Amidst a year of exceptional challenges, we look for moments of appreciation and celebration. We’re pleased to honor our Gephardt Institute student staff graduates and celebrate their achievements, not only professionally, but personally. From navigating a global pandemic and heightened global issues of racial injustice to adjusting to online classes and new realities, our students showed up for themselves and others, continuing their dedication to their studies and civic and community engagement.
So, what have our grads learned, and what’s next for them? Read below to get to know our graduates, as well as advice and reflections from their supervisors!
MSW with a Concentration in Social and Economic Development; Engage Democracy Fellow
Reflections form Theresa Kouo, Associate Director for Civic Engagement
If you could describe David in one word, what would it be?
What unique value did David add to the Gephardt team and mission?
David lives what it means to be inclusive. He always thinks about what we can do to support the most marginalized with an eye toward equity. He asks critical, thoughtful questions that invite our team to think about how we can do right by all students we’re working to engage in the democratic process.
What advice would you give David as he transitions from his current role as a student at WashU?
Keep shining with your brilliance, David! You have everything you need to be an amazing social worker who centers people and justice in all that you do.
Major in Urban Studies with a Concentration in Public Health and Minor in Spanish; Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator
Reflections from Stefani Weeden-Smith, Assistant Director for Community Engagement
If you could describe Ebee in one word, what would it be?
What unique value did Ebee add to the Gephardt team and mission?
Ebee offered so many unique gifts to this position throughout her 3 years on staff, but the gifts I want to highlight is her ability to listen, reflect and assess what is the task at hand and forecast what needs to done. She has come back from our many conversations and check-ins and let me know that she decided to follow up with this grant recipient or she was wondering how we should approach this system error. Over the years, she has gone beyond the role of Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator to become a trusted thought partner for me and rest of the Institute. I’ve said that in her interview I knew that this was going to be a great match because of the thoughtful questions and insights she gave in that first meeting.
What advice would you give Ebee as she transitions from her current role as a student at WashU?
The advice that I would offer Ebee is that wherever she ends up in terms of a career, to always remember to make room for those activities and people that “make her heart sing.” I know she is going to do some amazing things after graduation, but I’m most excited about how the rest of the world gets to know this amazing human, who has the biggest heart and makes sure that the voices of the community are always amplified. She will be a community leader that truly leads with community in the forefront.
Major in International and Area Studies; Academic Engagement Communications and Event Coordinator, Former Each One Teach One Coordinator
Reflections from Cassie Power, Associate Director for Faculty and Academic Engagement
If you could describe Thomas in one word, what would it be?
What unique value did Thomas add to the Gephardt team and mission?
Thomas is flexible, thoughtful, and follows through. His brilliance is unassuming, but so helpful! I especially appreciated materials that he created for future instructors in Philanthropy Lab that allow us to create connections from the past, to the present, and for the future of this unique course.
What advice would you give Thomas as he transitions from his current role as a student at WashU?
“[B]e intentional about maintaining and building a social world that brings out your richest self.” -Tanya Menon