University of Delaware

Institute for Global Studies

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2016 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. 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. In 2014, Dr. Holden was appointed as Academic Director for the MEPI-SLP at the University of Delaware. For the MEPI-SLP students becoming Blue Hen MEPIS at UD this summer, Dr. Holden has put together a wide ranging, challenging program of study focused on developing essential knowledge,  critical communication and readily applicable leadership skills. 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, ice cream, and warm weather.  The Holden family includes one dog, two cats, and three humans. Dr. Holden is married to a lawyer from Michigan and has a young daughter who counts more than 100 MEPIs among her friends.


Dr. Dan Bottomley
Civics Director/Principal Investigator
of the MEPI Program

Dr. Dan Bottomley is the Associate Director for Global Partnerships & Programs at UD’s Institute for Global Studies. This is his fourth 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, Dr. Dan spent his childhood and undergraduate life in the Midwest, but moved to escape the frigid winters of Illinois and earn his Doctorate in Political Science & International Relations.  Dr. Dan’s research background is in on the religions and politics of Southeast Asia with a focus on the relationship between Islam and Indonesian nationalism.

When not working, Dr. Dan enjoys spending time with his wife Caitlin (they will be celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary at the very beginning of the program this year), playing with 2-year old daughter Mae, and relaxing with his dogs Simon and Louie.  He 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 Rachel Garcia is a Program Coordinator at the University of Delaware and attended University of Delaware for her bachelor's and master's degrees. This year marks her third year serving as program coordinator for the MEPI program. Her passions lie in cross-cultural and global engagement. She strongly believes that an important component in creating a more tolerant, diverse world, is focusing on internationalizing our university campuses through meaningful cross-cultural experiences.

Aside from Rachel's work and studies, she enjoys anything involving fitness, sports and being outdoors. This is includes her most recent fitness passion; Crossfit. Her favorite sports are soccer and baseball, though football and basketball follow closely behind. Typically in the summer when not working, 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 Joel Palmer will be returning to The University of Delaware MEPI Student Leaders Program for the third consecutive year. He also worked with the 2014 and 2015 programs while studying American Literature and Culture in Udel's Masters of English Program. Since graduating, Joel has worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Kalimantan, Indonesia where he teaches at a public high school and has developed an improbably high tolerance for spicy food.

When he's not teaching or learning a new language, Joel enjoys shooting and sometimes making basketball shots, watching good and bad movies, and discovering new shortcuts on long hikes. He is especially excited to return to Newark, Delaware so he can revisit the long, steep bike trails in White Clay Creek State Park and fish tacos at El Diablo Burritos on Main Street. Most importantly, though, he is looking forward to meeting the 2016 MEPI Blue Hen Student Leaders!


Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley is a third year student at the University of Delaware, majoring in English Education with a minor in Theatre Performance. A native Delawarean, Michael knew he wanted to be a Blue Hen from a young age. All of his siblings as well as much of his extended family attended UD, and so he is proud to be carrying on the tradition.

Michael is an identical twin, so if ever you stop to say hello to him on the streets of Newark and he just stares blankly at you, odds are it is not him. It is his twin, Patrick. He thought that was worth mentioning. But he promises he'll greet you back if he knows you! Or introduce yourself to Patrick and make a new friend!

Michael is an active member of The Harrington Theatre Arts Company on campus and has performed in several theatre productions whilst at the university. You will probably hear him humming show tunes as he walks around campus and most definitely in the shower. Don't be alarmed. He is the biggest Harry Potter fan you will meet in your life and has a (not so) slight obsession with dogs. He is often compared to a puppy by his friends which he is really not too mad about. Traveling is also a big passion of Michael's, having studied this past winter in London, as well as in Torgau, Germany during his sophomore year of high school. He is so excited and immensely grateful that he has this opportunity to work with MEPI and assist other students in experiencing all of the beauty and diversity this world has to offer. Let the six-week journey together begin!


Jamie Fisher

Jamie Fisher has just finished her sophomore year here at the University of Delaware, but is originally from a small town in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She is a Communications Major with minors in Entrepreneurial Studies and Organizational and Community Leadership. On campus, Jamie tutors public speaking as an Oral Communication Fellow and is a sister of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. Throughout the upcoming school year, she will also be serving as Co-Chair of the Special Events Committee for UDance 2017.

In her free time, she enjoys working out, specifically doing CrossFit with the Blue Hen CrossFit Club. Contrastingly, she loves eating out and trying new foods—most recently enjoying Mediterranean food while studying abroad in Athens, Greece. Soaking up some sun at the beach is a staple for Jamie during the summertime. She tends to be busy, but spends time drawing, painting, or DIY-ing when she has the time. Jamie thoroughly believes that you can make good things happen out of any situation that presents itself and is excited to expand on the way that she sees the world while working with the MEPI program this summer.


Rob Flahive

Rob Flahive recently completed his first year in the PhD program for Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. His research interests span the across the social sciences. Specifically, he is interested in the relationship between modernist movement architecture/urban planning and decolonization processes, the spatial and political implications of UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription, and the logistical infrastructure for the use of military violence. He holds an MA in Political Studies from American University in Beirut and a BA in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Rob is an avid runner and appreciates a good debate. He values learning from personal experience as much as from the perspective of others. Both relate to his enduring curiosity in how individuals intersect with wider global processes. He cannot imagine life without warm summer weather, espresso, pizza, or Fairouz.


Taylor Lawrence

Taylor Lawrence is a second year undergraduate student at the University of Delaware in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Languages, Literatures and Cultures major with a concentration in three languages (Chinese, Arabic and Russian) as well as an Islamic Studies minor. Originally from Clarksville, Maryland, Taylor didn't have to travel too far from home to continue her family legacy of Blue Hens-- her mother being a native Delawarean and her grandfather having been an ROTC commander at UD in the 1950s. She is proud to study at the University of Delaware and be able to follow her dream of studying foreign languages, having previously studied American Sign Language and French in addition to her major languages. This passion for languages has also fueled her love of all things multicultural! As far as extra curricular activities, Taylor is involved with the Delaware Diplomats, was part of the inaugural class of the program and, in the past year, was honored to have served on the program's first Leadership Council. In addition, she has worked with the first round of the Perkins Live Crew which organizes late night entertainment on the weekend for students. This past winter, Taylor was also able to study Arabic in Morocco and live with a host family in order to experience North African culture first hand. Doing so made her the first person in her family to travel to Africa. One could say she really loves to follow the university's motto of daring to be first! Although she missed all the snow (her favorite weather) in Delaware this winter, she is more than excited to make up for lost time at UD by serving the MEPI program as a peer mentor and resident assistant this summer. She cannot wait to experience new things, face unknown challenges, and learn from the other mentors and participants.


Natalie Medlock

Natalie Medlock

Natalie Medlock Natalie Medlock is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Delaware. She studies International Relations with minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. On campus, she is the president of the Amnesty International Club which advocates for human rights. She is also a mentor to first year and international students. Natalie is excited to announce that she will be traveling to Chile this fall to teach English to underprivileged children.

Outside of her studies, Natalie is very involved in the local community. She is a native to Newark, Delaware and knows a lot of the locals and fun spots around town. Although she is from a small state, her passion in life is to travel and learn about different cultures. So far she has been to Argentina, Uruguay, Puerto Rico and hopes to travel to many more countries in the future. Natalie loves anything to do with the outdoors, whether it be hiking, biking, swimming, etc. She often spends her free time in the beautiful White Clay State Park right outside of campus. She also enjoys to play the guitar and is slightly obsessed with Game of Thrones. She is very adventurous, loves to meet new people and is looking forward to spending another fantastic summer with the MEPI program.


Miles Miller

Miles Miller

Miles Miller is a second 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.


This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by the University of Delaware.

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  • Associate Director Dan Bottomley (Principal Investigator)
  • Professor Barbara Cullis (Business and Economics)
  • Professor Alan Fox (Philosophy)
  • Rachel Garcia (Program Coordinator)
  • Professor Tracey Holden (Academic Director)
  • Professor Muqtedar Khan (Political Science and International Relations)
  • Professor Jennifer Lambe (Communication)
  • Professor Jason Mycoff (Political Science and International Relations)
  • Professor Danna Young (Communication)

Participants From:

Saudi Arabia
West Bank
  • 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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