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Swiss Semester - Faculty



Naomi Barshi


Email: naomibarshi@gmail.com

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Naomi joins Swiss Semester for the first time this year.  She brings curiosity and enthusiasm for geology, learning, and living outside one's home country.  Her recent travels have taken her nearly around the globe, most notably to the eastern Indian Ocean on a scientific research expedition to understand earthquake processes, climate history, and the growth of the Himalayas by drilling 1.5 km (~1 mile) into the ocean floor southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.  She comes with several years of college teaching and informal education experience at McGill University (MSc, Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2015), John Abbott College, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and several small natural history museums.  Since getting hooked by geology as an undergraduate at Smith College (BA, Geosciences, 2012), she has learned to see the natural world through a geologist’s lens.  She looks forward to exploring the exquisite landscape and geologic history of Zermatt with this year’s Swiss Semester students to discover a new world view together.  She is also excited—and just a little scared!—to learn how to climb and ski.
Though Naomi grew up in the United States (Colorado and California), she has deep roots in Switzerland through her mother's family and speaks Swiss German fluently.  She also speaks Hebrew, which she learned from her Israeli father.  In school and college, she learned Spanish and Japanese.  During her three years in Montreal, she picked up a bit of French, so she is excited to share some of her linguistic knowledge and learn more alongside the students and faculty in as many languages as possible!
Outside the walled and outdoor classrooms Swiss Semester offers, Naomi enjoys knitting, singing in choirs, and practicing Aikido, a Japanese martial art.


Russell Bollag-Miller


Email: russell.bolmil@gmail.com

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This will be Russell’s second year working with Swiss Semester, and he is thrilled to be making his way back to the breathtaking vistas of Zermatt. Russell received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, with a minor in Government Studies from Skidmore College in 2016. His central focuses in English were literary analysis and creative nonfiction.

Since last year at Swiss Semester, Russell has traveled widely and experimented with a variety of pursuits. Whether it be motorbiking through the northern mountains of Vietnam, studying furniture making in upstate Vermont, or leading young people around the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, this year Russell has fed his passions for traveling, learning, and working with young people.

This semester, Russell is really looking forward to implementing Swiss Semester’s fusion of experiential and classroom learning. He cannot wait to begin working and growing with the Swiss Semester students of 2017.


Nathalie Brouillac


Email: nathclemb@yahoo.fr

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Nathalie is quite thrilled to return to Zermatt and to get another chance to be a part of the Swiss Semester team. This is a true privilege to share this unique and life changing experience with the students.

Nathalie currently lives near Lucerne, Switzerland. She teaches French for business and economics in private banks, newspapers, and diverse company headquarters.
After a 10 years long career in the fashion business in Paris, Nathalie moved to the French Riviera where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts having completed a double major in Lettres modernes (French for native speakers and Literature), and French as a second language education. She prepared for the CAPES (French high school education certification).
Nathalie moved to the United States in 2000. In 2001 she started to teach French in Private College Preparatory High Schools. She taught all levels of French including AP, and Theater Set and Costume Design, and 2D Art. She also organized several school trips involving both outdoors and cultural discovery.
Among other interests, Nathalie loves cooking and baking using organic products. Sustainable development, ecology and healthy living are major interest of hers. She enjoys also collecting antiques and refurbishing furnishing, gardening, skiing, kayaking, swimming, traveling, hiking, and going to the movies…


Josh Brown


Email: joshbrown5895@gmail.com

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Josh is a recent graduate of Tufts University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. This will be his first year working with Swiss Semester and he will be teaching math. After spending a summer taking classes in the Tufts in Talloires program in southern France, he is thrilled to be returning to the Alps. Josh is from North Andover, Massachusetts, and became infatuated with the outdoors after numerous trips to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and upstate Maine and Vermont during his childhood. He is also becoming increasingly interested in traveling and, in addition to his travels throughout Europe, spent three weeks immediately before the start of Swiss Semester driving across the US.
Aside from academics, Josh is an avid musician and sports enthusiast. He plays guitar, drums, and piano, and also enjoys playing basketball, football, and lots of other athletic games. Josh spent the past summer working as a research engineering intern at Bose Corporation, and also worked as the CFO of a student-run company at Tufts providing resources such as laundry service, mini-fridge rental, and an on-campus coffee shop for students. He also has spent time tutoring and babysitting, which further fueled his interest in teaching and mentoring younger students. He is extremely excited to share his love of mathematics, music, and the outdoors at Swiss Semester this fall!


Gary Crossman


Email: garycrossman47@gmail.com

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Gary earned his BA in chemistry from Pomona College and his MA in mathematics from the University of California.  He recently retired after a long career at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a dorm parent, coach, and mathematics teacher, and held several administrative positions.  Gary loves working with small groups of students, the out-of-doors (hiking, biking, swimming), and travel.  He spent a year in Zaragoza, Spain with School Year Abroad.  He retired, in part, so that he would be available to teach for Swiss Semester!


Ingrid Kupka


Email: ingridkupka@gmail.com

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Ingrid received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and a Master of Teaching Math from Concordia University in Montreal, QC.  She has taught math for fourteen years at the following schools in Maine and New York:  Talent Unlimited High School, Friends Academy, the Brearley School, and Freeport High School.   This will be her third fall with Swiss Semester.  

Ingrid spent part of her childhood in France and still has close family living there.  She enjoys spending time in the outdoors - hiking, canoeing, camping and skiing.  She is looking forward to being back in Europe, and back in the Swiss Alps.  Ingrid hopes to share her love of math and the great outdoors with her Swiss Semester students this fall. 


Kathryn Perry

Art History

Email: kathryn.a.perry@gmail.com

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Kathryn received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Colorado College. Her main area of focus was on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. After graduation, she went on to become an instructor for Voyageur Outward Bound School in Minnesota for three seasons. In the Spring and Summer, she works as an Emergency Medical Technician in Chicago.

This will be Kathryn's second year teaching Art History at Swiss Semester. One of her favorite aspects of Swiss Semester is the Venice trip where students learn about Venetian art in the classroom and then travel to see it in person. She is excited to build on the curriculum she taught last year to make an even more engaging and memorable experience for the incoming students.


Dan Piquet


Email: dpiquet@gmail.com

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In 2011 Mr. Piquet retired after a long teaching career at MICDS in St. Louis. He joined Swiss Semester that fall, and returned in 2013 and 2014. When not in a library or Yoga class, cycling or cooking, he can be found walking the woods or coast of Maine with his beloved dogs. Mr. Piquet is delighted to be returning for another Swiss Semester!


Alfred Schultz


Email: alfred.schultz@gmail.com

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Originally from Mexico, Alfred received his degree in Architecture from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. He began his independent practice in Queretaro and worked on projects all over the country. A few years later he earned his master’s degree in Philosophy and Art History from Universidad Panamericana, focusing his dissertation on Richard Staruss’ symphonic tone poems. During his graduate studies, he developed a serious interest in teaching and began teaching Humanities, Art History, Architectural Design and Photography in various independent universities. Passionate about foreign languages, he received his German certificate from the Humboldt Institut in Germany and has also taught Spanish in several independent secondary schools in New Hampshire and more recently in Portland Oregon, where he enjoys frequent outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Alfred is also a fine art and commercial photographer. He has traveled extensively through North America and Europe. Some of his interests and hobbies include: astronomy, playing violin, viola & French horn. Alfred is thrilled to return to Zermatt to share his enthusiasm for the arts, languages and the beautiful Swiss landscape with his students.


Aisha Simon

French and Spanish

Email: jiaishasimon@gmail.com

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Aisha Simon is thrilled to be joining Swiss Semester this year. She is coming from Portland, ME, where she spent the spring of 2017 teaching French and Spanish for an all-girls 10th grade semester program located in Freeport. Prior to teaching, she was the assistant coach for Elmira College's women's varsity soccer team for two seasons. During that time she also completed her Masters in Education. Aisha graduated from Kenyon College in 2015 with a degree in International Studies. She had the opportunity to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland in both high school and college; she is eager to return to the gorgeous Swiss landscape and share her love of languages and outdoor adventure with the students this fall! 


Sara Stevens

Art History

Email: stevens.saraelise@gmail.com

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Sara’s work in museums, higher education, and retail focuses on the vital roles art and visual culture, especially seemingly superficial everyday objects, play in shaping our world. Sara’s passions for all things fashion, cosmetics, pop music, and even advertisements have influenced her career from the Skirball Cultural Center to Woodbury University, where she currently teaches History of Fashion. Sara hails from Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in the History of Art and a Masters of Science in Apparel Merchandising from California State University, Northridge. When she’s not raiding the university’s historic costume closet, Sara can be found cooking, record collecting, and entertaining friends and family. Sara is excited to change her scenery from the beach and palm trees to the Alps and put on a pair of skis for the first time…


Marit van Zalinge


Email: maritvanzalinge@gmail.com

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Originally from The Netherlands, Marit has lived in the UK for the previous five years where she completed a PhD in Geology at the University of Bristol. Her research area focused on understanding volcanism in northern Chile. Before moving to Bristol, Marit completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Geology at the Utrecht University.

One of her favorite things about studying geology is the opportunity it provides to visit different places and meet people from various cultural backgrounds. Marit is looking forward to embarking on her next adventure in Zermatt as a geology teacher. At Swiss Semester Marit is most excited about exploring the Alps and being able to share her passion for geology with the students. She hopes the students will leave Switzerland appreciating how an understanding of geology is important for many aspects of modern life.

Marit enjoys being outdoors going on hikes and cycle adventures, so she is excited to be living in Zermatt. She has a passion for nature and enjoys spotting butterflies. When Marit is relaxing she enjoys a nice cup of tea, reading a good book and knitting an assortment of items for friends and family.


Susan Wineland


Email: clarkwineland@gmail.com

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Having spent most of her career as a bilingual educator and Spanish teacher, Sue is newly retired and thrilled to be joining the Swiss Semester!  Sue loves working with high schoolers and is looking forward to all the unique opportunities she will be sharing with the students and other faculty.

Her husband and four wonderful, fully grown daughters all enthusiastically support this endeavor and they can´t wait to visit Sue in Zermatt!  Family and individual travels have taken them all over the world.  Sue’s own studies, work, and cultural pursuits have been largely based in Spain which has become a second home and her friends are like family.

She is excitedly looking forward to meeting your children. Until then, adiós, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, Tschüss, ciao!