Michelle Tolan Tomasi's headshot

Michelle Tolan Tomasi

Associate Director, Strategic Engagement and Inclusive Excellence


Start Date

August 2006


First Gen • Music Lover • Sports Fan • Alaskan • Nose-crinkler

As an educator and first-generation college student, I feel compelled to 'pay it forward' and help others propel their career through an international experience. I had no idea at the time, but IFSA's expertise, mentorship, and local connections were invaluable to my college success, both during my semester in Costa Rica and beyond. The relationships and skillsets I gained continue to impact my life today!


Michelle has a B.A. from Drake University, where she majored in Broadcast News and held three campus jobs as well as internships at NBC and CNN. A few years later, she pursued her passion with a M.A. in Hispanic Literature from Indiana University Bloomington, where she taught undergraduate Spanish and discovered you really can make a career in language and culture.

Travel Experience

Michelle's lifelong travel pursuits were ignited when she left Alaska for college to "study abroad" in Iowa. While there, she pursued undergraduate opportunities to study and travel in Central America, Cuba, and Germany, and was able to solidify her Spanish fluency on IFSA's immersive Costa Rica program. As a professional, Michelle has worked, lived and/or traveled to countries throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and to 49 U.S. states (North Dakota, I'm coming for you!).

Did You Know?

The German government paid for her first international flight! At that time, their bureau of cultural affairs sponsored fifteen U.S. journalism students to travel in Germany and produce a series of reports for the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Little did they know what they started.....