SIT Changemakers of 2022

December 30th, 2022   |   School for International Training, SIT

Countless members of the SIT community—students, faculty, and alumni—step forward every year to make meaningful change that affects their communities, their countries, and our planet. Here are some of the extraordinary SIT Changemakers we had the privilege of profiling in 2022.

A woman with a blue and pink head scarf smiles broadly.

Dr. Asma Ali Abunaib
As DEI director for Champlain Valley schools in Vermont, Dr. Abunaib still draws on two things she learned in the SIT CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program: the experiential learning cycle and the cycle of revenge and reconciliation.

A man wearing round glasses and a white shirt.

Jose Alfaro
As founding director of Latinx Leadership and Community Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety, this SIT Graduate alumnus combats U.S. gun violence with an anti-racist, community-centered approach.

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Stephanie Clement
The primary writer of the Human Health chapter of the Vermont Climate Assessment, Stephanie Clement drew upon her experiences and learning in SIT's Climate Change and Global Sustainability MA program.

A man with a short beard wearing a broad-brimmed Panama-style hat and a black shirt.

Fabian Espinosa
Writing about Indigenous protests that rocked Quito in 2022, SIT Academic Director Fabian Espinosa says the struggle has deep historical roots "since the past was never forgotten and oppression has never ceased."

A woman with wire-frame glasses, a light blue shirt and dangly earrings stands against the backdrop of a whiteboard with two students in the background.

Dr. Paula Green
She was a peacemaker, an innovator, and a friend. The founder of SIT’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) summer peacebuilding program touched the lives of thousands of people worldwide. We celebrated her life and mourned her loss in 2022.

A young woman wearing a broad-brimmed safari hat and khaki-colored shirt stands against a tropical backdrop.

Ella Halbert
After discovering a new species of frog on her SIT Ecuador program, Ella plans to specialize in human biology in medical school. "I really liked thinking about the connections between organisms and environmental factors within ecosystems, which strongly parallels the way that myriad factors influence individual health."

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Sean Massa and Lauren Newman
IHP alumnus Sean Massa and SIT Study Abroad alumna Lauren Newman were accepted into the newest cohort of Rangel Fellows, a prestigious program funded by the U.S. State Department to enhance the diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. 

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Hadiel Mohammed
SIT Graduate alumna Hadiel makes a distinction between DEI training and her work as an anti-oppression trainer: Instead of working to "include people in a culture of white supremacy," she seeks to "dismantle that culture" and build something better.

A young woman with long dark hair and small earrings wearing an orange blouse.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
In every story she writes, this SIT Graduate alumna, author, and world-class journalist ties climate change to racial and social justice.

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Melissa Phineas
"As professionals in the international education field, we are opportunities that many students, especially those who are marginalized, think are out of reach," SIT study abroad alumna Melissa Phineas, now an SIT University Relations staff member, tells us.

On the left, a young women with light brown hair; on the right, a man with short dark hair and a mustache.

Hannah Sorila and Cheikh Thiam
In their article “White Supremacy, Global Education, and Decolonial Futures,” former SIT associate dean Dr. Cheikh Thiam and staff member Hannah Sorila write that only by deeply restructuring western study abroad will we increase diversity, equity, and inclusion on predominantly white programs.

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The TESOL Teachers of SIT
When it was announced that nearly 100 Afghan refugees were to arrive in Brattleboro starting in January, and that SIT and World Learning would house and help resettle them, a group of professors emeriti, retired and current professors, and TESOL alumni volunteered to develop curriculum and teach these new Vermonters.

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Joe Wiah
This SIT Graduate alum was recognized by the Vermont Community Foundation for his efforts to “build a better Vermont” through his work with refugees and other under-represented community members at the Ethiopian Community Development Center.