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Melissa Ashley

Environmental Policy and Management

Melissa Ashley

Melissa is a 2nd year Environmental Policy and Management student specializing in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Melissa completed her undergraduate studies at the University of San Diego, majoring in Environmental and Ocean Sciences and minoring in Business Administration. Before starting at the Middlebury Institute, she spent two years assisting a Bay Area-based supply chain management company with their environmental compliance and sustainability efforts. Melissa’s lifelong love of the ocean inspired her to return to graduate school and specialize in the field of international ocean policy. On campus, Melissa is a member of the Sustainability Council and works at the Center for the Blue Economy. In her free time, Melissa enjoys knitting with her friends, watercolor painting, golfing, and going to the beach. Sign up to chat.

Julianna Forman

Online International Education Management

Julianna Forman

Julianna, or Jules, is a Bay Area native, originally from Marin County, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. She is entering her second semester as an online International Education Management student at MIIS. Jules earned her undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and French Language, with an English minor, from the University of Redlands, a small school in Southern California. After graduating, she moved to France for a year to teach high school English through the TAPIF program. Since returning to the U.S., she has worked in various educational roles and is eager to enter her international education career. In her spare time, Jules loves to cook dishes from around the world, read fantasy novels and spend time with her cat. Sign up to chat.

Landry Dohou

International Policy and Development

Landry Dohou Bi (He, Him, His)

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.

Felix Naim

Joint Master of Public Administration/Master of Arts in International Trade

Felix Naim  

Originally from the SF Bay Area, Felix is a Joint ITED/MPA student with a planned specialization in Financial Crime Management. Felix earned his BA from the Chinese Flagship Program at San Francisco State University, during which he also studied abroad in Taiwan in 2018 and 2021-22. Felix has some work experience in the retail banking industry, and has also served as an intern at a nonprofit where he conducted educational policy research. Felix decided to study at MIIS after hearing about the trade program from one of his former classmates, and feels that MIIS offers a unique curriculum that builds on all of his past experiences and future career interests.

On campus, Felix is the Co-President of the Financial Crime Management club, and also assists Student Services. In his free time, Felix likes to cook, practice calligraphy, and sing karaoke. He ran his first charity marathon in 2023. Sign up to chat.

Muskan Agrawal

Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Muskan Agrawal

Muskan Agrawal is a first year Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies student. She is from India and earned her Bachelors in Liberal Arts with a concentration in International Studies from Soka University of America. Muskan studied abroad in Madrid to learn Spanish in 2020 and also took part in the 7-week Spanish language immersion program at Middlebury College in 2023. She was a Michael Donnelly fellow at the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC) in Fall 2023 and was also fortunate to receive the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship from the International Atomic Energy Agency for her Masters. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to India for two years and was working as a Political Analyst for different political parties and also had the opportunity to work for a few State elections as a campaign manager before deciding to pursue a Masters. Currently, Muskan is working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Diverting Hate, a consultancy fighting misogyny online, and Monterey Initiative on Russian Studies (MIRS). On campus, Muskan is part of the BUILD club where she teaches Hindi once a week to fellow MIIS students. She is also an avid swimmer and scuba
diver! Sign up to chat.

Carly Tozian

TESOL and Teaching Foreign Language

Carly Tozian

Carly earned a BA in Linguistics and Russian from the University of Florida. After graduating, she remained in Florida, working on a farm and running a local non-profit urban garden, where she focused on youth education outreach and donated produce to the local food bank. After attending Middlebury’s summer language school for Russian, she realized she wanted to learn how to teach language. Carly is now pursuing an MA in TESOL and continuing to study Russian alongside it. On campus, she is a Russian tutor for MIIS’s Custom Language Service program as well as for degree-seeking students, and manager of Our Green Thumb community garden. She is the leader of gardening club on campus as well. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking on Monterey’s rec trail, and going to antique stores. Sign up to chat.

Vivian Williamson

Online TESOL

Vivian Williamson

Originally from North Carolina, Vivian earned a BA in Global Studies from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. After graduation, they moved to Norfolk, Virginia, and worked in a restaurant before earning their TEFL certificate and moving to Chiang Rai, Thailand, in 2019. While in Chiang Rai, she taught kindergarten at a bilingual private school. In 2020, the pandemic brought them back to Norfolk for a brief time before they moved to Galicia, Spain, to work as an English language teaching assistant through the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP). Now back in Norfolk, Vivian is pursuing an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at MIIS through the asynchronous part-time option. In her free time, she does aerial arts, spends time at the beach, and cooks. Sign up to chat.

Julia Liu

Translation; Translation and Interpretation; Conference Interpretation

Julia Liu

Julia will graduate from the Conference Interpretation program in 2026, with a language combination of Chinese, English, and French. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Comparative Literature and Law/Letters/Society, followed by an MA in the Humanities. Originally from Shanghai, China, she loves to travel and learn new languages. In college, she studied Japanese and French. She also spent a summer studying abroad in France. She came to MIIS to further her interests in connecting people and cultures, and she is excited to work as a professional interpreter after graduation. 

On campus, she is the Vice President of BUILD. In her spare time, Julia loves playing the piano, taking walks by the beach, rating coffee shops and exploring the food scene in Monterey. Sign up to chat.

Gina Zhang

Joint Translation and Interpretation/Translation and Localization Management

Gina Zhang

Gina is a first-year student in the joint Master of Translation and Interpretation & Translation and Localization Management with a language pair of Chinese and English. She graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Economics and a minor in French. Originally from Dalian, China, she enjoys learning different languages, and that’s how she found her path to Middlebury and later to Monterey. She cherishes the supportive community at MIIS and is excited about exploring different opportunities in the language industry. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and Kdramas and singing karaoke with friends! Sign up to chat.

Kunal Krishn

Translation and Localization Management

Kunal Krishn

Kunal is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Translation and Localization Management and holding a BA in Russian from the Centre of Russian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Conceptualized under the World Bank Funded Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) Programme, Kunal chose to embark on a fulfilling journey with the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship program to work with the district administration in strengthening the process of skilling and help create a vibrant local district economy. As a professional and national youth leader Kunal addressed SDG 4 and 8 through innovative project design, creating credible plans and identifying barriers to raising employment, economic output, and promoting livelihoods in rural areas. This experience provided valuable expertise in research, project design, and execution within the public policy and management domain. Kunal Founded ConnectLocally, a hub established to deliver outstanding localization strategy services, adapting the products and services of non-profit organizations to align with the cultural and linguistic preferences of target audiences. Passionate about bridging the world’s language gap and responding sensitively to existing needs, with a strong interest in cross-cultural education, community development, and ESG. Outside of academic pursuits, Kunal finds joy in watching movies, experimenting with cooking, and volunteering as a Seasonal Guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Additionally, he contributes as a volunteer on the Student Global Talent Committee for the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). Sign up to chat.


Ola Pozor

Auxiliares de Conversación 

Ola Pozor

Ola is a Polish-American first-year student in the International Policy & Development program, with a specialization in International Education Management. She studied international relations, Hispanic Studies, and Russian at William & Mary in Virginia and moved to Spain to teach English in Santiago de Compostela and Madrid for two years with Auxiliares de Conversación. She also advised Spanish high schoolers on their application journeys to U.S. universities, which led her to her next positions in higher education. The outbreak of the War in Ukraine in 2022 inspired her return to graduate school and purpose to work in the field of refugee and migration policy and inclusion. At MIIS, Ola is a Conflict Transformation Fellow, studying female-led civil society organizations and NGOs in Poland, as well as a member of the Student Leadership Task Force, Sustainability Council, JEDI Council, Vice President of the Slavic Culture Club, and fitness instructor. She loves living in Monterey, where she frequently takes “otter walks” to San Carlos Beach, watches airplanes, goes to the farmer’s markets, and studies at all the adorable coffee shops! Sign up to chat.

Kevin Heller

Peace Corps 

Kevin Heller

Kevin is currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Policy & Management, specializing in Ocean Coastal Resource Management and studying the Russian language at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Prior to MIIS, he earned his undergraduate degree in geology, conservation, and climate from Kent State University in Ohio. Kevin’s passion for environmental conservation led him to engage in various volunteer and service experiences. In 2018, he volunteered with the Student Conservation Association, followed by serving in the Peace Corps from 2018 to 2020 in Mexico. Subsequently, he joined AmeriCorps from 2020 to 2021. Throughout his journey, Kevin has demonstrated a deep commitment to environmental education and youth development. He has dedicated many years to working with high school students from diverse backgrounds and countries, fostering their environmental awareness and leadership skills. Originally planning to pursue graduate studies immediately after completing his Peace Corps service, Kevin’s plans were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he is now a Conflict Transformation Fellow at MIIS, focusing on cultivating conflict transformation through youth-centered environmental education. Additionally, he serves as the vice-president of the Peace Corps Club at MIIS. Currently residing and working full-time in Alaska at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Kevin continues to embody his love for travel and the outdoors. He enjoys exploring the mountains, camping, and spending time with friends whenever possible. Sign up to chat.