Former Students:

Alyssa Phelps,  Logan O’Leary,  Landon Connell,  Jackson Reese,  Catherine Kachman,  Kevin Jervis,  Tal Martin,  Lindsey O’Sullivan

Dakota Hirsch,  Jayme Long,  George Harker,  Vic Patel

Sample Student Profiles:

Shabad Grover, Kamry Mack, Zhou (Jacy) Ouyang, Adam Schaefer, Zach Wiener, Cooper Armstrong, Matt London, Robyn Blakely.

John Armayer, Wesley Bien-Aime, Connor Howard, Kamry Mack, Teagen Nabity, Victoria Nunnelley, Zhou Ouyang, Miguel Sainz.


Jamey Hurst (Demopolis, AL)

Graduate Research Assistant

Jamey completed his undergraduate studies in the spring of 2012, graduating summa cum laude with degrees in International Studies with Global Economics and Mandarin Chinese. He is currently working on a Masters of Marketing, which he will complete in the spring of 2014.  In addition to working with the AITC, Jamey also works with the Alabama Productivity Center as a member of student-faculty consulting teams for Alabama manufacturing firms.  After graduating in the spring, Jamey will pursue a PhD in Marketing in Hawai’i.  Yes, Hawai’i.


Xinran (Anthony) Guo (Beijing, China)

Graduate Research Assistant

Anthony joined the AITC in August of 2013, and is currently taking advantage of his first-hand international business experience gained from his work as a trade assistant in a manufacturing company in China; the business exported pipe fittings to Asian countries. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in International Trade in China in 2010, Anthony served as the project manager at BII Group in China for 2 years. In 2012, Anthony came to the University of Alabama to pursue his MBA degree. That summer Anthony interned for Georgia Pacific.  He has also worked for the Aging Infrastructure Systems Center of Excellence at the University of Alabama. Antony is now an entrepreneur in the IT industry, leading a team composed of several American and Chinese professionals from diverse backgrounds.  Anthony has joined an outdoor furniture manufacturer in Alabama to assist with their international operations.

Huihang Peter Huang

Peter Huang (Birmingham, AL)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Peter is currently a senior at The University of Alabama, graduating in May 2014 with a Marketing degree.  Prior to joining the Trade Center, Peter worked as a shift leader at the International Restaurant Management Group; this experience provided him with great insight into the challenges of owning and operating a small business in Alabama.  He also worked with Forza Financial, a student-operated microfinance program that was started at UA.  Peter will join Regions Bank upon graduation.

Zack Wepfer

Zach Wepfer (Birmingham, AL)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zack graduated from UA with a BA in Global Business, with a concentration in Latin America.  Prior to joining the Trade Center research team, he studied abroad in Havana, Cuba, and worked with State Farm insurance in Washington State.  Zack survived two years of being a Resident Advisor (RA) on campus, and was awarded the SEAHO Humanitarian Award for helping respond to the tornado crisis of April 27, 2011.  After graduation, Zack worked as an assistant professor of English and cultural assistant for the Comunidad de Madrid through the Spanish Ministry of Language, Culture and Sports in primary education. He is currently the Business Development Manager for Latin America for Tourico Holidays.

Igor Herbey (Odessa, Ukraine)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Igor is a senior double majoring in International Economics and International Relations, with a minor in French. He is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, English, and French. Igor has completed two study abroad programs:  London School of Economics (international political economy and European integration) and Bordeaux Management School (international business strategy & French). Igor is highly involved on campus, and holds multiple leadership positions and honors. Igor’s long-term goal is to enter into International Law, and has already gained first-hand experience through previous internships in a class action law firm and with an appellate court judge. Upon matriculation, Igor will pursue a Judicial Doctorate with a Focus on International Trade and Business Law, at Georgetown University.

Rashmee Sharif (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Graduate Research Assistant

Rashmee participated in AITC’s internship program while completing her undergraduate studies in Business Administration and Spanish, where she graduated cum laude in 2004.  After graduation she was hired by Saks Inc, as a planner for its Parisian division.  She departed Saks to pursue a Masters in International Relations at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She was subsequently hired by the Grameen Bank, and studied its micro-finance program in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Rashmee returned to UA in 2008 as an instructor for the International Honors Program, and eventually as the Director of the Alabama in Bangladesh study abroad program.  After completing her MBA, she was hired as an Operations Specialist at CIGNA.

May Truong (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Graduate Research Assistant

May completed her undergraduate studies in the Spring of 2012, graduating magna cum laude with a major in Finance, Banking, and Financial Services.  She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Applied Economics, and completed her graduate studies in 2013.  In addition to her duties at AITC, May also served as an Ambassador for the International Peer Advisory Council, part of UA’s Capstone International program.  With a keen interest in analytics, May completed several SAS data mining and programming courses. After completing her Master’s degree, she was hired as a Commercial System and Marketing Specialist at ThyssenKrupp, in Alabama.

Igor Herbey (Odessa, Ukraine)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Igor is a senior double majoring in International Economics and International Relations, with a minor in French. He is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, English, and French. Igor has completed two study abroad programs:  London School of Economics (international political economy and European integration) and Bordeaux Management School (international business strategy & French). Igor is highly involved on campus, and holds multiple leadership positions and honors. Igor’s long-term goal is to enter into International Law, and has already gained first-hand experience through previous internships in a class action law firm and with an appellate court judge. Upon matriculation, Igor will pursue a Judicial Doctorate with a Focus on International Trade and Business Law, at Georgetown University.

Zeke Landers (Huntsville, AL)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zeke studied Finance and Spanish at the University of Alabama, and received a double major in Finance and Spanish, as well as an MS in Finance. He lived in Havana, Cuba in Spring of 2010 where he studied Spanish and Cuban-American relations. The Trade Center staff relied heavily upon Zeke’s research experience to assist with training new students and managing the larger research projects.  After graduating in December 2012, Zeke was hired as a financial analyst by the DirecTv corporation.

Kathryn LoPorto Perez (Fairhope, AL)

Office of International Programs, College of Education, The University of Alabama

Kathryn received her undergraduate degree at the University of Mississippi in 2004 in International Studies and Spanish. She lived in Santiago, Chile in the fall of 2002 where she studied the language and foreign policy. She has a MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and worked as an Investigator for the Baldwin County District Attorney’s office. In 2009, she returned to the University of Alabama and is currently pursuing her MA in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English as a Second Language. After graduation, Kathryn was hired by the University’s College of Education.

Casey Sturgill (Walnut Cove, NC)

District Manager, ALDI

Casey received his undergraduate degree in 2007 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he double-majored in Journalism and Sports Science.  After graduating he worked in the sports industry for 2 years before coming to the University of Alabama for his master’s degree in Sport Management.  After completing the Sport Management program, he began the Master’s of Business Administration program with a concentration in Strategy and a focus on Entrepreneurship.

Bob Weber (Montgomery, AL)

Research Assistant, UA Center for Economic Development

Bob received his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama in 2011 in International Business Administration and Spanish. He lived in Sevilla, Spain in Spring 2010 while studying International Economics and Spanish. Following graduation he began working for The University of Alabama System’s Office for International Programs and Outreach before moving to The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UCED).

Eric Hess (Trussville, AL)

Recruiting Manager, Aerotek

Eric majored in International Business Administration and Spanish, with a concentration in International Marketing.  In 2008 he lived in Alcala de Henares, Spain, studying Spanish language, culture and art.  He is a member of several organizations, including Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society and American Marketing Association.  In addition to refereeing intramural basketball, Eric coaches a co-ed basketball team at the University.  Following graduation he began working for Regions Financial Corporation.

Reid Owens (Birmingham, AL)

Export Manager, ML Global Services

Reid is a spring 2009 graduate from UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration with a degree in International Business Management and a minor in Spanish.   In the spring of 2008, Reid spent a semester studying at the Universidad de Granada, in Granada, Spain.  While there, he researched Spain’s growing demand for solar panels on behalf of an AITC client.  Reid also had the opportunity to volunteer at Flatwoods Elementary as an ESL tutor during his undergraduate studies.  After graduation, he returned to Spain to teach English and culture.  He is currently handling export sales of heavy equipment and machinery for the mining and construction indsutries in Latin America.

Matt Wehner (Mobile, AL)

Systems Manager, Proctor & Gamble

Matt is certified in the German language at EU level C2/Mastery and has studied several times in Germany and Austria. He has traveled extensively throughout the European continent, gaining the perspective needed to help clients connect with international markets. As an MBA student in the Enterprise Consulting concentration, he is manager of the team that is developing Project LEARN (Launching Entrepreneurs Across Rural Networks), which will provide entrepreneurship training and mentoring to dislocated workers in rural Alabama. The project is funded by ADECA and the U.S. Dept. of Labor, and the AITC and ASBDC was be an important partner in providing services to the project’s clients. Before beginning the MBA program, Matt taught German at the undergraduate and graduate levels and was an assistant in the Language Resource Center. Prior to returning to graduate school, Matt was a restaurant manager with McDonald’s and a travel center co-manager with Pilot, LLC.  After graduation, Matt was hired on at Proctor & Gamble.

Qiyin Liao (Changsha, China)

Account Manager – Consumables, Hoganas

Qiyin joined the Trade Center in August of 2008, while beginning his first year at the MBA program.  He holds two degrees from the Central South University in Changsha: Master of Technical Economy & Management, and a Bachelor of Metallic Material Engineering.  Before beginning the MBA program, Qiyin worked in Shanghai as a Sales Engineer in a Swedish company – Hoganas, which is the No. 1 manufacturer of iron and metal power in the world.  As a sales engineer, he led customer management and relationship development in southern China (mainly in 5 provinces).  Also, He led or co-worked in new products launching projects and assisted with marketing activities.  Qiyin has returned to Hoganas in their Shanghai office.

Chela Canler (Metairie, LA)

Verizon Wireless; Tulane University

Chela obtained a Bachelor of Science with a double-major in International Marketing and German, with a minor in Mathematics.  She is fluent in Spanish, and has taken advantage of UA’s Study Abroad Programs to gain fluency in French, German, and Italian.  Chela is the recipient of UA’s Presidential Merit and Achievement Scholarship, a National Merit Finalist, and a National Hispanic Scholar.  Her broad language skills and international experience have allowed her to work on a wide variety of export market research projects.  As a senior at UA, she participated in a consulting project with a marketing firm in Dublin, Ireland.  After studying linguistics at Tulane University, Chela began working for Verizon Wireless; she is currently a Senior Analyst of Business Operations for Executive Relations at Verizon’s headquarters in New Jersey.

Alex  G. Chandler (Spanish Fort, AL)

Purchasing Agent, Electrolux

Alex majored in Global Supply Chain Management and Chinese, with minor in History.  Over the summer he lived in Hefei, China, teaching English for an international micro-finance organization.  He was named as the 2008-09 Rotary International Cultural Ambassadorial Scholar. As a student, he is worked on several continuous improvement projects as an engineering intern with Johnson Controls in Cottondale, AL.  Following graduation, Alex began a six-month Chinese immersion program at the Taipei Language Institute in Taiwan.  He returned to the US and found immediate employment as a purchasing specialist with Kia Motors in Georgia.  He was subsequently hired as a purchasing agent for Electrolux in Nashville.

Ryan Ebersold (Harvest, AL)

International Program Analyst, US Army Aviation and Missile Command

Ryan graduated the University of Alabama with a major in International Business with a concentration in Management and a minor in Spanish. He has traveled to numerous countries throughout Europe and participated in the UA study abroad program in Spain.  Upon graduation, Ryan was hired by the US Department of Defense, and works as a program analyst for USAAMC in Huntsville.  While at USAAMC, he completed his Masters of International Relations from Troy University.

Xinjie Wu (Shanghai, China)

Marketing Analytics Manager, DirecTV

Before accepting her current position at DireTV, Xinjie received her MBA degree in 2008 and was hired as a Strategic Marketing Analyst at FedEx’s headquarters in Memphis.  She is a 2006 graduate of Limburg Business School in the Netherlands with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  Her studies at Limburg included a summer semester in Alabama.  While in China, Xinjie held several positions at ABN AMRO Bank in both Shanghai and Singapore.  Xinjie selected The University of Alabama MBA program to deepen and broaden her analytical, quantitative and leadership skills.

Natasha Shkolnyk (Chernivtsy, Russia)

Gates Capital, Manhattan

Shkolnyk, who is fluent in Russian and Ukranian, received her MBA degree in May, 2007, with concentrations in finance and economics.  Prior to joining the AITC research staff, she worked with MortgageAmerica, Merrill Lynch, and as an economics lab instructor.  Natasha worked with several AITC clients to help them prepare SBA loan guarantee applications and Export-Import Bank Working Capital loan guarantees.

Debdeep Chatterjee (Kolkata, India)

Managing Director, JDS Capital Services

Debdeep received a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.  He then pursued an MBA at UA with a concentration in Financial Engineering.  Prior to joing the AITC research team, Debdeep worked at Huntington Bank in Cincinnati, SAP Labs in Bangalore, and Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Caracas and Dubai.  While at AITC, Debdeep provided strategic consulting to US traders on export financing, risk management, and market intelligence.  After graduating, he worked as a financial services manager at Ernst & Young in North Carolina, and published a technical article in a global risk journal.  He is currently with JDS Capital in Kolkata.

Stephen Hart (Diamondhead, MS)

Export Operations Specialist, Nissan North America

Earned an undergraduate degree in Japanese and East Asian Studies. From there he worked in Japan, teaching English and business through the Japan Exchange Teaching Program. Upon returning to America he started an internship with the New Orleans Export Assistance Center. Stephen worked at AITC during his two years in UA’s MBA Program, providing export research to Alabama’s small businesses and mentoring undergraduate students. His time at UA also included a summer internship in Washington DC, for the Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade. Upon graduation, he was hired as an Export Operations Specialist for Nissan North America.

H. Charles Aleman (Orlando, FL)

Financial Planning & Analysis Professional, Pratt & Whitney

Charlie worked at AITC for four semesters, graduating with a major in Quantitative Finance and minors in Economics and Japanese. He was awarded the UA Presidential Scholarship, National Hispanic Scholarship, and AIE-J Scholarship. He spent one year studying in Japan at Chiba University as part of his minor. Charlie was one of three AITC interns selected for the Maersk-Sealand Finance MISE program; there were only 10 positions available nationwide. The program is a two-year training program including practical experience and academic work in the US and Denmark. At the end of the two years MISE graduates will accept positions in overseas offices. In 2007 Charlie accepted a position with the company’s corporate finance group in Dubai.  He has since accepted a position with Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut.

Sean Sylvia (Prattville, AL)

Financial Planning & Analysis Professional, Pratt & Whitney

Sean spent time in Japan teaching English and studied at Nihon University, College of Economics. Sean was an Economics major/Chinese minor and was selected to participate in a National Science Foundation research trip to study the environmental impact of economic development in Shaanxi, China. He was also awarded the Senior Faculty Excellence award for Economics. In 2007 Sean was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to study factors affecting the availability of financing available to small-scale rural entrepreneurs and what impact the lack of formal credit and financial systems has had on the development of private enterprise in rural areas. He was based at Northwest University in Xi’an where he will be conducted research in northern Shaanxi province.  He has since worked as a consultant with the World Bank, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Maryland.

Barbara Blaylock (Huntsville, AL)

Economist / Policy Analyst at OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Blaylock, who graduated with a double major in economics and mathematics, completed five semesters as a researcher at the Trade Center. She also worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate economics classes. Blaylock was a member of the University Honors Program, International Honors Program, Business Honors Program and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. In her final year at UA, she received the Economics Faculty Scholar Award and the Outstanding Economics Student Award. She was also awarded the prestigious and highly competitive National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship allowed her to work at the Office of the Chief Economist at NOAA.  After graduation, Blaylock accepted a Senior Research Analyst position atLECG, a ‘think tank’ in Washington DC that provides expert services, including independent expert testimony, original studies and strategic advice to corporations, law firms, local, state and regional governments and governmental agencies in the United States and internationally.  Barbara completed her PhD in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy at the University of Southern California, and now works in Paris, at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She is leading the technical development of a pilot policy foresight model with an international team of modelers, data analysts, and topic area experts.