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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. 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.


Bailey Shafer

Programming 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.  


Lexi Passno

Programming Fellow

Lexi Passno is a fourth-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.


Anna Peach

Programming Intern

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.


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 is studying Japanese language and culture in Okayama, Japan this summer. Additionally, she 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 do communications work at a natural history museum.


Abbey Welden

Membership and Development Intern, Mandela Washington Fellow Programming 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!


Jaclin Thompson

Social Media and Storytelling Intern

Jaclin Thompson is a recent University of Iowa graduate who majored in Marketing as well as minoring in Spanish. She was 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.


Ondrea Li

Communications Fellow

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.

Interested in joining our team?

Global Ties Iowa is not currently hiring staff or interns. To get notified about open positions, join our mailing list below.

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