Meet Our Leaders

Get to know our amazing Summer 2014 Leaders.

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Adam Cogbill

  • Education: Franklin and Marshall College, B.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, M.F.A.

Adam Cogbill has taught composition and literature courses at several institutions. He is currently working on his PhD, where his research interests include student access to texts and public scholarship. He is also a fiction writer and essayist, and his … Continue reading

Adam Cogbill has taught composition and literature courses at several institutions. He is currently working on his PhD, where his research interests include student access to texts and public scholarship. He is also a fiction writer and essayist, and his writing has appeared in several publications, including The Kenyon Review, Slow Trains, and Amherst College’s own The Common. He was once described as a hybrid jock-nerd; while he is an avid hiker, biker, and a novice rock climber, he also loves board games, books, and trivia. He has worked on the Pre-College program at Amherst College for three summers.

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Adam Swart

  • Education: Skidmore College, B.S., Studio Art; Columbia University Teachers College, M.A., Art, Art Education.

For more than a decade, Adam has worked in the fields of art education, international education, and Asian Art history, having taught in museums and classrooms to students of all ages. He is a painter himself, with an exhibition record … Continue reading

For more than a decade, Adam has worked in the fields of art education, international education, and Asian Art history, having taught in museums and classrooms to students of all ages. He is a painter himself, with an exhibition record that spans several states and three continents. Adam’s first trip to Asia lasted almost three years, when he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal – an experience he loved so much that he extended his service. He traveled throughout many countries in the region during and following his service, including multiple trips to Thailand. Adam has continued his personal and professional relationship with Nepal, having returned to teach as Visiting Faculty at Kathmandu University’s School of Arts in 2010. His knowledge and love of the traditional arts and visual cultures of the Himalayas and Southeast Asia have also enabled him to teach at The New School’s Eugene Lang College in New York City. Adam has also worked with special needs populations, including as a painting instructor for people with severe developmental disabilities. Adam has led Cultural Exploration Thailand.

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Addie Peterson

  • Education: St. Lawrence University, B.S., Biology, Mathematics.

Addie found her passion for the outdoors growing up in Vermont, exploring its mountains and hills. In the summers, she had the unique opportunity to learn wilderness canoeing skills in one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks, which she fostered by attending … Continue reading

Addie found her passion for the outdoors growing up in Vermont, exploring its mountains and hills. In the summers, she had the unique opportunity to learn wilderness canoeing skills in one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks, which she fostered by attending Camp Northway Lodge. Addie went on to become a professional guide for the camp, furthering her outdoor and leadership abilities while leading extended trips. At St. Lawrence she spent her time working as a guide for the Outdoor Program and as an active member for the student run Outing Club. Nurturing a curiosity in the sciences, Addie balanced being a teaching assistant for chemistry and biology with leading telemark skiing trips and white water kayaking clinics. During her junior year, she traveled to Kenya with St. Lawrence, where she spent close to five months in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Addie completed an independent study during her semester, working closely with monkeys at the Colobus Conservation in Diani, Kenya. She is proficient in Swahili.

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Alex Carter

  • Education: New York University. B.A. Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Tufts University. Ph.d, English (student)

Alex’s first experience with Putney was as a student, first on the Community Service Brazil program and then on Pre-College China. She began to lead for Putney in 2011 as a Program Assistant on the Pre-College Amherst program, and returned … Continue reading

Alex’s first experience with Putney was as a student, first on the Community Service Brazil program and then on Pre-College China. She began to lead for Putney in 2011 as a Program Assistant on the Pre-College Amherst program, and returned the following summer as a Program Assistant and History of Fashion Teacher on the Pre-College Oxford and Tuscany program. She has since been working in New York City as a Tour Coordinator at Academic Arrangements Abroad, a tour operator specializing in alumni and museum group travel. With this company she has worked in a logistics capacity on programs traveling up the Adriatic Sea, to Havana, Cuba, as well as to The Netherlands and Belgium. She is also highly proficient in Italian. Alex is in her first year of graduate school at Tufts University for a Ph.D. in English. She most recently worked on the Pre-College Florence and Pre-College Oxford staff.

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Alexis Savas

  • Education: Illinois State University, B.A., French; Western State College, Colorado Teaching Licensure Program.

While at Illinois State University, Alexis spent a semester studying French culture and language in Angers, France, at L’Université Catholique de l’Ouest in the CIDEF (Centre International d’Études Françaises) program. After graduation she spent two years in Boston as a … Continue reading

While at Illinois State University, Alexis spent a semester studying French culture and language in Angers, France, at L’Université Catholique de l’Ouest in the CIDEF (Centre International d’Études Françaises) program. After graduation she spent two years in Boston as a European itinerary writer for high school study abroad programs in England, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Alexis now teaches French and Spanish at Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument, CO. Alexis is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish. In addition to her interest in travel, cultures, and languages, Alexis loves to cook, and she enjoys skiing and snowshoeing in the beautiful Colorado Rockies near her home. She has led Cultural Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland.

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Aliza Gordon

  • Education: Tufts University, B.A., Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Aliza moved to Boston for college where she quickly developed a passion for teaching only equalled by her love for travel. At Tufts, Aliza had the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course on feminism and … Continue reading

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Aliza moved to Boston for college where she quickly developed a passion for teaching only equalled by her love for travel. At Tufts, Aliza had the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course on feminism and comedy and volunteered teaching health education in the Boston Public Schools. Aliza also developed a travel bug from an early age, spending summers volunteering in Peru and Israel and a semester in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, where she took full advantage of her location to explore Spain and Western Europe. In her spare time, Aliza enjoys practicing yoga and hiking with her yellow lab. She has worked on the Pre-College Barcelona staff.

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Allyson Feierberg

  • Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., French with Teaching Certification.

Brought up in a bilingual (Italian and English) household, Allyson has always had a passion for culture, travel, and languages. In college she majored in French, minored in Spanish, and studied abroad in both Barcelona and Paris. In Paris, Allyson … Continue reading

Brought up in a bilingual (Italian and English) household, Allyson has always had a passion for culture, travel, and languages. In college she majored in French, minored in Spanish, and studied abroad in both Barcelona and Paris. In Paris, Allyson attended l’Université de la Sorbonne – Paris IV and l’Institut Catholique, focusing her studies on French literature. The summer before her senior year, she helped organize and design the 2009 Italian Style Expo at the Navy Pier of Chicago. Since 2009 Allyson has been a part of Proyecto Ayudando Latinos a Aprender Ingles, teaching ESL skills to individuals with Spanish as their native language. Allyson has also traveled to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean islands, and Costa Rica. During the summer of 2012, Allyson spent four weeks traveling throughout Spain and Italy. She currently teaches high school French and Spanish in the suburbs of Chicago, and has created an Italian curriculum for the 2014 school year. During her free time she enjoys travel, reading, playing golf and tennis, running, and yoga. Allyson is fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian. She has led Putney’s Language Learning programs in France and Spain and our Community Service Costa Rica program.

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Andre Elias

  • Education: Pomona College, B.A., Psychology, Linguistics; University of California – San Diego, M.A., History, Composition, Musicology; University of Washington, M.A., International Studies; University of Washington, Ph.D., Anthropology and Musicology.

Growing up between California and Chile, Andre has spent much of his life traveling and exploring other cultures. He is an avid composer and performer of a variety of guitar styles (flamenco, classical, metal), of Indian Classical music (tabla, sitar, … Continue reading

Growing up between California and Chile, Andre has spent much of his life traveling and exploring other cultures. He is an avid composer and performer of a variety of guitar styles (flamenco, classical, metal), of Indian Classical music (tabla, sitar, sarod, nagara), and of percussion from West-Africa, Cuba, and the Middle East. Currently, at the University of Washington, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and concurrently completing an MA in the Jackson School of International Studies’ South Asia program. His interests range from popular to classical music in India, Spain, and the Americas.  Having spent numerous summers in India through the American Institute of Indian Studies, he now speaks Hindi and Bengali and actively works with artists and producers on collaborative musical and educational projects. Andre loves teaching about music and working with youth.  After this summer he will spend extended time in Kolkata and Jaipur to do dissertation research on the history and performance of a variety of Indian slide-guitar traditions.  Andre is Fluent in Spanish, Hindi, and Bengali.  He led our summer volunteer program in India for high schoolers in 2013.

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Andrew Turgeon

  • Education: University of Vermont, B.A., Geography.

Andrew first fell in love with international travel and community service while living in Lima, Peru, as a Rotary Exchange Student. While studying at the University of Vermont, he participated in a service-learning course in Ecuador and volunteered at a Continue reading

Andrew first fell in love with international travel and community service while living in Lima, Peru, as a Rotary Exchange Student. While studying at the University of Vermont, he participated in a service-learning course in Ecuador and volunteered at a cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of his study abroad program. After completing an internship with National Geographic, Andrew moved to Seattle to lead weekly service-learning trips for middle and high school students as an AmeriCorps Volunteer. For the past three years, he has worked in the international education field and is currently an International Student Advisor at Seattle Central Community College. Andrew is proficient in Spanish. He has led Community Service Peru and the community service portion of Foundations Costa Rica.

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Andrew Witrak

  • Education: St. Olaf College, B.A., Studio Art; Mills College, M.F.A., Visual Arts.

Andrew Witrak is a multi-media artist based in San Francisco. Andrew came to the west coast in 2007 to complete his M.F.A. at Mills College, where he was a San Francisco Arts Commission Murphy and Cadogan Fellow, and won the … Continue reading

Andrew Witrak is a multi-media artist based in San Francisco. Andrew came to the west coast in 2007 to complete his M.F.A. at Mills College, where he was a San Francisco Arts Commission Murphy and Cadogan Fellow, and won the Jay DeFeo prize for excellence. After graduate school Andrew was awarded the Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship, and spent a year in residency in the Marin Headlands, CA. In addition to his formal education, Andrew worked in New York City as a furniture maker and artist assistant, before obtaining his Cambridge Language Teaching for Adults Certificate (CELTA) in Cape Town, South Africa. Andrew then spent three years living between Paris and Cape Town teaching ESL and creating art. He has taught drawing and painting, and French cuisine on two Putney Pre-College France trips, assistant-directed on a third, and is thrilled to be back for his fourth Putney summer. Andrew currently teaches K-4 art at The Hamlin School in San Francisco, and shows his art in group and solo exhibitions nationally. When not in his studio, he is honing his tennis game, recording his music, and trying his hand at sewing.

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Anna Kayes

  • Education: The College of William and Mary, B.A., Anthropology and Environmental Policy.

While at William and Mary Anna studied Mayan Archaeology and played on the Varsity soccer team. After graduation she worked in the archaeology department at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as a research and curatorial assistant before moving to Continue reading

While at William and Mary Anna studied Mayan Archaeology and played on the Varsity soccer team. After graduation she worked in the archaeology department at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as a research and curatorial assistant before moving to India and Thailand for a year to teach English. While working in India, Anna lived in a Tibetan Buddhist children’s community where she ran a youth soccer program and engaged community members to build a field in the local village. She also began a girls soccer team at her high school in Thailand, coaching the team through the school’s first tournament in a decade. Anna now lives in Brattleboro, VT and works full time for Putney Student Travel.  She is the Director of programs in the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe. Anna has led our Community Service program in Dominica twice.

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Annie Agnone

  • Education: Ohio University, B.S., Visual Communication, B.A., Psychology; The University of Alabama, M.F.A., Creative Writing.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Ohio University, Annie worked as a photojournalism intern at Patuxent Publishing Company in Columbia, MD, a residential counseling intern at Ryther Child Center in Seattle, WA, and a digital imaging … Continue reading

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Ohio University, Annie worked as a photojournalism intern at Patuxent Publishing Company in Columbia, MD, a residential counseling intern at Ryther Child Center in Seattle, WA, and a digital imaging intern for National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths. An avid writer as well as a photographer, Annie holds a master’s in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama, where she also taught English composition and creative writing to undergraduates, and served as the web and design editor for the award-winning literary journal Black Warrior Review. She has taught written and visual storytelling to high schoolers from Alabama’s Black Belt region for the Black Belt 100 Lenses summer camp, and creative writing to inmates at a medium-security Alabama prison. In 2013, Annie was awarded a National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant to drive over 20,000 miles around the United States exploring, photographing, and writing about nocturnal culture for her project America by Night. Her writing has been published at The Rumpus and National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel. She began working at the Putney Student Travel Barn in May, specializing in writing and Italian programming. Over the last three summers, Annie has led five programs to Tuscany with National Geographic Student Expeditions. She most recently led Putney’s Writing in Ireland and Writing in Prague programs.

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Ansley Rubinstein

  • Education: Harvard University, B.A., Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Arabic Literature

While at Harvard, Ansley focused on modern Arabic literature and spent time in Jordan and Egypt. She spent three consecutive summers writing for the internationally-published travel guide, Let’s Go, traveling to Australia, Greece, Austria, and Germany to explore both cosmopolitan … Continue reading

While at Harvard, Ansley focused on modern Arabic literature and spent time in Jordan and Egypt. She spent three consecutive summers writing for the internationally-published travel guide, Let’s Go, traveling to Australia, Greece, Austria, and Germany to explore both cosmopolitan cities and remote islands. Besides researching and writing for Let’s Go, Ansley has spent time in India, South Africa, and Argentina studying urban issues around the world. She also taught dance classes at an orphanage in Peru and performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She has previously led programs for high school students in the UK, and she is currently working as a personal tutor for middle and high school students. Besides travel, film, and education, Ansley loves the performing arts and makes it her mission to take a dance class in every country she visits. Ansley has twice led our Cultural Exploration Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji program.

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Anthony Poullard

  • Education: University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Education, Spanish; Dallas Baptist University, M.B.A., Business Administration; M.Ed, Educational Leadership.

Anthony’s interest in Spanish began as a young child, and led him to study abroad at La Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina, where he focused on Argentine literature and Hispanic linguistics. Infatuated with these cultural experiences and the kindness Continue reading

Anthony’s interest in Spanish began as a young child, and led him to study abroad at La Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina, where he focused on Argentine literature and Hispanic linguistics. Infatuated with these cultural experiences and the kindness of the Argentine people, he traveled back to Argentina the following year as an apprentice teacher and taught at La Escuela Superior de Comercio Manuel Belgrano in Córdoba, while also taking time to travel extensively throughout the country. During college, he enjoyed mentoring young leaders and served as the University of Texas at Austin mascot. Anthony is an educator in Dallas, Texas. He has taught all levels of Spanish at the middle school and high school levels, and is currently an assistant principal at Coppell High School. In addition to his sojourns in South America, Anthony has traveled throughout Central America, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. A few of his favorite travel experiences were admiring the natural beauty of Iguazú Falls in Argentina, visiting the awe-inspiring works of Antonio Gaudí in Spain, and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. He has led Community Service Peru, Community Service Argentina, Language Learning Costa Rica and Foundations Spain. Anthony is fluent in Spanish.

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Arianna King

  • Education: Brandeis University, B.A., Fine Arts (Sculpture), Philosophy; University of New Orleans, M.A. (candidate), Urban Studies.

While at Brandeis Arianna studied abroad in the Czech Republic. After college, she moved to San Francisco, where she taught Art and worked in database development. Shortly thereafter, Arianna joined the Peace Corps, and served for two years in a … Continue reading

While at Brandeis Arianna studied abroad in the Czech Republic. After college, she moved to San Francisco, where she taught Art and worked in database development. Shortly thereafter, Arianna joined the Peace Corps, and served for two years in a small village in the Central Region of Ghana. There, she focused on youth development and education. During her service she offered training to incoming volunteers in Ghanaian culture and language, and earned Ghana’s Ministry of Education award as ‘Ghana’s Best Foreign Teacher of the Year’. Upon returning to the United States, she worked as a community organizer and activist in Louisville, KY. Arianna speaks both Twi and Fanti, two of the most widely used languages in Ghana.

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Becca Marcus

  • Education: Middlebury College, B.A., Monterey Institute of International Studies, M.P.A.

As a student at Middlebury College, Becca studied modern dance and creative writing, and participated in a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) semester course in the Australian Outback. After graduation, Becca obtained her yoga teacher certification in India and led … Continue reading

As a student at Middlebury College, Becca studied modern dance and creative writing, and participated in a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) semester course in the Australian Outback. After graduation, Becca obtained her yoga teacher certification in India and led outdoor education trips in China and Hong Kong. Upon her return to the United States, Becca worked for several nonprofit organizations focusing on social entrepreneurship, and completed a Masters in Public Administration in 2011. She is currently living in Santa Monica, CA and working for an independent school in service learning, helping to connect high school students to community service opportunities. Becca speaks Mandarin Chinese, and has worked on the Pre-College China staff as well as leader of Putney’s Cultural Exploration program to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

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Ben Yarbrough

  • Education: Pomona College, B.A., International Relations.

Ben majored in International Relations with a focus on East Asia while at Pomona College. He studied abroad on Middlebury College’s Hangzhou program in his junior year, and returned to China following graduation as a grantee of the Department of … Continue reading

Ben majored in International Relations with a focus on East Asia while at Pomona College. He studied abroad on Middlebury College’s Hangzhou program in his junior year, and returned to China following graduation as a grantee of the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship in Xi’an. From 2012-2013, he studied music at the Taipei National University of the Arts under the auspices of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. In addition to China and Taiwan, Ben has traveled to numerous other countries in Asia, including Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. He currently works at Turtle Bay Music School, which provides free and low-cost music education programs to thousands of underserved public school students throughout the five boroughs of New York. Ben is fluent in Chinese and has led Language Learning China and Global Awareness in Action Cambodia.

 

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Benjamin Karl

  • Education: McGill University, B.A., East Asian Studies and French Literature and Translation.

Originally from upstate New York, Ben first fell in love with France during a three week family trip in 2002. After graduating from high school, he was a Rotary International exchange student in rural France, further solidifying his love for … Continue reading

Originally from upstate New York, Ben first fell in love with France during a three week family trip in 2002. After graduating from high school, he was a Rotary International exchange student in rural France, further solidifying his love for French language and culture. He attended McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree with distinction in French Literature and Translation and East Asian Studies. He currently shares his love of languages on a daily basis as a French and Chinese translator in Reno, Nevada. This is his second summer leading for Putney, having previously led the Pre-College China Program in 2011. When he is not translating, he enjoys cooking, making pottery, and going on hikes around Lake Tahoe.

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Blake Weber

  • Education: Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Government, Psychology.

At Claremont McKenna, Blake focused on his dual studies in psychology and political science, while also competing for the CMS swim team. He spent several months abroad, including a semester at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In … Continue reading

At Claremont McKenna, Blake focused on his dual studies in psychology and political science, while also competing for the CMS swim team. He spent several months abroad, including a semester at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In addition to his time in NZ, Blake spent two summers researching NGO networks in Cambodia and working for an exiled Burmese media organization in northern Thailand. After college, Blake worked for a landscape construction company and as a high school swim coach. He is proficient in Spanish. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in landscape architecture at the University of Southern California.

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Bob Pokorney

  • Education: Colorado College, B.A., Art; Middlebury College, M.A., French; Monterey Institute of International Studies, Translation and Interpretation.

A Native of Duluth, MN, Bob has worked as a cycling tour guide in Provence, the Dordogne, and the Basque country of France. He has taught high school and college French, and interpreted for sports events in France and the … Continue reading

A Native of Duluth, MN, Bob has worked as a cycling tour guide in Provence, the Dordogne, and the Basque country of France. He has taught high school and college French, and interpreted for sports events in France and the United States, most recently for the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska. Bob is also a landscape painter and EMT, and works as a ski patroller in the winter. This is his fourth summer leading Putney programs in France.

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Brenna Casey

  • Education: Boston College, B.A., English; University of Notre Dame, M.F.A., Creative Writing; Duke University, Ph.D., English (candidate).

Brenna received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame where she was also the Sparks Fellow.  While in South Bend, Brenna founded a weekly writing group for adults at South Bend’s Center for the Homeless, was … Continue reading

Brenna received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame where she was also the Sparks Fellow.  While in South Bend, Brenna founded a weekly writing group for adults at South Bend’s Center for the Homeless, was recognized by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) for outstanding non-fiction writing, and received the university’s Distinguished Graduate Student Award, in part for her teaching excellence. She has managed communications for non-profit organizations in Seattle and Washington, D.C., and worked in the Putney Student Travel office where she specialized in new media outreach and Latin American programming. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English and Women’s Studies at Duke University where her research focuses on 19th and early 20th century American Literature and visual culture.  During the 2013 — 2014 academic year she taught courses in creative and academic writing.  Brenna’s essays, poetry, and reviews have been published widely.  Brenna is a product of the Irish diaspora, and has traveled widely throughout the island. She has led Putney Student Travel programs in Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Ireland.  She taught Creative Writing for National Geographic Student Expeditions in Peru and Spain.  Brenna is fluent in Spanish.

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Brian Bender

  • Education: New England Conservatory of Music, B.A. 

A versatile professional musician based in the Pioneer Valley, Brian studied at U.C. Berkeley before graduating from the New England Conservatory in 1993 with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation. Brian has taught Jazz Ensemble, World Music Appreciation, and Music Theory … Continue reading

A versatile professional musician based in the Pioneer Valley, Brian studied at U.C. Berkeley before graduating from the New England Conservatory in 1993 with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation. Brian has taught Jazz Ensemble, World Music Appreciation, and Music Theory at Suffield Academy, the Williston-Northampton School, the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School, the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, and elsewhere. As a performing and recording artist for a range of groups—the Wholesale Klezmer Band, Black Rebels (African Reggae), the Pangeans (World Music), the World Beatniks (World Music), Little Shop of Horas (Klezmer-World Fusion), Fiddle Hill (Celtic), Big Bandemonium (Celtic), MarkaMusic (Latin-Andean fusion), the Brian Bender Quartet (Jazz), the Gumbo Jumbo Dixieland Band, and a long list of other groups (Afrobeat, Funk, R&B, etc.)—Brian has performed in venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton, Israel, Alaska, the Cape Verde Islands (West Africa), France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Holland, the United Kingdom, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Brian has taught music on our pre-college enrichment programs for ten summers.

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Britt Doran

  • Education: Brown University, B.A., International Development; Simmons College, M.S.N., Family Nurse Practitioner.

What began as a trip to Spain in high school to visit a family friend has turned into a life of travel for Britt. While at Brown, she studied abroad in Ecuador and toured to Costa Rica, Finland, and Russia … Continue reading

What began as a trip to Spain in high school to visit a family friend has turned into a life of travel for Britt. While at Brown, she studied abroad in Ecuador and toured to Costa Rica, Finland, and Russia with the Brown University Chorus. Britt moved to Costa Rica upon graduation where she worked as a dorm supervisor and music teacher at the Country Day School. She then moved to Segovia, Spain to co-direct Proctor Academy’s high school study abroad program. This was followed by two years as an Associate Director at Putney Student Travel, coordinating programs in Latin America. Most recently, Britt has been working as a pediatric RN at Franciscan Hospital for Children while completing her master’s as a Family Nurse Practitioner. This will be Britt’s fifth summer with Putney. She has led Language Learning and Foundations programs in Costa Rica and Spain, and a Community Service program in the Dominican Republic. Britt is fluent in Spanish.

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Brock Schardin

  • Education: The University of South Dakota, B.A., Spanish; The University of South Dakota, M.A., Spanish Education.

During his undergraduate studies, Brock lived and studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, at La Universidad Internacional de Menendez-Pelayo, where he developed a passion for Spanish culture and language. On campus, Brock was the Spanish Club president for three years and … Continue reading

During his undergraduate studies, Brock lived and studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, at La Universidad Internacional de Menendez-Pelayo, where he developed a passion for Spanish culture and language. On campus, Brock was the Spanish Club president for three years and was deeply involved with service learning projects, including time spent as a volunteer teaching weekly Spanish lessons to local elementary students. He also led student volunteer trips to Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala; Memphis, Tennessee; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in central South Dakota. Brock spent 2011 with AmeriCorps, teaching under-served youth in Houston, TX. Brock is currently in his second year of teaching English through the Fulbright Program in Madrid, Spain. He enjoys playing music, snowboarding, and cycling. Brock has spent four summers leading Putney’s Language Learning Spain program.

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Caitlin Bourassa

  • Education: Lewis and Clark College, B.A., Foreign Language (French, Spanish).

While at Lewis and Clark College, Caitlin focused on cross-cultural studies, especially in border areas or regions where there is a particularly unique blend of cultures. She lived in Ecuador during her junior year, teaching English in the Andes. After … Continue reading

While at Lewis and Clark College, Caitlin focused on cross-cultural studies, especially in border areas or regions where there is a particularly unique blend of cultures. She lived in Ecuador during her junior year, teaching English in the Andes. After college, she traveled to Japan for one year to teach English, followed by four months of backpacking across China. With foreign language and holistic health as her two primary passions, Caitlin now lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is studying to become an integrative health coach. She hopes to open her own wellness center and offer classes and consultations in English, French, and Spanish to people of all backgrounds. Caitlin has led our Community Service Ecuador and Community Service Costa Rica programs. She is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish.

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Calista Macharrie

  • Education: Temple, B.M., Music Education and Spanish.

While in school, Calista spent a month in Guatemala studying Spanish and volunteering with Quetzaltrekkers as well as a summer abroad in Oviedo, Spain studying Spanish literature. After graduation she ran a private piano studio and taught elementary school choral … Continue reading

While in school, Calista spent a month in Guatemala studying Spanish and volunteering with Quetzaltrekkers as well as a summer abroad in Oviedo, Spain studying Spanish literature. After graduation she ran a private piano studio and taught elementary school choral music in North Philadelphia. The teaching job left her summers free to lead students on community service trips in Hawaii, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. She volunteers with numerous arts nonprofits in Philadelphia including the Walnut Street Theatre, Koresh Dance Company, and the Walking Fish Theatre, and is passionate about music and arts education. She recently began an M.A. program in journalism at CUNY. She has led our Community Service Ecuador and Community Service Costa Rica programs.

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Cameron Colliersmith

  • Education: University of Georgia, B.A., International Affairs, Latin America Studies.

While studying in Athens, Georgia, Cameron worked with local employee groups, immigration empowerment organizations, and conducted research about political violence in the Americas. In 2009, Cameron combined a four-month trip across South America with a semester as an exchange student Continue reading

While studying in Athens, Georgia, Cameron worked with local employee groups, immigration empowerment organizations, and conducted research about political violence in the Americas. In 2009, Cameron combined a four-month trip across South America with a semester as an exchange student in Montevideo. After graduating from UGA, Cameron went on to join the Peace Corps and served in Senegal, West Africa. As an agriculture volunteer, he focused on learning about traditional Senegalese agriculture, and worked with local Forest Service members, NGOs, and a government-run seed bank. He also taught techniques for improving field crop and garden yields. While in Senegal, Cameron studied West African history, Pulaar culture, and became interested in the similarities between Latin America and Africa. Since returning to the United States in December, Cameron has been working for Refugee Family Services as an after-school instructor, helping children of recently-arrived refugees in the Atlanta area adjust, integrate, and catch up academically. Cameron speaks Spanish, French, Pulaar, and Wolof.

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Cameron Wardell

  • Education: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, B.A., History.

At the University of North Carolina, Cameron developed his academic interests in history and social entrepreneurship during a semester abroad in Vietnam. Pioneering a new community service program, Cameron worked at the Institute of International Education and with the U.S. … Continue reading

At the University of North Carolina, Cameron developed his academic interests in history and social entrepreneurship during a semester abroad in Vietnam. Pioneering a new community service program, Cameron worked at the Institute of International Education and with the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. While there, Cameron played for the Saigon Saints, an expat soccer team. After graduation, Cameron joined Teach for America as an elementary school teacher in San Antonio, Texas. There, he taught Kindergarten and 1st grade, cherishing the personal relationships that he formed with his students. Still teaching, Cameron uses his conversational proficiency in Spanish and Vietnamese every day in a community that contains increasing numbers of English Language Learners.

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Carina Shorske

  • Education: Yale University, B.A., Literature, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; University of Chicago, M.A., Comparative Literature.

Carina graduated from Yale with honors in both Literature and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Among her many academic awards was the Academy of American Poets Prize. She was the literary editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, a columnist for the … Continue reading

Carina graduated from Yale with honors in both Literature and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Among her many academic awards was the Academy of American Poets Prize. She was the literary editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, a columnist for the Yale Daily News, and a founding performer in OYE, a Latino spoken word group. Carina has traveled extensively in Latin America, studying in Argentina for a semester and conducting a research and translation project in Mexico City. She conducted workshops on poetry and hip-hop culture in California and served for two years as the Associate Editor at Transition, a magazine of the African diaspora published by Henry Louis Gates at Harvard University. Carina spent the 2012-2013 academic year at the University of Chicago writing her first manuscript of poems, entitled Viewfinder, which she has continued to develop in 2014 as the Isabella Gardner Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. This fall, she will begin a doctoral program in Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she plans to study psychoanalysis, race, and Latin American literature. Carina has led Putney’s Writing in Ireland program and worked on the Pre-College Barcelona staff. She is fluent in Spanish.

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Carter Carter

  • Education: New York University, B.A, Cultural Anthropology & Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; Simmons Graduate School of Social Work, MSW, Clinical Social Work (candidate).

Carter is a psychotherapist in practice at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center in his hometown of Brookline, MA.  He practices individual and group psychotherapy with children and adolescents and specializes in the treatment of major mental illness, trauma, and … Continue reading

Carter is a psychotherapist in practice at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center in his hometown of Brookline, MA.  He practices individual and group psychotherapy with children and adolescents and specializes in the treatment of major mental illness, trauma, and autism-spectrum disorders.  Prior to his engagement with BCMHC Carter trained on the Inpatient Psychiatry service of MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, MA. Carter is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps, volunteering his services as a therapist and social worker to victims and emergency services personnel following disasters and accidents.  Before entering graduate school Carter worked in a residential mental health treatment facility for adolescent girls.  Prior to embarking on his career in mental health Carter studied cultural anthropology and Islamic studies at New York University.  As an undergraduate he spent a year studying in Indonesia, India (where he lived with the personal chef to H.H the Dalai Lama!), and Nepal, focusing on social justice issues related to tourism.  Carter has participated in numerous Putney programs, both as a leader and as a student.  He has led a summer community service program in Nusa Penida and has taught on our Pre-College summer program at Amherst College.  He is highly proficient in French and Bahasa Indonesia.

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Charlie Gillihan

  • Education: Columbia University, B.A., Nonfiction Creative Writing; Lehman College, M.S.Ed., Secondary Chemistry Education.

While at Columbia University, Charlie spent time writing about Latin America — including a travel guide published in Men’s Journal — and he translated many short stories/poems from South America into English. He is currently working on translating a collection … Continue reading

While at Columbia University, Charlie spent time writing about Latin America — including a travel guide published in Men’s Journal — and he translated many short stories/poems from South America into English. He is currently working on translating a collection of short stories written by a Peruvian author he met while studying abroad at La Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima. Charlie has taught high school chemistry and biology in the South Bronx, and recently moved to Los Angeles to continue teaching chemistry and otherwise mentoring students. Charlie is fluent in Spanish. He has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Colin Rosemont

  • Education: Reed College, B.A., Anthropology.

In his final year at Reed College, Colin wrote a thesis exploring the relationship between environmentalist movements and indigenous rights movements in Ecuador. After receiving a grant from Reed, Colin traveled to Ecuador for a month to research the political … Continue reading

In his final year at Reed College, Colin wrote a thesis exploring the relationship between environmentalist movements and indigenous rights movements in Ecuador. After receiving a grant from Reed, Colin traveled to Ecuador for a month to research the political and historical realities of the oil industry and indigenous resistance in the Amazon. While not immersed in his studies, Colin managed the student Outdoor Program at Reed, leading groups of students on educational and recreational trips in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Last summer Colin lived in Cambridge, MA, attending Harvard University part-time and working as a Research and Publications Intern for the NGO Cultural Survival. Colin is fluent in Spanish and is learning Portuguese. He has led Community Service Ecuador.

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Colin White

  • Education: University of North Carolina, Wilmington, B.S., International Business.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Colin chose to stay close to the beach and attend UNCW. During his time at the Moore School of Business he was able to study International Business and Spanish in Andalusia and Valencia, Spain … Continue reading

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Colin chose to stay close to the beach and attend UNCW. During his time at the Moore School of Business he was able to study International Business and Spanish in Andalusia and Valencia, Spain and conclude his university studies in Bremen, Germany. After college Colin moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to work in International Business Development for a Fortune 500 Company. His desire to continue honing his Spanish language skills led him to the Peace Corps where he worked as a Business Advisor to low-income fishermen, shrimpers, and a sea turtle conservatory in the gulf coast of Honduras. In the evenings Colin acted as an English as a Second Language tutor for children and also worked alongside the community doctor at the hospital. Colin recently moved to Gutemala to manage a surf camp on the coast. His hobbies include fishing, surfing, soccer, and baseball. Colin is fluent in Spanish. He has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Colleen Fitzgerald

  • Education: Boston College, B.A., Communications; Parsons the New School for Design, M.F.A., Photography and Related Media.

Colleen Fitzgerald is a Massachusetts native and has taught photography and related media for several years at various institutions. She received her M.F.A from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, and is currently a Professor of … Continue reading

Colleen Fitzgerald is a Massachusetts native and has taught photography and related media for several years at various institutions. She received her M.F.A from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, and is currently a Professor of Photography at Memphis College of Art, in Memphis, TN. She actively exhibits artwork both nationally and internationally, from New York City to China, and curates various photography exhibits. A former competitive athlete, Colleen is also an avid women’s soccer and lacrosse coach, and loves travelling, cooking, reading, and watching movies. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy and is a former two-time instructor of the Pre-College courses in “Digital Photography” and “Travel Photography: Composition and Narrative” in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.

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Damen Scranton

  • Education: University of California at San Diego, B.A., Theatre, Creative Writing; University of California at San Diego, M.F.A., Acting.

Damen was one of two U.S. recipients of a Princess Grace Award for Acting in 1996. Since 1997, he has worked as an actor and teacher for the Irondale Ensemble Project – an improvisation-based, political theatre company in its 28th … Continue reading

Damen was one of two U.S. recipients of a Princess Grace Award for Acting in 1996. Since 1997, he has worked as an actor and teacher for the Irondale Ensemble Project – an improvisation-based, political theatre company in its 28th season in NYC. He is also a company member with Blessed Unrest (an award-winning NYC theatre ensemble), and is a core member of Strike Anywhere (an NYC-based, improvisational jazz performance ensemble). As an actor, he has performed at the Lincoln Center Theater, the La Jolla Playhouse, and the Granary and Firken Crane Theatres in Cork, the Republic of Ireland, among others. Notably, Damen played Creon in Antigone (directed by Athol Fugard) at the Firken Crane Theatre in Cork. As a playwright, Damen has had four plays produced in the U.S., Ireland, and Northern Ireland (including The Death of Cabaret, 2001 Dublin Fringe Festival). As a director his plays have won numerous awards and honors, including Burn, Crave, Hold: The James Wilde Project (winner of the 2008 NY Innovative Theater Award for Best Production of a Play). He has taught courses in Shakespeare, acting, and creative writing at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, UC San Diego, Manhattanville College, Marymount College in Manhattan, numerous NYC public high schools, the Riker’s Island juvenile detention facility, and the Port Stewart Community Center in Port Stewart, Northern Ireland. Damen was born and raised in Pasadena, California. He has taught on Putney Pre College summer programs for 12 years.

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Damiano Marchetti

  • Education: Wesleyan University, B.A. Sociology.

While at Wesleyan, Damiano focused his studies on Social Theory and Neuroscience. During his summers he traveled to India to manage an organic, sustainable farm outside of Mumbai.  Part of his time was also spent in rural areas near the … Continue reading

While at Wesleyan, Damiano focused his studies on Social Theory and Neuroscience. During his summers he traveled to India to manage an organic, sustainable farm outside of Mumbai.  Part of his time was also spent in rural areas near the Himalayas in Nepal teaching English to local students. Upon graduation, he worked as a food writer, and along with another former food-writer from the New York Times organized a sustainable food conference in upstate New York.   More recently Damiano moved to New York where he began working for an investigative reporter and producing stories for NPR’s Radiolab and Planet Money. He is fluent in Italian.

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David Martinez

  • Education: Occidental College, B.A., American Studies, University of San Francisco, M.A., Education.

Born and raised in the Bronx, David grew up in a Puerto Rican household, absorbing the rich culture and language of the island from his family and community. Beyond his frequent trips back to Puerto Rico, David experienced his first … Continue reading

Born and raised in the Bronx, David grew up in a Puerto Rican household, absorbing the rich culture and language of the island from his family and community. Beyond his frequent trips back to Puerto Rico, David experienced his first taste of international travel as a participant in Putney’s Pre-College enrichment program in Spain in 2005. During his undergraduate studies at Occidental College, David spent a semester abroad in Spain, where he enrolled at the Universidad de Granada. During this time he also worked at the university library, translating their webpage to English. In the last couple of years David has acquired his K-8 Multiple Subjects Credential and recently completed his M.A. in Education with a focus on Digital Media and Learning at the University of San Francisco. He also enjoys the multiple “hats” he wears at Marin Preparatory School, a Spanish-Infusion elementary school in San Francisco. David has led Putney’s Pre-College summer program in Madrid and Pre-College summer program in Barcelona for the past four years.

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David Weldzius

  • Education: University of Illinois, Chicago, B.F.A., Photography; California Institute for the Arts, M.F.A., Photography and Media.

David took up photography at the age of twenty, switching his college major from architecture to visual art in 2000. His first solo exhibition “Militia: Familia” (2003) examined his family’s history through their involvement in the U.S. military. In 2004-2005, … Continue reading

David took up photography at the age of twenty, switching his college major from architecture to visual art in 2000. His first solo exhibition “Militia: Familia” (2003) examined his family’s history through their involvement in the U.S. military. In 2004-2005, David taught photography and art courses at Noble Street Charter High School on the northwest side of Chicago, through an AmeriCorps program. In August 2005, David moved to Southern California to pursue his master’s degree at CalArts. Since his graduation in 2007, David has exhibited extensively throughout the United States at LACE (Los Angeles), MAK Center (LA), Hayworth Gallery (LA), David Kordansky Gallery (LA), and C.R.E.A.M. (New York), among other venues. David has taught photography courses at CalArts, Art Center College of Design, UCLA Extension, Occidental College, and Pacific Hills School, a 6-12 private school in West Hollywood. In 2012, David was selected for a fellowship with the Terra Foundation for American Art in Giverny, France. Here, he developed a body of photo-works that employed socio-economic news culled from the daily newspaper, Le Monde. A selection of prints from this series was exhibited at Otis College of Design in late 2013. In September 2014, David will mount an exhibition at Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, marking his first solo show at a commercial venue. David is currently working on a book of photographs accompanied by two essays, tentatively titled Pedestrian Views of the Case Study House No 22. The book will be published later this year. He has taught on our Pre-College Paris program.

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Eli S. Evans

  • Education: University of Wisconsin, B.A.; University of Arizona, M.F.A.; Art Center College of Design, M.A.

Eli S. Evans has published literary and critical work in magazines such as n+1, The American Reader, Quimera, Glimmer Train, and Berfrois, and has translations of a selection of poems from Jaime Rodríguez Z.’s 2011 Canción de Vic Morrow forthcoming … Continue reading

Eli S. Evans has published literary and critical work in magazines such as n+1, The American Reader, Quimera, Glimmer Train, and Berfrois, and has translations of a selection of poems from Jaime Rodríguez Z.’s 2011 Canción de Vic Morrow forthcoming in the literary magazine Mandorla. In addition to his dissertation, he is currently at work on a collection of sentimental poems composed at odd hours and a novel that will contain at least one reference to Picacho Peak, site of the westernmost battle of the American Civil War. He has taught as an Associate faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Northern Iowa, and has taught on Putney Pre-College summer programs for high school students for 12 years.

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Elizabeth Draper

  • Education: Stetson University, B.A., International Studies, Spanish; Universidad de Alcalá, M.A., International Education.

While attending Stetson University Elizabeth focused on Spanish and International Relations. During her studies she lived abroad and took courses at universities in Mexico and Hong Kong. Elizabeth also lived in Ecuador, where she volunteered with Global Volunteer Network on … Continue reading

While attending Stetson University Elizabeth focused on Spanish and International Relations. During her studies she lived abroad and took courses at universities in Mexico and Hong Kong. Elizabeth also lived in Ecuador, where she volunteered with Global Volunteer Network on a family owned reserve, working to develop a model of integrated farming and to preserve the region’s natural forest. Directly after graduation, she moved to Madrid, Spain to work as a Cultural Ambassador for the Ministry of Education. In Madrid, she taught English and American culture to students from ages 3 to 18. After participating in this program for two years, she completed a master’s in International Education, while working as an intern at a local charter school. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish. She loves living an active lifestyle, new adventures, and Spanish culture. Currently, she is continuing her work as an English teacher in Madrid.

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Emily Antenucci

  • Education: Vassar College, B.A., Drama, Italian.

At Vassar Emily pursued dual degrees in Drama and Italian, focusing on directing in the former and completing a translation of a contemporary Italian text for her thesis in the latter. In Italy, she studied abroad at the Università di … Continue reading

At Vassar Emily pursued dual degrees in Drama and Italian, focusing on directing in the former and completing a translation of a contemporary Italian text for her thesis in the latter. In Italy, she studied abroad at the Università di Bologna’s school of Art, Music, and Theatre (DAMS) and taught English in Tuscany and Lombardy as a tutor for Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (ACLE). Upon graduating from Vassar, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in secondary schools in Catania, Sicily. There she developed lessons focusing on the use of drama in the classroom and began an after school English-language theatre program that continues to this day. More recently, Emily has managed numerous travel programs and tours directed in Italy, Malta, Cuba, the Netherlands, and Belgium. She is fluent in Italian, has dabbled in Spanish, and is trying her hand at French. She has led Cultural Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, and Holland.

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Emma Kading

  • Education: Vassar College, B.A., Hispanic Studies; Science, Technology and Society.

While at Vassar, Emma focused on Hispanic Studies and STS, which led her to spend quite a bit of time in the southern hemisphere in both Argentina and Australia. While in Argentina, Emma attended La Universidad de Buenos Aires, played … Continue reading

While at Vassar, Emma focused on Hispanic Studies and STS, which led her to spend quite a bit of time in the southern hemisphere in both Argentina and Australia. While in Argentina, Emma attended La Universidad de Buenos Aires, played rugby, and worked with Fundación Huesped, an organization that combats discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV and AIDS in Argentina. While in Australia, she studied in the Health Sciences and Sociology faculties at Melbourne University, where she also played Aussie Rules Football. While on that side of the world, she also spent time backpacking in Thailand. In her final year at Vassar, Emma worked as a tutor for children in ESL classes and for the Spanish newspaper La Voz. Emma is fluent in Spanish. She has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Erika Chapa

  • Education: University of Texas at Tyler, B.A., Early Childhood Education.

Erika is a teacher, dancer, explorer, and choreographer who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up in a traditional Mexican household, Spanish language and Mexican culture have been great influences in her longing to learn from others. … Continue reading

Erika is a teacher, dancer, explorer, and choreographer who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up in a traditional Mexican household, Spanish language and Mexican culture have been great influences in her longing to learn from others. Travel has always been a part of Erika’s life and continues to be a priority. She traveled to Mexico countless times throughout her childhood, and has taken on the challenge to visit a new country every year. From Japan to Cuba, Erika seeks adventure and any opportunity to show off a dance move. She has been teaching and choreographing award winning routines for middle school and high school dance teams for the past eight years, and continues her passion of dance in the classroom. After graduating from UT Tyler with Summa cum Laude honors, she moved to San Francisco where she is currently a kindergarten teacher at Marin Preparatory Elementary. She has been teaching elementary school for four years and loves every minute of it. Erika is fluent in Spanish and has taught on our Foundations Costa Rica program

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Evan Coleman

  • Education: Brown University, B.A., English.

Evan graduated with honors from Brown, where he studied literary nonfiction and travel writing. During his junior year, Evan spent five months in South America, training with a professional soccer team in Argentina, working at an orphanage in Bolivia, and … Continue reading

Evan graduated with honors from Brown, where he studied literary nonfiction and travel writing. During his junior year, Evan spent five months in South America, training with a professional soccer team in Argentina, working at an orphanage in Bolivia, and collecting notes and interviews from his travels that would later evolve into a literary nonfiction thesis. As a C.V. Starr Fellow at Brown University, Evan implemented an education-based exchange program between the United States and Chile which focused on providing students with the tools they needed to create change in their own communities. He now lives in Bath, Maine, where he teaches 10th Grade English and coaches soccer at The Hyde School. Evan is fluent in Spanish and has led our Community Service program in Costa Rica.

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Evan Overton

  • Education: Boston University, B.A./M.A., Sociology, Spanish, Education.

Evan developed his passion for language and foreign culture while studying abroad in Madrid for two semesters. He returned to Spain to teach English at an overnight summer camp for children and to work for the Boston University in Madrid … Continue reading

Evan developed his passion for language and foreign culture while studying abroad in Madrid for two semesters. He returned to Spain to teach English at an overnight summer camp for children and to work for the Boston University in Madrid program. Now in his fourth year as a Spanish teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, Evan is adding ‘math teacher’ to his list of positions within his home school, where he also coaches chess, supervises a bike riding club, and gardens with his students. An avid cyclist, voracious reader, and board game enthusiast, he is always pleased to share his experiences abroad and encourage others to pursue their own passions to the fullest. He has worked on the Pre-College Madrid and Pre-College Barcelona staff.

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Francis Gourrier

  • Education: Kenyon College, B.A., American Studies; University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A., Afro-American Studies; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. (candidate), History.

While at Kenyon College, Frankie majored in American Studies but his interests—both academic and personal—were not bound by the borders of the United States. Frankie began to travel the world after his freshman year of college and has since visited … Continue reading

While at Kenyon College, Frankie majored in American Studies but his interests—both academic and personal—were not bound by the borders of the United States. Frankie began to travel the world after his freshman year of college and has since visited 13 countries. One of those countries was Brazil, where he spent four months studying culture, development, and social justice in the northeastern part of the country during his junior year of undergrad. Since graduating from Kenyon, Frankie has maintained ties to his alma mater, working with high school students at an early college program every summer since 2006. He has also taught middle school in Oakland, California. A native of New Orleans, Frankie is now a Ph.D. student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has led Cultural Exploration Belize.

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George Philip LeBourdais

  • Education: Middlebury College, B.A., French, Italian, Art History; Williams College, M.A., Art History; Stanford University, Ph.D. (candidate), History of Art and Architecture.

A native Mainer, George Philip loves being in museums almost as much as being outdoors. His research, writing, and photography have led him from the mountains of Switzerland, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, to the coast of California, where … Continue reading

A native Mainer, George Philip loves being in museums almost as much as being outdoors. His research, writing, and photography have led him from the mountains of Switzerland, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, to the coast of California, where he now resides. As a Doctoral Candidate at Stanford, George Philip focuses on environmental history and ecology at the intersection of art and science. He has taught the history of art, architecture, and photography at the high school and college levels, and is a multi-year veteran of Putney’s Language Learning and Pre-College programs in France. Even the most cursory internet search will expose his checkered past as an a cappella nerd, but he also enjoys rowing, cycling, and baking traditional French bread.

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Haley Jakobson

  • Education: Boston University, B.F.A. (candidate), Theatre Arts.

Haley Jakobson is a senior at Boston University’s School of Theatre. She will graduate with her B.F.A. in Theatre Arts, with an intense focus in Acting, Directing, and Playwriting. This May, her play Deep Love of Nightgowns was chosen to … Continue reading

Haley Jakobson is a senior at Boston University’s School of Theatre. She will graduate with her B.F.A. in Theatre Arts, with an intense focus in Acting, Directing, and Playwriting. This May, her play Deep Love of Nightgowns was chosen to be a part of the Boston Playwright’s Theatre annual Theatre Marathon where it was directed and performed professionally. Haley has a deep passion for the theatre and believes that it encourages the core values of communication, connection, and human understanding. Haley has just finished a semester abroad, studying Physical Theatre at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Haley is incredibly excited to be part of the Putney family this summer, as she owes much of her creative fire to the five summers she spent as a student on Putney trips.

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Hannah Palmer

  • Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.S., Marine Biology and Spanish.

Hannah loves to be outside. From rock climbing to scuba diving to gardening to cycling Hannah is happiest in the sunshine. While studying marine biology at UCLA, Hannah traveled to the South Pacific to conduct research on coral reef growth … Continue reading

Hannah loves to be outside. From rock climbing to scuba diving to gardening to cycling Hannah is happiest in the sunshine. While studying marine biology at UCLA, Hannah traveled to the South Pacific to conduct research on coral reef growth and fish eating habits on coral reefs. She is most comfortable in the ocean and loves to share her knowledge of the underwater world. Hannah is a certified Scientific scuba diver and Rescue scuba diver and has countless hours of underwater experience. Her work as an outdoor guide while at UCLA allowed her to lead fellow students on adventures all over the western United States, from Zion to Yosemite to Big Sur to the Grand Canyon. On these adventures Hannah taught backpacking, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, and snorkeling skills. Hannah now teaches preschool and works in the Emergency Rooms of two local hospitals on the central coast of California. Hannah loves running, cooking, soccer, hiking, back handsprings, and anything underwater. She has led Foundations Australia and Foundations Costa Rica.

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Henk Rossouw

  • Education: University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, B.A., Journalism; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, M.F.A.; University of Houston, Ph.D. (candidate), Creative Writing.

A poet, Henk Rossouw grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Transom. During the academic year, he teaches writing at the … Continue reading

A poet, Henk Rossouw grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Transom. During the academic year, he teaches writing at the University of Houston. While at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Henk won the Poetry Society of America’s Bright Lights Big Verse contest, judged by the former poetry editor of The New Yorker, and read his winning poem at a public event on Times Square. He has given readings for Stanza, the Scottish International Poetry Festival, and at the Emily Dickinson Museum. In 2006 and 2008, Henk attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. As a Sauve Scholar at McGill University, in Montreal, Henk was given a sabbatical to write, and published a personal essay in The Threepenny Review, an interview with Nadine Gordimer in The Virginia Quarterly Review, and a short story in Tin House, which won a Summer Literary Seminars first prize. Henk gave lectures across Canada on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in rural South Africa. From 2001 to 2005, he traveled to Rwanda, Uganda, Liberia, and Congo as the Africa correspondent for Washington, DC’s The Chronicle of Higher Education. His reporting on former child soldier Grace Akallo led to her becoming a spokesperson on Capitol Hill about the conflict in northern Uganda, and eventually completing a master’s degree in the United States. Henk also wrote on the arts and covered Zimbabwe for Newsweek. Henk has been both a teacher and director on Putney’s Pre-College program at Amherst College and has led the Writing in Prague program.

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J. Dean Woodbury

  • Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A., Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Studies, Theatre; The School for International Training (SIT), M.A., International Education and Management, Arabic, French.

Dean has been immersed in Spanish/English bilingual education since kindergarten, and is a returning member of the Putney team. With over a decade of experience in the education field, he currently teaches Spanish, Portuguese, and World History at San Francisco … Continue reading

Dean has been immersed in Spanish/English bilingual education since kindergarten, and is a returning member of the Putney team. With over a decade of experience in the education field, he currently teaches Spanish, Portuguese, and World History at San Francisco Waldorf High School, where he is also the main advisor to the Model U.N. program. He spent a summer after his undergraduate work on the Argentine pampas before moving to Barcelona, Spain. Dean also spent a summer working as a bicycle tour guide in Tuscany, after teaching himself Italian during a yearlong sabbatical in Milan. An accomplished translator and interpreter, Dean is also a member of the National Language Service Corps. He has led Language Learning Spain and Pre-College Madrid and Barcelona.

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James Sennette

  • Education: University of Texas, Austin, B.A., Psychology; Harvard University, Ed.M., School Leadership.

While at the University of Texas, James focused on Youth Developmental Psychology and French. During his French studies, James fell in love with the language and culture, and spent a summer studying abroad in Paris between his junior and senior … Continue reading

While at the University of Texas, James focused on Youth Developmental Psychology and French. During his French studies, James fell in love with the language and culture, and spent a summer studying abroad in Paris between his junior and senior years. After graduating, James returned to France to teach English to 3rd and 4th grade public school students in a small town near the Pyrenees Mountains. James now works as a middle school French teacher, and has taken several high school groups abroad for summer travel programs. James is fluent in French, and has an ever-increasing working knowledge of Spanish. In addition to teaching, he loves to travel, is a self-proclaimed foodie, and loves running and hiking. James continues to expand his students’ knowledge of and enthusiasm for French language, history, and culture at his middle school, where he plans to create a travel program for his students. James has led Language Learning France.

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Janpim Wolf

  • Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.F.A., Photography and Film; B.A., Art Education.

While at Virgina Commonwealth University, Janpim founded the female club lacrosse team and studied abroad in Peru. After graduation, she moved to live and teach in Bangkok, Thailand. While she was there she organized an international art collaboration project with … Continue reading

While at Virgina Commonwealth University, Janpim founded the female club lacrosse team and studied abroad in Peru. After graduation, she moved to live and teach in Bangkok, Thailand. While she was there she organized an international art collaboration project with a U.S. public school in Virginia involving third grade students. During the teaching breaks she took motorcycle trips to explore Northern Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Janpim now currently teaches at-risk K-5 students at a Title 1 school. Janpim is fluent in Thai and proficient in Spanish. She has led Cultural Exploration Thailand.

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Jeff Kent

  • Education: Middlebury College, B.A., Chinese Studies.

Jeff graduated with honors, focusing on language, traditional and modern literature, and contemporary social issues. After completing a summer at Middlebury’s intensive language school, Jeff studied abroad in Beijing and Hangzhou. He spent the subsequent summers in China researching Chinese … Continue reading

Jeff graduated with honors, focusing on language, traditional and modern literature, and contemporary social issues. After completing a summer at Middlebury’s intensive language school, Jeff studied abroad in Beijing and Hangzhou. He spent the subsequent summers in China researching Chinese enterprises’ overseas investment in Africa’s forestry sector for a Beijing-based environmental NGO, as well as conducting an independent research project on  traditional Chinese medicine with a local Beijing physician.  Jeff’s first exposure to international travel and discovery occurred during community service programs to Costa Rica and Peru.  These experiences led him to spend several months working on organic farms throughout Spain prior to attending Middlebury. Jeff is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin and has led our Community Service Costa Rica program.

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Jenn Brown

  • Education: Wesleyan University, B.A., East Asian Studies, International Relations.

As an undergraduate, Jenn spent six months abroad in China where she studied Mandarin and conducted undergraduate thesis research on the effects of economic development on rural to urban migration patterns. After graduation, she spent time in Washington, DC doing … Continue reading

As an undergraduate, Jenn spent six months abroad in China where she studied Mandarin and conducted undergraduate thesis research on the effects of economic development on rural to urban migration patterns. After graduation, she spent time in Washington, DC doing foreign policy research before returning to Beijing as a Princeton-in-Asia fellow with WildChina, a boutique adventure travel company. There, she managed the department that organized trips across China for educational & nonprofit groups. She later relocated to Southeast Asia and led historical & cultural journeys around Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and China for nearly two years. Following a brief stint volunteering at a microfinance institution in rural Sichuan province, she returned to the Mekong Region and has been based in Vientiane, Laos ever since. After setting up and overseeing joint-venture company offices for Jetset Travelworld Group, a global travel services provider, she now works as a freelance travel writer and consultant on tourism development projects. Jenn is fluent in Chinese, proficient in Spanish and French, and can speak elementary Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese. Jenn has led Language Learning China, Global Action Cambodia, and Community Service Vietnam.

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Jessica Batten

  • Education: SUNY Purchase, B.F.A., Dance

Jessica Batten trained with the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble under Nancy Turano and graduated cum Laude in 2005 from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance. She has danced professionally with: NJDTE, Cedar Lake II, Connecticut Ballet, Bradley Shelver … Continue reading

Jessica Batten trained with the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble under Nancy Turano and graduated cum Laude in 2005 from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance. She has danced professionally with: NJDTE, Cedar Lake II, Connecticut Ballet, Bradley Shelver Contemporary Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico of NY, and most currently at the Metropolitan Opera and with Nimbus Dance Works, among many other companies and choreographers. Jessica was invited to perform in Cali, Colombia, in the Fifth Annual International Dance Festival in 2011, representing the USA with Earl Mosely’s Diversity of Dance, and has traveled the world performing and teaching.  She has also performed with the Kirov Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC. In 2008, she appeared on the AMICI Television show in Rome, Italy, as a Guest Profesionista, in addition to several more recent TV appearances, such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Jessica enjoys teaching and choreographing in addition to her performance career.  She is on faculty at The Joffrey Ballet School, NJ Dance Theater Ensemble, Columbus Pre-School, and The School of Nimbus Dance Works. She has taught at our pre-college summer program at Amherst College for two summers.

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Jonathan McCarthy

  • Education: University of Vermont, B.A., History.

After graduating from the University of Vermont, Jonathan spent several years exploring his inner culinary artist and gaining restaurant management experience as Executive Sous Chef with Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurants in Delaware and New Jersey. Jonathan travelled for eighteen Continue reading

After graduating from the University of Vermont, Jonathan spent several years exploring his inner culinary artist and gaining restaurant management experience as Executive Sous Chef with Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurants in Delaware and New Jersey. Jonathan travelled for eighteen months in Latin America and Israel. He worked in a supervisory role as a Restaurant Consultant and Chef in Leon, Nicaragua, and Mancora, Peru. While in northern Peru, Jonathan worked to recruit and lead volunteers and raise funds for construction projects at the Mama Cocha Orphanage. In Israel, Jonathan volunteered with Sar-El and the Israeli Defense Forces to oversee the repair and maintenance of equipment and to troubleshoot logistical issues. Most recently, Jonathan has lived and worked in Cochabamba, Bolivia, as the Assistant National Director of Sustainable Bolivia, a non-profit volunteer placement organization that works in the fields of education, social services, and environmental sustainability. When he is not busy cooking or pounding cobblestone streets, you can find Jonathan exploring photography, cycling the Andes, or tilling his urban garden. Jonathan is fluent in Spanish. He has been a staff member and Director of Putney’s Foundations Costa Rica program and a leader of a Cultural Immersion Italy and Greece trip.

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Jordan Weltman

  • Education: Ithaca College, B.A., Anthropology.

While at Ithaca College Jordan focused on Biological Anthropology and Environmental Studies where he worked on research related to the genetic variations of humans, applications of mycelium, and the revival of the American chestnut. After graduation, he spent two years … Continue reading

While at Ithaca College Jordan focused on Biological Anthropology and Environmental Studies where he worked on research related to the genetic variations of humans, applications of mycelium, and the revival of the American chestnut. After graduation, he spent two years leading and developing community service programs for high school students in Southeast and East Asia, while continuing his personal travels and circumnavigating the globe. Since returning from his travels, Jordan has stepped in as chef at a restaurant in New Jersey where he incorporates the flavors and experiences from his travels into his cuisine. He is studying for a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) and is looking forward to continuing his travels through teaching. He has led our Australia, New Zealand, Fiji program.

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José Esteban Ruiz

  • Education: Arizona State University, B.A., Spanish Literature.

While at Arizona State University, José took every travel opportunity possible to augment his studies as a Spanish Literature major. After his freshman year he spent half the summer in Mérida, Mexico, visiting many Mayan sites in the peninsula, including … Continue reading

While at Arizona State University, José took every travel opportunity possible to augment his studies as a Spanish Literature major. After his freshman year he spent half the summer in Mérida, Mexico, visiting many Mayan sites in the peninsula, including Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichen Itza. Climbing the Mayan pyramids proved good practice for his next hiking endeavor, trekking for four days and three nights to successfully complete the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu – an adventure which he undertook while spending a semester studying at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires. After exploring much of Latin America, José decided to venture east and spent time volunteering in South Korea as an English teacher. His break between teaching sessions involved a stay at a Buddhist temple where he lived the austere life of a monk, beginning each day at 3 a.m. for morning prayer, doing physical labor around the monastery, and eating ritual vegetarian meals. José has led Community Service programs for Putney Student Travel in Costa Rica, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. He is fluent in Spanish.

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Julia Drake

  • Education: Williams College, B.A., Spanish; Columbia University, M.F.A., Fiction.

During Julia’s time at Williams she worked as a tutor for the Spanish department and spent a summer in Mazatlan, Mexico, where she helped the children of a local orphanage put on a play. She studied abroad in Spain at … Continue reading

During Julia’s time at Williams she worked as a tutor for the Spanish department and spent a summer in Mazatlan, Mexico, where she helped the children of a local orphanage put on a play. She studied abroad in Spain at the Universidad de Sevilla, where she fell in love with the history of Spain and Andalusian culture. After college, Julia decided to pursue her passion for creative writing and love of language. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in fine arts from Columbia University, where she studies fiction writing and literary translation. She has worked for the fiction department at The New Yorker and teaches University Writing to first-year students at Columbia. Julia is fluent in Spanish and has led Putney’s Language Learning program in Spain.

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Julia Huber

  • Education: St. Lawrence University, B.S., Psychology and Environmental Studies and African Studies Minor.

Hailing from a small town in upstate New York, Julia grew up spending her summers hiking the peaks of the Adirondacks and swimming in the Finger Lakes. Her love of the outdoors led her to St. Lawrence University where she … Continue reading

Hailing from a small town in upstate New York, Julia grew up spending her summers hiking the peaks of the Adirondacks and swimming in the Finger Lakes. Her love of the outdoors led her to St. Lawrence University where she focused on environmental studies and psychology. Julia had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and Australia for a semester. During this unique program she focused on developing outdoor leadership skills, facilitating cultural immersion, and promoting environmental stewardship through several community service projects. From strenuous trail-building to volunteering at an environmental education center for Australian youth, Julia deepened her appreciation for the natural world and foreign cultures. While abroad she volunteered at Watamu Turtle Watch, a sea turtle conservation program on the coast of Kenya that focuses on empowering the local community, while protecting endangered sea turtles and their habitats. Upon returning to St. Lawrence Julia completed an African Studies minor and continued her studies of East Africa. Julia is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast and now divides her time between climbing cliff faces in the Adirondacks with working on an organic farm in upstate New York. She has led Community Service Tanzania.

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Justine Abou-Heif

  • Education: Ryerson University, B.C.; University of Ontario Institute of Technology, B.Ed.

After finishing both of her degrees Justine caught the travel bug while teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) for six weeks to elementary students in Istanbul, Turkey. She then spent nine months traveling throughout Europe and Africa. During her … Continue reading

After finishing both of her degrees Justine caught the travel bug while teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) for six weeks to elementary students in Istanbul, Turkey. She then spent nine months traveling throughout Europe and Africa. During her travels she had the opportunity to volunteer in Ghana, at Osu’s Children’s Home, an orphanage for underprivileged youth. Justine also spent many months working in Nice, France, where she immersed herself in the French language and culture. Recently Justine was a summer coordinator of the “Life Readiness” program at Participation House in Oshawa, Ontario, helping young adults with intellectual disabilities. Currently Justine is a Grade 7/8 French Immersion Teacher at an elementary school in Ontario. In this position, she shares her love of culture, travel, and the French language with her students. She often returns to Nice, France to continue her own immersion in French culture. Justine is fluent in French and has led our Language Learning program in France.

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Karan Mahna

  • Education: University of Washington, B.A., Mathematics; M.Ed., Mathematics.

While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Karan worked at local urban high schools in the Seattle area and studied academic achievement gaps between different racial and socio-economic groups. Subsequently, he completed his graduate program to become a high school Continue reading

While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Karan worked at local urban high schools in the Seattle area and studied academic achievement gaps between different racial and socio-economic groups. Subsequently, he completed his graduate program to become a high school math teacher. During the past five years, besides working as a high school teacher in the United States, he also travelled and worked with schools in Peru and India. In 2009, he received a grant to work with underprivileged students in Lima. For the past few years, Karan has spent summers working with students in the picturesque region of Ladakh, India. Besides teaching math, Karan is the advisor of his school’s International Key Club, a community service organization for students. Having grown up in the massive city of New Delhi with parents from two different regions, Karan became proficient in Hindi and Punjabi. Karan now lives in Italy, teaching math at an American school in Rome. He has led our Global Action India program and our Community Service India program.

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Kate J. Miller

  • Education: Messiah College, B.A., Art History, Anthropology, and Studio Art.

Always ready and excited to travel, Kate is a professional photographer based in Philadelphia. She studied art history, anthropology, and photography as an undergrad, and studied abroad in Rome and Orvieto, Italy as well as in Paris, France. During college, … Continue reading

Always ready and excited to travel, Kate is a professional photographer based in Philadelphia. She studied art history, anthropology, and photography as an undergrad, and studied abroad in Rome and Orvieto, Italy as well as in Paris, France. During college, Kate also studied historic alternative printing processes using digital images as well as medium and large format negatives. She has worked as an editor and consultant at a photography studio in Philadelphia. While her work as a wedding and portrait photographer takes her all over the country, she also loves setting up a simple studio light in her apartment and shooting portraits of people she finds interesting. When Kate is not shooting or editing, she enjoys running, boxing, and yoga. Kate has taught on Putney’s Pre-College programs in Oxford, Florence, Madrid, and Barcelona.

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Kate Reigeluth

  • Education: Hamilton College, B.A., magna cum laude, Hispanic Studies with Honors; Middlebury College School in Spain, M.A., Spanish

At Hamilton, Kate was a tutor at the Writing Center, director of Hamilton’s community service organization, and captain of the women’s varsity crew team. She spent a summer in León, Spain, living with a family and studying at the Universidad … Continue reading

At Hamilton, Kate was a tutor at the Writing Center, director of Hamilton’s community service organization, and captain of the women’s varsity crew team. She spent a summer in León, Spain, living with a family and studying at the Universidad de León. She returned to Madrid to complete her master’s degree in Spanish. Outside of her classes, she lived with a Spanish family and competed as a member of Madrid’s rowing club. Since finishing her master’s degree, Kate has dedicated herself to sharing her two loves with students: travel and Spanish. She taught Spanish at the Fairfield Country Day School for three years. While there, she founded and directed an exchange program for her students in Zaragoza, Spain. Kate currently teaches Spanish at Kingswood Oxford School. Last summer, she led a student trip to Belize. Kate was recently awarded a fellowship to attend the Klingenstein Summer Institute at Columbia University. She has led our Language Learning Spain, Community Service India, and Cultural Exploration Belize programs. Kate is fluent in Spanish.

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Kelsey Nawalinski

  • Education: The College of William and Mary, B.S., Neuroscience.

Kelsey straddled the worlds of academia and athletics as a member of the varsity field hockey team at William and Mary. After graduating with a degree in neuroscience, she flew around the world to Donchedi, Thailand to spend the next … Continue reading

Kelsey straddled the worlds of academia and athletics as a member of the varsity field hockey team at William and Mary. After graduating with a degree in neuroscience, she flew around the world to Donchedi, Thailand to spend the next 12 months teaching English to Thai high schoolers. Beyond the classroom, Kelsey helped to found a grassroots girls soccer program, developing a profound appreciation for the transformative power of sport. She continues to witness the ability of athletics to bring people together as a team leader for Back on My Feet, an organization that uses running as a way to help Philadelphians experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves. After pounding the pavement with her eclectic running crew, she heads to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, where she works as a clinical research coordinator for the neurosurgery department. Kelsey has recently started medical school and she hopes to launch a career focused on global health. She has led Community Service Dominica.

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Kimberly Mooney

  • Education: Saint Michael’s College, B.A., Psychology, Spanish; University of Salamanca, M.A., Spanish Language and Culture.

While at St. Michael’s College, Kimberly double majored in psychology and Spanish. Her love of the Spanish-speaking world brought her to Spain many times, where she walked the 500 mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, worked as an English teacher, … Continue reading

While at St. Michael’s College, Kimberly double majored in psychology and Spanish. Her love of the Spanish-speaking world brought her to Spain many times, where she walked the 500 mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, worked as an English teacher, and completed a master’s at the University of Salamanca. Currently she is employed as a high school Spanish teacher where, in addition to teaching, she coaches soccer, basketball and track. Each year she leads a group of students abroad to a Spanish-speaking country, most recently visiting Costa Rica to enjoy the pura vida lifestyle. An avid traveler, she has extensively explored Europe and the Americas. She particularly loves studying, learning, and immersing herself in Spanish culture, which has propelled her to visit Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Peru. Kimberly is fluent in Spanish.

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Kris De La Torre

  • Education: Lake Forest College, B.A., Art History, Curatorial Studies, Spanish Language.

While at Lake Forest College Kris focused on museum education and program development for teenagers. She was a Chicago Cultural Center Fellow for Chicago Artist’s Month, and traveled through Chile and Argentina researching political street graffiti for the children’s art … Continue reading

While at Lake Forest College Kris focused on museum education and program development for teenagers. She was a Chicago Cultural Center Fellow for Chicago Artist’s Month, and traveled through Chile and Argentina researching political street graffiti for the children’s art museum Museo Artequîn in Santiago de Chile. Upon graduation she was recruited to develop and manage an international teen club in Dubai at the soon to open Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah. While living in the Middle East she traveled through Europe, India, and South East Asia. An extended stay in Laos allowed her to apprentice with a Belgian goat cheese maker, and her career shifted towards food and sustainability. Now residing in New York City, she has taught classes at the famed Murray’s Cheese shop in the West Village, completed the FARMS apprenticeship at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in the Hudson Valley, and consulted for artisanal restaurants over her favorite ferments: cheese, beer, wine, and cured meats. She currently teaches classes about sustainable food distribution to high schoolers in the city, and represents a sustainable vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island. She has led Farm to Table in Italy.

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Krista Oleson

  • Education: The University of Texas, B.A., Psychology, English., Lipscomb University, M.Ed. (candidate), Education.

For nine months of the year, Krista works as a 5th grade English and ESL teacher at a charter school in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves nothing more than sharing her passions of writing, reading, and traveling with her students. Trained … Continue reading

For nine months of the year, Krista works as a 5th grade English and ESL teacher at a charter school in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves nothing more than sharing her passions of writing, reading, and traveling with her students. Trained as a Teach for America corps member, she is currently working on her M.Ed. from Lipscomb University. In college, Krista had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid for half a year, through which she became proficient in Spanish and developed a deep interest in Spanish culture, politics, and history. She has worked on the Pre-College Madrid staff.

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Kristin Westby

  • Education: Luther College, B.A., Spanish; Certification in Spanish and English Language Learning (ELL) Secondary Education.

Kristin hails from the small town of Erhard, Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. She currently teaches Spanish in the Twin Cities. While in college, Kristin spent four months studying in Lima, Peru, at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru. … Continue reading

Kristin hails from the small town of Erhard, Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. She currently teaches Spanish in the Twin Cities. While in college, Kristin spent four months studying in Lima, Peru, at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru. Kristin loves to take pictures, listen to and make music, run, and produce videos. She is fluent in Spanish and has led Putney’s Community Service programs in Costa Rica and Peru. She also spent several months working at the Putney Barn, coordinating programs in South America, and assisting our admissions team.

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Kyle DeBoy

  • Education: State University of New York at Buffalo, BA Biology.

While a student at the University at Buffalo, Kyle focused on Biology and studied abroad in Madagascar to study lemurs.  After college, Kyle moved to Senegal for two years to work with the U.S. Peace Corps.  While there he planted … Continue reading

While a student at the University at Buffalo, Kyle focused on Biology and studied abroad in Madagascar to study lemurs.  After college, Kyle moved to Senegal for two years to work with the U.S. Peace Corps.  While there he planted over 6,000 trees and worked on Food Security programs as a means to improve community health. Part of his time was also spent leading groups of American students on work projects in rural West Africa.  Now back in New York, Kyle is continuing to work as a substitute teacher in his hometown on the Seneca Nation Indian Reservation.  Kyle speaks French, Puula Fuuta (a dialect of Fulani, a West African language), and some Seneca. He has led our Global Awareness in Action Rwanda program.

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Kyler Randall

  • Education: Eastern Washington University, B.A., Social Studies, Secondary Education; Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, M.A., Intercultural Education.

After finishing his degree in Education from Eastern Washington University, Kyler joined the Peace Corps, where he worked to provide educational and extracurricular opportunities for Honduran youth. His travels around Latin America strengthened a lifetime love for the culture, food, … Continue reading

After finishing his degree in Education from Eastern Washington University, Kyler joined the Peace Corps, where he worked to provide educational and extracurricular opportunities for Honduran youth. His travels around Latin America strengthened a lifetime love for the culture, food, and people of the region. Upon finishing his Peace Corps service, Kyler was selected as a Rotary Ambassador Scholar and spent a year in Barcelona attaining his master’s degree in Intercultural Education. While in Barcelona, Kyler worked with local immigrant youth to improve educational access in addition to partnering with Rotary International on a variety of service projects. In 2013, Kyler left his position at an international educational nonprofit in Washington, DC to join Teach for America and take his passion for change and success to the classroom. Kyler currently works as a social studies teacher at Federal Way High School near Seattle. In addition to teaching, he is a football coach and co-advisor of We Act Club, which works for positive global change. Kyler is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Portuguese and Catalan. He has led our Language Learning Ecuador program.

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Laurie Gutmann Kahn

  • Education: Trinity College, B.A., Education Studies, Sociology; Mercy College, M.S.Ed., Urban Education; University of Oregon, Ph.D., Special Education.

Throughout her undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies, Laurie has focused on issues of disability and human rights in education. She has worked as a special education teacher in the Bronx, and has consulted for schools and programs for students with … Continue reading

Throughout her undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies, Laurie has focused on issues of disability and human rights in education. She has worked as a special education teacher in the Bronx, and has consulted for schools and programs for students with disabilities across the United States as well as in New Zealand, Samoa, and Bolivia.  Laurie has learned more from her travels to such countries as Fiji, Australia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Israel, and across Western Europe than from all of her time spent in a classroom. During her doctoral work at the University of Oregon, she taught undergraduate and master’s coursework on classroom instruction, disability studies, global perspectives of disability, and diversity issues in education. She also successfully defended her dissertation focusing on in-depth narratives of young adults with disabilities who also identify as a sexual or gender minority. Besides teaching and traveling, Laurie loves hiking, camping, hoola hooping, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She has led our Global Awareness in Action Cambodia program.

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Lisa Hamilton

  • Education: University of Virginia, B.A., History, Spanish; University of Virginia, M.A., Teaching.

Lisa Hamilton was raised right outside Washington, DC, in the thriving and multicultural suburb of Arlington, VA. Being half Puerto Rican, she was raised in a household where Spanglish was often the preferred spoken language. As a child, she developed … Continue reading

Lisa Hamilton was raised right outside Washington, DC, in the thriving and multicultural suburb of Arlington, VA. Being half Puerto Rican, she was raised in a household where Spanglish was often the preferred spoken language. As a child, she developed a love for language while attending Spanish immersion schools and subsequently elected to study Castilian culture, art, and language in Valencia, Spain for a semester during college. Lisa’s inspiration for teaching and travel stems from several service trips to Nicaragua, where she was moved by the bonds she formed with children at local community schools and orphanages. She completed her master’s in teaching at the Curry school of Education and is currently loving her job as an 8th grade civics teacher, student mentor, and varsity soccer coach at the adjacent high school. After graduate school, Lisa taught high school humanities at an international school in Bangkok, Thailand and traveled throughout South East Asia. She co-led a service trip for high school students to the remote hill tribes of Northern Thailand, where students hiked to secluded villages and learned about the diversity in Thai lifestyles. Outside the classroom, Lisa enjoys adventuring to new places, trying new foods, salsa dancing, and playing the beautiful game of soccer. She has led Foundations Costa Rica.

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Lou Canelli

  • Education: Boston College, B.A. English, Italian Minor; The University of Pennsylvania, M.S.Ed. Secondary English.

While at Boston College, Lou spent a semester abroad in Parma, Italy, and ever since he has treasured traveling because it enables exploration of the world’s beautiful diversity and complexity. In his effort to understand the world, Lou has devoted … Continue reading

While at Boston College, Lou spent a semester abroad in Parma, Italy, and ever since he has treasured traveling because it enables exploration of the world’s beautiful diversity and complexity. In his effort to understand the world, Lou has devoted his life to education. He earned his master’s in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and student-taught for a year at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. After that, he spent four years living, teaching, and coaching at Saint James School, a coed Episcopalian boarding school in western Maryland. During his time there, he also led a summer community service trip to rural Kentucky. He is now at The Putney School, a progressive boarding school in Vermont, where he continues to coach basketball and teaches a number of English electives, as well as an integrated 9th grade curriculum called “Humans in the Natural World”. Lou has taught on Putney’s Pre-College program at Amherst College and led Community Service Dominica.

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Lucia Donatelli

  • Education: Brown University, B.A., Hispanic Literature and Culture; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, M.A., Hispanic Linguistics (candidate).

Lucia spent her summers at Brown teaching bilingual middle school students with Breakthrough Collaborative while pursuing a degree in Hispanic Literature and Culture. She first traveled to Spain her junior year in college to study at the Universidad Autónoma de … Continue reading

Lucia spent her summers at Brown teaching bilingual middle school students with Breakthrough Collaborative while pursuing a degree in Hispanic Literature and Culture. She first traveled to Spain her junior year in college to study at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. There she fell in love with Madrid’s vibrant cultural scene and life abroad, and she returned to the city to work for Boston University in Madrid after graduating college in 2009. Following her year in Madrid, Lucia spent two years working at Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona before returning to the United States to pursue graduate studies in linguistics. Lucia completed her master’s in Hispanic Linguistics at UMass Amherst in May 2014, and is continuing her doctoral studies at Georgetown University. Apart from her studies, Lucia is an avid runner, beach-anything player, and singer, and she speaks Portuguese, German, and Catalan. She has led our Language Learning Spain program multiple times.

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Mac Woods

  • Education: Kenyon College, B.A., Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies; Fordham University, M.S.T., Adolescent Science Education.

While at Kenyon, Mac played varsity soccer, worked on an organic farm, and volunteered with local students in the Knox County community. He spent a semester abroad in Ecuador with the School for International Training, studying ecology and field biology … Continue reading

While at Kenyon, Mac played varsity soccer, worked on an organic farm, and volunteered with local students in the Knox County community. He spent a semester abroad in Ecuador with the School for International Training, studying ecology and field biology in Quito and the Galápagos Islands. After Kenyon, he spent two years teaching high school science in New York City as a Teach for America corps member, simultaneously earning his master’s in teaching from Fordham University. He currently works for Carpe Diem Education, leading semester programs in Central America and the South Pacific. Mac has led Foundations Australia and Foundations Costa Rica. He is proficient in Spanish.

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Madeline Ranstrom

  • Education: University of Puget Sound, B.A., Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture.

Madeline is a Northwest native who grew up in the mountains and rivers surrounding Bend, Oregon. Her love of Spanish language and Latin American culture was sparked at age nine, when her parents pulled her and her sister out of … Continue reading

Madeline is a Northwest native who grew up in the mountains and rivers surrounding Bend, Oregon. Her love of Spanish language and Latin American culture was sparked at age nine, when her parents pulled her and her sister out of school and to live and travel around the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, for several months. She spent a gap year living in northern Chile and then began college at the University of Puget Sound, where she studied Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. Madeline studied abroad in Peru in a program focused on indigenous peoples and globalization. She was also a teaching assistant for a race relations course, a contributing editor to the arts and literary magazine, a trip leader for the outdoors club, and a volunteer note-taker at preliminary trials for immigrant detainees. Madeline loves to play outside and has worked as a wilderness retreat leader for a nonprofit called American Leadership Forum and as a raft guide on rivers in Oregon and Idaho. Currently, Madeline works in an elementary school dual immersion program as a bilingual educational assistant and liaison for Spanish-speaking families. Madeline is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Quechua and French. She has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Maggie Strassman

  • Education: University of Wisconsin, B.S., Geography, International Studies.

Maggie studied abroad in Austria during college and has had the travel bug ever since. After graduation, she moved to the Czech Republic before working at National Geographic as an intern in the Education department. She has led summer community … Continue reading

Maggie studied abroad in Austria during college and has had the travel bug ever since. After graduation, she moved to the Czech Republic before working at National Geographic as an intern in the Education department. She has led summer community service programs in Dominica and Fiji, and was a staff member on our summer pre-college enrichment program at Amherst College. Maggie worked full time at the Putney Barn for a few years, and is now pursing a degree from the School of International Training. She enjoys trivia, riding her bike, playing frisbee, and exclaiming over delicious food.

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Masha Shpolberg

  • Education: Princeton, B.A., Slavic Language and Literatures, Visual Arts; Ecole Normale Supérieure, M.A., Film Studies, Cultural History and Anthropology; Yale University, Ph.D. (candidate), Comparative Literature and Film Studies.

Masha is a graduate student in Comparative Literature and Film Studies at Yale University, where she is looking forward to teaching both film history and filmmaking. While an undergraduate at Princeton University, she interned at Harper’s Bazaar, where she discovered … Continue reading

Masha is a graduate student in Comparative Literature and Film Studies at Yale University, where she is looking forward to teaching both film history and filmmaking. While an undergraduate at Princeton University, she interned at Harper’s Bazaar, where she discovered that fortune lay in her hands: among her many editorial duties, she edited the monthly “Horoscopes” page. After graduating in 2010, Masha spent three years living in Paris, where she earned an M.A. in Film Studies from the École Normale Supérieure and worked for organizations fundraising for, archiving, and producing films. Most recently, Masha worked as Third Assistant to director Claire Simon on Gare du Nord, a feature film which premiered in France in September 2013. Whenever on set, Masha may be found in close proximity to the costume closet. This will be Masha’s second summer teaching “History of Fashion” with Putney, and she looks forward to sharing her love of Paris with the group. She is fluent in French and Russian.

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Matt Kostakis

  • Education: McGill University, B.A.; American University in Cairo, M.A.

Matt’s love of travel and passion for learning about other cultures led him to major in international development and Latin American studies. After teaching for several years, he began a journey that would take him to five continents and over Continue reading

Matt’s love of travel and passion for learning about other cultures led him to major in international development and Latin American studies. After teaching for several years, he began a journey that would take him to five continents and over 40 countries — from backpacking through the Balkans to learning traditional fishing techniques off the coast of Sri Lanka. Matt lived in Egypt for four years while working with Cairo’s refugee community and completing a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law. Since leaving Egypt, Matt has worked with Where There Be Dragons running semester programs for gap year students in the Middle East and Latin America. Matt has worked with Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions for five summers. Matt is fluent in Spanish and Greek, and is proficient in French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, and Turkish.

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Matthew Crowley-Miano

  • Education: University of Connecticut, B.A., Psychology.

A Connecticut native, Matt decided after graduation that the American Southwest would be a welcome break from his work in the neuroscience research lab. As an AmeriCorps member, he worked as a crew leader, removing invasive species and teaching dry … Continue reading

A Connecticut native, Matt decided after graduation that the American Southwest would be a welcome break from his work in the neuroscience research lab. As an AmeriCorps member, he worked as a crew leader, removing invasive species and teaching dry stone masonry for a conservation corps in both Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. A two-year stint in the Peace Corps lead him to Armenia, where he developed sustainable business models for environmental NGOs and walked across the country to raise awareness for children’s health. From there, Matt set up camp on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, managing a remote safari lodge, where his closest neighbors were “the M group”: one of the world’s largest troops of habituated chimpanzees. Matt currently works for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, leading volunteer projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic section of the trail. He is fluent in Armenian and proficient in Swahili. He has led Community Service Tanzania.

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Matthew Salesses

  • Education: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, B.A.; Emerson College, M.F.A.; University of Houston, Ph.D. (candidate)

Matthew Salesses has written for The New York Times, NPR, Salon, CAAM, The Rumpus, and often for The Good Men Project, where he is a Contributing Writer and Fiction Editor. He is the author of a novel, I’m Not Saying, … Continue reading

Matthew Salesses has written for The New York Times, NPR, Salon, CAAM, The Rumpus, and often for The Good Men Project, where he is a Contributing Writer and Fiction Editor. He is the author of a novel, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, a novella, The Last Repatriate, and two chapbooks, Our Island of Epidemics and We Will Take What We Can Get. Forthcoming in 2014 are two ebooks, Different Racisms and All-American Bear Terrorizes Canada, both from Thought Catalog Books, as well as a novel, Marked, that will be illustrated and serialized in the online magazine Gazillion Voices. He has received awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, PANK, HTMLGIANT, the University of New Orleans, IMPAC, Emerson College, Inprint, and the University of Houston. He lived and taught in Prague from 2004 to 2005. Matthew has led Writing in Prague.

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Meaghan Ferrick

  • Education: Dartmouth College, B.A., History, Religion; Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.M., Special Studies in American Indian Education; Stanford Teacher Education Program, M.Ed., Secondary Education in History and Social Sciences.

Originally hailing from New York, Meaghan’s perpetual wanderlust has led her to live in seven different places in the last ten years. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, she double majored in history and religion and spent two terms abroad, first … Continue reading

Originally hailing from New York, Meaghan’s perpetual wanderlust has led her to live in seven different places in the last ten years. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, she double majored in history and religion and spent two terms abroad, first studying in Edinburgh, Scotland and then working with a public health program in the favelas of Recife, Brazil. After graduating in 2007, Meaghan spent a year as a volunteer peer educator with Student Partnership Worldwide in a rural village in the southern highlands of Tanzania, where she taught reproductive health and life skills modules in the primary and secondary schools and led community seminars and established informal educational forums through arts competitions, festivals, and sports leagues to reach out-of-school youth. During her time there, she trained a cohort of village youth to serve as a community action group that would sustain the education programs she initiated. Upon returning to the United States, Meaghan continued to pursue her passion for culturally-responsive education by serving as an AmeriCorps member for two years with the Quileute Tribal School on the La Push reservation in Washington state, where she mentored Native youth and designed various programs to engage them in their community, culture, and outdoors. She fell in love with the wild Olympic Peninsula beaches and the warmth, generosity, and resiliency of the Quileute people. Her diverse teaching experiences led her to undertake a specialized master’s degree exploring issues of Native education and policy at Harvard, and to obtain her teacher credential and master’s in secondary education at Stanford the following year. Currently, Meaghan is the K-12 service-learning coordinator for the Sanford School Department in Maine and is proud to say that she has driven across country three times with her dog Max. She has led Community Service Tanzania.

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Melanie Manuel

  • Education: Villanova University, B.S., International Business; Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, M.S., Bilingual Intercultural Education.

Melanie teaches high school Spanish in Philadelphia, PA. She also teaches World Language Methods courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at la Universidad del Valle in Sololá, Guatemala, she completed her … Continue reading

Melanie teaches high school Spanish in Philadelphia, PA. She also teaches World Language Methods courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at la Universidad del Valle in Sololá, Guatemala, she completed her master’s in Bilingual Intercultural Education, studying with Mayan educators to teach traditional and cultural literacy in Spanish and indigenous languages. She acquired a working knowledge of Mayan Quiche as the only non-Mayan in her program. Melanie has won two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships to study picaresque literature in Spain in 2010 and Latino literature at Hunter College in New York City in 2011. When not preparing her students to become multilingual citizens of the world, Melanie enjoys playing soccer, snowboarding, biking aimlessly around the City of Sisterly Love, and scaling mountainsides. She is also an aspiring photographer. A recipient of a 2014 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, Melanie will be spending a semester in Chile researching street art and investigating how it can be used to teach language and culture. She has led Language Learning in Argentina, Pre-College Madrid, Pre-College Barcelona, and Community Service Ecuador. Melanie is fluent in Spanish.

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Melissa Pearlman

  • Education: Barnard College, B.A., Applied Mathematics.

While at Barnard College, Melissa studied Applied Mathematics via the engineering school at Columbia University. She discovered a passion for learning and experiencing Latin American cultures when she spent a summer volunteering in a rural community in Peru. After college, … Continue reading

While at Barnard College, Melissa studied Applied Mathematics via the engineering school at Columbia University. She discovered a passion for learning and experiencing Latin American cultures when she spent a summer volunteering in a rural community in Peru. After college, Melissa spent three months working on organic farms in various locations in Ecuador. Not only did she learn about the amazing facets of permaculture, but she also taught an English class to the children of the community. Melissa now teaches high school math at a progressive boarding school in the Berkshires. Melissa speaks Spanish. She has led Community Service Ecuador.

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Meredith Hoffman

  • Education: Cornell University, B.A. English literature; New York University, M.A. Journalism.

Meredith traveled as a student on a Putney Student Travel Community Service program in Costa Rica and has been drawn to Spanish speaking countries ever since. During her time at Cornell University, she spent a semester studying literature in Spain … Continue reading

Meredith traveled as a student on a Putney Student Travel Community Service program in Costa Rica and has been drawn to Spanish speaking countries ever since. During her time at Cornell University, she spent a semester studying literature in Spain at la Universidad de Sevilla, traveled to Peru to teach English, and organized a service trip to Nicaragua. After graduating from Cornell, she led backpacking trips for high school students, worked as a residential counselor at a group home, and wrote for a bilingual Spanish-English newspaper. While getting her Masters in Journalism at New York University, she interned with the New York Times and worked as a reporter. She recently embarked on a freelance career in South America reporting from Argentina for Slate, Tablet, and World Policy Journal. She plans on continuing her writing from Ecuador and Colombia. Meredith is fluent in Spanish and has led our Language Learning Ecuador program.

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Michael Leigh Hoyer

  • Education: Middlebury College, B.A., English and Studio Art; Dartmouth College, M.A., Comparative Literature; Stanford University, Ph.D., Comparative Literature.

Michael completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2012. In her academic research and teaching, she specializes in 20th- and 21st-century novels in French, English, and Spanish. She also speaks Swedish, and understands and makes herself generally understood in Italian. … Continue reading

Michael completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2012. In her academic research and teaching, she specializes in 20th- and 21st-century novels in French, English, and Spanish. She also speaks Swedish, and understands and makes herself generally understood in Italian. Michael has taught high school and college level courses in literature, writing, and art in the United States and abroad, including on Putney’s Pre-College programs in 2000, 2001, 2013, and 2014. Currently, she teaches in the Department of Comparative and World Literature at San Francisco State University. Her course “Literary Journeys & the Quest for Self-Knowledge” asks students to consider the question: how does literature help us navigate the journeys we undertake in life? In addition to literature and art, traveling has played an important role in Michael’s life: at age seventeen she spent a year in Sweden as an exchange student; in 2002, she crossed below the Equator and above the Arctic Circle in the span of two weeks; and she has lived in — and continues to return to — Paris whenever possible. When Michael is not writing, teaching, or traveling, she is practicing yoga, metalsmithing, cooking, running on trails, or riding her Bianchi cross-bike in the hills of San Francisco.

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Michele Hernandez

  • Education: California Lutheran University, B.A., French, Spanish, International Studies.

Michele graduated from California Lutheran University as a triple major in Spanish, French, and International Studies, studying the effects of immigration on cultural development and personal identity. Michele then joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Mauritania, West Africa. … Continue reading

Michele graduated from California Lutheran University as a triple major in Spanish, French, and International Studies, studying the effects of immigration on cultural development and personal identity. Michele then joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Mauritania, West Africa. There, she worked closely with a rural women’s cooperative focusing on increasing crop production as a means of improving village health. She then elected to continue her service in Rwanda where she taught English to high school students in the rural town of Bungwe. Michele promoted literacy through English classes for teachers, English Club with students, and establishing the district’s first library. In her third and fourth years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Michele moved to the capital city of Kigali where she worked at Global Communities. On their Health and Social Services Team, she promoted the USAID/Higa Ubeho program in holistic development. Michele now works as a French teacher at Claremont High School in California, sharing her stories from Africa with hundreds of youth on a daily basis. She is fluent in Spanish, French, Pulaar, and Kinyarwanda. She has led Putney’s Global Action Rwanda program.

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Michelle Ranieri

  • Education: SUNY New Paltz, B.A., Anthropology; The University at Buffalo, M.A., Caribbean Studies.

While at SUNY New Paltz Michelle studied abroad at the University of Havana in Cuba, where she received a Certificate of Superior Spanish and fell in love with Afro-Cuban culture. She decided to further her education in Caribbean Studies by … Continue reading

While at SUNY New Paltz Michelle studied abroad at the University of Havana in Cuba, where she received a Certificate of Superior Spanish and fell in love with Afro-Cuban culture. She decided to further her education in Caribbean Studies by attending grad school, and was able to study abroad in Merida, Mexico, conduct fieldwork in Havana, Cuba, and transcribe ancient archives in Seville, Spain. After returning to the University at Buffalo to finish her thesis project, a student travel guide to Cuba, she worked in the study abroad office where her passion for travel education grew. She currently works at an educational travel nonprofit organization geared towards adults, coordinating programs to Cuba. Michelle is fluent in Spanish, and has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Nathan McNamara

  • Education: Vassar College, B.A., English, Psychology; Johns Hopkins University, M.F.A., Fiction.

Nate is an M.F.A. student in Fiction at Johns Hopkins University, where he is working on a linked novel about Towanda, a small town in Pennsylvania that has transformed into one of the major hydrofracking hubs in the northeast. At … Continue reading

Nate is an M.F.A. student in Fiction at Johns Hopkins University, where he is working on a linked novel about Towanda, a small town in Pennsylvania that has transformed into one of the major hydrofracking hubs in the northeast. At Johns Hopkins, Nate teaches fiction and poetry writing to undergraduates during the semester, and creative nonfiction during intersession. In 2012, he was a finalist for the Johns Hopkins award for Excellence in Teaching. Nate also studied creative writing at Vassar College, where he was the 2010 recipient of the Anne E. Imbrie Prize for Excellence in Fiction Writing. He graduated from Vassar with Departmental Honors in English. Nate has short stories published in Word Riot and forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, and a book review published with Ploughshares. He is also a Development and Communications Consultant for Maryland Family Network, an organization dedicated to helping connect low-income families with the resources they need to raise young children who will arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed. Nate has led Foundations Costa Rica and Writing in Ireland. He is proficient in Spanish.

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Nikolas Sparks

  • Education: University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., with Highest Honors; Columbia University, M.A.; Duke University, Ph.D. (in progress).

Nik was born and raised in San Francisco, and has long had a passion for exploring the intersections of art and politics.  Earning his B.A. at UC Santa Cruz, he majored in both Literature and American Studies.  While at Santa … Continue reading

Nik was born and raised in San Francisco, and has long had a passion for exploring the intersections of art and politics.  Earning his B.A. at UC Santa Cruz, he majored in both Literature and American Studies.  While at Santa Cruz, Nik taught a variety of community classes around the prison system and political organizing.  In addition to his interest in politics, Nik has extensive experience in the world of publishing, working in the editorial departments of City Lights Bookstore and Publishing, Grove/Atlantic Press, and Souls Journal.  After leaving San Francisco, Nik spent two years earning his master’s degree in African American Studies at Columbia University in New York.  Since completing his degree at Columbia, Nik has begun work on his doctorate in the English department at Duke University.  Nik has taught for two summers at our Pre-College summer program at Amherst College.

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Patrick Harhai

  • Education: Portland State University, B.A., Anthropology.

During his undergraduate education, Patrick lived and studied in three U.S. cities and five different countries. When he finally found a place he wanted to lay down roots, he enrolled in the Honors program at Portland State University. Patrick completed … Continue reading

During his undergraduate education, Patrick lived and studied in three U.S. cities and five different countries. When he finally found a place he wanted to lay down roots, he enrolled in the Honors program at Portland State University. Patrick completed his interdisciplinary major focusing on Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Spanish. His senior thesis was written on gender and transnational migration between the United States and Latin America. During his undergraduate career, he was involved with several local nonprofits in the Portland community and abroad. Patrick worked at a community health clinic providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS. His work in youth organizing and community outreach lead him to Bolivia where he volunteered with youth living on the streets of Cochabamba. Patrick is fluent in Spanish. He is continuing his studies in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies at a small, private, graduate institution in Massachusetts. He has led our Community Service Peru program.

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Peter Myers

  • Education: Western Washington University, B.A., Psychology; Mills College, M.Ed.

Peter has worked with young people in a variety of capacities over the past 18 years. He started as a drug and alcohol counselor, then worked in a teen psychiatric hospital, and spent the past twelve years as a high Continue reading

Peter has worked with young people in a variety of capacities over the past 18 years. He started as a drug and alcohol counselor, then worked in a teen psychiatric hospital, and spent the past twelve years as a high school teacher. Peter has taught in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, and was a founding member of the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he lived for two years. During the summers, Peter has led community service programs in Rwanda, Brazil, and Ghana, and leadership programs in South Africa, Kenya, New York City, and Washington, DC. Currently, Peter is a high school social studies teacher in Portland, OR. In his spare time, he is heavily involved with sports, especially basketball. Peter loves to travel and visited his 37th country last summer. Peter led Putney’s Community Service program in Rwanda, our Leadership program in South Africa, and our Community Service program in Ghana.  

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Pooja Bhatia

  • Education: Northwestern University, B.A., Psychology, Spanish.

After graduating from Northwestern, Pooja spent two years in Silicon Valley working for Apple as a communication researcher with their graphic design team. Loving the work but wanting to explore new places, Pooja gave into the travel bug to connect … Continue reading

After graduating from Northwestern, Pooja spent two years in Silicon Valley working for Apple as a communication researcher with their graphic design team. Loving the work but wanting to explore new places, Pooja gave into the travel bug to connect with her familial roots and to venture into a new kind of research. In 2008, Pooja moved to India as a Fellow with the William J. Clinton Service in India Fellowship, where she worked on increasing access to livelihoods and improving access to clean drinking water technologies. Six years later, Pooja still lives in India, having worked and travelled in various cities, small towns, and villages. Most recently, she has lived in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands off the eastern coast of India, where she worked as a professional scuba diver and group leader for high school adventure trips. Pooja is fluent in Hindi and Spanish. She has led our summer community service program in India.

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Rachel Keller

  • Education: Kenyon College, B.A., Sociology.

A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Rachel now lives in Vermont and works as a case manager for a state social service agency. Her passion for helping others and strengthening communities guides her professional and volunteer work. While at Kenyon, Rachel … Continue reading

A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Rachel now lives in Vermont and works as a case manager for a state social service agency. Her passion for helping others and strengthening communities guides her professional and volunteer work. While at Kenyon, Rachel served as president of a service-based Greek organization, representative of student government, and trip leader for the Kenyon College Outdoors Club Pre-Orientation Program. She was very involved with the local community, volunteering at local schools and spearheading a collaborative project between the College and a local English as a Second Language family tutoring program. Rachel has worked as an educator for the Latin American Youth Center and program assistant for the National Council of La Raza in Washington, DC, as well as an instructor for Homes for the Homeless Summer Camps in New York. She loves living in Vermont and in her free time enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and volunteering as a teacher for the University of Vermont’s Migrant Education Project. Rachel has traveled in Europe, North Africa, and Latin America. She spent a semester studying abroad with a service-learning program in the Dominican Republic, where she focused on Public Health and created an asthma education program for community health promoters. Rachel is proficient in Spanish and has led the community service portion of our Foundations Costa Rica program.

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Raquel Mazo Infante

  • Education: University of Barcelona, B.A., Spanish Language and Literature Studies; Rioja University, Masters of Teaching Spanish as a Second Language.

Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Raquel moved to the United States seven years ago to accomplish her dream of teaching in New York City. Raquel currently teaches Spanish at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY, and has also taught in … Continue reading

Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Raquel moved to the United States seven years ago to accomplish her dream of teaching in New York City. Raquel currently teaches Spanish at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY, and has also taught in Spain and the Netherlands. She has traveled to 30 different countries and visited many cities. Last summer, Raquel was awarded a grant from Fund For Teachers to travel to Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala in order to share her teaching expertise with the local populations, provide professional development for educators in rural areas, and conduct research on access to education for indigenous populations. Her work with CasaSito in Guatemala and Sustainable Bolivia in Cochabamba provided children of all ages with workshops, extracurricular activities, and team sports. During her free time, Raquel often found herself cooking and chatting with the women in each village, and was able to gather stories, artifacts, and recipes that she now shares with her students in Brooklyn. Raquel’s other passions outside the classroom include photography, soccer, cooking, enjoying nature, and learning new languages. Raquel is fluent in Spanish, and has also learned some Cakchiquel and Aimara.

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Rebecca Stumpf

  • Education: St.Mary's College, B.A., Psychology; University of Montana, M.A., Photojournalism; M.A., Intercultural Youth and Family Development.

Rebecca’s passion for travel began with a high school exchange trip to rural Japan. Since that first adventure she has found opportunities to live and travel in many countries. Her semester abroad in Italy during college (plus travels all over … Continue reading

Rebecca’s passion for travel began with a high school exchange trip to rural Japan. Since that first adventure she has found opportunities to live and travel in many countries. Her semester abroad in Italy during college (plus travels all over Europe), fueled her passion for the unique sights, sounds, tastes, and all-around richness of other cultures, leading to an Intercultural Studies and Photography minor, and eventually two master’s in Intercultural Youth and Family Development and Photojournalism. Life then took her to Costa Rica for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer where she organized and facilitated a variety of Child and Youth Development projects, including many art education and photography projects with local youth. She is currently working as a freelance editorial and commercial photographer in Boulder, Colorado, as well as leading a weekly teen art program at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. She has worked on the Pre-College Madrid and Pre-College Barcelona staff.

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Rob Miller

  • Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., University of Southern California School of Cinema/Television, M.F.A.

Rob is a screenwriter and Los Angeles native, although travel keeps him away from Hollywood for months at a time. As an undergraduate art history major, he was assistant arts editor for the Daily Bruin, and worked kitchen prep in … Continue reading

Rob is a screenwriter and Los Angeles native, although travel keeps him away from Hollywood for months at a time. As an undergraduate art history major, he was assistant arts editor for the Daily Bruin, and worked kitchen prep in his dorm cafeteria (an illuminating, yet ultimately harrowing experience). In film school, he worked such disparate jobs as phlebotomist, middle school English teacher, and realtor. Currently, he has a feature length script in development (The Unprofessionals) and is shopping a tv pilot (Parachute) and another feature length script (Recoil). If he hadn’t pursued a writing career, his second choice would have been chef. He is a charter member of Slow Food and once had to move because his library of cookbooks had outgrown his apartment. Rob has taught numerous seminars at Pre-College Amherst and directed that program as well. He most recently worked on the Pre-College Oxford and Pre-College Florence staff. He has spent 19 summers with Putney Student Travel.

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Robert Mominee

  • Education: Bowling Green State University, B.A. Philosophy and Political Science.

While at Bowling Green State University, Robert studied international security and worked as a researcher cataloging trends in global insurgency. Upon graduation, he traveled to Tours, France to study French at l’Institut de Touraine. Robert spent two years in the … Continue reading

While at Bowling Green State University, Robert studied international security and worked as a researcher cataloging trends in global insurgency. Upon graduation, he traveled to Tours, France to study French at l’Institut de Touraine. Robert spent two years in the Peace Corps in Kedougou, Senegal, where his volunteer team and local partners ran a forestry program responsible for the planting over half a million trees. His conservation work was published jointly with primatologists from the Jane Goodall Institute of Spain. Robert is currently studying Spanish while traveling throughout Central America. In addition to planting trees and untangling African proverbs, Robert enjoys playing his guitar, cooking, and reading. He speaks French, Pulaar, and Spanish, and has a basic level of Wolof.

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Ryan Schroth

  • Education: Bowling Green State University, B.S., Education, French; M.A., French; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. (candidate), French Literature.

Ryan’s passion for travel and languages grew out of his sophomore year abroad spent in Tours, France. After receiving his degrees, he returned to Tours as a master’s student at the Université François Rabelais where he focused on French culture … Continue reading

Ryan’s passion for travel and languages grew out of his sophomore year abroad spent in Tours, France. After receiving his degrees, he returned to Tours as a master’s student at the Université François Rabelais where he focused on French culture and literature. Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ryan has continued to study the language and the most effective methods to teach it. Ryan’s dissertation is on contemporary Francophone literature from Morocco, where he studied Arabic and Moroccan culture in 2011 as a Mellon-Wisconsin Fellow. He has traveled extensively in the Francophone world, living and studying French in exciting places, such as Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Chicoutimi, Quebec. Ryan is fluent in French and has led Putney’s Language Learning program in France.

 

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Ryanne Fujita-Conrads

  • Education: Reed College, B.A., Sociology.

While at Reed College Ryanne’s studies focused on the sociology of race and immigration, and Spanish. During her time in college Ryanne taught hands-on science classes to 6th graders and led ESL tutoring sessions for Portland day laborers. She spent … Continue reading

While at Reed College Ryanne’s studies focused on the sociology of race and immigration, and Spanish. During her time in college Ryanne taught hands-on science classes to 6th graders and led ESL tutoring sessions for Portland day laborers. She spent six months studying sociology and Spanish in Barcelona, Spain. Ryanne served as student leader of the Ecuador Service Project and spent a summer volunteering in a small Quechua community. The trip inspired her to keep traveling, learning, and becoming an engaged global citizen. After graduation, Ryanne earned a grant from her alma mater to intern with a small nonprofit in La Manzanilla, Mexico, teaching ESL courses for local children and adults and coordinating a Summer Arts and English Camp. She recently returned from living in rural Thailand for a year, where she enjoyed teaching English to high school students, traveling through Southeast Asia, and learning about Thai language, history, and culture. Ryanne is proficient in Spanish. She enjoys riding her bike, running, hiking, baking, discovering new places, and eating delicious food. Ryanne has led our Community Service Ecuador program.

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Samantha Love

  • Education: University of Michigan, B.A., English; City University of New York, M.S., English Education.

A native of Washington, DC, Samantha grew up surrounded by the diversity of the nation’s capital. She studied English and Spanish at the University of Michigan, and decided to go into teaching through the Teach for America program at the … Continue reading

A native of Washington, DC, Samantha grew up surrounded by the diversity of the nation’s capital. She studied English and Spanish at the University of Michigan, and decided to go into teaching through the Teach for America program at the end of her senior year. In 2011 she accepted The Modern Story teaching fellowship where she traveled to India to teach English, photography, and videography to eighth grade girls in public schools. She returned to the United States in 2012 and has been back in the classroom, teaching English in Newark, NJ ever since. Samantha first developed her love of international travel in college. She volunteered in India for the first time after the tsunami of 2005, and studied abroad in Argentina in 2007. Since college she has traveled throughout Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and road-tripped across the United States. When she is not exploring a new country she enjoys running, yoga, reading, and cooking. She has led Community Service Ecuador.

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Sammy Feldblum

  • Education: Brown University, B.A., Psychology and Philosophy.

While at Brown University, Sammy focused on psychology and philosophy, exploring language and the wonders of the mind.  During and after school, he also explored the wonders of the world, working on farms in Argentina and teaching English in Nicaragua. … Continue reading

While at Brown University, Sammy focused on psychology and philosophy, exploring language and the wonders of the mind.  During and after school, he also explored the wonders of the world, working on farms in Argentina and teaching English in Nicaragua. After school, Sammy taught science, chess, and hip-hop writing for a semester before starting his career as a writer in New York City. Sammy now works at an arts and politics newspaper in Brooklyn, helping to spread the word about interesting local ideas. Sammy is fluent in Spanish and working on learning French. He has led Community Service Costa Rica and Community Service Ecuador.

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Sara Sisun

  • Education: Stanford University, B.A., Art Practice, Creative Writing; San Francisco Art Institute, M.F.A., Painting.

Growing up in Denver, Sara was lucky to be exposed to a vibrant art scene at the local Art Student’s League. Her passion for painting and art history influenced her studies at Stanford, and she spent a summer abroad at … Continue reading

Growing up in Denver, Sara was lucky to be exposed to a vibrant art scene at the local Art Student’s League. Her passion for painting and art history influenced her studies at Stanford, and she spent a summer abroad at the Slade School of Art in London. She returned to Stanford inspired by British painter Jenny Saville, and created a solo show of large-scale paintings depicting distorted self-portraits taken in the copier. After graduating, Sara was the recipient of a full fellowship to the San Francisco Art Institute where she received an M.F.A. and became fascinated with perception and narrative in painting. Her master’s thesis depicted her free-spirited friends reenacting Euripides play The Bacchae. In 2013, under a grant from the Stacey Foundation, Sara traveled to Italy as an Artist in Residence with the Jerusalem Studio School. Since then, her work has been influenced by a desire to paint primarily from life and to create an authentic atmosphere and mood. Sara is the recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant and the New York Art Exchange Scholarship. Sara has taught regularly at the Bay Area Classical Atelier and the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited her work in San Francisco, Denver, and New York City. She has worked on the Pre-College at Amherst College and Pre-College Florence staff.

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Sarah Messner

  • Education: Dartmouth College, B.A., Creative Writing; School for International Training, Graduate Certificate, Conflict Transformation Across Cultures; Princeton Seminary, Master of Divinity.

At Dartmouth, Sarah studied Creative Writing with an emphasis on environmental nonfiction. She helped manage the Dartmouth Organic Farm, studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and lived for a term in Tegúcigalpa, Honduras. After graduation, Sarah received a fellowship … Continue reading

At Dartmouth, Sarah studied Creative Writing with an emphasis on environmental nonfiction. She helped manage the Dartmouth Organic Farm, studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and lived for a term in Tegúcigalpa, Honduras. After graduation, Sarah received a fellowship to study sustainable agriculture and social justice in rural communities. She worked as a campus minister at Dartmouth, and an environmental educator at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont.  In 2007, she moved to Rwinkwavu, Rwanda, to work with Partners in Health (PIH), where she helped develop an agricultural training center and assistance program to address systemic malnutrition. Sarah is currently completing a Master’s of Divinity at Princeton Seminary, where she is studying the intersection of religious cosmologies, environmental issues, and health. Last summer, she received a fellowship to research agriculture and food justice issues in Ladakh and Dehradun, India. A Kripalu-certified yoga instructor, Sarah enjoys teaching yoga and long-distance backpacking. Sarah led our high school summer public health program in Rwanda in 2011 and our high school summer education and development program in India in 2013.

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Sasha Milonova

  • Education: Chapman University, B.A., Economics and Peace Studies, emphasis in Latin America.

Sasha graduated cum laude and received the top departmental honor in Peace Studies for academic excellence, and was also recognized with the Paul Delp Award for outstanding service to Orange County. As the founder of the first Californian campus chapter … Continue reading

Sasha graduated cum laude and received the top departmental honor in Peace Studies for academic excellence, and was also recognized with the Paul Delp Award for outstanding service to Orange County. As the founder of the first Californian campus chapter of Oxfam America, an international organization committed to ending global poverty, Sasha organized college students around issues of agricultural and trade reform and effective foreign aid policy. Sasha went on to do fieldwork in South East Asia, first as a filmmaker and then as a business consultant. Sasha is fluent in Spanish and Russian. She currently works at the PeaceJam Foundation, an educational organization that develops young leaders through service learning projects. Sasha led Community Service Vietnam and Community Service Costa Rica.

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Schuyler Hedstrom

  • Education: Dartmouth College, B.A., English

While at Dartmouth, Schuyler spent two semesters abroad, studying Spanish art history in Barcelona and drama with coaches from the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. After performing and teaching theatre in San Francisco for two years, he moved to Madrid … Continue reading

While at Dartmouth, Schuyler spent two semesters abroad, studying Spanish art history in Barcelona and drama with coaches from the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. After performing and teaching theatre in San Francisco for two years, he moved to Madrid to teach English and acting to Spaniards. Now in his eleventh year in Madrid, Schuyler still teaches, but also runs a bilingual theatre company he founded. A Vermont native, Schuyler enjoys hiking, swimming, and yoga. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Central America. Schuyler has spent 15 summers with Putney; his trips include Cultural Exploration Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cultural Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland, Community Service Hawaii, three summers directing Foundations Costa Rica, and eight summers with Putney’s Pre-College programs in Madrid and Barcelona. He is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

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Sergio Lewis

  • Education: Brigham Young University, B.A. Linguistics, California State University, Los Angeles, M.A., Geography.

After his first year of college, Sergio took a two-year break from his studies to travel in western Venezuela. Then, before completing his degree at Brigham Young University, he spent one semester teaching English in China and another summer doing … Continue reading

After his first year of college, Sergio took a two-year break from his studies to travel in western Venezuela. Then, before completing his degree at Brigham Young University, he spent one semester teaching English in China and another summer doing the same in Taiwan. Driven by curiosity and a love of travel, Sergio recently ventured to South Asia, where he backpacked across northern India, researching diverse religious practices along the way and volunteering with humanitarian organizations in Nepal and Bangladesh. Sergio’s work experience includes administering U.S.-sponsored international exchange programs for business professionals. Sergio is ethnically Costa Rican-American, born and raised in the United States, but with regular visits to his extended family in Costa Rica. He is fluent in Spanish, conversational in Mandarin Chinese, and is currently learning Portuguese. He has led Community Service Costa Rica.

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Soumi Chatterjee

  • Education: Trinity College, B.A., American Studies; Syracuse University—Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, M.A., International Relations; Syracuse University— S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, M.S., Public Relations; University of California—Los Angeles, PhD student, Political Science.

Soumi is an avid traveler and an aspiring scholar of international relations.  Prior to entering UCLA’s doctoral program in political science, he completed Syracuse University’s dual-masters degree program in Public Diplomacy. Some of his previous jobs include researcher at the … Continue reading

Soumi is an avid traveler and an aspiring scholar of international relations.  Prior to entering UCLA’s doctoral program in political science, he completed Syracuse University’s dual-masters degree program in Public Diplomacy. Some of his previous jobs include researcher at the Brookings Institution, high school history teacher and basketball coach at an international school in Rome, Italy, programming intern at ESPN, and short order cook on a gourmet grilled cheese food truck. He speaks Italian and can function deceptively well in Spanish, French, and Hindi. Soumi has held numerous positions at our summer Pre-College Enrichment program at Amherst College. Soumi has taught on our Pre -College summer programs for nine years.

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Susannah Poland

  • Education: Stanford University, B.A. Anthropology with Honors.

While at Stanford University Susannah studied social and cultural anthropology with a focus on visual arts. She conducted fieldwork amongst the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to document oral histories to understand the usage of beadwork and traditional healing practices. … Continue reading

While at Stanford University Susannah studied social and cultural anthropology with a focus on visual arts. She conducted fieldwork amongst the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to document oral histories to understand the usage of beadwork and traditional healing practices. While in school, she worked in urban farms in San Francisco and founded a gleaning project – foraging fruits from public spaces for food pantries – and taught classes on food justice. She also founded Stanford’s ceramic arts program, and ran their community studio. After graduating, Susannah conducted research at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on emergent African feminisms and contemporary female artists for forthcoming exhibitions. In spring 2013 Susannah took a leave from the museum to conduct fieldwork on Mount Everest, in Nepal, for Umea University School of Business and Economics. She was embedded in an expedition of international climbers to study decision-making in extreme environments, and managed the team’s Base Camp while documenting their ascent to Mount Everest’s summit. This year Susannah moved to the Vermont countryside and joined the Putney Student Travel team. She is fluent in French and programs trips in Africa and Europe. Susannah has a particular affection for the French — she lived in France for several summers as an adolescent, practices French cooking with her Francophone mother, and spent last summer apprenticing with beekeepers in the French Alps and southeastern countryside. She has led student trips in France and the American west, passionately pursues experiential learning, and can’t wait to immerse herself in traditional and contemporary French culture with students. She has led Language Learning France.

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T.J. Grist

  • Education: University of Vermont, B.A., Natural Resources.

T.J. graduated from the University of Vermont, where he studied Natural Resources and spent the weekends leading backpacking trips into the mountains of New England. He has traveled in various countries including Costa Rica and Ecuador. In Costa Rica he … Continue reading

T.J. graduated from the University of Vermont, where he studied Natural Resources and spent the weekends leading backpacking trips into the mountains of New England. He has traveled in various countries including Costa Rica and Ecuador. In Costa Rica he windsurfed on Lake Arenal and took hikes in the rainforest. While in Ecuador, T.J. met members of indigenous tribes in the Amazon, and studied local methods for organic coffee farming on the slopes of the Andes. After graduation, he moved back to his home state of Wisconsin to teach environmental education to all ages at Nature’s Classroom Institute (NCI). T.J. is also the Montessori Spanish teacher at NCI. He is proficient in Spanish. When he is not working with kids, he is mountain biking the kettle moraines of Wisconsin, playing the ukulele, and dreaming up travel plans to Southeast Asia and Latin America. He has led our Foundations Costa Rica program.

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Tavia Lee-Goldstein

  • Education: University of New Hampshire, B.A., summa cum laude, Communication, minor in Theatre, Whittemore School of Business and Economics, M.B.A.

Tavia is a teacher and a film and video production specialist. She specializes in editing short-form documentaries for non-profit organizations. Her film work also includes several personal projects for which she has been involved in writing, directing, filming, and editing. … Continue reading

Tavia is a teacher and a film and video production specialist. She specializes in editing short-form documentaries for non-profit organizations. Her film work also includes several personal projects for which she has been involved in writing, directing, filming, and editing. She has done editing work for the nationally distributed, award-winning documentary Out of Balance, and is a Director of Photography for its upcoming sequel At Any Cost. She is a 2008 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence winner for a rhetorical criticism of film research project, and a 2007 Undergraduate Research Conference Honorable Mention for a short-form documentary. She is also the 2008 Wilburn Sims Memorial Award recipient; the highest honor awarded by the University of New Hampshire Department of Communication. Tavia is actively involved in theatre and her acting resume ranges from Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) to modern theatre (How I Learned to Drive). She most recently studied voice for actors at the Berkeley Reparatory School of Theatre in Berkeley, California, and performed in the original cast of a local production. She is currently an Academic Instructor at the Lenôtre Culinary Institute. Tavia has taught for four summers on our Pre-College program at Amherst College.

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Ted Samuel

  • Education: Kenyon College, B.A., International Studies; American University, M.A., Anthropology; Ph.D. (candidate), Anthropology.

After graduating from Kenyon College, Ted served as a Fulbright Scholar in South India. There, he researched the social movement of the Thirunangai community, focusing on the ability of community leaders and activists to utilize creative technology and event programming … Continue reading

After graduating from Kenyon College, Ted served as a Fulbright Scholar in South India. There, he researched the social movement of the Thirunangai community, focusing on the ability of community leaders and activists to utilize creative technology and event programming to promote their agenda to the public. During his tenure as a Fulbright fellow, Ted had the opportunity to present his research and also perform Karagattam, a South Indian folk dance, at various conferences and Fulbright alumni association events in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. After returning to the United States and spending a year as a Marketing Associate at the Corporate Executive Board in Washington, DC, Ted was named a Peace Fellow by The Advocacy Project. In this position, Ted spent six months working with the Jagaran Media Center, a Dalit rights advocate in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he helped revitalize their print media division and led creative projects profiling the arts of lower caste communities. More recently, Ted served as a William Jefferson Clinton Fellow through the American India Foundation. Working alongside human rights defenders at People’s Watch in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Ted conducted research on human rights abuses and advocated for victims at the regional, national, and international level . Ted is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC. He has worked with Putney Student Travel for seven years, leading summer programs in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

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Terry Cullen

  • Education: Amherst College, B.A., French and English.

After living with a host family in Paris in high school, Terry went on to continue his study of French at Amherst, where he was awarded the Frederick King Turgeon prize for distinguished work in the language. During his time … Continue reading

After living with a host family in Paris in high school, Terry went on to continue his study of French at Amherst, where he was awarded the Frederick King Turgeon prize for distinguished work in the language. During his time in college, he studied abroad at the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland and backpacked his way across Europe. Terry also spent a summer teaching English and learning Creole on the island nation of Mauritius. Until last year he was a legal assistant in New York, where he put his language skills to work as a translator for both multinational French corporations and asylum seekers from francophone African countries. Terry is pursuing a M.Phil. in European literature and culture at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge scholar. He has led Cultural Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, and Holland.

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Tobey Ward

  • Education: Brandeis University, B.A., Creative Writing; University of Oregon, M.F.A., Creative Writing.

Originally from Western Massachusetts, Tobey has traveled extensively in Central and South America, including a summer co-leading Putney’s Community Service program in Costa Rica. In pursuit of her lifelong dream to be a writer, she received her B.A. in Creative … Continue reading

Originally from Western Massachusetts, Tobey has traveled extensively in Central and South America, including a summer co-leading Putney’s Community Service program in Costa Rica. In pursuit of her lifelong dream to be a writer, she received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Brandeis University in 2004 and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon in 2008, where she also taught undergraduate fiction and composition classes. Her story “Suicide Baby” was awarded the Logsden Fiction Prize and published in Red Rock Review, and her fiction and style writing have also appeared in Omphalos, Complex, DC Magazine, and South Park. She currently works as a freelance lifestyle writer and as brand manager for the Washington, DC, clothing line Nana, which allows her to indulge her other obsession: fashion! Tobey is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. She is proficient in Spanish. She has taught for three summers on Putney’s summer Pre-College programs for high school students.

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Tom Kane

  • Education: Northwestern University, B.S., American Conservatory Theater, M.F.A.

Tom is an educator and theatre professional with extensive educational leadership experience. For over twenty years he has worked with teenage actors at the Storm King School in New York, the American Conservatory Theater and the Hamlin School in San … Continue reading

Tom is an educator and theatre professional with extensive educational leadership experience. For over twenty years he has worked with teenage actors at the Storm King School in New York, the American Conservatory Theater and the Hamlin School in San Francisco, Camp Laurel in Maine, and the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Tom has been directing the Pre-College enrichment program in Oxford and Tuscany since 2000; previously he co-directed the theater program at Excel at Williams College. Tom is currently the Head of the Theater Department at the Middlesex School, where he lives with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Zoe. Tom has worked on summer Pre-College programs with Putney for 19 years.

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Tom Zook

  • Education: Southern California Institute of Architecture, B.Arch., Yale University School of Architecture, M.Arch

Tom’s career in architecture has always held fascination for merging spectacular landscapes with built form. He has designed and built residential and commercial projects in varied cultures and climates in Mexico and Costa Rica, throughout India in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune … Continue reading

Tom’s career in architecture has always held fascination for merging spectacular landscapes with built form. He has designed and built residential and commercial projects in varied cultures and climates in Mexico and Costa Rica, throughout India in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Pondicherry, and in New York, Florida, California, and Ohio. Tom’s residential projects include both historical townhouses in Manhattan and modern homes just outside New York City. His current project in NYC is a complete restoration and transformation of a landmarked brownstone townhouse built in 1890. Tom has taught architecture at Tulane University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and has been on the faculty of the Yale University School of Architecture for ten years, teaching the Yale senior design studio each year for the past seven.  Tom will teach a graduate studio at Yale this fall and take the class to Mumbai to study the architecture of the ancient Indian Step Wells and their relevance to modern day life. Tom designed a legal aid clinic in Haiti with support from The Yale Law School. The team is pursuing a donation from the United Nations Mission in Haiti of unassembled prefabricated building components. Early in his career Tom worked in Los Angeles for Frank Gehry on the Disney Concert Hall and later for Richard Meier on the Getty Center Museum.  Tom has been principal of his own firm in New York City since 2008.  He has taught on Putney’s Pre-College summer program at Amherst College for two summers.

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Veronica Fitzpatrick

  • Education: Michigan State University, B.A., English, Women’s Studies; University of Notre Dame, M.F.A., Creative Writing; University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. (candidate), English and Film Studies.

Veronica is a Ph.D. candidate in English and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and her current research focuses on cinematic horror and film aesthetics. She graduated with honors from Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished … Continue reading

Veronica is a Ph.D. candidate in English and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and her current research focuses on cinematic horror and film aesthetics. She graduated with honors from Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished Scholar and recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. Veronica then received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame, where she later taught in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. Beyond the University, Veronica has also taught with the Young Writers Workshop, a residential arts immersion program for gifted high school students, and for a nonprofit community arts organization in Pittsburgh. She has studied contemporary Irish literature and film in Dublin and Galway, Ireland, presented research in Denmark, and spent time in the rural Philippines, where her maternal family resides. She is learning Tagalog, and is proficient in French. She has led Writing in Ireland.

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Willa Krammerer

  • Education: Middlebury College, B.A., Italian, Environmental Studies; The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies Radio Program.

Willa has been passionate about photography and travel all her life, and her work as a multimedia storyteller marries these two passions. During her time at Middlebury, Willa became fluent in Italian and lived in Italy twice. She documented the … Continue reading

Willa has been passionate about photography and travel all her life, and her work as a multimedia storyteller marries these two passions. During her time at Middlebury, Willa became fluent in Italian and lived in Italy twice. She documented the historic tradition of olive-oil production for her Italian thesis work in Tuscany and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At Middlebury, Willa was also a member of the Ski Patrol, and never travels anywhere without her running shoes. Willa grew up on the Rhode Island coast, but her video and photography projects have taken her around the world, from Chile and Colombia to Ethiopia. An American and Irish dual citizen, she has traveled extensively throughout Europe as well, always with a camera in hand. When not on the road, Willa’s home base is Manhattan, where she helps businesses, brands, and nonprofits tell their own authentic stories through video and photography. Willa has taught “Survival Italian” and “Travel Photography” on the Pre-College Florence trips for three summers.

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Zack Stern-Walker

  • Education: Columbia College, B.A., Playwriting. Chestnut Hill College, M. Ed., Spanish.

Zack studied film and play writing in undergrad while writing poetry and short fiction on the side. His writing and visual art have been published both online and in print. Zack currently teaches high school Spanish, serving as mentor for … Continue reading

Zack studied film and play writing in undergrad while writing poetry and short fiction on the side. His writing and visual art have been published both online and in print. Zack currently teaches high school Spanish, serving as mentor for the Art and Music club. He has spent time in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Panama. When he is not teaching Spanish or working on art projects, he enjoys running, cooking, and meditation. He has worked on the Pre-College Barcelona staff.

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Zufan Hagos

  • Education: University of Vermont, B.S., Secondary Education, Spanish; School for International Training, M.A. (candidate), International Education.

Zufan caught the travel bug in high school, while participating on an exchange program to Costa Rica and a service-learning trip to Honduras. During college she studied abroad in Granada, Spain, and traveled extensively in Europe. After graduating, she moved … Continue reading

Zufan caught the travel bug in high school, while participating on an exchange program to Costa Rica and a service-learning trip to Honduras. During college she studied abroad in Granada, Spain, and traveled extensively in Europe. After graduating, she moved to Prague, Czech Republic, and taught English at a private language school for two years. Upon return to the States she worked in design and marketing for a handbag company. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in International Education, allowing her to combine her love of teaching and learning with international and intercultural experiences. Most recently, she traveled to Turkey for a field course in Advanced Intercultural Communication. A native of Vermont, Zufan loves skiing, hiking, food (growing, cooking, and eating), and has most recently taken up Flamenco dancing and pottery. She has been an instructor on Putney’s Pre-College programs in Madrid and Barcelona, led Community Service Dominican Republic, and directed Putney’s Foundations Costa Rica program. Zufan works full time at Putney Student Travel. She is fluent in Spanish.

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