Global Student Life Team

Global Directors/Global Oversight Team 

Barbara Walder

SL Global Director and City Director Berlin, is a former school un-enthusiast and now learning, training and leadership expert, and qualified coach. Barbara has worked in the educational and training sector in Germany, the UK, China, Hong Kong and with companies in the USA. As a passionate educational ambassador, Barbara’s work has been shaped by international educational and training projects that brought people together by designing for them new experiences to collaborate and learn. Her high levels of intercultural competence, project management and team development skills have been pivotal in successfully facilitating such complex projects. In her current role at Minerva, her global expertise of working across diverse teams, her creativity, and entrepreneurial mindset as a hands-on economist bring relevant experience to the Minerva community. She earned her BSc in Economics, her MSc in Sustainability and Environmental Management and is IPMA Level C project management certified. Barbara has been with Minerva since 2014. She will lead the Berlin team and oversee the Taipei and Seoul teams in Spring. 

Capri LaRocca

Global Director of Experience Design, has seven years’ experience designing innovative educational systems. While studying Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, Capri took a course that changed the trajectory of her career called “The University as a Design Problem.” This elective set her on a path of exploring different design methodologies for complex problem solving – from visual design to UX design to architecture and permaculture. While beginning her career in marketing and communications, she worked part-time reimagining the future of higher education with her professor, a polymath architect and “Chief of Confusion” at Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. After gaining a certificate in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she realized that her passion was in the application of design strategies to the specific challenge of transforming the system of higher education. Successfully pivoting careers, she began working at Minerva Schools in September 2016 as an Experiential Learning Fellow and has worked her way up to the Director of Student Experience last year into her new role this year. She continues to be motivated by generating creative solutions to complex problems and designing for systemic change. 

Matthew Erskine

SL Global Director and City Director London, studied American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK; spent his junior year at the University of California, Berkeley as a part of the UCEAP reciprocity program; and following his graduation from Birmingham completed a master’s degree in history at the University of Kansas. He moved to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1997, first as a doctoral student and then progressing through the staff ranks in a 17-year USC career. During his last five years there he was Associate Vice Provost for Global Engagement for Strategic and Global Initiatives. In this role he was responsible for the full day-to-day management and development of the network of nine USC International Offices in Asia, Latin America and the UK, working closely across the University’s 20+ schools. Matthew directed the ACCENT London study center and served as Director of Strategic Academic Development following his return to the UK with his family. He oversaw the study abroad experience of over 300 students from leading US R1 institutions such as the University of California, Michigan State University, Colgate and USC. In 2018-19 he consulted across the western US and Asia for London-based study abroad, internships and accommodation provider Anglo Educational Services. He joined Minerva as London Manager of in 2019 and will work with the San Francisco City Team this year. 

Mara Steiner

SL Global Director and City Director Buenos Aires, has professional and leadership experience in higher education and with NGOs worldwide. She served as representative in Cuba for the American Joint Distribution Committee , responsible for the development and implementation of a variety of educational, cultural and social programs. She also worked as the Director of Programs in Austria for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, responsible for designing and managing all the educational and cultural programs of the organization’s center in Vienna. Additionally, she was the Director of the Research Department at Palermo University in Buenos Aires, where she recruited, trained and supervised staff while teaching for more than 11 years at the University of Buenos Aires and Palermo University in Argentina. Immersing in different cultures and managing a wide range of educational and social projects have enriched her personal and professional life and fostered her creativity and enthusiasm for professional challenges. Since 2015 Mara has been working as Director of Minerva BA. Mara has a BA in Art History (University of Buenos Aires), an MA in Education (JTS, New York) and is a PhD candidate in History and Theory of Art (University of Buenos Aires). She will lead Buenos Aires and oversee the work of the team serving the M23 cohort in Fall 2020. 

I-Ching Grace Hung

Global Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, is a psychologist with a passion for facilitating personal and organizational growth and development. An east-west multicultural human born in Taiwan, raised in Toronto, and trained in the US, Grace geeks out on applying the lens of cultural context, systems-level thinking, and critical analysis to human behavior and dynamics. She is a specialist in international college student wellness and contributes to the Minerva mission by applying her expertise to leading the CAPS team in fostering student balance, resilience, and nuanced mindsets, as well as to collaborating with other staff and faculty as a thought leader and partner for cultivating an optimal learning environment for students. With more than 10 years’ experience in higher education and mental health services, Grace has degrees from University of Toronto (BSc), Lehigh University (MEd) and University of Albany (PhD). Grace has been with Minerva since 2017. 

Rachel Kim

Global Director Coaching and Talent Development, Rachel joined Minerva in February 2019 to provide coaching and career strategy to students who are eager to learn more about themselves and who they are becoming through the Minerva experience and beyond. Her role expanded this past year and as Global Director, Rachel oversees the CTD team in designing and delivering transformational coaching and talent development programs to our students and alumni. Rachel brings 20+ years of professional experience in various corporate, nonprofit, education, and startup settings as well as professional coach training and certification by the International Coach Federation and the Coaches Training Institute. She is based out of San Mateo, CA where she takes urban hikes daily and watches Jeopardy and The Simpsons nightly with her two kids and her husband. 


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