At spring commencement, three outstanding MIIS alumni were honored for their achievements:
The Young Alumni Achievement Award went to Amaury Cooper (MAIPS ’05). As deputy director of risk management and global security at International Relief & Development, Amaury oversees all aspects of security, crisis, and business continuity management for the organization’s international programs. “Outside of my parents, I can say that MIIS has had the greatest influence on my life, both professionally and personally,” Amaury says. He explains that he arrived in Monterey interested in a career in security but found his focus on the nexus between terrorism and transnational crime through his studies and interactions with faculty. He also met his future wife, Abby Lewis Cooper (MPA ’05) at MIIS. Amaury and Abby are part of the alumni group that founded the D.C. Scholarship Fund.
Sylvio Baltodano (MBA ’95) received the Alumni Volunteer Service Award. The chief executive officer and co-founder of LANS Chemicals & Co, Mr. Baltodano is also the owner/president of Balmesa Global, LLC, a sales/marketing consulting company that he founded in 2010. From 1996 to 2010 he worked throughout the United States and overseas in high-level sales, marketing, operations, and finance positions. “MIIS opened my eyes to the world,” says Sylvio who is originally from Nicaragua, and came to MIIS from Costa Rica as a Fulbright scholar. He credits MIIS for giving him the confidence to “deal with anybody, anywhere, about anything—and in several languages.” His generosity of spirit is evident to anyone who meets him and under his leadership, the Florida alumni network has become one of the most active in the country.
The Distinguished Alumni Award went to William Godnick (MAIPS ’97). Since 2009, Bill has been the public security program coordinator for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima, Peru. Bill previously served for seven years as senior policy advisor for Latin America with International Alert. Bill’s presence is continually felt on the MIIS campus as he has taught as an adjunct professor and is a frequent contributor to courses via Skype or in person. He has also provided career mentoring to numerous MIIS students through the years. “This award is meaningful to me because the two years I spent at MIIS were consequential to the professional path that I have forged,” Bill said in his speech at the commencement ceremony, adding that he hopes that is something he and the graduating class will soon have in common.