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Meet CAPA's Spring 2015 Ambassadors

Jan 13, 2015 12:30:00 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, and sometimes Facebook as well.

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 Spring!

katherineKATHERINE BARNEKOW
Study abroad city: London, England  
Home institution: Rollins College
Major: Philosophy
Internship site: Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
Accomplishments: During my semester in London, I undertook an Independent Research Project sponsored by CAPA. Using a combination of academic research, personal and professional interviews, and a gathering of news sources, I produced a joint qualitative and quantitative study on a program of the British Prime Minister David Cameron known as "The Big Society" and its effect on British women. This project allowed me further exposure to and immersion within British culture, while also furthering my academic experience in the field, contributing to my future studies, and giving me the opportunity to see a fairly major project through from start to finish - a personally rewarding task. In the end I was able to make new connections with a number of people in and around London, produce a piece of work that I was proud of, improve upon research and writing skills that will be helpful for years to come, and was awarded the CAPA Record of Achievement at the end of my semester abroad. Working on this project throughout my time in London was a great way to both enhance my academic experience and to really push myself to get the most out of CAPA experience.
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christineCHRISTINE BRACKENHOFF
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: Indiana University
Major: Telecommunications
Accomplishments: During my time abroad, the opportunity to gain new perspectives was invaluable. Stereotypes were broken down very quickly and I became more knowledgable about how people in different parts of the world think and act. Being able to live my daily life in a very different setting from what I am used to made me realize how adaptable I can be. The acclimation into a new culture was made easier by proactively interacting with others, speaking the local language as much as possible, and discovering unfamiliar customs and values with an open mind.
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shannen

SHANNEN DANAHEY
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland
Home institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Major: Communications
Internship site: The Irish Innocence Project
Accomplishments: During my time abroad,  I worked as a marketing intern for the Irish Innocence Project. In this position I created social media pages for the project as well as started a crowdfunding campaign for this past holiday season. This campaign included promotional videos that were made with a team of journalism students.
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brayton

BRAYTON DECKARD 
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: Indiana University
Major: Sociology and Economics
Accomplishments: Spending a semester abroad in Florence impacted me in ways I never could have expected. Being in a completely foreign environment with a group of people I had never met before was quite a shock at first but turned into one of the best experiences of my life. Each day was its own adventure, whether it was exploring the beautiful city of Florence, visiting museums with famous works by Michelangelo and Da Vinci during class, or traveling to another great European city on the weekend. One of my greatest accomplishments while abroad was learning how to make the most out of every day. While Indiana may not be as scenic or exciting as Italy, I came back from my study abroad experience motivated to seize every day like I had learned to do in Florence.
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taylorTAYLOR DIGNAM
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: University of Colorado Boulder
Major: Communications
Accomplishments: Being abroad gave me the opportunity to visit countless countries with friends I had just met and learn about myself in the process. If I had to pinpoint my biggest accomplishment abroad, I would say it was when I realized how many incredible and life changing things that can happen when you step out of your comfort zone (or WAY out). Living around the globe from everything I was use to and far away from everyone I knew wasn't easy at first, but within a few weeks it became second nature and really felt like home. It was hands down the most incredible experiences I have ever had the chance to be part of and the stories, memories, and daily things I experienced I will remember forever.
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bridgetBRIDGET DIX
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: D'Youville College
Major:  Exercise Science and Sports Studies and Doctor of Physical Therapy
Internship company: Hornsby Physio and Associates Accomplishments: My internship at Hornsby Physio and Associates helped me to get a true picture of what a physical therapist can do. Nick, my supervisor, makes it a point to take on students that are of different academic levels and from varied programs internationally. Because of this, I was surrounded by a dialogue that compared perspectives and techniques used to treat patients. I came away with knowledge and hands-on experience muscle testing and assisting with patient treatments that I could not have gotten in the United States. Interpersonal skills were sharpened by these interactions with patients and coworkers. I consider this internship an accomplishment from my time abroad because I was able to learn and gain confidence in my field of study.
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delonte-2DELONTE EGUWATU
Study abroad city: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home institution: Morehouse College
Majors: Sociology/Spanish
Accomplishments: While abroad, I enrolled in several classes ranging from International Devolvement, to Modern Latin American History. However, my most challenging course was Comportamiento Humano. I was a class in Spanish that discussed human behavior in professional settings. Through this class, I gained a new set of business jargon in Spanish, excelled my Spanish academic level, and learned how business is conducted in other parts of the world. In addition, I volunteered with a boarding daycare. Twice a week, I worked with 3-7 year old children. The most rewarding part was the relationships I built with the kids. Going abroad definitely helped me mature personally. Now I am less anxious and live more day-to-day rather than worrying what must be accomplished in the future. I try to live in the "now" and take it in for what it is because that moment may never be repeated.
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jorgeJORGE GALVEZ
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: Clark University
Major: Economics and Management
Accomplishments: In London, I was able to mature as a person and experience living in a completely different part of the world I'd never even visited before. As the days passed, I fell in love with London and how it helped me learn new things about my self and get my self confidence back. This was a very important aspect for me because I wasn't very confident in myself and my abilities to perform tasks or even socially. But the more I went and explored the city, the more I experienced living in a flat in a big city where I had to cook my own meals, do our own cleaning and live independently the more confident about myself I became. It was this confidence that helped me change my attitude into a more positive attitude towards life and an example of such improvement were my grades in the program. Though I have always put all my effort and prioritized my studies and getting good grades, it has always been the case that I go through semesters more worried than usual. But by being confident in myself, I was able to go through this semester calm and focused. Knowing that I could rely on myself and the potential I had was probably one of the most useful skills I have ever received. This is why I fell in love with London and infinitely grateful for the opportunity of being able to attend this program. It is truly an experience I will never forget.
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samanthaSAMANTHA GAUVAIN
Study abroad city: Dublin, Ireland
Home institution: Arizona State University
Major: Journalism
Accomplishments: Half of my course schedule consisted of Irish History or cultural classes. I had assumed these two classes would be the most difficult; however, I received the highest mark in my history class. Of course, marks are unimportant compared to what I learned in these classes. I can now spew facts concerning the history and development of Dublin and Ireland with ease. My Global Cities class helped me reanalyze how I interpret and view a city. Of note in this course was a discussion on gentrification: it prompted me to learn more about Phoenix's development as a city as I notice tell-tale signs of a shifting culture. In the future, I may use this knowledge to create story ideas and explore my own home.
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natalieNATALIE HAMILTON
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of Mississippi
Major: Business Marketing
Internship site: Elizabeth Arden
Accomplishments: I definitely learned to be more independent in London. Because I lived in London, which was way out of my comfort zone, I became much more self-relient and aware of my surroundings. From commuting to work alone, exploring London, and building relationships with others, I learned how I function alone, and grew to love that aspect of myself.
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jasheahJASHEAH HOWARD
Study abroad city: Beijing, China
Home institution: SUNY Oswego
Major: Broadcasting and Language and International Trade
Internship site: Global Mobile Gaming Congress
Accomplishments: Being abroad allowed me to finally open up my eyes and know that the United States of America is not the only country in this world. It allowed me to let go of my patriotic views and feelings toward my own country and realize that every other country is as pertinent, especially for the fact that the U.S. cannot progress without the help of the other countries. I am much more educated on world views, events, and politics and I could not be any happier. Because of this, I am more intelligent, adaptable, and respectful towards other cultures. To me this kind of maturity can mainly be achieved by studying abroad and traveling, being a part of another culture and having to actually live and thrive in this new culture. This is a big accomplishment for me because now I can never look at China the same, nor can I ever look at any other country other than my own the same again.
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ciaraCIARA JOHNSON
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: Culver-Stockton College
Major: International Marketing
Internship company: Drinks Accociation
Accomplishments: I assimilated well into my internship and truly loved the company I worked with. They loved me too so I was offered a job if I ever decided to live in Australia!
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claraCLARA KELLER
Study abroad city:
Dublin, Ireland
Home institution:
Marymount Manhattan College
Major:
Communication Arts
Internship site: Olytico
Accomplishments: I was able to make local friends in Ireland instead of sticking to only Americans. This helped to broaden my experience and learn more about the city as a whole. A lot of times when students study abroad, they stick to the familiar and their comfort zone. I feel as though I was able to go out of my comfort zone to have the most rewarding experience possible.
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Jackie_KevilleJACQUELYN KEVILLE
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Major: Accounting
Internship site: OzHarvest LLP
Accomplishments: Throughout my time abroad in Sydney, Australia I was able to become closer to the community from my internship with OzHarvest. OzHarvest is a non-profit organization that rescues excess food and delivers it to over 500 charities throughout the different territories of Australia. By working for OzHarvest I was able to attend their different events in Sydney, my favorite being the CEO Cook Off. The CEO Cook Off brought in 133 CEO's from businesses in the Sydney area and matched them with a professional chef. These CEO's cooked a three course meal for over 1,000 homeless and disadvantaged guests. By being able to partake in these events I was able to form a special bond with the community. In seeing how grateful and excited these disadvantaged people were for our help and support made me happy to be a part of such an amazing organization. I never expected to be working with the disadvantaged community of Sydney, but getting the chance to do so made me so grateful for what I have and also made me realize how much I can personally give back to others. If not for OzHarvest I would have never been able to see this side of Sydney, and I am extremely happy that I got the chance to. The people you meet and the things you experience are a once in a lifetime opportunity. Take advantage of every opportunity because it only comes around once!
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allisonALLISON KNAPP
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of Delaware
Major: Human Services
Accomplishments: A major accomplishment from being in London was how much I really learned- not only in the classroom, but about myself, the rest of the world, and I made the experience my own. I took several classes that I would have never pictured myself taking, like Theatre, where I saw four amazing plays I wouldn't have had the chance to see otherwise, or Art History, where I was given the tools to analyze the paintings in most of London's incredible museums. I was able to grow as a person, take risks, step outside of my comfort zone, and immerse myself into London's exciting culture. I was also able to travel to 6 other countries, and see things that I did not even knew were possible; like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland or ride a gondola in Venice. Overall, my study abroad experience allowed me to learn so much more than I could have ever imagined and accomplish everything that I planned on doing, and more.
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sophia-1SOPHIA LOVE
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Internship site: Marriott Hotel
Majors: Management/Hospitality & Tourism Management
Accomplishments: Studying and interning abroad in London helped me to grow in ways that I could never imagine. Even though I may have been nervous about leaving the country for a semester, the minute I got there I knew that it was an experience that I could not get any other way. Not only was I able to get international work experience at my internship, but I also got to meet people and make connections from the United States all over the world. London is a huge melting pot and by the end of my time abroad, it felt like my home. From everything from learning how to use the public transit system to living in my own apartment and budgeting my money, I feel that without this experience I would not have the same outlook on my life as I do now.
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emilyEMILY MCGEARY
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: Arizona State University
Major: English
Accomplishments: I experienced a lot of “firsts” during my semester in London. I attended the world premiere of Mockingjay Part 1, helped break a world record in Bath for the most people dressed in regency costume, flew in an airplane for the fist time, traveled and stayed in a hostel all by myself, went horseback riding, networked inside the U.S. Embassy, hiked the Cornish coast, and made new friends all over Great Britain. Needless to say, it was the best semester of my life. Through my adventures, classes, and activities, I became more confident in myself, a better listener, an active learner, more independent, more assertive, learned to trust my instincts, and became more focused on my career goals and what I want to pursue in life. I also discovered a love of photography and art. I came a long way from being the girl who was scared of getting lost on the tube! Study abroad was fun, exciting and a huge leap of faith in the beginning, but the experience really did change me in so many different ways and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to go. I know I will never forget my time in the U.K. and know that for me, it was just the beginning of a lifetime of traveling abroad.
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moriah-1MORIAH MENDICINO
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: University of Colorado Boulder
Majors: News and Editorial Journalism/ Public Relations and Communication
Accomplishments: One accomplishment that I will remember forever from my time abroad was getting to a point where my language was developed enough that I could look away from the subtitles during my Italian cinema class and still be able to comprehend the dialogue! A combination of full immersion and the instruction of my amazing CAPA professors helped me to learn and grow so much in my understanding and comprehension of not only the Italian language but also the culture, history, cinema and more! I'll never forget catching myself laughing at jokes spoken in Italian only to realize suddenly, "Hey, maybe I'm catching on after all!"
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carolyn-1CAROLYN MILLIMAN
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of North Carolina Asheville
Major: Mass Communication
Internships site: Patchwork Productions
Accomplishments: While studying abroad in London, I was able to broaden my knowledge of the field of Media Production by completing an internship with an Independent Film Producer. Through this internship I acquired new skills in the fields of film marketing and promotion for feature as well as short films, while familiarizing myself with the British Film Industry. I also visited the headquarters of the BBC and wrote a pilot script for a television show as part of my course on British Broadcasting. Through my experiences abroad, I was able to gain a global perspective on the film industry and improve my personal communication skills.
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meghan-1MEGHAN MURPHY
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: SUNY Oswego
Major: Health promotion and wellness management
Internship site: Kings College Hospital
Accomplishments: My biggest accomplishment from my time abroad was being able to adjust to a new lifestyle in such a short time period. Learning the culture, norms and everyday life of a new country is not an easy feat and being able to seamlessly transition into a new environment is something to be proud of. I learned that living and traveling through Europe is a two-way learning process; you get to see yourself through the eyes of others while also identifying yourself as an American which is an opportunity that very few people get to have so young.
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cassie-1CASSIE NAES
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: University of Missouri Columbia
Major: Journalism
Internship site: Pumpkin PR
Accomplishments: My proudest accomplishment while abroad would be living independently and thriving in a country that was unknown to me before arriving. When I arrived in London I had never left American soil, never worked in a Public Relations office, and so many other things. I matured tenfold while living in London for four months and I came home with a new outlook on my life and the world I live in. I gained vital skills and made a second family at my internship, traveled to six countries outside the United Kingdom, and explored London until I could rightfully call it home. After my London experience I know that after graduation I can go anywhere and do anything and thrive as long as I embrace whatever life throws my way.
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shannonSHANNON PATINO
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: University of St. Francis
Major: Marketing
Accomplishments: Living away from home in another country has helped me mature greatly. I've learned how to take care of myself and not depend on my parents so much. One of my biggest accomplishments was learning enough Italian to be able to have a simple conversation with someone and becoming a local of Firenze. This experience has opened my eyes to new world and has made me even more ambitious in reaching my goals and dreams.
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dylanDYLAN PORCELLO
Study abroad city: London, England
Home institution: Siena College
Major: Political Science
Internship company: Philcox Gray & Co. Solicitors
Accomplishments: My performance at my internship site coupled with my diligence in the classroom were recognized by the CAPA London staff, and upon completion of my study abroad term I received CAPA's Record of Achievement Award. It was a tremendous honor, and I am very thankful for my professors, coworkers, and faculty for appreciating my efforts. Though my internship I was able to further my professional development, as well as gain invaluable insight in the field of Law. During my classroom experience I was able to gain a further understanding of London's history and culture, which enhanced my experience of living in the city.
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brian-1BRIAN RAHN
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: SUNY Oswego
Major: Mathematics
Internship site: The Exodus Foundation
Accomplishments: One of my proudest accomplishments I made while in Sydney was not in the classroom but at my internship placement. My experience at The Exodus Foundation is not one I shall soon forget! Since they are very small in staffing, they rely heavily on volunteers to have their extensive organization run smoothly. My internship was an Information Technology (IT) internship, with what I thought was the 'IT Guy.' Upon arriving I quickly learned that not only was he in charge of maintaining all the hardware, software and upgrading their network, but he also was in charge of Business Services. By working with him, I got a taste of both IT, which I was expecting, but also of business. Looking back I feel very accomplished that I was able to take the background of business, which I have no training or schooling in, and accomplish tasks. Not only that, but I often would have to use my IT background to create sometime of system to accomplish business tasks such as weekly audits. I learned more than I thought I ever could at an "IT" internship.
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brooke-1BROOKE SCANLON
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: Indiana University
Major: Human Developement and Family Studies
Accomplishments: Studying abroad in Firenze was the best decision I have ever made. I learned more about myself in three months than I ever imagined. Studying abroad gave me tremendous confidence in myself and my abilities as I constantly pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I learned to appreciate other cultures and diversity. I am proud of myself for making every attempt to speak Italian with locals. Even though it can be nerve-wrecking, try to speak the local language every chance you get because it is the only way to truly experience another culture. One of my favorite experiences was volunteering at an elementary school in Firenze, where I taught English. I was very nervous at first, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and truly enjoyed teaching English and interacting with Italian students. Studying abroad in Firenze was a life-changing experience that taught me so much about myself and other cultures.
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alexALEX ST. JOHN
Study abroad city: Florence, Italy
Home institution: Indiana University
Major: Business Economics and Public Policy
Accomplishments: I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in Florence for a semester. During my time there, I traveled to fifteen countries in Europe, made many new friends, and grew in ways I didn't even know were possible. My greatest accomplishment, however, was fully emerging myself in the Florentine culture. From the beginning of my program I made a conscious decision to take steps outside of my comfort zone and truly experience Italian society. This was my greatest accomplishment because it was the most challenging part of the trip. Changing everything about how you live in order to adapt to a new country isn't easy. I spoke a different language, ate new food, operated on a new schedule, dressed differently, and behaved with a new set of manners. Although challenging, I was able to return home having had a complete study abroad experience, with a wealth of new knowledge, and valuable memories to treasure forever. Taking this step out of your comfort zone is the challenge I would give to any student entering a study abroad experience.
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jake_yardleyJAKE YARDLEY
Study abroad city: Sydney, Australia
Home institution: Arizona State University
Major: Business Communications
Internship company: HelloWorld
Accomplishments: My time in Sydney, Australia was an experience that let me learn about what it means to be a world traveler, but learn even more about myself. Sydney was a fresh experience in the sense that I was without any of my previous responsibilities, friends, or family. Being in a new and different place starting from scratch where you are able to go in any direction you want is the reason that so many people studying abroad feel this sense of growth and maturing. While in Sydney I was able to take several business classes; help with CAPA's student council; intern at the online travel agency, Helloworld; and also experience the social life Sydney has to offer. Figuring out when and how to do these new tasks was also my way of figuring out which ones i valued personally and that juggling act of things is what made me learn about what i wanted personally from this experience. Academically i was able to see another side of schooling, professionally i was able to see what a job in online marketing would be like, and personally I was able to make some of my best friends.It was an experience i will never forget, because it did truly help me so much.
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Learn more about CAPA's ambassador program!

Topics: CAPA Ambassadors