Nora McGougall-Collins, President
Nora 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, Vice President
Diann is a former international student advisor who worked at the University of Kansas, University of Nevada-Reno, and Weber State University. After retiring from Weber State in 2003, she joined the Peace Corps in 2004 where she spent 17 months in Uzbekistan. She has been fortunate to live and travel throughout the world over the past 50 years – to over 55 countries. Through her travels, her work in the Peace Corps and her work as an international student advisor she feels she has a good understanding of international students and their experiences in a new country.
Shannon Pinkston, Treasurer
Shannon has been a member of the MIFP Board since 2013 and is now acting as Treasurer. She and her family have loved hosting students from many countries. "Sharing our love of Missoula and learning about our students and the countries from which they come is one of the most special parts of every year. Lifelong friendships have developed and we are super happy to have an extended international family. Come join us!"
Carrie Gajdosik, Recording Secretary
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.
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 was a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota for 15 years and is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Montana. She is a Certified Addiction Specialist in the areas of chemical dependency and sexuality and has had a private psychotherapy practice for more than 30 years. She is the author of nine books and numerous articles.
Jeanne has worked in international education since 2004 and has an appreciation for connecting with people from all over the world. She's been able to do this through her work and extensive travels. She feels that MIFP is a great organization because it gives international students a deeper connection to our Missoula community.
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.
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.
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.