Undergrad: Washington College
Hometown: Old Saybrook, CT
What is your favorite place in Monterey?
My favorite place to study is Cafe Lumiere because I love their cappuccinos. My favorite place to hang out and unwind after a long week of classes is Crystal Fish, the sushi restaurant. I was an activity coordinator for the Intensive English Programs for a year, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to go whale watching five times. I loved seeing the whales each and every time, and I definitely recommend that every MIIS student take the trip at least once during their stay in Monterey.
What internships or jobs have you had while attending MIIS?
In addition to working for the Intensive English Language programs as an Activity Coordinator, I have taught two, one-month long English classes for Japanese exchange students from Osaka University and worked as a proctor for the TOEFL test. From February to December of 2011, I took a year off from my Master's to complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship at a university in northern Brazil. In March 2012, I am excited to be presenting an original curriculum design project at the Clinton Global Initiative U in Washington, D.C.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to make a difference in international education by teaching English and eventually working with policy. I'm particularly interested in working in Latin America.
Do you have a personal Mantra or quote you live by?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― Mark Twain
After college, I left a safe but boring and unsatisfying corporate job to teach in a developing country. While it was a big risk, my only regret is not doing it sooner.
Fun fact about you:
I learned a little Swahili when I spent the summer between my junior and senior years of college travel writing in Tanzania. My favorite expression is "lala salama," which means goodnight.
If you were a food, you would be:
Açaí. It's a colorful fruit that thrives in sunny Brazil.
What has been the highlight of your MIIS experience thus far?
The highlight of my MIIS experience so far was fulfilling a lifelong dream of winning a Fulbright scholarship to Brazil. Without the help and individual attention of a number of professors and advisors, I don't think I would have been able to win such a competitive grant. The year I spent in a city on the outskirts of the Amazon before returning to complete my TESOL portfolio allowed me to combine my new theoretical knowledge with practical experience. I also had the opportunity to travel to lots of different countries including Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile.
And one last thing:
I just finished reading two books by Alexandra Fuller: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. In both, Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger, while at the same time a sense of adventure and even fun. It is the sort of childhood I wish I could claim, but probably wouldn't have survived!