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Saying Goodbye to Our Spring 2019 Students

As the first half of 2019 comes to a close, GRI wants to shed light on the wonderful work of our students. A mix of co-ops and work-study hires, our students cover a variety of topics in their work. From Opportunity Zones and Economic Development to Graphic Design, our students are an integral part of the work we do. Thank you to Madelinn, Carrline, Olivia, Kendall, Laura, Amar and Elya for all of your work this year!

Madelinn Headshot
Madelinn Harmelink: Co-op Researcher

During her time at GRI, Madelinn has mainly focused on the Roxbury Opportunity Zone, working to collect contextual information relating to Roxbury demographics for GRI’s Roxbury snapshot. Her work on this project will eventually be used to educate potential investors. Heading into her third year at Northeastern, Madelinn is pursuing a major in Environmental Studies, and she participates in TERRA environmental club at Northeastern. After leaving GRI, Madelinn will study at the University College Cork in Ireland this fall for a semester abroad. Her biggest takeaway from GRI is the importance of maintaining a global perspective when considering a problem, rather than viewing crises in isolation. Additionally, her experience at GRI has sharpened her ability to work with other people and organizations. A class that she recommends to other students is “Environment and Society” with Daniel Faber.

Carrline Headshot
Carrline Shrestha: Communications Assistant

At GRI, Carrline has worked as a communications assistant, mainly focusing on social media development and fostering stronger connections between GRI staff and faculty affiliates through media. At Northeastern, Carrline is heading into her third year and pursuing a major in Marketing Analytics with minors in Psychology and Data Science. In June, she participated in a geospatial workshop to analyze geographical data acquired from sensors mounted on satellites and aircraft. In July, Carrline will start her next co-op at iRobot as a Market Analyst. Outside of academics, Carrline pursues photography and has a passion for makeup, live music, yoga, and kickboxing. Carrline is from Nepal, and Nepali culture is central in her life. She looks forward to having time off from school and work to go back and visit!

Olivia Headshot
Olivia Sorenson: Administrative and Research Assistant

Olivia predominantly worked on event planning and research at GRI, writing blogs about the palm oil industry and environmental sustainability, the Jordanian economy, and the Venezuelan economic crisis. She also tracks event metrics and searches for new grant and business development opportunities. Outside of GRI, Olivia is pursuing an International Affairs major, with minors in Middle East Studies, Social Entrepreneurship, Arabic, History, Economics, and Global Health. She competes in Model Arab League, and researches Palestinian citizenship under Professor Denis Sullivan. This summer, Olivia will go on a Dialogue of Civilizations to India, where she will study social entrepreneurship through feminist pedagogy, focusing mainly on female entrepreneurs and community building through business. This fall, Olivia will co-op in Serbia at the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, where she will research civil rights movements around the world and organize nonviolence training workshops. From her time at GRI, Olivia has learned the value of interdisciplinary study, holistic approaches to development, and the importance of intersections of systems and infrastructure. A fun fact about Olivia is that she has been abroad to study every year that she has been at Northeastern! 

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Kendall Avenia: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kendall has had a long history at GRI. In 2019, she worked as a research assistant on Opportunity Zone projects, focusing on Puerto Rico and Maine. Later in the semester, Kendall took on more project-management and business development roles, focusing on corporate partnerships, executive education, and outreach development, through which she was able to see another side of GRI operations separate from her previous work as a research assistant. Currently, Kendall is applying to the UN Millennial Fellowship, an opportunity to develop her own funded community project which would work to advance one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Heading into her fourth year, Kendall is pursuing a combined major of Political Science and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. After GRI, Kendall will be casually looking for grad schools to apply to once she graduates Northeastern. What Kendall values most from her time at GRI is exposure to new areas of study, such as post-disaster resilience and Opportunity Zones. GRI’s work emphasizes the inter-dependencies in the world, which has inspired Kendall to view problem solving and development from an interdisciplinary perspective, and to see solutions as products of larger systems. Outside of GRI, Kendall works at the Boston Public Market and enjoys painting and drawing.

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Laura Shrago: Graphic Designer

Laura has worked as GRI’s Graphic Designer since January of 2019. She designs GRI’s booklets, reports, presentations, and other business development collateral so that GRI’s messaging and content is accessible and comprehensive to all who work for or with the institute. Developing a cohesive brand for GRI and the Global Resilience Research Network (GRRN) has been one of her main focuses, particularly when creating materials for the annual GRRN Summit that took place in Germany in March. Laura is passionate about graphic design as a tool to bridge the gap and foster communication between people in varying fields. She is entering her fourth year at Northeastern, pursuing a major in Design with a concentration in Graphic and Information Design and a minor in Art History. Outside of GRI, Laura has been involved in Northeastern’s student-led design studio, Scout, where she was on a team that branded and designed the packaging for an up-and-coming chocolate milk company. She also has a campus radio show and plays bassoon in the school band. Laura will continue to design for GRI when she returns to classes in the fall, after which she will do her last co-op.

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Throughout his time at GRI, Amar has predominantly focused on Opportunity Zones with a recent focus on Maine’s economic development and disaster relief capacity. The goal of this project is to apply the GRI’s Resilience Enhancement System (RES) to Maine’s Opportunity Zones, and the research team is currently in the process of writing a proposal for this project. From his research experience at GRI, Amar has learned the challenge of conducting research without clear knowledge of its future impact, and he has gained research leadership skills as he switched between ongoing projects. Previously, Amar focused on Charlotte, Puerto Rico, and Cleveland Opportunity Zone research projects, and although each one presented new challenges to data collection, the overarching goal to help prevent gentrification and preserve history was universal. Outside of GRI, Amar is heading into his final year at Northeastern, where he is pursuing a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He enjoys playing music with his band, going for runs and traveling. 

Elya Headshot
Elya Mariutsa: Co-op Research Assistant

Elya worked as the research lead for GRI’s New Orleans Opportunity Zones project, where her largest project was creating GRI’s New Orleans snapshot. This project reports on the city, culture, data, current state, history, and general demographic background on an Opportunity Zone to aid investors in their investments. Ultimately, she wrote five snapshots for different districts within New Orleans, and conducted over 70 interviews with New Orleans locals to build a baseline assessment of what the city needs most in terms of investment. During her time at GRI, Elya traveled to New Orleans twice to meet with the team of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, community organizations, and a variety of nonprofits operating within New Orleans. Outside of GRI, Elya is entering her fourth year at Northeastern where she is pursuing a degree in International Affairs and Political Science. Currently, she is a core student organizer of both March for Our Lives: Boston and March for Our Lives: Massachusetts, and holds various leadership positions at Northeastern within Student Government Association, Resident Life, United Nations Association of the United States and International Relations Council. In her free time, Elya loves to travel – after leaving GRI, Elya is headed to Geneva for a Northeastern study abroad program based out of the United Nations.