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Our student ambassadors can answer your questions about the Middlebury Institute, from academic and professional opportunities to life in Monterey.

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Gabe Albright

Gabe Albright

International Environmental Policy

Gabe is a student in the International Environmental Policy program, with a specialization in Natural Resources Policy and Management. Before coming to MIIS, he worked as an ESL teacher, then as a project coordinator for environmental education and youth conservation programs in California, Utah, Nevada, Virginia, Vermont, Thailand, and Hong Kong. These experiences have trained him to view communication as the most important tool for solving our environmental crisis. MIIS happily sits at the intersection of all his experiences and interests. Gabe is a remote student based in southern California and is well versed in the trials and tribulations of online learning, though he makes time occasionally to visit Monterey in person. Outside of class, he enjoys painting, surfing, and cooking. Sign up to chat.


Chise Kerns

Joint MPA/MA in International Education Management

Chise is currently pursuing a joint Masters in international education management and public administration. She is a Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow who served as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language volunteer in Nanchong, Sichuan, China. It was her Peace Corps experience that kickstarted her Chinese studies and she has continued with Chinese courses at MIIS. Chise most recently received the Critical Language Scholarship, an 8-week intensive language study program, to study Chinese in Tainan, Taiwan this past summer. 

She is originally from Olathe, Kansas and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Psychology. In Kansas, Chise was an AmeriCorps volunteer with United Way where she worked on affordable housing issues. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, going to the beach, doing yoga, and writing poetry. She would be happy to chat about her experience at MIIS with you. Sign up to chat.

Landry Dohou

Landry Dohou Bi (He, Him, His)

International Policy and Development

Originally from Cote d’Ivoire, Landry lived in Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 7 months before moving to Monterey. He is a Fulbright grantee pursuing a MA in IPD focusing on International Migration, Human Rights, and Security to contribute to solving issues of migrants with disabilities and to work on emergency programs management. He holds a Master’s in Private Law, and he is an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program from the US Dept of State. He has been in the nonprofit field for 6 years now, working with several NGOs at a national and international level like Special Olympics and the Danish Deaf Association. 

At MIIS, he co-leads two student clubs. One is for environmental protection called Blue and the other one is for the United Nations Association Monterey chapter. He is also a member of the Institute’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advisory committee. You will not find his apartment address in the Michelin guide, but if you stop by, he can cook for you some delicious dishes from West Africa, France, Italy, and the Middle East, which he has learned from his mother who is a chef. Sign up to chat.

Robbie Flight

Robbie Flight

International Trade

Originally from the UK, Robbie is pursuing an MA in International Trade with a focus on Compliance. Robbie is particularly interested in post-Brexit trade between the US and UK, and trade between the US and Middle East. He has spent most of his life travelling, and has spent extended periods of time in Canada, South Africa, and the United States. Robbie has made the most of MIIS’s networking opportunities to secure a position with a company in Arizona, beginning next year. Robbie is also leading the relaunch of the MIIS International Trade Association (MITA). Sign up to chat.

Salma Rashid

Salma Rashid

Master of Public Administration 

Originally from Woodbridge, Virginia, Salma is a student in the Public Administration program. She got a B.A. in Government with a minor in Management & Organizational Leadership from William & Mary in 2020. After undergrad, Salma served, and is still currently serving, as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Friendship Public Charter School in D.C., working in Alumni Affairs. Her combined experiences at W&M and with AmeriCorps have enabled her to grow in her passion for educational access, social justice, and service-learning. These experiences led her to being selected as a planning committee member for the National Partnership for Educational Access’ 2022 conference. In her free time, Salma loves to read, spend time outdoors with friends, and try out new coffee and teas! She’s excited to chat with you and can’t wait to share her experience at MIIS. Sign up to chat.

Ian Driscoll

Ian Driscoll

Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Ian is a second-semester NPTS student pursuing a specialization in Financial Crime Management. Ian completed his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, majoring in International & Global Studies with a focus on East Asia and a minor in history. With research experience from studying abroad in both China and Taiwan, Ian is passionate about financial crime in East Asia and is a recipient of the Gard’ n’ Wall Foundation Scholarship. He is earning a certification in Financial Crime Prevention and researching for a podcast he plans to create on Altaf Khanani, a notorious money launderer for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Ian is currently a graduate assistant for the Immersive Learning Program and the Vice President’s Office. He was also selected as a Virtual Federal Student Intern for Homeland Security, where he is tracking Chinese criminal organizations responsible for money laundering in the Pacific region. On campus, Ian is president of QAAAM (Queers & Allies @ MIIS) and the Tennis Club’s vice president. Ian enjoys exploring Monterey with his friends when he is not in class. Sign up to chat.

Isha Banks

Isha Banks

TESOL and Teaching Foreign Language

Originally from Florida, Isha is pursuing an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with a specialization in Teaching Foreign Language (TFL) Japanese. They graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018 with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature and a minor in Linguistics. After graduating, they worked as an Assistant Language Teaching (ALT) of English for two years in Japan as part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. During their time in Japan, they obtained a TESOL certificate, but desired to get a deeper dive into English as a Second Language (ESL) education. This led them to the Middlebury Institute, which has a history of admitting and supporting JET alumni and a reputable TESOL program. Isha is passionate about languages and social justice, and enjoys taking walks along the coastline, watching animated shows, and playing piano. Sign up to chat.

Paulina Diaz

Paulina Diaz

Translation; Translation and Interpretation; Conference Interpretation

Originally from Mexico, Paulina is pursuing her MA in Conference Interpretation (Spanish and English). She graduated from Simpson University in Redding, California with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies. During her childhood, she quickly discovered her passion for translation and interpretation and enjoyed helping people communicate in different languages. As an undergrad student-athlete, she has always wanted to participate in the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup as an interpreter. On weekends, Paulina loves visiting new coffee shops and restaurants in the Monterey Area. During her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and going to the gym. In the future, she hopes to open more opportunities for women in sports media. Sign up to chat.

Jocelyn Kwong

Jocelyn Kwong

Translation and Localization Management

Jocelyn is currently pursuing a master’s in Translation and Localization Management. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Chinese Language and Culture and a minor in Environmental Sustainability. She spent her capstone year abroad with the Chinese Language Flagship Program in Nanjing, China. A native of San Francisco, Jocelyn returned to the city to work in a Mandarin immersion school prior to starting at the Middlebury Institute. In her free time, she enjoys running along the beach trails and swimming. Sign up to chat.

Julie Alba

Julie Alba

Online Translation and Localization Management

Julie is currently finishing her second-year master’s in Translation and Localization Management through the online program and is based in San Francisco, Bay Area. She is originally from Syria where she had her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and the DELF Diploma in French from the French Cultural Center. She worked in translation in her home country until the war broke out in Syria in 2011. She moved to the States and started working for Netflix as an Arabic linguist. Now she works as a QA analyst for IG Reels at Meta. When Julie is not working or studying, she enjoys hiking, biking, and cooking some amazing Mediterranean cuisine. Sign up to chat.