Profiles of our 2018 - 2019 students
Abubakarr Sidik Sesay (Sierra Leone)
Sidik has worked as a Senior Communications Officer at Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) Secretariat in Sierra Leone.
He chose the Communication and Development program because he thinks it is a unique discipline for anyone who wants to be an agent of positive change and development in society.
After CommDev, Sidik will gain more advanced studies “so that I can be well prepared to go back and make meaningful contribution to the development of my country.”
His favorite spot in Athens is Wendy's: “Friendly staff, reasonable cost.”
Angela Maria Mendez (Colombia)
Angela holds a degree on Mass Communication and Journalism. She worked for about four years with the UN Agency for Refugees in Colombia as a program assistant and public information assistant. She has experience in working with children, youth and women from rural and urban areas who have been forcibly displaced. In addition, she loves community work and has a passion for people and their power to overcome difficulties. Angela chose the CommDev program because she wanted to learn how to use communication for social change, especially in contexts of conflict resolution and peace-building:
“Communication is a powerful mechanism to influence people's perceptions and behaviors and when used at grassroots levels, it has positive impacts on community empowerment, participation, behavioral change, reconciliation, resilience and even collective memory; so the MA on CommDev at Ohio University was a perfect fit for me. I have learned a lot about participatory communication, research methods and development.” After graduating, she plans to travel for a while and then go back home and start working in the field of communication for peace-building. She would love to go back to the UN or any other organization working in area of peace and reconciliation.
Her favorite spot in Athens is the terrace at the Baker University Center: “In autumn, it is an amazing place to sit, relax and enjoy the warm weather and the breeze!”
Carina Capitine (Mozambique)
Carina’s first degree is in Communication Sciences from Universidade Politécnica in Maputo (Mozambique). She is a communications professional, with five years experience in the profit and nonprofit sectors. Her most meaningful professional experiences were working for 4 years as Communication and Documentation Officer for Associação Lambda (Mozambique’s biggest LGBT organization) and in 2017 and 2018 organizing the TEDxKaMpfumo conference in Maputo.
Carina chose CommDev because she is interested in further developing her knowledge about the use of communication to generate a positive social change that enables citizens to access rights and free expression, especially related to gender issues (women and LGBT).
After CommDev, she plans to return to Mozambique and pursue opportunities that enable her to interact and bring positive change to the communities she has access to, especially regarding sexual and reproductive rights.
Her favorite place to be in Athens is anywhere with a pool “because I miss the beach and being close to water makes me feel closer to home. Also, because I have very good memories of enjoying the pool and the sun in my first weeks after arriving in the US.”
Claudia Cisneros Méndez (Peru)
Claudia is a journalist and an activist for Human and Civil Rights. In 2014 she won the Journalism National Award for Human Rights in Perú.
Claudia chose CommDev in order to expand her knowledge and skills in communication and contributing to sustainable development and democracy in her country.
Claudia is still not sure about her plans after graduating. She is currently studying for a second Master's in the Journalism from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.
“I might go back to my country or decide to pursue a Ph.D. I still have time to decide my path.”
Her favorite spot in Athens is the Appalachian roads in Fall. “Beautiful colored landscapes, its leaves floating and dancing all over while they fall from the trees... magical!"
Delight Jessica Agboada (Ghana)
Delight Jessica Agboada obtained her Bachelors in Ewe Education and Masters in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Education, Winneba. Prior to her admission to the CommDev program, she worked as a Program Assistant with the Center for Media and Development Communication, Winneba. She selected CommDev because it is a program that provides her the platform to hone her teaching ambition as well develop the expertise in higher education and research underpinned by her lifelong quest of improving lives.
Two years from now, Delight plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Health and Development to further develop her passion. As an upcoming facilitator and educator, her goal is to raise the next generational thinkers and engage in a type of research that aims at improving health and development at the grassroots level.
Her favorite spot in Athens thus far is Thai Paradise: “simply because I love spicy food and their food is by far the best I have tasted in Athens.”
Delphine De Gryse (Belgium)
Delphine De Gryse studied journalism at the Artevelde University College Ghent. She has worked as communication officer and editor at the Public Center for Social Welfare of Bruges (Belgium) and as a visiting instructor at Manizales University (Colombia). She is pursuing the Master in Communication and Development studies because she believes that positive and sustainable social change is about understanding and involving the communities you are working with. She sees communication as an essential component in every development process.
Delphine explains that CommDev gave her the possibility to choose the specializations she is most interested in, such as social justice, women's and gender studies, visual communication, migration and refugee studies. She also mentions the multicultural setting of the CommDev program.
Her favorite spot in Athens is the pool on a hot summer day, her bed on a cold winter day and a quiet room at Alden library on a study day.
Habiba Mohamed (Egypt)
Habiba Mohamed is a second-year student in Communication and Development master’s program. She anticipates graduating in May 2019. She believes that her whole personal and professional life experience has guided her to be an activist and to pursue a stable development academic background. She has been volunteering and working in many NGOs, Initiatives, and Institutions advocating for women rights.
Habiba believes that the revival of nations can only happen if there are equal opportunities for everyone in society to participate in social change. That is why she decided to do her master’s in CommDev related to women rights.
Harry Morgan Insaidoo (Ghana)
Morgan went to Komeda College of Education, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and University of Education-Winneba, all in Ghana. He is a teacher and graphic designer. Morgan worked with Oxygen Adverting as a visualizer, Brandimagery as graphic designer, Himex Printing Press as Designer & Production Manager, Adentiti Publication as designer & Manager, and finally at Presbyterian Senior High School as a Graphic Design Teacher.
He chose CommDev because he is passionate about development and wants to help bring smiles onto the faces of the marginalized in society. That’s where he hopes to gain real job satisfaction.
After graduating, he hopes to work with an international NGO where he can travel across low-middle income countries to effect social change.
“If that doesn't happen, then I will start an NGO.”
His favorite spot in Athens? “I don’t think I have found one yet because I am mostly indoors. Hopefully, I will go out often in the second semester."
Jennan Andrew (Trinidad and Tobago)
Jennan’s first degree was in Integrated Marketing Communications and then she worked for 2.5 years as the Communications Manager at an NGO in Trinidad. Her work with civil society organizations in the Caribbean region peaked her interest in the way communication could be used to change people's perceptions toward marginalized individuals and she felt that the CommDev program would be the best place to help her adopt skills, best practices and strategies to better do this work.
After graduating from CommDev she plans to travel the world and would also like to do primarily consultancy work in the areas of M&E and project development and management.
Her favorite spot in Athens is… her apartment: “I mean I loved Old Man's Cave when we visited, and I enjoy a good drink at Jackie O's but as much as I enjoy living here, nowhere makes me feel as relaxed and happy as my apartment after a long day.”
Mary-Magdalene Chumbow (Cameroon)
Mary-Magdalene obtained her Bachelor in Electronic Media with a focus on journalism from Daystar University in Kenya. She has worked as a radio presenter, news reporter, corporate communications liaison, producer and digital marketer over the past five years. She explains why she chose to study CommDev.
“It is one of the very few programs globally that combines communication studies and development studies, allowing me to grow in my journalism career. I am passionate about being able to tell the real African stories (not what the West would like to tell the world about Africa) and in order to do that, I needed to expand my horizon of knowledge on global issues to do with communication as well as development. What better way to do that than through a program that combines both studies in one?”
After graduating, she plans to further pursue a degree in emerging media and communication, and start up some work with the girl child (especially young mothers) in Cameroon, in order to give them opportunities to train in communication areas such as blog writing, photography, audio and video production.
Her favorite spots in Athens are the Bird Arena and the Aquatic Center: “My son plays ice hockey and I love swimming so the two sports being found in adjacent buildings works for me.”
Natalie Acosta (Honduras)
Natalie holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the Catholic University of Honduras and has worked for 5 years as a Fundraiser and Event Planner for Nonprofit organizations in Honduras.
She chose CommDev in order to imrpove her skills with developing successful fundraising campaigns and events. Since she was often involved in designing communication strategies, she was looking for a master's program that could provide her knowledge and skills about Communication for Social Change.
“The Fulbright Program connected me with CommDev, which has allowed me to take multidisciplinary courses that I meticulously chose to fit the needs I had for becoming a better professional.”
After graduating Natalie wants to build a platform that offers online training, mentoring and consulting services about communication strategies for nonprofit organizations.
Her favorite sport in Athens is the Clock outside Baker Center: “I feel it's iconic. I've taken pictures of it at different moments during my time in Athens, and they all remind me of the challenges I've overcome while being here.”
Neela Hassan (Afghanistan)
Neela obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (UNOCHA) as monitoring officer in Afghanistan for two years. Prior to her job at the UN, she worked for the Afghans for Progressive Thinking non-profit organization as project manager. In addition, Neela has experience of working for different Afghan media as an anchor and reporter.
She chose the CommDev program because she believes communication is a vital tool for social change, development and conflict resolution. The program gave Neela the opportunity to specialize in her favorite field of War and Peace studies.
After graduation, Neela is planning to work with non-profits in social change and conflict resolution fields.
The Baker Center terrace is her favorite spot in Athens: “It is the one place that makes me feel good when I am stressed or homesick.”
Nikolai Rubanovskii (Russia)
Nikolai obtained his Bachelor in International Relations from the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhniy Novgorod. He interned in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and at the EastWest Institute. He has also worked as a Social Media Planner.
He chose to study Communication Development because he believes problems all over the world can be fixed with enough will both from the governments and the people.
"CommDev allows me to help develop that will and drive social change." After graduating he would like to work in a non-profit specialized in international development, government scrutiny and human rights protection.
His favorite spot in Athens is the pool in RiverGate Apartments: ‘Why? I love pools, are you kidding? Also, I come from a cold country, which does not have outside pools. They make me feel like I am on vacation.”
Richard Quarshie (Ghana)
Richard Quarshie obtained his diploma in Journalism, B.A Strategic Communications (Advertising and Public Relations) from the African University College of Communications.
He chose to study CommDev to learn the skills to address social change issues in societies he finds himself in. After graduating he plans to continue with his social change advocacy programs.
His favorite spot in Athens is… his bed: “coming back home after a long day and seeing it makes me thankful to have gotten through another day."
Senya Afi Ghamli (Ghana)
Afi graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in French. After six years working in product management, marketing and corporate communications at technology firm, Hubtel (Ghana), she took a break to undertake a Masters Degree in Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University.
During Afi's first semester at OU, the Seminar in Communication and Development course piqued her interest in development related issues, and she later applied to the program. Currently a first-year student in the Communication and Development Studies program, her research interests include technology and development, health communication and she is passionate about women empowerment.
When Afi is not traveling, she spends her time reading or blogging.