MEDA Blog

Meghan Denega has just completed her Master’s Degree in International Development Studies from York University. Her  research focus was on microfinance in Uganda, comparing formal and informal micro financial institutions. In the summer of 2011, she spent four months in Uganda collecting the primary data required for her thesis and participating in an internship at Kabale University. Meghan completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta with a major in Political Science and a French Minor. During her undergrad she spent a year abroad at the Universidad de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico. Languages are a passion of hers: She speaks English, Spanish, French, Ukrainian and she is currently learning Russian. She looks forward to everything about her internship with MEDA at the UDHP project in Ukraine.

Marie was born in Singapore and lived there half her life before moving to the Vancouver area. She studied Global Resource Systems at UBC, focusing on natural resource economics and development. Her interests led her to explore how resources, human rights and development practices interact to shape livelihoods within communities. Marie has been able to study this by doing research in Indonesia (raw timber) and Tanzania (traditional vegetables). In Jerusalem and the West Bank with UNRWA, she wrote and revised internal assessment tools for a women's income-generation project in refugee camps. She is excited to continue in this vein with MEDA in Dar es Salaam!

Lauren grew up in Calgary, AB where she attended the University of Calgary. She moved to Baltimore for graduate school in 2008, concentrating in international development econometrics and program evaluation. She interned with development consultancy Humanitarian Outcomes in New York City in 2009 and graduated with her Master's in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University in 2010. For the last two years, Lauren has worked in Washington, DC as a project associate and special assistant to the president at Devex, providing research and business services to the development industry.

Katy was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up with her parents and one older brother. She graduated from North Toronto Collegiate Institute in 2008 and in May of this year received a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University with a double major in International Development Studies and Economics. She has had two previous experiences abroad; the first in San Francisco de Yuoja, Honduras with Canada World Youth, and more recently, four months in 2011 as an intern with Imali Matters, a financial literacy NGO, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her interests include travel, swimming and trying to learn how to play tennis.

Since recently graduating from the University of Ottawa with an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree, Katherine has been working for a professional fundraising organization as an advocate for social rights and community development. She is excited to apply her past experience volunteering with microfinance projects in rural communities abroad and studying in the Netherlands to this new chapter in her life and career as a rural microfinance intern in Managua, Nicaragua.

Role at MEDA - At MEDA, Jennifer is responsible for managing long-term projects and providing technical assistance to consultancies that incorporate technology with financial service delivery.

Experience - Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, including municipal infrastructure development, financial tool development and training, mobile banking and microfinance. Before joining MEDA full-time, she spent a year in Zambia working with MEDA's mobile financial services partner consulting on branchless banking agent network development and training, e-voucher implementation and other product development. She first became interested in mobile financial service delivery during her Masters consulting project for Mercy Corps in Uganda on Pastoralists and Economic Development. Jennifer also brings experience working with microfinance associations and institutions, designing trainings to build network capacity, track financial indicators and develop business strategy and planning. Jennifer obtained a BS from Smith College in International Relations/Government and an MA in International Development from the George Washington University, with a focus in post-conflict reconstruction.

Languages -Jennifer is fluent in English and proficient in Spanish; she is learning French.

Jaclyn is a recent graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, having earned a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and English. In the summer, she had co-op terms in Waterloo working in communications, promotions, online web management and marketing roles. During her third year, Jaclyn went on an academic exchange to the University of Limerick in Ireland, where she got the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe. She was also extensively involved in volunteer projects and programs at Laurier, such as the Laurier Food Bank, Shinerama Campaign, Laurier International Office, The Cord newspaper, and Delta Gamma Women's Fraternity. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, cards, board games, taking photos, reading and creative writing.

Caitlin worked as the Agricultural Liaison for Quebec 4-H, part of the international 4-H youth leadership movement, for nearly three years, during which she completed a Certificate in French to English Translation at McGill University in Montreal. She also holds a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Rights and Anthropology from Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, and took Political, Social, and International Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK during a semester abroad. Caitlin is fluent in English and French, and freelances as a translator. She has been actively involved in her community as a past member and current volunteer with the 4-H program, loves traveling and plays rugby.

Alan recently earned his Master of Applied Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. While studying and conducting research, he worked as a teaching assistant of undergraduate courses. Having completed his own undergraduate degree from Waterloo’s cooperative engineering program, Alan has gained work experience with numerous companies in various technical fields. His interest in volunteer work has also motivated him to get involved with local charitable organizations in the Waterloo and Toronto areas. Currently, Alan hopes to learn more about the implementation of information and technology for international development in his role as the I.T. development intern in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Adrien was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan until he was five years old. At this time his family received a service opportunity with MAF (Missionary Aviation Services) to spend two years in Mali, West Africa. Upon returning to Canada, he continued his education through to the end of high school in Saskatoon before moving to Waterloo, ON to begin his university education. The next four years studying Geography and Environmental Management were interspersed with summer trips experiencing international countries and exploring the impoverished corners of the world. From this increasing international exposure from travel, Adrien realized his passion for other cultures and international development, and enrolled in the Masters program of Local Economic Development at the University of Waterloo. This summer he is finishing a summer internship in Toronto, with his MEDA assignment to follow, and will commence sometime near the end of October. Adrien is extremely excited to tackle his new role with MEDA, exploiting his interests in development, culture, language, and interpersonal connections. He is pleased to serve as the impact assessment intern for Techno-Links in Nicaragua.