Virginia Tech® home

Daniel Sumner

Degree, Program, and date of graduation: Geography, MSc, May 16, 2014

Dates of working with the WGD Program:

·         August 2012 – May 15 2013: WGD Graduate Assistant;

·         May 30 2013 – August 15 2013: SANREM Innovation Lab Graduate Research Assistant;

·         August 2013 – May 15 2014: WGD Graduate Assistant

What work did you do with the WGD program?

"As a graduate assistant, my work consisted of administrative support for several USAID research for development projects including the SANREM and IPM Innovation Labs and the InnovATE program. I prepared posters and presentations for domestic and international conferences, and assisted with preparing proposals, reports, work plans and budgets. Additionally, I helped coordinate the Women and Gender in International Development Discussion Series. My work for the SANREM Innovation lab included fieldwork in Northwestern Cambodia and writing a thesis investigating the gendered dimensions of a conservation agriculture development program."

Most exciting experience, interesting discovery, or connections made:

"Working with the WGD program has opened up new opportunities and allowed me to gain a greater awareness of the world and the intersection between gender, cultural, and the environment. I have had the privilege to be a part of the multidisciplinary WGD research team and been able to learn from and work with researchers, students, and farmers involved with WGD projects."

Where did you go after graduating?

“After graduating, I worked as a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Gender Specialist for ACDI/VOCA in Washington, D.C. ACDI/VOCA is an international non-profit focused on fostering economic development within developing countries through broad-based economic growth and inclusive market development. In that role, I helped to develop a guidance document and recommendations to structure ACDI/VOCA project learning related to gender integration and impact. I also worked closely with ACDI/VOCA’s Regional M&E and Technology Innovation teams to expand geographically-informed thinking and analysis, through the application of a spatial perspective and geospatial technologies. My experiences at OIRED were integral to understanding the complex intersections between empowerment, market systems, institutional strengthening, and innovation that formed the focus of my work with ACDI/VOCA."

How has the WGD program influenced your future?

"My work with the WGD program has opened up exciting new opportunities and allowed me to build upon my undergraduate education experiences. I now have the understanding of how gender structures the everyday lived experiences of men and women, but more importantly I have learned how integral gender and gendered aspects of daily life are to developing sustainable livelihoods that are adaptable to the future challenges."