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Swiss Semester - Faculty



Russell Bollag-Miller


Email: russell.bolmil@gmail.com

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Russell is a recent graduate of Skidmore College where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in Government Studies. This will be his first year working with Swiss Semester as an English teacher and he is thrilled to be back in the beautiful country of Switzerland after studying in Geneva in 2015. Russell has Swiss roots, though he originally hails from Lexington, Massachusetts. In the classroom he is excited to share his passions for contemporary creative nonfiction, critical discussion, and literary analysis this semester. Outside of academics, Russell is an avid traveller and lover of the outdoors. His travels have brought him all over the US, as well as to numerous parts of Europe, Senegal, and Thailand. Russell has spent his past six summers working at Camp Becket, an all-boys sleep away camp in Western Massachusetts which prides itself on developing strong leadership skills and moral values in its campers. The immensely rewarding experiences as a counselor and administrator at Camp Becket have sparked Russell’s enthusiasm for working with young people. He is thrilled to combine his love of learning, travel, mentorship, and the outdoors in Zermatt this Fall.


Nathalie Brouillac


Email: nathclemb@yahoo.fr

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Nathalie is quite thrilled to return to Zermatt and to get another chance to be a part of the Swiss Semester team. This is a true privilege to share this unique and life changing experience with the students.

Nathalie currently leaves near Lucerne, Switzerland. She teaches French for business and economics in private banks and diverse company headquarters. She also works as a consultant in various areas including real estate and hospitality.
After a 10 years long career in the fashion business in Paris, she moved to the French Riviera where she decided to complete her literature and language studies. Nathalie graduated with a Bachelor Of Arts having completed a double major in Lettres modernes et Francais as a second language. She prepared for the CAPES (French high school education certification) but did not get to use it for she specialized in French second language education. She was contracted by an oil company in Monaco to train their foreign team in French language related to their area of expertise (oil shipping, law, general management…).
Nathalie moved to the United States in 2000. In 2001 she started to teach French in Private College Preparatory High Schools. She taught all levels of French including AP, Theater Set and Costume Design, and 2D Art for 10 years both in Georgia and Florida. She also organized several school trips, both with an agency and independently (in Quebec, in order to expose students to the various outdoor activities winter offers in this area)
Whilst in Florida, her love for nature and her interest in environment conservation started to take a larger place in her life. She was a scuba diver for a long time and started again to dive. She got interested with the challenges see turtles face in the world. She lived ten minutes to the major nesting beach in North America; hence she became a volunteer in turtle rehabilitation at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach.
Among other interests, Nathalie loves cooking and baking using organic products. Sustainable development, ecology and healthy living are major interest of hers. She enjoys also collecting antiques and refurbishing furnishing, skiing, swimming, traveling, entertaining, and going to the movies…


Laura Jean "LJ" Champagne


Email: laura.champagne@gmail.com

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In the past few years, Laura Jean has developed a diverse resume that includes teaching high school mathematics, physics and chemistry in both the United States and Costa Rica. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with her undergraduate degree in Biology with minors in both Chemistry and Mathematics. After earning her Masters of Arts of Teaching, she completed the first year of a PhD program in Mathematics Education before leaving to return to the classroom. She loves sharing her optimism, energy and knowledge with high school students.

Laura Jean is always thrilled to be outside getting in a workout, regardless of the season. She loves long distance running, hiking and cycling as well as kayaking and cross country skiing. She is excited to be a part of Swiss Semester for another year and is looking forward to using what she learned the fist year to make her second experience even that much better.


Bradley Garczynski


Email: bradleygarczynski@gmail.com

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Originally from Long Island, NY, Brad graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in Earth Science modified with Biology. From a young age, he has always been passionate and curious about the natural and physical processes that govern our dynamic planet. His studies have taken him around the world, including studying geology in the Canadian Rockies and American West, researching tropical forest and marine ecosystems in Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands, and even flying aboard a NASA research aircraft to study air pollution in Southern California. Outside his studies, he has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, volunteered as an after school homework mentor for a local elementary school, and even coached a local Little League baseball team with his friends. Brad enjoys backpacking, fishing, and learning various musical instruments. Brad is extremely excited to join Swiss Semester and is looking forward to sharing his passion for the sciences and the outdoors with his students.


Talley Kayser


Email: talleyv@gmail.com

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Whether guiding students across Alaskan rivers or through Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Talley Kayser is committed to creating engaging, project-based courses that hold students to a high standard of accountability. Talley first joined the Swiss Semester faculty in 2009, after earning her B.A. in Literature from Furman University. As both an experienced outdoorswoman and a first-year teacher, she quickly appreciated Swiss Semester's capacity for sculpting students and teachers alike into a resilient, engaged learning community!

Since that first year, Talley has continued to amass experience in both traditional education and outdoor leadership. Her background includes: completing an M.A. in "Literature and the Environment" (aka "ecocriticism"); teaching both college and high school courses in literature, writing, and research; developing curricula for high school STEM programs; and adventure and environmental education leadership in both the U.S. and abroad. Talley is a published essayist and poet, a proud Wilderness First Responder, a certified yoga teacher, a middling ukulele player, and a highly enthusiastic swing/contra dancer. She looks forward to teaching (and learning alongside!) the Swiss Semester students of 2016.


Caroline Kemmerer


Email: ckemm12@mac.com

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Caroline has been teaching with Swiss Semester since 1990, following many years teaching at Bryn Mawr College and then The Shipley School, both in Bryn Mawr ,PA. Her undergraduate work was done at Agnes Scott College, then a MA from Middlebury College, and Ph.D at Bryn Mawr College. Teaching Spanish and French has been Caroline’s passion and she enjoys both the literature and the language. She began my foreign language training in elementary school in California and firmly believes that a successful and enjoyable experience in the early years contributes to continued success and enjoyment. She has been fortunate to study and spend time in several Spanish speaking countries and in France, and travel in all these countries is her ongoing pleasure.

Teaching at Swiss Semester has been a highlight of her career, combining an outstanding academic program with challenging outdoor activities. Each year is different with new students, usually new faculty, and always a richly rewarding experience. Caroline claims not to be a highly skilled outdoors person but along with the classroom she to be hiking in the mountains. She never takes the Matterhorn for granted; each day looking to the sun touch the summit, then later delights as the Alpen glow casts its magic light—that is just about perfection.


Claudia Mazur


Email: claudia.mazu@gmail.com

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Originally from New York City, Claudia strayed away from city life and found her passion for the outdoors by studying geology as an undergraduate student at Mount Holyoke College. Claudia graduated from Mount Holyoke in 2016 with a major in geology and a minor in coastal and marine sciences. During her academic career, she explored her interests in earth sciences through research internships at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and at Pennsylvania State University. When Claudia was not looking at rocks or exploring the ocean, she was captain of the Mount Holyoke Ice Hockey Club team.

One of her favorite things about studying geology was not only conducting research, but also participating in the many adventures it took her on. Claudia conducted fieldwork in thrilling places such as Death Valley, California, and the middle of the South Pacific Ocean as a scientist and as a crew member. Claudia is looking forward to embarking on her next adventure in Zermatt, Switzerland as a geology teacher. At Swiss Semester, Claudia is most excited about working with the students. She feels lucky to introduce them to the topic that is so near and dear to her heart in such a unique environment. Outside of her fast paced lifestyle, Claudia enjoys the simple things in life. She is happiest when drinking a good cup of coffee, reading an intriguing book, laying on a beach or sitting on top of a mountain.


David "Carrington" Motley


Email: cmotley@mit.edu

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Carrington Motley, a former Swiss Semester, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While at MIT he was a two-time Academic All-America track and field athlete, and won the Elite 90 at the NCAA track and field outdoor national championship in 2015. He spent the past summer in Paris, France working at an early stage engineering company.

A Sewickley Academy graduate and former Swiss Semester student himself, Carrington is eager to return to Zermatt. He is excited for the opportunity to impart his interest in mathematics with his students, and he is thrilled to share his love of the outdoors and the satisfaction that comes from pushing yourself to new levels with this year’s students.


Kathryn Perry

Art History

Email: kathryn.a.perry@gmail.com

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Kathryn received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Colorado College. Her main area of focus was on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. After graduation, she went on to become an instructor for Voyageur Outward Bound School in Minnesota.

A fan of warm weather, Kathryn has been chasing summer for the past year. In the winter, she moved to Australia to work the summer season as a guide for an expeditionary learning school. She loves being outside and being active. Now Kathryn is especially excited to combine her two passions of Art History and being outside while at Swiss Semester.


Alfred Schultz


Email: alfred.schultz@gmail.com

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Born and raised in Mexico, Alfred received his undergraduate degree in Architecture from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. He began his independent practice in central Mexico and worked on projects all over the country. A few years later he earned his master’s degree in Philosophy and Art History from Universidad Panamericana, focusing his dissertation on Richard Staruss’ symphonic tone poems. During his graduate studies, he developed a serious interest in teaching and began teaching Humanities, Art History, Design, and Photography in various independent universities. Passionate about foreign languages, he received his German certificate from the Humboldt Institut in Germany and has also taught Spanish in several independent secondary schools in New Hampshire and more recently in Portland Oregon, where he enjoys frequent outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Alfred has traveled extensively through North America and Europe. Some of his interests and hobbies include: photography, astronomy, playing violin, viola & French horn. Alfred is thrilled to return to Zermatt to share his enthusiasm for the arts, languages and the beautiful Swiss landscape with his students.


Michael Silitch


Email: michaelsilitch@gmail.com

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Michael received his Bachelor of Arts combining Philosophy and Math from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He went on to complete pre-med studies from University of Colorado at Boulder. After spending 15 years in the Alps teaching and as a mountain guide, he returned to New Hampshire to teach full time. Now Michael is excited to combine his two careers of teaching and guiding in Zermatt with Swiss Semester. He loves being outdoors climbing, cycling and skiing. To wind down and stay tuned up, he does yoga.


Noelle Valentino

Art History

Email: noelle.valentino@gmail.com

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Whether it’s architecture, art or design, Noelle Valentino delights in it all, though antique furniture is her greatest passion. Swiss Semester presents a unique opportunity for Noelle to introduce students to this array of artistic disciplines through dynamic class discussions and immersive travel in Europe. Her previous work experience includes teaching, curating and research at the UCLA Hammer Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Smithsonian, and Christie’s auction house. In addition to those professional activities, she is also the founder of Saco + Nova: Vintage Fine Arts and Antiques. When Noelle is not engaging with art, she enjoys taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing and sailing. She is eager to join Swiss Semester students for many alpine adventures this fall.


Lacey Williams

French and Math

Email: lacey.h.williams18@gmail.com

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Lacey Williams is a graduate of Colgate University and earned a B.A. with concentrations in French and Biology. She graduated magna cum laude and received the Charles A. Choquette Memorial Prize for excellence in French language and literature. As a mentor and tutor across academic disciplines throughout high school and college, Lacey is incredibly excited to share her passion for teaching and to watch her students learn from Swiss Semester’s uniquely challenging and invigorating environment.

Outside of the classroom, Lacey loves to stay active whenever she can. She swam competitively for twelve years and co-founded Colgate’s first Club Swim Team. In addition to loving the water, Lacey is no stranger to the rigors of the alpine adventures. Lacey attended Swiss Semester as a student in 2009 with fellow faculty member, Carrington Motley. She is thrilled to return as a member of the faculty and join her past Swiss Semester teachers, Caroline Kemmerer and Talley Kayser, as well! Lacey’s passion for the outdoors has only grown since her semester in Zermatt, and she cannot wait to return and share some of her favorite trails (and ice cream shops) with the students.