Board of Directors

Sam Hagen, Executive Director

Sam Hagen currently serves as the Executive Director for Go Global VT. Prior to this role, Sam served in numerous capacities across the private and public education sectors, working as a farm manager, an international programs coordinator, and as the afterschool programs director and development director for the Central Vermont Supervisory Union. Sam received his BS in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently pursuing an MS in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. His research takes place at the intersection of community development and education, exploring spatial equality in Vermont's education system. Sam is committed to developing partnerships and programs which contribute to breaking the global pattern of outmigration from rural communities and which support opportunities for youth agency in addressing local and global issues. 

Mary Lynn Riggs Ed.D, Chair


Mary Lynn Riggs currently serves as Go Global VT’s Board Chair.  As an educator, curriculum specialist and program consultant, she is committed to creating opportunities for rural youth and adults to access education and opportunity.  She works to facilitate international exchange and reciprocal learning opportunities to promote understanding of sustainable practices and community development for rural youth across the globe.    Dr. Riggs worked in Vermont schools as a teacher, administrator, and curriculum/program director for 45 years.  She earned her Ed.D. from the University of Vermont  and has trained in Dialogue Education through Global Learning Partners, a program designed to promote understanding and community-based  learning in international settings through dialogue and consensus building.   For the past four years she has collaborated with high schools and colleges to  launch several international programs for Vermont youth and has served as a project coordinator for Go Global VT’s Kenya Project. She has facilitated study in East Africa for several groups of students and adults.    

Emily Hong Yue Guo Ph.D, Vice Chair

Emily Guo currently serves as the Vice Chair of Go Global VT.  She grew up in Beijing, China, receiving her BA and MA degrees there in Classic Chinese Studies. She studied at Goddard College and Indiana University in Bloomington, receiving her MA and Ph.D in the History of Chinese Religions. Dr. Guo has extensive knowledge and experience in cross-cultural understanding and exchanges.  She taught Chinese culture, religions and history at the university level and served as the Director of Asian Studies and the Center for Asian-Pacific Studies at Goddard College. As the former Executive Director of Vermont Peace Academy, she established many training programs for students and teachers. She currently owns SPIRAL International and has devoted herself to building organizational collaborations for schools and universities between the US and China. She has led numerous student and teacher field-study trips to China.  Currently, Dr. Guo is co-coordinating Go Global’s Kenya Project.

Katherine Riley, Secretary

Katherine Riley is an experienced social studies teacher and administrator who currently serves as Secretary for Go Global VT. Presently, she is the Snelling House Director and Curriculum Coordinator at Champlain Valley Union High School, where she also serves as the administrator in charge of international travel. During her educational career, she has spent time in Peru, volunteering in rural communities as a teacher of English, and has also taught English in Bhutan where she developed curriculum encompassing the tenants of the Bhutanese policy of Gross National Happiness. She is committed to expanding an understanding of the importance of global citizenship and our interconnectedness with others in public schools. 

Wayne Howe, Treasurer

Wayne Howe currently serves as treasurer of Go Global VT. He holds a Bachelor's from Johnson State College and a Master's from the University of Vermont. He has worked in school districts throughout northern Vermont as a Teacher, Principal and Assist Superintendent, and  presently serves on the Jericho, Vermont Selectboard. Wayne was an early participant in Project Harmony's Student Art Exchange with the Soviet Union, and he has presented in China on elementary mathematics instruction.  Most recently, he has traveled with Go Global VT to establish learning partnerships and teacher training initiatives in Nepal and Bhutan.

Catherine Toland Ed.D

Kate Toland has worked with and learned from high school students at People’s Academy and Winooski High School for nearly two decades.  She focuses on creating classroom environments in which students work together to share their thinking, generate ideas about approaches to global challenges in order to learn about themselves, other people and cultures. She has taken students to the United Nations on the International Day of Peace along with the Vermont branch of the U.S. Committee for Refugees. She has traveled to China with students and hosted international students and teachers  for face-to face and  virtual conversations over the last six years. Her goal is to foster an emerging understanding of the world from a variety of perspectives in a dynamic highschool classroom.