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Staff Biographies

To view complete biographies, click on each name below.

Mana Derakhshani, PhD (on Sabbatical 2020-2021)
Director, Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership
Email: mana@saintmarys.edu

Alice Siqin Yang, PhD.
Interim Director, Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership
Associate Director, International Education
Email: syang@saintmarys.edu

Adriana Petty, B.S.
Assistant Director, International Student/Scholar Advisor 
Email: apetty@saintmarys.edu

Willow Wetherall, M.A.
Director, Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative
Email: wwetherall@saintmarys.edu

Beth Gaffigan
Administrative Assistant
Email: bgaffigan@saintmarys.edu


Mana Derakhshani, PhD.

Dr. Mana Derakhshani is Director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership and Professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages. She has a Ph. D in nineteenth-century French poetry, however since coming to Saint Mary’s College in 1989 she has focused her scholarly work on the pedagogy of languages and intercultural studies. She is coordinator of the Intercultural Studies Minor Program and has taught the Introduction to Intercultural Studies course every year since its inception.



Alice Siqin Yang, PhD.

Dr. Alice Siqin Yang is the Associate Director of International Education. She supports all Saint Mary’s study abroad programs and is in charge of the student intercultural travel grants. She teaches Chinese and is the first Chinese instructor of Saint Mary’s. She is the Coordinator of China Summer Program and teaches a course on Chinese Women and Society. She offers intercultural training workshops and advises leadership certificate students. She has a passion for campus internationalization.

Before joining the CWIL, Alice received her Ph.D. degree from the Program of Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota, where she received intercultural training and gained international educational exchange skills. She helped design and manage the Beijing Summer Study Abroad Program and the Master of Law Program (LL.M.) for Chinese Lawyers in Beijing for the University of Minnesota Law School. Her internship experiences at the Minnesota International Center and the American Association of University Women Minnesota helped her gain leadership and development skills.

Alice successfully applied for a grant from the Ford Foundation and did her Ph.D. dissertation research fieldwork on women’s development and gender mainstreaming in higher education in South China. She received her master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Northern Iowa and has published her thesis in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, which was a national student survey on the internationalization and multiculturalization of women’s studies graduate programs in the United States. 

Adriana Petty, B.S.

Adriana I. Petty graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2001, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Adriana worked with the Saint Joseph County Minority Health Coalition, Saint Mary’s College Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership office with International Students and Scholar Services, was the graphic designer for New Dimension Wear, worked with United Way of Saint Joseph County and has returned to the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership office and works with the International Students and Scholar Services .

Willow Wetherall, M.A.

Willow Wetherall is the Director of the Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI pronounced “we”) at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. WEI’s mission is to economically empower women through business ownership and career advancement. WEI’s signature program, the SPARK women’s business accelerator has helped launch 90 small businesses since its inception in 2011. SPARK recently launched a pilot program specifically designed to support African-American women and Latina entrepreneurs involved in neighborhood revitalization through small-scale development.

Willow earned a dual BA from the University of Maine in International Affairs-Anthropology and Women's Studies and her MA from the University of Notre Dame in International Peace Studies. She specializes in economic and community development with an emphasis on social diversity and economic inclusivity.

She enjoys life in South Bend with her mother, three children, and two cats in their rehabbed farmhouse dubbed the "Purple Blessing."




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