Originally from New Jersey, Cassie attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Political Science and Spanish and minors in Latin American and Poverty Studies. During her junior year summer, she interned with Kids in Need of Defense, where she worked with unaccompanied minors in deportation proceedings, and this internship first sparked her passion for immigrant rights. After graduating college, Cassie moved to the U.S.-Mexico border to continue exploring this passion through a yearlong service program with Border Servant Corps. During her service, she worked in several immigration legal services non-profits, including Catholic Charities Legal Services, the Southwest Asylum and Migration Institute, and New Mexico Legal Aid. She worked on applications for humanitarian protections for immigrants, including U-Visa, VAWA, and asylum applications. After completing her service year, Cassie moved to New York City to work as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) fellow at the Central American Refugee Center in Long Island. For two years she worked on IJC’s deportation defense team representing Central American asylum seeking families before federal immigration courts. Cassie has been galvanized by the injustices she has seen in our immigration system, and it was the totality of her experiences in the immigration field that served as the impetus for her desire to apply to law school. Cassie is excited to attend law school and to one day become an attorney that can advocate on behalf of immigrant populations in court. She is thrilled and grateful to become a part of the PIPS community and to attend a law school devoutly committed to public service and social justice.
Sarah comes to AUWCL from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where she supported programs in peacebuilding, security sector and criminal justice reform, and community dialogues in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Prior to her position at USIP, Sarah led the Genocide Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, where she analyzed U.S. policies during the Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Darfur genocides through Freedom of Information Act requests and primary source research. She also worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Peace Fellow through the Washington, DC-based nonprofit, The Advocacy Project. While in Bosnia, Sarah worked closely with a grassroots women’s organization made of Srebrenica massacre survivors, and supported their economic independence, community development, and reconciliation programs, and led fundraising efforts. Sarah holds an M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict Resolution from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. With a team of fellow graduate students, Sarah developed policy recommendations for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations to mitigate the effects of al-Shabaab’s organized criminal activities on statebuilding in Somalia, and conducted field research in Nairobi, Kenya. This research was later published in the journal, International Affairs Review. She received her B.A. in International Affairs with an emphasis in Africa and the Middle East from the University of Northern Colorado. Sarah is thrilled to join the PIPS community and looks forward to learning from her peers’ perspectives and experience. She plans to study international human rights and immigration law to better equip her to act as an advocate for the peacebuilders, survivors, and activists she has worked with over the last several years.
Catherine graduated from Smith College in 2011 with degrees in Sociology and Spanish. Catherine spent five years serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington, D.C. During that time, Catherine worked particularly closely with immigrant and LGBTQ-identified survivors, striving to eliminate system generated barriers to their safety and empowerment. In 2016, Catherine moved to Havana, Cuba where she worked to educate hundreds of U.S. citizens about the effects of U.S. policy in Latin America and provided delegations with tools to advocate for change within their communities upon returning home. Upon graduating from WCL, Catherine hopes to continue her work with grassroots solidarity movements that aim to combat racist, capitalist and heterosexist U.S. policies that cause harm at home and abroad.
Catherine was born in Colorado and grew up just outside of Boston. Her studies and work have focused on advocating on behalf of under-served, at-promise youth. During her undergraduate time at Oberlin College, she led an initiative to create a peer-mentoring program for underclassmen with disabilities. After graduation, she returned to Boston and taught 6th graders with learning and social/emotional disabilities for two years as an Americorps Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools. While there, she helped shift the conversation around students with disabilities from a deficit-perspective to one that centers on student and family voice. For the last three years, Catherine worked as an Education Coordinator at a Massachusetts child protective services office working to ensure youth in state care receive the educations they are legally entitled to. She also provided case management for youth in out-of-home placements (foster care, group care and residential). In her roles as teacher and coordinator, Catherine has had the opportunity to gain insights into the public and private institutions that impact children’s access to education. Catherine is excited to be a part of the AUWCL and PIPS community. She looks forward to further learning how to affect institutional change that engages kids and families as experts and partners.