Meet the 2017 Fellows

Version 2Victoria Barone
Dakar, Senegal
Victoria Barone is a Master’s candidate in International Development Studies at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, with a concentration in Gender, Education, and Development and a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She currently serves as the Vice President on the Executive Board for the Organization for International Development.  Prior to attending GW, Victoria was an academic advisor to undergraduate students in the College of Business at San Francisco State University and in the International & Area Studies department at University of California at Berkeley.  She has also worked in the nonprofit sector providing financial education across the United States and serving on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit arts organization.  Throughout this time she volunteered with a high school music program, providing pro bono college counseling.  Victoria is from San Francisco, California and earned her B.A. degree from University of California at San Diego in International Studies with emphases in sociology and development studies.  At UNESCO Dakar, Victoria is working on the Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Niger program, designing program activities to engage girls in STEM classes, to create school advisory and support structures which sensitize teachers, administrators, and communities about the importance of girls’ education, and to draft a strategy for the scale-up of the CapED Niger pilot program in gender-responsive STEM education.  Follow Victoria on Instagram or connect with her on LinkedIn.

UNESCO Bio-photoSuzanne Fils-Aime
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning – Hamburg, Germany
Suzanne Fils-Aime is a first year Master’s student in GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development in the International Education Program. Her concentration is in international exchange and educational opportunities in the MENA region. In the future, she hopes to work to foster international exchange for youth from the United States and the Arab world. Prior to this fellowship, she worked for the College Consortium for International Studies, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., managing their internal database and coordinating logistics for their annual conference. During her fellowship with the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg, Germany, she will work with the Literacy and Basic Skills team to develop case studies highlighting successful international literacy programs and best practices for adult learning. As a traveler and self-proclaimed foodie, Suzanne is excited to embrace German culture and is deeply honored to represent GW at UIL in Hamburg this summer.

IMG_0730Melissa Glynn
Bangkok, Thailand
Melissa Glynn is a currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in International Education with a specialization in education as a humanitarian response at the George Washington University. Professionally, she has worked for the university as an Admissions Coordinator for all Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education and International Education programs at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. In this role, she assisted students from all over the world complete the application process to join higher education teacher preparation programs. Prior to living in D.C., Melissa taught third grade as a general education teacher at a KIPP charter school in Newark, New Jersey. She began her education career as a Teach for America Corps Member in 2011, teaching fourth grade math and science at a public school in Houston, Texas. Melissa is originally from Pearl River, New York and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. At UNESCO Bangkok, Melissa will be working on the life-long learning team focusing primarily on education programming for stateless or migrant children. You can connect with Melissa on LinkedIn.

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 10.53.01 AMAishwarya Khurana
UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development – New Delhi, India
Aishwarya Khurana is a master’s candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in elementary education and will complete her degree in 2018. Belonging to a family of educators, she was always motivated to pursue a career in education and thus, she did undergraduate studies in elementary education. During undergraduate years, she interned at various schools (public, private, progressive and international) in different regions of India. Later, during her stint as an elementary teacher in a private school based in Delhi, she handled pedagogic sessions for children and got acquainted with the curricular issues in the Indian education system. This is when she decided to further her studies in curriculum and instruction at The George Washington University. Currently, she is employed at the university as a curriculum designer for the Institute of Middle-East Studies. As a part of her job, she designs curriculum for the teachers, does curriculum research on Middle-East culture and its literature, and organizes workshops. At UNESCO MGIEP, she will be working on framing a curriculum that develops mindfulness, critical thinking, and empathy and compassion in children and young adults, using digital technology to prevent violent extremism. You can find Aishwarya on Facebook and LinkedIn.

bioKelsey Sherbondy
UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning – Paris, France
Kelsey is a second-year master’s student in the International Education Program at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, specializing in international higher education capacity building and cooperation. She currently works for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, supporting volunteer member leaders across the organization’s 11 geographic regions. Prior to joining NAFSA staff in 2013, she taught English to secondary and postsecondary students in Angers, France, and held an education research fellowship with Save the Children. Kelsey serves on the Board of Young Professionals in International Education in D.C. (yPIE) and is a member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). She holds a B.A. in political science with an education policy concentration, as well as a French language minor from American University. While at the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), her primary focus will be a four-week educational planning and leadership training for women in ministries of education around the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn or Twitter.

ESolem UNESCO Fellows blog bio photo 1Elizabeth Solem
Amman, Jordan
Elizabeth Solem is a Master’s candidate of International Education with a focus on education development. Before her graduate studies, Elizabeth worked in two global health organizations in program and financial management, engaging with field teams in francophone West Africa, Southern Africa, and the Caribbean. During her studies, she has concentrated her research on topics of gender and education and education in emergencies. Elizabeth has also interned with or consulted for international development organizations like IRD/Blumont, the Global Fund for Children, World Vision, and the World Bank, contributing to education and gender research, new business development, and monitoring and evaluation. Elizabeth is working with the UNESCO Jordan Education Sector on several education access, quality, and system strengthening projects. This work includes supporting the development of a national education strategic plan with the Ministry of Education and supporting a teacher training program preparing teachers to instruct refugee and Jordanian students. After this UNESCO Fellowship, Elizabeth will remain in Amman, Jordan as a Boren Fellow to study Arabic until August 2018. Follow Elizabeth on Instagram and on Twitter.