Staff

12 Ed 002Executive Director: Ed Zastrow

   I am Ed, the ICFRC Executive Director. Previously, I was Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa for sixteen years.  Prior to RMHC, I was the owner/operator of Bushnell’s Turtle Restaurant and Catering for eighteen years and also restored the College Block Building in Iowa City.  
 
 Following graduation from the University of Iowa,  I worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as an epidemiolgist and administrator in Chicago and Springfield, IL for six years.  My volunteer work includes service as President for twelve local, regional and state social service, library, hospital and foundation boards.  I have enjoyed travel to Japan, Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean, Denmark and Sweden.
 

  

photo 1 (3)Intern: Rachel Maggi
Major: International Studies
 
     Hello! My name is Rachel and I’m a senior from Kohler, Wisconsin. Currently I am pursuing a major in International Studies with a double focus in South Asian Studies and East Asian Studies, a certificate in Sustainability, and a minor in Global Health. I have studied French at UI and am currently studying Chinese and Hindi.
 
     My international experiences include a 3-week study abroad program in Udaipur, Rajasthan in northwest India in December 2014-January 2015, and a 4-week internship with The Swami Vivekananda Youth Mouth and Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement in Mysore, Karnataka in southwest India in June 2015. I have also had brief visits in France, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Canada. I also had the privilege of attending Unite For Sight’s Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University in March of 2015 and April of 2017. In addition, I spoke at the Heartland Global Health Conference at Drake University in Des Moines in October 2015 about my internship with SVYM/GRAAM as a part of a pilot program for the new Development in a Global Context internship within the University of Iowa’s Global Health Studies Certificate Program. I would love to visit China or South East Asia in the near future.
 
     After graduation I am planning on conducting a Fulbright Year doing research on maternal, newborn, child health in northern India! Afterwards, I would like to apply to graduate school to receive a Masters in Public Health with a Global Health or MNCH concentration.

 

 
hANS

Intern: Hans Birhanzel
Majors: International Relations, Spanish
 

     Hola! My name is Hans Wolfgang Birhanzel and I’m a senior at the University of Iowa. Originally born in Hartford, Connecticut I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Iowa City three years ago.  I am fluent in Spanish and I am now  trying to learn Portuguese. Outside of the ICFRC I spend my free time involved in the executive leadership of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, Beta Mu chapter. I also have been a part of rowing crews since high school, including the Iowa Men’s Rowing Team.

I have spent half a year studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina taking film classes and rock and roll. I spend my free time learning Portuguese and collecting vinyl records. Following my graduation, I plan on moving to Argentina to work for a US based firm and pursuing a life filled with medialunas and mate. Viva Perón.

 

 

Fidel Intern: Fidel Estrada
Major:  Geography
 
     Hey! I’m Fidel Estrada, and I was born and raised in Sioux City, IA. Currently, I am a third year student at the University of Iowa, and I will graduate in the Spring of 2018. I am majoring in Geography. My focus is Geographic Information Science.My interest in global affairs stems from my interest in different cultures and my desire to make a positive impact in the world. I like to meet people from diverse backgrounds and understand their perspectives and customs. In addition to this, I enjoy relaxing outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
 
     I have had the opportunity to travel to Mexico while visiting my family there. I am fluent in Spanish, and also currently learning German. I spent the summer of 2016 interning at Grüne Liga, an environmental NGO in Berlin. I hope to either study Geography or Urban and Regional Planning for my master’s degree. After that I’d like to work for a government agency, non-profit organization, or in any place I can help better people’s lives.

 

Jiahong

Intern: Jiahong Xu
Major: International Relations

I was born and raised in Changzhou, a city near the east coast of China. Though being a local of the city, I come from a culturally diverse family, which helped me see the world from different perspectives. Now I am in my senior year studying international relations with a focus on international business and economics at the University of Iowa.

I have traveled to Europe and Australia in the past. I spent this past summer in Washington D.C. and worked with a non-profit organization aiming to foster cultural awareness among local youth. I am also part of Heart Workshop, a Chinese student organization promoting mental health awareness and well being of international students on campus.

I currently serve as the Chair of the International Student Advisory Board. The board serves as a channel to increase the communication between school administration and international student body. I am planning on volunteering in South East Asia and studying abroad in Morocco in the near future.

 


Daniel 2
Intern: Daniel Valentin
Majors: International Studies, Pre-Law

My name is Daniel, and I hail from Wheaton, Illinois. I’m pursuing degrees in International Studies and Arabic, as well as a certificate in Writing. I’m in my third year at the University of Iowa. An avid reader of world news, I enjoy devoting much of my time and effort into making sense of the world we live in, in hopes that someday I can help remedy the many issues plaguing humankind, to which I owe much to begin with.

During my career as an undergraduate, I have studied abroad in Morocco, and hope to go on to India and Germany if opportunity knocks on my door. I’m trilingual in English, Spanish and Modern Standard Arabic, and I’ve begun learning German. After I graduate, I hope to enter law school and later pursue work in administrative, international or human rights law.

Currently, I am involved in several student groups on campus. I serve as the president of Secular Students at Iowa, the chief justice among the seven justices of the Student Judicial Court in the University of Iowa Student Government, assistant director of the Human Rights Student Collective and I am a proud member and former secretary of the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead.

When I’m not studying or working as a student clerk for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, I spend much of my time locked in intriguing conversations with my friends, writing freely in my journal and enjoying local musical and cultural events.

I earned my Eagle Scout rank on December 9th, 2013 and continue to help and contribute to the scouting community.

Deep down, I hope I may someday try my hand at being a voice actor. Nothing makes me happier than making people laugh and smile.

 

Ashley

Intern: Ashley Chong
Major: International Studies

Hello all, my name is Ashley Chong and I’m presently a junior in International Studies with an Anthropology Minor and a Writing Certificate. My focus in International Studies is Post-Colonial/Diasporic Studies and East Asian Studies. My interest is in transnationalism; my final thesis and capstone projects will be about my experience as a Korean-American.

I grew up around the world due to my dad’s job in the Global Mining sector of Caterpillar. After being born in Peoria, IL (which is also the CAT headquarters), my family went to Singapore, where two years later my brother was born. Then we lived in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore for nine years before landing back in Peoria. We lived in Peoria until my sophomore year, when we moved to Montreal, Canada. In other words, when people ask where I’m from, it gets complicated.

I hope to receive a Fulbright after I graduate to work on creative work (which will probably be a mix of poetry, prose, and perhaps music) in South Korea. After that, I hope to do an MFA in Literary Translation, as I have found the intersection and interplay of the languages I speak and study fascinating.

Beyond my studies, I am involved in music and in my church. I play the violin and am presently participation in Iowa’s chamber music program. At church, I help lead a small group and help with children’s choir. I also am a translator in Korean for the Translate Iowa Project. If I’m not doing any of the above, then I’m most likely on Spotify finding new music, writing, or spending time with friends.

 

Monzer Moe ShakallyIntern: Monzer (Moe) Shakally
Majors: Evolutionary Biology, Pre-Dental

My name is Monzer Shakally, I usually go by Moe. I’m currently a Junior here at the University of Iowa. Majoring in Evolutionary Biology following a pre-dental track. I’m also minoring in international relations because of my background and my interest in international politics.

I’m from Damascus, Syria. I lived there until I was 16 years old. I was forced to leave after the revolution, went to Cairo, Egypt and studied there for about 4 month while waiting to get a Visa to the U.S. I moved after that with my brother who lived in Des Moines, Iowa. Graduated high school from Dowling Catholic High School, then chose the University of Iowa because of it’s great dental program.I’m currently a mentor for Big Brother Program and a member of different student organization such as University of Iowa Muslim Students Association, University of Iowa Emergency Medical Services, and University of Iowa Pre-dental club, which I will be running for its president’s position soon. I’m also conducting research in the Biology Department under the supervision of Professor Andrew Forbes working on an insects diversity project. I’m also a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and part of the Scholarship committee and Alumni committee.My most important goal at the moment is to get accepted in the Dental School here at the University of Iowa. As for long term goal, I wish to work directly with children affected by war. Specially in the Middle East region because of my fluency in Arabic and me growing up in the area.

 

Emma


Intern:
 Emma Cole
Major: International Studies

Hello! My name is Emma. I am a senior from Waverly, Iowa studying International Studies with an emphasis in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. I am also working towards a certificate in Global Health and a minor in Arabic. After graduation, I hope to attend grad school to study health management and policy or epidemiology.

 

I have studied abroad in Trivandrum, India where I worked with a non-profit learning about palliative and hospice care. I loved my time there and can’t wait to travel more! Along with my international interests, I am interested in the environment and sustainability. I love to garden and be outdoors as well as reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with my family.

 

Inhee


Intern:
Inhee Choi
Majors: Marketing Management, International Studies

Hello! My name is Inhee and I am from South Korea. I am a junior at the University of Iowa, double majoring in Marketing Management and International Studies with an emphasis in African Studies.
I have studied abroad in the Philippines and in China, and this made me interested in learning different languages and cultures. I have traveled to Europe, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. Since my International Studies major emphasis is in African Studies, I am planning to travel to Africa after my graduation.

I am currently involved in Circle K International, a student volunteer organization which provides services within the community. I have had a great experience by joining this organization, and learned valuable lessons including the fact that making others happy fulfils me. In addition to this, I am a member of the Multicultural Business Student Association, which helps me learn businesses all around the world. I am also learning Chinese, and my goal for the near future is to become fluent in Chinese.

 

Kelsey
Intern:
 Kelsey O’Donnell
Majors: Anthropology, International Studies

Hello! My name is Kelsey and I am from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. I am a senior double majoring in Anthropology and International Studies with an emphasis in international communication and European studies. I just returned from spending 9 months studying abroad at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.

I have always loved traveling and I have had the opportunity to visit many countries including Costa Rica, the U.K., Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and, of course, Ireland! I enjoy learning about the world and its unique cultures through research and conversation with diverse people. I have studied both Spanish and French and plan to start learning Chinese this fall. Before studying abroad, I interned with the Iowa United Nations Association, where I worked closely with the University of Iowa Immunity Campaign to raise funds to provide life-saving vaccinations to children in need around the world.

After graduation, I hope to receive a Fulbright scholarship to teach English abroad and eventually obtain a Masters in International Education.

 

laura-pic2Intern: Laura Schwager (middle)
Major: Interdepartmental Studies

Hello! My name is Laura Schwager and I am from Iowa City. I am a sophomore at the University of Iowa and am pursuing my degree through the Interdepartmental Studies program with focuses in Environmental Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship, and International Business. I am currently working on the formation of an individual major in Design Anthropology, combining my interest in studying the human condition with a passion for helping others through creative design strategies. I hope to apply my degree to a broad range of global issues, including those which I am most passionate about and currently involved in; animal welfare, mental health advocacy, environmental justice, and educational innovation.

I have considered my traveling experiences to be some of the most influential and enlightening of my life, and hope to continue traveling consistently. I have studied abroad through the University of Iowa on the Business and Culture in China trip, which ignited my passion for international business and entrepreneurship. Opportunities that I am currently focused on include International Entrepreneurship and Culture in Belize and the India Winterim health or environmental program. I hope to use entrepreneurial and design strategy for helping micro businesses in developing countries to achieve sustainable autonomy.

In my free time you can find me in nature, cafés, or deep thought; on road trips, couches, or film sets. I enjoy recreational activities, freelance bartending, writing music, and pretending that I know what I’m doing with my life. I secretly want to be a professional explorer.

 

eli

Intern: Eli Bratsch-Prince
Major: Political Science

My name is Eli Bratsch-Prince and I was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. I am a sophomore here at the University of Iowa and I am majoring in Political Science with a minor in Arabic and a certificate in sustainability.

During the summer of 2016 I spent two months studying Arabic in the beautiful city of Fez, Morocco. I have also travelled internationally to Oman and Norway. In the future I hope to travel more extensively to North Africa and The Levant.

I am an avid drummer and I enjoy taking jazz drumming classes and playing in various jazz ensembles in the UI Jazz Department. I play the drum set with a number of bands in Ames and Iowa City. I love to run and am a member of the University of Iowa Running Club. I also am a member of the Undergraduate Political Science Association here at the university.

After graduating I hope to be able to travel and eventually find a career in my field of study.

 

riley

Intern: Riley Lewers
Majors: Economics, Political Science

Hi, my name is Riley, and I’m a freshman from Iowa City, Iowa. I have always been interested in international politics, economics and world events, and how these seemingly distant forces affect people’s everyday lives. I plan on majoring in Economics and Political Science, and am exploring minors in Rhetoric and Statistics.

While in high school, I studied Spanish and spent several weeks in Spain improving my conversational skills and learning about Spanish culture. I hope to study abroad again during my time at the University of Iowa.

This fall I was involved with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a campus fellow, and I am a member of UI Democrats.

In my limited free time, I love to read. I’m a dedicated reader of the New York Times Sunday Review and Op-Ed page, and The Atlantic.

Graduation is a long way off for me, so my plans are still rather vague. I know that I would like to continue my education by going to graduate school and/ or law school. I hope to someday work in civil rights or environmental law, and involve myself further in government and politics.

 

KyleIntern: Kyle Chapman
Major: Political Sciene

Greetings, my name is Kyle Chapman and I am a native of Des Moines, Iowa. I am currently a junior at the University of Iowa. My academic efforts are towards a degree in Political Science w. emphasis in Politics of Foreign Countries and a minor in Philosophy. In high school I studied French and am continuing my foreign language experience by studying Russian at the university.

My whole life I’ve had a strong interest in international events. This developed my love of NBC’s Nightly News at a young age. While at community college, I had the privilege of encountering a diverse array of individuals of whom I had the pleasure of meeting. Because of this, I developed many friendships with international students and learned invaluable about their cultures in Africa and South East Asia.

Although I’ve never been to a foreign country, it is a goal of mine to have a career in the international sphere. In the meantime, I plan on continuing my study of Russian during the summer of 2018 and hope to be a Peace Corps volunteer after I graduate.

 

SamuelIntern: Samuel Hoover
Major: Linguistics

I’m Samuel Hoover, a junior studying linguistics seeking a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language. I have a great passion for language and especially the science of language. I always keep an ear out for how people talk. Teaching is also an important part of my life and I love to introduce my friends to new concepts especially in the realm of linguistics. I work as a tutor for TRIO/SSS and have a great interest in helping students from lower income families succeed as much as their peers.

In my spare time I like to write, make music, and generally create. On the other side of that, I also spend a lot of time searching out new and hard to find media. I listen to an unreasonable amount of music, sometimes as many as six or seven new albums in a week. I love to collect all kinds of media and introduce friends to things that I know they’ll love.

After graduating I hope to find a good university somewhere in the world to teach English in areas with less resources, something becoming more and more necessary to be a part of our increasingly global world. However, a great dream of mine is to spend a year in Antarctica to experience the beauty and power of such a desolate place.