I am ITA’s Office Administrative Assistant. Answering phones, organizing the office, and helping all of our teams, I’ll probably be the first to greet you if you stop by!
Since I was a kid, I have loved the idea of exploring the world and seeing new places. I would read massive atlases and travel books plotting adventures and where I would need to visit. My family did a lot of road trips and vacations growing up, and it definitely instilled a sense in me to keep on traveling.
Having been lucky enough to see many countries so far, it’s really exciting to immerse myself in a new place and enjoy a different culture than my own. Though I didn’t teach abroad, studying and living in Italy definitely made an impact on how I saw the world and the US, and it wasn’t just an appreciation for cappuccinos and pasta!
After trying acting (another passion of mine) for a few years post-college, being at ITA is truly a full circle of doing what the kid reading atlases was dreaming about.
I’m originally from Evanston, IL, and have mainly stayed in the Chicago area. I love all things Chicago - whether it’s the food, its sports teams, or the city’s great history. I went to Loyola University Chicago - Go Ramblers!
When I was five, I was lucky enough to go to Ireland with my family. I remember being so excited I didn’t sleep on the plane ride and quickly passed out on an airport bench when we landed. Needless to say, we drove around the entire island, topped off with making it to Giant’s Causeway at sunset before heading back home.
Canada, Ireland, UK, Iceland, Spain, The Bahamas, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Vatican City, Iceland, Austria, The Netherlands, and Turkey!
I studied abroad in Rome, Italy, for half a year and separately lived with a family in Madrid, Spain for a month.
On one of my very first school trips in Italy, we did a three-day weekend tour of Umbria. One of the towns we stopped in was Foligno, and walking around town, I noticed that many buildings had these beautiful and colorful flags. As a souvenir, I thought I might try to buy one, and a couple of buddies and I went to this section of town that was covered in green flags, which was my favorite design. I saw a bar that was covered in green flags and went inside to ask if there was a place I could buy a flag. I asked what seemed to be the bar owner, who lit up immediately that I was so interested in the flags of the town. Though he didn’t speak much English, he told our group to follow him to a bar next door that was covered with green flag memorabilia, horse gear, awards, and trophies. We had been led to a green hall of fame!
Turns out the flags represented the 10 districts of the city, and each year, each district would send a champion to compete in the Giostra della Quintana, which was a jousting competition where a rider on horseback would try to get their spear into various different levels of rings. Though we couldn’t talk at length about it, I could tell how passionate the bar owner was and soon a whole group was with us showing us old relics of tournaments past - we even watched a grainy video from the 90s of the last time the district had won. Something I commiserated with as the Cubs hadn’t won a world series yet!
I didn’t end up getting a flag, but they gave me a green handkerchief that I still have to this day, along with an invitation to that bar whenever I come back.
I love all different kinds of ethnic food, but if I had to pick one I would go with fresh, homemade Italian food and pasta. I had a life-changing carbonara on my first day in Rome and I have never looked back!
Traveling and experiencing new cultures is something I am very passionate about, and being given the opportunity to help others teach around the world and create global connections is a dream come true. Being in a community of people who also enjoy being abroad and talking about travel is super fun!
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