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Photo by Maddie Melton, Rio Grande Semester, Fall 2020

INTRO: Cara – Your Program Director

Dear Civic Semester Students, 

Congratulations on joining an inspiring and diverse community of educators, students, and cultural ambassadors! We are excited to initiate our relationship with you to help you ease into the exceptional experience that you will have in the Southwest. This semester promises to be an unforgettable experience. 

My name is Cara and I am the Director of College and University Programming at Dragons, which means that I will serve as the “Program Director” for the Tufts Civic Semester. Our Program Directors support preparation and administration of programming, but from afar. So while I won’t be with you in-person, I’ll be following your journey closely and working with many others here at Dragons, including your program instructors, and at Tufts to support your program. 

A little about me; travel has been the cornerstone of my education. After graduating from high school in South Dakota, I took a big step out of my comfort zone by setting off for a gap year abroad program in southeast Asia. That first experience of traveling and learning about diverse cultures altered the path of my life dramatically.  Since that initial program, my desire to explore my place in this world has continuously grown. In university, I studied Political Science, Peace Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies and traveled whenever I could. As an undergraduate, I took advantage of as many study abroad opportunities as possible; participating in programs in Egypt, Northern Ireland, Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 

In addition to studying abroad in Egypt, I also served for two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in southern Morocco. In the years that followed, I worked as a Morocco Instructor and Course Director for Dragons for several summers. Following graduate school in Egypt, I continued to explore new parts of the world in my free time- travelling in Latin America and Africa. I also worked for a D.C. based non-profit for six years on the design and implementation of study abroad programs for American students in the Middle East and for the U.S. Senate. 

In my role at Dragons, I am excited to work with you and your instructors during the coming semester. As you are starting your classes and transition to the Southewest, I hope that you will continue to see that your program has been designed with intention, heart, and exceptional care. Moreover, I am eager to hear about how the coming semester impacts you and your desire to continuously explore our complicated and beautiful world. 

Here’s looking ahead to a phenomenal semester in the Southwest! Please feel free to post any questions you have to the Yak Board or reach out to me directly. 


Cara Lane-Toomey

[email protected]