective and get the most out of the program.

Taking the time to make connections– even as a busy adult – with your cohort will definitely pay off…Make the most of the networking potential of a room full of professionals in your relative field, especially in a market as small as Western Washington, or even the PNW as a whole. MPA connections have been directly responsible for my last 3 internship/employment positions and in part my admission to law school on a full-ride scholarship, not to mention a tremendous resource as a professional sounding board and volunteer pool to call on for community engagement.

susan profile

Susan Lucas- MPA 2013, Chief Operating Officer

Management positions held include Assistant Secretary for Health Services, Department of Corrections, Budget Director at Department of Corrections, Budget and Finance Director at Medical Assistance Administration and at Mental Health Division (at Department of Social and Health Services).  Fiscal staff at Office of Financial Management and at the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  I started my career as a Certified Public Accountant in the private sector.

Why did you choose the Evergreen MPA program and how did you determine which concentration would be the best fit to your career goals? 

The program was convenient for my schedule and its location was close to work and home.  Graduates and reviewers of the program gave it very high ratings.  A review of the classes offered and subjects taught indicated it would be very applicable to my work as a public administrator.

Were/ Are you impressed with the convenience, cost and value of the program? 

The program is very convenient, with the evening/weekend schedule.  Teachers and advisors are flexible in how work is done, making the program possible for a busy manager.  The program’s cost is reasonable when compared to other similar programs available.  The program has a very high value – the contacts I made are helping me in my job daily and the lessons learned are very applicable to my career.

What was/ is your greatest take- away from the Evergreen MPA program and how have you applied that knowledge to your current professional position? 

When I started the program I thought I was most interested in public policy development.  As I went through the classes I realized my skills and interest lies in public administration.  My skills and abilities relate to implementing public policy, managing employee groups and helping organizations adapt to organizational change and meet challenges.

How has/ does the unique platform of the MPA cohort, faculty interaction and seminar structure benefited you in meeting your career and life goals? 

The seminar structure helped me to interact with others in an honest, respectful fashion on very deep subjects.  I was able to look at issues from the viewpoint of other students and help them to see my point of view.  Faculty interaction was very helpful – my advisors had high expectations but I always felt my success was their goal as well as mine.  I enjoyed working through the program with a cohort of students.  It helped me develop contacts in the program and I always enjoyed seeing the other cohort members after a break.

What advice would/can you offer to prospective and current students? 

Students should be careful to devote their time and energy to the program; don’t try to take on too much during your time in the program.  I was always exhausted after each quarter and it could be overwhelming if I took on too much.  Students should approach the program with an open mind – others will have different points of view and the most valuable lessons will be how each of us can see the value of what others have to offer.  Also, have fun!  It is a great experience you will always treasure.

MPA alumni -- all worked as Peace Corps volunteers

Breezie O'Neill: MPA 2010

1. What led to you the Evergreen MPA program?

I fell in love with public service, development, and intercultural communication while studying at Centralia College. I then transferred to Saint Martin's University to study Community Services. My senior year I studied in Thailand and India where I renewed my passion for international development and nonprofit management. I decided to pursue an MPA degree from Evergreen because I needed to learn how to manage nonprofit organizations in an increasingly globalized world. Evergreen's interdisciplinary style helped me develop a wide range of skills that I need to work effectively with organizations that tackle complex systematic issues.

2. What led you to the Peace Corps?
Breezie O Neill

My passion for travel and public service started at Centralia College when I took a fascinating anthropology class. It ignited a deep curiosity for other cultures and people. That curiosity brought me to Thailand and India where I completed by bachelor's degree. I've known for a very long time that the Peace Corps was for me. I also knew that an MPA degree from Evergreen would help me be a more effective volunteer. After completing the MPA program I greatly looked forward to testing out my new knowledge in the field. It's a dream come true.

3. Briefly describe your current work and assignment with the Peace Corps.

I work at the Tumul K'in Center of Learning (TKCL) in southern Belize. The center is a high school designed to teach Maya youth traditional values and skills. They combine modern curriculum with traditional knowledge in an effort to decolonize education. The students wear traditional clothes instead of school uniforms and learn math and science while practicing traditional dance and farming methods. The school is an NGO and my job is to work with their Board of Directors, Council of Elders, and PTA in an effort to develop clear communication, implement sound policies and procedures, and to develop a monitoring and evaluation system. I also support the staff by preparing professional development trainings on topics like accountability, organization, and leadership.

4. Most inspiring thing you’ve experienced or learned so far?

I am inspired daily by TKCL's commitment to teaching young people their history and tradition. They take great pride in their Maya culture and work hard to maintain it's authenticity despite outside pressures. It's inspiring to see students be allowed to wear their traditional clothes and taught how to read and write the Maya languages. The official language of Belize is English, but our village commonly speaks Mopan or Q'eqchi. It is important that those languages by taught in school and Tumul K'in is one of the few schools that teaches them.

5. Most challenging?

It is challenging to work effectively while adapting to the environment and living conditions of Belize. It's hot here! It's also hurricane season which means the one road out of our village is regularly flooded cutting off our access to the closest market which is about 45 minutes by bus. However, we are learning how to stock up on food, get our laundry inside before it rains, and we are able to spot scorpions, snakes, and spiders before they spot us!

6. How did MPA prepare you for the Peace Corps? Specifically what are you bringing from MPA to your work in the Peace Corps?

The MPA taught me the importance of collaborative work. Nearly every class I took included a group project. In the Peace Corps your work isn't sustainable if you are doing it on your own. We must work WITH our local organization not FOR our local organization. The MPA program showed me the value of learning from my peers and helped me practice communicating to people with diverse backgrounds and skills. I'm also utilizing my skills in project management, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable decision-making.

7. After the Peace Corps (when does it end for you?), what are you thinking is next for you?

My Peace Corps service will end June 2013. When I return I hope to find a job in the northwest working in a nonprofit. I love the idea of working for Peace Corps, MercyCorps, or any job that allows me to travel and continue my work in international development and nonprofit management.

8. Any other thoughts about MPA, the Peace Corps or anything else you’d like to tell current or prospective MPA students?

A lot of times people approach me about the MPA or Peace Corps and say "I wish I could do something like that." I always tell them "YOU CAN!" If you are thinking about answering the call to service either in the states or abroad know that it will be the most rewarding work you will ever do.

Daniel O’Neill: MPA 2010

Daniel and Breezie O Neill with Wall Art1. What led to you the Evergreen MPA program?

I have undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice/Pre Law and Anthropology from Saint Martin's University. My work experience prior to Public Administration included investigative and auditing work for telecommunications companies. My government experience has been in policy analysis and enforcement, including three years at the Washington State Department of Licensing. My interests beyond public administration include technology, reading, coffee shops, snowboarding, hiking and video games.

2. What led you to the Peace Corps?

Daniel O Neill Peace CorpsA desire to serve others. My dedication to public service in the states carries over greatly to this. My education, specifically as it relates to my MPA from Evergreen, imparted to me a deontological ethic towards serving others. I decided to abandon a much more lucrative career in law because of this passion, and that has carried over greatly to my desire to serve the developing world. It is easy to take for granted how good I had it in the states, with a great job, a great education, and all the comforts of home. I wanted to step outside of that for a few years to reassess what exactly I wanted. I am grateful that I did.

3. Briefly describe your current work and assignment with the Peace Corps.

I am a Development Coordinator for the Tumul K'in Center of Learning, an indigenous high school that reinforces traditional education (math, science, english, history) with Mayan culture and values (community service, environmental sustainability). I work mainly with their executive director Esther Sanchez on building capacity within and outside of the school, while reinforcing traditional values among the communities we work with.

4. Most inspiring thing you’ve experienced or learned so far?

That people with absolutely nothing material will give you absolutely everything that they have. We have spent time living with destitute families that have opened their homes to us, sharing their stories and their life in our village. When they had nothing to eat, they would feed us. When they had nowhere to sleep, we got their beds. It was awe inspiring and humbling beyond words.

5. Most challenging?

Developing countries in the Central America, especially Belize, are surrounded by well-intentioned NGOs, churches, and development organizations that provide lots of money, assessments, and advice to organizations like the one I work with. The problem, however, is that many organizations over the past thirty years have become completely dependent on them, meaning that during economic crunches, there is less money to give and the organization cannot self-sustain. Teaching organizations how to help themselves after so many years of being given resources without guidance, and tools without any implementation or understanding, can breed distrust of our intentions and resentment when we don't just "do it for them" like everyone else has.

6. How did MPA prepare you for the Peace Corps? Specifically what are you bringing from MPA to your work in the Peace Corps?

The most valuable resource I got from MPA was project management. I found that no matter what the course, quarter or year of my MPA, managing workloads on top of my job and family life, managing that time was absolutely crucial. The MPA specifically taught me important management techniques for project planning and mapping, working with difficult stakeholders, and negotiating appropriate terms for group projects. It also taught me to be a bit more open-minded, not always assume I had the right answer right away, and to spend more time listening than talking (not easy for a former Pre-Law student from a stuffy private school). This has advanced me personally and professionally more than I ever imagined, especially working in the development field.

7. After the Peace Corps (when does it end for you?), what are you thinking is next for you?

I can continue to work with state government if I desire, but I may step up to the federal level once I return. I would love to come back to Olympia, however. I know that because of my MPA and life experience, I will have many opportunities available to me. The MPA is highly respected in Olympia, especially in state government.

8. Any other thoughts about MPA, the Peace Corps or anything else you’d like to tell current or prospective MPA students?

MPA, while certainly challenging, was one of the most rewarding times of my life. I made life-long friends, made it through one of the toughest budget crunches in the history of the country, and gained so much insight into the workings of government. Peace Corps is a life changing, humbling experience because of the preparation I received from the MPA. To anyone looking into the program, come check out some classes, visit with the students, and see if you can prepare for the work-life-school balance. The MPA is a respected program and will open many doors to you personally and professionally. Studying PA in a state capital is an invaluable resource.

Shaz Davison: MPA 1999

Shaz Davidson and O Neills

1. What led to you the Evergreen MPA program?

I have always leaned toward social justice. Even as a child, I picketed my church when they said that I, as a girl, could not serve the altar. I have also been motivated by my desire to understand and feel why people make the choices they do, commit certain acts, and live a particular lifestyle. These concerns have led me to developing restorative justice programs in prisons, developing a program and documentary for tsunami victims in India demarcating their process of healing and survival, and now, the Peace Corps.

I believe my passion to dig to the root of the issue stems from growing up with a severe case dyslexia. Unfortunately my challenges all the way through primary school (70’s and 80’s) were erroneously diagnosed. I was a creative kid and felt that I had much to offer, but the focus was always on fixing me to be something I was not, rather than paying attention to what I had to give. I knew there had to be a school somewhere out there that would not only embrace my way of learning but celebrate what I had to offer. This ultimately led me to Evergreen, first as an undergraduate, then as a graduate student in the MPA program.

I chose Evergreen's MPA program because I wanted my graduate education to be built upon the same innovative and interdisciplinary approach that I experienced as an undergrad. More specifically, in the public administration arena I wanted to expand my knowledge of governance and deepen my understanding of systems of diverse social change.

2. What led you to the Peace Corps?

After a career position in a women’s prison in West Virginia fell through, I began searching for work that would give me some independence and enable me to develop my own programming and best serve populations most in need of social change. Immediately the Peace Corps came to mind.

3. Briefly describe your current work and assignment with the Peace Corps.Shaz Davidson with Village Kids

Normally the Peace Corps has a volunteer concentrate on one area/town, but I have been given an ambitious assignment: to start up an advocacy program for older persons in each of the eight districts and towns in Belize. The group I work with is called VOICE. Their primary objective is to ensure older persons have a voice around issues concerning health care, pension, discounted rates, preferential seating on buses etc. As it stands now, none of those issues are fully implemented or supported. I travel extensively on buses throughout the entire country and meet with potential partners and advocates, conduct trainings and do my best to garner momentum, excitement and interest for the members in each district. Advocacy is an intangible outcome so it can be laborious and challenging to keep everyone feeling positive but I am looking forward to the positive change we will accomplish together.

4. Most inspiring thing you’ve experienced or learned so far?

I am only a month into my service as I write this, but even at this early stage, it is so inspiring to see how the older persons with whom I am collaborating are beginning to feel a renewed sense of life and really embrace and believe in their potential and skills, through the work we are doing together. It is so rewarding to see the older people feel like they can make a difference. This is something that will forever stay with me.

5. Most challenging?

For me, the most challenging aspect of working in Belize with the Peace Corps is dealing with the bureaucracy. But at the same time, it allows me to stretch myself in ways I would not otherwise have the opportunity to do. In Belize, so much is intertwined with politics. This presents unique challenges given that we are asked, as Peace Corps volunteers, not to engage in or converse about political issues. Yet we are thrust into environments that are political and divisive. Finding techniques to meet these challenges requires understanding the intricacies of Belizean politics. The entire experience feels a bit oxymoronic and uncomfortable at times. But it's something we all accept as part of our every day life as Peace Corps Volunteers. I embrace the opportunity to garner information in a way that honors all voices and views.

6. How did MPA prepare you for the Peace Corps? Specifically what are you bringing from MPA to your work in the Peace Corps?

Evergreen enhanced my life in ways I could have never otherwise imagined. The MPA program and Evergreen’s interdisciplinary modality of teaching and learning really gave me an opportunity to blossom in a way that speaks so well to my strengths and skill set. Evergreen and the MPA program nurture a culture of initiative, innovation and unique perspective while also exposing global injustices and our part in them. Evergreen provided me with the knowledge to effectively and compassionately assess an environment, investigate the root of the problem and communicate in a way that honors those cultures with whom I have the privilege to interact.  As a Greener, I was honored and celebrated for what I have to offer, and so I have flourished. Now I can offer the same to others who have yet to discover or uncover her or his potential. There is so much to uncover in this world and that is something The Evergreen State College understands and celebrates, one student at a time.

7. After the Peace Corps (when does it end for you?), what are you thinking is next for you?

I have just begun my service here in Belize, so I have two years to go. I have *no* idea where I will go next but I do know that I will continue social justice work in an effort to bridge the global gap and celebrate the diversity of our global community as best I can. Along with my MPA Greener colleagues, Breezie and Danny O’Neil also serving here in Belize, I hope together we will leave behind seeds that will flourish for years to come. And as Americans, I hope we are seen as peace-makers who will, 50 years after President Kennedy’s vision, continue to embrace the model of world peace, one volunteer at a time.

8. Any other thoughts about MPA, the Peace Corps or anything else you’d like to tell current or prospective MPA students?

More personally, I invite every Greener to consider becoming part of the Peace Corps family (or other volunteer programs). It just may be the best family you will ever be part of, and it will undoubtedly lead you to profound life-changing, ego-shrinking experiences that will stay with you and the villagers you work with forever.