I work as the Partnerships and Content Officer at the American Refugee Committee. My official duties include establishing and maintaining relationships with universities and other research entities, assisting with proposals, and supporting projects specific to food and agriculture. In the last few months, I’ve conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Rwanda and Congo, spent a month in Uganda implementing programming for teachers, schools, livelihoods, agriculture, and tree planting, and travelled to Kenya and Somalia for further agriculture programming, to support urban LGBT+ refugees, and to help modify our organizational reporting process. I’ve also worked for ARC as a global support intern, as a logistics and procurement officer, and as a research liaison.
My academic interests lie at the intersection of identity and politics, especially as that relates to nationalism in Western Europe, and its manifestations in political discourse, immigration policy, party politics, and foodways. During my master’s program, I focused primarily on Denmark and Scandinavia as compared to other Western European nations. I’m now especially interested in how the Danish case compares to Germany and Sweden, as well as pan-European trends.
I received my MA in May 2016 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My MA thesis, titled “Islamophobic Sentiment in the Danish Asylum Process: Denied Acceptance to Those in Need,” analyzes the ways in which a Muslim identity–perceived or actual–impacts the likelihood of being granted asylum in Denmark. The Washington Post article I published in March 2017 is based on this research.
Language and cultural exchange have always been important parts of my work. I’m fluent in Danish, competent in Swedish and Norwegian, proficient in Arabic, currently taking German, and have previous experience with Spanish, French, and Sierra Leonean Krio. I continue to translate (mostly Danish to English) and I previously worked as a High School Credit Program Facilitator and Language Instructor at the Danish language program Skovsøen, and Arabic language program Al-Waha. I continue to participate in curriculum development and otherwise support these programs. Before that, I taught Danish at the University of Wisconsin and worked as a scholarship program facilitator for a number of years.
Additionally, I am an avid foodie, traveller and podcast enthusiast.
I lived in Scandinavia for over two years and have travelled extensively. When I was in last living in Copenhagen, I volunteered with asylum seekers and refugees at the Trampoline House, worked on the editorial team of the visAvis magazine–a magazine that focuses on challenges presented by asylum and migration–and worked as a journalist for University of Copenhagen’s newspaper University Post as their politics and immigration specialist.