Abbey (she, her, hers) joined CDA as a Fellow in March 2022. Abbey is a Deans Scholar and candidate for her Master of Science in Global Affairs with a concentration in Peacebuilding at New York University (2023). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Linguistics from Loyola University Chicago.
In conjunction with her studies, she is presently working with a Colombian research team from the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP). With the use of primary and secondary source data collection, data analysis, and both quantitative and qualitative methods of surveys, interviews, and observations in English and Spanish; Abbey is partnering with local researchers to generate insight into the role of environmental, human rights, LGBTQ, and indigenous social leaders in the shaping of public opinion in the south of Colombia.
Abbey is passionate about serving Spanish-speaking communities, especially in inter-city Chicago, the place her parents immigrated to in the late 1980s. She dedicated much of 2020 and 2021 to tackling the challenges of food security at a Chicago local NGO through their Food Distribution program. The program connects families to fresh food, community, and relationships at 7 sites across the Chicagoland area. Her work involved patterning with faith actors and community leaders to expand the reach of the organization. What started as a Mother/Daughter team that fed 100 families every Friday turned into 400 families in the first month of the pandemic. Then, in partnership with The Greater Chicago Food Depository, as well the support of donors and local politicians the program started feeding over 6,000 families (30,000 people) per week by June 2020. Throughout the pandemic, it has fed over 1.8 million people and continues to build relationships and connect community members to resources.
Outside of work Abbey enjoys eating excessive amounts of NYC bagels and pizza, reading lots in English and Spanish, and visiting Chicago as much as possible.