Talib Abdur-Rahim is a second-year ITEP student on the international development track, also pursuing a certification in TESOL. A native New Yorker, Talib believes that each one of us has unlimited potential. He is passionate about learning and about helping others, especially those who are less fortunate, to develop and manifest their innate talents and dreams. He is a graduate of Lincoln University in PA, where he earned his BA in History and minor in Arabic. While at Lincoln University, he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha and studied abroad in Morocco.A fluent Spanish speaker, Talib recently spent time inthe Dominican Republic. Talib comes to ITEP with a wide range of professional experiences in education and law enforcement.As a former DC cop, he brings a unique perspective to the classroom. He has worked as an elementary school teacher and an undergraduate academic advisor.His plans include establishing a non-profit geared towards developing and broadening the cultural awareness of inner city youth. Among the many things that he has going on is his work with refugee populations, helping them transition to life in America. His interests include history, geography, languages, music, traveling and the African diaspora.
Originally from Detroit, Lauren Bruce graduated from Capital University in Columbus, OH, with a BA in Art Therapy and Spanish. As an undergrad, she spent a semester in Granada, Spain, where the international exchange seed was planted. After graduation, Lauren spent a few years teaching by day and slinging drinks by night. As a niece of a RPCV, she always dreamt of doing the Peace Corps, so in 2006 the time was finally right. With the intention of pursuing a master’s in TEFL, and her Spanish degree in hand, off to Ukraine she went. There she worked as a secondary education English teacher during the school year and in the summer worked on HIV/AIDS initiatives and youth development summer camps. Upon her return from Ukraine in 2008, she landed herself back in Detroit where she worked for a Detroit-based non-profit that uses recycled industrial materials to provide underserved children with creative learning experiences. However fulfilling, she found herself uninspired in Motown, and missing an international focus. Now in D.C, she is pursuing an education and a career in international education exchange. Her interest lies in developing more unique and less common university academic exchanges. Besides her work-related endeavors, she enjoys shoestring traveling, painting, plants, proletariat dining and kayaking.
Mariana Cernei is a second year graduate student in the International Training and Education Program, focusing on international education development. She is originally from Moldova, but she has lived and worked in Washington, DC for the last 10 years. Her interest in international education started when she worked on fellowship programs for graduate students from Eastern Europe and Central Asia at American Councils for International Education in Washington, DC. Mariana speaks five languages and she was able to use her language skills while working at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova, and the International Center for Language Studies in Washington, DC. She hopes that after graduating from American University she will be equipped with knowledge and skills to work on projects involving education opportunities in post-conflict environments.
Hailing from New York, Marissa Citro is a first semester ITEP student, concentrating on International Exchange. Outside of school, Marissa works at the Carrigan School of Language and Business as an ESOL tutor. She did her undergraduate work as an International Studies and French dual major with a dual minor in Latin and Religious Studies at Le Moyne College, in New York. During her undergraduate career, she was a very active member of Amnesty International and volunteered a summer abroad in Dominica. Marissa has studied abroad in Strasbourg, France. Immediately following her graduation, Marissa volunteered for a year in Montana on an Indian reservation, through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Northwest. She then traveled to Busan, South Korea, where she taught English for three years at Geumyang Middle School. After ITEP, Marissa hopes to focus her work on international exchange in Eastern Asia.