News Stories

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.