Portfolio Student Profile: Rochelle Olivares

Degree of Study: Masters in Public Affairs and Masters in Social Work (dual degree)

Graduation Year: 2015

Rochelle is a first generation U.S. citizen and grew up as a third culture kid, living and studying mainly on Guam, Spain, Greece, and the U.K. After obtaining her B.A. in International Studies from Gonzaga University in 2004, Rochelle focused her career on public service organizations. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, has worked in non-profit program management with at risk youth in Nicaragua and start-up farm cooperatives in Colombia. In addition, Rochelle has worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, Austin Travis County Integral Care, and Front Steps.

To strengthen her skill set in non-profit management, Rochelle decided to return to graduate school and is currently pursuing dual degrees at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Through the Non-Profit portfolio Rochelle has been able to expand and hone her knowledge on evaluation methods, governance, and finance structures. In addition to this, she was awarded a Meadows Fellowship to be part of a student consultant team to a start-up non-profit in Colon, Panama traveled there to build capacity within the organization. 

As the new Graduate Research Assistant for the RGK Center, Rochelle will be supporting research on the Rundberg project. Through this position, she hopes to have a better understanding how rigorous field research can strengthen social programs. She is an avid salsa dancer, enjoys long-distance cycle tours, and grows backyard chickens in her in East Austin home.