Leadership

               

Caroline Martin

Co-Director of Projects

M.Ed., IEPM '17

Bio

Caroline Martin

Co-Director of Projects

M.Ed. ’17 | International Education Policy and Management 

Originally from Chicago, I came to Vanderbilt for my undergraduate degree to study public policy with a focus on education policy. After college, I worked with Teach For America, teaching 7th grade English for two years, after which I helped found KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School as the founding 9th grade English teacher.  Through these experiences, I developed a strong passion for fighting against education inequality and working to empower and build the capacity of those marginalized by society or caught in the cycle of poverty through quality education. I am very thankful for the opportunity to get my masters in International Education at Vanderbilt and to learn about the policies and organizations that shape our education system here in the States and internationally.

I deeply believe in addressing issues of poverty and empowering communities through approaches that are sustainable, multidimensional and community-driven. All three of these characteristics of development are fundamental underlying principles of Project Pyramid and the Turner Family Center and I had the opportunity to see each come into play in powerful ways through the course this past year and through my project in Guatemala. I couldn’t be more excited to work to strengthen both our existing and new partnerships with incredible development organizations abroad and in the States by prioritizing these three characteristics. I look forward to working hard as Co-director of Projects to create influential and growing opportunities for Vanderbilt students to learn from and work alongside effective organizations to empower communities all over the world.

Devyn Riley

Director of Alumni Affairs

M.S. Nursing '18

Bio

Devyn Riley

Director of Alumni Affairs

M.S. Nursing ’18 | Nurse Midwife

I graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR in 2010 with an anthropology degree. Working on a family planning project in rural Tanzania solidified my passion for midwifery and I spent the next years gaining experience in the women’s health field. My professional experience includes working as a Surrogate Coordinator for a gestational surrogacy center and substantial volunteer work in hospitals, doula programs, and at a refugee center teaching health literacy. I came to Vanderbilt to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and hope to use my degree to provide sexual education and health services to both domestic and international underserved communities.

I have found Project Pyramid to be immensely helpful in providing real-world experience to address some of the challenges in poverty alleviation. These tools and skills will continue to be helpful as I seek to improve access to quality healthcare both internationally and at home. As Director of Alumni Affairs, I am excited to connect past Project Pyramid cohorts with current students so that they may share broad expertise and knowledge.

Julia Iyo

President

MBA '17

Bio

Julia Iyo

President

MBA ’17 |

I graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication for Social Development. My passion for communications and strategy led me to pursue a career in the human resources and corporate social responsibility fields. In Peru, I spent four years helping organizations to become more efficient and sustainable by implementing change management projects.

Knowing that graduate education would provide the tools and skills to become a more impactful leader, I came to Vanderbilt to pursue a Master in Business Administration. As a part of the leadership team of Project Pyramid, I hope to expand my knowledge of social enterprise and create more opportunities for students to get involved.

Lorez Qehaja

VP of Finance

M.A., GPED '17

Bio

Lorez Qehaja

VP of Finance

M.A. ’17 | Graduate Program of Economic Development

I am a first year student in the GPED program. I came to US for the first time in September 2016, as part of a scholarship provided by USAID and Kosovo government. I finished my undergraduate studies at the American University in Kosovo, which is a branch of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. My majors were Economics and Management with a minor in Public Policy. My interests are in poverty and development issues, focusing more on agriculture and economic development. During my senior year of undergraduate studies, as part of the Honor Society, I published a paper on the opportunity of Kosovo to develop an agriculture futures market. Interested in research, I also worked with a macroeconomics professor as a research assistant on his paper regarding the Macroeconomic Framework of Kosovo. Economists Club and Charity Club were the two most important undergraduate-related clubs with which I enjoyed working. Prior to coming to the US, I worked at a marketing and PR firm in Kosovo and was also privately engaged in developing business plans for newly established businesses seeking for grants or funding from international organization that operate in Kosovo.

I come from Kosovo, a developing country that has been going through tough times the last 15 years, from the time the war ended. Coming from a country where 29% of the population lives in poverty, with less than $2 per day, I have seen what other countries in a similar situation are facing. There has been a lot of help through aid and community development grants provided to Kosovo, but most of the time direct aid—meaning giving money without any technical assistance—has not been helpful and ended up in corruption. Taking Project Pyramid this semester has really portrayed another opportunity for businesses in developing countries to receive help and adopt the business practices of developed world. Working in a social enterprise or socially responsible corporation is a very good way to tackle poverty. Since this concept of social enterprise is fairly new in Kosovo, I want to gain knowledge through the TFC and Project Pyramid and then apply it in my home country, where it is most needed.

Maheen

Co-Director of Projects

M. Ed., IEPM '17

Bio

Maheen

Co-Director of Projects

M.Ed. ’17 | International Education Policy and Management 

I am a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in International Education Policy & Management at the Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt University. Before coming to the US, I worked as a Research Officer for Alif Ailaan (Transforming Education in Pakistan), a political advocacy campaign for education and have been highly invested in the bettering delivery mechanism for education in the underprivileged areas of Pakistan. I strongly believe in access to quality education as an instrument for development. I am also a strong advocate for investing in women and their empowerment as an effective solution for bringing prosperity at the household level and ultimately at the community level.

As part of the Project Pyramid 2015-16, I have been one of the four students consulting for Moringa Madres, an initiative helping women in a “hand up rather than a handout” approach based in San Juan Cosala, Mexico. I deeply value the interdisciplinary approach of Project Pyramid to design sustainable solutions for eradicating poverty. My idea of success is enabling the individuals to self-actualize their potential in bringing about this change and I am determined to continue playing my role as a part of this student led initiative. I will serve as the Co-Director of Projects for the year 2016-2017 where I will be leading the identification of potential partners to work with for alleviating poverty.

Sarah Stephanoff

Director of Curriculum

M.Ed., CDA '17

Bio

Sarah Stephanoff

Director of Curriculum

M.Ed. ’17 | Community Development and Action

I graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Education. I then taught public school for seven years. My desire to expand my impact on students’ and families’ lives brought me to the Community Development and Action program at Peabody College. My main interests include the intersection of communities and public education, as well as immigrant and refugee advocacy.

I participated in Project Pyramid to collaborate with students from multiple disciplines and learn how to engage in ethical development internationally. I then decided to continue with Project Pyramid as part of the leadership team in order to build upon its strong foundation and continue to improve the experience for future students.

Taylor Moore

Vice President

MBA '17

Bio

Taylor Moore

Vice President

MBA ’17 |

I grew up in a south suburb of Chicago with my parents and younger brother. I attended Texas A&M University where I received my B.S. in Food and Bioprocessing Engineering. I worked for 3 years with Procter & Gamble, managing engineering capacity expansion projects for Tide Pods and packaging/supply chain optimization for Febreze. With my father’s business, PacMoore, as an example of a for-profit company focused intently on creating jobs and bringing faith to the world, I decided to attend Vanderbilt Owen School of Management to earn my MBA in Finance and Strategy as a next step towards building a similar career path. I plan on either working in Private Equity upon graduation or starting my own food technology company.

For-profit businesses have an incredible opportunity to change the economic landscape of our world not only through job creation, but also through investment in people. The TFC and Project Pyramid give us as students the opportunity to use our backgrounds and strengths to work with young companies in emerging regions and see life change in the families affected by this work. As a Christian, I believe I am called, through business, to multiply that which has be entrusted to me and use it for the well-being of others, both physically and spiritually. Project Pyramid is my first opportunity to exercise this calling, working with communities deep in poverty and making a change through investment, job creation, and relationships. Thank you to the TFC for making this dream a reality!