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SIT Study Abroad 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. 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 email@example.com.
As with many other educational institutions, SIT has been offering much of its programming virtually and has been slowly expanding in-person programming again. After a disrupted semester in spring 2020 and an all-virtual summer 2020 term, SIT Study Abroad was able to run the Iceland: Climate Change & the Arctic program and the Rwanda/Uganda: Post-Genocide Restoration, Development, and Peacebuilding program in fall 2020, in addition to virtual internships and online language courses.
This semester, SIT is running 12 face-to-face programs in addition to 12 virtual internship programs and 4 online language courses.
With a vaccine in 2021, we are hopeful that we will be able to resume additional programs in the summer and fall. In fact, SIT is offering its largest portfolio of summer programs this year, which includes both virtual and face-to-face options. We are also launching our first program in psychology this fall, Jordan: Psychology, Well-being, and Mental Health. We hope to also increase pre-professional programs in the future, perhaps expanding to pre-occupational therapy, pre-physical therapy, and nursing soon.
(Listed by year of participation)
The IHP Class of 1985–86 held a wonderful virtual reunion in December 2020 with more than 20 participating including two faculty from the year that studied film and social anthropology. IHP alumni on the call represented a wide range of leadership in the arts, journalism, health, film, education and social change. Some updates from the group include: Christina “Tina” Holt, MD, worked closely with IHP to develop IHP Health and Community; Lauren Greenfield-Evers is known for her photography and filmmaking including Queen of Versailles and Run Like A Girl, which aired during the SuperBowl; Sonya Laurence Green is chief of Africa for the Voice of America; Janet Echelman makes large scale net sculptures that have been installed between skyscrapers, over city squares, and other locations, with one currently at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and another at Terminal 3 in the San Francisco Airport; Daniel Banks is the co-founder of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to dialogue and healing featuring dance, theatre, and film about identity, heritage, culture, and belonging; and Maria Agui-Carter is a filmmaker, advocate for BIPOC and diverse voices in media, co-founder of the Latinx Salon, with her most recent series SciGirls on PBS, about Latinx teen girl scientists.
Kimberly Foote, Ghana 1999, is a write of fiction, essays, and experimental prose. She has been published in the Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Black Renaissance Noire, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. She has received several writing honors and has several projects in the works, including a novel exploring women’s stories, freedom, and race relations around the slave trade in the 18th century. Learn more about her work at kimfoote.com.
Thomas Garrison, Mexico 1999, is a professor in the department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin and a National Geographic Explorer. He writes, “My experience in Mexico changed my life and determined my career path!” In 2018, he was part of a group of researchers that identified an immense set of ruins hidden under the jungles of northern Guatemala using new digital technology. Most recently, he was the featured researcher in four episodes of National Geographic’s Lost Treasures of the Maya.
Sarah (Krones) Haring, Tanzania 2003, is a small animal emergency veterinarian. During veterinary school she was the One Health chair for the International Veterinary Students Association, and traveled around the world meeting, sharing with, and learning from other veterinary students. With her colleague, she presented their collaborative work at the WMA/WVA conference in Madrid in 2015. Experiences from her SIT program have stayed with her and helped guide her choices. She writes, “Respect for the earth, its resources, and other cultures are lessons I hope everyone is able to learn.” She is passing those values onto her children, ages 2.5 and 5.
Leungo Donald Molosi, Morocco 2008, has received the UK government’s Chevening scholarship. He will be studying creative writing at Brunel University in the UK. He is an actor and writer, who has worked off-Broadway and appeared in several films. He has also published a collection of his original off-Broadway plays called We Are All Blue in which he uses examples from Botswana’s history to make a case for intergenerational dialogue about the need to decolonize. Donald has also published Dear Upright African for which he won the Best Narrative award at the African Authors Awards.
Eloise Reid, Tanzania 2012, received a master of science in environmental justice and environmental policy and planning. She has worked for a variety of organizations focusing on environmental issues as well as diversity and inclusion efforts focused on inclusive hiring policies, staff treatment, and labor issues. She lives in Vermont.
Zackary Lash, IHP Human Rights 2017, usually splits his time between Florida and Colombia. He is co-founder and president of Saltamontes Network, a peace-building initiative that exists to equip young leaders of Colombia’s socio-geographically isolated communities with the right tools, skills, strategies, and connections to build positive peace for themselves.
Caroline Daley, Tanzania 2018, had her ISP research “The Influence of Habitat Preference on Longitudinal Population Composition and Distribution of Groupers (Serranidae) at Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar, Tanzania” accepted for publication in the Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science.
Congratulations to Alondra Vazquez Lopez, Mexico 2019, and Victoria Puglia, Uganda 2019, who both were named 2021 Rhodes Scholars. Alondra is a senior studying ethnicity, race, and migration and her senior thesis is on Modern Illicit Migration Corridors in the Americas. She is a founding member and president of an undergraduate chapter of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, an active advocate for DACA students, and vice president of a nonprofit dedicated to creating portraits for children around the world who have endured significant adversity. Victoria is a majoring in international affairs at Lafayette College. Her senior independent study project is on malnutrition in Sub-Saharan African refugee settlements. She is president of the Lafayette International Students’ Association. She is passionate about equitable development, humanitarian aid, and food security.
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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 Change.org; 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. sit.edu/sit-world-languages-center
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 experiment.org 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. experiment.org
SIT Graduate Institute offers global, full-time and hybrid master’s degrees, certificates, and professional development programs. SIT has also launched a hybrid Doctorate in Global Education (EdD) which combines rigorous online coursework with short residencies in Vermont to fit the needs of part- and full-time professionals seeking to rapidly accelerate their career, while tackling highly relevant issues in global education, both locally and abroad. graduate.sit.edu
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. worldlearning.org
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.