Natalie "Alie" Irwin (September 2017 - present) - Ms. Irwin is a second year MSW student at Columbia School of Social Work where she is concentrating on Advance General Practice and Programming. Throughout her year with ASPIRE, Ms. Irwin will be engaging with community outreach both offline and online, as well as continuing communication strategies within the consortium and ASPIRE’s overseas partners. She received her Bachelor of Arts from University of California at Berkeley with a concentration in Islam, and a minor in Anthropology. Before coming to CSSW, Ms. Irwin examined how Latina converts to Islam challenged secular-liberal feminism at New York University. Ms. Irwin’s academic interests include interfaith engagement, religious discrimination, and stigma, as well as capacity building within Muslim American communities.
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..
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..
Independent Studies & Consultants
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.
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.