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Spring 2023 CONNECT Fellows

marlanMarlen Guerrero is a third-year, part-time graduate candidate at the University of Houston, pursuing a master’s degree in social work at the Graduate College of Social Work. She is a first-generation college student with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and biology from Colby College in Maine. She is interested in macro approaches to social work centering on her hometown of Houston, particularly when it comes to emergency and disaster relief services. Guerrero works at a local non-profit organization developing programming for low-income Harris County residents.

Guerrero is working with Cy-Hope for her fellowship project.


catherineCatherine Miers is a first-year graduate candidate at the University of Houston pursuing a master's degree in public policy. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Her area of interest is education policy.

For the past eight years, Miers worked as a secondary social studies teacher for Houston Independent School District. She taught Texas history, AP government, and AP macroeconomics at Young Women's College Preparatory Academy. In 2021, Miers was selected Teacher of the Year at YWCPA. In 2022, she won Educator of the Year for the Young Women's Preparatory Network of eight schools located in urban neighborhoods. 

Miers is also the proud mom of Audrey, a wonderful three-year-old. Miers is working with BakerRipley for her fellowship project. 


hannah urie_headshotHannah Urie is a second-year graduate candidate at the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, pursuing a master’s degree in public policy. Her areas of interest are food insecurity and understanding the intricacies of the global food system. Urie currently works in development and communications for Target Hunger, a Houston-based non-profit focused on supporting Houston’s food-insecure population. Prior to Target Hunger, she served as an AmeriCorps Member with United Way of Greater Houston’s Education Initiative - working with students struggling in math and reading to help them improve their skills and keep up in class.

Urie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Georgia College & State University and is also a Certified Non-Profit Professional. Beyond her professional endeavors, her experience includes serving her Georgia and Houston communities through several community outreach volunteer roles. Most notably, she assisted a refugee assistance organization that empowered refugee women through job opportunities and life skills development.

Hannah is working with the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement for her fellowship project.