Dear Alumni,

If you would like to stay in touch, please contact the GPD, Dr. Thania Muñoz D.


Brianna Brown                        Cornell University, Education Abroad Advisor (2023)

Corey Simon                           Montgomery County Public Schools, High School ESOL Teacher (2023)

Diane Zeenny Ghorayeb        University of Maryland, Baltimore County, International Scholar Coordinator (2023)

Cristina Reguera-Gómez       Research MA in Linguistics at Utrecht University (2022)

Javier de la Morena Corrales Kent University, PhD Candidate in Translations Studies (2021)

José Gutiérrez Umaña             University of Baltimore – School of Law (2020)

Jaione Diaz                              Monash Univeristy, Australia, PhD Candidate (2020)

Makeva Armant                       University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Lecturer in French (2020)

Mireia Toda Cosi                      University of Maryland College Park, PhD Linguistics (2019)

Omer Pacal                              George Mason University, PhD Sociology (2019)

Caitlin Box                               Lecturer, Spanish, UMBC (2019)

Marvin Barahona                     ESOL Para Educator, South Lake Elementary School (2019)

Eyal Handelsman Katz            University of Connecticut, PHD Program English (2018)

Maria Smith                             French Teacher, Garrison Forest School (2018)

Michelle Coleman                    Spanish Teacher, Anne Arundel Public Schools (2017)

Ogonna Owu                           Advisor, Study Abroad Office, Towson University (2015)

Maria Müller-Blanca                International Recruitment Manager, UMBC (2015)

Molly Lemoine                         Program Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication (2015)

Lauren Bostic (Hill)                  Assistant Director, International Student Services, MICA (2015)

Kellie Bland                             Consular Professional at U.S. Department of State (2015)

Kathryn Barrett                        Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, JHSPH (2015)

Patricia Davila,                         Program Coordinator, International Youth Foundation (2014)

Majorie Bennington                 Consultant, World Bank Group (2014)


 María Morte-Costea (August 2023)

  • Graduate Assistant for Spanish 101 and 102
  • Internship at the United Nations
  • Fulbright scholar

Thesis: A Critical Analysis of Contemporary Latinx Feminisms on Twitter: an Intersectional Perspective


Samantha Benton (May 2023)

  • Graduate Assistant for Spanish 101 and 102
  • Student Research Assistant

Thesis: Non-Normative Identity and Intersectionality in Latin American Cultural Productions


Brianna Brown (May 2023)

  • Graduate Assistantship in UMBC Education Abroad
  • Orientation Advisor for Class of 2026
  • Instructor for IHU/TRS courses

Scholarly Paper:Putting the Holla in Hallyu: The Use of African American Vernacular English in South Korean Hip Hop and R&B Music

Corey Simon (May 2023)

  • Graduate Assistant for
    Spanish 102
  • Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Uruguay
  • Currently working as a high school ESOL teacher in MCPS

Scholarly Paper: Co-Teaching Dynamics between Native and Non-Native Speakers in Uruguay’s Ceibal en inglés Program: Teachers’ Views on the Benefits and Challenges

Dayana Morales (December 2022)

  • Graduate Assistant for Spanish 102
  • Board Engagement Intern at the National Aquarium
  • PROMISE Student Ambassador

Scholarly Paper: Exploring Students’ emotional responses in telecollaborative encounters 


Diane Zeenny Ghorayeb (May 2020)

Thesis: La vie en Français aux Etats-Unis : Exploring identity and language shifts from a geographic territory to an imaginary homeland

Maria Lee. Applied Linguistics program at UMBC and was was part of the 2018-2019 MLLI Honors Cohort. My undergraduate thesis was entitled “Twitch Talk: Constructing Gender and Navigating Power in the Video Game Rust”, and it analyzed the discourse patterns of three female streamers as they played the game with a male partner, and how each player’s construction of her gender varied in relation to the social power she held within the dyad. In 2019 I was also the recipient of the MLLI department’s May Roswell Award for Excellence in Writing. My interest in language, linguistics, and intercultural communication comes from my cultural background – as a monolingual Greek-American, I became intimately aware from a young age just how intertwined language and culture are. I have formally studied French, Greek, Russian, Italian, and American Sign Language. My research interests concern language and those on the cultural “periphery” – specifically minority language groups and their undervalued varieties. I’m also interested in the construction of gender through language, and the societal repercussions language has on every aspect of our lives.


“This House Really Sucks Right Now:” Analyzing the Discourse of Adolescent Chronic Stress


Cristina Reguera Gomez was born in Barcelona, Spain. She studied a BA in English Studies at the University of Salamanca, where she also worked as English instructor. As a third-year student, she got the opportunity to study at University College London with an Erasmus scholarship. During that year abroad, she taught Spanish at a local secondary school and participated in a summer volunteer program for teaching English in China. After completing her studies, she took a gap year for teaching Spanish communication courses and organizing Hispanic cultural activities at Grinnell College, in Iowa. During her Fulbright grant, she is studying a MA in Intercultural Communication and PBC in TESOL at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She completed a few fieldwork studies about the linguistic attitudes and relation between language and identity among bilingual speakers in the United States, and has also been presenting the aforementioned research results in conferences in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom. With regards to her work experience, she works as a Spanish instructor at her university and as a senator for the Graduate Student Association. Last summer she was a Research Assistant at the Phonetics, Acquisition & Multilingualism Lab at Boston University.

  • Speaker and chair in conferences at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame
  • Research Assistant at the PAMLab of Boston University
  • Senator at the GSA of UMBC
  • Professional Development Grant (GSA)
  • President’s Honors List
  • Baltimore Field School Fellowship (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation & UMBC)
  • Ideathon Award for Social Justice (GSA).


Online Translanguaging Practices Among Hispanic International Students in the United States


Megan Jirón

  • Strengthened my convictions as a feminist, intercultrualist, and change-maker.
  • GA in MLLI
  • PBC in ESOL.
  • “Earning an MA during one of the most difficult moments in our history.”

Scholarly Paper:
Nepantlera Ramblings: How liminality can create space for change


Javier De La Morena Corrales

  • Presented at the MLLI Research Day in 2019 and 2020.
  • Presented some sections of my thesis at the University of Oxford (2020) and at the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting (2021);
  • INCC – Donald O. Warthen Jr. Best Paper Award (2020)
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • Plans: Starting a PhD in Translation Studies at Kent State University


“Though We Tremble Before Uncertain Futures:” Translation as a Disidentificatory Strategy in Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera (1982)


Hannah Jackson

  • Received an URA and graduated undergrad Cum Laude
  • Taught English in Madrid to 2-3 year olds as part of an Early Childhood TESOL program

Scholarly Paper: 

Can She Even Say That? Identity, Positionality, and Reflexivity in Stand-Up Comedy


Shekinah Davis

Scholarly Paper:

The Modern Reproduction of Inequitable Religious Power Structures: Examining the Christian Feminist Theological Resistance



Jon Browning

Scholarly Paper:
(C)harisma (U)niqueness (N)erve and (T)alent: Profanity and Purpose on RuPaul’s Drag Race


Alyssa Schick was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She developed a passion for the Spanish language when taking it in 8th grade, but her love for Spanish culture stemmed from annual summer vacations to St. Augustine, Florida, where the downtown is filled with cobblestone streets and old Spanish architecture. From 2010-2014 she completed her undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University, where she received a BA in World Language Education with a Spanish option, as well as a BA in Spanish with an Applied Sciences option. During her spring 2013 semester at Penn State, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Alicante, Spain for 5 months. During that time abroad she travelled to Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, London and Dublin. Upon completing her undergraduate studies in 2014, Alyssa took a job teaching high school Spanish with Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Alyssa had the opportunity to teach a diverse population, many of whom were native Spanish speakers, some who were newcomers to the United States. In 2017, she transitioned to private education and is currently teaching Spanish at Mount Saint Joseph High School, a boys Catholic college preparatory high school. She finds the challenge of teaching all males interesting, and has goals to bridge the gaps between STEM and foreign language education. In Alyssa’s spare time, you will find her cooking new recipes and trying out different foods in Baltimore area, or cuddled in her bed with her animals playing video games. Her favorite time of year is fall, when she and her boyfriend have a fall-long marathon of scary movies and fall-themed drinks and snacks.

  • Recipient of the Donald O. Warthen, Jr. Best Paper Award Spring 2022 for “Language Learning Attitudes and Ideologies: Translanguaging and the L2 Motivational Self System”
  • CAHSS GSA Senator


Culturally Relevant Language Pedagogy: An Autoethnography

 Makeva Armant, also known as Royal International Ms. Louisiana, is a 27 year old native of New Orleans, La.Over the past four years she has been a French teacher, and as an educator, she has taken a group of students on a study abroad trip to Paris,France, and they participate annually in the Festival of World Languages that is held at ULM every spring. Makeva has been to several other countries including Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Iceland. Her love for languages and cultures doesn’t stop with French. She has taken the opportunity to highlight her appreciation through her platform — ‘Promoting Diversity Through the Study of World Languages & Cultures’. Makeva has hosted events such as an International Awareness Day, an International Music Festival, and an International Health Expo. She desires to reveal the beauty of diversity and community alliance by bringing community members together to celebrate the uniqueness and similarities in all cultures. Participating in pageantry has given Makeva the chance to do this. Recently married, she relocated to Baltimore, Maryland where she currently serves as a Graduate Assistant in French at UMBC while pursuing the INCC degree. In the meantime, Makeva is also focusing on her own nonprofit Immersed, Inc. through which she plans to provide language classes, tutoring, study abroad support, social programs and more to low-income communities.  


Jaione Díaz is a 23 year-old international graduate student coming from the Basque Country in the north of Spain. She did her undergraduate degree in English Studies at the University of Salamanca. She spent her third year of undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh as an Erasmus student, taking courses in English linguistics and literature. During her undergrad years she taught English to different levels at an academy back home. After graduating from college in 2017 she spent last year doing a MA in Bilingual Education at Illinois State University as an exchange student coming from the University of Salamanca. She also taught Spanish as a GA there and learnt a lot. That is when she found her passion for teaching languages. And after coming back from cold Illinois she was thankful to earn a Fulbright scholarship, which gave her the opportunity to earn an MA in Intercultural Communication and ESOL certificate here at UMBC.


Emmanuel Ekekwe joins us from Washington DC where he has worked for Peace Corps headquarters for the past three years. Emmanuel served in the Peace corps in both Mali as a Youth Development Coordinator and later in Cameroon as a TEFL instructor. He also serves  as the coordinator of the Walden Circle Community Center.




José Gutiérrez Umaña was born and raised in El Salvador. During his senior year at UMBC, he applied to a BA/MA Accelerated program in Intercultural Communication which allowed him to take graduate courses while still an undergraduate student. The INCC program has given him the opportunity to share his heritage and love for the Spanish language as a Graduate Assistant teaching Spanish to undergraduate students. He taught ESL for a semester in high school as a long-term sub and to immigrants as a volunteer in Frederick county and he felt so much satisfaction contributing to their future and that the decided to also pursue a TESOL certificate here at UMBC. Upon completion of the INCC program, he would like to find a position that will give him the opportunity to fight for social justice and immigrant using his intercultural communication skills.


Originally from Louisiana, Jay McNair  returned from Peace Corps service in The Republic of Moldova as a Health Educator. He aims to study the intersection between religion and technology in the modern world and serve with the Commodore John Rogers school, working to encourage interest and access to higher education for students.




Lydia Nelson

Lydia Nelson was raised in France by American parents. She loved growing up cross-culturally and enjoys using her experiences in her work. After working in international development for 10 years she enrolled in the INCC MA program to hone her international training skills. During the program she also developed a passion for child education in different cultures, particularly relating to food and child eating habits around the world.



Duncan Cohen


Duncan Cohen is a Training and Development Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance where he develops curriculum and implements training for humanitarian assistance-related courses. Duncan has worked in the field of humanitarian aid and international development for the last eleven years through Doctors Without Borders in India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and managing development projects at InterAction, Chemonics and CHF. Duncan has a passion for multi-cultural environments that stems from experiences in his early childhood living in Kenya, study abroad opportunities in his 20s, and three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea. Building on these years overseas, he sought an M.A. in Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland as a Peaceworker Fellow, specializing in Training Design. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Illinois with a degree in Political Science and Spanish.

Contact info:


Meritxell Collazos Sola

Contact info:


Laura Violeta Colombo


Dr. Colombo graduated in 2005 from the Intercultural Communication Master’s program at UMBC, where she also recently finished her PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture. Dr. Colombo’s defended her dissertation “Writing resources used by graduate international students and their effect on academic satisfaction.” She has returned to her home country, Argentina, where she teaches at the graduate level and works as part of the research group GICEOLEM, which specializes in academic writing in the disciplines. Contact info:


Laura Cooke


Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and French with a concentration in arts and culture from Texas A&M University. Laura’s lifetime interest in language and culture inspired her to join the INCC program at UMBC as a full time student and French language teaching assistant. Laura received her MA in Intercultural Communication and Francophone Studies in May of 2013. Not long after her graduate studies, she began working full-time for UnitedHealthcare Global, a global medical/travel assistance company located in Towson, MD. In her spare time, she participates as a member of the Alliance Francaise of Baltimore. She also continues to explore new opportunities in the fields of French/Intercultural Communication/International Education.  Contact info:

Landry Digeon


Originally from Appeville, a remote village in Normandy, France; Landry Digeon left home at age 19 to work in Heathrow airport in London. Immersed in a fast-paced multicultural environment, this experience triggered in him an unconditional interest in culture. Ever since, his growing curiosity and thirst for understanding led him to work and study in various countries. He was fascinated and at the same time puzzled by what seemed to him odd behaviors and strange traditions. That’s when became passionate with filmmaking; he ventured to capture the essence of each culture as an attempt to report it to his surrounding. The INCC program was a perfect fit for him since he was seeking for comprehensive understanding of the world. It provided him with theoretical frameworks to account for cultures at different levels (language, anthropology, politics, etc.). But most importantly, he befriended students from different backgrounds and origins, which resulted in a powerful mind-opening experience. Landry not only learned to understand other cultures but became conscious of what was most invisible to him, namely his own culture. During his study in INCC at UMBC, Landry took Filmmaking classes and produced several cultural videos some of which scored over 100 000 views on youtube. The flexibility of the program leaves room for creativity as it enabled Landry to present a scholarly paper partly in a video format. After graduating, Landry taught English in Barcelona, Spain before returning to UMBC where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) program. He keeps on collaborating with UMBC professors, has published an innovative French online manual with Dr. Marie DeVerneil, and is currently working on new projects with National Geographic. Contact info:


Doug Glynn


The INCC program at UMBC was a two-year experience that I will never forget. One of the most valuable aspects of the program is that it pulls in many foreign students from a wide variety of cultures and languages. Being able to interact with these individuals in an academic setting helped to enrich the classroom experience far beyond that of a “normal” class. The opportunity to learn from faculty with a wide range of backgrounds coupled with the cultural diversity found in my peers was invaluable not only in the academic environment but also in the post UMBC professional realm. Given my training and cultural exposure in the INCC program I was able to work in Mexico City, Mexico as a professor at one of the top schools in the country. My INCC background allowed me to teach subjects ranging from Cultural Theory to Social Issues. This then opened the door for me to act as accompanying professor in Barcelona, Spain for one semester in which I found my INCC experience invaluable as I was quickly able to assess and adapt to my Mexican students, my Catalan hosts and to individuals in the countries I visited. Currently I am studying for my PhD at the University of Maryland College Park with full fellowship with my intended research focus on Mexican Literature and Culture, specifically the use of language and identity. All of these opportunities I attribute to my preparation in the INCC program at UMBC. Contact info:

Brian Greenan


Brian Greenan (INCC 2005) serves as Project Coordinator to Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings-Blake for the UniverCity Partnership initiative, a collaboration led by the City and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) to regenerate downtown’s west side as a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. More than $1 billion of public and privately-driven projects have been completed or are underway in the UniverCity Partnership study area since late 2009.

Prior to joining the Rawlings-Blake Administration in 2011, Brian served in other real estate and economic development capacities with the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore and Banner Neighborhoods Community Corporation. Brian completed a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development at the University of Maryland College Park in 2011. He is now preparing for the Certified Economic Developer exam (CEcD), a certification program of the International Economic Development Council. Contact info:



Heidi, a native of Washington State, studied in Maryland as an undergrad where she majored in Communications and French. For six years after graduation, she worked with study abroad students learning French (in France) and English (in Maryland). During this time, her intensifying interest in cultures and language led her to UMBC’s INCC program where Heidi aspired to gain more insight and knowledge to propel her into teaching college-level English as a Second Language (ESL) & French classes. From the start of the INCC program, Heidi met an amazing group of new friends and further challenged herself to read, write, think and rethink any ideas she encountered even after her studies ended. As a hands-on person, the classes’ theoretical approach was a challenge, but gave her a stronger foundation for writing research papers on diverse topics of her choice. She especially enjoyed her elective classes on Beur & Banlieue Cinema and Crosscultural Communicaiton for ESOL Teachers. Heidi also spent an unforgettable semester in Nancy, France learning how to teach French as a foreign language and assisting an English teacher at a local high school. Upon her return to Maryland, she joined a new group of INCC students, the Interculturalists, who work to evolve the program in innovative ways. After 2 and 1/2 years of study, Heidi completed her M.A. in the INCC program in December 2010. Since her return from France, Heidi has been delighted to teach ESL and French to Maryland community college students which she hopes to continue for many years. Contact info:


Corrine Handy


Corrine is currently working as the Program Director of a youth development program for the St. Francis Neighborhood Center; a community center in Baltimore City. Her goal for the program is to introduce students to a much larger awareness of the world in which they live by exposing them to diverse creative and cultural art based opportunities. Contact info:


Sarah Holmquist


My name is Sarah and I am from Santa Barbara, CA. I graduated in May 2014 from the INCC program, with a focus in Spanish and Intercultural Training, and was also a GA for the Spanish department. One of my favorite parts of the INCC program was meeting different people and making friends from all over the world. The most valuable part for me was learning about ISD and workshop/program design through the intercultural training track. I am now working as the Administrative Coordinator for Student Services at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. The majority of our full time students are international, so this position is actually kind of perfect for me! Aside from the administrative duties that go with my job, I am engaged in planning and running orientation workshops for cultural adjustment, researching about student engagement and cross-cultural learning and leadership initiatives at the school, and helping with the summer orientation program we have just for our international students. If you are a potential or current INCC student, feel free to contact me with any questions! Contact info:

Kate Meyer Jakuta


Kate was born in Baltimore and studied Spanish and Latin American Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. During her years at St. Mary’s, she had the opportunity to travel abroad and study both in Chile and Costa Rica. After graduating from St. Mary’s, she taught high school Spanish for two years at Friends School of Baltimore, and spent one summer in an indigenous village in Puebla, Mexico. Kate began the Intercultural Communication master’s program, with a concentration in Hispanic Studies, in the fall of 2009, and graduated in December 2011. During her final year as a student in the INCC program, Kate worked for Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO), a non-profit in Baltimore City. Kate is now employed with the House of Ruth, a wonderful organization in Baltimore that serves survivors of domestic violence. Her position with House of Ruth is Bilingual Client Services Coordinator and her caseload includes both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking clients and their children. There are always plenty of opportunities to support and volunteer with House of Ruth; please contact Kate if you are interested or would like more information! Contact info:

Lara Liptak


I’m an Admissions Counselor at Towson University where I meet with students and families from diverse backgrounds and reviews applications for freshman and transfer students. In addition, I conduct information sessions to student groups and participate in on-campus events related to student recruitment. I earned my B.A. in Spanish from Shepherd University and then earned my M.A. in Intercultural Communication from UMBC in 2012. After graduating, I was not sure what I could do with a B.A. in Spanish, all I knew was that I loved communicating cross-culturally, so the Intercultural Communication program seemed like the perfect program of which to take advantage. The courses I took in the program helped me in developing excellent cross-cultural communication skills and understanding, in addition to continuing to study the Spanish language and its cultures. I was a T.A. in Spanish, which paid for my studies at UMBC and allowed me to maintain my Spanish and use it in my professional life. I continued to teach as an adjunct instructor at UMBC after graduating from the program, until I obtained a job as an admissions counselor at Towson University. I am very grateful for the strengths I built while in the program and for the people I met and continue to maintain relationships with today. The professors in the program are excellent; they provided challenging learning environments, both in and outside of the classroom. Furthermore, they were available whenever I needed any help with various facets of my graduate education. Contact info:

Michelle Massey


Michelle is enamored with the study of different cultures, especially language, music, and physical traditions like dance and martial arts. So far, her travels have taken her to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, around Europe, China, Taiwan and South Korea, though she hopes that is just the start. She has worked at UMBC for 5 years, both in Undergraduate International Admissions and currently as an International Student Adviser in the International Education Services (IES) office, where she has the great privilege of making friends from all over the world and getting paid for it! She received her BA from Towson University in 2005 where she majored in Spanish, and minored in French and International Relations. She completed the UMBC MA in Intercultural Communications in May 2010, following the Spanish track and composing her Scholarly Paper on “The Development of Underdevelopment: The Participation of International Child Sponsorship in Symbolic Violence.” She has thoroughly enjoyed making so many intercultural friends through the INCC program, and learning from the broad range of experiences and perspectives of her classmates, both international and domestic. Looking forward professionally, she is thoroughly enjoying the field of International Education, and may stay there for quite awhile, but also feels attracted to the fields of international relief and assistance, either abroad or domestically, as well as international diplomacy.

Minyong Lee


My name is Minyong Lee but I go by “Min” ever since I came to United States for academic pursuit in 2005. Originally from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, I began my sojourn life in Pullman, WA, a tiny college town located on the east side of Washington State. It was certainly different from what I had imagined my life in the US might be. After receiving B.A. from Washington State University, I still had numerous unanswered experiences about my life in the US. Therefore, it was natural for me to be interested in and fascinated by the idea of intercultural communication in order to seek some answers. Thankfully enough, the INCC program at UMBC has guided me to have better explanations for all those frustrating experiences (interesting stories though) that I had. Currently, I work in the relief organization called Good Neighbors USA ( and I am still hoping to pursue a career in a global organization.  Contact info: