It has been a little over a year since a select group of IPSS students successfully completed the new IPSS alumni mentor program. The program allows IPSS practicum students to connect with MIIS alums working in the same field or technical skill area through 1-2 mentor meetings. The program was such a success that it has continued on to the 2022-2023 academic year.
The additional support to students completing virtual internships has resulted in a second year of the alumni mentorship program. Alumni mentors connected with students from the IEP, MPA, IPD, and NPTS degree programs completing a practicum internship course.
In the fall, spring and summer, MIIS students met with their alumni mentors at the beginning and end of their project. Having alumni mentors as a support line meant students could ask questions about the transition to the professional world after graduate school. Not only did this allow students to better understand the careers they wanted, but it also allowed them to create valuable connections that illustrate why MIIS continues to lead in professional development.
Alumni had the opportunity to give back by mentoring a current student while learning about the student’s work and career interests. The IPSS internship practicum is one of many experiential learning courses and initiatives serving MIIS graduate students.
The Middlebury Institute IPSS practicum team is grateful to the following 47 alumni who shared their time and expertise to support current practicum students. Alumni mentors represent a diverse set of MIIS degree and professional certificate programs.
Fall 2021 Alumni Mentors
Amanda Bensel, (IEP ‘15), Asia Foundation
Kat Harrison, (MBA ‘14), KL Small Business Services
Cornelia Janke, (MPA ‘95), EDC Principle
Katie Lempe, (IPD ‘16), UNCHR Burundi
Claire Pillsbury, (ITED ‘16), National Foreign Trade Council
Rebecca Mendez Sher, (MPA ‘18), Colorado Public Schools
Emily Sloane, (IEP ‘09), IRC Cash Transfers Advisor
Tom Stagg, (MPA ‘16), Housing Matters
Sherin Wertime, (IEP ‘18), USAID
Spring 2022 Alumni Mentors
Nick Allen, (ITP ‘05), Patagonia
Julie Baroody, (Middlebury College ‘03), Verra
Christine Borghei, (IEP ‘05), Recology
Emily Clark, (IPD ‘19), Huascarán National Park (HNP)
Ian Evans, (Middlebury College ‘10), Pattern (Energy Group)
Lizzie Falconer, (MPA ‘17), Organizational Change & Learning Manager at Catholic Relief Services
Peter Fippinger, (IEP ‘01), Environment NEOM
Bill Godnick, (IPS ‘97), Professor of Practice @ William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies @ National Defense University
Heather Hamm, (FMS ‘13), Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance & the Forest Service International Programs Frontier Market Scouts
Walden Kiker, (IEP ‘21), Port of San Diego
Chelsea Lavalle, (MPA ‘18), UNICEF
Charley Lewis, (IPS ‘97), Adobe
Alexandra Long, (IEP ‘18), Alaska Solar
Lauren Marasco, (MPA ‘13), Planned Giving Planned Parenthood
Aimee Maron, (MPA ‘06), Social change and sustainability organizations
Manuel Martinez Miralles, (MPA ‘13), UNIDIR
Nadine Nader, (IPD ‘97), the City of Santa Clara
Monique Rao (IPS ‘17), ClimateWorks Foundation
Pamela Ruiter, (IEP ‘06), The Environmental Defense Fund
Driggers Sam, (IPS ‘97), USDA
Jessica Sanders, (IEP ‘05), Former FAO staffer (16 years)
Toyi Sogoyou, (IPS ‘09), UNHCR
Sorina Stalla, (IEP ‘18), University of Alaska Fairbanks
Julia Steger Foster, (IPD ‘09), Local Nonprofit Work
Sarah Sterling, (MPA ‘15), Conveners
Brise Tencer, (IEP ‘01), The Organic Farming Research Foundation
Emma Tonge, (IEP ‘16), NOAA
Casson Trenor, (IEP ‘05), Ocean activists
Pascale Verly, (DPMI ‘07), Verly Consulting
Laura Viggiano, (MPA ‘13), CEA Consulting
Alex Wells, (NPTS ‘13), The DA Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Heidi Williams, (IEP ‘16), Valley Water
Jed Wolfington, (IEP ‘06),The US Department of State
Whitney Yadao-Evans, (IEP ‘13), Conservation International
Yuki Yoshida, (Middlebury College ‘10), The National Institute for Environmental Studies
Summer 2022 Alumni Mentors
Selamawit Adebe, (DPMI ‘16), United Nations Enterprise Advisor
Claire Potdevin, (ITED ‘14), UNEP Fiscal Policy
Mandy Sackett, (IEP ‘11), Surfrider Foundation
The Middlebury Institute community is thankful for the support alumni provide current students both through the IPSS alumni mentor program and through the many student-alumni introductions made by faculty and career advisors every month.
The second year has proven that the IPSS alumni mentor initiative is incredibly useful for students interested in gaining professional insight into their careers. The IPSS program plans to continue the alumni mentor matching during the 22/23 academic year. MIIS alumni interested in supporting a MIIS IPSS fellow can contact Director of Immersive Professional Learning Carolyn Meyer.