At the Monterey Institute's 2012 Winter Commencement, the elected student speaker was Maria Luisa Olivarria. The honor of giving this address was a fitting end for a student who has taken such a long and sometimes arduous path to graduation.
Maria's journey started a few years ago in Venezuela, where she was part of a student movement protesting the country's government.
While always a joyous occasion, commencement at the Monterey Institute can also be a little bittersweet for faculty and staff who say farewell to incredible students who have made their mark on the Monterey campus for the past two years. But as President Sunder Ramaswamy remarked in his address at the December 8 Winter Commencement, the day also marks the initiation of graduates into the exclusive and very supportive network of Monterey Institute alumni.
Alumni of the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program shared their experience and reflected on the deep effect it has had on their careers and lives, at the 10-year anniversary celebration of the program on November 29. The program was the brainchild of Professor Ed Laurance, who ten years ago recognized the value of combining real-life work experience with rigorous academic training to prepare graduate
In the spirit of the season of giving thanks in the United States, members of the Monterey Institute community are sharing expressions of gratitude, beginning with a graduate of the Monterey Institute’s International Policy Studies program, alumna Maame Afon (MAIPS ‘05).
Amber Vanderwoude graduated from the Monterey Institue in 2010 with a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. After graduating, she served as an English Language Fellow (ELF) at North West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Watch the slideshow below to learn more about Amber's ELF experience.
“My mind was blown a little bit,” says Katie Holmberg (MAIPS ’13) of her participation in the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF2012) in Rio de Janeiro last month. “Impact investing is becoming such a big thing.” Katie and Elma Paulauskaite (MAIPS ’12) travelled to the Rio after securing competitive scholarships introduced to them by Nelle Sacknoff (MPA ’12), global communications manager at NESsT.
While standing in the coca fields of Bolivia talking about microenterprise lending for alternative crop development, Jeff Murphy (MAIPS '98) realized the value of his education from the Monterey Institute.
"I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my time spent here at MIIS," Murphy said. “It’s really remarkable when I think back to the skills that are honed here."
Murphy recently returned to the Monterey Institute to speak to students about opportunities for careers in public service.
Since graduating from the Monterey Institute in 2009 with a master's degree in International Environmental Policy (IEP), Ashley Camhi has been working on multi-million dollar projects with the World Bank that focus on the economics of the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Molly Lineberger is the Enrollment Marketing Manager at the Monterey Institute. This is her story about living and working in Haiti.