About Us


The Social Change Semester is co-directed by Emily Mohn-Slate and Nico Slate. At Carnegie Mellon, Emily teaches writing and Nico teaches history. Both love travel, are passionate about community service, and are grateful for the opportunity to bring students on this unique service-based semester abroad.

Below, you can read more about the amazing students on our last Social Change Semester.


Alexandria Hernandez is currently a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, double majoring in Global Studies and Professional Writing. A poet at heart, her passion for human rights and conflict resolution often find ways of seeping into her work. She is filled with a profound gratitude for not only the opportunity to embark on such a magnificent adventure, but also the ability to share the experience with an amazing group of students!


Asha Thomas is about to finish her senior year with a dual degree in Business Administration and in Global Studies. She is a globally conscious, analytic and motivated student whose passion lies in international sustainable development. You can follow her at bailandoporelmundo.tumblr.com.

Daniel Nesbit is a junior studying International Relations and Politics and is interested in political activism and community engagement, especially among Millennials.  As part of a developing senior thesis, he is excited to see how the different environments during the trip relate to the involvement of younger generations.   His blog, The Orange Sky, can be found at http://orasky.tumblr.com/


Marcy Held is currently completing her senior year as a Global Studies major at CMU, with minors in Environmental Studies and Photography. She is extremely excited to be a member of this group, and she is looking forward to researching the relationship between journalism and democracy in India. You can follow her at: http://intransitphotos.tumblr.com/

Marie Avilez is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon, studying Ethics, History and Public Policy. In her free time she plays the clarinet and is a mentor with Strong Women Strong Girls. Marie is most excited for the education aspect of this trip. She looks forward to spending time teaching children.

Marielle Saums

Marielle Saums is a senior Global Studies major with an interest in rural water development and conservation. You can follow her at acollectivethirst.wordpress.com

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Mariem Fekih is a senior student at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar studying Information Systems and minoring in Global Politics. She is very interested in global development and sustainability. By joining this program, she is looking forward to learning more about sustainable social development and enjoying studying and traveling with other enthusiastic students.


Molly Berntsen is a junior at Carnegie Mellon studying biology. She is most interested in environmental science, ecology, and sustainable agriculture. Molly is hoping to use this semester to study the intersections and connections between Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) and western medicine. She is so excited to be here and can’t wait to see where this experience takes her.

Tahirah Green graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2013 with a B.S. in International Relations and Politics, a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies. She is fascinated by the relationship between the arts and social change, and enjoyed exploring the potential of these interconnections throughout the semester.


Wesley Hall is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing degrees in Global Studies and Japanese. A firm believer in the notion of global citizenship, he is looks forward to creating meaningful, lasting connections and expanding his global network of friends. He feels privileged to pursue this experience under the guidance of Professors Nico and Emily Mohn Slate, and with the companionship of a unique, dynamic set of fellow student travelers.


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