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Peace Corps Fellows Alumni

Lloyd Banwart


Peace Corps Fellow, 2012 Applied Economics

As part of his master’s degree program at the Stevenson Center, Lloyd spent 11 months working with the Land O’Lakes International Development Division. During this professional practice experience, Lloyd’s primary responsibility was to organize and analyze baseline data for the Cooperative Development Project. He remarked, “Not a day of my fellowship went by that I was not challenged by the project or given the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the project.” Lloyd feels his experience as a Peace Corps Fellow at Illinois State enhanced his professional growth due to this balance between learning and responsibility.

Prior to his graduate work, Lloyd served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, where he worked with livelihood cooperatives. He also worked as a Business Manager for a Minnesota nonprofit providing mentorship and artistic opportunities to at-risk youth. Currently, Lloyd is an economist for TANGO International and leads quantitative and qualitative data collection activities across resource-scarce settings in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Lloyd provides technical leadership to TANGO’s overall research activities, including the oversight of survey methodology, survey design, tool development, study implementation, and analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal data.

Lloyd notes, “My Stevenson Center fellowship shaped my career and future life. The Stevenson Center has a lifelong advocate in me."

Katie Mitchell

Peace Corps Fellow, 2012 Sociology Katie Mitchell

“I visited the Center before deciding which Peace Corps Fellows graduate program to attend, and was drawn in by the quality of the people working at the Center and the support and genuine enthusiasm they showed for their students. I enjoyed being part of a small cohort of students with domestic and international service experience and appreciated the dedicated faculty and staff who supported us through our studies, internships, and thesis work. I really appreciated the mix of theory and practical experience that the Stevenson Center's Peace Corps Fellows program provided,” Katie remarked.

While serving in Peace Corps in Nicaragua, Katie worked as an environmental education volunteer. She taught interactive lessons integrating environmental themes with four primary school teachers in her community. Katie was also a liaison, translator, and project coordinator.

As a Peace Corps Fellow at Illinois State, Katie worked with ASPIRA, an organization committed to the self-determination of Latinos and other underserved youth. Katie now works as a College Liaison at the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas. She works directly with Institutional Researchers and other contacts at community colleges across the country and Canada, helping them facilitate student survey administration on their campuses and helping them access and understand their student survey data.

Katie added, “I feel like I have gotten an excellent education and overall experience out of my participation in the Peace Corps Fellows Program, and would (and will!) highly recommend it to others.”

Amber Madden

Peace Corps Fellow, 2013 Applied EconomicsViktor Schrader - Peace Corps Fellow, 2009 Economics

“The Stevenson Center staff go above and beyond to assist you during and even after the completion your studies.  The kind of one-on-one support is truly unique and makes this program special.” 

Amber served in Nicaragua, developing small businesses. She conducted needs-based community analysis to identify developmental opportunities and worked to help find markets and grants for local agricultural producers. During her Peace Corps service, Amber also provided entrepreneurship courses and basic skills training to local businesses and women’s groups.

Amber’s professional practice was with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in Chicago:  “I felt confident in expressing my opinion to upper management because of my educational background.  I knew that I had a good understanding of community development issues and my input was important.”  After finishing her master's, Amber worked there as a Training Projects Coordinator. She managed two HUD grants focusing on creating training programs on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Fair Housing rights of the LGBT community. Amber also built partnerships with local governments, housing authorities, and community organizations to assist in the identification of barriers to housing. Today Amber is the Senior Analyst: Programs and Policy Unit at The City of New York Office of Budget and Management.

2015-09-28T11:24:54.133-05:00 2015