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Sarah Jonson

Degree, Program, and date of graduation: Masters of Public and International Affairs, TBD

Dates of working with the WGD Program: August 2013 – May 2014, IPM IL GGT Graduate Assistant

What work did you do with the WGD program?

"I worked with the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab's Gender Global Theme this past year assisting with administrative tasks, research, and reports. Specifically, much of my time was spent organizing and analyzing data from Bangladesh regarding the gendered impact pathway of Trichoderma in two rural locations."

Most exciting experience, interesting discovery, or connections made:

"You'd be surprised how interesting one's cubicle can be in an office filled with such interesting people and projects. Personally, I was fascinated by the similarities and differences in gender dimensions across contexts. An important takeaway from my work with the WGD program is that one should always question the way their identity and purpose impact one's position as an outsider in an unknown environment."

After-graduation plans:

"For now, graduation sits on the horizon as I will not receive my degree until 2017 after returning from my Peace Corps service in Namibia where I will be involved with community and economic development. I am hoping my time there will help me better understand what avenue I want to pursue international work through. I always envisioned myself working for an international NGO, but am drawn to research and teaching as well."

How has the WGD program influenced your future?

"The extent to which my assumptions about gender and culture were repeatedly questioned and reformed has been such necessary preparation for my Peace Corps service. Based on my work with the WGD program, I feel confident that my participation in future development projects will be more participatory and gender-sensitive."