Fellows Directory

Elly Sukup 2011-2012 Fellow with UN World Food Programme, Ethiopia Iowa State Class of 2008

Alumni Update:

Following her fellowship in Ethiopia, Elly moved to London to pursue her MA in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). After four years of living abroad, she is currently back in Iowa working as a Lecturer in the Global Resource Systems program at Iowa State University. While it is strange being on the other side of the desk, she gets to spend her summers in Uganda conducting research on youth entrepreneurship activities and livelihood opportunities while serving as faculty co-lead for their service learning program.

Fellow Bio:

Elly (Iowa State ‘08) graduated with a double major in Public Service and Administration in Agriculture and International Agriculture. A native of Sheffield, Iowa, Elly previously worked for the World Food Programme in Ghana as a 2010-2011 Princeton in Africa Fellow.  After such a positive experience the first time around, she was thrilled to receive the opportunity to do it all over again!  Prior to her year in Ghana, Elly worked for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and a small NGO in Liberia.  While she loved her time in Ghana, Elly is looking forward to experiencing a new culture, eating lots of Ethiopian food, learning a new side of WFP’s work (in Ghana she worked as a Programme Officer, in Ethiopia she will work in Public Information), and, of course, drinking lots and lots of Ethiopian coffee.

Veda Sunassee 2010-2011 Fellow with African Leadership Academy, South Africa Princeton University Class of 2010

Fellow Bio:

Veda ’10 hails from the small island St Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. He came to Princeton thinking to major in Mechanical Aerospace Engineering but is actually graduating in Politics, with a certificate in Political Economy. Veda has always been very involved with the international community at Princeton. Between his sophomore and junior year, Veda spent a year off in Mauritius, where he founded the Young Volunteers Association. Back in Princeton, he explored the field of Social Entrepreneurship and interned at Ashoka in Washington DC  last year. While he is sad to give up on French theater, which he has been doing for the last five years, he is really excited to go work with the young folks at the African Leadership Academy and be the world traveler and the citizen of the World that he wants to be.

Johnna Sundberg 2015-2016 Fellow with Spark MicroGrants, Rwanda University of Wisconsin-Madison Class of 2015

Originally from Wayzata, Minnesota, Johnna is a graduate of UW-Madison where she majored in Economics and Political Science. During her time at Madison, she held leadership positions with Madison’s chapter of Amnesty International and interned with several organizations, including the United Nations Foundation and the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Additionally, she completed several service-learning projects working with vulnerable populations in Philadelphia, Nicaragua and Cambodia. Her junior year, she studied Swahili and development in Zanzibar, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya as a Boren Scholar. While in Kenya, she also had the opportunity to intern with Ruben Microfinance in the Mukuru slum and research challenges women entrepreneurs face within the community. Next year, Johnna is excited to explore more of East Africa, improve her French, and learn about community-led development initiatives through her work with Spark.

Catherine Sutcliffe Brooks 2002-2003 Fellow with Right to Play, Ethiopia Princeton University Class of 2001
Staci Sutermaster 2016-2017 Fellow with Lwala Community Alliance, Kenya Pennsylvania State University Class of 2015 Read Staci's Notes from the Field

Staci graduated with an Honors B.S. degree in Bioengineering from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. After helping set up and run a temporary medical clinic in Ghana, Staci volunteered in Cape Town, South Africa with One Heart Source, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering children through education. She returned to work with the non-profit for two consecutive years to co-manage and innovate programs. During the summer of 2015, Staci led the health volunteer program and built community partnerships for 2016 expansion. As a student in the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program at Penn State, she integrated her public health interests with the launch of technology-based social enterprises. She conducted a study in Kenya to evaluate handgrip strength as a diabetes-risk screening tool, resulting in a Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology publication. In addition, Staci co-developed a business model to expand an affordable greenhouse venture to Mozambique and contributed to a published manuscript investigating the integration of entrepreneurial and vocational training. Staci conducted further research in Zambia to identify healthcare pathways and evaluate mobile health projects’ potential to reduce gaps in care. Staci looks forward to a challenging, transformative year with Lwala Community Alliance in Kenya!

Chris Suzdak 2012-2013 Fellow with Olam International, Gabon Occidental College Class of 2012 Check out Chris's Blog

Alumni Update:

After completing his fellowship, Chris went on to work with One Acre Fund, where he is now a Program Manager for their operations in Malawi.

Fellow Bio:

Chris is an economics major from Baltimore, MD. At Occidental College, he managed a student-run coffee shop and served as the vice president of a six-figure student investment fund. During his summers, he travelled to Ghana to explore the complexity and potential of development. In 2010, this was through a Davis Project for Peace grant and then in 2011, he conducted field research into the impact of microfinance on traditional chieftaincy. As a Fellow with Olam in Gabon next year, Chris looks forward to learning how large corporations can pursue a social mission in Africa – and picking up French along the way!

Yassi Tamdji 2011-2012 Fellow with Student Sponsorship Programme, South Africa Georgetown University Class of 2011

Alumni Update:

Yassi is currently still full-time with Community Resource Exchange, a consulting firm for nonprofits in NYC, and pursuing a graduate degree part-time at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School. Her most meaningful weekends are spent catching up with SSP Scholars in South Africa via Skype.

Fellow Bio:

Yassi (Georgetown ‘11) is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service and is from Queens, NY. At Georgetown, she majored in International Politics and also earned a certificate in African Studies. She was actively involved in campus ministry groups such as GU Sisters for Christ and GU Gospel Choir. Yassi has visited Chad and Central African Republic, where her parents are from, and studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in the spring of 2009. While there, she fell in love with the South African people, learned a great deal about the country’s history, politics, and culture and is excited to return and experience a new city as she works with Student Sponsorship Programme in Johannesburg.