Welcome to another week of our Meet Your Staff Monday Series, where we’ll be highlighting the different members of our team and letting you get an inside look at some of the wonderful people who help further the mission of the Institute!
Today we’re speaking to Gabriella, our International Exchanges and Education Coordinator!
Please state your name and the position you hold at the Institute.
My name is Gabriella, and I am an International Exchanges and Education Coordinator!
What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
I really enjoy doing a medieval combat sport and learning about cultures different from my own.
What is your favorite local immigrant/refugee/survivor-run restaurant or business?
I think my favorite local immigrant-run restaurant would have to be Pho Lantern, they have fantastic bahn mi!
How long have you been working at IIB?
I’ve been working at IIB since January of 2020, so just over a year and a half now!
Can you tell us a bit about your position and/ or department?
I work primarily on the International Visitor Leadership Program that is funded through the Department of State. This program aims to connect current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term projects and professional meetings. When I coordinate the Buffalo portion of these programs, I aim to create a program where the international visitors can learn from the folks here as well as share their own expertise. Some of the themes for these projects include Community Based Leadership, NGO Management, and Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities. I also facilitate several global education programs for the community, where the participants can discuss current foreign policy issues with a local expert or discuss their community while reflecting on the cultural structures that shaped their lived experiences.
What is one way you/ your department has worked through the pandemic to continue your services?
We’ve had to transition pretty much all our programs to a virtual format and really reimagine the structure of them. Luckily, we are still able to bring international visitors to Buffalo even if the program looks a little different right now with meetings hosted over Zoom.
What is one thing the community can do to help further your work or our mission?
Think critically about how you look at and reflect on your own culture and others!