Staff

Staff

Our Internships Admissions Team is based in Denver, Colorado and our Service-Learning Admissions Team is based in Austin, Texas. Every member of our team has studied, traveled, volunteered, interned, and/or taught abroad, and we understand how life-changing an experiential program can be. We’re here to advise you, work with you throughout the application process, prepare you before your program begins and support you while you’re abroad.

Finding the right host organization in another country can be challenging, but our experienced team of on-site staff is devoted to matching you with a host organization that best fits your unique skill set, academic goals, and areas of interest. Our on-site staff provides support from the moment you arrive, helps orient you to your new country and host organization, and ensures that you are successful throughout your time abroad.

Admissions Team

Natalie Aboudaoud
Director
Service-Learning

Natalie's passion for studying languages led her to study abroad during her undergraduate years in Mexico, Spain and France. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and French from Baylor University in 2006, she left for Bangkok, Thailand to teach English in the Chitralada Royal Palace. It was here in this surreal setting that she discovered her love for teaching and continued to do so in a private international school in Bangkok and later in a number of public schools in Digne-les-Bains, France. In 2009, Natalie received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to attend the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals in Barcelona, Spain where she completed a Master's Degree in International Relations. Natalie joined ISA in June 2012 as the Coordinator of New Program Initiatives and currently serves as the Director of ISA Service-Learning. She is excited for the possibilities of working with service-learning programs, which enable students to pursue their own unique endeavors in the far off reaches of the globe.

Lauren Bruce
Director, Internships
Internships

Lauren's first time overseas in 2002 helped her realize her passion for intercultural awareness and the importance of respectful dialogue. Thus, she always says that her first international experience has informed every major decision she has made--personally and professionally. Lauren is a 2003 ISA alum and a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Ukraine in the education sector. She received a B.A. in Spanish and Art Therapy from Capital University in 2003 and her M.A. in International Education with a focus on International Student Exchange from American University in 2010. Prior to joining ISA, Lauren was the Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs at the University of Northern Colorado where she worked with all outbound U.S. students interested in education abroad programs, as well as with incoming international exchange students. Additionally, Lauren worked at American University's Washington College of Law on a short-term, bi-lingual study abroad program for human rights and humanitarian law students mostly from Latin America. Lauren feels fortunate to have traveled to over 20 countries. In her free time she enjoys exploring local cuisine wherever she happens to be, the outdoors, contemporary art, and board games.

Kristine Barer
Associate Director and Program Manager
Service-Learning

Kristine graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's degree in Communication. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Durham, England for a summer and Lund, Sweden for a semester. After graduation, she lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand for eight months. Two years later and a strong desire to live abroad again, she moved to Seoul, South Korea where she taught English for one year. She then spent four months backpacking throughout Southeast Asia and taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow. Kristine recently received her MBA at St. Edward's University with an emphasis in Global Entrepreneurship. She joined the ISA Service-Learning team in 2011 and is thrilled to assist students in taking the first steps towards their journey abroad.

Julia Pfeiffer
Placement Coordinator
Service-Learning

Julia graduated from the University of Redlands with majors in International Relations and Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies. During college, she studied abroad for a month in Oaxaca, Mexico and subsequently for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While in Argentina, Julia interned for a non-profit organization and soaked up the local language and culture. Upon graduation, her thirst for world travel and love for international education brought her to Costa Rica, where she lived and worked for a year and a half before returning to the United States to join the ISA Service-Learning team. Other than exploring new places, Julia enjoys cooking, hiking, and watching Netflix. She is excited to continue helping students gain global perspective through amazing international experiences.

Becky Richey
Academic Coordinator
Service-Learning

Born and raised in Miami Springs, Florida and a University of Florida graduate earning a BA in International Studies (Go Gators!), Becky's international experiences include studying abroad in Valenica and interning in London. During this time she traveled to many European countries, her favorite memories include hiking along the coast of Wales and making connections to people she met in Madrid and Valencia she holds close to her heart. Inspired by the field of education abroad, Becky received her Master's degree in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in 2017. Becky strives to be a mindful and supportive resource to students and is dedicated to diversity and inclusion as well as evidence-based design in her work. Her favorite part of her job is talking to and supporting students throughout their program! Outside of work you can find Becky exploring the food and music Austin has to offer or catching up on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Bailey Hayes
Custom Program Manager
Service-Learning

Born and raised in Austin, Bailey joined the ISA team in the spring of 2015. Bailey spent four months studying indigenous cultures and globalization in Peru, and she soon thereafter realized her passion for travel and international learning. In 2014, she graduated from Southwestern with a B.A. in Anthropology and minors in Spanish and Sociology. Bailey has traveled to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Peru, and the Caribbean and looks forward to many future adventures. Bailey enjoys hiking and swimming at the Greenbelt, playing sand volleyball, and kayaking with her dog. She's excited to be working with universities in the US and ISA's NGO partners abroad to help serve a wide range of communities and students through study abroad.

Chris Pennebaker
Senior Career Advisor - Australia, England, Ireland
Internships

Chris joins us from Charleston, SC where she graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Public Health. As a student, she was introduced to travel through service learning abroad in Honduras and Greece. After graduation, she stayed on with her alma mater as a Site Coordinator where she traveled with freshman students studying abroad in London, England. She has her M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education through the University of Florida. Chris is super excited to introduce students to internships in Australia, England, and Ireland!

Mary Bowen
Program Manager - Asia, Chile, Spain
Internships

Mary was born in Oceanside, California and raised in Tucson, Arizona where she attended the University of Arizona.  During her time as an undergraduate she completed a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Spanish. After graduation, she was inspired to pursue international travel opportunities in order to step out of her comfort zone and hone her Spanish-language skills. She spent two years teaching English in Madrid, Spain and completed an M.A. in Teaching with an emphasis on English as a Second Language Education.  Upon returning to the U.S. in the Summer of 2017, she decided to make travel her job by moving to Denver, Colorado for a Flight Attendant position.  Finding the highly-variable schedule of a Flight Attendant not quite to her liking, she chose to utilize her background in education to change career fields and become a member of the ISA team.  She enjoys running, playing and watching soccer, getting into mischief with her cat, Biscuit, and providing high-quality student support for Internships abroad.

Erin Willis
Academic Supervisor
Internships

Erin Willis is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the department of Advertising, Public Relations & Media Design. She earned her doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Willis's research examines the ways in which health messages influence people's behaviors. Prior to academia, she worked in public relations and marketing communications.

Kristen Borash
Career Advisor - China, New Zealand, Seoul, Tokyo
Internships

Kristen's love of travel began after studying abroad in Florence, Italy her junior year of college. She was so hooked after experiencing the rich Italian and European cultures, that she then took another study abroad opportunity in Chingola, Zambia the following summer to study comparative psychology with chimpanzees. Post-graduation, she went back to Zambia as an employee of Gonzaga University to facilitate cultural experiences for students enrolled in the program. Eventually, Kristen joined the Peace Corps and completed her service in Madagascar during 2013-2015 where she became fluent in Malagasy and trained host-country national English teachers while teaching middle and high school English classes. Over the years, Kristen has traveled to over 40 countries and six continents. She hopes to get to Antarctica soon! Kristen looks forward to translating her love of travel and cultural exploration into empowering experiences for students looking to get career experience abroad.

Riley Wenger
Career Advisor - Chile and Spain
Internships

Riley's first international experience was in Australia, where she traveled with a student group focused on learning about the indigenous culture and participating in service projects. She then went on to attend California Polytechnic State University, where she studied Psychology with concentrations in Heath and Education. During her time in college, she studied abroad in Thailand, which ignited her love for traveling and a desire to make international experiences a part of every student's education. After graduating from Cal Poly, Riley taught English for two years in Spain, where she learned Spanish, a deep appreciation for different cultures, and of course, tapas! Riley has also spent the last two summers  leading service focused student groups throughout South East Asia and South America. Riley is thrilled to transform her love of traveling and enriching cultural experiences into helping empower students to become thoughtful and independent global citizens through gaining career experience abroad. 

On-Site Staff

Cynthia Jung
Assistant to Resident Director & Internship Coordinator
Auckland, New Zealand

Cynthia Joined ISA in 2016 and is excited to help students and interns have a successful abroad experience in New Zealand.

Alejandra Mendez
Internships Coordinating Partner
Santiago, Chile

Born in California, she lives in Santiago with her husband and three children. She holds a degree in education and another in translation from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.  For three years she taught English to high school students in Santiago, and for over six years, she lived, studied and worked in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where she taught Spanish language and culture to high school students.

After that, for nine years, Ale directed the intership and volunteer programs in Chile and neighboring countries for the Santiago based office of Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, successfully placing hundreds of students in positions ranging from non-profit and international entities to private and public sector organizations.  She also has a vast experience translating books and novels into Spanish.

Eliesset Sepúlveda
Resident Director
Santiago, Dominican Republic

 

Eliesset Sepúlveda graduated from the Technological University of Santiago in 1998 with a degree in Business Administration. She received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Pontifical Catholic University "Madre y Maestra" (PUCMM) in 2001. Eliesset has also pursued English language studies at the John F. Kennedy Language Institute in Santiago. Prior to working as the ISA resident director in Santiago, Eliesset worked in the Registrar's Office at the Catholic University "Madre y Maestra". As a student and employee at the PUCMM, Eliesset has also been involved in the coordination of recreational group activities for students at the PUCMM and has been an active member in the university choir. Eliesset enjoys working with students and her previous experience working at the PUCMM has made her the perfect addition to the ISA Dominican program.

Paula Calderón Muñoz
Service-Learning Coordinator
Valparaiso, Chile

Paula was born in Viña del Mar, Valparaíso's neighboring city. She studied English Interpretation and Translation at Universidad de Playa Ancha in Valparaíso. Prior to joining ISA, she worked for the International Exchange Program at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso as an assistant. She enjoys working with international students and sharing her culture with others.

Estefanía Jiménez Porras
Service-Learning Coordinator
Cartago, Heredia & San Jose, Costa Rica

Estefanía studied Ecological Tourism at the University of Costa Rica and is completing a degree in Education. She has worked as volunteer in different national parks and in the municipality of San Ana's environmental department. She also has worked in a travel agency, which has allowed her to interact with people from different cultures and ages; this experience helped her to improve her group management skills and learn why people really enjoy visiting Costa Rica. She also worked with ISA in 2011 and experienced the joy of the students learning about Costa Rica and creating a great friendship. She loves to learn about different cultures and natural conservation practices in other countries. She also likes to read and spend time in nature with her daughter and help people who are in vulnerable situations in the country, such as the indigenous communities and children living in extreme poverty. Estefanía is very excited to help students during their stay in Costa Rica and learn about them too.

Maria Suvagau
Resident Director
London, England

Maria Suvagau is very happy to be a part of the ISA England family. She studied in Bulgaria before receiving her MBA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Maria brings to ISA a lot of experience in leading study abroad programs. Drawing on her personal international experiences, Maria is dedicated to making your experience in England an excellent one.

Maggie Hung
Assistant Resident Director
Brisbane, Australia

Maggie was born in Taiwan and has lived in Australia since she was 15. She attended the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane where she earned her Masters Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Maggie took an opportunity working with young learners and adult students for more than two years. She is an energetic and enthusiastic individual who enjoys traveling and cooking in her free time. Maggie is a very people oriented person who finds working with diverse cultural backgrounds to be both interesting and satisfying. She is excited for the opportunity to work and share her passion of International Education with ISA students in the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions.

Maggie was born in Taiwan and has lived in Australia since she was 15. She attended the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane where she earned her Masters Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Maggie took an opportunity working with young learners and adult students for more than two years. She is an energetic and enthusiastic individual who enjoys traveling and cooking in her free time. Maggie is a very people oriented person who finds working with diverse cultural backgrounds to be both interesting and satisfying. She is excited for the opportunity to work and share her passion of International Education with ISA students in the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions.

 

Younes Benomar
Service-Learning Coordinator
Meknes, Morocco

Younes was born and raised in Meknes. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Studies from Moulay Ismail University in 2016. He earned his degree as a Specialized Technician in Mechanical Manufacturing Methods in 2012. Besides his native Darija and Standard Arabic, he is fluent in English and French and he has some knowledge in Tamazight. Being self-taught is incredibly valuable for him. To this extent, he has learned how to use many software programs in an effective and professional way. He is passionate about design and is always looking for new things to do and learn. As a result of this he has a wide variety of skills, work experience and hobbies like photography and video-editing. He joined the ISA team as the Service-Learning Coordinator in 2017 with the goal of helping students to integrate, take initiatives and assist them in taking the first steps towards having a rewarding experience in Morocco. With his background in service-learning and volunteering in his community, he is thrilled to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their personal goals to engage positively with the communities they serve.

Roxana Paredes
Service-Learning Coordinator
Cusco, Peru

Roxana is native to Cusco. She studied at the university San Antonio Abad del Cusco and received her degree in Tourism. In 2008 Roxana had the opportunity to work in Colorado as part of a student work and travel exchange program. She had a wonderful experience in the U.S. Roxana enjoys working with ISA and service-learning in Cusco and is dedicated to helping students make the most of their experience abroad.  

Michelle McRaney
Resident Director
Lima, Peru

Michelle McRaney de Winder graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a focus on International Management. Since the Summer of 1998, Michelle has led ISA group programs to Mexico, Spain, Australia, Dominican Republic, and she has been leading the Lima program since spring 2006. Michelle is dedicated to making your experience in Peru excellent.

Ouma Mpela
Resident Director
Cape Town, South Africa

Ouma was born in a small town called Litchenburg in the North Province of South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Potchefstroom, and in 1998 she began her postgraduate studies in Human Resources Management at the University of Cape Town. In 2000 Ouma joined the staff of the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) at the University of Cape Town. Ouma is member of NAFSA in the US, as well as the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). Ouma is married and enjoys spending her free time with her two children.

Carmen Abanades Cruz
Resident Director
Salamanca, Spain

Originally from Cuenca, Spain, Carmen moved to Salamanca to attend the university and has lived and worked there almost exclusively ever since. She earned an Art History degree & pedagogy degree from the University of Salamanca, and started working in the ISA Salamanca office during the latter part of her university career. Her great knowledge of Spanish history and culture makes her an important part of the ISA program in Salamanca. Carmen´s cheerfulness helps to create an easy-going environment with ISA students. She is dedicated to making ISA students' experiences in Salamanca rewarding.

Beatriz de Miguel Martín
Service-Learning Coordinator
Salamanca, Spain

Beatriz is a native of Salamanca. After completing her degree in Psychology, she spent the next two years working with special educational students just outside of Salamanca. Bea returned to Salamanca in 2011 and joined the ISA team. She hopes to enhance students' experiences in Spain by assisting them in any way possible to make their time abroad unforgettable. Her interests and experience make her an outstanding addition to the ISA Salamanca staff!

Manuel Gutierrez
Resident Director
Valencia, Spain

Manuel "Manu" Gutiérrez Olavarría began working with ISA in 2001 as a Resident Dirctor in several ISA sites: Sevilla, Santander, Valencia, and Barcelona. Manu enjoys being surrounded by different cultures and believes this aspect of the job is the most rewarding.

Marisa Revelles Moyano
Resident Director
Granada, Spain

Marisa Revelles Moyano was born and raised in Granada, and recently returned to her hometown to join the ISA Granada team after many years of international experiences. She first gained an appreciation for American culture while living in Colorado, where for ten years she taught Spanish at the University of Denver. Later, she broadened her horizons as a foreign language teacher in Belgium, where for seven years she worked for the University of Louvain La Neuve, near Brussels. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, as well as a doctorate in Pedagogy and Didactics, both from the University of Granada. She has also worked as an au pair in England, and as a film producer for educational videos. When not on the job, she enjoys scuba diving, skiing, and the outdoors. Marisa is proud to be part of an organization where students are shown such care, patience, and individualized attention, and she looks forward to using her experiences in ISA Granada to reconnect with American culture.

Elena Soto
Service-Learning Coordinator
Granada, Spain

Elena was born in Granada, and earned her degree in Translation and Interpreting in English and French. She also studied at the Aston University of Birmingham (UK) for a year. She has a Master's degree in Education, as she loves teaching languages, and another in Audiovisual Translation, which gave her the opportunity to make the original translation for a famous film! Elena enjoys travelling and discovering new cultures. She is a very cheerful and active person who likes meeting new people. She has been working in Granada as an English and French teacher and in Geneva as a proofreader in the International Telecommunication Union. She is now eager to be part of the ISA Granada team.

Isabel Torrecillas
Internships Coordinating Partner
Valencia, Spain

ISA and EUROACE have developed a unique partnership to provide high-quality internship opportunities in Valencia, Spain. EUROACE is ISA's partner and overseas office for all North American students interning in Valencia. The EUROACE staff works closely with us to provide students with support and services throughout their program, ensuring each student has an individualized experience during both the pre-departure stage as well as while in Valencia. EUROACE coordinates the internships placements, arranges shared apartments, and cooperates with our Bridging Cultures orientation program. EUROACE is a skilled team with 10+ years experience in managing international education programs such as professional internships, faculty-led programs, Spanish language classes and cultural activities.

One of EUROACE's founders, Isabel Torrecillas, overseas the EUROACE operations as she has extensive experience with academic programs for students studying abroad. She received her formal education from the University of Valencia, obtaining degrees in English and in German philology, as well as certificates in translation and tourism. Isabel and her staff look forward to providing participants with an enriching cultural and career-building experience in Valencia, Spain.

Antonio Santana
Resident Director
Dublin, Ireland

Antonio was born in Malaga. He studied Journalism and Audiovisual Communications at University Malaga. As a child, Antonio's grandfather who lived in Germany encouraged him to travel abroad. This, along with his everyday life in Malaga, a major travel destination in Spain, lead him to travel and experience new cultures, customs and people. Tenerife, Madrid, Groningen (Holland), Edinburgh (Scotland) are some of the cities where he has lived and learned. In 2007, after working as journalist and graphic designer in Malaga, he moved to Barcelona, where he is able to carry out his passion for design, new artistic trends and the environment.

 

After years of service in the Barcelona office (ISA's largest program) and the Florence office, Antonio brings his experience to the ISA Dublin staff as the program continues to grow.

Euisoo Chang
Program Coordinator
Seoul, South Korea

Euisoo was born and raised up in Seoul, South Korea. After traveling to Europe during high school, he decided to study abroad for university. He is a graduate of State University of New York at Plattsburgh, majored in Hospitality Management and also participated in National Student Exchange program in Hilo, Hawaii. Following graduation, he went to Tokyo, Japan on a Working holiday to explore different Asian cultures. After completing the Working holiday, he worked in the hotel business in South Korea and Canada for 5 years. Because of his work and travel experiences and his love for serving others, he moved to the international education field with ISA. Euisoo is looking forward to assisting students visiting South Korea through ISA with his service-minded attitude trained with his experiences.

Julio Corpas
Resident Director
Madrid, Spain

Julio is originally from Granada and holds a degree in English Philology from the University of Granada. His introduction to study abroad came as an Erasmus student, when he spent two academic years in England and Wales. He also worked as a Spanish teacher in a Welsh high school while enrolled in a teaching practicum through the University of Wales. Later, thanks to a language exchange program organized by Central College, Iowa, Julio was able to deepen his commitment to international education while teaching Spanish as a foreign language to university students at Central College. Aside from Iowa, he has visited Minnesota, Illinois, New York and California.

Matthew Rowett
Internships Coordinating Partner
Shanghai, China

Matthew Rowett, CRCC Asia's Global Director of Institutional Relations, directly oversees ISA relationship and the partnership students, ensuring that each student gets project-based work in one of Asia's host companies. CRCC's on-site business development teams are also trained to respond to any intern question or concern, working alongside ISA's onsite Resident Directors to facilitate a seamless transition for ISA students arriving in Shanghai.  CRCC also helps to provide students with on the ground training during the ISA orientation - with seminars on Chinese Business culture as well as bespoke advice, ensuring students emerge from ISA's programs with greater cultural agility.

Kayte O'Malley
Resident Director
Galway, Ireland

Kayte is originally from Tralee, a small town on the South West coast of Ireland. She studied Law and French at the University of Limerick before moving to Galway to complete a Masters in Irish Studies. She also has a diploma in Irish (Gaelic). Kayte has travelled extensively throughout Europe and spent a semester studying abroad in Toulouse, France. In the summer of 2013, she worked as a Delegation Manager, chaperoning grade school students from North America on educational programmes across London and Paris. She has also worked as a Radio Presenter and a Customer Support Representative for Gilt Groupe. She believes that ISA study abroad programs offer students an unforgettable experience and a great opportunity for personal development. Kayte is excited to welcome students to Galway and share her city's unique cultural heritage with them.

Shelby Staub
Student Services & Internship Coordinator
London, England

Shelby received her bachelor's degree in Communication at St. Edward?s University in Texas. While studying at St. Edward?s, she left the country for the first time and studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland which sparked her travel bug. Shelby then proceeded to study abroad for the second time in London, England with ISA in 2013. Once she arrived in London, there was no turning back as she completely fell in love with the city. In London, she found her passion for study abroad and decided to turn it into a career with ISA. She started working with ISA in the Austin, Texas office as a Student Services Representative where she helped other students find their perfect study abroad program. Shortly after, she returned to London to receive her master's degree in International Management with HRM while also working part-time with ISA in London as a Student Services Coordinator. After graduating from the University of Roehampton in London, she then proceeded to move to Dublin, Ireland for a year and a half where she worked as an administrator. Shelby is now excited to be back in London and to provide the students with the support they need to have a successful internship and study experience in London. In her free time, Shelby enjoys cooking, traveling, learning languages (German to be specific) and exploring her favourite city, London!

Fred LeBlanc
Service-Learning Coordinator
Wellington, New Zealand

Originally from the US, Fred worked for Rutgers College Office of Student Support as both a Resident Advisor and a Hall Advisor. In his capacity as a Hall Advisor, he managed a team of undergraduate staff to foster an inclusive community in a student residence hall. This work involved the maintenance and community standards, appropriate disciplinary action, and the recognition of at-risk residents. As the Graduate Coordinator of the First Year Residential Learning Programme, he planned events to encourage an academic community within residence halls.

Since moving to New Zealand, Fred has worked at Massey University, Victoria University in Wellington, and the University of Otago in various roles and enjoys working with students, especially those that have also chosen New Zealand as their new, though short term, home.

Mairead Fanning
Internship & Student Services Coordinator
Dublin, Ireland

Mairead was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. She has always been passionate about travelling and learning new languages. She studied both Italian and Spanish as part of her degree in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She spent a wonderful year abroad as an Erasmus student in the beautiful city of Salamanca, Spain.

After finishing her University studies, she completed a CELTA qualification to teach English as a foreign language. She has also spent time teaching and travelling around Italy, Vietnam, Chile, Columbia and Peru. Mairead is excited to welcome ISA students to her home city, Dublin and looks forward to sharing her love of Irish music, dance and storytelling with them.