The McKenna Interns
Sophia Diane Garcia
Sophia recently is currently a first year Masters of Global Affairs student under the International Peace Studies Program. She served as a project/advocacy officer at the Center for Peace Education and a facilitator with the National Service Training Program at Miriam College, leading projects and advocacy campaigns related to youth, peace and security, and disarmament. Sophia was the local coordinator of the Young Women for Peace and Leadership Program of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) in the Philippines and also was a researcher for GNWP on a study focused on the sustainable peace agenda. As a young peacebuilder, she has shared her experiences locally and internationally, including at the United Nations. She also worked at the Human Rights Victims Claims Board and for the Philippine Peace Process as part of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission Secretariat. Sophia holds a bachelor of arts degree (with honors) in international studies and international politics from Miriam College, where she also earned a minor in peace studies. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Ryan is currently a junior at Notre Dame pursuing a double-major in Mathematics and Global Affairs, with a concentration in International Development Studies through the Kellogg Institute. For the International Development Studies program, Ryan will develop and complete an interdisciplinary research project in a developing country that seeks to better understand how to achieve developmental outcomes and investigates obstacles to human welfare and dignity over the next two years. Ryan is originally from just North of Chicago, but has a long family history in both South Bend and at Notre Dame, and is passionate about serving in the South Bend community. In the first course in the International Development sequence, Ryan completed a research project on how the South Bend Public School Corporation had been affected by poverty, poor race relations, and technological accessibility issues in the wider context of education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued to build on his research in the South Bend Urban Plunge seminar offered by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, where he analyzed the intersection of poor public education and South Bend’s growing immigrant population. Ryan is currently participating in the South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program, hoping to strengthen his ties to the South Bend community through his work as a student consultant.
Susan is studying International Peace Studies at Keough School in University of Notre Dame. She is a member of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic. She has skills in intercultural living and community organizing and is passionate about integral human development, sustainable justice, and peace. Since 2017, she has provided technical support to her religious community members in New York. Susan worked for three years in Haiti, where she founded a women’s self–help group and established a microcredit co-operative, a community garden and a goat-raising project for a youth group at Croix des Bouquets. She also has worked as a campus minister at Maryknoll Convent School and provided spiritual and social support to migrant workers and prisoners in Hong Kong. From 2000 to 2004, Susan was a program coordinator for Euphrasia Women Training and Karibu Women Refuge Centers and Maria House in Kenya, where she focused on providing pastoral care, faith formation, socioeconomic development opportunities, and gender equality awareness training to underprivileged women and youth. At Maria House, she also developed a training manual for integral human development classes. Susan enjoys troubleshooting and finding solutions to technological problems. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Nathan is an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Letters working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a minor in Theology. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and is originally from Washington D.C. Throughout his time on campus, he has been actively involved in his residence hall, intramural sports, and clubs, including Young Life, of which he is a club officer. Earlier this year, he completed an internship with Publicis Sport & Entertainment through Notre Dame International, where he gained experience in consulting, media research, and consumer research. He is excited to be selected as a McKenna Intern and especially the opportunity to pursue his interest in consulting, interact with South Bend business owners, and learn more about entrepreneurship.