Student Bios


Philip Burns
After graduating from Brown University, Philip served in the Peace Corps as a Municipal Development Volunteer in Guatemala from 2009 to 2011. Some of his projects included the organization of a municipal development council, the construction of a forestry greenhouse and a school classroom out of “eco-bricks,” or empty plastic bottles filled with plastic trash. After service in the Peace Corps, he worked for two years for the International Organization for Migration in the same region of western Guatemala, helping Guatemalan deportees readapt to their native society, educating the population about the dangers of migration and human trafficking, and strengthening government agencies’ response to trafficking. He currently is pursuing a Master of Planning degree at the Price School.

Timothy Chung
Timothy served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania from 2010-2013. His primary assignment was teaching Biology and Math in a secondary school in a rural village. He was also involved in teaching health education, HIV/AIDS prevention skills, and life skills to natives and he helped establish a Credit Union for four villages in his district. Tim became interested in the Peace Corps after going on two missions trips to Brazil with his undergraduate college church in Merced, CA. He is currently a first year graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree.

Rachel Day
Rachel grew up in rural southwest Virginia and received her BA from James Madison University in 2008. She studied abroad twice during this time, in Ireland and Ghana, and quickly developed a love for travel. After graduation, she lived in DC for a few years before joining Peace Corps to serve as an Education volunteer in Cape Verde. She was there from 2010 to 2012, teaching 7th and 8th grade and completing a number of secondary projects. Her time in Cape Verde fostered her interest in sustainable international development, which led her to apply to USC to start her MPA in 2014. Rachel is currently a Peace Corps Recruiter for the West Coast Region and holds routine informational and social events on campus to promote service and cross-cultural exchange. She is Social Chair for Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Community, a student org at USC.

Jason Douglas
Jason served in Mongolia as a “Secondary English Teacher / Community Developer” in Bayan Uul; a small village in the Dornod Province. He hopes to incorporate his experiences abroad into his studies as a dual-master degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy with a certificate in Sustainable Cities. For the 2014-2015 academic year, he is serving as the President of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Community (RPCVC) and the President of the Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD).

Tim Mechlinski
Dr. Mechlinski served as a Health Extension Volunteer in Burkina Faso, 2000-2002. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 with emphases in contemporary African society and Third World Development. He taught courses in these areas, and conducted domestic and international fieldwork in African immigrant communities. In addition, he has worked as a management consultant, focusing on project management for implementations of large contracts, and Request For Proposal response writing.

Adam Montgomery
Adam Montgomery currently works as a program administrator for the Specialized Master’s Programs at USC Marshall. He is also a MPL/MPA dual degree candidate with an expected graduation date of May 2015. Before coming to USC for work and study, Adam was an English program developer for an international academy in South Korea. Prior to his stint in Korea, he served in Peace Corps Paraguay from 2008-2010 as an agricultural extensionist with a focus on beekeeping.

Sam Moore
Sam is a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer. He was in northern Ethiopia working with primary school teachers and teaching a few 9th grade English classes. He has worked in a few different coffee shops including Starbucks which made his placement in Ethiopia (where walking down the street results in at least 5 invites to have coffee) pretty amazing. He went to The Ohio State University for undergrad getting degrees in International Studies and Spanish. He grew up in Pittsburgh where he learned that putting french fries and coleslaw on a sandwich is one of the greatest ideas in human history.

Abbie Sauter
Abbie Sauter served as a TEFL volunteer in Ukraine from 2010-2012. Her decision to join the Peace Corps came from fabulous experiences with multiple short term international volunteer projects and her desire to extend this type of experience to a full two years. On top of teaching 4th through 11th grade English language classes in a rural mountain village of 1,200 residents during her Peace Corps service, she also established an after-school English club, created three projects and wrote three grants to fund these projects for her host school, founded the Animal Welfare Committee of the Environmental Working Group, and facilitated numerous seminars for the English teachers of her district. It was her work in project management within her school and her interest in a career in the nonprofit sector that drove her to apply to Price. She is wrapping up her MPA this spring as she continues to work full time as a Project Associate at Draper Consulting Group, a firm that provides a broad range of capacity building services to their nonprofit and grantmaker clientele.

Caitlin Shankle
Caitlin is a first year Master of Planning student interested in transit oriented development and infrastructure finance. She served as a Community Economic Development volunteer in Panama from 2009 to 2011 where she worked with a youth group, improved the business structure of a cooperative, and taught English and computer classes. Upon her return to the U.S., Caitlin worked at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region on regional efforts to address issues related to safety net services, workforce development, and education programs for low-income residents in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2009.

Holden Slattery
Holden is from a town just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied English Writing at the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 2008. He is now a first-year Master of Public Administration student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Holden studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, as an undergraduate. That incredible experience—his first one outside of North America—compelled him to continue traveling, and he has now visited 20 different countries. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2010 to 2013. As a volunteer, he taught English at a small-town school and organized language and leadership camps for students. He also learned to speak Ukrainian and performed traditional Ukrainian dances during local celebrations. Holden enjoys writing about real-life experiences, including his own. He has contributed to newspapers, magazines and websites, and he plans to write a book one day.