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The UNO-Innsbruck Team and how to contact us:


Alea Morelock Cot, Assistant Provost for International Education

I was born in Alabama and grew up with the advantage of living in the suburbs of many wonderful U.S. cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.  My worldview really changed when I took my first trip to Europe as a sophomore in high school. I was an AFS exchange student to Thailand the following year, and spent my university junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain.  After graduating from Tulane with an M.A. in International Relations, I spent a year working in Washington, D.C.  I have been privileged to be a member of the UNO Division of International Education since 1988.  During this time I have led numerous educational trips to Europe, nurtured the Intensive English Language Program, recruited international students in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and have served in professional leadership roles at the state, regional and national levels.  I love working with students and helping them explore new countries and cultures, whether they are U.S. Americans abroad or internationals in New Orleans.  The students’ excitement and energy motivate and inspire me daily.  I speak Spanish, some German and I keep hoping to learn more Czech.  (My Thai is pretty rusty!)  My husband and I have one daughter and a cat named Momo.



Kim McDonald, Academic Director

I grew up on a farm outside a very small town in Idaho. My graduating class had 42 students, so from a young age travel truly expanded my world. On road trips with my family, as crew on a boat delivering supplies to Indian villages in Alaska, and on trips to Europe and Asia, I learned that while the differences are what draw me to new people and places, it is celebrating what we have in common that teaches me how to live. I earned my BA from University of Hawaii, Manoa, remaining a few years to live and work in Honolulu, and later attended graduate school in English from University of Idaho. Following two years of teaching at Eastern Oregon State College, I accepted a three year teaching position at UNO, never expecting to still be here 28 years later, but except for a year of teaching English in rural Greece, I have been thrilled to call New Orleans home. I travel to new places at every opportunity, but I also find myself returning to familiar ones. This will be my fourth summer in Innsbruck, and I love that the summer program allows me to live in another country rather than just visit: to shop in the grocery stores, to have the cashiers help me as I struggle to use my few words of German, and to begin to feel that Innsbruck is also my home.



Irene Ziegler, Program Director

As a native of Austria, it is a great honor and pleasure for me to direct the Innsbruck International Summer School and accompany students and faculty to my home country each summer. I came to the University of New Orleans in 1992 as an exchange student from the University of Innsbruck, and this study abroad experience has truly changed my life! Since then, I have worked in the UNO Division of International Education with various programs, have accompanied students to Austria, Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic, and have taught English, ESL, and German at UNO. I majored in Foreign Languages, English, and Education and earned a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Graz (Austria).
I live in New Orleans with my husband, a native New Orleanian, and our two small children. I try to teach my children to keep an open mind about other cultures, to embrace differences, and to always try new foods!


Mariana Zanotti Martinez, Program Coordinator

This will be my seventh summer with the Innsbruck International Summer School and all I can say is that I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every year! This position is a wonderful opportunity for me given my background, my love for traveling and how much I enjoy working with students and parents. I was born in New York, lived in Monte-Carlo for 13 years and Miami for 2 years before I moved to New Orleans in 2003. After completing my B.A. in French at Tulane University, I worked there in Housing and New Student Orientation for several years before taking this position at UNO. I speak French, Italian and some Spanish. You will probably recognize my love for photography when you see me taking hundreds of pictures at our events in Innsbruck. As the summer approaches, I am excited about returning to Innsbruck and meeting all the Summer School participants.


Tanja Bauer, Graduate Assistant

Growing up in Germany and Turkey, I always wanted to go and see more of the world. An exchange program finally brought me to New Orleans in 2009 – an experience that changed my life. I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in American Studies from the Free University of Berlin. In Berlin, I also worked for intercultural NGOs as well as for a big radio station. This past summer, I returned to New Orleans where I am now enrolled in the graduate program in Urban Studies. I have family in South Tirol, so I know Innsbruck and the area quite well, and I am excited to help and work with this wonderful program!


Oliver Steininger, Student Worker

I was born in New Orleans although I grew up in Innsbruck, Austria and call myself an Austrian native. I have family in the United States which allowed me to travel here many times while I was still living in Austria. Working in the UNO-Innsbruck office offers me a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge of both cultures and my love for traveling. After graduating from High School in Innsbruck, I stayed for another year and studied English and American Studies, as well as History at the University of Innsbruck before transferring to the University of New Orleans and enrolling as a film major to fulfill my dream of being a director. While studying in Innsbruck I worked for the American Corner, an institution which offers information about American culture and studying in the US in order to strengthen the ties between the United States and Austria.



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