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Intercultural and International Communication | SIS

Meet the Class of 2015

Meet our current graduate students and explore the impressive and diverse backgrounds they bring to the IC and IM Programs.


Cydny Black is a second-year in International Communication. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in both French and International Studies. The focus of her International Studies curriculum was on Culture in the Age of Globalization. After spending a year teaching primary school in France, Black completed a competitive semester-long internship with the Bureau of International Information Program for the Africa Regional Team at the US Department of State. Black was drawn to American University over other graduate schools for its balanced practical and theoretical approach to instruction, its location in her dream city, and its dynamic International Communication program. She is primarily interested in gaining strategic communication skills in a public diplomacy context, as well as exploring communications in fields like global health, women and gender studies, and education.


 Taylor Campbell is a second year student in International Communication. She is originally from Pasadena, California, and has been in Washington D.C. since beginning her undergraduate Honors degree in Communication at Howard University in 2006. Her experience places a global focus on communication, media production, and design, and she has worked in DC, LA, and abroad, including Japan, where she studied the Japanese language and culture. She has worked for the past three years as a communications consultant at Emerald Cities Collaborative, developing the short and long term strategies around brand development, standardizing communication procedures, promotion, media/social media stature, and website interaction on both national and local levels. Prior, Taylor worked for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation as a Multimedia Instructor for youth programs. She also does freelance graphic design work and communications consulting for a number of small start-up businesses, organizations, and institutions. At American, she is studying under a Graduate Assistantship Award and is working with two faculty members as a Research Assistant.


 Grace is a second-year International Communication graduate student within the School of International Service at American University. She graduated with a B.A. in International Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. From 2009 to 2011, Grace worked at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, as an Executive Assistant to the Education Attaché and served as an Interpreter. Currently, with a concentration in Intercultural Relations, Grace is interested in learning about Conflict Resolution and Negotiation; particularly focusing on the importance of implementing effective communication between nations and cultures. During her free time, she loves traveling; Grace has studied abroad in China for a semester. She traveled to Japan, Korea, Spain and Dominican Republic.


Nicole is a second-year student in the International Communications Program in School of International Service and received her bachelors degree in international relations from Syracuse University. Prior to beginning at SIS, Nicole was teaching English in Paris, France at Lycee Lavoisier. Previously, she interned with the Department of Defense at the Office of Legislative Affairs and worked on a number of projects including the New START treaty with Russia. Nicole is primarily interested in researching race relations in Europe, particularly in France, as well as reproductive rights in the Caribbean.


Kaitlin is a second-year student in the International Communications program at American University’s School of International Service. She is originally from St. Louis, MO but has been in Washington, DC since 2006 when she came to study at the George Washington University for her bachelor's degree. At GWU, she studied International Affairs and spent a semester in Chile. For 3 years after graduation, Kaitlin worked as a study abroad advisor for a small third-party provider. This past fall, she began full-time graduate school as a means to develop her interests in international education as well as intercultural training and management.


Tamikka is a second-year student in the IC program.


Cassie Ann is a second year graduate student in the International Communication Program with concentrations in Public/Cultural Diplomacy and Intercultural Relations with a regional focus on Europe. I earned a B.A. in both International Affairs with a concentration in International Community and a B.A. in Spanish with concentrations in Language and Culture. I have traveled to various Eastern and Western European countries as well as lived and studied abroad in Segovia, Spain as well as Oxford, England at the University of Oxford in order to further my knowledge and skills in intercultural relations and communications. I have an intensive research background in International Law after designing an original-research design thesis regarding compliance in International Environmental Law. During my undergraduate career, I interned with GCUA-- a financial institution that successfully developed economic relations in Poland after the fall of Communism in order to provide new services to fit their new financial needs. I was also involved in NGO International Justice Mission (IJM), a global organization that fights human slavery. Currently, I am interning for Congressman Rob Woodall and hope to focus my career in the realm of international relations as I believe globalization has dramatically changed our international community in all sectors whether private, public, or non-profit.


Stacey Massuda

Stacey is a second year International Communication student with a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from Washington College in Maryland. Along with her degree she earned a double minor in Hispanic Studies and Anthropology. While in college she studied abroad in Argentina for a semester and also spent time in Japan through an exchange program supported by the Japan Foundation where her class volunteered at a village affected by the 2011 tsunami. In her undergraduate thesis, "Eco-Imperialism in the Amazonian Rainforest of Brazil,” she argued that communication that better supports indigenous concerns is essential to successful conservation and development that simultaneously respects human rights. After graduation, she interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage where she was involved in supporting the development and implementation of the annual Folklife Festival on the Washington Mall. Her internship at the Smithsonian reinforced her passion for cross cultural and intercultural communication. At SIS she plans to explore her interests in intercultural relations, public diplomacy, and intercultural exchange as a means of promoting respect and understanding throughout the world.


Brooke McDonald is a second-year Master's candidate in the International Communication program. Her current interests are Strategic Communication, Security, and US-China relations. Born and raised in Memphis, she received her Bachelors of Science in International Business Management with a Chinese Minor from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, having completed her international business courses in Grenoble. After pursuing a marketing career in Beijing last summer, Brooke decided to refocus her life on International Affairs. Having lived in China, France, and Southern Africa, she hopes to apply her extensive international experience and professional background in business strategy towards the advancement of intercultural relations in the U.S.


Maëlle is a second-year IC student and second-year dual-masters student, having done her first year at Korea University studying Peace and Security. She's French but lived in Belgium, Uganda, and in the UK, where she got her BA (Hons) in Illustration at the University of the Arts London. From visual communication to international relations, her interest has been to find ways to broaden minds and deepen understandings, ultimately stimulating cooperation and wiser decision-making, especially across cultures. She wants to contribute to Peace and Conflict resolution with International Communication means.

Cathryn Panganiban

Cathryn Panganiban

Cathryn is a second-year IC student interested in merging intercultural relations with business development in the Asia region. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Linguistics and Anthropology and a specialization in Japanese and French, she moved to Japan to participate in the JET Program where she taught English to 13 schools at the Kindergarten, Elementary, and Junior High levels. Her experience in collaborating with people from different backgrounds as a JET and later, as a sales and marketing professional for multinational firms, taught her the importance of cultural understanding and communication in the global workplace. With a passion for languages, food, and travel, Cathryn is currently exploring the idea of working for private corporations in the area of Social Corporate Responsibility and Development or applying for the Foreign Service.

Corrie Poland

Corrie is a second-year graduate student in the International Communication program, with a concentration in Intercultural Relations and a regional focus in Latin America. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Communications from Saint John's University and studying abroad in Rome for her Italian minor, she began her professional experience in human resources and recruiting within several industries. Corrie has worked for top international law firms, financial institutions and global media companies in New York. Last year, she moved to Ecuador and then Peru to work within indigenous communities where she taught grade school children in Spanish and worked closely with the teachers and community on development projects. She hopes to further develop her interests in communication, intercultural relations, human resources and international development while completing her Master's at American University.

John Pope

John Pope is a second-year graduate student in International Communication. He received his bachelors from right here at SIS. Though he has not been able to go abroad recently he is from a military family and grew up in Germany and all over the US. The IC program offers John a chance to continue to explore and study the role culture plays in shaping our lives. His latest interest is the role technology plays in shaping culture and culture plays in shaping technology.

Andrea Proano


Andrea is a second-year graduate student at the School of International Service's International Communication program. She was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, where she earned her BA in Multimedia Journalism. Before and throughout her years in college, she had the opportunity to work in various media outlets, in all its different platforms, and thus experience journalism in exciting and dynamic settings. As an undergrad, she also completed an internship at the United Nations, at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Quito, and actively participated in different community outreach activities, which continues to be her goal for the future. After graduation, she worked in Marketing, Sales, and Public Relations for an international-focused real estate company for a while, until she became her Alma Matter's newspaper Editor in-Chief. Currently, she is working on designing a concentration of her own that will allow her to compound her interests in the global media, culture, politics, and advocacy, with a focus on the Latin American region, where she hopes to engage in active policy-shaping and service.



Marcela is a second-year International Communication MA student. Marcela has a communication and journalism degree from Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. After graduation she joined ALAS foundation (América Latina en Acción Solidaria) in New York City as Programs and Communication Assistant. ALAS is a nonprofit organization led by Colombian singer and philanthropist Shakira, which advocates for Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Previous to attending American University, Marcela worked as the assistant to the Director of University Extension at Universidad del Norte. She currently collaborates with the Houston based NGO Amigos de las Américas as Director for Colombia, designing youth volunteer programs and generating startegic partnerships to implement them. The first program took place in the summer of 2013, when 13 US college students developed and implemented community intervention projects in communities along Colombia’s Caribbean region. Marcela is the oldest of a filmmaker brother and a performing arts major sister. She enjoys travelling, getting to know new cultures, swimming and boxing.


Elizabeth Robinson is a second-year graduate student in the International Communication Program with a concentration in Cultural Diplomacy and Intercultural Relations with an interest toward religious diplomacy. She earned her BA in the German Language and a BA in History at the University of New Mexico. Originally from Germany, Elizabeth wants to study the historical and modern consequences of religious strife especially focusing on the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is especially interested in the Islamic culture and promoting understanding between the other monotheistic religions of the world, Christianity and Judaism. Elizabeth is currently learning French and hopes to begin Arabic this semester as well.


Alona is a second-year student in the International Communication MA program and Fulbright student from Israel. She was born in Uzbekistan and moved to Israel with her family in 2000. Alona has completed her B.A. in Government and Diplomacy in 2012. Prior to her studies she serves as a N.C.O. in the Foreign Affairs unit of IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). During college she worked as a Visitor Liaison at the Israeli Parliament and after her studies she spent a year working as a co- editor at the Parliamentary TV channel. Alona is especially interested in media and its roll in conflict resolution, with the regional focus on the Middle East and Israeli-Palestinian relations. After competing her Masters she hopes to become involved in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in peace building efforts in the region.


Kayli Westling is a second-year student in International Communication program interested in public diplomacy, international education, and conflict resolution. She hails from Wyoming where she earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Spanish and minored in International Studies. Last year Kayli was an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and received a Critical Language Scholar through the U.S. Department of State to study Hindi in India. Highlights from her undergraduate education include semesters studying in Northern Ireland, Honduras and Spain and summers spent working throughout South Pacific, and Latin America as a cultural liaison for. This year Kayli is excited to be working as a graduate assistant in the Office of Merit Awards at American University.


Jocelyn Yeh is a second-year IC student interested in international education, cultural diplomacy and international media especially in East Asia. After receiving her B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland, College Park, she started working in Taiwan, which helped her to discover the differences in the West and the East in regards to learning styles and how these have shaped cultures, governments, and the economic and political roles that countries play in the IR realm today. Last year, she was accepted to the University of Oxford's Foundations of Diplomacy program which fostered her interest in international relations and intercultural relations. Engaging in discussions with people of multifarious backgrounds and ethnicities was the most challenging yet eye-opening experience she has ever had, which is why she is excited to be a part of the diverse IC program at AU-SIS. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring DC and its myriad of cafes/lounges, or getting her endorphins on in Zumba.