Rachel transitioned to the Executive Director of Carpe Mundi in March, 2018, after two years serving as the Associate Director. She has been involved with Carpe Mundi off and on since its inception in 2012, as a graduate student intern and as a volunteer. As the Associate Director, Rachel helped establish the PDXchange program, mentoring PDXchange cohorts in Portland and traveling with a group in 2017. As she transitions to the Executive Director role, Rachel is excited to create deeper relationships with the community and envision how Carpe Mundi will continue to grow sustainably into the future. Rachel is passionate about all things education, but particularly experiential education – making learning relevant and transformational for students. Through working and volunteering with various schools and educational nonprofits throughout North and South America, Rachel has experienced firsthand the benefits of making learning an interaction, rather than a transaction.
Rachel has lived in and traveled to over 20 countries and 40 states. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Rachel is excited to have a permanent home in Portland, although a piece of her heart will always be in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in Communications and Spanish from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA and an M.A. in International Development and Service from Concordia University in Portland.
PDXchange Program Director
Carol hails from Brooklyn, NY (before it was trendy) where she often served as a friend and mentor to her peers in her high school. When she moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in International Studies, she focused on Human Rights and Social Justice on a global and local level. While she believed in systemic solutions, her travels grew a desire to learn more about the human heart and mind. Carol moved to Portland in 2013 to acquire her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in working with youth and adolescents who have gone through trauma. Carol’s passion for travel, justice, engaging new cultures, and the expressive arts informs her belief in the power of experience for healing and growth.
C. Hansell Woods
Carpe College Program Director
C. Hansell Bourdon served as the Executive Director of Carpe Mundi for six years, and is now doing what she loves most at Carpe Mundi, supporting her students in the Carpe College program. Additionally, she is the Finance and Operations Director for Carpe Diem Education. She holds an MPA in Non-Profit Management and International Affairs from Indiana University. Hansell is passionate about international education as her own education centered heavily around work and travel in South and Central America, Europe, Nepal and Japan. Before moving to Portland, Hansell was the International Program Director for LEAPNow, a gap year organization based in California.
Hansell started organizing and facilitating scholarship programs in rural Nicaragua where she led service-learning trips and facilitated community development projects for two years. Following her master's degree, Hansell spent five years living and working for the Academy for Educational Development (AED) supporting research and program implementation in Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia. Hansell is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in History and Music.
Soumya is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Carpe Mundi for the 2019-2020 year. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Soumya moved to Portland in the summer of 2019 and is enjoying exploring the beauties of the Pacific Northwest.
Prior to joining Carpe Mundi, Soumya served as a mentor for young adults and college students pursuing global engagement opportunities through an education nonprofit. Her most recent venture abroad includes spending a year on a Fulbright grant where she taught conversational English at a school in the Himalayan foothills of northern India. She has also led university trips to Guatemala focusing on gender issues, interned at a community development NGO in New Delhi, India, and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador where she conducted ethnographic research. She is passionate about harnessing experiential education as an avenue for raising critical consciousness and sparking globally-informed activism and advocacy. In her free time, she likes to ramble outdoors, read, climb, eat plant-based foods, and spend time with family and friends. Soumya graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in International Studies and Economics and is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Hindi. She has lived in and traveled to 17 countries across 4 continents.
PDXChange Overseas Educator
Topher has been leading Carpe Mundi students on international programs since 2014 and formerly worked as the Program Director for our PDXchange program. He is excited to continue his engagement with the program, leading PDXchange students while abroad. Originally from rural southern Appalachia, Topher studied at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, worked as an experiential educator, and co-founded a hand-built banjo business before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2017. Having first experienced the positive impact of out-of-the-box learning while studying and living in Costa Rica for a year at age 16, he has since traveled, led, and volunteered in 20 countries and 49 states. A passionate student of social justice, ecopsychology, and alternative education, Topher is committed to helping Carpe Mundi provide equitable access to meaningful and culturally relevant education for students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. He is incredibly grateful to be a part of his students’ lives and for the opportunity to learn and grow with them on their journeys.