SIT Graduate Institute Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2021

A Note from Carla Lineback, Director of Alumni Engagement

As we come up on a year of adapting to a new way of living, I cannot help but think that lessons from our international experiences have helped us in ways we never could have imagined. Many of us have had to explore new ways to stay connected with loved ones. We have had to continually adapt to new circumstances, new guidelines, new realities. Some of us have learned new technical skills, explored new hobbies, or have reconnected (virtually) with old friends. Some have suffered incredible loss. This past year has not been easy. And yet, I continue to receive heart-warming stories from alumni. Some who are cleaning out their homes and are remembering their experiences abroad or on campus. Some have decided to reconnect with members from their group or cohort.

If you missed participating in SIT’s Critical Conversations Series this past fall, be sure to check out the spring series! One benefit to hosting things virtually is that we have been able to offer truly global discussions and panels for alumni and friends to participate in and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the alumni newsletter. The programs continue to evolve in incredibly creative ways and the alumni stories continue to uplift and inspire. Please consider sending in your own update for inclusion in a future newsletter to

Program Updates

As with many other educational institutions, SIT has been offering much of its programming virtually and has been slowly expanding in-person programming again. SIT’s Global Master’s program Climate Change & Global Sustainability started as scheduled in Iceland in September, and the cohort has now moved on to Tanzania for their second semester, as scheduled. And we continued to offer part-time, hybrid master’s degrees.

For the current spring 2021 term, SIT’s risk management team has focused on the safe and responsible resumption of programs, where possible. Two Global Master’s programs that were pushed back from fall begin this semester: Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management and Diplomacy & International Relations and the other three are expected to begin in fall 2021.

We are very pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort for SIT’s first doctorate program, the EdD in Global Education, this summer. In addition, we also hope that all seven part-time, hybrid programs will enroll. Two of the seven part-time programs are new and will launch in summer 2021: Global Leadership and Social Innovation and Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management. Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management will now have both a full-time Global Master’s and part-time, hybrid option available. We have decided not to host face-to-face residencies on campus for summer 2021, so these programs will either begin online or with a residency in a different location. We also plan to run all six Global Master’s programs in fall 2021.

Alumni News

(Listed by year of participation)

Marianne Luken, PIM 33 1983, taught interpersonal communication and intercultural communication at Hawaii Pacific University in Hawaii for 27 years. She is now retired and lives full-time on Kaua’i.

Kazue (Sudo), International Student of English, and Kenneth Beach, PIM 32 International Administration, met at SIT in 1983. They are celebrating 35 years of marriage with two children and one grandchild. Since SIT, Kazue and Ken lived in several U.S. states, Japan, and Canada. Ken just retired from a long career with Mitsui & Co. He is now seeking new opportunities in training and development.

Sora Friedman, PIM 35 1984 and SIT Faculty, recently had a chapter published in The Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education. Dr. Friedman’s chapter, titled “How High the Ceiling: Gender and Leadership in International Higher Education,” highlights the successes and challenges faced by individual women leaders in the field of international higher education and investigates the degree to which the field has achieved gender parity.

Jean Hendrickson, MAT 21 1990, has been teaching academic writing and training international TA’s at Stony Brook University since 2000, currently on Zoom. She is living on eastern Long Island and trying to visit Vermont as often as possible.

Cover design for Angela Berkfield’s new book, Parenting 4 Social Justice (releasing March 2021)

Angela Berkfield, PIM 67 Social Justice 2007, has taught in a variety of settings over the past two decades and is a co-founder of the Root Social Justice Center, ACT for Social Justice, and Equity Solutions. After facilitating many Parenting for Social Justice Workshops over the past few years, Angela is releasing Parenting 4 Social Justice: Tips, Tools and Inspiration for Conversation & Action with Kids in March 2021. The book introduces kids to the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to show up for social justice.

Justin Bibbee, PIM 72 Conflict Transformation 2012, is a PhD student in peacebuilding at Durban University of Technology in South Africa and currently serves as a statewide team leader for Pathways Vermont, an organization that strives to end homelessness. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco where he published Human Rights in the Classroom, A Guide for Educators—the first human rights training manual to be accepted into the Peace Corps Library and made available to Peace Corps staff and volunteers around the world.

SIT Alumna Brittany Nevins

Brittany Nevins, PIM 73 Sustainable Development 2013, is the captive insurance economic development director for the Vermont Department of Economic Development. Brittany is responsible for the marketing and business development of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, working closely with the Department of Financial Regulation and the Vermont Captive Insurance Association to continue to strengthen the state’s reputation as the premier onshore captive insurance domicile.

Shilla Adyero, PIM 74 Sustainable Development 2014, co-founded Lutino Adunu, a grassroots organization that brings education, improved health, and hope to children, youth, and women in Northern Uganda. The organization’s successes propelled Shilla to run for a seat in the Ugandan Parliament.

Lawrence Kabuthi, CONTACT 2017, is working in Kenya to assist vulnerable individuals within society. He has launched project SOAP (Seventy-One Agents of Peace) which, together with school children, endeavors to plant 71 trees to commemorate the life of the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, a former World Learning board member who died in 2011 at age 71.

Emma Symanski, TESOL Certificate 2018, graduated from Hampshire College in the spring of 2020, having done her senior thesis on a class that she designed and taught for English Language Learners using photography. She shares the process, the portraits she took of her students, and the student work produced throughout in the book Teaching English through a Photographic Lens. Emma invites you to stay connected by following her on Instagram @emmasymanski and is open to collaborating about anything photography, teaching, and/or language learning!

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Apply to become a digital facilitator with The Experiment Digital Youth Leadership and Community Service in summer 2021. Facilitators work up to 10 hours a week over three months to support the implementation of The Experiment Digital, a virtual exchange program that connects high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 from the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States. Learn more and apply by March 14.

The spring 2021 Critical Conversations webinar series will host over forty webinars designed to inspire community-wide dialogue on global, interdisciplinary topics within SIT’s Critical Global Issues Framework. The series will include a continuation of our Perspectives from the Global South faculty lectures and a wide variety of virtual events for participants to experience an SIT program. Three alumni will also be featured, award-winning social change filmmaker Maria Agui-Carter (International Honors Program 1986); Jennifer Dulski (SIT Study Abroad Brazil 1992), a technology executive and social changemaker who has held positions at Facebook, Google, and; and Aicha Cooper (SIT Graduate Institute, SD 2012), a World Bank international development expert and advocate for marginalized people. Visit the Critical Conversations webpage to view the full schedule of events and to register for sessions. Links to webinar recordings will be available on the Critical Conversations page shortly after each event.

Take a language class with the SIT World Languages Center! Committed to promoting and preserving indigenous and less commonly taught languages, the World Languages Center provides critical, specialized courses in widely studied languages. Online and in-person language courses for college credit are open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and adult learners.

About the Organization

Scholarships for Experiment and SIT programs may be available to Experiment or SIT alumni and their family members.

The Experiment in International Living provides immersive summer programs abroad and online for high school students. Intercultural connections between young people are now more important than ever. The world is ready to recover and rise to new challenges, and The Experiment is committed to working together across cultures. Be sure to check out for the most up-to-date information regarding in-person summer programs and to learn more about The Experiment Digital, our virtual international exchanges for spring and summer 2021.

SIT Study Abroad provides academically rich undergraduate semester and summer programs, most with field research or internships, and International Honors Program comparative study.

World Learning’s Global Programs work to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange. Our programs advance leadership in more than 150 countries.

Let’s Be Social!

World Learning Inc., the nonprofit parent organization of School for International Training and The Experiment in International Living, offers high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. World Learning Inc.’s summer programs (through The Experiment in International Living) help high school students experience another culture. SIT Study Abroad offers semester- and summer-long undergraduate programs that address critical global issues on all seven continents and includes the International Honors Program comparative studies. SIT Graduate Institute offers graduate degrees in low-residency and global formats. World Learning is working to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange. Founded in 1932 as The Experiment in International Living, the organization that has become World Learning Inc. was inspired by Dr. Donald Watt’s innovative idea to improve understanding across cultures and nations by sending U.S. students abroad to live with families to expand their worldviews.