The Lewer Agency, Inc., a leading provider of health insurance plans for international students, is pleased to announce the appointment of Monica Olson to the position of Account Manager - LewerMark, effective September 1, 2009.
Based in Seattle, Olson’s primary responsibility is to be the local point-of contact for LewerMark clients in Washington and Oregon.
“The position is a great fit for my experience,” said Olson. “Lewer is an excellent way to be involved with the international education community from a new perspective. I enjoy working with students and being a part of the international education community.”
Prior to receiving a BA in History from Western Washington University in 2001, Olson was a fall 1999 participant of the Semester at Sea study abroad program, sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. The program, administered by the Institute for Shipboard Education, provided Olson the cross-cultural experience of studying abroad for a total of 100 days on board the S.S. Universe Explorer and in ports located in Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia, Italy, and Morocco.
Upon her return to the U.S., she studied English as a Second Language (ESL) at Western Washington University and received a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Seattle University in 2004, teaching language courses at Bellevue College and Edison Academy upon the completion of her formal studies. In addition to her extensive knowledge of English, she speaks Portuguese and French.
According to Olson, her interest in international education began when she was in high school, when her family served as a host family for students studying in the United States. At an early age, she visited a number of countries as a participant in the People to People Student Ambassador Program and traveled to Northern Europe with her club soccer team. “I realized how learning about new cultures and the experience of traveling abroad can enrich a person’s life,” said Olson.
Prior to joining Lewer, Olson lived in Hawaii two years, where she worked for Goodwill Industries of Hawaii as a job coach/employer relations specialist. She also worked as a general English instructor for Global Village Hawaii.
In addition to extensive Study Abroad and international student teaching experience, Olson has worked as a volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization in Washington, and she has received a number of academic awards and honors, including inclusions in the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society at Seattle University, the Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society, and the Golden Key Honor Society. Her academic performance qualified her for the Dean’s List at Western Washington University, from 1998 to 2001, and Semester at Sea, in 1999.
“Monica has an extensive background in international education and is exceptionally knowledgeable of the value of study abroad programs,” said LewerMark director, Jeff Crawford. “Lewer is looking forward to introducing Monica to its LewerMark clients in Washington and Oregon. We believe local customer service support from a champion of international education will dramatically enhance the level of personalized service Lewer provides to our clients in the Northwest.”