zoom screen shot of 12 individual zoom screens; 11 showing faces of student council members. One person with video turned off.

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.

Executive Council

Photo of Madeleine Smith, smiling, brown hair, wearing a blue button up shirt with plants behind her

President: Madeleine Smith, madeleines@middlebury.edu 

Madeleine Smith is a joint BA/MPA student. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is incredibly passionate about community organization, social justice initiatives and policy. Her focus while at the Institute is Monitoring, Evaluation & Design, which she hopes to utilize in order to work on domestic issues such as homelessness rights and housing advocacy. Having spent the majority of her work experience engaging with stakeholders, she is committed to community led approaches towards social change.

When Madeleine is not working on her studies, she is involved in her local community, gardening, or working on her personal podcast (Mad Curious).  

Photo of Lincoln, black and white image, wearing a suit and tie, glasses

Vice President: Lincoln Ngaboyisonga, lngaboyisonga@middlebury.edu

Lincoln is a second year student pursuing the Joint International Policy and Development - International Trade and Economic Diplomacy (IPD-ITED) degree. Prior to joining MIIS, Lincoln lived in Oklahoma City, OK, where he spent his time between working and volunteering for various non-profit organizations and being a student at the Oklahoma Christian University, where he graduated with a BS in Public Communication and Leadership with a minor in Business.

In his spare time, Lincoln enjoys travelling, reading and visiting his friends and family in Rwanda. He looks forward to serving you as student Council Vice President this academic year.

Headshot of Benjamin, smiling male, brown hair, suit and tie

Treasurer: Benjamin Mattern, bmattern@middlebury.edu

Ben is a third-semester Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies student with Russian as his language of study. He currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and recently became a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. He grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and graduated with a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from Lehigh University. After graduation he moved to Colorado to teach snowboarding, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and then to Moscow where he worked for tech startup. Just before coming to MIIS, Ben directed sales and partnerships for that company in New York City.

Now in Monterey, Ben loves to hike, bike, swim and read Russian spy novels. He is excited to serve as your Treasurer for the upcoming academic year.

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Niko Garbacz, Logistics and Operations Coordinator

Hello! I am your Student Council Logistics & Operations Coordinator. I take requests to be on the agenda for upcoming meetings, record minutes, forward communications to responsible parties, and other organizational duties. I’m also a first semester MPA & IEM student. As a teacher at heart, I enjoy organizing behind-the-scenes activities and connecting people with information and other resources they need to move forward. Feel free to email through studentcouncil@miis.edu anytime.

Headshot of Max Gomez, sitting on stone wall

Max Gomez, Community Engagement Officer

My name is Max Gomez and I’m a second semester MPA/IEM student here at MIIS. In my first semester I made it a priority to find out the goings-on of extracurricular life at MIIS and get involved with our student body in as many ways as I could. I believe that the greatest value our time at MIIS is in the community, not just the textbook instruction. We’re attending grad school to learn and grow from our classmates as well as our professors, and I see it as the responsibility of the CEO to provide as many opportunities as possible to help promote our incredible student body to connect with one another.

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Julius Moye, Middlebury Collaboration Manager

Julius Moye is a third semester joint ITED/NPTS student. He currently works at several remote internships, including a Vermont investment firm and a Chicago national laboratory and volunteers on the board of WIT-NC, the Northern California chapter of the national professional trade organization Women in International Trade.  Julius additionally works as a Graduate Assistant at the MIIS Center for Advising and Career Services. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts Julius spent the three years prior to MIIS serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. He received a joint BA in International Relations and German Studies from Tufts University in 2015.  

In his spare time, Julius enjoys playing music, reading, discussing politics and cooking.  

Julius spent his first year serving on the Student Council as MIIS’ first Middlebury Collaboration Manager. He is excited to return to this role and develop it further in 2020. 

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Alison Silverstein, Health and Wellness Director

My name is Alison Silverstein, and I am a first semester CI student, with a Spanish B and a French C, running for Health and Wellness Coordinator for the MIIS student council. I am born, raised, and currently living in Queens, New York. Growing up in the most diverse place in the entire world instigated my love for languages and cultures different from my own, and I was able to turn my passion into an undergraduate degree in Romance Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University. I spent a semester studying abroad in Bogotá, Colombia, and recently returned from a year of teaching English abroad in Southwestern France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France. I have experience working in the nonprofit sector for both reproductive health care and arts organizations. As the Health and Wellness Coordinator, I hope to develop my abilities related to managing my own mental health and wellness with students, and to develop ways that work for each student to find support in others and within themselves to make this community stronger. My goal in this position is to have a positive impact on the MIIS community, and to be part of an effort to guide students through this difficult semester of online learning while staying involved and engaged in issues of national and international importance.

Program Representatives

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Yolanda Cobblah, International Education Management
Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Yolanda is a true advocate, and testament, of the importance of having support and resources accessible to those typically underrepresented in the education system. She graduated from Randolph College with a BA in Sociology/minor Psychology with a concentration in International Youth Development. Then served with AmeriCorps City Year for two years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, then as an Impact Manager for City Year DC. Her background in proximate education reform and her passion for International Education Policy has finally led her to the Middlebury Institute.

Yolanda enjoys writing poetry is currently working on her personal brand. She loves to cook, sing, and be outdoors hiking, running, or just soaking up some Vitamin D.

As IEM Rep, she hopes to bring unity within the student body through professional development, culture exchange, and active engagement.

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Alice McGown, International Environmental Policy

Alice McGown is the program representative for international environmental policy students, chairs the return-to-campus ad hoc committee, and serves on the standing health committee. She is dedicated to encouraging collaboration between departments and campuses, returning to in-person classes as soon as safely possible, and promoting the IEP program.

A returned Peace Corps volunteer (Thailand 2018-2020), and film documentarian, Alice has focused much of her professional life on serving underrepresented communities. In her free time, you’ll find her riding a Vespa, making music, or trying to learn to stand up on a surfboard.

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Morgan Moore, International Policy and Development / Public Administration

Morgan was elected by her peers as the new IPD/MPA Program Representative on the Student Council Executive Board. She graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2018 with a degree in Political Science. Before coming to MIIS, she served one year in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development Volunteer in Paraguay and is a Peace Corps Fellow. 

She is a first-semester student, pursuing the joint IPD/ITED degree with a specialization in Conflict Resolution and Social Justice and a language study in French. She was born and raised in Dallas, TX where she’s currently spending the remote semester. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, writing screenplays, talking politics, learning new languages, volunteering, and exploring new places with friends. She volunteers teaching refugees English and works as a freelance Spanish tutor.

Morgan serves as a member on the Housing and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion standing committees. She is a member of the following groups: Peace Corps Club, MIIS Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), BUILD Club, and Shades at MIIS

She is excited to serve the student community and advocate for their issues.

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Tony Sinkewich, International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Tony is a third semester ITED/MPA student who can talk your ear off about Ohio, coffee and doggos! Before coming to MIIS, Tony worked as a Logistics Coordinator for a small, supply chain firm and then later taught English for a year with WorldTeach in Quito, Ecuador. While at MIIS, he has tailored his coursework to be more focused on Global Supply Chain management and is currently a Supply Chain Analysis Intern with Catholic Relief Services (shout out to Scott Webb). As the ITED Program Representative, Tony will work with the ITED student body and MIIS faculty to help launch new initiatives to increase the enrollment and competitive edge of our program such as exploring outside certification or licensing opportunities for professional development and to create student-centered specialization tracks within the program (i.e. trade in agriculture, supply chain management, compliance, trade policy, etc.). Most importantly, Tony’s main mission will be to help ITEDers get to know each other better, beyond just people in our classes, to foster meaningful, lifelong friendships. 

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Virginia Kerr, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Hello! My name is Virginia Kerr and I am in my third semester at MIIS and the Vice President of the Nuclear Policy Club. I work at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies tracking lost and trafficked nuclear materials. I participated in the Nuclear Research Reactor practicum in Prague which dovetailed with my summer internship at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab where I focused on safeguard provisions in the nuclear ban treaty. I have extensive experience in my undergrad representing student interests both locally and regionally in California. I served on several campus-wide committees where I learned the values and practices of shared governance.

In addition to amplifying the concerns of students in our program, I have three key issues I would like to focus on as your representative. First, is finding ways to move our school towards instituting no cost materials for courses. Expensive materials are a barrier to student participation, especially in a time when our budgets are razer thin. Second, I am interested in supporting recruitment for our program. I think we can tap into local international affairs, and political science departments to increase awareness of MIIS as a graduate school option for talented undergraduate students. Finally, I would like to reach out to faculty about what they are doing to weave antiracism practices, readings, and perspectives into our curriculum. I think feedback from both faculty and students over the course of the semester will be key to creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of our students but also empowers us to fight discrimination in our future careers. 

Headshot picture of Katie Klein, Blonde blue sweater

Katie Klein, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching a Foreign Language (TFL)

Katie Klein is a first year TESOL student from Bellingham, WA. She is very proud of her home region, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with its evergreen trees, towering mountains, and incredible coastline. She loves to speak French and Spanish, and has studied Italian, Wolof, and Arabic to varying degrees. She is on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and is passionate about trying to incorporate a social justice mindset into everything she does. Meeting new people and building strong communities brings her joy. 

Her favorite way to travel is to live with local families, immersed in language and culture, for several weeks or months at a time, whenever possible. She has had the great fortune of doing so in Senegal, France, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, and Costa Rica. In her free time, you can find her running at a leisurely pace through the forest, listening to music with her family, trying out the latest local craft beer, having game nights on Zoom with her friends, and taking lots of naps.

Headshot picture of Eric Holman, Blue suit

Eric Holman, Translation & Interpretation (CI, TI, T)

My name is Eric Holman and I am a second-year student in the TI program (Eng<>Span). I worked (remotely) as an intern this summer with the Colombia-based LSP, Lingua Viva Traductores, and am excited to get back into another academic year, albeit an unprecedented one this first semester.

Those of you who know me know that I am a collaborative person and, with my experience from last year in the TI program, both on campus and online, I have seen the unique challenges that an online semester presents to our programs. As the TI/CI/T program representative, I hope to collaborate with my fellow classmates to ensure those challenges are heard, relayed to the Student Council, and addressed to the extent possible.

headshot picture of Elizabeth Hawkes, black sweater, glasses

Elizabeth Hawkes, Translation, Localization and Management (TLM)

Elizabeth is a second-year Translation and Localization Management (TLM) translation track in the Russian-English language combination. A passionate and motivated linguist, she is also DELF B2-certified in French via L’Université de Caen Normandie. She completed her B.A. in International Studies (concentrations in international security and global political economy) and Russian with distinction at the University of Denver (DU). 

In her free time, she is an avid reader, tea connoisseur, and adventurous chef with a particular interest in international dishes, specifically those of her native Russia. 

Elizabeth’s passion as TLM program representative is making sure every voice is heard. Her primary goals are to ensure student interests and concerns are communicated in a timely, efficient manner; secondly, to facilitate open communication and transparency between students and program leaders. She is an advocate for new initiatives and overall program improvements that will meet and exceed student needs and expectations to best prepare graduates for the localization field, whether they come to MIIS as recent undergraduates or as experienced professionals.