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Staff & Interns


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. She serves as an Associate Professor of Instruction in the University of Iowa’s Department of Linguistics and is proud to bring her diverse experience from her academic years abroad, home again, though Iowa is quite far from her native state of 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 eastern Iowa.


Bailey Shafer

Program Coordinator

Bailey Shafer is a junior 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.  


Anna Peach

Program Coordinator

Anna Peach is a third-year student at the University of Iowa from Ames, Iowa. She is majoring in Global Health Studies with a certificate in Sustainability. On

campus, Anna is a member of the Sustainability Presidential Charter Committee and is an ICRU Research Fellow. She volunteers in the Food Pantry at Iowa and at the Patient’s Library at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Following undergrad, Anna hopes to attend grad school with a focus on food systems and sustainability.

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Berkley Barnett

Program Intern

Berkley Barnett is a second-year at the University of Iowa majoring in international studies with an Arabic studies minor and a writing certificate. As she

is from Colorado, Berkley enjoys hiking and traveling, much like she did during her summer 2023 study abroad with CIEE in Japan. In Japan, Berkley studied religion, society, and modernization in Japan’s historical capital Kyoto. Outside of travel, Berkley enjoys volunteering with the Iowa Youth Writing Project and Catherine McAuley Center as a writing instructor and English tutor. Her work with these organizations earned her the Honors Fellows scholarship for outstanding civic achievement. Berkley also has experience researching incarcerated healthcare with the College of Public Health and is currently pursuing an independent research project within her major. Berkley looks forward to putting her passion for international studies and research toward a Fulbright scholarship in the future.


Abby Fowler

Communications Coordinator

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

a business focus and Japanese Language and Literature, as well as earning a Museum Studies certificate. As a recipient of the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship, Abby studied Japanese language and culture in Okayama, Japan during the summer of 2023. Additionally, she was awarded the U. of Iowa Global Access 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 U. of Iowa Pentacrest Museums, represents the Japanese and International Studies departments as a World Language Ambassador, and is a Study Abroad Peer Mentor. In the future, Abby dreams of continuing communications work at the Smithsonian Institution.


Abbey Welden

Membership and Development Intern, Mandela Washington Fellow Program Coordinator

Abbey Welden is a third-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!


Ondrea Li

Social Media and Storytelling Intern

Ondrea Li is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Iowa. She is double majoring in International Relations and Journalism. Originally

from Singapore, she spent her teen years in Des Moines Iowa. Ondrea enjoys reading, jump roping, traveling, and trying new recipes. On campus, she is a Research Assistant and a Resident Assistant at UIowa Housing and Dining and on the executive board of the Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS). In the future, Ondrea hopes to attend law school.


Leila Assadi

Communications Fellow


Leila Assadi is a first-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Political Science and Economics with minors in Public Policy and International Relations.

Originally from Bettendorf, Iowa, Leila enjoys reading, thrifting, and listening to music. On campus, Leila is a senator on the University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government and member of the Middle Eastern and North African Student Association. She also works as a research assistant for the Disasters, Migration, and Violence Lab in the Department of Political Science. In the future, Leila hopes to attend law school with a concentration in international law. 

Interested in joining our team?

Global Ties Iowa currently hiring interns for Summer 2024! Learn more about the available positions and how to apply:

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