SIT Study Abroad Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2023

A Note from Carla Lineback, Director of Alumni Engagement

In case you missed it, last fall Diversity Abroad named Ghana Academic Director Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang the recipient of the 2022 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) in the Individual/Professional category of Inclusive Excellence in Teaching. We are very proud of Kwabena! Read the press release for the full details about this honor.

Also last fall, World Learning welcomed three new board members. I encourage you to read about these dynamic additions to the board of trustees.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of former Arizona Congressman James “Jim” Kolbe, IHP 1963. A globally-minded American, Jim advocated for diplomacy, international development, human rights, and immigration reform. As an active alum of our International Honors Program, Jim first learned about IHP from his college roommate Roger Majak, IHP 1961. Roger, who served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration, reflected on Jim’s important contributions when Jim served as chair of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriations. “In my view, he almost single-handedly saved the foreign aid and other international programs and policies funded at $50 billion or more a year” at a time when members of Jim’s own party were attempting to dismantle these. Read more about Jim’s work and the legacy he made.

Enjoy reading this issue of the SSA IHP newsletter to learn how other alumni are continuing to contribute to a more just and peaceful world in exciting ways. And to learn what current SIT students are experiencing, please follow us on Instagram! Here you are able to see Instagram takeovers by the students themselves and click on specific countries to see past takeovers.

Alumni News

(Listed by year of participation)

Joan Tiffany, IHP Honorary Alumna 1984, was honored for more than three decades of service to the development and growth of undergraduate study abroad programs and her devoted engagement with IHP alumni. A celebration for IHP alumni was hosted by former World Learning trustee Bill Michaelcheck and his wife Pam in New York to honor Joan’s dedication.

Joan Tiffany, IHP Honorary Alumna 1984

Kim Chaloner, IHP 1993, joined her group for a reunion in 2019. She says the occasion was a moment of “clarity and grounding” where they heard about each other’s journeys and adventures. She felt admiration for everyone in the group and felt recommitted and inspired.

International Honors Program reunion (2019)

Jessica Martin, Madagascar 1999, launched Peptoc, a hotline art project with a group of elementary students. It features pre-recorded life advice and words of encouragement from kids and received more than 10 million calls in seven months. She and her creative partner have signed a book deal inspired by the project and are recruiting people to help kids make encouraging “Peptoc” posters for their community. The posters will be compiled for the book. For details about participating, click Peptoc Poster Project. And if you need a quick pep talk, give the hotline a call: +1-707-8-PEPTOC.

MacKenzie “Mac” Hamilton, Rwanda 2011, is program director for peace and security at ReThink Media. This move brings her full circle to her first position in Washington, DC, as a Congressional communications intern in 2013, when she found news clips and drafted public remarks. She knows how important the role of the media is in changing public opinion and moving elected officials to act. Her current position will help deepen her expertise in media engagement.

Noah Zaccaglini, Uganda 2012, completed his MA in Architecture at UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design and is a designer specializing in housing and residential design. He’s an architectural designer at City Design Studio in Los Angeles.

Martha Isaacs, IHP Cities 2015, has been awarded a prestigious Schwarzman scholarship, which funds a master’s in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. She is currently a project manager at the New York City Department of Transportation where she designs and implements urban design projects to improve safety and accessibility on corridors and intersections throughout the city. As a Schwarzman Scholar, she hopes to learn more about how Chinese cities are utilizing public participation in planning decisions and apply lessons learned when she returns to the U.S.

Gabriel Oppler, Ecuador 2016, said, “At the end of the semester, I left Ecuador with a more complete understanding of what ‘conservation’ strives to achieve: balance between the needs of people and the needs of nature.” Read more about how his experience laid the foundation for his return to Ecuador as a master’s student researcher.

Lydia Fisher, India 2019, has returned to India as a Fulbright-Nehru Student Researcher looking at the effects of air and noise pollution on the human body and society. Her research is focused on one municipal ward in Mumbai which is home to one million people. Lydia is surveying 400 residents about indoor and outdoor air pollution health effects, trends, and treatment choices.

Samara Angel, Argentina 2020, received a 10-month fellowship to return to Argentina to investigate her family’s migration to Argentina during the Holocaust as well as the links of intergenerational loss and trauma of her aunt and grandmother. During her time in Argentina, she will also be auditing courses at University of Buenos Aires. She plans to take tango dance classes while there as well.

Deirdre Corrigan, Switzerland 2022, says she became interested in humanitarian aid following a lecture on Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) during her SIT semester. Humanitarian aid perfectly combined her interest in international relations and public health administration. As part of her independent study project, Deirdre interviewed members of MSF where she gained a stronger understanding of the nonprofit administration world. She has recently started an internship with MSF-USA.

More great stories can be found in SIT Changemakers of 2022 which highlights some of the alumni we featured last year.

Share your story! Write to [email protected].

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In Memoriam (listed by program year)

SIT mourns the loss of members of our alumni community. We are now offering a space to remember and honor alumni who have recently passed away. Please note, this information comes from many sources, including family members, other alumni, and newspaper obituaries. If you wish to submit information on someone who has passed, please email [email protected].

James Kolbe, IHP 1963
Alexandra Wolfe, India 2012

Upcoming Events

We don’t want you to miss out! Share your preferred email and correct mailing address to receive invitations relevant to you! We will be hosting alumni gatherings at the TESOL Convention in Portland, Oregon, in March and the NAFSA Conference in Washington, DC, in May. These will be in addition to other in-person events, and we want to make sure you are included!

Announcements & Opportunities

The Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship supports SIT Study Abroad alumni wishing to return to the country where they studied to pursue development projects that benefit human rights in that region. IHP alumni can choose any of the countries where they studied during the program. Applications are accepted twice annually, with deadlines each year on March 1 and October 1.

SIT and The Forum on Education Abroad offer joint credentialing for The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad program. This program is intended for students and professionals who want to certify their knowledge and expertise in the practice of education abroad. The program is structured around The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

SIT and World Learning are hiring! There is a range of positions based around the world, requiring various levels of experience. Please be sure to check out current openings on the employment page.

Join over 20K SIT Alumni @ School for International Training’s LinkedIn! Is School for International Training listed in the education section of your LinkedIn profile? If not, add it today to begin networking with alumni of both SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute programs. LinkedIn’s Alumni tab makes it easy to see who else is in your metro area, find fellow alums that work at companies or organizations of interest to you, and so much more.

Program Opportunities

Scholarships for The 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 rise to new challenges, and The Experiment is committed to working together across cultures. Limited space still available for summer 2023.

SIT Graduate Institute offers global, full-time, and part-time hybrid master’s degrees, certificates, and professional development programs. SIT Graduate Institute also offers a hybrid doctorate in Global Education 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 careers while tackling highly relevant issues in global education. SIT Study Abroad alumni are eligible for a $10,000 scholarship to any SIT master’s degree program.

The SIT World Languages Center is committed to promoting and preserving Indigenous and less commonly taught languages while also providing critical, specialized courses in widely studied languages. Online and in-person language courses for college credit are open to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and adult students.

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 hybrid and global formats. World Learning is working to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange. Founded in 1932 by Dr. Donald Watt as The Experiment in International Living, the organization that has become World Learning Inc. was inspired by the innovative idea to improve understanding across cultures and nations by sending students abroad to live with homestay families.