Our Summer 2016 Interns Have Arrived!

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Summer 2016 Interns

Courteney Doerschel is a recent graduate of The George Washington University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science with a focus in Middle Eastern studies, Women and Gender studies and Humanitarian studies. She originally started her professional career in the production industry in Los Angeles but later became interested in social justice and political advocacy. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. and while finishing her academic career, Courteney interned at The Embassy of the Republic of Iraq for a year. She worked closely with the Iraqi Ambassador and Iraqi diplomats as she attended policy talks at a number of D.C. think tanks and did research on topics such as sectarian violence in Iraq and counterterrorism. Her research and work at the Embassy of Iraq furthered Courteney’s interests in advocating for the rights and education of women and children in Iraq and other MENA countries.

Hana El Gamal comes to EPIC in hopes of seeing, first hand, how education programs and humanitarian assistance can transform communities and the lives of children. Her own work on education includes researching for academic studies on improving higher education, teaching high school students about social justice and how to advocate for their communities, and planning teacher workshops on service learning for K-8 students. Hana received her BA in International Studies where she focused on education policy, international development, and grassroots human rights movements. Her experiences advocating for these issues and supporting organizations that are pushing this work forward has only strengthened her belief in effective policy and programming. She is excited to make the shift into humanitarian aid and child protection and hopes to see how EPIC merges humanitarian relief with education programs.

David Ernyey was born in Washington DC, but has spent the majority of his life in the Arab world before matriculating to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he currently studies History and Middle Eastern Studies. During his time in the region, David gained an appreciation of the diversity of the Middle East by engaging local cultures with empathy, but in doing so he gained an understanding of the role his own country and government can play in determining individuals’ lives and aspirations. David is driven to use his relative advantage to improve the chances of others and aspires to study international human rights law after completing his undergraduate education. He has previously worked with USAID in Amman, Jordan, where he worked on improving the mission’s education strategies and cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, and has experience interning at Capitol Hill in Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s office. In his free time, David enjoys hiking, canoeing, and scouring major U.S cities for the best koshary places.

Gabe Selting is an undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming where he is majoring in International Relations, with a concentration on governance and conflict resolution in the Middle East. Furthermore, Gabe is studying French and Arabic, as well as pursuing a minor in physiology; he hopes to someday work in the public health sector and to primarily work with refugee camps. After spending 2 months in the Middle East studying the Israeli/Palestine conflict, regional history, and religions thereof, Gabe’s fascination with the Middle East was reinforced. This led him to pursue the internship with EPIC so as to better understand the conflict in Iraq, learn the place of a humanitarian NGO throughout this process, and to further EPIC’s mission with motivation and optimism.