Carrie Rackers Cunningham

Director of Institutional Research
IES Abroad

Carrie Rackers Cunningham is the Director of Institutional Research at IES Abroad, where she has worked since 2007. Carrie manages, implements, and oversees a wide range of strategic research efforts, including student assessment, outcomes research, and trends in the field of study abroad. In the decade that Carrie has worked at IES Abroad, she has worked with almost all IES Abroad constituents students, parents, alumni, university partners, and faculty which allows her to bring a practical lens to the research efforts she leads.

Read below to find out a bit more about Carrie:

What is your favorite place you've traveled and why?

The first time I traveled outside of the United States was to the amazing country of Benin, as new, and exceptionally naïve, Peace Corps volunteer. The beauty, chaos, and energy of Benin forever changed who I saw myself to be - thus it will always hold the title of my "favorite" place.

What is the one item you can't travel without?

A map! Anytime I am traveling somewhere new, I make a point to have a printed map of that city/country to study on the way. I always find something interesting that I want to check out or see, something I wouldn't have noticed if I'd relied solely on my phone/GPS to get me from point A to point B.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

As a mom of three young kids, spare time is not plentiful in my world. However, there is one cause that I believe strongly in that I volunteer for every week - food rescue. After returning to the United States from living abroad, I was overwhelmed by the amount of food waste in our country and I became determined to help curb this problem. I began volunteering with organizations that "rescue" unused food from grocery stores and re-source that food to places where it can be used. In addition to providing usable food to those who need it, it saves millions of pounds of waste from ending up in landfills. If you are curious about food waste in the U.S., I'd encourage you to check out!