Board Members

2018 Officers

Nora McGougall-Collins, Co-President

Nora McDougall-CollinsNora has traveled extensively, starting with being born as a US citizen born abroad in Germany where her father was working on radio towers. After attending the local schools in Spain her parents realized that she was resisting the transition to reading English, so for second grade they sent her to boarding school in Morocco to learn to read English. Raising 5 children in Montana, Nora arranged for her family to host students and visitors from Japan, Ecuador, France, Peru, Colombia and Germany to give them international exposure.

 

Diann Stewart, Co-President

 

Rebekah Webb, Co-President

Rebekah Webb

Rebekah Webb grew up in a household where people from all over the world would stay in her home. She loves traveling and meeting people from other countries. She has been to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Egypt, Israel and the Czech Republic. She has hosted the Humphrey Fellows and been involved with MIFP since 2012. She has hosted students from Japan, Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, Romania, Costa Rica, Argentina, Russia, and Albania. 

 

David Strobel, Treasurer

David Strobel

David Strobel is a retired Dean of the Graduate School who has had the opportunity to meet and assist many international students at the University of Montana. He has traveled to Canada, Taiwan and Namibia. David has served on the Board since 2008 and looks forward to continuing to support the goals and activities of MIFP.  A recent activity he organized was a "Learn to Curl" night at the new Missoula Curling Club.

 

Carrie Gajdosik, Recording Secretary

Carrie Gajdosik

Carrie Gajdosik has hosted students from Argentina, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and France. She has traveled throughout Europe as well as South Africa, S.E. Asia, India, Mexico, Israel, and New Zealand. Carrie "enjoys meeting international students and feels that it's important to expose our children to different cultures." Carrie has been a board member since 1992.

Other Board Members

Adair Kanter

Adair Kanter

Adair Kanter has hosted students from Japan, France and Morocco and her travels have taken her to Israel, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands. About MIFP Adair says "I think that one of the strengths of the MIFP is reaching out to students who are far away from all that is home and making them feel welcome." Adair has been a board member since 1985.

 

 

Charlotte Kasl

Charlotte Kasl

 

Laela Shimer

Laela Shimer

Laela Shimer loves history and literature and has enjoyed travel throughout her adult life not only in the US but also in western European countries. Laela says "I serve on the board because it fits with my personal interests and I see a chance to be both an advocate for the international students and the University of Montana. It’s a chance to involve the Missoula community in the many opportunities these connections offers."  Currently her daughter and her husband live in London.  Visiting them has given her a chance to reconnect with her student friends and their families. Conversation with these parents and students always strengthens her commitment to this program.  Laela has been a board member since 2007.

Shannon Pinkston

Shannon Pinston

Shannon is a new member of the MIFP Board. Her family began hosting students in 2012 and value the new friends and cultural exposure they offer. Helping students connect and make Missoula home is something they very much enjoy. She looks forward to more exciting experiences with this wonderful group of folks. 

 

 

Martin Twer

Martin Twer

Born and raised in Germany, the currents of life have deposited Martin in Missoula for a while. In his pre-academic life he was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a landscaper. His first time in the USA was a 3-month internship/fieldwork in the hot and very smoky summer of 2000 at UM’s School of Forestry, Lubrecht Exerimental Forest and Bandy Ranch. During his studies for a Masters degree equivalent in Landscape Ecology from the University of Muenster (Germany) Martin thoroughly enjoyed an exchange year in Joensuu, Finland, and has pretty much traveled the rest of Europe as well. In the fall of 2002 Martin returned to Missoula as a graduate student, was “adopted” by a local family and since 2007 has worked with MSU Extension Forestry.

Lifetime member

Joycee Dozier

Joycee Dozier

Joycee Dozier is a long-time member who has hosted students from Japan, Germany, China, Bhutan, Malaysia, and Pakistan. She has traveled to Canada, Mexico, and England. About MIFP membership Joycee says "All the folks at MIFP have a desire to meet new students from around the world and make them welcome in Missoula. Making peace in the world one friend at a time." Joycee has been a board member since 1982.

Ex-officio

Mona Mondava

Mona Mondava

Mona Mondava, originally from Denmark, was raised in Denmark, USA, and Germany and later received her higher education in Germany and at UM. She now works with international students as Program Coordinator for the University of Montana Global Engagement Office. About MIFP Mona says "One of the best parts of my job is working with the wonderful volunteers of MIFP and with the generous and dedicated Community Friends of MIFP and seeing the amazing goodwill and cross-cultural friendships that result." Mona has been a board member since 1988.