Member Spotlights

Member Spotlights: Winter 2018

yPIE is proud to have a wide variety of fields and experiences represented by our members. We are starting a Member Spotlight series in our blog to highlight our individual members and celebrate the diversity in our membership. Since the mission of this organization includes making connections between like-minded professionals in international education, we encourage members to reach out to each other through the LinkedIn group to expand your networks.

Our February event was a membership drive where each member was encouraged to bring a colleague or classmate who had never before attended a yPIE event for a chance to win a gift card to our venue, Vapiano. Our first spotlight comes from the winner of our raffle.

Laine Rover

Project Manager
Division of International Services, NIH

What brought you to this event?

I learned about yPIE about four years ago while employed in another field and living in another city. I kept getting the event emails as a member of the LinkedIn group, and decided to check it out now that I’m local. The event last Tuesday was my first, but I enjoyed speaking to everyone and it was certainly a friendly group!

What excites you most about international education?

Within International Education, I’m most excited by the fostering of a global community through exposure to different cultures and the exchange of ideas.

Do you have any advice for those who are seeking to get into the international education field?

I’m still new to the field, so I’m not sure how qualified I am to be giving advice. For anyone looking to break in to the field, don’t be discouraged. I spent years working in an unrelated field, but wouldn’t have gotten my current job without the skills and experience I obtained in my former position.


Patrick Smith

Market Researcher
Terra Dotta, LLC

What brought you to this event?

I’m interested in immersing myself within the international education community in DC, and what better way to do that than continuously attending and participating in networking events, like yPIE, associated with the careers, goals and passions of like-minded professionals and students.

What is your involvement in the international education field?

I was in ESL education for three years in South Korea working as an ESL instructor for middle school students and trainer/mentor for incoming ESL teachers. Upon returning back to the States to focus on my graduate degree, I continued to pursue a career in international education through my graduate internship with NAFSA, and current role with Terra Dotta as a market researcher focusing on the ESL market within the States.

What excites you most about international education?

I’m excited about how international education continues to foster such a rapid increase in internationalization within our schools and universities; something essential in helping students develop diverse perspectives outside their communities. In Chicago, I worked in schools within low-income areas, and many of those students had never been outside their neighborhoods. Today, there are a plethora of resources and opportunities through int. ed. to encourage students to step outside their comfort zones and experience what the world has to offer.


Megan Lysaght

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program Manager
American Councils for International Education

What brought you to this event?

I saw the happy hour invite for February and decided it was a perfect opportunity to bring a new American Councils for International Education colleague and introduce her to this community of IE practitioners.

What is your involvement in the international education field?

My love for international education began when my mentor nominated me for a study abroad opportunity at the University of Liverpool during undergrad. Before she suggested it, I had thought a semester abroad was out of reach for me financially and personally as a first generation college student with little understanding of the benefits or the financial support available to minority communities. After returning from Liverpool, I was forever changed and bitten by the travel bug. I joined the Peace Corps immediately following grad school and serve for two years in Azerbaijan’s seventh cohort of volunteers. I returned to the States and moved from my native CA to DC to pursue public policy and landed a position managing civic education intensive workshops for international and American youth. But I wasn’t done with life abroad just yet, so I took a one year hiatus from DC and lived in Turkey for the calendar year of 2014. Coming home stateside was easier the second time and I was lucky enough to land in my current position which can easily be summed up as the best job ever. I manage the “YES” program which brings roughly 900 international students to the U.S. each year to live with American host families and go to U.S. high schools; students come from 37 countries with significant Muslim populations and the program came out the events of 9/11 in a bipartisan hope to combat Islamophobia and continue the growth of the world’s future leaders.

What excites you most about international education?

I love the variety of international programming that exists in DC. I also think that the potential for innovative programming is vast. I love the variety of international programming that exists in DC. I also think that the potential for innovative programming is vast.

Do you have any advice for those who are seeking to get into the international education field?

My best piece of advice is interact with everyone you meet as if they could be your next employer. This was true for me and part of why I landed at American Councils for International Education. The right next thing could be right there but if you are too distracted by the here and now you may miss the perfect next thing! I think carrying the Peace Corps tenets of ultimate flexibility, adaptability, and optimism is essential for any job, but especially IE since we need to be able to practice what we preach!

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