REI-Vietnam News

University Students Make Great Ambassadors

by REI-Vietnam |

Image: University Students Make Great Ambassadors
US Student Team to Hanoi in June


Jeff Stebbins, Instructor

Jeff 2

Dr. Jeff Stebbins, PhD in linguistics, will be the classroom instructor in the program. Dr. Jeff with his extensive background in Vietnam provides insight and coaching for the US students, and his formal educational training provides a solid basis for teaching the Vietnamese students. Jeff is married to Beth, an ESL teacher in Colorado Springs and they have two children: Anke who is in her early twenties, and Eva who is in her second year of high school. For recreation Dr. Jeff loves to catch trout and hunt elk when he can.

Jeff Teaching

Tyler Rosas, Team Leader


This is Tyler’s second year as a participant in the program. Tyler is in his last year of a three year Master’s of Fine Arts in Visualization at Texas A&M University, and he teaches classes in Visualization to undergraduates there. When Tyler wants to relax from working, he enjoys playing drums, working out, water skiing, playing games with friends, and watching movies. When asked why he is returning he says, “I’m returning because of the people. I am so excited to eat with them, learn with them and laugh with them. The people and the friendships are so important to me that I can’t imagine not being connected to them.”

Justin Atchley, Assistant Team Leader


Justin graduated from West Texas A&M University with a major in Music Education and has taught high school music for a couple of years. He loves playing the guitar and spending time with friends. He is excited to meet new friends and learn more about the Vietnamese culture. He sees this summer as a chance for personal growth as well as contributing positively to others.


Joshua Aguilar


Joshua is from Harlingen, Texas, and is a 4th year Chemical Engineering major at Texas A&M University. Joshua was inspired by talking to the team members who went to Vietnam last summer. He was pursuing an internship for this summer and also had a desire to go to Vietnam. When the internship did not materialize, he was excited to know that there was an opening on the team for him. Joshua feels that he has been given so much in life, and he wants to share what he has been given .

Hillary Fromme


“I am excited about studying another language and culture and having an impact on students from another country, as well as knowing that they will impact me and change my life forever. I hope that I will come home with a whole new perspective on the world. I hope the students will also have some wonderful memories of spending time with us.” Hillary loves horseback riding, painting, and reading. She is a 3rd year Music Education Major at the University of Arkansas.

Jessica Quinones


Jessica is a 3rd year English major at Texas A&M University. Her love of literature spills over into her other hobbies such as watching movies, reading, live theater, and music. Jessica had been thinking about going to Vietnam for much of this past academic year. After three people independently mentioned to her that she should go, she thought that was good confirmation of her own desires. Jessica loves people and is motivated by developing cross-cultural friendships.

Ethan Springer


When Ethan isn’t studying he keeps quite busy with The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, Ross Volunteer Company, playing guitar and singing. He is a 3rd year Civil Engineering Major. He also loves to hike as his picture here in Colorado shows. “Last year I had heard of the trip but knew that I was not ready. After another year of school, I could not get the trip out of my mind and clearly felt that this was the year for me to go.” Ethan wants to develop authentic and transparent relationships with the students and understand how they think and view the world.

Sharay Sullivan


Sharay is a 3rd year student at Oklahoma State and is studying Speech Pathology. As an executive officer in her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, her job is to oversee the development of each woman and make sure each woman is upholding the standards of Theta. Sharay loves being with people, reading, laughing, trying new things, and being outdoors. Something that motivates her to go to Vietnam is that she wants to be challenged and pushed outside of her comfort zone, as well as to experience the beauty of another culture and people.

Taylor Sutherland


Taylor attends Texas Tech University and is studying graphic design. She loves drawing and being artsy as well as playing sports. She especially enjoys basketball and soccer. Taylor wanted to go to Vietnam this year because Peyton, her best friend and roommate at school, went to Vietnam last summer, and Taylor has been hearing her stories. Taylor saw how much Peyton learned and how much fun she had. “I’m really excited to learn about the Vietnamese culture and to make new friends.”

A theme that is consistent with all the students going is the opportunity to learn about the culture, to make friends with the Vietnamese students and to develop authentic relationships. REI is excited to have these students participate in this summer program because it will make a difference in their lives and the lives of their soon to be Vietnamese friends. We are glad that these students are taking the opportunity before them and we believe with Hillary that their lives will be changed forever as West meets East once again this summer.

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