Spanish Alumni in the Spotlight

Spanish Alumna delivers 2017 College of Arts and Sciences commencement address 

Kim LubelKim Lubel ‘86

San Antonio, Texas
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, CST Brands Inc.
B.A. in Spanish and International Studies

Kim Lubel is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Office of CST Brands Inc., a North American fuel and convenience retailer with over 2000 locations in the U.S. and Canada.  As the leader of CST Brands Inc. Kim is one of only 26 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Prior to working at CST, Kim was Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Valero Energy Corporation where she negotiated billions of dollars in acquisitions, and helped expand the company internationally. After graduating from Miami, Kim earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Baylor University followed by a Doctor of Law from the University of Texas School of Law. While at Miami, Lubel belonged to Zeta Tau Alpha sorority as well as other organizations like the Spanish Club. She also studied abroad her entire junior year in Madrid, Spain.  She attributes her study abroad experience with boosting her confidence and making her more comfortable in leadership roles. Read more about Kim or learn about her work at CST and Valero.

College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board Member

Rebecca MessinaRebecca Messina ‘94

Chicago, Illinois
Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Beam Suntory
B.A. in Spanish and Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs

Rebecca Messina is the Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer for Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company. Prior to working at Beam-Suntory, Rebecca worked for 22 years at The Coca-Cola Company, serving in leadership roles in Chile, Australia and France and at the Atlanta headquarters.  Rebecca eventually became the Coca-Cola’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Innovation, Venturing & Emerging Brands.  Rebecca’s time at Coca-Cola actually began 3 days after her Miami graduation when she started an internship and was later hired.  Within 5 years, Rebecca became responsible for marketing communications Coca-Cola in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, conducting business in Spanish.  She then continued working for Coke in Australia and France where the company provided her with French lessons, adding to her Spanish and Italian language skills.  Learning languages and living a global life are two of Rebecca’s greatest passions.

Rebecca says she “set the stage” for her success while a Miami student. Specifically Rebecca was involved in several campus groups including Miami University Student Foundation (MUSF) and Campus Activities Council (CAC).  She was also President of Alpha Delta Pi and she was named Outstanding Greek Woman of the Year in 1993-1994.  Rebecca credits these experiences as having taught her about leadership and its values.  She highly recommends that students get involved on campus and seek leadership roles.  While in high school and college, Rebecca also spent time living in Spain, initially through a program called NACEL and then having built a relationship with the Spanish family she returned every summer on her own.  Rebecca’s advice to Spanish majors is to live a global life, fully immersing themselves in the Spanish language by going abroad and by doing volunteer work with Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.

Watch an interview with Rebecca.  This is a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Talk with Rebecca Messina, discussing her career at Coca-Cola and her thoughts on global marketing.

18 of the Last 9 Young Alumni Award recipients

18 of the Last 9 is an annual award at Miami University recognizing 18 outstanding alumni who have graduated in the last nine years.  Honorees return to campus to connect with students, staff, and faculty and to be recognized at an awards ceremony.  The Department of Spanish and Portuguese  proudly honors the following alumni for receiving this prestigious award:

Kyle CuthbertKyle Cuthbert ‘08

San Francisco, California
Product Marketing Manager, Google
B.A. in Spanish
B. S. in Marketing

 Kyle is a Product Marketing Manager at Google, working on Google Fiber where he is in charge of marketing for the Midwestern markets. At Miami, he was a founder and president of Chi Psi fraternity, a member of the waterski team, and he studied abroad in Madrid for a semester and while there he also participated in an internship focused on politics. After graduation, Kyle worked in Almería, Spain for the Ministry of Education teaching art, science and English in a bilingual school. Kyle then moved to Barcelona where he earned a Master’s Degree in International Management from the ESADE Business School. In graduate school, he served as student body president and lead the social strategy for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s electoral campaign. Read more about Kyle, including an interview detailing his time at Miam.


Jamie EckertJamie Eckert ‘07

Arlington, Virginia
Deputy Operations Officer, White House Medical Unit
B.A. in Spanish

Jamie serves as the Deputy Operations Officer of the White House Medical Unit, a military unit comprised primarily of active-duty physicians, nurses, physician assistants and medics charged with caring for the President, vice president, and the first and second families. Jamie was selected as the 2013 Civilian Outstanding Member of the Year for the White House Military Office, the highest civilian award within the agency. She was also presented the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the highest career civilian honor awarded by the Secretary of Defense. While at Miami, Jamie was a member of the Honors Program, participated in the LeaderShape Institute, Hall Council, the Honors and Scholars Advisory board, among other student organizations. Jamie also studied abroad in Valencia, Spain where she immersed herself in the local culture and joined a water polo team that competed at other Spanish universities.  Upon graduating from Miami, Jamie received her EMT certification, worked in the medical field and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health at George Washington University. Read more about Jamie, including an interview detailing her time at Miami.


Emily Siedlak HennellEmily Siedlak Hennell ‘08

Monterrey, Mexico
Foreign Service Officer, Department of State
B.A. in Spanish
B. A. in Diplomacy & Foreign Affairs

Emily is a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State, currently serving as a vice consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. Emily has formerly worked as a civil servant at the U.S. Agency for International Development and earned the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award while working in the Pentagon. Her work has taken her to the countries of Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador. At Miami, Emily studied abroad with Transatlantic Seminar on the European Union, a semester in Valencia, Spain, and also participated in the Inside Washington Program. After graduating from Miami, Emily did an internship with the Office of Western European Affairs at the Department of State. She then earned a Master’s Degree in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University. Then Emily began her professional career working as a Presidential Management Fellow, the federal government’s leadership development program, gaining both domestic and international work experience. Read more about Emily, including an interview detailing her time at Miami.


Alyssa HopunAlyssa Hopun ‘13

León, Nicaragua
Social Innovation Leader, Community Empowerment Solutions
B.A. in Spanish
A.B. in International Studies
B. A. in Latin American Studies

Alyssa works as a Social Innovation Leader for Community Empowerment Solutions (CES) in León, Nicaragua where she coordinates regional operations.  In this position, she has broadened the organization’s network, co-led international project planning, and piloted the financial literacy and community banking program. After graduating as a triple major, she began working as a field leader for CES’s student intern program in the Dominican Republic. Early on at CES, Alyssa worked with solar energy, clean water and visual health solutions through community entrepreneurship. While at Miami, Alyssa studied abroad in both Peru and Spain. She was also involved with the Association of Latin and American Students, Global Business Brigades, MU Steel Band, and MAAD. Read more about Alyssa, including an interview detailing her time at Miami.