Portfolio Student Profile: Rachel Markowitz

Degree of Study: Masters in Global Policy Studies (LBJ School)

Graduation Year: 2015

I believe that Ultimate Frisbee can change the world. I have spent the past 5 years putting together workshops that use this non-contact, unofficiated, relatively unknown sport to transform the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Ultimate Frisbee increases confidence and team-building, and it allows people to step (and run, and jump, and dive) out of their normal routines to explore news skills together. The sport requires very little equipment, allows for a wide range of skill levels and ages to play safely together, and even suits young girls in a way that most sports do not.

This all started while I was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco studying conflict resolution. I conducted an Ultimate Frisbee workshops that also taught young people about non-violent approaches to conflict, and ended up staying in Morocco for almost 5 years working in development and international education. Eventually, I realized that if I wanted to really make these Ultimate Frisbee projects work, I needed some additional training.

That's what led me to UT to formally study Global Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. As a perfect complement, I am also pursuing a Portfolio in Non-Profit Studies with the RGK Center, so I can further my understanding of the NGO world that I hope to be a part soon.

In the summer between my two years at the LBJ School, I interned with Search for Common Ground in Kigali, Rwanda, and was delighted to gain new insights into non-profit management and to try my hand again at conducting Ultimate Frisbee workshops in community-building activities on the border with the DRC. My next step is to study conflict resolution in-depth at the IDC Herzliya in Tel Aviv, before returning to UT for one final semester of intense non-profit and development coursework.

And maybe fit in an Ultimate Frisbee workshop or two, as well!