Hannah McDaniel's IDS Experience

Hannah building for habitat for humanity

I chose to minor in International Development Studies because I wanted to compliment my Communication Studies major with the exploration of complex issues and potential solutions as they are occurring around the world. Through the program, I gained an appreciation for community-driven, equitable, and participatory approaches to change as well as a new understanding of how social, political, ecological, and political trends intersect. Additionally, studying alongside undergraduate and graduate students from other disciplines challenged my thought processes. The IDS program broadening my perspective on social justice issues aided me in my career as a non-profit communications professional and more recently, inspired my pursuit of a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Management. I am proud to credit the program’s supportive faculty and demanding course content from the history of natural resource exploitation to the legacy of colonialism with expanding my worldview and goals. 

The photo above is from our 2016 build site which was in the Franklin to the Fort neighborhood. I’m using tar to seal the foundation of what would become Habitat's 50th home in Missoula. That year we completed two homes, each in partnership with hardworking single mothers. Habitat homes are co-constructed with and then purchased by community members who face barriers to obtaining a traditional home mortgage and are symbols of collaboration, strength, stability, and (some of my favorite words of Habitat International’s CEO) radical inclusively.