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Global Envoys

A global envoy is a student-held position designed to provide peer advising to students who are interested in off-campus study, internships, and other global opportunities. Global envoys represent a broad range of global experiences and offer a deep knowledge about the myriad of course-embedded and off-campus programs that are offered at Grinnell and in partnership.

Global envoys are a great resource for all students considering off-campus programs to discuss options, the application process, concerns, and any other general questions that may arise when choosing a program. They provide weekly advising hours. Students are encouraged to​​​​​ schedule an appointment with the link provided, or drop in for an appointment. 

Meet the Envoys:

Valencia climbing up a volcano in Pucon, Chile.

Hola! My name is Valencia Alvarez, and I’m a 4th year Biology major and Latin American Studies concentrator from Yucaipa, CA. I play on the Women’s Soccer Team and love to do my homework outside. I studied abroad last Spring of 2019 in Santiago, Chile through IES-Health Studies. There, I was able to play soccer with Chileans on the University team, live with a host family, shadow physicians in a public hospital, and travel around the incredible country that is Chile. My first and second years at Grinnell, I participated in the Global Learning Programs: Immigration, Migration, and Citizenship traveling to Spain, Greece, and Germany; and Global Health traveling to Costa Rica, Cuba, and Denmark. I love travelling the world and seeing amazing places, but I love meeting new people in those places even more. In the future, I hope to enter Public Health or Immigration in the fight to extend access to government resources to migrants all around the world. Through IGE,  I try my best to promote the opportunity to see the world for students that otherwise would not do so. This is a picture of me almost at the top of a volcano in Pucon, Chile during my semester abroad.




Yoli Martin with a lamb in field in Europe.

Ahoj! My name is Yoli Martin (she/her/hers), and I am a fourth-year biology major from Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve mostly visited Europe because I have family in Slovakia and Germany, but the farthest I’ve ever been is Japan. It’s on my bucket list to have gone to a country on each continent though, so stay tuned. Through Grinnell I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and had an amazing time learning about the Danish health care system. I may or may not have also eaten way too many kanegsneile (Danish cinnamon rolls). My favorite part of being an Envoy is planning the little details, so if you are trying to pick between an aisle or a window seat on a plane, I can help. If I have the spare time you can find me reading a book or playing piano. I am also the 2020 Class Ambassador and co-captain of the Grinnell Model UN team, and I am also a part of the Grinnell Ultimate Frisbee team. I speak German and Spanish (but I haven’t spoken in a while) so if you ever want to practice with someone let me know!





Student performing

I’m Mira Berkson, a 4th year Chinese major from Chicago. I went abroad to Hangzhou, China in the fall of my third year, and enjoyed committing to only speaking Chinese, befriending both American classmates and Chinese roommates, talking to shop owners, and eating fun fruits.This past summer, another Grinnellian and I spent 3 weeks in Florence, Italy for a research project about language-based tourism and tourist language learning under the guidance of Prof. Cori Jakubiak. After conveniently making a long stop in Germany, I was off to Taipei, Taiwan for a summer MAP with Prof. Craig Quintero in Theatre & Dance. While being in a new place can be inherently exciting, I am much more interested in working or participating in a big project during my future international endeavors. My recent semesters have involved a deeper dive into the arts, particularly dance and video. Like with my MAP last summer, I plan to find ways to make wonderful and weird creative work abroad, especially in Chinese-speaking communities. (I don't want to be a business/finance lady!!!) I am excited about comedy, cooking, moving, doodling, talking, and cooperation. I look forward to a smorgasbord of experiences where I can continue embracing interdisciplinary thinking and community building. I'm especially excited to talk to students who are undecided and open to different abroad experiences. Also talk to me about why you shouldn't double major!



Student rock climbing

G’day! My name is Emma Liddle (she/her/hers). I’m a 4th year Biology major with an Environmental Studies concentration from Bloomington, Minnesota. My passions include global and field research, especially for climate issues, and I’d like to spend the entirety of next year doing environmental activism. Once that’s through, my goals are to get a Masters in a biology/environmental science-related field, and spend my life doing research (preferably partly outside). When I’m not in class, I like to take photos, listen to music, and do crafts with friends. I got the chance to study abroad with the School for Field Studies in Far North Queensland, Australia. I spent three months living in the Australian rainforest: taking hikes, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, living primarily in cabins, avoiding large spiders, and doing a directed research project. As a member of the Grinnell Singers, I’ll also be a part of their tour this spring break to Central and Eastern Europe, visiting Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. I’m an SFS Campus Representative and an open book! This is me rock climbing for the first time in a while (and being goofy, one of my specialties).




Grinnell student hiking in Ecuador
I'm Langston Thomas, a 4th year political science major from Rockville, Maryland. Before Grinnell, I traveled to various states along the East Coast, a few in the Midwest, and did a middle-school spring break trip to China. At Grinnell, I studied abroad for two semesters in Ecuador with the fall IES Abroad Quito Language and Area Studies program and the spring MSID—International Development in Ecuador program. I am passionate about understanding and addressing institutional oppression US and comparative perspectives. My research focuses on the relationship between the rise of toxic polarization and the state of global democracy in the 21st century. My long-term goal it to continue grappling with systematic exclusion and oppression in graduate school and law school. For fun, I like to venture out to new places, watch movies, hang out with friends, listen to music, play sports, and eat food. As an Envoy this year, I have been working to bring more awareness to the ways in which differences in identity can influence one’s global experience. Additionally, I have been developing reintegration programs to assist returnees as they readjust to Grinnell College after a semester or year-long experience. I look forward to helping students prepare for and navigate through global experiences while I finish out my last semester here! This is a photo of me hiking in Las Cascadas de Peguche (The Peguche Waterfalls) in Ecuador.
Pre-med student in a lab

Xin chào! My name is Lynn Nguyen,  a 4th year Biochemistry major and POSSE Scholar from the Washington, D.C. Area. I am a pre-med student who is passionate about mental healthcare and neuroscience research. My long-term goal is to pursue an MD/PhD in a mental health field and to practice as a child psychiatrist. I am a co-leader of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students on campus, I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at the Mayflower Community, and I volunteer in Children’s Ministry at Prairie Lakes Church in town. I also love to stay active and you can often find me at HIIT class or in the Bear. As for global experiences, I got to learn about migration and borders in the 21st century in my first year Global Learning Program (GLP) tutorial where we traveled to Southwest United States, Mexico, Spain, Greece, and Germany. That summer, I also had a medical internship at MEDIC medical center in Saigon, Vietnam where I shadowed and went on service trips to provide basic goods and services to underserved populations in local provinces. Most recently, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark where I got amazing hands-on and patient interaction experiences with the DIS Medical Practice and Policy Program. I did neuroscience summer research with a mouse model (pictured) at the University of Iowa’s Psychiatry and Early Neurobiological Development Lab.



Student skiing on Mt Hood

Hello! My name is Shirley Jwa, a 2nd year majoring in biochemistry. I went back and forth between South Korea and the United States throughout my life, and so I consider both Seoul, South Korea and Bellevue, WA home. I’m on the premed track, and I wish to be a doctor whom immigrants or foreigners, who are less comfortable with the healthcare systems in the United States, can easily approach. Before I came to Grinnell, I had a gap year, and I got to travel Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong. I also taught English at a private academy in Korea, which was an amazing experience.  

During my free time, I watch Youtube, either traveling or cooking videos. I also enjoy playing the piano, skiing, and swimming. Last summer, I had a wonderful opportunity to intern at a biomedical research center in Seoul, where I got to harvest tissues from mice, and then embed, section, and image them. I also enjoy learning new languages; I started learning Spanish in Grinnell, and I hope to study abroad in Spain in my fourth year!

Here is a picture from winter break at Mt. Hood in Oregon!



Student traveling next to water and waterfall

Hi! I’m Paul Hill, a first-year from New York City majoring in computer science and studio art. On Grinnell’s campus, you can find me either in Noyce, with my track team in the Bear, the art studios, or in the Global Development Offices as a Global Envoy Mentor. Before my matriculation to Grinnell, I spent my gap-year working and traveling in Peru. One of my favorite experiences was seeing bioluminescent bacteria in the ocean when I visited the northern beach town Mancora. My main goal was to experience the geographic and biological diversity Peru has to offer to the full extent. I had the opportunity to climb snow-capped mountains, swim in cliff-side beaches, and ride a quad-bike through the desert. If I had more time, I would have gone to the Amazon rainforest as well. Although I spent as much time as possible traveling, I worked as a photographer for hostels, travel agencies, and modeling agencies while I navigated the country. As a Global Envoy Mentor, I am also here to help students find internships aligned with their professional interests.  My future goals include traveling to Ghana, Nigeria, France, and Thailand. In the meantime, I’m excited to continue traveling through opportunities provided here such as the Global  Learning Program, where I will study Shakespeare in Venice, Italy, and Cyprus.




Student traveling abroad photo in window

I'm Saule Keliauskaite, a first-year international student from Vilnius, Lithuania. I am thrilled to join the Global Envoy team this year! As for now, I am an intended economics major, and outside of the classroom, I love playing tennis, which I have been doing for over ten years. Also, I enjoy badminton, volleyball, and going on hikes! Additionally, I very much like debating, and I'm an active member of the Debate Union on campus. Traveling, in general, is one of my biggest hobbies, and coming here to the US to study was very exciting as I am from Europe. I get to broaden my horizons, and I am learning a lot, which I can share with my peers while working at the IGE. I hope I can help as many students as possible to explore study abroad opportunities and use their time at Grinnell most efficiently. Being abroad is very rewarding, but at times can become overwhelming, so being there for other students is my ultimate goal!

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