The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye to our MC Seniors!

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So much has happened this year in the world of atrocity prevention – from the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act being signed into law, to the passage of the Yemen War Powers Resolution, to the introduction of the Global Fragility Act, ongoing political transformation in Sudan, peaceful handover of power in DRCongo… the list seems to go on and on. While in this field, we often say there is rarely good news, we have made vitally important progress for others to build on in future years. The role played by our seniors this year – many of whom have worked on these issues for years through their work in chapters, as interns, and through research – is difficult to understate. We will miss them dearly, and hope to continue to work with them as they enter various careers and professional fields. We can’t wait to watch what y’all do next!

Casey Bush, Student Director, Clark University

Image from iOS (4)Casey! I remember sitting down next to you at my very first STAND conference in the fall of 2015, terrified to be seated next to a college student. You immediately made me feel so welcome and at home. Fast forward to my very first MC retreat… Again, a bit scared and very much unsure of what to expect—but there you were again, sharing a hotel room, and making me feel like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Through the entirety of my time with STAND you have been there as a rock, a friend, and the source of too many laughs to count. I am so lucky to have spent this last year as SD with you. There is truly no better partner in crime. I cannot begin to explain the number of times I opened slack to see you had fixed all our problems or stayed up all night creating an inconceivable number of documents. I continue to be impressed by all the work you have done in and outside of STAND. Thank you for being the most amazing role model and friend! It has taken everything not to beg you to stay with me, but I know you’re going to do so many wonderful things! —Grace Fernandes, Co-Student Director

Image from iOS (5)Caseybee🐝, I hope you know how much STAND is going to miss your leadership next year. You were—and have always been—such a rock, willing to learn, willing to put in extra time even when you didn’t have any, and willing to find creative solutions to any difficulty that arose. From day 1 of meeting you at the fall conference back in 2015 (?!), it was clear that you would become a STAND superstar. I remember Francesca whispering to me as we packed participant folders late into the night, “that girl is gonna be SD one day.” She was right and I am so thankful! From leading Clark STAND to stepping into the Midwest Field Organizer role, to Development Coordinator, and then SD, you entered each role humbly, with a deep sense of responsibility to those affected by atrocities clear throughout. Outside of STAND world, I have loved getting to know you and learn from you through your academic work, drinking beer and witnessing Krampusnacht with you in Prague, and witnessing your hilarious sense of humor through your finsta. I know it’s been a tough year in many ways, but you handled it with g(G?)race and composure throughout, and I am so appreciative to have had you at the helm through everything. Much love always, and I can’t wait to rendezvous in DC or Europe soon! —Mac Hamilton, Executive Manager

Hannah King, Campaigns Coordinator, Clark University

Image from iOS (7)You have been a STAND queen for as long as I have known you! Casey and I have been so lucky to have you throughout this year as you flawlessly lead so many committees and campaigns and offered your off-the-charts organizational skills! I can’t imagine having done it without you! I will always treasure our “Grace and Hannah take NYC” trip and wouldn’t want to spend hours on a train with anyone else! Oh and there was also that time we met Joe Kennedy! Hannah, you have blown me away over and over again with your dedication to STAND and your constant willingness to take on more (and more… and more), simply because you care so much. I will miss being a part of the MC with you so so much but know you won’t be able to stay away entirely!!! Sending you off with so much love! —Grace Fernandes, Co-Student DirectorImage from iOS (8)

Hannah, although we constantly like to give each other a hard time, I consider myself lucky to know you. Since our call at the beginning of the year, you have continued to inspire me by the action you take and the dedication you give to any role you play. From these characteristics, I know that you will be immensely successful wherever your life takes you, and all I ask is that you keep us posted on where that is. Good luck in the next phase of your journey. You always have your STANDfam for support. —Zachary Gossett, Field Organizer

 

Isabel Wolfer, Communications Coordinator, The George Washington University

IMG_7981Congrats on graduating Isabel! You’re such a hard worker and deserve it all. Even though I’ve only known you for a short time, it’s clear you’re a dedicated and genuine person who gives 100% to whatever it is you do. I greatly appreciated your college wisdom during the Winter retreat, and always love to hear what you have to say. You’re extremely well-spoken and educated, and listening helps me gain insight to a lot of new things. I know I speak for the entire MC when I say that we all appreciate how gracious and kind you are. I remember working with you on several projects throughout the year and you would always message me with a thank you. I wish you the best of luck in your post-undergrad plansI know you’ll be amazing in whatever it is you decide to do. Thank you for making STAND a better place. I’ve always looked up to you and will miss you a ton! —Caroline Mendoza, Field Organizer

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I’m so sad to be losing you as a member of the STAND MC, and am very thankful to have gotten to know you and work with you this year. I won’t lie – I was worried when your Cambodia flight fiasco happened how you would get on with the rest of the team without having met them in person. It speaks volumes to who you are that you fell right into step and that everyone immediately adored you. In fact, watching you work with your Task Force with such care was a huge highlight of my year—it’s clear how much you bonded and how much they learned from working with you. In addition, your willingness to offer space in your apartment for MC members to stay during the January retreat was so kind and so appreciated, and gave me such peace of mind knowing our MC members were in good hands. I know I speak for many when I say how deeply I appreciated your willingness to lend a hand on policy statements and national emails, as well as your commitment to ensuring STAND cover Sudan as the protests grew and Bashir fell. I don’t know what we’ll do without you. Thank you for everything this year – I can’t wait to follow your next steps!
—Mac Hamilton, Executive Manager

Alison Hesser, National Outreach Coordinator, Stockton University

IMG_7994Alison, you are literally such an amazing person. I’ve always wanted an older sister, and you really showed me what I was missing. Apart from your trademark sense of humor, which has made every retreat, call, and lobby meeting so enjoyable, you are such a genuine, kind person, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know you. You are so honest and personable—I remember that you were the first one to greet me during fall retreat, and I immediately loved how chill you were. Thank you for picking me up from the airport in freezing weather, letting me room with you at the end of the very, very long hallway, and always being there for me. I was going through college application season this year, and you were always so supportive and loving even when you didn’t have to be. I’m going to miss you so much…but you are not off the hook!!! Please keep in touch with us. We will never forget you :) You are so successful already— completing your masters, giving a killer graduation toast, and being an awesome aunt (love your FB posts)—don’t forget that we are here for you always if you need anything! —Vishwa Padigepati, Advocacy Coordinator

Alison, you are #old. I can’t believe that this time last year I barely knew youIMG_7274, and now you’re someone I can’t imagine not talking to. You’re super fun to be around, whether it be during long MC calls or in the cafeteria between lobby meetings. Winter retreat was beyond a highlight; I’ll miss our hotel room jokes and listening to your hilarious rants. I love your sense of humor and brutal honestyit’s something I think makes you extremely welcoming and personable, and something I greatly value in a friend. I appreciate your genuine kindness (picking Vishwa and I up from the airport, paying for all of our Lyfts). STAND won’t be the same without you ;( I know you’ll do well wherever you end up and I hope you get the job of your dreams and work with lots of awesome and interesting people. Congrats on your Master’s, keep your dogs safe, and you better not forget about me when you’re rich and successful!! —Caroline Mendoza, Field Organizer

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