Regis University Develop Practice prepares you to collaborate effectively with a variety of development actors from an integrated, inter-sectoral and global perspective. With this education, you will be able to facilitate holistic development solutions, ranging well beyond the silo of a single discipline. With an eye to social justice, you’ll navigate economic, political, and cultural complexity for lasting development impact. Moreover, your degree will set you on a path of lifelong learning through a discipline of critical reflection.


Achieving a just and sustainable planet demands a holistic policy and attention to the lived realities of communities around the world. To meet this challenge, Regis offers an integrated and collaborative development education for aspiring and current development practitioners. 

Two Development Practice options are available: 

Master of Development Practice
Development Practice Graduate Certificate


MDP students will receive program communication through an assigned Regis student email account. Course specifics will be delivered through D2L, a learning management system that students use to complete their coursework. Personal email accounts will not be used to communicate program or course information. 

The Development Practice Student Resource Portal (SRP) is located in D2L. The SRP allows students to share news, seek advice and discuss issues as a program community. Career opportunities, a student handbook, master’s thesis information and field immersion opportunities are also available on the SRP.

New Student Orientation

Base Camp, our new student orientation, will occur from August 22nd-26th, 2018. During Base Camp, students learn about the academic and cultural expectations of the development practice program, its curriculum and various resources. Students will meet for Base Camp from 7-10 a.m. on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th and will conclude with a social/outdoor activity (details TBD) in the Denver metro area on the 26th.

Student Support and Resources

Regis University’s Learning Commons provides academic support for students, like tutoring services, one-on-one and group workshops and writing help from trained ESL students in The Writing Center.

The Regis University Library also provides a full range of online and on-campus services and resources, including the development practice Library Guide (LibGuide), specifically designed as a research source for DP students. Online access to librarians through the Jesuit university library network provides 24-hour access to research guidance.

Additionally, MDP students are represented in the Students and Alumni Advisory Council (SAAC) of the Global Association of Master of Development Practice (GAM) programs. SAAC gives students a professional platform for job opportunities, networking and promotion of the MDP brand to employers.

Our Faculty

Emily Van Houweling

Emily Van Houweling has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance and Globalization and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. She has over a decade of experience in international development in nine sub-Saharan Africa countries. Her experience began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali and includes several large, collaborative research and development projects with a variety of partners. Van Houweling’s research explores issues of equity, sustainability and governance in relation to water and sanitation services. She has taught development courses at the University of Denver’s Korbel School for International Studies and Virginia Tech.

Mairi-Jane Fox
Mairi-Jane Fox has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh. Her professional experience includes research in sustainable impact investing, corporate social responsibility and ecological economics. Fox has taught at Colorado charter schools, as well as Colorado State University and Champlain College. 

Karla Esser
Karla Esser has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado and a M.A. in Education: Teaching and Learning from Regis University. She has taught at various universities, including Regis University, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, as well as Aurora, Elizabeth and Aurora Public Schools in Colorado. She is also a member of numerous organizations including the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Colorado Staff Development Council. 

Joshua N. Knight
Joshua N. Knight, P.E., Ph.D., C.W.P., graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, from the University of South Carolina with a M.E. in Chemical Engineering and from the University of Colorado at Denver with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Urban Infrastructure). He has 20 years of experience in water, wastewater, environmental and sustainability engineering fields. 

Knight is a Program Engineer at Global Hope Network International (GHNI) in Denver, CO and walks alongside communities to empower villagers to lift themselves out of poverty using local staff to provide knowledge-sharing in the areas of water, food, health, education and income generation. 

Cristin Lasser
Cristin Lasser has a Ph.D. in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado Boulder and an M.A. in Teaching: Elementary Education from Brown University. She has taught at various universities, including Regis University, Colorado Mountain College and the University of Colorado Boulder. Lasser is also a member of numerous organizations, including Higher Educators in Linguistically Diverse Education and Culture, Language and Social Practices and the Comparative and International Education Society.

Ursula Miniszewski
Ursula Miniszewski holds an M.A. in International Studies and a B.A. in History. She is the Program and Development Officer of Gender and the Environment at Global Greengrants Fund. She is a contributing author of award-winning “Climate Justice and Women's Rights: A Guide to Supporting Grassroots Women's Actions,” and co-coordinator of the Summit on Women and Climate. As part of her work at Global Greengrants, she travels around the world speaking about the gendered impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Miniszewski has experience working on women’s human rights issues in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and internationally focused nonprofits that advocate for women’s rights to a clean, healthy and safe environment. 

Our Students

Alain Michel Doricyusa Gabiro
Where I am from: Kigali, Rwanda
Where I am now: Kigali, Rwanda

Development passion: Striving to make the World better than I found it! Mainstreaming environment and climate change into development practices with social and cultural inclusion to get real sustainable development. 

Unique, fun or interesting fact: Deep thinker on philosophical questions about life, faithful believer in humanity, fan of movies/documentaries, firm believer in true friendship and with optimistic standpoint.

Avoki Omekanda
Where I am from: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Where I am now: Michigan, USA

Development Passion: All UN Sustainable Development Goals

Unique, fun or interesting fact: I am interested in engineering research and development, and soccer refereeing

Ciza Ndegey 
Where I am from: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Where I am now: Kinshasha, capital of DRC

Development Passion: Working with grassroots communities in all development sectors, such as agriculture, renewable energy, education, etc.

Unique, fun, or interesting fact about me: I enjoy traveling and listening to music

Camilla Turquia Gomes
Where I am from: Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Where I am now: Denver, CO

Development Passion: Latin America and Human Rights. Most specifically, finding parentless children the necessary foundations for them to develop to their fullest potential  

Unique, fun, or interesting fact about me: I am from the tropical mountains of Brazil but only in the snowy mountains of Colorado have I found my favorite hobby: skiing!

Amanda Filipczuk
Where I am from: Columbus, GA, USA
Where I am now: Denver, CO, USA

Development Passion: Gender Justice and Community-Based Development

Unique, fun, or interesting fact about me: I practiced ballet for 11 years, climbed Mt. Killimanjaro twice, and was once a side-line dancer for semi-pro football team

Allie Holmquist - (Graduate)
Where I am from: Long Beach, CA, USA
Where I am now:  Denver, CO, USA

Development passion: Women's empowerment through community

Unique, fun, or interesting fact about me: I graduated college with a double major in Peace and Justice and Sociology. I woke up in the middle of wisdom teeth surgery when I was 15 years old, and still have two wisdom teeth-but I am not sure which side they're on (I am leaning towards them being on the left side).

Olayinka Ayo
Where I am from: Kogi State, Nigeria
Where I am now: Lagos, Nigeria

Development Passion: to drive renewable energy technologies for community development in Nigeria

Fun, unique, or interesting fact about me: I love dancing and traveling

Omar Sheriff 
Where I am from: Lofa County, Liberia
Where I am now: Montserrado County, Liberia

Development Passion: Rural electrification and energy access

Fun, unique, or interesting fact about me: I like housekeeping, gardening, soccer, feminism, and kidding

Cecilia Guerrero
Where I am from: Guaranda (central province in Ecuador)
Where I am now: I studied and live in Quito, Ecuador

Development Passion: I love my country and I want to show people that if we show our country in a friendly and green way, we can also make money. I am into business, education, and conservation

Fun, unique, or interesting fact about me: As I love my country, I enjoy traveling around the rural areas and doing outdoor sports, mostly trekking and climbing

Cedar Wolf
Where I am from: Colville, Washington, USA
Where I am now: Wheat Ridge, CO, USA

Development Passion: Help people turn ideas into reality through entrepreneurship education, planet conservation by promoting renewable energies, digital storytelling

Fun, unique, or interesting fact about me:  An avid skateboarder and aspiring mountaineer. Summited a 20,000 ft peak in Bolivia, trekked for a week in the Himalayas, alone! Pontianus Mukishi, my business/development training program in Namibia, is pictured here with me

Lindsey Kruger - (Graduate)
Where I am from: Grafton, Iowa, USA
Where I am now: Kathmandu, Nepal

Development Passion: The individual autonomy and agency of impoverished people as well as gender justice

 Fun, unique, or interesting fact: Like most people in Kathmandu, I've never been to Everest Base Camp, but I work about 55km/34miles from there

Dominic Mark Mugisha
Where I am from: I come from Mubende Town in central Uganda. Originally parents are from Southwestern Uganda, and I still have a lot of relations there 

Where I am now: I currently stay in Kampala, but I work on a lot of energy projects located in different regions of Uganda

 Fun, unique, or interesting fact: I enjoy traveling, but unfortunately, am camera shy!

Nacarid Silva 
Where I am from: Valencia, Venezuela
Where I am now: Denver, CO, USA

Development passion: To provide education to all, no matter race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation

 Fun, unique, or interesting fact: I am fluent in both Spanish and English, and am trying to learn Italian. I hope to travel to Italy in the near future

Balchisu Adam
Where I am from: Ghana
Where I am now: Ghana-Tamale

Unique fact about me: I am a very big fan of traveling, analytical, and I love singing any song no matter the language in which the song it as far as I love the song!

Irene Samy Fahim Gabriel - (Graduate)
Where I am from: Egypt
Where I am now: North Coast for the weekend

Fun, unique, or interesting fact: I am a Leo, but I am totally different than the characteristics of this horoscope

Karoli Kolokonyi
Where I am from: Rwanda
Where I am now: Kigali, Rwanda

Development passion: Promoting the use of technology to boost SMEs

Unique, fun, or interesting fact: Play football

Kate Lapides
Where I am from: Colorado, USA
Where I am now: Colorado, with intermittent work in Kenya

Unique, fun, or interesting fact: A 20+ year practicing photojournalist, my life has been immeasurably enriched by the opportunity to work and travel in countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and Latin America. I've also been deeply passionate about running and skiing long distances in the mountains for decades, especially above 10,000 feet

Marias Ripau
Where I am from: Kenya
Where I am now: Maasai Mara, Kenya

Development passion: Building strong and resilient social economies through social enterprise

Unique, fun or interesting fact: As a Maasai Maran, I was happy "killing dead lions," until realized that I must become a voice of protection to the living lions for the harmonious co-existence between the wildlife and humans in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve for community development. I love debating, meeting new people, soccer and traveling

Elena Rodellar
Where I am from: Zaragoza, Spai
Where I am now: Madrid, Spain

Development passion: Help to design development projects in order to enhance education and health in disadvantaged communities
Unique, fun, or interesting fact: I really enjoy meeting new people and discovering new places, thus I travel whenever I can!

Tonny Muteesasira
Where I am from: Uganda
Where I am now: Kampala, Uganda

Development Passion: community development and gender empowerment as a means of enriching vulnerable communities

Yves Kana 
Where I am from: Rwanda
Where I am now: Eastern Province, Rwanda

Fun, interesting fact about me: I like to watch movies, and hate to travel.