Three Education students to intern with ATTSVE in Ethiopia this summer


The ATTSVE project is pleased to announce their interns for the summer of 2018. For the first time each of the Faculty of Education's three departments are represented by the interns in the cohort.

The students selected are Kyla Brophy, of our Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology; Lauren Hennig, Kinesiology and Physical Education; and Simone Tissenbaum, Integrated Studies in Education. All three bring extensive, varied experience with gender issues in relation to international development.

The six-year Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) project is designed to enhance the capacity of the Ethiopian ATVET (Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training) system to prepare skilled, competent technical graduates. The project aims to help move Ethiopia towards a market-focused agricultural system better poised to support the country economically, while meeting the needs of both male and female farmers and youth, and the agriculture industry. James McGill Professor Claudia Mitchell is the Project Manager for ATTSVE at McGill.  

The McGill interns, along with interns from partners Dalhousie, have undertaken these placements to support the outcomes of the project by providing support to the ATVET college Gender Clubs and implementing ongoing work on addressing gender violence. For six weeks throughout the summer of 2018, the student interns will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and travel to 4 ATVETs across different regions of the country, supported by the ATTSVE In-Country Office.

Lauren C Hennig is a first year Masters of Arts student in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Health Education. Growing up in rural Alberta, Lauren gained practical experience in agriculture and community development. She has volunteered internationally, teaching in Kenya, and locally in her community on projects that support education and sustainability.  Professionally, she taught for six years, in a variety of subjects, in the public education system before coming to research.

Lauren’s research thesis focuses on using narrative inquiry methodology to study pre-service physical education teachers’ engagement with issues of social justice. She is also engaged in qualitative research on peer mentorship programs for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Passionate about community building, she is curious about relational dynamics and social change.

Lauren is excited to be engaged as an ATTSVE intern to learn more about gender issues and how they impact education and agricultural implementation. Understanding the unique needs of individual communities is essential in supporting the objectives they hope to realize. She looks forward to contributing to the pursuit of sustainable economic development in Ethiopia in a way that allows for growing gender equality.

Simone Tissenbaum is a first-year Masters student completing her MA in Education and Society. Her thesis explores the topic of gender-based violence and sexual health & relationship education through embodied knowledge and dance/movement practice with youth. Simone is engaged in the McGill community through her work at Teaching and Learning Services as a Graduate Assistant, as well as supporting survivors of sexual assault through the navigation of policy on campus. 

Prior to continuing her academic pursuits at McGill, Simone completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Ryerson University, where she was involved in several student leadership initiatives, including an international entrepreneurial project in Kenya. Between her undergraduate and graduate pursuits, Simone worked as a teacher at a private high school, where she taught social science and business courses. 

Simone's business and teaching backgrounds, as well as her current work on the topic of gender-based violence, support her well in the work that is being done on the ATTSVE project. She is excited to learn from, and offer her skills and experiences to, this project. 

Kyla Brophy is currently completing an MA in Counselling Psychology at McGill, where her research focuses on the role of self-compassion in promoting resilience and well-being. Kyla’s interests in community consultation and gender-based analysis are informed by her professional and academic experience working across Canada and internationally. As an undergraduate, Kyla spent two summers working on initiatives to support vulnerable youth in Tanzania. Following her graduation, she worked in the non-profit sector in Vancouver, BC on issues related to education, health, and social justice, including coordinating a violence-prevention project in partnership with Status of Women Canada. Prior to coming to McGill, she worked on a multidisciplinary team at BC Children’s Hospital to engage patients, families, and health care providers in research to support youth during periods of transition. She holds BAs in Political Science and Psychology from the University of British Columbia, a Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University, and an MSc in Gender (Research) from the London School of Economics. 

Kyla is excited to join the ATTSVE team and learn about the intersecting issues related to gender and economic development in different Ethiopian contexts. She looks forward to contributing to local objectives, and supporting knowledge sharing and project sustainability.

The Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) project is designed to enhance the capacity of the Ethiopian ATVET (Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training) system to prepare skilled, competent technical graduates. Four ATVET colleges have been selected for focused training and investment, with the intent that they will become leaders in change, sound institutional management and innovation, while at the same time serving as models for teaching and curriculum reform and demand-driven programming for the ATVET system.

ATVET colleges are largely located in the rural regions, close to the smallholder farming areas. In these areas rural youth, both the males and females, as well as adult women are often an overlooked and underemployed human resource.