Paris Alumni Updates

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Updates received Spring 2016

Scott Vander Vennet, 1982 Summer – “Summer of 1982 Paris was the best summer of my life,” says Scott. In October 2015, he returned and tried to relive the magic! Scott now lives in Connecticut and has an OB-Gyn practice but will never forget his time in Paris with great friends.

Updates received Fall 2015

Bruce McLean, 1968 Spring – Bruce is currently a real estate broker in Boston. He says, “I was in the Paris program in 1968, when so much was happening both in Paris and in the US. I think so often of that experience and encourage any students to take advantage of study abroad programs.”

Kathleen McGookey, 1987 Fall - Kathleen's latest book of poems, Stay, was published by Press 53 in September 2015. Another book of poems, At the Zoo, is forthcoming from White Pine Press in spring 2017. She has also published two chapbooks, Mended and October Again, as well as a book of translations, We'll See, of contemporary French poet Georges Godeau's work.

Keara Parciak, 2013 Spring - Since graduating in 2014 from Saint Joseph's University, Keara has been pursuing a MM in sacred music with concentrations in Piano and composition from Westminster Choir College. She returned to Paris this past July to study at the EAMA composition program (which she participated in last July as well) at the Schola Cantorum. While there, she worked as a translator, which gave her the opportunity to translate composition lessons and one of the composition elective classes: orchestration. Keara was also able to show the other students in the program her favorite parts of Paris that are a little off the beaten path. In the spring, Keara will finish her masters and hopes to return to Paris to study music at either the Ecole Normale de Musique or the Schola Cantorum before getting a doctorate.

Updates received Spring 2015

Paula Norbert, 1982 Spring – Paula lives in Kennebunk, Maine with her husband and two children, after having lived and worked for years in the Boston area. Paula has worked as a college chaplain and works in ministry now. She has such happy memories of Paris and travels in Europe and her daughter, now 13, loves all things French. Paula hopes to travel to France with her family in the next few years.

Updates received Fall 2014

Fred McChesney, 1967 Fall - After five years in law practice, Fred has for 30 years been teaching in various law and business schools: Emory, Cornell, Northwestern, and now the University of Miami.  Fred is widower with four children but no grandchildren (yet). He is in still in touch with several of his classmates. Am in touch with Brian Riordan, Dave Moynehan and Pat Simko.

Fátima Santamaría Hoger, 1976 Spring - After her semester abroad, Fátima graduated from college, married SGT Sam Hoger and became an Army Wife. They have three Children and four grandchildren. We lived in Texas, Louisiana, Germany, Panamá, and in Alaska since 1992. Fátima pursued a career as a Registered Dietitian and now does consulting. She has been back to Paris four times since her IES Abroad days and continue to love the French people and the French language. She looks forward to a few more visits in the future.

Emily Hancock, 1989 Spring - In 1990, Emily graduated from Kenyon College with a major in French. In 1992, she completed the Master's in French language and literature from the University of Virginia. Since 1992, Emily has been teaching English in Toulouse, France.

William Nimchuk, 2001-02 – William will be celebrating his first daughter Sophia's first birthday in January 2015.

Brianna Rooney, 2013 SpringAs a spring 2014 graduate of Temple University and an alum of IES Paris French Studies, Brianna recently started as a Public Relations Account Manager at Slice Communications, in Philadelphia. Now, as permanent resident of Philly, Brianna spend time after work and on weekends in search of the best crêpe in town.

Elijah Olson, 2014 Summer - It has been a couple of months since Elijah returned from studying abroad in Paris, France. A day does not go by that he doesn’t think about the unbelievable time and experience he had in the city of lights. Elijah is still in school, pursuing his dream of becoming a Music Educator. He is planning on learning French, so when the day comes that he gets to return to Paris, it will feel even more like home. Elijah’s dream as of now, is to one day teach music there, and it's all thanks to the study abroad trip he took over the summer.

Updates received Spring 2014

Karen O’Neill, 1969-70 – Karen is the Director of International Programs at San Jose State University and lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Douglas Bonner, 1979 Spring – Douglas did his first Eurodelivery of a new car in April, 2013 and drove it through Bavaria and Salzburg. But the piece de resistance was driving through Alsace, Nancy, Champagne and finally into Paris (no, not on the Champs Elysees!)  Douglas enjoyed returning to visit the IES Abroad Center on rue Daguerre in the 15eme and speaking en francais with one of the current administration.

Allison Kruk, 2010 Spring – Thanks to IES Abroad, Allison has become very interested in international programming and now works for a cultural exchange agency – Au Pair in America. She supports au pairs from all over the world to find families to work with in the U.S. and have their own adventure abroad just like she did. The French she perfected while in Paris with IES Abroad has been extremely helpful in her position.

Atiya Tucker, 2012 Fall – In her senior year at Temple University, Atiya volunteered with youth in the North Philadelphia community and was involved with language organizations. After college, she plans to work abroad in the Peace Corps, a French-English teaching program, or in the airline industry.

Keara Parciak, 2013 Spring – Keara graduated in May 2014 with a BA in French, a BA in music, and a minor in Spanish.  She returned to Paris in July to study music composition with the EAMA summer festival and will start a Masters program in fall 2014 to get an MM in sacred music.

Brianna Rooney, 2013 Spring – Brianna recently graduated from Temple University and is starting her journey in the "real world" in Philadelphia.

Updates received Fall 2013

Idette Johnson Swetye, 1967-68 – Idette lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband Michael Swetye.

Felice Webster, 1969 Fall – Felice has been married over 35 years and has two grown children.   She has been an adoption attorney for the past 30 years.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, especially to France, and enjoyed two home exchanges there. Felice lives in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Zimmer Lezotte, 1971-72 – Mary taught French at Presentation HS in San Jose from 1974 to 2004 and at Mission College in Santa Clara, California.

Paul Utrecht, 1980 Spring – Paul has been practicing law in San Francisco for 30 years.  He still has very fond memories of his semester in Paris.

Alexandra Simmons, 2011 Fall – After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College in May 2013, Alexandra became a Gallard Teaching Fellow at The Branson School in Ross, CA (suburb of San Francisco).  She was also inducted into Phi Bet Kappa in May 2013.  She now live in California.  Her IES experience broadened her horizons in ways she appreciates daily.

Updates received Spring 2013

Idette Johnson Swetye, 1967-68 Fall/Spring – After graduating from college, Idette embarked on a career as a conference interpreter using her languages: French, Spanish and English.  She worked at the UN in New York until 1986 and in Washington, DC since then. Idette’s work has taken her all over the world and she has covered many fascinating subjects.

Bill White, 1967-68 Fall/Spring – Bill has spent 38 1/2 years as a doctor in family practice. He has 7 kids – four are married, one is engaged, and two are at home. Bill’s 18th grandchild is on the way!

Molly McGettingan Arthur, 1969-1970 Fall/Spring – Molly has been married for over 40 years with two children and two grandchildren.

Krista Kmetz Stein, 1975-76 Fall/Spring – Krista worked as a trial attorney in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for 29 years and retired in 2010. She has two children and is remarried, living in Lake Tahoe, CA.  In 2012, Krista and her husband Max visited Paris with her daughter. While in Paris, she found the apartment where she lived while studying with IES Abroad!

Gianna Montinola, 1978-79 Fall/Spring – Now in her 50s, Gianna just completed a mid-career Master’s in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School. She lives and works in Manila, Philippines.

Jennifer Birmingham, 1990 Fall – Jennifer lives in Los Gatos, CA.

Joanna Barber Harding, Spring 1997/Nantes Fall 1996 –  After receiving a Master's and attending a short career as a French High School teacher, Joanna has leveraged her French skills in the corporate world for the last 7 years.  Joanna is scoping out and hoping for a new adventure which utilizes her love of French and for people, her project management, IT experience, and instructional experience more closely. Referrals welcome!  Joanna would love to get back into contact with anyone from that year.

Julia-Louise Murphy Missie, 1998 Summer – Julia-Louise lives in New Jersey.

Heather Shafter, 1999 Fall – Heather is a case worker at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Kimberly Co, 2010 Fall – Kimberly is living in Texas.

Mollie Dillon, 2012 Spring – Mollie has been busy finishing her last semesters as an undergrad, and sharing her abroad experience with everyone who asks. She does a lot of work with prospective students at her university, and tells them all that studying abroad was definitely the best decision she made in college. Mollie will be attending graduate school next year for a Masters in Accounting and will be working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

David Pichardo, 2012 Spring – In May 2013, David graduated from Pomona College with a major in Physical and Social Science of Health Major and a minor in French. He has been accepted to Claremont Graduate University's one year accelerated Master's in Public Health Program and will be seeking this degree beginning Fall 2013. David plans on working in the public health for another year after obtaining his master's before finally going to medical school.

Updates received Winter 2012-13

Klein Merriman, 1970-71 Fall/SpringKlein is the Executive Director of the Association for Retail Environments. He has been living & working in South Florida for 30 years tries to get back to Paris every few years.

Kathryn Ferroggiaro, Paris 1982-83 Fall/Spring – Kathryn has been a high school French teacher for 28 years and currently teaches French at an IB school.  She travels to France frequently with students and her family and just completed her third house swap with a French family.

Tara Shumway Spellman, 1994-95 Fall/Spring – Tara lives in Florida and is a recruiting consultant at Airamid Health Services.

Sarah Fischer, 1995-96 Fall/Spring – Sarah is the Resident Services Coordinator at Hope Communities in Denver, CO.

Renee Dunaway, 2003 Spring – After 12 years in marketing, Renee has joined the ASPCA as Enrichment Coordinator at their new Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, where she will be providing physical and psychological enrichment to fearful victims of animal cruelty. In addition, she will be doing basic dog training, assisting with behavior modification protocols, and collecting data for research.

Jeremiah Oliver, 2003 SpringJeremiah moved to New York after spending the last 9 years living in Seattle, working as a musician (piano) with many local choruses and as a part-time French teacher. You can listen to some of his music at his website:

Updates recieved Spring/Summer 2012

Joan Arehart Treichel, 1961-62 Fall/Spring - Joan’s IES Abroad year in Paris changed her life dramatically. She fell in love with Europe and Europeans, married a German (husband Horst Treichel of 40 years), and lived in Germany for several years. They brought up their daughters bilingual in German and English, and their older daughter obtained a doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, lives and works in China, and is married to a Chinese man.

Idette Johnson Swetye, 1967-68 Fall/Spring - Idette is a self-employed conference interpreter and is married to Mike Swetye, Nantes Summer ’67, Paris Fall ’67, and they split their residence between Alexandria, VA, and Boulder, CO. Mike is retired from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and they have two grandchildren in Colorado.   Clifford Vanvoorhees, 1966-67 Fall/Spring - Clifford has worked for four years in minority business development, 25 years in international finance, four years in electric commerce, and six years in inner city education. He may begin consulting next year.   Joseph Toris, 1976 Fall - Joseph has been employed at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the largest municipal affordable housing development organization in the US, for over 22 years and currently serves as the Director of Marketing.    Paul Manuel, 1979-80 Fall/Spring - Paul is a professor of political science and international relations at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD.    Kathleen McGookey, 1987 Fall - Kathleen is a writer and has published three books. Whatever Shines (White Pine Press) and October Again (Burnside Review Press) are poetry. We’ll See (Parlor Press) is a translation of French writer George L. Godeau’s 14th book of prose poems.   Christophe Moustirats, 1993-94 Fall/Spring - Christophe is an account manager for Cisco Systems, Inc.    Lynn Burke, 2002 Spring - Lynn works in Gettysburg, MA, as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving for Gettysburg College.   Angela Chen, 2004 Fall - Angela has been working at LACMA for six years and will always remember IES Abroad Paris. She returned to France on business delivering artwork in Antibes.