Trish Gonzalez

Trish Gonzalez, originally from Mexico, moved to Ireland to further her education with a Master's degree in International Development at University College Dublin (UCD). Her time in Ireland became a transformative period in her life, particularly through her involvement with STAND.

Trish’s involvement with STAND began with the Global Issues course, and later on, she joined the STAND News team. Her participation extended to the Ideas Collective during the summer of 2022. The programme allowed her to connect with individuals from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds, including fields like psychology and engineering. The common thread among participants was a shared passion for societal change, which Trish found inspiring: "It was very nice to see that everyone can make a change, no matter what their background. I think it's great how easy STAND makes for everyone to feel like a changemaker and to actually work on it."

The Global Issues Courses were a highlight for Trish. She saw the courses as opportunities not only for learning but also for networking with like-minded individuals. Through Global Issues Courses, she met key facilitators, as well as peers who enriched her experience.

Her involvement in the Ideas Collective was particularly impactful. Sessions on design thinking and human-centred design resonated deeply with her. These sessions emphasised empathy and practical approaches to developing socially oriented projects. Trish’s project focused on raising awareness about people in direct provision through a blog.

Returning to Mexico City, Trish applied the skills and insights gained from STAND in her professional career. She worked with an international development consultancy firm, focusing on projects for agencies like UNICEF. There, she utilised methodologies such as social and behavioural change, which considers psychological, sociological, and environmental factors in decision-making. This approach aligned with the human-centred design principles she learned at STAND.

Currently, Trish works with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mexico, specifically on the Biodiversity and Finance Initiative. This role, which involves communications, has provided her with new learning opportunities in environmental fields.

As an alumna, Trish remains connected to STAND's mission. She lectures at her alma mater in Mexico and aims to bridge her academic and professional experiences with STAND. She is working to create collaborations between Mexican students interested in international relations and global issues and those involved with STAND News. Her hope is to see STAND's influence expand beyond Ireland, fostering international connections.

I think the work STAND does is very important, and I think making development education so accessible is what makes STAND so brilliant. I like how the organisation supports its members and tries to involve people from the outside in their process."

Trish Gonzalez