Meet Cait Monan

Cait Monan, Employment Case Worker

A SUNY Fredonia ’17 graduate and travel enthusiast, Ms. Monan supports New American Integration’s efforts to give our clients meaningful employment opportunities.

What can you tell us about your education? Do you think it has prepared you for your position?

[CM]: I am a SUNY Fredonia graduate with a degree in International Studies with concentrations in the Developing Nations, Anthropology and Latino Studies.  I did fundraise for a resettlement agency, so it seemed only natural that I ended up at the Institute [laughs].  At Fredonia, I was active with their International Education department which really spurred my interest in other cultures and languages.

What would you say is the most rewarding thing about working at an organization like the Institute?

[CM]: Seeing clients become successful and self-sufficient.  To see how they adapt and change after meeting for the first time is a special thing to be a part of.

What is the first word that comes to mind when I say “International Institute of Buffalo”?

[CM]: Human rights.

What is one accomplishment that you are most proud of? Why?

[CM]: I would say my biggest accomplishment thus far would be studying abroad in Vietnam and Chile.  I have never traveled alone before, so going somewhere for a long period of time without expectations or knowing anyone was a big deal for me. 

Since the Institute works with diverse people from all over the world, can you share with us your own heritage?

[CM]: I am Irish-American—both sides of my family have predominately Irish roots.

Given the international nature of the Institute, have you traveled abroad? Any places on your bucket list?

[CM]: I’ve been to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, South Korea and Ireland.  I would love to go to a bunch of different places—especially South Africa—where I can do outdoor-backpack types of traveling.  

If you could sit down with any historical figure, who would you choose? What is one question you would ask them?

[CM]: I would like to sit down with Malala and start off the conversation by thanking her for her sacrifice and ask about what I can do to better empower women in education.   

Favorite ethnic food?

[CM]: I recently found that I have a love for Indian food, especially chicken masala.  I have come to really enjoy spicy food. 

Favorite book?

[CM]: Every Harry Potter book, except for the first book.  But also, Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies about the Mirabal sisters under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic is wonderful.

What can you tell me about your life away from the Institute?

[CM]: I like to hike, rock climb and travel.  I like to learn new languages too; in the process of learning Arabic, but it is not going well [laughs].

What traits would you say define you?

[CM]: Empathetic, driven and adventurous.