About this blog:

I’m a graduate student, a candidate for an MA in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School at Brandeis University. I chose this development program because of its unique and practical design and because of Brandeis’ commitment as an institution to social justice. This Masters involves a year of academics in residence at the university and a second year spent fulfilling a development related practicum and writing a Masters thesis. This blog will be an attempt to capture some of that second year experience for family, friends, colleagues and anyone else who might be interested.

This blog is also about becoming more fully human. To me, this means working to end the cycle of dehumanization. Dehumanization, or seeing and treating others as less than human, steals from our own humanity as well as the humanity of those we dehumanize. I think of becoming more fully human as a lifelong process with its own highs and lows. There’s no contest, just a necessary collective effort of daily striving for right thought and right action to improve our ability to see each other as no less than we truly are. This is the meaning of the title. I believe that the majority of us are humans in progress: on our ways, but not fully there yet.

About the author:

Elizabeth: human in progress.

I feel driven to live holistically. For me, this means trying to live out what I believe in all aspects of my life, work and play. I believe that through humanization, radical change is possible. I also recognize that I am happiest when I am learning and striving. I enjoy working hard in new and challenging environments and doing work that contributes to meaningful, positive change. I also believe that this work needs to constantly be examined and informed through research, theory, and analysis.

I graduated in 2005 with a BA in English and Political Science. I used to think that I wanted to be a writer or an English professor, but now I believe I was drawn to study literature because it moved me and caused me to feel things deeply. Sometime during my university studies, I was turned off by what I perceived to be the banality of literary criticism and decided to study what was actually happening in the world. My decision to add a second major in Political Science has informed pretty much everything I’ve done professionally since.

Since graduating, I’ve been an organic farmhand in rural Purcellville, Virginia, a TA for an undergraduate class in university sustainability in Houston, Texas, a Teach For America corps member and high school English and Social Studies teacher on the US/Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas, an activist and organizer against the border wall, and the after-school administrator at a high-needs high school in Austin, Texas. I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate education, sustainability, and social justice into my life and work.

  1. Penny Parish says:

    Elizabeth, it was great to read your “human in progress” statement. We are very proud of you and your work. It would be wonderful to hear about your venture in Mexico City and see pictures of your travel there. Jerry & I are still waiting for your visit to our little farmette. Take care and know we think of you often.
    love, aunt penny & uncle jerry

  2. Elizabeth, that’s a beautiful site; makes my jealous compared to my poorly designed blog. Your themes are as usual focussed on human beings and their welfare. Loved it!

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