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Meet the Team

Tia VanHester
Director of Global Engagement

Tia in Beijing, Dublin and Rome.
Tia in Beijing, Dublin and Rome.

Tia VanHester serves as the Director of Global Engagement at Monmouth College. She joined the Monmouth team in March of 2016 after spending 4 years at Illinois Central College (ICC) as the International Education Coordinator.

Originally from California, Tia has spent extensive time in the Midwest and abroad receiving her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and East Asian Studies from Central College in Pella, IA. She continued her passion for global engagement by completing a. M.A. in International Education through Concordia University, Irvine, living in China for 2 years. She is also currently completing a PhD program at Illinois State University in rhetoric and composition.

Tia's institutional emphasis is in study abroad programming and internationalized general education course as well as development of study abroad opportunities for underrepresented and diverse populations at Monmouth. She is a recipient of the 2016 Diversity Impact Award through NAFSA and has lived in over 14 countries in the last 10 years. Her favorite places have been Cambodia, Colombia and Ireland.

 

Jack Godlewski
Office of Global Engagement Intern

Jack Godlewski is a Senior Public Relations major here at Monmouth College, and the current intern at the Office of Global Engagement.

Jack has been involved through countless campus organizations, serving as the President of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Parliamentarian for ASMC, an Orientation leader and Student Mentor, the Vice President for the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, an executive for MCTV, and a radio host for WPFS.

During his Junior year, Jack was able to study abroad in Rome. While there, he found himself not so much with the group but able to experience the city as a local—trying new food, experiencing new art, and making new friends. It’s through this trip that Jack discovered his love for wine and became determined to follow a path studying and cultivating it. He plans on using his position in the office to assure that students understand there’s more to the study abroad experience than just being a tourist, and helping assist students in enveloping themselves in their host cultures.

Jack is currently on track to graduate this December from Monmouth, and will begin working towards his accreditation as a Sommelier

 

Kristen English
Global Advisory Board Member

Kristen in Paris, Vienna and Paris.
Kristen in Paris, Vienna and Paris.

Kristen English serves as the Associate Vice President for Admission at Monmouth College, overseeing recruitment efforts for domestic, international and exchange students.

Kristen is a Designated School Official (DSO) for Monmouth and has also worked with international students at two other institutions, including at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts where Kristen was the primary recruiter for international students. At Merrimack Kristen also served on an internationalization committee as part of the college’s participation in an Internationalization Lab with the American Council on Education.

Kristen loves to travel and most recently visited Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Next on the list: Portugal and Spain and Southeast Asia.

 

James Godde
Global Advisory Board Member

James (with capuchin).
James (with capuchin).

Dr. James Godde earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and did postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. He has taught at Monmouth College for the past 17 years, the last dozen of which he has led students on annual trips abroad, including to Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Peru, and Guatemala.

While his primary interests are in the field of molecular biology, he has also be known to have an unquenchable interest in archeological ruins as well as other ancient buildings with religious significance. Therefore, it is not unusual for Dr. Godde's trips to feature long hikes into remote tropical locations.

Dr. Godde has lived abroad for four separate semesters since coming to Monmouth: Japan, Tanzania, Mauritius, and Mexico, either as part of his sabbatical or while leading a semester abroad program. He has served as the Co-Coordinator for Off-Campus Studies in the past.

 

Michelle Damian
Global Advisory Board Member

Michelle by land and by sea.
Michelle by land and by sea.

Michelle Damian (PhD, University of Southern California), began working as an Assistant Professor at Monmouth College (IL) after a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. Michelle has worked and studied in Japan for over nine years, including eighteen months as a Fulbright fellow. She has visited over 25 countries on five continents so far.

At Monmouth, Michelle teaches classes on Japanese and Chinese history, public history, and maritime archaeology. She is also the primary coordinator of Monmouth’s new Asian Studies minor. She brought a group of students to Japan with Prof. David Wright on a short-term academic trip in May 2018, and with Prof. Robert Hinck is preparing a class for May 2020 to China.

 

Marnie Dugan
Global Advisory Board Member

 

Kristin Larson
Global Advisory Board Member

Kristin in Malasia, Peru and Benin.
Kristin in Malasia, Peru and Benin.

Kristin Larson has traveling in her blood; her father was an airline captain and she worked as a flight attendant right out of undergraduate school. As a Professor in the Psychology Department, her passion for traveling with students began in 2007 when she and a former professor took students on a business/psychology trip to Japan. She has since traveled with students to China, Malaysia, Singapore, Moldova, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Ecuador and Peru.

Her favorite student travel experiences include working with an organization that prevents human trafficking in Moldova, visiting a homeless shelter with an organic farm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, visiting an NGO that has reduced the rate of alcoholism and domestic violence by providing vocational training to women in the Sacred Valley near Cuzco, Peru, and sponsoring a student research project investigating the use of “third places” for well-being in Singapore.

Dr. Larson is known for traveling light: she once traveled for 21 days, through 6 countries in Europe, with one carry-on bag. For future travel, she hopes to lead the “Monmouth in Merida” semester-long program. She believes everyone should see as much of the planet as they can because there are so many different ways of living, so many wonderful people and such amazing food!

 

Keith Schaefer
Global Advisory Board Member

 

Tim Pahel
Global Advisory Board Member

Tim directing choirs (and traffic).
Tim directing choirs (and traffic).

Tim Pahel is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities, and Chair of the Music Department at Monmouth College. His duties include directing the Monmouth College Chorale and Chamber Choir, teaching private voice, Music Theory, Senior Research Methods, and courses in the Music Education curriculum. Prior to coming to Monmouth, Dr. Pahel served as Assistant Professor and Music Coordinator at Carl Sandburg College and also taught courses and directed ensembles at Knox College.

Dr. Pahel has toured with the Monmouth Chorale both nationally and internationally, including trips to Spain, Italy and to New York City to perform in Carnegie Hall. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 2018, conducting the Monmouth Chorale and other high school and college choirs and the New England Symphonic Ensemble in a performance of Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem.

Besides traveling abroad with choral groups from the college, Dr. Pahel spends time each year in Europe—including living and doing research in France for 6 months in 2016—and has also made recent trips to Central America.

Dr. Pahel holds a bachelor's degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, a master's degree in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied conducting with Dr. Timothy Stalter.

 

Jessica Johnston
Global Advisory Board Member

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