Teaching a New Generation of Development Leaders

The McGurn Family Current Use Scholarship and Fellowship

“Things that seem very easy to discuss or explain in a classroom become a lot more challenging in real, applied settings amongst a dizzying number of stakeholders,” shares Robyn Speed (G’16), one of the students in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service’s Global Human Development (GHD) Program who served as a Save the Children summer research fellow in the Copperbelt region of Zambia.

Speed is one of several Georgetown students benefiting from a $1 million gift from Dr. Catherine (MS’75) and William McGurn (Parents’98) and their daughter Mary (F’98).

She sums up the importance of her field learning by saying “Working in Zambia allowed me to actively use the skills I gained in my GHD coursework. I found myself reviewing past lectures on topics like community engagement, qualitative research methods, and statistical analysis almost daily. The internship pushed me to explore the often difficult nexus of development theory and practice.”

Each summer, the McGurn Family Current Use Scholarship and Fellowship enables up to 10 GHD students to take on unique and stimulating assignments around the world. Last year, one student helped with rebuilding Liberia’s school system following their civil war and Ebola outbreak. Another traveled to Uganda to work for an NGO called Living Goods, an innovative social enterprise that empowers micro-entrepreneurs to provide basic health services to the poorest households.

“We are grateful to the McGurn family for making these summer experiences—a unique aspect of our program—financially possible. Our students have worked in struggling communities from Mozambique to Bolivia to Myanmar,” says Dr. Steven Radelet, the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development. “In addition, the McGurns’ gift provides scholarship funds so that we can attract high-caliber international students to Georgetown.”