Dr. Kent Warren is the Director of Graduate Programs at ICI and serves as the faculty advisor for many MAIR students. He joined ICI after many years with the Program for Individualized Learning at the University of Minnesota, where he developed some of the early programs in alternative higher education. Kent received his master's in communicative disorders from the University of Southern California and his doctorate in intercultural and medical communication from the University of Minnesota. His research interests have included medical interviewing, intercultural communication workshops, the history of individualized education, and adult learning and educational success. Kent has been actively involved with the Adult Higher Education Alliance. Working with them and the American Council on Education, he co-authored the Principles of Good Practice for Alternative and External Degree Programs for Adults.

Chris Cartwright, MPA, Ed.D is the Director of Intercultural Assessment for the Intercultural Communication Institute where he supports individuals and organizations from around the world in assessing and developing global leadership and intercultural competence. He is also the Associate Director of Graduate Programs, serving as faculty adviser, instructor, and thesis/capstone director. He completed his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Portland State University, researching the assessment of intercultural leadership in higher education. He has served as the Dean of Academic Programs for the International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership. He is an adjunct faculty for the Portland State University, International Studies Department, as well as researching, training, and presenting in the areas of intercultural competency, assessment of student learning, leadership, service-learning, and social justice.  In his private life, Chris and his wife enjoy yoga, meditation, gardening, cooking, and hanging-out with their cat and dog.

Elsa Wallace, Financial Administrator, is happy to be living and working in the United States.  After finishing her classes at Gutenburg University in Mainz Germany, she settled in Portland, Oregon. While continuing her education at Maryhurst College she was able to secure a coveted work study position working for Janet in 1984 while finishing her undergraduate degree. She continued with Janet in the early years of ICI, and now handles all financial matters for that institution. She is also involved in coordinating the setup and operation of the annual bookstore, and all mailings and printing needs. Elsa was a trainer and monitor for Berlitz School of Languages and supervisor of the Berlitz Spanish program at the Montessori School. In her private life Elsa is an executive board member of Alabama’s Montgomery Federation of Garden Clubs where she lives, and placement chairperson for the annual flower show. She also enjoys motorcycle riding with her husband and being with their children and grandchildren.

Antimo Cimino, Senior Project Manager, works part-time performing duties that include planning, marketing, logistics, and branding for the Winter Institute for Intercultural Communication (WIIC) and Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). Antimo is also the founder of an intercultural and experiential travel company, VoomaGo, that aims at introducing travelers to the core values of the cultures they visit by emphasizing human interactions with locals from different life styles. Antimo speaks six languages, holds a Master of Arts in intercultural relations, and leads wellness and fitness retreats with a focus on the body mind connection. During his spare time, Antimo enjoys hiking, painting, photography, cooking, and wine tasting.

Mike Fuentes is the Partnerships Manager and has worked full-time at ICI for the past three years offering technical and administrative support to various programs. Born and raised in Portland, he truly enjoys the state of Oregon. In his spare time he enjoys the outdoors (fishing, and hiking), retro video games, and Portland food culture.

Melissa Shaw is the Assistant to Dr. Janet Bennett, Executive Director of the Intercultural Communication Institute. She provides logistical and organizational support for Janet as well as functioning as a member of the ICI team. This includes her duties with faculty and fellows for the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. A “Cosmic Mother” by nature, she gets great pleasure from providing nurturing and nourishment to everyone she works with. Outside of work, Melissa and her husband enjoy camping, hiking and traveling, occasionally going off the grid, to get away from it all. Animals are a huge part of her life with big dogs especially able to steal her heart and bring her joy. Currently her family includes a tortoise shell cat of a certain age, and a full grown, but still young St. Bernard.  

Steven R. Dowd, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, is responsible for overseeing ICI's financial activities including all contracts, legal agreements, insurance policies, financial reporting, and tax filings. He is a seasoned educator and executive with 30 years experience in graduate and undergraduate degree programs, small family-owned businesses, and large international corporations. He has an MA in Organizational Communication from UC Davis, Doctoral Study in Small Group Communication from the University of Iowa, and a Certificate in Financial Accounting from the University of Washington.  

Sandra Garrison-Whitmore, Library Director, has been with ICI since 1987. She started out as the lone work exchange student by unpacking the first 6 boxes of intercultural material to begin the SIIC library, a gift to ICI from the Stanford Institute for Intercultural Communication. In the process, she had a beautiful vision of growing 6 boxes into 6 rooms, and curating the largest intercultural library anywhere. With the library now at over 32,000 books, she is still working on that dream, along with assisting with the SIIC coordination, working with ICI interns, and the various volunteer programs. Along the way, she has worked in international education with Japanese cultural exchange students, running 3, 6, and 9-month programs for 10 years during the 90’s. More recently, she has been teaching intercultural communication to Japanese exchange students at PSU. She now also coordinates a program with Ayoama University in Japan. Her hobbies include reading everything, fishing, and folding origami boxes (she especially likes Tomoko Fuse’s work). 

Lori Welch, Network Administrator and SIIC Returning Intern / Fellow Coordinator, first attended the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) in 1992. She joined the ICI staff in 1995 to process SIIC registrations, and since then her SIIC responsibilities have expanded to include preparing marketing materials, workshop packet preparation, and coordinating the returning interns/fellows before and during SIIC. Throughout the year Lori keeps the office computer system running properly, works on database development, processes registrations for ICI events, and provides support for the Kozai Group and their instruments. Lori graduated from Whitworth University with a BA in Speech Communication, and now accompanies the Whitworth Forensics Team to speech tournaments to judge individual events. She enjoys interpretive reading and storytelling, and traveling to Ashland, Oregon for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.





Janet Bennett, Ph.D., is executive director of the Intercultural Communication Institute, sponsor of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and director of the Master of Arts Degree in Intercultural Relations. She specializes in developing theory and training methods for individuals who teach, train or manage across cultures. As an educator and consultant, she designs and conducts intercultural training for colleges and universities, corporations, government and social service agencies, and professional associations. She teaches in the training and development program at Portland State University, and recently edited the Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence.

Shannon Mason is a Senior Program Manager at the Intercultural Communication Institute and directs the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) and the Qatar Institute for Intercultural Communication (QIIC). She also works with the ICI team on a myriad of other events and programs sponsored by ICI. Before joining the institute full time, Shannon worked in the Intercultural and Diversity and Inclusion fields as a university program coordinator, a consultant for speakers and entertainers, and an international relocation trainer. She has an MS in Education from Southwest Minnesota State University, and a BS in Intercultural Communication and Psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.​


The Intercultural Communication Institute 

Intercultural Communication Institute

 8835 SW Canyon Lane, Suite 238 

Portland, OR 97225 

Phone: 503-297-4622