University of Delaware

Institute for Global Studies

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2015 MEPI Staff

Dr. Tracey Quigley Holden
Academic Director of the MEPI Program

Dr. Tracey Quigley Holden joined the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware in 2010 as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Basic Course. She is also affiliated faculty with the Center for Political Communication and interim Director of the Oral Communication Fellows, the campus peer tutoring service. Dr. Holden earned her PhD in rhetoric and public address from Pennsylvania State University, an M.A. from San Diego State University and a B.A. from Texas A&M University. Her primary teaching focus is public speaking, political communication, and strategic business communication, especially in multicultural settings. Her pedagogical experience includes teaching intercultural communication to U.S. military officers of all branches, social movement dissent in San Diego, media and culture in Indiana, and summer programs in politics and debate at Stanford and Princeton - and of course, MEPI! Her area of broad scholarly interest is organizational and political communication, especially rhetorical studies of institutions and leaders within organizations. Other interests include social movements, civic engagement, leadership, and strategic business communication.

In 2011 Dr. Holden was academic director of the MEPI program for alumni focusing on public persuasion and public speaking, affectionately called MEPI-Comm. Dr. Holden taught in the 2012 and 2013 MEPI- SLP programs at UD and attended the MEPI alumni conference in Morocco in February 2014. For the MEPI-SLP at UD this summer, Dr. Holden will serve as Academic Director and has put together a wide ranging, challenging program of study focused on developing critical communication and leadership skills for the MEPI students participating. Dr. Holden is a native Californian but has lived in more than a dozen states and on the island of Guam. She is very fond of chocolate and ice cream, is married to a lawyer from Michigan and has a young daughter who is also a native Californian. She also has two dogs and may be acquiring a guinea pig this summer.


Jonathan Keyser

Dr. Dan Bottomley
Associate Director for Global

Contracts &Grants

Dan Bottomley is the Associate Director for Global Contracts and Grants at UD’s Institute for Global Studies. This is his first year working with the MEPI Student Leaders Program students, faculty, and staff and he is really excited to have the opportunity to meet all of the new MEPIs who will be coming to UD this summer. 

A native of Rockford, Illinois, Dan spent his childhood and undergraduate life in the Midwest, but moved to Delaware to pursue his graduate studies and get away from the frigid winters of Illinois (wind chill is the worst!)  Dan’s background is in political science with a focus on Southeast Asian politics, and he spent parts of last summer and fall conducting research in Indonesia on the relationship between Islam and Indonesian nationalism. 

When not working, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife Caitlin (they will be celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary at the very beginning of the program this year), taking his dogs Simon and Louie for walks, and relaxing at his house in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  Dan is also an enthusiastic traveler who likes to meet new people and experience foreign cultures throughout the world.  In fact, he has set a personal goal of getting at least one new stamp on his passport every year and can’t wait to have the opportunity to visit your home country sometime soon!


Rachel Garcia
Rachel Garcia
Program Coordinator

Rachel Garcia is a PhD student at the University of Delaware, studying Political Science and International Relations. Eventually, Rachel hopes to teach Political Science and International Relations at the University level. Her research focuses are poverty and inequality alleviation in Latin America. Rachel also attended University of Delaware for her bachelor's and master's degrees. Rachel was born in Maryland, but now lives in Delaware, but hopes to one day live somewhere that is warm year round.

Aside from Rachel's studies, she enjoys anything involving fitness, sports and being outdoors. Her favorite sports are soccer and baseball, though football and basketball follow closely behind. Typically in the summer, Rachel can be found at the beach, her favorite place to be when it is warm. Her summer also usually includes a trip to Puerto Rico to visit her family and of course, spend as much time on the beaches as possible. She also enjoys reading during her free-time, especially books about anything political. She is also an avid lover of film, especially Spanish & Latin American films and political documentaries. When she isn't reading, working out, watching movies or at the beach, typically she can be found out with friends or spending time with her family.


Joel Palmer
Joel Palmer
Program Coordinator

Joel Palmer is a first-year masters student in The University of Delaware’s English department where he studies 19thCentury American Literature. Joel grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia and has also lived in Olympia and Seattle, Washington. After graduating with a degree in philosophy from The University of Georgia, he worked as a pastry truck driver, afterschool teacher, and coffee shop manager before returning to school last year.

When school’s not in session, Joel enjoys travelling to new places, biking, and making new friends. He also enjoys watching bad movies and rooting for his hometown teams (Atlanta Hawks and Falcons). This summer, Joel is looking forward to exploring the Mid-Atlantic region and attending concerts, but is especially excited to get to know the 2014 MEPIs!


Zeina Al Nobani

Zeina Al Nobani

Hi MEPIs! I am Zeina Al Nobani from Jordan. I took part in the MEPI program in 2011 and it seems like only yesterday when I was exactly where you are now! MEPI was a turning point in my life; it opened a lot of doors for me and gave me the chance to meet many people who are still influencing my life in many ways! I am passionate about civic engagement and a big time volunteer. I am working on my Masters in Public Administration and hope to work somewhere internationally after I graduate --Dubai, maybe?

I enjoy making friends from around the world. I love outdoor activities and I am up for any adventure at any given time! I enjoy music and history fascinates me.

I can’t wait to meet you all!


Lauren Barkachy

Lauren Barkachy

Hi Everyone! My name is Lauren Barkachy and I am a rising senior at the University of Delaware. I am majoring in International Relations with a specialization in the Middle East and a concentration in U.S. Foreign Policy. I also have a minor in the Arabic language.

I am originally from New City, New York, a big town located north of and not too far from New York City. On campus, I am involved in an organization called Gamma Sigma Sigma, which is a national service-orientated sorority.

I am also involved in the Zumba Club. Zumba is a popular fitness activity that involves Latin American style dancing. I am a Zumba instructor and also serve on the club’s executive board as the Club Relation’s Chair. I organize events with other fitness clubs on campus to promote healthy living.

In addition to doing community service and teaching Zumba, I enjoy working out, going for runs, reading good books, spending time with my family, and hanging out with my friends. I have also traveled to both the Middle East and North Africa! I have been to Lebanon to visit family there and had the opportunity to study Arabic in Morocco this past winter through the university’s Institute for Global Studies.

I am very excited to meet everyone and look forward to having a great and productive summer!


Ryan McCabe

Alicia Donahoe

Congratulations on being selected to participate in MEPI 2015! This is a phenomenal opportunity and I am so excited to share this experience with you!

My name is Alicia Donahoe, I have recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a Major in Interpersonal Communications and Minors in; Theater, Organizational Leadership, and Human Development and Family Studies.

To share a little about myself, I love traveling and will go anywhere and everywhere that I have the opportunity to go. I recently studied abroad in Vietnam and Malaysia and cannot wait for my next adventure abroad. I love theater, reading, and spending time with friends over tea or coffee, and enjoying every wonderful moment of life. This is my second year working with MEPI as a peer mentor and resident assistant and I cannot wait to build new memories and see the brilliant ideas created this year!


Natalie Medlock

Natalie Medlock

Hello everyone! My name is Natalie Medlock and I am a Junior at the University of Delaware. I study International Relations with minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. I’m very involved on campus through Amnesty International and also as a mentor for freshmen and international students.

Though I am a native Delawarean, my number one passion is to travel! I recently came back from Argentina and hope to acquire more stamps on my passport. When I’m not avidly planning my escape, I love hanging out with my friends. I also enjoy anything outdoors, Game of Thrones (TV and books), and playing the guitar. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing program and cannot wait to meet and work with every one of you.


Miles Miller

Miles Miller

Miles Miller is a first year Master’s student at the University of Delaware’s school of Public Policy. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Miles was accepted for grad school studies at UD and moved to the United States in 2015. His current research has focused on drug dealing and incarceration in Wilmington, DE. For his undergraduate and Honour studies, Miles was enrolled at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where his subjects included archaeology, urban geography, Spanish and music technology. He officially registered at UD in February of 2015.

With regards to extra-curricular activities, Miles enjoys anything that involves a beach, whether it be beach volleyball, surfing, or just falling asleep in the sand. Other hobbies include going to the gym, parkour and spending as much time on a soccer field as humanly possible. He also loves to travel, and it is his goal to visit as many countries as he can and learn about as many cultures as possible. His favourite season is summer, but he isn’t averse to a little winter snow. Amongst his favourite things to do in Delaware are going ice skating at the UD ice rink, playing soccer at the Perkins Student Center and hiking through the various state parks around the university. Miles is adventurous by nature, optimistic in outlook, highly competitive, and is always looking for the next big challenge to be overcome.


Alex Waad

Alex Waad

Hey, y'all! My name is Alex Waad, and I am a Junior at the University of Delaware majoring in Interpersonal Communications and Spanish Language & Literature with a minor in Human Development. I’m from Newark, Delaware, so the University of Delaware is very near and dear to my heart. After graduating, I hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Counseling and enter the field of Student Affairs.

When I'm not working on class work or hanging out in the residence halls with my students, I love drinking coffee, keeping up to date on news, doing yoga, and learning other languages. I absolutely love meeting new people and learning about new cultures! My passion is in leadership development and global citizenship, and cannot wait to work with you all this summer in helping you all reach your leadership potentials!

Stay Excellent!

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  • Institute for Global Studies  •   Elliott Hall, 26 East Main Street  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: ++1 (302) 831-2852  •   Fax: ++1 (302) 831-6042  •   © 2011

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