The Student Council composed of students from all degree programs and serves as the governing body for all students enrolled at the Institute, acting as a voice for students in communication with faculty and staff.
For a full description of responsibilities and roles, please visit the Student Council Constitution.
President: Erin Kelly-Weber
Erin is a second year International Education Management and Public Administration dual masters degree candidate, with Spanish as her language of study. She grew up in New Jersey, but later moved to Chicago, where she received her B.A. in Anthropology, International Studies and Spanish at Northwestern University. Upon graduating, Erin worked for Greenheart International, a nonprofit organization that facilitates cultural exchange programs, where she worked on the J-1 secondary school program, managing international high school students during their exchange year in the U.S. Like many MIIS students, Erin has spent time living and traveling abroad, and is passionate about connecting people from different cultures to build mutual understanding. Erin served as the Student Council Program Representative for the International Education Management program last year. She is honored and excited to continue to serve the MIIS community as Student Council President for the 2018-19 school year.
Vice President: Chelsea Segal
Chelsea is a second year MPA candidate, and is pursuing a Intercultural Competence specialization. She grew up in Miami, Florida before heading to the Midwest for her undergraduate studies at The University of Michigan- Go Blue! After graduation, Chelsea joined the Peace Corps as a Teaching English, Leadership and Life Skills volunteer in Panama. She enjoyed her time so much that she extended as a Regional Coordinator for her third year. During her third year, Chelsea realized that she wanted to continue studying and found MIIS, which was the perfect fit for her. MIIS is full of inspirational students doing incredible work locally, nationally and internationally. Her passion lies between working with incarcerated youth and working with youth abroad. She ultimately looks forward to seeing where those passions take her after graduation. Chelsea served as the Development Practice and Policy program representative on Student Council last year and is thrilled to be taking on the role of Vice President and representing the student body for the 2018-2019 school year.
Treasurer: Taryn Kearns
Taryn Kearns is a second-year Public Administration candidate, specializing in Migration, Trafficking, and Human Security as well as Arabic language. She grew up in Campbell, CA and earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College, during which time she also studied in Morocco. Before coming to MIIS, Taryn served for two years as an AmeriCorps member in the Silicon Valley, working on issues of K-5 literacy, volunteer coordination, and community engagement. She also interned and volunteered for several refugee-centered organizations in the Bay Area. Taryn is excited to represent the interests of the MIIS community as Student Council Treasurer for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Social Activities Director: Melody Jensen
Melody is a second year MBA/M.A. International Policy and Development candidate with a focus on Social Enterprise and Finance. She is passionate about using business and investment capital as tools for creating lasting social and environmental change. Prior to coming to MIIS, Melody was a Peace Corps Volunteer working on economic development in internally displaced communities in the Republic of Georgia. She graduated from Utah State University with degrees in International Business and Economics. As a native of Utah, she loves hiking and mountains, but is adapting well to temperate, seaside Monterey. Melody is committed to a work hard, play hard life strategy, and promises to bring the best events to the MIIS community as the Social Activities Director.
Secretary: Megan Magleby
Megan is a second year joint BA / MA degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies candidate. She grew up in the Silicon Valley and has developed a passion for international security while working and volunteering in the Middle East. Megan served as Secretary during the spring 2018 semester on Student council and looks forward to continuing her support of the MIIS community for the year ahead.
Communications Director: Emily Hoang
Emily is a first year International Education Management and Public Administration joint masters degree candidate with Arabic as her language of study. She grew up in Los Angeles, California, but later moved to Chino, CA. With the help and support of Bright Prospect, she headed across the US to the East coast, where she studied and received her B.A. in Comparative Literature at Middlebury College. Thankful for all the support and opportunities she has received as a result of local community initiatives, Emily is committed to helping youths from marginalized communities pursue higher education. Prior to MIIS, Emily worked with international students in Orange County, CA as a guidance counselor. Emily is looking forward to taking on the role of Communications Director and serving the MIIS community for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Noraya is an International Education Management candidate with Arabic as her language of study. Before coming to the Institute, she worked as an AmeriCorps member at CWS in South Florida, one of the nine national refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S. She graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia with a B.A. in International Studies, Arabic, and minored in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her undergraduate career, she had the opportunity to study abroad for two years between Jordan and Italy exploring the dynamics of migration, cultural identities, and regional affairs in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Noraya is passionate about dynamic social change, the fight for equity, diversity and inclusion issues, and is always exploring creative ways to bridge gaps and bring people together. She is looking forward to engaging with the MIIS community as Historian and finding ways to celebrate our thriving community and unique cultures!
GSIPM Senator: Paula Granger
Paula Granger is a fourth year graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies with a specialization in Financial Crime Management. Her language background includes Spanish and Persian (Farsi and Dari). Paula has been a member of the Army National Guard for 9 years and received a Joint Service Commendation Medal for Exceptionally Meritorious Service for her work at United States Cyber Command. She is a graduate of Indiana University, Purdue University of Indianapolis where she earned dual Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Women’s Studies. Her interests include studying the intersection between Cybersecurity, International Affairs and Counterterrorism in pursuit of creative and practical solutions to these complex problems. Paula is excited to work towards more collaboration between GSIPM and GSTILE and their programs.
GSTILE Senator: Carolyn Whittingham
Carolyn is a second year Translation and Localization Management MA degree candidate, with specializations in Management and Intercultural Competency, and with Japanese as her language of study. She grew up in Kingston, Jamaica but attended high school in Massachusetts at Phillips Academy Andover. Carolyn then relocated to Atlanta, where she received her BA with High Honors in Japanese & Anthropology at Emory University. After graduating, Carolyn spent a year in Hokkaido, Japan teaching English in elementary and middle school. Later, Carolyn worked as a Translator/Bilingual Administrative Assistant in the Engineering and Project Management Departments for the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation flight test center in Moses Lake, WA. While currently aspiring to work in Japanese media localization, Carolyn seeks to build a career involving Japan-US bilateral relations. She is excited to join Student Council as the GSTILE Senator, and to promote integration between the two schools to better the greater MIIS community.
Development Practice and Policy (M.A. International Policy and Development and MPA): Asmita Jain
Asmita is a first year Masters of Public Administration candidate. She grew up in Agra, India and matriculated with a Bachelors of Honors in English Literature from Hindu College, Delhi University. She moved to London afterwards to pursue a Masters in Digital Culture and Society from King’s College London. She considers London to be her spiritual home and where she developed her love for studying public policy as means to social change. At present, she is the President of Bridging Cultures club and spends her time researching on fandom studies, learning about the intersection between the private and public domains and taking long walks along Cannery Row. She is excited about using her position as DPP representative to amplify student voices on various issues and serve to enhance the student learning experience at MIIS.
International Education Management: Jessica Fareri
Jessica is a first year International Education Management master’s degree candidate with a special interest in International Student and Scholar Services and Intercultural Competence Theory; her current language of study is Japanese. She grew up on Long Island in New York and attended SUNY at Stony Brook University where she received her BA in Linguistics with a minor in Japanese Studies and an MA in TESOL. Following the completion of her first master’s degree, Jessica participated in the JET Programme and taught English at junior high schools in Akita City. While in Akita, she served as Financial Director for local organization Charity Akita, organizing community events benefiting local and national charities. Her interests include long-distance and trail running. She is enthusiastic to represent her program in Student Council and promote student health and wellness as the chair of the Student Council Health and Wellness Committee for the coming school year.
International Environmental Policy: Sam Blakesley
Sam Blakesley is a second-year International Environmental Policy candidate focusing on Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and Spanish. Born and raised in Oceanside, California, Sam grew up with a strong affinity for the ocean and enjoys connecting with the water every chance he gets. Sam moved to the Monterey Bay in 2010 where he received his B.A. in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. He quickly fell in love with the area and has called it home ever since. To complement his research, Sam has led the Santa Cruz Chapter of Surfrider Foundation for the past six years, where he can share his passion with others while nurturing environmental awareness. Sam looks forward to bringing the same level of enthusiasm to Student Council this year, and is honored to serve as the IEP Program Representative.
International Trade and Economic Diplomacy: Benjamin Wollam
Benjamin is a first year International Trade and Economic Diplomacy master's degree candidate, specializing in US-China-Latin America trade and investment; his language of study is Mandarin. A product of Washington, D.C. public schools, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, double majoring in International Political Economy and East Asian Studies/Mandarin. An avid activist, Benjamin served as President of the local chapter of Oxfam International, frequently leading petition signings and nonviolent protests. Post-graduation, he served as a Bilingual AmeriCorps Leader, completing two years of early literacy tutoring in Title I schools. Before MIIS, Benjamin was a second grade bilingual teacher with KIPP Austin Public Schools, where he spearheaded a new teacher development program. In addition to his post as MIIS International Trade Association (MITA) Director of Outreach and Advocacy, Benjamin is honored to serve as the ITED Program Representative.
MBA in Global Impact Management: Gabriella Schlesinger-James
Gabriella (Gabby) is a third semester MBA candidate also pursuing a certification in Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Born and raised in the East Bay Area, Gabby is a California native who has lived in Monterey since 2010. While studying at MIIS, she has completed a Partnering and Management program in Kigali, Rwanda and served as a Business Development Advisor for a non-profit in Northern Peru. In addition to acting as the MBA student representative, Gabby will be also be the MBA Graduate Assistant, the proud coach of the MIISFits softball team, and the President of MForce, a student-led international consulting group. Gabby is honored to have the opportunity to represent the student body, especially throughout the reformation of business education at MIIS this upcoming year.
Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies: Salvador Rodriguez-Ruiz
Salvador (Sal) Rodriguez-Ruiz is a second-year MA candidate in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program focusing on counterterrorism and special operations research with Russian as his language. Sal was born in Tijuana, Mexico and grew up in Chula Vista. In high school, Sal began volunteering at the San Diego Police Department Cadet Program wanting to work as a police officer. Guided by his older sisters, he became the first in his family to graduate from community college and continued his education at San Diego State University, receiving his Bachelors in Political Science with a minor in International Security and Conflict Resolution. Before attending MIIS, Sal worked for National and State political campaigns in San Diego and San Francisco. With significantly new changes in the NPTS program, Sal is working closely with both students and faculty in establishing the new Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism.
TESOL and Teaching a Foreign Language: Liz Fiala
Liz Fiala is a first-year MA TESOL candidate, specializing in International Education Management, and she is especially interested in study abroad programs. Although a native of the Bay Area, Liz has spent most of her adult life living and traveling around six continents (she has yet to visit Antarctica, but still has not given up hope of finding a job teaching English to penguins at the South Pole). Before coming to MIIS, she spent several years teaching English to teenagers and adults and running a college placement program at an intensive language school in Olympia, Washington. Lover of languages, animals, oceans and lattes, Liz can frequently be found reading on the beach, petting random dogs, or wandering around Monterey on her motorcycle in search of a new coffee shop or brunch spot.
Translation and Localization Management: Seongji Kim
Seongji is a second-year student pursuing MA in Translation and Localization, focusing on Localization with Korean-English as her language of study. Her first and last place to call home was Seoul, South Korea, but she has lived a nomadic life moving from places to places across the US and Korea. She graduated Summer Cum Laude with BA in Political Science from Hanyang University. Upon graduation, she pursued her passion for North Korean human rights, working for an international NGO, Liberty in North Korea, and that experience changed her course from being a researcher to a practitioner. Her interests lie in how business and technology can be a solution to many societal issues faced by international and local communities. On MIIS campus, she co-founded Liberty in North Korea MIIS chapter, currently teaches a Korean class through B.U.I.L.D., and is now happy to serve the TLM program on the Student Council.
Translation and Interpretation, Translation and Conference Intepretation: Yuan Zeng Ashley Tan
Ashley is a first year Conference Interpretation MA degree candidate focusing on English, Chinese and French translation and interpretation. He grew up primarily in Brunei and Singapore where he received his Bachelor of Laws (Honors) with a specialization in European Studies and French at the National University of Singapore, and served on the Executive Committee of the Pro Bono Group and the Law Club. Ashley was awarded a full scholarship to spend eight months in Israel where he built his own social enterprise, volunteered in Palestine and studied business, Hebrew, Arabic, Middle Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University. Ashley’s greatest passions are volunteering, traveling and learning languages. He has traveled to more than sixty countries across six continents thus far. In addition to the languages mentioned, he has studied Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Hakka, Spanish, German and Yiddish. Before coming to MIIS, Ashley served for two years in the Singapore military as an infantry sergeant and worked as a freelance interpreter and translator for governments, multinational organizations and television shows. He also pursued his MA in French at Middlebury on a full scholarship and volunteered in different countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Ashley is honored to have represented Singapore twice at the Polyglot Conference in Germany and Hungary as well. His dream is to work for an international organization like the United Nations and use his love for languages to make a difference in the lives of others. Ashley is honored and thrilled to serve the MIIS community as the Student Council Translation and Interpretation Representative.