The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.
SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, PhD, Program Director
SherriLynn Colby-Bottel received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2012. She also completed a BA in anthropology (1998) and an MA in music (2001), with distinction. From 2005 to 2012, SherriLynn conducted ethnographic research in New Orleans, Louisiana, on disaster recovery, nonprofits, urban traditions, and community-based social activities. Her extensive research drew together issues of globalization and race and health disparities. She also examined how environment, structural inequity, and local policy act as determinants of community well-being. Her research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Virginia Faculty Senate Fellowship award for scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. SherriLynn is passionate about learning, as well as teaching. Her intellectual interests rest at the nexus of holistic community well-being, ethnography, and ethical considerations of representation. She is currently drafting her research into a book.
SherriLynn has been with SIT since 2011; she has coordinated programs for both the Health and the Cities programs. She has worked in higher education for more than a dozen years as both teacher and administrator at California State University, Fresno; the University of New Orleans; and the University of Virginia.
Meghan Phadke, MA, Program Manager
Meghan Phadke is a New York City public school teacher and alumna of the Cities program. She has spent the last six years working in a high-poverty public school in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood where she built, from the ground up, a comprehensive music program that now serves over 400 students. In this role, she has worked closely with arts foundations and nonprofits as well as city arts agencies in order to obtain, and maintain, resources.
Meghan completed her master’s degree in urban affairs in the fall of 2013. She is interested in issues surrounding the building and sustaining of educational reform, in particular, the use of participatory processes and the privatization of educational services. Meghan was a Trustees Fellow in the spring of 2014 and will continue in this role with the spring 2015 Cities cohort.
Susan Sakash, Launch Coordinator, New Orleans, LA, USA
Susan Sakash lives in New Orleans where she is pursuing her master’s degree in social innovation and sustainability through Goddard College, a low-residency, self-directed learning program based in Vermont. Her graduate research is focused on strengthening solidarity and cooperative economies. More specifically, she has been looking at how these frameworks and strategies inform the myriad local food system efforts both within the city of New Orleans and across the Deep South.
While in high school at Phillips Exeter Academy, Susan lived with a homestay family in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for two months. In college, she did a Spanish-immersion study abroad program in Madrid, Spain. Susan received her BA from Wesleyan University in 2000.
For the past fifteen years, Susan has explored questions of how people and communities grow stronger through mutual aid and collective action. Her approaches to this inquiry have run the gamut — from curating socially engaged public art projects in Dublin, Ireland, to living in intentional communities in Costa Rica, to organizing activist street band festivals in Providence, Rhode Island. She spent the better part of the last decade working as a fund development professional for community-based nonprofits such as Raw Art Works in Lynn, Massachusetts, and Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, Rhode Island, before relocating to New Orleans. Susan's free time is consumed by playing the trombone, roasting her own coffee, growing food, and maintaining an active compost pile at her neighborhood community garden.
Vu Cong Nguyen MD, MPH, Country Coordinator, Vietnam
Nguyen is the deputy director of the Institute of Population Health and Development. He was previously a director of Family Health Research Center, a lecturer at Hanoi Medical School, a program officer with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, and a program officer with Family Health International. Currently, Nguyen is leading several HIV/AIDS research and intervention projects in Vietnam that target most-at-risk populations. He and his staff are also implementing an HIV prevention project targeting young Vietnamese soldiers who are completing mandatory military service. Dr. Nguyen obtained his medical doctorate from Hanoi Medical School in 1993 and a master’s of public health at Brown University in 2005. His expertise includes health systems management, epidemiology, and biostatistics and their applications in public health research, with a special interest in HIV/AIDS. He is also a founder of the Vietnamese Society for HIV/AIDS Medicine and a member of the Vietnamese Public Health Association and American Public Health Association.
Jan G. Vermeulen, MComm, Country Coordinator, South Africa
Jan commenced his career as a human resources practitioner in the private sector and became a business consultant focusing on executive development, change management, mentorship, performance management, and productivity. Since the early nineties he has worked toward poverty alleviation. He relocated to Bushbuckridge in 1993 where he assisted with the set-up of Pfunanane Co-operative and Credit Union. He established the Bushbuckridge Local Business Service Centre in Acornhoek and Central Business Service Centre (now LIBSA). Recently, he has been consulting as a development practitioner and has been involved with research in natural resource business opportunities, income generation for households headed by children because of AIDS, community leadership development, monitoring and evaluation of the transformation program at Wits University, and tourism-based LED at Greater Tzaneen and Letaba municipalities. Jan obtained an MComm at North-West University. He is registered as a practicing industrial psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Carolina Rovetta, Country Coordinator, Argentina
Carolina holds a five-year degree in arts from the University of Buenos Aires and a postgraduate degree in contemporary cinema and theater. She has been working in the field of international education for many years and designs several academic and immersion programs in Argentina for students and institutions from abroad. Her focus is on the interaction between academic content and cultural sensitivity. Ms. Rovetta has written several pedagogical guides on cultural activities in immersion. She also is very interested in arts and culture and works as a cultural facilitator for the city of Buenos Aires. She first began working with IHP in 2005 and helped establish the Cities in the 21st Century program in Buenos Aires. From there, she was asked to design the Health and Community Program and has been running this program since 2008.
Diane Lindblad, Traveling Faculty
Diane Lindblad is an anthropologist and linguist; she earned her PhD in Romance languages and literature with a focus on social anthropology from the University of Washington. She has a strong and varied academic career. Diane worked with SIT in Ireland and in France in the early '90s. She later worked in Northern Ireland during some of the worst violence of the “Troubles” leading up to the Peace Accord. She worked in a cross border initiative through the Queen’s University Armagh Outreach Program. It was here that she developed her passion for social justice and equality issues while working with community activists, government agencies, and political representatives. Her scholarly interests include issues affecting rural vs. urban populations as well as experiential pedagogy and integrating community participation with education. Recently, Diane helped create the team-oriented program in intercultural communication (multicultural studies) at Seattle Central College.
In 2012, Diane cycled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Her observation of the struggle of villagers against the encroachment of increasing urbanization and the challenges of economic survival directly related to her experiences in Northern Ireland. She continues to use these narratives in the courses she develops and teaches for SIT. Questions central to her work now consider the following: How do people reconcile community to personal identity and well-being? What are the conflicts, presentations, and expression of health, illness, and well-being? How does communication about health reflect and reproduce broader ideologies and patterns of power and inequality in societies?
Darius Callier, Trustees Fellow
Darius is a graduate student based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he has been pursuing joint master's degrees in development management and policy at Georgetown University and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín. His research is concerned with Senegalese immigrants who have settled in Buenos Aires and the challenges faced around access to housing, education, and healthcare. After graduating from Lehigh University with a BA in political science and philosophy, Darius taught for two years at the elementary and high school levels in Pittsburgh and in Harlem. An alumnus of SIT Study Abroad's program in social movements and human rights in Buenos Aires, Darius has served as a group leader to three Experiment in International Living high school summer abroad programs to Argentina and Spain. He is looking forward working with another study abroad program, to share his passion for public health and experiential learning.