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Meet CAPA's Fall 2015 Ambassadors

Aug 26, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

Taking part in a semester-long leadership program after returning to the States from study abroad programs across the world, CAPA ambassadors share their experience with others on their home campus, play an important role in building support for study abroad more generally and engage with students considering a program in the near future.

Being accepted onto the Ambassador Program gives CAPA alumni access to a career-building opportunity with tangible work experience and the chance to expand their on-campus network as well as improve on time management, interpersonal and communication skills. Our 2015 ambassadors are available for a chat via email.

Please enjoy browsing their profiles below, feel free to reach out about their study abroad experience and join us in congratulating them on their position as CAPA Ambassadors this Fall!

Luz_ArregocesLUZ ARREGOCES 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
Major: Communications 
Internship site: Dublin Chamber of Commerce
Accomplishments: Studying abroad helped me become more independent and get over my fear of being too homesick! I have always been very attached to not only my family, but my hometown and close friends. By traveling to a new country and living there for four months, I learned that I really am capable of adjusting to new surroundings. Each person I met brought something new to the table. I was able to learn a million things that you cannot learn strictly in a classroom. This is something that will be of major importance to me for the rest of my life.
Email Luz

Sholand_CollinsSHOLAND COLLINS
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: State University of New York at Oswego
Major: Business Administration
Internship site: 2discover
Accomplishments: I participated in the student council.
Email Sholand

Brianna_CuthbertBRIANNA CUTHBERT 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: D'Youville College 
Major: Physical Therapy 
Accomplishments: My biggest accomplishment from my time abroad was learning how to be adaptable as a temporary citizen and student in a foreign country. I had never been out of the United States until my semester abroad, so learning a new culture and a new education system was challenging, but very rewarding. My eyes are now open to the whole world and I have personal evidence to the saying, "You can accomplish anything you put your mind to!"
Email Brianna

Griffin_DeNigrisGRIFFIN DENIGRIS 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Major: Marketing
Internship site: Kendlebell Kimmage
Accomplishments: When I think of my accomplishments from my time abroad, I find it hard to focus on a single instance. I developed an overall independence that I have never experienced before. Going into the program, I was completely alone, travelling without any friends or family. I was forced to make new friends and immerse myself in the culture, which was a bit challenging at first but eventually taught me a lot about myself. I also learned how to juggle a 20-hour-per-week internship, four classes, and weekend plans of international travel. It was a lot to handle, but also allowed me to improve my time management and organizational skills.
Email Griffin

Julia_EconomouJULIA ECONOMOU
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Major: Journalism and Communication
Internship site: DEC Public Relations
Accomplishments: My internship was the best aspect about my study abroad experience. I got to meet new people and discover a new side of myself. This was my first real internship, so you could say I was pretty nervous the first day. My site supervisor took me under her wing and helped me the whole way through. It was amazing to experience a new culture, and a new way of living/working. DEC PR was an amazing first internship place to be and made me realize that I wanted to go into PR after I graduate from UMass. Some of DECs major clients were tech-related. I have absolutely no experience in technology and was told I would be running most of their social media platforms. I was hesitant at first, but after working through it, I came to enjoy all the "tech-talk" I was researching. I gained so much more knowledge that I ever thought I would going abroad. I made life-long friends and became more cultured because of my internship.
Email Julia

Mary_FataMARY FATA 
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy 
Home institution: Indiana University of Bloomington
Major: English
Accomplishments: I was able to speak Italian confidently at the bread shop around the corner from my apartment. It sounds like a small accomplishment, but it really forced me out of my comfort zone. I love languages, but speaking Italian with a local after only one semester of the language was terrifying. However, I kept going back there because he taught me new words and it gave me a chance to learn more about Italy and the Florentine dialect. It also made me a better student and once I became comfortable speaking to other locals I got to experience different sides of the city. People loved suggesting restaurants and less famous museums to visit. I never would have seen those places if I hadn't fumbled my way through Italian. Breaking out of my comfort zone was the best skill I achieved while abroad.
Email Mary

Claire_FranceCLAIRE FRANCE
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy 
Home institution: University of Colorado Boulder
Major: Psychology and Education
Accomplishments: Going into my study abroad experience, I knew that I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone in order to have a maximized experience in a foreign country. I was determined to make Florence my home away from home that I could always go back to. Instead of rooming with my best friends from Boulder, I lived in a homestay with locals. Instead of spending all of my time with English speakers, I spent quality time with Italian children as I volunteered teaching English at a local elementary school. Through my time teaching English, as well as time devoted to my host family, such as going on walks through the gardens with my host mom, I managed to accomplish leaving Florence feeling like it truly is my home away from home. I can only hope that one day I will have the amazing opportunity to return.
Email Claire

Stephanie_GiltnerSTEPHANIE GILTNER
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy 
Home institution: University of Colorado Boulder
Major: Marketing and certificate in International Business
Accomplishments: Entering college as a freshman, I wanted to study business despite the fact that I always had a desire to teach. Little did I know, the internal battle I was having with myself would be resolved during my time abroad. I had the complete blessing to teach English at a local Italian school about fifteen minutes down the street from my Italian apartment. The teacher I assisted has had a huge impact on my life, and we continue to stay in touch. I pray that I get to see her again soon. I'll never forget the faces of the students I was able to spend time with, speak with and teach. Their knowledge of America surprised me every week and their eagerness to learn about our culture was inspiring. I felt honored to be in a position that taught children about America and the English language. On the last day of class, the teacher let me organize and lead an American trivia game with the kids and I gave out quarters as prizes to students who answered their questions correctly. The energy, curiosity, and pure joy in the room is a feeling I'll never forget. I never thought people could be so excited to win a quarter!

Overall, the experience showed me that you have to put yourself out there to be presented with the opportunities that make a lasting impact on your life. In doing so, the Italian culture was presented to me in an authentic way, teaching me about the way life goes in Italy and the mindset that Italian children carry through their lives. Teaching in a foreign country is something that I recommend all study abroad students to do; giving back a little never hurt anybody and it has the potential to makes you realize that you have a deeper sense of purpose for going abroad then what you might have realized.
Email Stephanie
 
Laura_GuilfordLAUREN GUILFORD
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: Purdue University
Major: Accounting
Internship site: OzHarvest
Accomplishments: I had the opportunity to have a finance internship with OzHarvest. OzHarvest is a not-for-profit organization that collects perishable food from businesses including grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes. This food is transported by over 20 vans across the country to hundreds of charities. I worked at the headquarters with the finance team which I really enjoyed. I sat in on the finance meetings and was trusted to do a lot of financial work. I learned a lot about finance and accounting from this placement. I got to implement skills I had learned in class and also learn so much more about my future field. My supervisor and coworkers were very helpful and supportive. During the first week, I even got to ride along in the van to help collect and deliver food. It was fun to get to see how much of a difference they make. In their 10 years of service, OzHarvest has delivered over 10 million meals from food that was destined to landfills. During class, I got to learn about Australia’s history. Before I went there, I didn’t know much about the country, but the professor I had taught us so much and I still want to learn more and travel back to Australia someday.
Email Lauren
 
Ben_HicksBEN HICKS 
Study abroad city: London, England  
Home institution: University of Florida
Major: Business Management 
Accomplishments: In London, I learned more about myself as well as how to adjust to a new environment. Although this wasn't my first trip to London, it was my first time being able to live in the city and have the full experience. My classes gave me a better understanding of the city and also the variety of cultures that can be found there. I gained various independent skills, such as self confidence and learning how to interact with people from different backgrounds. Overall, my experience allowed me to learn how to adapt myself to a completely new place, but also allowed me to accomplish things I never thought would be possible.
Email Ben

Alexandra_JesaitisALEXANDRA JESAITIS 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Rollins College
Major: Business
Internship site: Griffith College
Accomplishments: I was able complete a comprehensive digital marketing plan with with Griffith College including the launch of an Instagram account, a brand-new website update, and Search Engine Optimization training (a foundational skill for digital marketing). Over the course of six weeks, I worked to re-populate the existing website with new information, an easy navigation system for finding courses, and re-populate the website to track user traffic and demographics.
Email Alexandra

Jane_KirkpatrickJANE KIRKPATRICK 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Major: Marketing
Internship site: Dress for Success Dublin
Accomplishments: Dress for Success Dublin is a charity that helps women get back into the workplace. I was worried about working at a non-profit organization at first, but I was given so much responsibility as a marketing intern because a marketing graduate couldn't be budgeted. Things I accomplished at DFSD included setting up a texting platform, calling/emailing local companies, contacting local venues for sale space, posting on social media, arranging photo shoots, and so much more!
Email Jane

Laura_KubickiLAURA KUBICKI
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of Kansas
Major: Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations
Internship site: East City Films
Accomplishments: After spending my summer abroad in London, I think it should be a requirement for all college students to study abroad. The program I chose included a Global City of London course as well as an internship that allowed me to gain international work experience in my field of study. I am not a history buff, but the course really intrigued me by allowing me to explore several areas of London, some of which I probably would not have visited if it weren't for the class. The course included a three-hour lecture every Tuesday, followed by a morning and afternoon field study every Thursday to the places we learned about in the classroom. I liked the layout of the course because it allowed me to retain information through a hands-on experience. I also gained a lot of professional experience through my internship with media production company, East City Films. I assisted producers and directors, practiced media management by overseeing the company's social media outlets, wrote content and blog posts for their website, assisted on shoots/productions, and even got the chance to be featured as a hand model in a London department store video!

I also got the chance to travel quite a bit during my time abroad. CAPA put on weekend trips to places such as Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Abbey Road and many more. On my own time, I traveled to Dublin, Paris, Rome and Wales. Overall, choosing to participate in this specific program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learned a lot inside and outside of the classroom, at my internship and by exploring on my own. The places, the people and the experiences I had this summer will forever remain special to me. My summer studying abroad is a summer I will never forget.
Email Laura

Jonathan_LimJONATHAN LIM 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Arizona State University
Major: Supply Chain Management/Logistics
Internship site: Ingersoll Rand
Accomplishments: My parents raised me traveling the world so studying abroad was one thing I had to do in college if there was an open opportunity. One accomplishment from my time abroad in Dublin was being able to prove to my parents and myself that I can be independent and I can explore the world on my own. I also had the opportunity to work abroad while going to school. Adapting to the new school system and the new work culture was a great learning experience for me. I was able to experience the Irish culture in a school and work environment. During my semester abroad, I worked at an industrial company called Ingersoll Rand located an hour away by bus. Some of the tasks I did at Ingersoll Rand related to my major were materials management for inbound supply to the European Distribution Center and working with key stakeholders to expedite supplier delivery issues.
Email Jonathan

Alexander_MarzALEXANDER MARZ
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: Purdue University
Major: Finance
Internship site: LJ Hooker Commercial Sydney
Accomplishments: I had the amazing opportunity to learn many things while I was abroad. Interning for a company on the opposite side of the world allowed me to gain confidence. I never thought that I would be sitting in on meetings for multi-million dollar real estate deals, communicating with key people in Sydney, or even living abroad on the opposite side of the world. Having these experiences has made me realize just how capable I am and excited for me future!
Email Alexander

Mackenzie_MatthewsMACKENZIE MATTHEWS 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Western Kentucky University
Major: Journalism/History
Internship site: Media Trust
Accomplishments: The details surrounding my semester abroad came together to create the greatest experience I could have hoped for. The classes gave me understanding of Irish history and culture, I had to adapt to Dublin living, and the friends I made created an experience I can never forget. Throwing myself into a new country and culture made me aware of the opportunities available to our generation and helped me gain the confidence to pursue them.
Email Mackenzie

Hannah_McNamaraHANNAH MCNAMARA
Study abroad city: London, England 
Home institution: State University of New York at Oswego
Major: Public Relations
Internship site: Proscenium Tours
Accomplishments: Studying abroad and interning in London was the best decision I have ever made. My internship was located at a student tourism agency called Proscenium Tours right in the heart of London. My responsibilities as a Marketing and Public Relations Intern was to promote the company through different mediums including weekly blog posts. This hands-on international experience allowed me to gain valuable writing and marketing skills that have really contributed to my professional development. By the end of the trip, the company sent me to Paris for a weekend to experience the city and write a blog for the company website from a student intern's perspective. This was a huge accomplishment for me and such a great opportunity to step out of my comfort zone in a foreign city. By choosing to study abroad I was able to indulge in so many valuable experiences that have positively affected me both personally and professionally.
Email Hannah

maggie_moriartyMAGGIE MORIARTY 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
Major: Communications 
Internship site: Irish Innocence Project 
Accomplishments: While abroad, I participated in my first internship which was at the Irish Innocence Project as a marketing intern. My main objective was to create media content and attract a large, global audience that would be interested in coming to the first ever international conference that would be held in Dublin in the summer. Interning abroad really provided me with so much self-confidence. I do not know many people that can say they worked overseas and being able to have this experience has made me realize that I am extremely capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to, and for that I thank CAPA.
Email Maggie

Katie_OrsiKATIE ORSI
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: Arizona State University
Major: Business Marketing
Internship site: Onsport
Accomplishments: While studying abroad, I gained so much from work experience at my internship to personal growth. Working in an international company while abroad is an experience like no other. I learned how to communicate in a professional environment, adapt quickly to a new culture, and how to work independently and efficiently. Personally, I have grown up a lot thanks to my time abroad. I have always been an independent person, but this really put my skills to the test. I learned how to navigate a foreign country all on my own and even took some day trip by myself, something I would shy away from before. Gaining this new sense of stronger independence has been empowering and has helped me in my time back in the US. I had an amazing time in Sydney and can't wait to travel again.
Email Katie

Nicole_PapazianNICOLE PAPAZIAN
Study abroad city: London, England 
Home institution: Clark University
Major: Psychology
Internship site: Royal Free Hospital Children's School
Accomplishments: This semester I had the opportunity to intern at the Royal Free Children’s Hospital School. This is a special school that provides for students whose needs are not met at public schools and is a secure space for children on the ward of the hospital to be engaged during their stay. The goal of the school is to offer a safe, caring space that inspires students to learn in a normalized setting, building skills that will allow for their eventual reintegration back into the public school system. As a teaching and office intern I had a wide range of responsibilities including assistant teaching as needed in the classroom setting, online database coding, and secretarial work. One of the key learning points that I will take away from this internship is successful communication with staff members. Through this position, I have realized that I must be the one to advocate for myself and communicate what I do and do not feel comfortable within a work environment. During my time at the hospital school I was put in situations where I did not always feel comfortable, and realized that I had to speak up for myself and my needs in order to get what I wanted out of my internship. I now feel stronger and more confident in my ability to understand what I can handle and when to ask for help, which is extremely important in the fields of education and psychology. There were days and moments especially at my internship site that were very difficult. Being exposed to students with mental challenges and a variety of disabilities was intimidating at times, but I realized that I learned something very important from each and every student that I met and worked with. I have made lasting positive relationships with staff and students at my internship site at the Royal Free, and feel this to be a true accomplishment of my time there.
Email Nicole

Chris_PiechockiCHRIS PIECHOCKI 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Davis & Elkins College
Major: Political Science and History
Accomplishments: I gained an intercultural experience. I have never been to Europe, so the experience was very new to me. While Ireland is an English speaking country, the cultural differences are vast. I learned to read and blend in with different cultures. Working in another country also proved to be a valuable experience. I have worked in legal offices in both America and Ireland, and while they both had similarities in duties, the cultural elements were different.
Email Chris

Kirsten_RoyKIRSTEN ROY 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Hood College
Major: Accounting 
Accomplishments: My most notable accomplishment from my time abroad was getting out of my comfort zone and leaving home. I had never been out of the United States before. I was not sure if I would be able to adapt to being in another country, especially not knowing anyone at the start. After spending time in Dublin, I was able to make friends and enjoy being in a new culture. This experience made me more independent and knowledgeable about other cultures and I consider that to be my greatest accomplishment.
Email Kirsten


Dani_SalianiDANI SALIANI 
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland  
Home institution: Pace University
Major: Applied Psychology 
Accomplishments: I always had trouble making friends, so leaving on my own to go 3,000 miles away was a huge leap for me and I didn't know what to expect. Upon arriving in Dublin, I was able to make friends with the people in my program, many of whom had not travelled much either. Soon nothing felt as scary; I felt at home. I was able to talk to Americans and locals alike and made some friendships that could last a lifetime in just a few short months.
Email Dani



Francesca_SmeriglioFRANCESCA SMERIGLIO
Study abroad city: London, England 
Home institution: Purdue University
Major: Communications
Internship site: Media Trust
Accomplishments: During my time in London, I learned how to discover. Some may not think this is a learned thing, but when I opened myself up to new opportunities and experiences, something clicked inside that lead me to learn and absorb in a way I never thought possible. Being abroad forced me to break through my comfort zone, whether it was in terms of my internship, class, or simply exploring wherever the destination may be. I owe it all to the beautiful city of London.
Email Francesca

Gabriella_VituliGABRIELLA VITULI
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy 
Home institution: Indiana University
Major: Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management
Accomplishments: I saw what I was made of. That is honestly my biggest accomplishment when I was abroad. I was able to break out of my shell unlike any time I have before, and was able to meet new people, see new things, learn new languages, and do things I never thought I'd be able to do. I'm really impressed by how much I have learned about myself and what I'm capable of from my time abroad and wouldn't trade a second of it for anything!
Email Gabriella

Paul_WoodwardPAUL WOODWARD
Study abroad city: London, England 
Home institution: Purdue University
Major: Communication Arts
Accomplishments: During my time in London, I like to think I became a new person. Having spent my entire life in a series of small towns, I never encountered any of the myriad experiences, opportunities, and yes, challenges too, that life in a global city could provide. Prior to my time abroad, I had only lived at home, without such concerns as having roommates and stocking groceries.

Adapting to my new life was only a small part of this transformative experience. The program that CAPA provided (and perhaps more importantly, the staff and students that were a part of it) fostered a sense of independence, purpose, and wanderlust that continue to impact my life. Every course I took played an vital role in expanding my understanding of self, the world, and the people that surround me; it is to the great friends and educators I had the privilege of meeting that I credit much of this.
Email Paul

Learn more about CAPA's ambassador program!

Topics: CAPA Ambassadors