About IPID

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development (IPID) is a student initiative linking graduate students, scholars, and practitioners with interests in development. IPID also sustains an online student-edited journal, Reconsidering Development, in addition to the IPID student group. These activities constitute an ongoing cross-department and cross-sector endeavor meant to continually grow and evolve.

The student group and online journal provide graduate students with opportunities to develop skills in leadership and to promote their scholarship in the field of international development. IPID's mission and goal seeks to continually explore and expand upon three initial research questions:

  1. How does an interdisciplinary perspective shift our conceptualization of international development?
  2. What are the trends and issues affecting current approaches to international development?
  3. What is the future of this interdisciplinary field (including the role of the international community)?
It is fitting that IPID members and advisors come from departments at the University of Minnesota with a tradition of cross-disciplinary and cross-sector scholarship and practice, including the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the program in Comparative and International Development Education, the School of Public Health, and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. 

Student Leaders
The IPID student group's current leaders are:

Tatyana Bio Photo.jpg
Tatyana Venegas, Master of Development Practice candidate '14
earned a B.A. in sociology and Russian from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Tatyana worked as a Basic Sanitation volunteer with Peace Corps Bolivia where she enhanced the educational training components of CARE International and Plan International's water-system and bathroom projects and implemented a bathroom project in her village with the collaboration of the Mayor's office. She also worked with ERM Consulting as an environmental specialist in Anchorage, AK, where she coordinated BP Alaska's environmental studies program and provided technical assistance in wildlife and waste compliance.

Tatyana is currently enrolled in the Master of Development Practice program, pursuing a minor in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP). Her goal is to work overseas managing international development projects, bringing the interdisciplinary perspective and skills integral to sustainable change to the forefront. Tatyana is a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow and a William H. Judd Fellow and is a program evaluation intern with Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships - UMN Extension.

Vice President
Aine Seitz-McCarthy, PhD Candidate in Applied Economics
I'm Aine (pronounced like Ahn-ya) and I serve as IPID's Vice President this year. I am a PhD candidate in Applied Economics, with fields in international development and policy analysis. My economic research interests in experimental methods and econometrics to address policy questions in health and development, but being a part of IPID allows me to explore international development topics beyond my view of economics. 

My dissertation research examines the impact of a community family planning program in rural Tanzania, where I have spent almost a year doing fieldwork. I have also worked for the Minnesota Population Center as a research assistant on the IPUMS-International project, managing international census data. This year, I reside in the Minnesota Population Center as an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow. Prior to graduate school, I worked at RAND in DC and for an educational NGO in Senegal. I blog about international development, research and other various interests at Big Ideas. 

Bibhusha Karki, Master of Development Practice candidate
I am an international student from Nepal, Master's in Development Practice Candidate at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. International Development is very interdisciplinary and has various aspects. My interest in international development has many wide ranges. Some of my interests are human rights, women's rights, migration, evaluation and natural resources. I have a B.S. degree in International Studies emphasis on development and a minor in economics from Minnesota State University Moorhead. With the skills, knowledge and experience I am gaining I hope to make a positive impact in the lives of people across boarders and become a true global citizen.

Kayla Mueller, Master of Development Practice candidate
I am a second year Masters of Development Practice student in the Humphrey School, pursuing a minor in evaluation studies with interests in micro-credits and gender disparity. During my undergraduate career at Arcadia University outside of Philly, I majored in International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Economics. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a semester in Ecuador studying and working in indigenous organizations, as well as a semester in southern Spain studying the EU (but mostly soaking up the sun!). I also traveled and did research in Mexico and Costa Rica during my undergrad years. This past summer I spent ten weeks in Nepal studying community-based forestry management, and I plan on working in pro-poor development models after graduation. In my spare time I enjoy reading, eating, running and watching hockey. 

Amanda Lee Photo.jpg
Amanda Lee, Master of Public Policy candidate '15
I am a first year Master of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs pursuing a minor in program evaluation with a concentration in advanced policy analysis. I aspire for a career in international development that works to eliminate food insecurity and malnutrition. Prior to attending the Humphrey School I earned a BS in economics from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and spent a semester in Brussels studying international affairs and economics. In my free time I enjoy running on the various paths in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Programming Chair
Rachel Herr-Hoyman, Master of Development Practice candidate
I am a second year Masters of Development Practice student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I have a BA from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in Political Science and before coming to the Humphrey I worked at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. I am interested in issues of sustainable agricultural practices, resource management and poverty alleviation. I'm also interested in issues in Africa and South East Asia. This summer I spent ten weeks in Dakar, Senegal as part of a local capacity development project being run by USAID helping the national Senegalese YMCA create a monitoring and evaluation system for their programs. This experience provided insights into project management, the importance of communication and open mindedness. As programming committee chair I am very excited to create new and exciting programs for IPID and look forward to a busy year!

Information Technology and Communication Chair
David Davies-Deis, Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate
As a graduate student in the urban and regional planning program at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, my everyday focus veers toward urban development in the US and Minnesota. However, I am most interested in how these policies can translate to an international stage. Specifically, I am interested in the effective dissemination and use of knowledge and information. A healthy child, a functional garden, a safe neighborhood, a glass of clean water; these are all goals that can in theory be easily accomplished in many regions of the world, but the lack of information has made these ideas unattainable for billions. For over five years, my service in the Peace Corps (Mozambique '06-'08) and my subsequent work at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health took me to areas of Southern and Western Africa including Mozambique, Nigeria and Zimbabwe to work with groups to create access to information; in many cases this was sustainable development of their own information to be shared with others, from school newspapers to eLearning courses. I seek to address issues related to health and education disparities among marginalized urban populations.

Executive Editor of Reconsidering Development; Journal Liason of IPID
Joy Wang, J.D. Law Candidate
As a Chinese student in the U.S. with an undergraduate degree in Sociology/Anthropology, I am always interested in social issues around the world. I believe in the philosophy of IPID, and trust that an interdisciplinary approach to international development is important and necessary. Last year, as the Co-Programming Chair of IPID, I became involved in the work of re-starting Reconsidering Development, an innovative e-journal that was affiliated with IPID. Through Reconsidering Development, we hope to provide a venue for those whose voices are undervalued to share their opinions.

Senior Web Editor - Reconsidering Development Journal
Alfonso Sintjago, Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative and International Development Education with a minor in Evaluation. MEd in Learning Technologies
More and more students are meeting the educational prerequisites to attend higher educational institutions globally, but access remains limited. My work with educational technology centers on how technology, by increasing openness and access, can help bring educational content to individuals in remote places and of limited means. My research currently focuses on mobile learning and open education resources.
More about me: Born in Caracas, Venezuela. I completed my BA, and MA in the US before coming to UMN.

  • Programming committee - Handles all planning and arrangements for guest speakers, programming and trips.
  • Fundraising and finance committee - Initiates and facilitates IPID fundraising efforts in coordination with all other committees.
  • Outreach and Strategic committee - Initiates and sustains IPID outreach efforts among University students, faculty and staff and all outside parties.
  • Research and writing committee - Gathers and generates content, citations, and direct links to information of interest to IPID members that preserves and strengthens IPID's purpose as a forum for interdisciplinary and cross-sector work and scholarship in development.
  • Information technology and communication (ITC) committee - Builds and sustains the IPID website and content.

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