Student

Faith

MA in Global Communications, Development Track

Faith working as a Peace Corps Education Development Agentin Burkina Faso.

I was born in Cherry Point, North Carolina and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania as the second oldest of 11 children. After earning my BA in Political Science at Spelman College, I worked in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps Education Development Agent and in the Georgia House of Representatives as a Legislative Aide. Both of these roles drew me towards digital storytelling and development communications. I wanted to create dialogue through cultural exchange, promote change in international development efforts, and champion discourse that examined and expounded upon ways to improve developing countries through media.

As a Peace Corps Education Development Agent, I’d observed development impartation occurring without proper needs assessments, so that distributed resources often didn’t meet the community’s needs. I’d seen how conducting such assessments could foster community relationships so that its members could realize sustainable cross-cultural development projects, like a dental hygiene drive my village co-facilitated with Atlanta, Georgia’s Springdale Elementary School. In my work as a Legislative Aide, I helped advocate for education initiatives that provided communities with school choice options. This allowed me to develop my advocacy and analytical skills and pushed me to recognize the need for legislation that reflects the represented constituencies.

I feel encouraged towards a deeper level of exploration, as AUP opens my mind to ideas within development communications to which I may have been previously opposed and inspires me to use research to unravel preconceived notions.

Faith Danielle Toran

These experiences fed into my decision to come to AUP. I wanted to improve my French so that I could have more of a meaningful impact when doing development work in West African francophone countries. I also wanted to supplement my previous field work with a theoretical framework while exploring aspects of development and global communications that I hadn’t already experienced.

I’m enjoying the small classes, how easily accessible our professors are, the built-in practical applications of course material, the helpful career guidance, and the opportunities for international networking. I feel encouraged towards a deeper level of exploration, as AUP opens my mind to ideas within development communications to which I may have been previously opposed and inspires me to use research to unravel preconceived notions.  

Studying in Paris plays an important role in my research inquiries, since I’m constantly experiencing a culture different from my own. Learning about French culture and being aware of the cultural differences and similarities enhances my curiosity and willingness to learn and engage with the other. I’m more committed than ever to increasing my capacities as a change agent through digital storytelling and development communications practices that create solutions.

 

Go back to Global Communications Program page >