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ITEP | Alumni Profiles

Chipley Bader (formerly Jones), a 2008 ITEP alum, is currently employed as a Programs Coordinator in the International Office at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. She is concurrently enrolled in an online train-the-trainer course through interculture.de and the University of Jena, Germany, for which she will receive certification as an intercultural trainer in Germany upon successful completion in September 2010. She originally moved to Germany as a participant in the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. Before ITEP she double-majored in Spanish and Italian at the University of Virginia and studied abroad in Spain, Italy and Costa Rica.

After completing her BA in International Studies at AU, Emily Bird,2015 ITEP alumna, worked in non-profit business development and advocacy focused on Africa. In 2009, she departed to Niger where she served with the Peace Corps as a Municipal and Community Development Volunteer. Emily implemented a number of projects in Niger but found working with students in her community to be the most rewarding. While completing her ITEP degree she participated in an AU Alternative Break trip to Israel focusing on refugee rights and issues. Emily currently works as a Business Development Manager at Plan International, designing projects that focus on child-centered development and youth participation.

Heather Bossert Cunningham, a 1997 ITEP alum, is a high school social studies teacher at City Charter HS in Pittsburgh, PA, and a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Education and Culture.  Heather entered ITEP after working at Our Little Brothers and Sisters home for children in Honduras and served two years as a graduate fellow for the ITEP program under Dr. Leon Clark.  While an ITEP student, Heather worked summers for Visions International and was part of a staff that brought American students to the Dominican Republic for cross cultural service learning experiences.  Heather also interned for Creative Associates while an ITEP student and worked for Creative Associates for two years after graduation before moving on to the public school classroom.  At City High, Heather directs a program which brings 20 students annually from her urban high school to Costa Rica for a cross cultural service learning experience.  Her PhD focus combines her love for the public school classroom with her interest in experiential education and cross cultural experiences -- all of which were nurtured during her time in ITEP.  

Prior to ITEP, Kerri Bowers, a 2005 ITEP alum, was living and teaching in rural Oregon. She earned my undergraduate degree in American Studies and was running a small after-school program. She volunteered as an English teacher in Southeast Asia. Then, explored South America and became to study Spanish. After traveling, she was eager to study formally again, but longed for a more complex program than just Education, or just International Studies.  She discovered ITEP and combined ITEPs international training with a formal Secondary Teaching certificate. ITEP was exactly what she sought: international students; international and highly-successful professors; intriguing and demanding courses; an opportunity to earn my formal teaching certificate, plus meaningful training and design courses, true international exchange and empowering and productive course work. Ready to explore and utilize her ITEP training, she first worked to start a charter high school, Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy located in inner city Washington, DC. Working as a formal high school English teacher was an incredibly demanding and rewarding challenge and set the foundation for her current work. Three years ago, Kerri relocated to Costa Rica and co-founded Proyecto Montezuma, a volunteer and sustainable adventure program that accepts global volunteers to teach English and extra-curricular courses to local public school children and adults. Proyecto Montezuma has been such a success that now she is in the process of starting a new project: Proyecto TEFL International. In November 2010, Kerri will open a TEFL teacher-training program in Costa Rica. Her ITEP experience empowered her to take on cross-cultural challenges and more importantly, gave her the necessary formal training to initiate international grassroots programs (like Proyecto Montezuma) on her own, plus the confidence and skills needed to be successful in the international community.

Melissa Crutchfield, 2005 ITEP alum and former ITEP Graduate Assistant, is currently working for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) as their Assistant General Secretary for International Disaster Response. She is responsible for coordinating UMCOR's disaster response globally, focusing on regions in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Prior to joining UMCOR, Melissa worked with the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and Aurora Associates International on several USAID-sponsored scholarship programs for children in Sub-Saharan Africa and young adults in the West Bank and Gaza. Her work entailed monitoring and evaluation of the scholarship programs; training and capacity-building for local partners, mentors and communities; and overall grant and project management. Other professional experience includes working on refugee education programs with the International Refugee Committee (IRC) in Guinea and teaching English in Cameroon for the U.S. Peace Corps. Before entering the world of humanitarian relief and development, Melissa worked for a corporate event planning company in Texas. She also holds a BA in French from Southern Methodist University – where she participated in two different study abroad programs to France – and travels extensively for both work and pleasure. 

Through her experiences with ITEP and beyond, Melissa learned the importance of developing theoretical understanding and practical skills in project and program management, logistics, cross-cultural communication, training, monitoring and evaluation, and proposal writing. She encourages current ITEP students to develop skills in all of these areas whenever possible.

Matt DeMarco is a 2003 ITEP graduate who concentrated in organizational change. He currently serves as an instructor at the US State Department's Foreign Service Institute.  He designs and facilitates a variety of 1, 3 and 5-day courses in leadership and management topics, incorporating ITEP tenets of active learning and cross-cultural context into all of his work.   Prior to this, Matt spent 5 years with the American Farm Bureau Federation, traveling to 49 states to train farmers and ranchers to serve in leadership roles at the county, state and national level.  Matt also spent four years as a career counselor with graduate students at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. Prior to starting the ITEP program, Matt served as a high school science teacher in the Peace Corps in Samoa.  Matt currently resides in Washington, DC.

Theresa Ferry, a 2008 ITEP alum, is interested in teacher training, math education, and girls' education. She has 6 years of middle and high school teaching experience in the U.S., India, and Chile. She is currently a middle school math teacher in Washington, DC.  During her first year of ITEP, Theresa worked as an education intern at Save the Children and also as an ITEP Graduate Assistant. During the summer of 2007, she interned with World Vision Albania, where she helped plan a 5-year education strategy with the sector manager. In 2008 she wrote her M.A. thesis, entitled Dalit Girls' Education in India.  Through a generous C.A.S. grant from the Robyn Rafferty Mathias Fund, she was able to spend three weeks interviewing Dalit girls in Gujarat, India about their educational opportunities in a vocational school.  By 2010, Theresa hopes to begin a PhD in teacher education/comparative education or teach math overseas in an international school in South Asia.

Meredith Fox is a 2006 ITEP graduate who currently works as a Foreign Service Education Officer for USAID. She is currently posted to Accra, Ghana where she manages programs focused on improving basic education.  Prior to joining USAID, she served as Program Officer for Financial Education at Microfinance Opportunities. There she worked with microfinance institutions and training institutes in countries including the Philippines, Colombia, and Mongolia to develop, monitor and evaluate financial education programs for low-income populations.  Meredith also taught, trained teachers and developed curricula at universities in Syria, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. She also served as a facilitator for two youth leadership programs and as the Program Coordinator of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Mary Francis, a 2009 alum, is currently working for the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) in the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the Department of Labor. Primary work in the OCFT entails research as well as program management for programs that withdraw and prevent children from the worst forms of child labor, and provide them with education alternatives. Prior to working for the Department of Labor, Mary worked as a teacher, teaching junior high and high school French, Life Skills and Technology, while coaching long distance running and rock climbing. Mary has lived and studied in a variety of countries including France, Ghana, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama. She speaks French and Spanish.

Terra Gargano is a 2002 ITEP graduate who concentrated in cross-cultural communication. She is currently a Scholar in Residence in the School of International Service at American University and teaches sociology courses at Howard Community College in Maryland, where she incorporates the tenets of active learning into her coursework.  Terra went on to complete her Ph.D. in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland, where she explored the identity negotiations of international students.  She also came to highly value the cross-cultural skills developed throughout the ITEP program while serving as the Assistant Dean on the Spring 2004 Semester at Sea voyage.  Prior to enrolling in ITEP, she taught English in northern Japan for three years. Terra currently resides in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and two children.

Prior to ITEP, Elleni Ghebremicael, 2010 ITEP alum, was a Teach For America Corps Member in Baltimore, Maryland. Elleni received her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Richmond, Virginia. She later received her teaching certificate from Johns Hopkins University. Elleni has volunteered in Senegal working with children in remote areas. Elleni has also held workshops and trainings for teachers, specifically on classroom management and differentiation. After graduating from ITEP, Elleni worked as an Education Consultant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Currently, Elleni is contracted with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA) Governance and Public Administration Division, Civil Society and Post Conflict Section. Elleni thanks and credits ITEP for providing her with the practical and useful tools necessary to succeed in the field.

Prior to joining ITEP, Eloise Grose, a 2009 alum, was an AmeriCorps Teach After Three Team Leader through The After School Corporation in Brooklyn, New York. She had previously studied abroad in South Africa.  As an ITEP student, Eloise interned at the International Rescue Committee in Baltimore, MD, and coached field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at The Park School of Baltimore.  As an ITEP grad, she now runs a non-profit organization in Baltimore called BE MORE.  She uses team sports, group activities and open dialogue to help children from different racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds find common ground.  Eloise currently does everything from fundraising and designing curricula to training coaches. She uses tools she learned in ITEP 100% of the time, and the variety of skills sets that she learned during ITEP helped me reach this position.  

Caitlin Haugen, 2006 ITEP alum, is currently a PhD candidate in the International Education Policy program at the University of Maryland. She is also an instructor for Global Communities, the university's premier global engagement living-learning program. In this position, she teaches undergraduate students about global competency, cross-cultural communication skills, service learning, activism, and social entrepreneurship. Her research interests include intercultural communication competency, social justice, and ethnography. Her passion for international education and development stems from her work as a teacher trainer for the Peace Corps in Thailand and Uganda. Caitlin has returned to ITEP in Fall 2014 as an adjunct faculty to teach EDU 649 Nonformal Education.

Farida Khatchadourian, a 2007 ITEP-TESOL alum, is currently the assistant director of St. John's University Paris campus, managing a study abroad program. Farida has studied in Canada, Italy, and Jordan and has worked in higher education as an English teacher, writing coordinator, academic advisor, and graduate admissions assistant at universities and community colleges in Morocco, the U.S., and Tanzania. 

Raised in North Dakota, Joayne Larson, a 2006 alum, completed a BA in International Relations at Tufts University. After graduation and inspired by her field study experience in Ecuador, she joined Peace Corps Russia Far East and taught English in a small village for 2 ½ years. Returning to Minnesota, she coordinated an after-school mentoring program for youth in affordable housing. When the travel bug struck again, she moved to Chile to teach and direct after-school English immersion programs. In 2004, she moved to Washington, DC to complete a master's degree in International Training and Education. While studying, she worked as a volunteer coordinator for a community non-profit and eventually transitioned into teaching Spanish fulltime at a public charter school. After two intense years, she accepted a position as the Training Director for the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. While thoroughly enjoying training program design and delivery, the international call came again and she currently serves as the Associate Peace Corps Director for the Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Nicaragua. She enjoys camping, cycling, baking and is thrilled with the opportunity to get to know Nicaragua and its people. 

Anna Lippard, 2014 ITEP alumna, is an International Services Specialist at Southern Methodist University with a Master's degree in International Training and Education from American University. She is originally from Gaffney, South Carolina, and has lived in Bratislava, Slovakia and Washington D.C. before moving to Dallas, Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History in 2010 from Coker College, where she discovered a love of learning about other cultures through meeting international students on campus and through study abroad. Anna completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Bratislava, Slovakia 2010-2011, teaching high school students conversational English. Anna earned a Master's degree in International Training and Education in 2014 from American University, focusing on international student exchange and minority education. She now is an International Services Specialist working with F-1 and J-1 international students at Southern Methodist University. Her duties include immigration advising and cultural/educational programming.

Lisa Luceno,a 2007 ITEP graduate, works in the field of early childhood education, as a director, consultant, and trainer. She is the director of early childhood curriculum and training for ESF Public Charter School, a multicultural family literacy program for children and adults in the District of Columbia.  All families at ESF are immigrants to the U.S.  She is also a project director for School Readiness Consulting and works on various capacity building projects, training, and materials development across the district and in other states. Lisa also conducts training on curriculum and assessment across the country for Teaching Strategies and leads a cohort of Spanish speaking early childhood teachers who meet monthly as part of a curriculum learning communities project of Miami Dade County.   Lisa worked in the family literacy program during her ITEP experience and appreciated the many ways that ITEP courses and faculty helped her to connect theory to practice, and provided her with critical skills in adult learning and training design. She also completed a graduate certificate in teaching as part of her ITEP experience. Prior to ITEP, Lisa was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, and then a preschool teacher in a Spanish immersion school. Working closely with early childhood practitioners to critically examine their practice and identify and implement strategies for supporting all kinds of young learners is one of her greatest enjoyments.

Erasmo Mendez, 2014 ITEP alum, focusing on international development and global health. He graduated from UC Irvine in 2011 with two Bachelors degrees, one in International Studies and in Spanish. In undergrad, Erasmo was intrigued by social issues abroad (and still is) especially community and sustainable development. He studied abroad for one year in Buenos Aires, Argentina and took courses on country specific themes from history to economics. He also was a volunteer with Public Health Brigades Honduras in 2010 and 2011. After graduating, Erasmo worked for Global Brigades USA, an international non-profit that hopes to resolve global health and economic disparities by empowering student volunteers, local professionals, and community members in a collaborative holistic approach to sustainable development. Erasmo recently completed a seven month internship with CAREs Gender & Empowerment team that focused on advocacy of gender equality issues. he currently works with the national NGO Jumpstart as a team leader and collaborates with a team of Corps members to provide educational activities to young children and families. After graduating from ITEP, Erasmo would like to continue working in the international non-profit field with a concentration on sustainable development and gender related issues.

Rebecca Moyer, 2015 ITEP alumna is from Seattle, Washington. She attended the University of Washington, graduating in 2011 with a dual Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and English Language and Literature. While attending UW, Rebecca spent a year abroad in Cádiz, Spain and a semester in London, England. After graduation, Rebecca returned to Spain to teach English in a rural village primary school as an Auxiliar de Conversación. While in Spain, she decided to pursue a career in education and was accepted into the Resident Teaching program at University Child Development School in Seattle. Her academic interests lie in the realm of global education, focusing on the impact of linguistic and language differences on the learning process. Her goal is to work internationally, training teachers in progressive teaching methods and learning strategies.

Mary Kathryn (Katie) Oakley, 2006 ITEP alum, is currently working as the Director of Admissions & Recruitment for the American University Washington Semester Program. Prior to accepting this position in June 2010, Katie served as International Student Director for the Washington Semester Program, where she traveled to several different countries recruiting international students and developing university partnerships. Before her employment at AU, Katie worked for the Botswana Development Training Program at the Academic for Educational Development. Katie has worked in Germany at the German Academic Exchange Service and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) in 2007-2008, as a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow. Katie has studied in Germany and Namibia, and has led several international study tours. Katie's interests include international student exchange, study abroad programming, higher education administration, and cross-cultural training. She hopes to eventually pursue a doctorate.

Liz Odongo, a training director for DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, obtained her Master's Degree in International Education and Training from American University in 2003 and is enhanced by her international work and travel experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guyana and an exchange student in Venezuela. As the Training Director at the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Liz is responsible for designing, facilitating and evaluating training opportunities for Coalition Members, law enforcement, government agencies and community based organizations. Additionally, Liz is the Co-Founder and President of Public Spectacle, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit working to mobilizing community members to end violence against women and a volunteer for Montgomery County's Abused Persons Program. Past positions include Domestic Violence Systems Advocate and Educator at the Women's Center and Program Officer in the Global Health, Population and Nutrition Department at the Academy for Educational Development. 

Kelleah Parsley Young
, 2004 ITEP alum, had just completed her tour with Peace Corps, on the island of Samoa in the South Pacific, before she was accepted into the ITEP program in 2002.  During her time with ITEP she had the awesome opportunity to return to the Pacific and complete an internship with the Peace Corps Office as a Training Coordinator.  The knowledge she gained from her studies at ITEP as well as the internship prepared her for the exciting development career that she has now. She has worked at some of the top international consulting firms in DC (Chemonics International and International Resource Group) as well as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a Training & Development Specialist, which took her to Africa for the first time. Currently she is working on an overseas assignment with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Tsunami Early Recovery Officer in Samoa. She owes ITEP a great deal for assisting her in reaching this point in her career. The prestige that an ITEP degree brings to her repertoire is immeasurable. As a qualified professional trainer, she brings an abundance of tolerance, adult participatory techniques, and coordination skills to her program management position. ITEP is responsible for that and she is very grateful.

Regina (Schuman) Rabenhorst
, 2007 ITEP alum and former ITEP Graduate Assistant, currently works at Chemonics International as a Program Manager in the Training and Development Department, where she is responsible for the project management curriculum and has conducted short-term overseas assignments including developing and delivering team building and work planning workshops in Zambia and the Philippines and working with subject matter experts to design e-learning courses in El Salvador. While in ITEP, she worked for the Humphrey Program, an international visitor program for mid-career law professionals working for human rights, where she planned and
delivered a month long orientation program with a co-worker as well as planned events. Before ITEP, she managed an education and training program for out-of-school and out-of-work youth in San Francisco. She also spent 3 months as a volunteer with Pe No Chao, a Brazilian non-profit working with street children in Recife, Brazil, and one year studying Latin American economic development at the University of Costa Rica. She has traveled extensively through Central America, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Regina holds a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Wendi Ralaingita, 1998 ITEP alum, is a Research Education Analyst at RTI International, where she manages projects in early grade reading and mathematics in developing countries.  Her work primarily involves working with ministries of education and local NGOs to undertake assessments of children's performance in early grades reading and mathematics, facilitating policy dialogue based on the results, and managing and evaluating interventions aimed at improving learning in the primary grades, primarily in Francophone Africa.  After completing her Master's Degree, Wendi worked in a number of positions, both internationally and domestically, including a fellowship with Catholic Relief Services in Madagascar, teaching and coordinating service-learning programs, managing education programs for US non-profits and universities, and consulting for numerous NGOs and international organizations.  In 2008 she completed a PhD in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Before joining the ITEP program, Wendi spent three years as a volunteer teacher in Namibia.  Wendi greatly appreciated the applied, hands-on nature of the IEP program, and the access to numerous seasoned professionals in the field.

At Global Ties U.S., Franziska Rook, 2014 ITEP alumna, is working with over 110 organizations worldwide that engage in international exchange. Additionally, she is also responsible for designing and running exchange programs. Prior to joining Global Ties U.S., Franzi has worked extensively in international student recruitment, marketing, program design, and community outreach. Her work experience spans three continents and organizations such as the UN World Food Program, HHL –Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and American University. Franzi is a Fulbright Scholar and aside from German (her native language), she speaks English, Portuguese, and French. Franzi received her Master in Public Administration (MPA) with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and her Masters in International Training and Education from American University in Washington, D.C. You can follow her on Twitter at @franzirook.

Kimberly Ross, 2008 ITEP alum, has been involved in the field of international development - in both the education and health sectors - for over 10 years, of which more than half has been field-based in Subsaharan Africa. While at AU, she took courses in both ITEP and the Department of Public Administration and Policy in order to obtain her M.A. in International Training and Education with a specialization in Organizational Development. Throughout her career, Kim has designed, co-facilitated and led trainings and workshops for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and numerous community-based organizations in work planning and budgeting, the Logistical Framework Approach, and other project/portfolio management and organizational development topics. She has also worked or consulted for various international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations, to design, implement, monitor and evaluate development projects and programs; and she is currently the Associate Director of Strategic Information and Program Management at Family Health International in Rwanda. Kim hails from Maine and holds a B.A. in Anthropology from St. Michael's College in Vermont; and she is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Guinea, West Africa. She is fluent in English and French, and has basic proficiency in Malinke.

Rahal Saeed, 2002 ITEP Alum, lived and worked in Pakistan and Sri Lanka on reproductive health, gender and human rights prior to moving to Washington, D.C.  Before starting ITEP, she worked as a volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse of Metropolitan Washington and also volunteered as a crisis intervention counselor for a telephone hotline. While at ITEP, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the ITEP office, and did an internship with CEDPA (Centre for Development and Population Activities).  After graduating from ITEP, she joined CEDPA full time as a Program Officer for a project called the Catalyst Consortium, a global, USAID-funded reproductive health activity, where she focused on integrating gender into country programs.  She also worked as a consultant for various organizations on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.

In 2006, she moved back to Pakistan and headed Aahung, a local non-profit organisation focusing on sexual health and rights and in 2008, she left Aahung to become an independent consultant. In this current capacity, she works with local and international non-profit organisations as well as donor agencies, doing training, advocacy, evaluations, assessments, and reports.  Her technical focus is on gender, sexual and reproductive health, and organisational development.  She also manages the ENGAGE project in Pakistan, a multimedia communications and advocacy project that targets policy makers and focuses on family planning and safe abortion, and is implemented by the Population Reference Bureau.

Rahal finds that the most important learnings at ITEP were about training.  She finds that in Pakistan, there are many people who do training but are unaware of the theoretical background to training, the fact that every session needs to follow a sequential 'flow', the importance of the need to follow the training cycle, and the difference this process makes in terms of learning and impact.  Rahal lives in Karachi with her 7-year old daughter, Adeera.

Nicholas Sakurai, a 2007 ITEP alum, is an education, diversity, and organizational consultant and learning facilitator. Presently, he is also the Associate Director in the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to ITEP, Nick had studied abroad in the Netherlands as an undergraduate, with short academic excursions in England and Germany, and had dreamed of internationalizing his work and worldview. He had also been a manager in a national social justice advocacy non-profit in Washington, D.C. and a college administrator at American University. ITEP allowed Nick to bridge his diversity and inclusion work beyond the domestic, and to expand and deepen his work in training facilitation and participatory education. Nick developed case studies for his ITEP capstone project to train international exchange administrators and global mobility specialists on issues of diversity and inclusion facing their students or employees who go abroad. ITEP also gave Nick the opportunity to do an independent study in Liberation Education and to do a consulting practicum for UNICEF for two weeks in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After ITEP, Nick spent two months in Mexico City studying Spanish, and then went to Madrid, Spain, where he completed an International M.B.A. at the Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School). In addition to his work for University of Maryland, Nick also provides consulting on a part-time basis to various NGOs.

Upon completing this degree, Tatiana Shchekodina, 2015 ITEP alumna, gained knowledge and skills to help design and improve educational programs in developing countries. I came from an accounting background where I worked with federal grants to help manage and design budgets for non-profit organizations. I have travled to South Africa for the summer to volunteer to teach in underpriviledged schools and work on community development projects. I want to improve quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa and help manage and design program budgets. My first MA in ESL and my passion for promoting education adn knowledge that I will aquire through ITEP will make mroe more valuable in the education field.

In deciding to take a leave from corporate America, Megan Shaw,2015 ITEP alumna, chose to spend time volunteer teaching in Tanzania. During my time in Tanzania I realized that the classroom was not where my true passion lay. I was looking for a way to bridge my interest in education with my passion for travel and international experience. Luckily for me, I was guided by an AU alumnus to look into ITEP.

I hope to gain the specific skills necessary to enhance my previous work experience in order to succeed in the arena of international education. Upon completion of my degree, I want to live overseas again and work directly with exchange program design and implementation.

Amy Simms, a 2009 ITEP alumna, joined the Federal Government upon graduation.  As a Presidential Management Fellow, Amy worked for the Department of Homeland Security in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  She used her ITEP skills to develop a new Organizational Communication course to help improve communication throughout CBP and with external customers.  Currently Amy is on rotation at the Department of State where she is working on USG sponsored exchange programs; in particular Youth Leadership Programs and Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX).  While in ITEP, Amy received a CAS Grant to travel to Moldova to research FLEX for her master's thesis.  Prior to ITEP, Amy was a Production Editor for college textbooks and an Education Volunteer in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan.

Originally from North Carolina, Leah Thompson, 2014 ITEP alumna, earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University. As an undergraduate, I participated in a study abroad to Greece and two service-learning programs to Egypt and Bolivia. These experiences instilled in me a passion for international education. Following graduation, I earned my TESOL certificate and taught English at a high school in rural Thailand. As an ITEP student I am taking coursework in the exchange and study abroad track, and interning with the DC Human Rights Learning Project. I'm interested in the internationalization of higher education with an emphasis on service-learning programs and peace education. I am also interested in researching how education empowers individuals and serves as an agent for social change.

Valerie Whiting, 2009 ITEP alum, is the Violence Prevention Delegate for the Canadian Red Cross in Panama, where she is responsible for the field management, monitoring and reporting of the Creating Safe Environments – Americas project. The project builds the capacity of six National Society partners to integrate the prevention of violence, especially against children, as cross-cutting issues into their own internal organizational systems through assessments, development of policies and procedures, training personnel, and developing monitoring tools. Prior to this she was the Special Education and Transitions Coordinator at The Next Step Public Charter School, which serves recent immigrant students in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. Valerie has worked in public charter schools and non-profits in Washington, DC in various social services roles since 2004. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and a Peace Corps Response volunteer in Antigua and Barbuda. Valerie received her BA from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD in 2000. She credits ITEP with giving her vocabulary and tools to shape her international direct service experience.

Originally from Rochester, NY, Ashley Whittington, 2015 ITEP alumna, completed a dual B.A. in International Relations and Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Delaware. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps where she taught English as a Foreign Language in a small village in Mongolia. As an AU student, Ashley worked as the Graduate Assistant for the Bilingual Education program as well as interned in the Training Unit at Peace Corps. Her studies in ITEP focused on multilingual education, primarily in the former Soviet states. She currently works as the TEFL E-learning Specialist at Peace Corps Headquarters.

Kelly Wisniewski,2015 ITEP alumna, experiences with Teach For America prompted my interest in education. That interest became internationally based when I travelled to Guatamala to do missionary work and was exposed to the failing education system there. My goal in ITEP is to explore topics within international education in order to find my passion and eventually be an activist and change agent within that area. I'm not yet sure what my future aspirations are, but I am excited to start the program!
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