The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

MC Seniors 2018: Baby Bye Bye Bye

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To our smart, hardworking seniors who are about to go out and change the world – from Med School to Fulbright to TFA to who the heck knows what’s next (we all been there – you’re gonna do great!), we are so proud of all you’ve helped STAND accomplish this year, and are excited to follow your adventures. For everything you’ve done to help progress atrocities prevention over the past year (and for many of you for several years!), we offer our deepest gratitude.

Savannah Wooten, Student Director, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Savvy Sav, what can I say – Even before meeting you at the Lemkin SummIMG_2433it in 2016, I knew STAND had to have you! Reading your application to attend was all I needed to know you’d be an amazing addition to our team – and jeez was I right. While many join STAND wanting to put their skills to use, I’ve watched you welcome and grow from taking on so many roles with us – even when they weren’t your first choice. Your intellect, humor, and empathy for others have helped us form stronger and harder-working teams, and the sheer amount of time, love, and energy you’ve put into growing this organization will be so sorely missed. Thanks for always lobbying a million Members of Congress, listening to my rants (and often ranting with me), and staying up well past both of our bedtimes before retreats and conferences to make sure everything was perfect. Throughout your time at STAND you’ve felt more like a sister to me than a coworker, and having you as a support system in my life has been so meaningful. I can’t wait to watch & analyze more Bachelor(ette) with you, swap more sangria, and hang out at more dawg parks together when you move back up to DC. I love you so incredibly much, and am so excited to see where life takes you next. 

– Mac Hamilton, Executive Manager

Oh Savannah, I have no idea where to start. You are such a brilliant, ambitious, caring, compassionate woman. I feel as if I have learned more from you these past 3 years than almost anyone. You have helped me during the most difficult times in my life— with school, relationships, expressing my feelings, developing my leadership skills, and feeling confident about myself in every aspect. I am always so amazed at the way you express yourself— both in professional and personal settings— and I work hard to emulate your thoughtfulness and compassion. You will never begin to understand the impression you have made on me and am very much looking forward to our future matching STAND tattoos 😉

– Casey Bush, Development Coordinator, Clark University

IMG_4653Sav Woot, your presence in STAND has inspired me since long before I even joined the M.C. At my first STAND conference you complimented me and it made me feel so welcome and so special. You continue to have this effect on me and so many others every year, always making everyone feel important and cared for. I am inspired by your empathy and social practices. In my time at STAND it has always been a goal to live up to your passion, drive and ability to befriend all. From your wealth of knowledge that becomes apparent in lobby meetings to your love for head pets and singalongs, I have been so impressed and thrilled to have become your friend. We all know you will do great things but you continue to do one of the greatest of all each day by being a terrific and thoughtful friend who is always there. We’ll all miss Auntie Sav – but all the energy you have put in and all you’ve done to inspire others will never leave STAND.

– Grace Fernandes, Digital Media Coordinator, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Bethany Vance, Campaigns Coordinator, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bethany, you are hands down the funniest person IMG_0635I have ever met. You never fail to make everyone in the room smile and you bring such a positive energy to STAND. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the MC with you for the last two years and am so sad to see you graduate. Whether it is being the Campaigns Queen or filming crockpot videos for Rise For Rohingya, you never cease to inspire me. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future!

– Ellen Bresnick, Washington University of St. Louis

Bethany Kathleen Vance, I was absolutely terrified of you upon first joining the MC. And now I consider you one of my dearest and funniest friends. Having been a sheltered Cape Cod girl who had never met anyone from the south, you truly opened my eyes! I am so sad to see you graduate but also so excited to see everything that you will do. I don’t know what I’m going to do at retreats without you sitting next to me… but I suppose I’ll make it. You are one of the hardest workers I have ever met, yet you never cease to keep things fun. I hope that the post-grad life is the best life and I promise if I ever travel south of D.C. I’ll come visit!

– Grace Fernandes, Digital Media Coordinator, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Ashley Morefield, Communications Coordinator, Dickinson College

IMG_0451Dear sweet Ash (I only learned 6 months into knowing you that Ash is what your friends call you smdh), it has been such an absolute pleasure getting to know you and work with you over the past year. Not only are you one of the hardest workers I know, but you are also such an incredibly thoughtful person, always asking the right questions and pushing our team to work harder and do better. The work and care you’ve but into STAND that goes well beyond your position’s stated responsibilities is remarkable – from planning and running our first (hopefully annual?!) STAND Drag Bingo, to mentoring our bloggers, to getting some of our first Letters to the Editor written and placed, you’re someone who truly understands STAND inside and out and how important it is for every team member to do both their own role and personally commit to living out STAND’s values and theory of change in our day-to-day lives. Your patience with me reading blog posts for the 15th time after a 4 month hiatus, readiness to change track and volunteer for tasks, and constant kindness and laughter will be so missed. I can’t wait to hear all about your Fulbright experience – and hopefully get in some hang out time in DC before you leave!

– Mac Hamilton, Executive Manager

DSC_0826-54Ashley! Working with you this past year has been incredible, and I couldn’t ask for a better other half to this communications dream team! Thank you for speaking French with me, keeping me sane during STAND retreats, and repping Maryland as hard as I do. You are without a doubt one of the most talented and committed people I have ever met and I cannot WAIT to see where you go and what you do next. You may be leaving the MC, but you will always be in my heart and I know we’ll stay in touch!

– Nick Shereikis, Communications Coordinator, The College of Wooster

Justin Cole, Policy Coordinator, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

IMG_3328Where do I even begin? From late night fast food runs to Game of Thrones, from Harry Potter trivia to convincing everyone that you’re actually Mormon, working with you has been a wild ride. There are so many different things I could talk about here – from Quidditch to Mulan – but my favorite Justin memory is without question sprinting around D.C. in business dress, holding two very dead cell phones, trying to find the rest of the MC. Your ability to keep things light even while really digging into the policy aspect of our work and holding everyone accountable is a mix that is incredibly unique, and one that I’ll be lucky to ever find again. I am beyond glad that we met, and I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

– Nick Shereikis, Communications Coordinator, The College of Wooster

Justin, it has been great to get to know you during the past semester! Unfortunately we did not get a full year together, but it was so nice to hang out at the spring retreat! You are such a smart guy who not only knows so much about policy issues, but also knows more about Harry Potter than I could ever imagine anyone knowing. I’m so excited to hear about all the great things that you will accomplish in your future and thanks for explaining that being a Hufflepuff really isn’t all that bad.

– Casey Bush, Development Coordinator, Clark University

Farida Ettefa, National Outreach Coordinator, University of Maryland at College Park

DSC_0831-58Farida, you are so sweet and I am so lucky to have you as a mother/big sister/friend. Thank you for being a wonderful outreach leader – you are so smart, organized, and efficient and it’s been a pleasure to work with you. You are an incredible role model and constantly inspire me. I can’t wait to see everything that you accomplish!

– Amala Karri, Advocacy Coordinator, Hunter College High School

Farida, I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to work with you on Outreach this year! You are one of the smartest, most dedicated, and funniest people I’ve met. Thank you for all the advice you’ve given me for both STAND and life in general. And most importantly, thanks for jamming out to Taylor Swift with me during Lobby Weekend (and for letting me borrow your straightener during retreats!) I’m so excited to see what you do in the future, and I know you’ll do great in med school!

– Ugo Ndife, Field Organizer, University of PennsylvaniaDSC_0740-4

Faridz, you’ve been cracking me up ever since I learned that your twitter handle is @LetFARIDomring. You’re such an incredibly hard worker, and it’s been so valuable to have some non-PoliSci students on our team letting us know what’s too “wonky” and what works for the rest of the world. Your joy and warmth always shine through, and have helped build such important relationships with our grassroots, especially in the Mid-Atlantic. Thanks for always working around your crazy lab schedule for retreats and calls, chatting with visiting STAND students to DC, helping us pronounce things in Arabic, and for at least ~trying~ to teach us some belly dancing skills. We’re gonna miss you terribly, and can’t wait to see what you do for public health in the future. So much love, and please stay in touch! <3

– Mac Hamilton, Executive Manager

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