Solimar International is excited to introduce our Summer 2020 tourism intern cohort and future leaders of sustainable tourism development. Representing a mix of university students and recent graduates all pursuing a career in sustainable tourism, this group brings a plethora of global travel experience and will play an important role in supporting Solimar’s projects, research and communications efforts.
Matt is a current graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in International Sustainable Tourism at the University of North Texas. Matt grew up in central Missouri and completed his undergraduate studies in business administration at the University of Missouri – Columbia. In previous positions, Matt served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, taught English in the Republic of Georgia, and worked for the National Park Service. He enjoys all things adventure and the outdoors, from summiting mountains to mastering local public transportation abroad. Matt was drawn to Solimar for its emphasis and expertise on sustainable tourism and international development. Current and past projects with Solimar all pique his interest and he is excited to gain practical experience through working directly on projects. Matt places high importance on sustainable travel and conservation so that all may have the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the world for generations to come.
Rebecca started her post baccalaureate career this year in London, as a business development analyst, and will intern with Solimar as she transitions to a Masters program in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Sustainable Tourism. Born and raised in Northern Italy’s bucolic Monferrato wine zone, she has been immersed in local tourism since childhood, helping her bicultural family with their accommodation properties and guiding foreign guests through vineyards and villages. She volunteers with local organizations that orient incomers and work to develop responsible tourism in the land of Slow Food and Open Castles. Traveling in search of the world’s organic beauties is Rebecca’s passion, with regular trips to the Bahama Out Islands, around the USA and Europe. She plans to use her business skills and her Solimar experience to combine this passion with her future career path. “Who knows where it will lead me?”
Mica is from Potomac, Maryland. She is a rising senior at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in European Studies. She has served as a Compliance Analyst for the G7 Research Group at the Munk School of Global Affairs for the Biarritz and Charlevoix Summit cycles. Through her work with the G7 Research Group, she researched and published four reports on the United State’s and France’s compliance on counter-terrorism and the European Union’s and Italy’s efforts in preventing and protecting the victims of sexual assault and harassment.
Through her international background and her studies, she became interested in the effects that tourism can have on developing economies. She is interested in the ways countries can combine industries in the efforts of increasing tourist prospects while also diversifying their economies. Her goal in life is to change a life, no matter how big or small that effect is. Thus, through the development of sustainable tourism plans, she truly feels that the long term impacts of such works will significantly affect people’s lives for the better.
Kari grew up in Buckley, Washington, and moved to Missoula, Montana, in 2016. She is currently a student at the University of Montana, working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Geography with a Minor in Film. Since she was young, Kari has has been in love with lacrosse. Throughout high school, she worked for a local business in Buckley, Washington, called Total Sports, specializing in private lessons for men’s and women’s lacrosse. When she moved to Missoula and played for the University of Montana’s woman’s lacrosse team, she wanted to explore new avenues to continue to grow the game. During the last two seasons, Kari has coached youth lacrosse for the Missoula Mustangs and Sentinel High School.
As Kari writes, “When I came across Solimar International and their Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail program, I couldn’t believe the opportunity. I have studied hazard and mitigation planning, recreation, and visitor management and feel that Solimar International has given me a chance to combine my previous coursework and apply it to what they all have in prevalent, sustainable tourism. The idea of keeping the geographic character of a place alive while also promoting the extent of travel that anyone can experience is precisely why I am passionate about sustainable tourism.”
Sophie discovered her passion for sustainable tourism and development while hiking the Jordan Trail, a 400-mile trek spanning across 52 villages in Jordan. While on this solo thru-hike, she gained insight into the intersectionality of sustainable tourism, environment conservation, local engagement, and economic stability. A passionate writer, she journaled throughout her experience in hopes of articulating the stories and encouraging more women to embrace the challenges and benefits of traveling solo. She understood the value of human connection in the industry and the importance of grassroots tourism for both the traveler and local economy and community. She especially admires Solimar’s goal of implementing projects that would result in self-sufficiency, environmental protectionism, cultural preservation, and economic viability for local communities in tourism across the globe.
Born and raised in Germantown, Tennessee, Sophie grew up as an active member of her community. Invested in the Middle East, she spent two summers working abroad. In Israel, she was the Diversity and Social Justice Intern for Beit Ha’Gefen Arab-Jewish Culture Center and developed an intercultural curriculum for Israeli, Arab, and American youth. The following summer, she spearheaded a grant for Greening The Camps, a nonprofit that builds sustainable greenhouse gardens on the rooftops of Palestinian refugee camps. Additionally, she served as an English Instructor for Galaxy, a Jordanian nonprofit empowering marginalized communities through digital education. She is a recent graduate of American University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies focused on Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution and minored in Economics and Arabic.
Mary is a History and English major at Northern Kentucky University. She has lived in Bellevue, KY for her entire life and this internship is my first real work experience. Though this is her first job, she has been involved in multiple creative projects, especially since joining Norse Film Society (her college’s film club).
Mary wanted to get involved with Solimar and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail project because of her love of history and wanting to help make historical experiences more accessible. In her own words: “Following the path that Lewis and Clark took and stopping at historical sites and charming towns sounds like a dream vacation to me, so I was very excited the moment I heard about the internship. On a more philosophical level, I think that interactive history is very important because it instills a love for history in people, especially children, who might not have been interested otherwise. Perhaps if we can get future generations to be more interested in history, we can stop them from repeating historical mistakes. I also strongly believe in sustainable tourism because I think that tourism should help local communities and that people can learn a lot from experiencing cultures and ways of life other than their own.”
Caecilia Shenshen He
Caecilia is a cultural and heritage tourism lover that fell deeply in love with travelling at a very young age. As a backpacker, she visited South Korea, China, Myanmar, Hongkong, Tibet, India, Morocco, USA, Canada, Spain and other less popular destinations. She was born in China and grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She started her career in tourism more than 10 years ago as a tour guide while studying at McGill University. She has 10 years of experience in tourism operation and tourism consulting between China and Canada. Caecilia has her BA in Accounting from McGill University and is a current student at Master in Tourism Administration program at The George Washington University with a major in sustainable destination management.
In her own words: “In order to protect destination communities and sustain cultural heritage destinations for future generations, my true passion is to help cultural heritage destinations around the world to be developed in a sustainable way. Since Solimar is a leading sustainable tourism consulting firm, I could learn about good practice experiences that can help destinations in improving sustainably. In addition, the most important reason to attract me to intern at Solimar is the Solimar Team, who are the group of expertise working in the sustainable tourism industry with the pursuit of authenticity, historic values, and development of cultural traditions at all destinations.”
Beau is a recent graduate of The George Washington University earning a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in international environmental studies and minors in geography and spanish language. Interested in cultural preservation and sustainable tourism, Beau previously worked at the Embassy of Argentina as a Cultural Affairs and Public Diplomacy intern after returning from his junior year abroad, where he studied at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. He is excited to continue learning about the geotourism industry while furthering sustainable, community based initiatives.
Frank’s passion for travel and sustainability run deep. Most of his best memories of life involve travel. Whether it be from exploring the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, The Arch of Cabo San Lucas, or traversing through the longest trail in Zion National; he lives for travel. The best way to keep these tourism hubs alive is to develop them sustainably. Our responsibility is to protect our natural and cultural sites so that future generations may continue to enjoy them.
That is what inspired Frank to get involved in politics at a young age. At sixteen, he joined the Kenton County Democratic Party as an intern. After gaining experience and knowledge, he was voted onto the executive board, a position that he still holds. At 18, he is amongst the youngest in the state to hold such a position. Currently, Frank is continuing his studies at Northern Kentucky University, just outside of Cincinnati and is majoring in Economics and History.
If you pursuing a career in sustainable tourism and interested in gaining experience with a development consulting firm, click here to learn more about becoming a part of our internship program for the Fall 2020 semester.