Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Our students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and majors, and bring a diversity of perspectives to the program.

Student Profiles

Meet the IEM students here at the Institute! Students marked with an (*) are candidates in the joint International Education Management and Public Administration (MPA) program.

Eli Hatch, Image

Eli Hatch*

Before MIIS: Working in automotive manufacturing, specifically with large Japanese companies.

Career Goal: Work as director of a study abroad program office at a university or in the foreign service with student visas and immigration.

Fun Fact: Big into Pinterest.

Khatab Cissokho, Image

Khatab Cissokho

Before MIIS: Argosy University for bachelor's degree in Business Administration and International Studies.

Career Goal: Know about IEM and use it in UN internationally

Fun Fact: Is a performing artist: actor, dancer, drummer, and choreographer.

Lauren Bell, Image

Lauren Bell*

Before MIIS: Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, partnered with a USAID funded project, ADVAN/CE.

Career Goal: Working in some facet of international education in a job that I love.

Fun Fact: I have achieved one of my goals for visiting 30 countries before the age of 30.

Chelsea Lavallee IEM 2015 Photo

Chelsea Lavallee*

Before MIIS: Program coordinator at an ESL school in Boston. TAPIF Program in Bordeaux.

Career Goal: Working at the intersection of education and international development.

Fun Fact: I can eat more pancakes than anyone I know.

Karla Piacentini IEM 2015 Photo

Karla Piacentini*

Before MIIS: Stationed in the Philippines from 2012–2014, serving as an English language teacher and Maternal and Child coordinator with the Peace Corps.

Career Goal: Study abroad coordinator, either domestically or abroad. I also see a career in the Foreign Service and/or the Peace Corps.

Fun Fact: I ride motorcycles.

Sarah Whitley IEM 2015 Photo

Sarah Whitley*

Before MIIS: Lived in South Korea from 2012 to 2015, teaching English at two technical high schools.

Career Goal: Start a study-abroad program or a school that facilitates under-performing and/or low-income Korean students.

Fun Fact: I make the best Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake the world has ever known.

Katy Wilson IEM 2015 Photo

Katy Wilson*

Before MIIS: English language and Anglophone culture teacher at an engineering school in Reims, France.

Career Goal: Working at the nexus of education, migration, and the environment.

Ayako Yamada IEM 2015 Photo

Ayako Yamada*

Before MIIS: Consul at the Japanese Consulate in Chicago.

Career Goal: Work at a university making a bridge between faculty and admin staff in the international center and career center.

Fun Fact: I enjoyed bungee jumping so much I jumped backwards the second time.

Annelise Andrade IEM
Annelise Andrade

Before MIIS: Working in the tourism/travel industry

Career Goal: Still discovering...but definitely with students!

Fun Fact: I love car karaoke

Abbiola Ballah IEM
Abbiola Ballah

Before MIIS: Working as an EFL teacher and university counselor at a high school in Tokyo, Japan

Career Goal: Developing Study abroad programs and exchanges for high school students in Trinidad and Tobago

Fun Fact: I am a master at Karaoke!

Jenna Cotey Photo
Jenna Cotey

Before MIIS: Teaching English in Spain and at EF Seattle.

Career Goal: Working on internationalization & exchange programs for higher education or an NGO

Fun Fact: The Harry Potter series is what sparked my love of reading. I have read the entire series more than five times and I have read the first five books in Spanish.

Megan Dieck IEM
Megan Dieck

Before MIIS: I graduated from undergrad in May 2015 and then worked at a daycare.

Career Goal: Not sure, somewhere working with students interested in learning languages

Fun Fact: I love dancing, ice skating, food, and learning languages.

Ashley Gauer IEM
Ashley Gauer*

Before MIIS: Small business owner; volunteer recruitment & management consultant; study abroad advisor/programs manager at USF; ESL instructor in Spain, S.E Asia, San Francisco, & Hawaii.

Career Goal: work for or start a social impact community hub that offers language, skills, & global ed training for youth

Fun Fact: I have an odd fascination for the smell of rain, tar, paint, & old sinks. I dig black holes, bookstores, barefoot boogies…and bread.

Charlotte Grant IEM
Charlotte Grant*

Before MIIS: I served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania in the Environment sector. Last year I taught elementary school science at a charter school in the South Bronx.

Career Goal: I'd love to be working for the UN or similar organization in the field of Education.

Fun Fact: I have webbed toes!

Damien Lazzari IEM
Damien Lazzari

Before MIIS: Peace Corps Ecuador

Career Goal: I hope to be starting an international school.

Fun Fact: My middle name is Francis.

Heather Rahimi IEM
Heather Rahimi

Before MIIS: I was roaming the world and exploring many different career paths. My positions ranged from working as an archaeologist in Peru to teaching pre-school in California.

Career Goal: Working as a Program Coordinator in a university's Study Abroad office.

Fun Fact: I unwrapped a mummy bundle last year.

Jake Reckford IEM

Jake Reckford

Before MIIS: Teach in Thailand Program Coordinator for CIEE and OEG in Bangkok, International Student Admissions at Chemeketa Community College, and Leader for the first Experiment in International Living program in Vietnam.

Career Goal: Country/Program Director for a third-party provider; starting my own study abroad program

Fun Fact: I once sang the National Anthem at a Denver Broncos game.

Clarissa Stewart IEM

Clarissa Stewart

Before MIIS: I worked in Japan teaching English for five years on the JET Program.

Career Goal: I want to have a job where I can support students and help them have great learning experiences.

Fun Fact: I love cooking and baking food from all over the world.

Will Stewart IEM
Will Stewart

Before MIIS: NYC, Morocco

Career Goal: Foreign Service, USAID, UN

Fun Fact: I brew beer.

Yuki Ueda IEM
Yuki Ueda

Before MIIS: Scholarship programs and administration for AAPI Scholars in the Gates Millennium Scholars Program.

Career Goal: Developing programs that support international exchange and promote diversity in higher education

Fun Fact: I'm a big Arsenal fan!

Daniel Watson IEM
Daniel Watson

Before MIIS: I spent the last three years in Spain teaching English and improving my Spanish.

Career Goal: I would like to work as a study abroad advisor in a university.

Fun Fact: I have played the violin for 17 years.

Christopher Adams IEM 2016 Photo

Christopher Adams

Before MIIS: I was teaching high school Spanish.

Career Goal: Language Program Director

Fun Fact: I took an 11-hour train across Morocco this summer

Noelle Boucher IEM 2016 Photo

Noelle Boucher

Before MIIS: I worked in Madrid, Spain teaching English.

Career Goal: Work in a study abroad office in a Spanish-speaking country.

Fun Fact: I took a group of eight Spanish girls on a trip to DC for two weeks.

Caitlin Cook IEM 2015

Caitlin Cook

Before MIIS: I was a swim coach and an editor for a new station's arts and entertainment blog.

Career Goal: Working in a study abroad office at a university, planning programs, and advising students.

Fun Fact: I have a 15-pound cat named Oscar.

Janira Cordova IEM 2016 Photo

Janira Cordova

Before MIIS: Working full time as a Medical Billing Specialist

Career Goal: I'd like to work abroad in Japan in a university.

Fun Fact: I've traveled abroad to other countries before, but I have yet to travel inside the US.

Jessica DiFoggio IEM 2016 Photo

Jessica DiFoggio

Before MIIS: I was in Colorado Springs, CO.

Career Goal: Working for a study abroad organization with programs in Italy.

Fun Fact: I can play jump rope with my arms instead of a rope.

Margot Draeger IEM 2016 Photo

Margot Draeger*

Before MIIS: Working at a law firm in San Francisco.

Career Goal: Working for an NGO or nonprofit in education programs.

Fun Fact: I enjoy hiking.

Grace Earley IEM 2016 Photo

Grace Earley

Before MIIS: I taught English in Yzeure, France with TAPIF.

Career Goal: Director of a university study abroad program

Fun Fact: I've done a barrel roll in a plane.

Liz Feliciano IEM 2016 Photo

Elizabeth Feliciano*

Before MIIS: I was working for an international school in MA as an international student advisor.

Career Goal: Working with international students and scholars. I also see myself working for an NGO protecting human rights.

Fun Fact: I love learning about evolutionary biology.

Harrison Gill IEM 2016 Photo

Harrison Gill*

Before MIIS: I was a Fulbright ETA in the Czech Republic, taught English in Milwaukee, and was a college recruiter in Israel.

Career Goal: I am interested in connecting students to practical experiences making a difference in the world.

Fun Fact: I love to go hiking in my free time.

Catherine Golub

Before MIIS: I worked as an English teacher in Shizuoka Japan with the JET program.

Career Goal: I want to work in a university study abroad office in Japan.

Fun Fact: My hobby is kickboxing.

Christopher Hester IEM 2016 Photo

Christopher Hester

Before MIIS: The JET program! I worked at three prefectural schools in Japan and got acquainted with Asia through travel.

Career Goal: Working in international scholar exchange programs between Japan and America.

Fun Fact: I'm a ballerino!

Schuyler Horn IEM 2016 Photo

Schuyler Horn

Before MIIS: I was working as a teacher recruiter in Boston, MA.

Career Goal: I hope to have a popular education podcast and/or create an international experiential summer education program.

Fun Fact: I play the trumpet.

Victoria Hudak IEM 2016 Photo

Victoria Hudak

Before MIIS: Teaching English in Saitama, Japan on the JET program.

Career Goal: Working in a study abroad office at a university, maybe even my alma mater, Hollins University.

Fun Fact: I was featured in a "street snaps" section of a Japanese fashion magazine called "Gothic and Lolita Bible."

McKenna Hughes IEM 2016 Photo

Mc Kenna Hughes

Before MIIS: I graduated from the University of Virginia and spent the last year in France teaching English.

Career Goal: Program coordinator abroad for a study abroad program.

Fun Fact: I'm always trying to learn a new language (to varying success).

Elizabeth Imasa IEM 2016 Photo

Elizabeth Imasa

Before MIIS: I was an English Assistant Language Teacher in Nishinomiya for two years.

Career Goal: Working with a study abroad program that bridges culture gaps or inspires students to take their learning experience outside of their comfort zones.

Fun Fact: I have done saddo (Art of tea ceremony) for two years in Japan.

Alyssa Jackson IEM 2016

Alyssa Jackson

Before MIIS: I served in Peace Corps Senegal. I also worked in hospitality in North Dakota.

Career Goal: Working either at a university in the study abroad department or abroad in New Zealand/South America.

Fun Fact: I went bungee jumping in New Zealand…twice!

Martha Jensen IEM 2016 Photo

Martha Jensen

Before MIIS: I was a hotel manager for an adventure-based cruise company. I spent three summers sailing in Alaska and two winters sailing in the Sea of Cortez.

Career Goal: I want to work in a university study abroad office or on-site at a program in a Spanish-speaking country.

Fun Fact: I have snorkeled with whale sharks and it was the most magical experience of my life!

Seth Joyner IEM 2016 Photo

Seth Joyner

Before MIIS: Meeting everyone I could, teaching English in Korea, and working as a high school choral director in NC.

Career Goal: Fulbright scholarship management, promoting study in the US, and promoting human rights in North Korea.

Fun Fact: I have an identical twin brother.

Patrick Kennedy IEM 2016 Photo

Patrick Kennedy*

Before MIIS: I served with Peace Corps Guatemala, and I also worked with mentoring service learning programs in Costa Rica.

Career Goal: Working in Latin America with a university or education-focused NGO

Fun Fact: I'm the youngest of seven siblings.

Christina Lee IEM 2016

Christina Lee*

Before MIIS: I was substitute teaching.

Career Goal: I would love to work in a study abroad or international programs office.

Fun Fact: I have five nephews and seven nieces.

David Malacki IEM 2016 Photo

David Malacki

Before MIIS: I managed English schools in China and also traveled around Asia.

Career Goal: I want to help students study in China and help Chinese students study abroad.

Fun Fact: I've hiked in the Himalayas.

Amy Marcus IEM 2016 Photo

Amy Marcus*

Before MIIS: I was an International Student Services Coordinator/DSO at an ESL school in Manhattan

Career Goal: Working in intercultural exchange and sustainable development, maybe with gap year students.

Fun Fact: I grew up in Kailua, Hawaii, but never surfed until I was 25 years old. Turns out I'm not bad at it!

Anna McCreedy IEM 2016

Anna McCreedy

Before MIIS: I worked as the Director of residential life for St. Mary's School in Medford, OR.

Career Goal: Study abroad advisor/coordinator in higher education.

Fun Fact: All four of my wisdom teeth were impacted…I had chipmunk cheeks for weeks.

Jessica Meado IEM 2016 Photo

Jessica Meado

Before MIIS: I worked as a travel agent in St. Louis, MO. I also worked in the Dept. of Human Services in central IL.

Career Goal: Study abroad advisor or international student services (potentially abroad).

Fun Fact: I participated in an archaeology dig in Greece!

Miranda Meyer IEM 2016 Photo

Miranda Meyer*

Before MIIS: I worked at an HIV clinic where I did HIV/Hep C testing, counseling, and outreach to homeless people.

Career Goal: I would like to work as a foreign service officer or cultural immersion program director.

Fun Fact: I love to dance bachata (but really any type!)

Kathryn Mill IEM 2016 Photo

Kathryn Mill

Before MIIS: I lived and studied in Paris, France, and worked for a gifted ed summer camp.

Career Goal: Working for a study abroad provider, helping to develop re-entry programs in higher ed/student affairs.

Fun Fact: I have the rarest MBTI type (INTJ!)


Melissa Nix

Before MIIS: I worked at an architecture firm in LA. I also traveled through SE Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Career Goal: Managing a study abroad program.

Fun Fact: I once met an Italian princess.

Erika Quinonez IEM 2016 Photo

Erika Quinonez

Before MIIS: I was an English coach in Maceio, Brazil with US-Brazil Connect. I also served with City Year Miami as a literacy interventionist.

Career Goal: Managing US-Brazil cross-cultural programs, and creating more affordable and socially-conscious study abroad opportunities.

Fun Fact: I played a year of collegiate soccer.

Morgan Rawlings IEM 2016 Photo

Morgan Rawlings*

Before MIIS: I worked in NYC at The Knot.

Career Goal: Working for an international school and running my own summer language immersion program in China.

Fun Fact: I am a lifelong musician, singer, and dancer, as well as an avid traveler and food enthusiast.

Jolyn Rekasis IEM 2016 Photo

JoLyn Rekasis

Before MIIS: I served in Peace Corps Dominican Republic as a childhood literacy promoter.

Career Goal: Working abroad through a university or study abroad program in a Spanish-speaking country.

Fun Fact: I lived on the Dominican/Haitian border with no running water and limited electricity.

Becky Richey IEM 2016

Becky Richey

Before MIIS: I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida.

Career Goal: Working at a university in a US-based study abroad or international students office, or as an on-site study abroad program director.

Fun Fact: I'm left-handed.

Hope Sanders IEM 2016 Photo

Hope Sanders

Before MIIS: I was teaching high school literature.

Career Goal: Working with study abroad programs.

Fun Fact: I enjoy running marathons.

Jessica Santos IEM 2016 Photo

Jessica Santos

Before MIIS: I worked at an international nonprofit and a startup working with students to secure temporary jobs and housing.

Career Goal: I want to create programs to push students to study or work abroad.

Fun Fact: I sing :)

Alexander Smith

Before MIIS: I taught with JET in Himeji, Japan.

Career Goal: Working with a university study abroad program.

Fun Fact: I ran the Himeji marathon.

David Smith IEM 2016 Photo

David Smith

Before MIIS: I was in Barcelona teaching English and writing music. I also served in Americorps as a teacher in San Jose.

Career Goal: Traveling and teaching or managing a school.

Fun Fact: I play over 20 instruments.


Sadira Smith

Before MIIS: I was in Croatia, being a full-time mom.

Career Goal: Working at the Bureau of Cultural Affairs.

Fun Fact: Ice cream in the winter, soup in the summer.

Dan Solomon IEM 2016 Photo

Dan Solomon

Before MIIS: I worked in live entertainment and customer service management.

Career Goal: Working my way towards managing an international education office.

Fun Fact: I once worked access control/security for the Samoan head of State and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Brett Srader IEM 2016 Photo

Brett Srader

Before MIIS: I was in eastern Kentucky teaching middle school English.

Career Goal: Promoting intercultural exchanges between rural communities both domestically and abroad.

Fun Fact: I worked in Yellowstone National Park

Eric Staab IEM 2016 Photo

Eric Staab

Before MIIS: I worked at an elementary school before/after-school program and substitute taught at a high school.

Career Goal: Working as a study abroad advisor.

Fun Fact: I have an 8-year old goldfish.

Laura Stipic IEM 2016 Photo

Laura Stipic

Before MIIS: I was working as an au pair in Australia.

Career Goal: I would like to be a study abroad advisor and eventually open my own program.

Fun Fact: I worked at Pixar Animation Studios.

Shayna Trujillo IEM 2016 Photo

Shayna Trujillo

Before MIIS: I worked for a Colorado school district as a bilingual early childhood community liaison.

Career Goal: Eventually direct a company or department that engages others in transformative and meaningful educational exchange and intercultural interactions.

Fun Fact: I'm secretly excellent at hula-hooping.

Ting Wang IEM 2016 Photo

Ting Wang

Before MIIS: I worked as a project manager in a laboratory equipment company in China for six years, mainly doing exporting business. And after that, I became a stay-at-home mom.

Career Goal: I’d like to work as a study abroad advisor in higher education or any other program advisor in the international student office.

Fun Fact: I enjoy trying Airbnbs in different places


Yijun Wang IEM 2016 Photo

Yijun Wang

Before MIIS: I was in San Diego.

Career Goal: I would like to work in Osaka, Japan or Shanghai, China.

Fun Fact: I speak Chinese and Japanese, and have recently been working on French.

Stephanie Weisfeld IEM 2016 Photo

Stephanie Weisfeld

Before MIIS: I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Brazil.

Career Goal: Working as an immigration coordinator at a university.

Fun Fact: The only time I've ever been camping was in Senegal.

Zilin Zheng IEM 2016 Photo

Zilin Zheng

Before MIIS: I completed my degree in East Asian Languages & Cultures at UIUC, and studied abroad at Waseda University.

Career Goal: Working in a university setting, to serve international students and promote study abroad - or teaching English in Asia.

Fun Fact: I am a big fan of K-pop.

Anatoily Artamanov

Anatoily Artamanov

Before MIIS: Getting my BA in Linguistics and Philosophy at UCLA.

Career Goal: Academic advising/counseling.

Anna Galbraith

Anna Galbraith

Before MIIS: I spent the last 3 months substitute teaching in Nebraska, but prior to that I was teaching English in southern Spain.

Career Goal: Helping all students find a way to have an international experience.

Fun Fact: I have reoccurring dreams about squirrels.

Ashley Bayman

Ashley Bayma

Before MIIS: Columbus > Gap year in Latin America and Europe > CA

Career Goal: Study abroad administration within 2 years. Director of foreign study outreach program within 5 years.

Fun Fact: I like to read fantasy books about vampires.

Carol Lin

Carol Lin

Before MIIS: Worked as an assistant in a video technology startup.

Career Goal: Working in a capacity that assists students in accomplishing study abroad and international experience dreams.

Fun Fact: I like to collects socks of all types!

David Austin

David Austin

Before MIIS: Studying Mandarin Chinese and working as a translator in Taipei, Taiwan.

Career Goal: Working with international students and promoting second language development.

Fun Fact: I participated in the highest pond hockey tournament on planet Earth in Leh, Ladakh, India (~12,000 ft. elevation).

Emily Bastian

Emily Bastian

Before MIIS: I worked in Recruitment/Admissions for American University. Before that I worked for IIE in DC and also spent a year teaching English in Italy.

Career Goal: Promoting understanding through international exchange!

Fun Fact: I love running all distances, including marathons!

Gabriela Perdomo

Gabriela Perdomo

Before MIIS: I was an academic advisor at UC San Diego.

Career Goal: I want to continue working with students, whether it be as a study abroad advisor or an international student advisor.

Fun Fact: I like to sing!

Kathleen Tyson

Kathleen Tyson

Before MIIS: Graduated in May 2016 and traveled in Denmark and Thailand.

Career Goal: Working in higher ed study abroad.

Fun Fact: I am a beekeeper.

Leslie Miles

Leslie Miles

Before MIIS: After Peace Corps service in Cambodia, I spent 3 years as an M&E specialist on USAID-funded development projects.

Career Goal: To manage a youth exchange program or support cross-cultural relationship building and global education in a study abroad or ISSS office.

Fun Fact: I am a classically trained baritone.

Madison Mentz

Madison Mentz

Before MIIS: Working at ITT Tech in the Bay Area


Paige Wheeler

Paige Wheeler

Before MIIS: Upon leaving South Korea after 3 years teaching English, I spent five months traveling and volunteering around Southeast Asia.

Career Goal: I’d like to be working with programs providing high school students exposure to international peers and adventures.

Fun Fact: I’ve marched in three Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.

Pilar Diaz de la Rubia

Pilar Diaz de la Rubia

Before MIIS: I was teaching English in Madrid, Spain for 3 years.

Career Goal: I’d like to be working with high school Spanish students helping them come and have an international experience in the US.

Fun Fact: I walked 500mi (775km) from France to the other side of Spain on the Camino de Santiago.


Stephanie Espinoza

Stephanie Espinoza

Before MIIS: Working in international education in San Diego, California.

Career Goal: Creating, expanding & promoting diversity in education abroad.

Fun Fact: I was previously an education reporter.