GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT:

Champions of Change from
Future Generations University

At Future Generations University, our graduates are the epitome of resilience, innovation, and community empowerment. Each of our alumni has harnessed the power of their education to drive significant change in their respective fields and communities. Today, we celebrate the remarkable journeys and achievements of some of the 2024 distinguished graduates.
Bill Bridgeford: From Vision to Reality
For Bill Bridgeford, earning a degree from Future Generations University has been transformative. Previously relying on intuition, Bill now understands the “why” behind his actions, thanks to evidence-based learning. His education has empowered him to revive a non-profit organization he founded in 2010, providing him with the knowledge and skills to move from vision to actionable plans.
Kimberly Pettigrew: A Catalyst for Food Security
Kimberly Pettigrew began her journey at Future Generations University seven years ago while working at Nourish Knoxville. Today, as the Director of Food Systems at the United Way of Greater Knoxville, Kimberly has applied her knowledge to significantly increase food security lessening her community’s burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through innovative projects like creating farmers’ markets and a veggie bus, she has transformed her community’s access to food and land.
Grace Williams: Leading Community Transformation in West Virginia
Grace Williams feels immense gratitude for her experience at Future Generations University. Her coursework has equipped her with practical tools for community development. Grace’s favorite memory is the residential trip to Vietnam, where she engaged in critical thinking and created lasting bonds with her classmates. She continues to apply her skills to foster positive change in her West Virginian communities: Big Laurel Learning Center where she is the director, JASMER Land Trust, Kermit Pk-8 Middle School Garden, and Friends of the Tug Fork River as a board member.
Alexis Zaring: Environmental Leadership
Alexis Zaring’s journey through the master’s program took her from an AmeriCorps service member to the Environmental Program Administrator at the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Her SEED-SCALE courses inspired her to view ADOT as a community and create environmental changes, including landscape management and supporting homeless individuals. Alexis’ work included building an interactive website to educate her community on environmental issues.
Rachel Mashiri: Bridging Faith and Community Development
Rachel Mashiri’s degree from Future Generations University represents a transformative period in her life, blending her passion for education with her calling as a pastor. The program has equipped her to create meaningful change in her communities, focusing on sustainable development and empowerment. Rachel plans to lead initiatives that foster intergenerational collaboration and sustainable solutions.
Bindu Pun: Holistic Public Health Practitioner
Bindu Pun, a public health practitioner, has developed a holistic approach to health through her master’s program. She works as a Research and Training Officer for Bhaskar Tejshree Memorial Foundation, focusing on preventing non-communicable diseases and gender-based harassment. The program has empowered her with essential research skills and the ability to lead impactful community projects.
Ammar Air: Enhancing Community Governance
Ammar Air, the Executive Director of Sahakarmi Samaj in Nepal, has improved his leadership skills and upgraded his organization’s capacity through his studies. His focus on community governance, traditional agriculture, and climate change has doubled the organization’s budget and expanded its impact across more districts.
Daniel Tillias: Youth Development in Haiti
Daniel Tillias, originally from Haiti, now works for Haitian Bridge Alliance, a migrants’ rights organization in the U.S. His focus remains on youth development through agriculture in Haiti. Projects like Job Power, which creates youth job opportunities in agriculture, continue to provide services to adolescents and improve food security in their community.
Valerie Morgan: Alleviating Food Insecurity
Valerie Morgan is passionate about improving communities and has used her master’s degree to address food insecurity. She has been involved in starting a food recycling site and working with young women entrepreneurs in Kenya. Valerie plans to continue her work in Pittsburgh and abroad through the Peace Corps.
Robert Wilcox: Prepared for Community Development
As Robert Wilcox starts his journey with the Peace Corps in Georgia, it mirrors what he learned during his master’s program. He applies qualitative data analysis, monitoring, and evaluation skills to community projects. Grateful for his learning experiences and connections, Robert continues to use his skills to make a difference.
Padam Bahadur Bishwakarma: Leadership in Nepal and Beyond
Padam Bahadur Bishwakarma, originally from Nepal, experience with Future Generations University enhanced his skills in plan development, research, and collaboration, focusing on empowering the marginalized Dalit community in Nepal.
Jooyong Choi: Empowering Communities Globally
Jooyong Choi, formerly the Country Director for Good Neighbors International in Malawi, now works at the Heart-to-Heart Foundation in South Korea. His experience with Future Generations University enriched his approach to community empowerment and global networking in the development field.
Ivy English: Community Coordination and Volunteerism
Ivy English, a Peace Corps volunteer turned AmeriCorps coordinator, now works for Gathering for Women in California. Her hands-on learning at Future Generations University has enabled her to apply principles directly to her work, improving community volunteer coordination.
Mohammad Qasim Erfani: Peace and Development Advocate
Mohammad Qasim Erfani, a lecturer from Afghanistan, now lives in Iran due to political changes. He co-founded the Kabul Research Institute for Peace & Development, conducting research and holding conferences to foster peace and development.

The 2024 graduates of Future Generations University exemplify the transformative power of education. They have not only acquired knowledge but have also applied it to drive meaningful change in their communities. Their journeys underscore the university’s commitment to empowering individuals to create sustainable development and community empowerment.

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