Katia Michalopoulos (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018) - Ms. Michalopoulos is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where her senior thesis was inspired by ASPIRE. The project involved the design and construction of an interactive learning environment for use by the ASPIRE team to support communication and outreach efforts. As a Presidential Scholar and Gladys Marcus Award Nominee for Excellence in Liberal Arts, Ms. Michalopoulos is passionate about combining academia with design in her work to create innovative solutions and impactful user experiences. After graduation she plans to obtain a position within an interdisciplinary design firm before eventually pursuing her Master’s degree in Engineering and Design Methodologies.
Betsy Miles (January 2018 - present) - Ms. Miles is supporting Providers ASPIRE during her studies at Columbia School of Social Work. She is involved in ASPIRE’s research on secondary trauma among direct service providers in Turkey. Ms. Miles received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism from Macalester College. Prior to coming to CSSW, Ms. Miles worked as the Intake Coordinator at Bellevue/NYU’s Program for Survivors of Torture and as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the International Rescue Committee’s New York Resettlement Office. Ms. Miles’ interests include mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian emergencies and trauma and resilience.
Patrick Lim (January 2018 - present) - Mr. Lim is supporting Providers ASPIRE during his MSW studies at Columbia School of Social Work. His current field placement is at International High School at Union Square. Mr. Lim has also volunteered with the International Rescue Committee for the past three years. Mr. Lim received his Bachelor’s from Georgetown University, where he researched the role of education in durable solutions for Syrian refugees. His interests include refugee response - particularly in the Middle East, education in emergencies, higher education for refugees and the displaced, and psychosocial support for survivors of trauma.
Henriette Chacar (September - May 2017) - Ms. Chacar managed ASPIRE’s early digital presence. She completed a dual master’s in Journalism and International Affairs at Columbia University in May 2017, and is currently a Fall Fellow at The Intercept. Previously, she was a researcher on Frontline’s Confronting ISIS documentary, and covered human rights for Uptown Radio. Henriette was born and bred in Jaffa. As a Palestinian, the plight of refugees hits close to home for her. You can follow Henriette on Twitter @HenrietteChacar.
Manman "Winnie" Wang, MSW (January - April 2017) - Ms. Wang interned at ASPIRE during her second year as an MSW student at Columbia School of Social Work, where she focused on Social Enterprise Administration. Ms. Wang’s research interests included intervention modalities in the content of contemporary social issue. Prior to coming to the United States in 2015, Ms. Wang completed her bachelor degree in Law and double majored in Economics at Peking University, China. Currently, Ms. Wang is involved with ASPIRE’s research in Turkey and on secondary trauma for direct service providers..
Erin Mills (Spring 2017) - Ms. Mills completed an independent study with Dr. El-Bassel during her first year as an MSW student at Columbia School of Social Work. While with ASPIRE, Ms. Mills co-authored A systematic review of mental health studies for adult Syrian refugees: Gaps and implications for future mental health research (under review). Currently a dual-degree student at Social Work and International Affairs, she is concentrating on policy practice and international social welfare. Prior to coming to CSSW, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali and Madagascar, and spent five years working in refugee resettlement in Atlanta, Georgia. Erin’s academic interests include mental health and psychosocial support, resilience, and cultural perspectives on health and mental health, particularly in the context of forced migration and complex humanitarian emergencies.
Susan Poznyansky, MSW (February - April 2017) - Ms. Poznyansky interned with SIG and supported ASPIRE during her second year as an MSW student at Columbia School of Social Work. While with ASPIRE, Ms. Poznyansky spearheaded the communication and community outreach strategies. She received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Antioch University in Seattle, WA with an area of concentration in Educational Leadership for Environmental and Social Justice. She has over a decade of experience supporting families with young children. Susan's family history is tied to the plight of refugees and immigrants; this motivates her to take actions in service of the current refugee crisis, and community based participatory research..