Each year, the IEDP program has a team of several Graduate Assistants — GAs — who support various aspects of the program. The GAs work behind the scenes to publish content that highlights the program.
And hugely important in shaping the IEDP community are our many events throughout the year (check out the highlights on Instagram)– also organized by the IEDP GAs.
Without further ado, I bring you the 2021-22 GAs!
Dawn: Manage YouTube channel; support Dr. Wagner with his publications and website
Hometown: Sarawak, Malaysia!
I applied to the GA position as I wanted to do more than just study during my time here at IEDP – I also wanted to learn about my cohort more and learn about my professors, the IEDP network and I felt that being a GA really connects you to your cohort and professors.
I enjoy working closely with Dr. Wagner on his work especially working through his publications and research – it’s interesting to see the kind of research that your professors get into and the world of educational development through their lens (it’s like getting bonus insight!).
Deepali: Manage Facebook, send weekly events to IEDP community, co-edit newsletter (with Maggie!)
Hometown: Mumbai, India
I applied to the GAship because I wanted to use it as an opportunity to know more about IEDP and Penn. Moreover, it also gives me ample opportunities to connect with my fellow GAs and cohort members. I really enjoy working with Maggie on the newsletter. My second favourite part of being a GA is curating fun, interesting and cultural events happening at Penn. Guess who always knows where is the next giveaway or the next amazing talk happening? I have been able to attend talks happening at Penn Law and Perry World House and share those with my fellow classmates.
John: Co-manage Instagram (with Nicole!)
Hometown: I am originally from Seoul, South Korea. I went to college in California and now live in Philadelphia for my graduate program at UPenn.
I applied for the GAship because I wanted to have engaging and diverse experiences during my first year in the program. Working with faculties, staff and fellow GAs are wonderful opportunities for me to support the cohort and build friendships.
I most enjoy connecting with cohort friends! Because the cohort was divided into two big groups during the first semester depending on our course schedule preferences, working as a GA helped me tremendously to get to know another half of the cohort from the beginning of the semester. I really enjoy working on numerous events with Rie and Nicole! Also, working closely with Dr. Gk and Lauren during the virtual info session allowed me to share my great experiences of the program with future applicants, and it was so rewarding to experience for me!
Maggie: Manage blog and co-edit newsletter (with Deepali!)
Hometown: I’m from the United States: I grew up in Massachusetts and now live in Pennsylvania with my family.
I applied for the GAship mostly because I wanted to be really connected to the program. With two young kids, I can’t spend as much time on campus with the cohort as I would like, so I knew this would be a way for me to stay connected to the program from home.
I most enjoy connecting with others! I really enjoy working on the newsletter with Deepali, and managing the blog has given me time to have great conversations with both my cohort mates (most recently, I was in touch with Anishka and Paula about their experiences as RAs!) — and coming up soon, you’ll see guest posts from alumni. I’ve really enjoyed talking to and learning from so many people in the IEDP community.
Nicole: Co-manage Instagram (with John!) and co-plan community engagement (with Rie!)
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
I applied for the GAship because I wanted to engage with our cohort on a deeper level. Since I live off campus, it can be difficult connecting with everyone, but I believe this has brought me closer to the IEDP community.
I love co-running the Instagram account with John. We are always brainstorming new ways to engage our viewers and we love sharing our IEDP journey with everyone. I also enjoy co-creating events with Rie. We try to design events that will bring our cohort together to relax and have fun! The best part is seeing the joy on everyone’s face when we come together for an activity.
Rie: Manage Twitter and co-plan community engagement (with Nicole!)
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Social networking was one of my jobs when I worked in the publishing industry. I applied for the GAship because I wanted to bring this experience to the IEDP cohort. First, on Twitter, I post news and blogs about International Days and major UN educational publications, which has helped me to keep up with international affairs related to education. Second, hosting events is a great experience. I have made many friends through this work and have contributed to the IEDP community.
The most memorable event was Halloween in October 2021; this was our first in-person event in 1 year and 7 months (since March 2020, due to COVID). It was my first big event and took a lot of time and effort, but I will never forget how successful it was and how happy everyone was. Building relationships with friends, faculty, and staff has been a valuable experience.