Meet Our Staff

At CIEE, we have an experienced and dedicated team, committed to ensuring your success in our programs through a consultative approach.


Matt Redman

Vice President, Global High School & Teach Abroad Programs

Matt’s passion to bridge global cultures began with a trip to China just after high school on a trip led by one of his teachers. The trip provided lifelong friendships with both fellow students and Chinese cultural partners.

Since that experience, Matt has lived, studied, and worked in Spain, Chile, France, and the United States of America. Matt’s three host family experiences and numerous global friendships are an irreplaceable part of his life. Matt is excited to provide experiences that expand students’ horizons and open their minds to new possibilities. Matt dreams about helping future students overcome cultural barriers to create a more understanding, friendly, peaceful, and productive world.


Laragh Kavanaugh

Director, Program Management

Laragh’s passion for learning about other cultures started after participating in an exchange program in High School living on a Native American reservation in Wyoming. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Prescott College in Arizona, Laragh traveled extensively around the world including leading high school and gap year programs in Ghana and India. During her time abroad, Laragh gained valuable insights about other cultures and about her own cultural identity. Laragh returned to her hometown, Portland, Maine, and accepted a position at CIEE supporting exchange student while they studied and worked abroad. After becoming a CIEE intercultural trainer and working for 8 years as the Manager and Director of the CIEE Support Department, Laragh is excited to share her leadership skills, her intercultural knowledge and her communication skills with the Global Navigator High School Abroad team. In her free time Laragh enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband, playing with their dog Lucy, gardening and practicing yoga.


Tiffany Harrington

Director, Development

Growing up in a bilingual, binational household in the US, Tiffany did not fully understand or appreciate her otherness until she studied abroad for the first time in college. Coming to a full awareness of cultural differences and the importance of mutual understanding helped her realize the significance of cultural exchange and language acquisition. The experience sparked multiple travels abroad and a job hunt that led to working in Switzerland for four years.

Tiffany worked in a broad range of secondary and higher education settings before coming to CIEE where she is able to combine her passion for both education and international experiences to help high school students achieve their study abroad dreams.

In Portland, Tiffany volunteers her time and French language skills to welcome new Mainers from Francophone countries as they adjust to cold Maine winters and learn about American culture and hospitality.


Nathaniel Dyer

Senior Operations Manager

A native of Maine, Nate’s passion for study abroad is driven by his personal experience studying and living in Madrid, Spain.

He’s familiar with the challenges and triumphs one can experience while on a High School or Gap Year Abroad program, and is committed to helping students make the most of their experiences overseas.

In his free time, Nate enjoys hiking with his wife and dog, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and following Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.


Rachel Coffin

Operations Manager

Rachel’s passion for travel began in high school, when she spent a month on the south island of New Zealand. The experience allowed her to gain a stronger sense of independence and an understanding of different lifestyles and cultures.

She has travelled internationally and has spent many hours in the car exploring the United States and Canada. Rachel is excited to help high school students have similar life changing and culturally enriching experiences while abroad.

Rachel, a native Mainer, returned to her home state after living in Colorado for a few years and attending college in New York. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, biking, exploring the Maine coast, and spending time with her husband and their golden retriever.


Peter Robbins

Operations Manager

Peter’s life was changed forever when he discovered the Dao De Jing, a book of ancient Chinese philosophy, in his high school library. It inspired him to study Chinese philosophy and history in college which in turn led him to study Mandarin in China. After graduating with a BA in Chinese language studies, Peter returned to China several times to lead educational travel programs for high school students and later to serve as the resident director of a college study abroad program in the city of Kunming. Before joining the CIEE Global Navigator team, Peter traveled 6,000 miles along the ancient Silk Road from China to Italy by bicycle. Peter is thrilled to be able to share his passion for learning, travel, and exploration to help more students achieve transformative experiences through study abroad.


Brooke Herda

Operations Coordinator

Brooke is from Charlotte, North Carolina and has a B.A. in Global Studies and German from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was once a high school exchange student herself in Germany (through CIEE!), and has also au paired in Vienna, taught high school English in Western Austria, worked at a summer camp in Switzerland, and volunteered and studied Spanish through South America. She is excited to be able to use her positive experiences to help students prepare for an adventure of a lifetime! In her free time, you will find Brooke baking cookies or traveling somewhere new.  


Mollie Kaubrys

Operations Coordinator

A native of western Maine, Mollie has always been passionate about international exchange and cross-cultural communication, thanks in part to the exchange students her family has hosted over the years and the tales of her parent’s own experiences living abroad. Mollie spent an unforgettable semester in Prague while earning her degree in international studies from American University, and has been fortunate enough to travel to over a dozen countries, and spend a few summers living and working in Barcelona. Her favorite part about working with high school students is seeing the personal transformation and growth that happens during their own experience abroad. Having lived in the south for several years, Mollie spends most of her spare time taking advantage of the Maine outdoors in all seasons- either skiing, hiking, or spending time on the water. She is an avid runner, yogi, and Boston Red Sox fan.


Elena Coronado

Senior Operations Coordinator

Prior to joining CIEE, Elena worked in public relations and hotel operations and continued to be a student of the world, living abroad in South America before returning to her home state. Elena credits her past study abroad experiences with awakening her passion for forging cross cultural understanding, and looks forward to increasing access to international education for others.


Micahella Testa

Operations Coordinator

Michaella is from Gilford, New Hampshire right on Lake Winnipesaukee. She was born in Portland, Maine and found her way back to her roots in 2018. She has her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism from Plymouth State University. She spent a semester in Bali, Indonesia in college studying tourism trends and global marketing. After college she loved South East Asia so much she backpacked around the islands for 5 months with her best friend. She is so excited to share her experiences, and show students how much of an impact traveling can have on a person. In her free time, Michaella enjoys taking her 8 year old Samoyed for long walks around Portland to get ice cream, spending time at the ocean, and being in the company of great friends.


Katie Gallegos

Language Teaching and Curriculum Specialist

Katie’s passion for education, language learning, and travel comes from being raised in a bilingual, bicultural household. Katie joined CIEE after teaching high school Spanish in Chicago Public Schools for 10 years and serving as director of an innovative, award-winning program for global teaching and learning. Over the years she has coordinated numerous curriculum-based international trips and exchanges for students and engaged in global education research fellowships. She is excited to be working at CIEE on the HSSA Language & Culture curriculum, teacher training, and pedagogical support.

Katie holds a BA in Spanish and English from the University of Michigan, an MA in Education, and is National Board Certified in World Languages. When not traveling the world, she enjoys hiking, playing guitar in a band, and spending time with her dog, Wally.


Anne Rothacker

Senior Coordinator, Academics & Curriculum

Anne helps high school students explore the world and bring new understandings back to their communities because she has seen the value of having international perspectives in the classroom firsthand as a student and as a high school teacher.

A graduate of the Bowdoin Teacher Scholars program, Anne was an advisor and teacher at a boarding school in Maine before joining the CIEE Global Navigator Team in 2016. When she is not planning her next travel or outdoor adventure, Anne enjoys writing, reading, and theater.


Joe Modzelewski

International Studies Director

Joe has always loved travel and jumped at every opportunity he had. As a teacher, he led instructional trips overseas and served and an educational liaison for the U.S. State Dept. in Central Asia.

Whether traveling to Ireland again to visit family or visiting a new CIEE Global Institute in Nanjing, China, the excitement never fades. He truly believes “the world is our classroom” and that we should never stop learning.

When not traveling, Joe can be found on the golf course, on the river, or in the yard…working (in that preferred order). He lives on the Nashua River in Massachusetts next to a horse farm with his wife, son, daughter, and currently two dogs and a cat.


Anna Johnson

International Studies Manager, Regional

Anna studied abroad for a full year in Germany during college and then received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Germany for one year after graduating with a major in German Language and Literature and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound in Washington. Both of those years living abroad shaped her love of traveling, learning another language, and promoting cultural exchange for others.

Anna worked in Human Resources at Big Sky Resort in Montana for 4 years hiring and traveling with CIEE and the J-1 Work and Travel cultural exchange program. In 2009 Anna started working for CIEE supporting seasonal businesses around the West with their J-1 hiring and running successful programs with students from over 50 countries, as well as participating in international hiring trips in over 20 countries. She then joined the Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad team and is excited to further promote language learning and cultural immersion for high school students across the country.

In her free time Anna loves spending time outdoors in Montana with her husband and two daughters, Cora and Linley, skiing, biking, hiking, camping, and spending time with friends.


Nicole Sprague

International Studies Manager, Regional

Nicole lived off and on in Cairo, Egypt for 13 years. There, she worked for international non-profit organizations including: Amideast, Ford Foundation, Institute on International Education (IIE), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Nicole grew up in Bath, Maine and returned to her home state after living in the Middle East. Finding CIEE in Portland landed her back in an organization that promotes international education and cultural understanding. Helping students and professionals through cultural exchanges has been a focus in all of her past positions and is something she will always find important.

Like a true Mainer, Nicole loves the great outdoors and took up snowboarding and skiing again. She hopes to get both her daughters, Seba Rose and Lily Mae, out on the slopes with her to embrace the beautiful winters.


Joanna Blanck

International Studies Manager, Regional

Joanna’s path to a B.A. in International Politics and a career in international education was inspired by a high school geography teacher who brought the world to their classroom. She is passionate about CIEE’s mission to provide intercultural learning and exchange for American and international participants. She dedicated the first 5 years of her career at CIEE to the J-1 Professional Exchange Programs, facilitating U.S. based internships for international university students. Joanna has a diverse background in working with high school students, having worked as a summer camp counselor in Maine and in the Education Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For her, the most exciting part of working on the Global Navigator High School Study Abroad programs is reaching participants at such a young age, preparing them to be engaged, global citizens.


Caryn Berman

International Studies Advisor

Caryn comes from a family of world travelers so being curious about other cultures began at an early age. Having an exchange student from Spain live in her home during a high school summer, inspired Caryn to study in Salamanca the following year. After falling in love with the Spanish culture, Caryn spent a semester abroad studying in Madrid her junior year of college. Having minored in Spanish, Caryn has continued to utilize her language skills, most recently, teaching Kindergarten in a predominantly Hispanic district.

In her spare time, Caryn enjoys spending time with her fiancé and 2 sons, hiking, cooking, playing tennis and traveling whenever possible. She has traveled to over 27 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia and is always looking to add another stamp to her passport.

Caryn is so happy to be a part of CIEE, promoting 2 of her great passions – education and study abroad. She is inspired to share with others the life-changing experience that she has been fortunate enough to have.


Halima Mohammed

International Studies Advisor

Halima comes to CIEE highly recommended by several champion contacts in California. Halima grew up in Indiana then studied Social and Behavioral Health at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA before transferring to University of Northern Colorado where she received a BA in Cultural Anthropology. Halima is Nigerian American and visited family in Nigeria for the first time at age 14. In her career she has worked with organizations in California, Colorado, and South Dakota to work with youth, schools, and community members to educate and create opportunities for people of all backgrounds.


Mandi Meyer

International Studies Advisor

Mandi comes to CIEE with several years of experience as a Spanish teacher in the Twin Cities area. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College with majors in K-12 Education, Spanish, and International Studies, as well as a minor in Mathematics. During her time in college Mandi studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain. Mandi also brings experience working for EF, and for Summerfuel at Tufts University in Boston as the Assistant Director of Academics for their precollege programs.


Gail Harris

International Studies Advisor

Gail is originally from Canada and comes with 15+ years of sales experience. As an Educational Sales Consultant and Account Manager, she exceeded sales goals and managed all sales and partnerships in a $3million dollar territory. She has a BA from Boston College with a Secondary Education Major and numerous athletic awards! Gail likes to Bike (long distances), hike and everything to do with outdoors.


Jo-el Coz

International Studies Advisor

Jo-el is a longtime resident of the DC area and has spent 25 years in Education, both in secondary and higher education. For the past 2 years, she served as the Assistant Principal at Locust Grove Middle School in Orange County, Va. In addition to being a public school administrator, she has also been an ESOL coach, ESOL Department Chair, English teacher, Adjunt professor in Prince William County, Fairfax County and Spotsylvania County. She lives with her husband and two sons on a Lake in VA. She loves to travel and grew up living overseas. Summer is one of her favorite seasons.


Shomari Maynard

International Studies Advisor

Shomari was born in New Jersey and raised in California, U.S.A. She began her study abroad journey by participating in two summer exchange programs to Spain and Finland while in high school. These experiences abroad inspired her to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations with minors in African Diaspora Studies and Spanish & Spanish American Studies from Mills College in Oakland, California in 2015. During her undergraduate career she studied abroad in Ecuador, Hong Kong, and Ghana (on a CIEE semester program!), and has traveled to a host of other countries. In 2016 Shomari served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at FURG in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Prior to that, she was a Global Leadership Fellow and English coach for U.S.-Brazil Connect, serving technical high school students in Piauí, Brazil. Most recently she has worked in the philanthropic sector supporting work in African education. Previously, Shomari has interned with various community-based organizations in both the U.S. and abroad addressing issues such as education, women’s rights, and reproductive health. Through these experiences she has developed strong cultural awareness and community development skills. Shomari aims to continue her passion for international education by inspiring students to embark on their own study abroad journey while in high school just as she did.


Michelle Brown

International Studies Advisor

As a high school exchange student to Japan with AFS, my world view and direction in life dramatically changed. Two years into college, I changed my plans of going to med school to instead getting a degree in Asian Studies with a minor in Spanish from the University of Texas and a MA in Japanese Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which has now merged with Middlebury. I have an intercultural thread that runs throughout most of what I have done and what I naturally am drawn to do.

On the professional side, I have exported beef to Japan, including explaining some rather graphic and embarrassing aspects of sire services to Japanese executives; sold AT&T services to international businesses; volunteered/hosted for AFS; chaired the Austin-Oita (Japan) Sister City organization; done Japanese Cross-cultural Training for NASA; published a children’s book to promote cross-cultural understanding; taught second grade in Japan and Japanese and Spanish here in Texas, and most recently, sold custom study abroad high school programs for a competitor.

On the personal side, I grew up in Houston, Texas and now live in Austin. In the US, I have also lived in Los Angeles and Monterey, CA. I am the mother of two great kids, a son and daughter, whom I dragged around traveling from a very young age, since traveling is probably my favorite thing to do. I’m at 18 countries and still counting. I am very outgoing and enjoy meeting people, especially from abroad or with different backgrounds than mine, because I enjoy learning about the world. I also enjoy spending time near or in water, hanging out with friends, and doing Barre3 or Japanese archery. I value authenticity, respecting others, and promoting intercultural understanding, which is my personal calling.


 Jessie Hill

International Studies Advisor

Jessie’s curiosity for traveling started at a young age when her mother told her stories of traveling the world as a stewardess in the 50’s. After high school she worked on a sailboat in the Bahamian islands which was her first time experiencing a new culture. Jessie studied at UNC Greensboro and was able to study abroad in Finland thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. After spending half a year abroad Jessie arrived back home with a new prospective on life and a passion for international education.
 
Since then, she has worked in Italy and in London and has been able to help students study English or seek higher education abroad in America and the UK. She is enthusiastic about sharing her experiences and creating opportunities for our younger generation to study abroad. 
 
While Jessie has been living in different parts of the world for many years- Maine will always be home! As a true Mainer she enjoys practically anything that involves being outside- surfing, biking, hiking,  soccer, and swimming.


 Britt Canner

International Studies Advisor

Britt’s love of travel started at home, going on family trips to the Caribbean to escape the cold New England winters. It turned into a passion during college when she studied abroad in London, England and San Jose, Costa Rica. Britt graduated with a Tourism Planning and Development degree from the University of New Hampshire.
 
After college, Britt moved to Bermuda to train dolphins, which was the chance of a lifetime but ultimately lead her to the belief that these magnificent creatures belong in the wild. She traded in training dolphins for “training” kids, and went on to earn her Masters in Elementary Education at Plymouth State University.
 
Britt taught elementary school locally and in Puerto Rico, and she also worked as a Surf Camp Travel Leader where she coordinated two-week excursions to Barbados involving scuba diving, surfing, and cultural immersion. Britt resides in Portsmouth, New Hampshire which allows her to live close to her family and the ocean. She loves to escape to tropical climates and warmer waters whenever possible.


Megan Fullerton

International Studies Advisor

After graduating from Old Dominion University with a degree in Health Education, Megan spend time teaching in rural villages outside of Lilongwe, Malawi. After leaving Africa, she volunteered in Chiang Mai, Thailand with women and children. Her experiences abroad cultivated a passion for international exchange and development. She returned home in 2010 and began working for CIEE on the J1 Work and Travel Program and has since transitioned to the High School Summer Abroad Program.

Megan is dedicated to encouraging and supporting students to study abroad to gain independence and global awareness. She is confident that studying abroad is one of the most inspiring and empowering experiences available to students.


Kristen Dulin

International Studies Advisor

Study abroad has impact not only on the traveler, but on the people that they meet. Kristen’s first experience with study abroad was when a Swedish exchange student showed up to her history class many years ago. That year was a highlight in her memory book, exposing her to a new language and culture, and instilling an appreciation for being a stranger in a strange land. The two are still friends today. Kristen is a natural motivator and enjoys seeing students succeed. She believes in presenting our youth with non-traditional ways to enhance their knowledge, spark intellectual curiosity, and gain maturity. Her professional career has supported these passions, devoting years to higher education as a publisher’s representative and digital education specialist. Kristen is excited to be a part of the CIEE family. Family is especially important to her and she understands the worry that comes with being a parent of a teenager – she has two! Once you meet her, you’ll see the benefit of having her as your International Studies Advisor. She sets the bar high for excellent customer service and treats each student as if it were her own.


Emily Gutierrez

International Studies Advisor

Emily’s passion for international travel began at home, where she learned about the value of other cultures from her father who is originally from Nicaragua. As a college student at Emory, she studied for a summer session in Spain, and during her time abroad she realized how much she loved living in other countries and practicing her Spanish. After graduating from college, Emily joined Teach for America and taught 12th grade English at the Urban Assembly for Applied Math and Science in the South Bronx.

During her four years as an educator, Emily saw the impact that study abroad trips had on her students both in and outside the classroom. She was fortunate to travel to Ecuador with 22 students for two weeks with the organization Global Glimpse, where students learned about indigenous cultures, practiced leadership skills, and taught English in Riobamba. In addition, this past summer, Emily worked for CIEE as a program leader for Costa Rica’s Building a Sustainable Planet. In her spare time, she has traveled to Australia, Thailand, Peru, Nicaragua, and various countries in Europe. She looks forward to one day traveling down the coast of Chile and Argentina. Outside of traveling and teaching, Emily is an avid reader and writer, and continues to explore New York City, where she currently lives.


Sophie Veilleux

Senior International Studies Coordinator

Sophie first became passionate about student travel when she participated in a high school exchange program in Germany. Studying abroad in high school was a life-changing opportunity, which is why she is so excited to be a part of the High School Abroad team! Sophie went on to spend a year abroad in England during college, and is now a passionate traveler. She has a background in social psychology and customer service, and is thrilled to have a job that combines those skills with her commitment to the importance of international exchange.


MICHEL POTTIER

International Studies Coordinator

A native of Canada, Michel has made his home in the United States after many years of working, living and travelling abroad in over 35 countries. His first experience of living and working in London as a student sparked a lifelong love of travel and experiencing new cultures. Since those early days he has worked as a teacher in Australia, and South Korea, and recently spent time back in London assisting international students study in the UK. He believes that having international experiences not only grows you as a person but also allows you to empathize with people around the world and see your own nationality in a new light. His favorite part about working with CIEE is the opportunity to allow students to see their potential on the world stage.

 

Laura Wang

International Studies Coordinator

Laura Wang was born and raised in eastern Iowa. The child of international students, she saw the value of traveling and studying abroad from a young age. She later majored in English and Chinese at the University of Iowa and studied abroad in Suzhou, China. Following graduation, she moved to Taiwan to teach English as a Foreign Language in public schools for two years. Laura continues her journey in international education through CIEE. She likes to run, write, and listen to podcasts.

 

Victoria Watson

Program Leader Recruitment Specialist

Victoria earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her junior year, she had the opportunity to study abroad with CIEE in Alicante, Spain on a Language and Culture program. This experience was life-changing for Victoria and ignited her interest in Spanish language and culture, as well as in CIEE and the field of International Education.

After graduating college, Victoria moved to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica where she worked as the Program Coordinator and English Teacher for a female youth empowerment program in a small rural town. Upon returning from her time abroad, she continued her teaching career working as a middle school Spanish teacher in Philadelphia, PA.

Victoria has worked as a Program Leader in Spain for the past three years in a variety of programs and sites including; Seville, Global Discovery, Alicante Language Intensive, and Barcelona Language & Culture. Working with students on Global Navigator programs inspired Victoria to shift her career to work full time for CIEE, leading her to join the High School Summer Abroad team as an International Studies Coordinator in September 2018.

After a year of helping students and families navigate the program application and scholarship process, Victoria is thrilled to advance in her career at CIEE as she transitions into the Program Leader Recruitment Specialist position. Having a deep understanding of the responsibility and impact of the Program Leader role on the overall student experience, Victoria is excited to lead the recruiting, hiring, and training process for Program Leaders.

In her free time, Victoria enjoys hiking and exploring all the beauty that the state of Maine has to offer. You will often find Victoria accompanied by her rescue dog, Javi, who she adopted while living abroad in Costa Rica. Victoria is a part-time graduate student and is pursuing her MEd in International Higher Education through Loyola University Chicago.