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Staff & Interns

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Amy Alice Chastain

Executive Director

Associate Professor of Instruction, Outreach Coordinator​

ESL Programs, University of Iowa

Amy Alice Chastain's 

own teaching and learning ranges from France to China to the Middle East and covers the dominant cultures and languages in each as well with varying degrees of proficiency. Now an Administrative Faculty member and Outreach Coordinator in the University of Iowa’s ESL Programs, she is proud to bring her diverse experience from her most recent six academic years abroad, home again, though Iowa is quite far from her native Georgia. Upon discovering Global Ties Iowa, Amy knew she had found her people—her community—and could continue to maintain an international connection while living and working in Iowa City.

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Bailey Shafer

Program Coordinator

Bailey Shafer is a sophomore at the University of Iowa double majoring in Finance and Accounting, as well as minoring in Spanish. Originally from Waukon,

IA, Bailey enjoys reading, traveling, and running.  Hosting a foreign exchange student from Italy began her interest in international affairs, an interest that has since blossomed.  Bailey hopes to attend graduate school abroad and eventually work in the United States Foreign Service.  


Abbey Welden

Membership and Development Intern

Abbey Welden is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in International Studies with a minor in Spanish and a certificate

in Nonprofit and Philanthropy. Born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, she attended a Spanish/English bilingual school where her love for connecting with other cultures blossomed. With being fluent in Spanish came the opportunity to study abroad in Paraguay through the Youth Ambassador’s program during her sophomore year of high school. Coupled with her experience as a member of her high school’s philanthropic organization, Abbey's career goals shortly followed. Abbey hopes to work in the international nonprofit sector with a position focused on public diplomacy and promoting gender equity in Spanish-speaking countries. Abbey looks forward to gaining meaningful experience and furthering my knowledge during my time here at Global Ties Iowa!


Abby Fowler

Communications Coordinator

Abby Fowler is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Iowa  from North Liberty, Iowa. She is majoring in International Studies with a business 

focus, minoring in Japanese, and earning a Museum Studies certificate. Abby was awarded the University of Iowa Diversity Ambassador Scholarship towards her month-long study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark during the summer of 2022. She also works as a Communications Assistant at the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums. In the future, Abby hopes to teach English in Japan through the JET Program or work at a natural history museum.

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Jaclin Thompson

Social Media and Storytelling Intern

Jaclin Thompson is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Marketing as well as minoring in Spanish. She is also a cheerleader for 

the University of Iowa and in the Pre-Law Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. Originally from Brownsburg, Indiana, Jaclin enjoys sports, traveling, and outdoor activities. Having previous opportunities to work at non-profit law firms, has given her motivation to become an immigration attorney after graduation and upon admission into law school.

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Lexi Passno

Program Intern

Lexi Passno is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Iowa. She is double majoring in Ethics and Public Policy and Political Science with a minor in Criminology, Law,

 and Justice. Originally from Sherrard, Illinois, Lexi enjoys reading, traveling, and kayaking. Lexi also interns for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council which has inspired her career interest in international focused non-profits. After graduation in December 2023, Lexi plans to attend law school.

Interested in joining our team?

Global Ties Iowa is hiring interns and fellows for Summer 2023! Applications are due April 15th. Learn more and apply:

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