The Gilman advisor Ambassador Program seeks to strengthen the partnership between the United States Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and the higher education community by bringing together a cohort of experienced Gilman Program advisors with a broad range of professional expertise. Gilman advisor Ambassadors serve to elevate the profile of the Gilman Program among critical audiences, offer higher education perspectives to the Gilman Program, and provide guidance to faculty, advisors, and administrators who seek to increase Gilman participation on their campuses.
If you are a faculty member, advisor, or administrator who would like to contact a Gilman advisor Ambassador or you have questions about the Gilman advisor Ambassador Program, please email Gilman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Gilman Advisor Ambassadors
Director for Academic Programs Abroad
Louisiana State University
Ashley Neyer is the Director for Academic Programs Abroad at Louisiana State University, where she collaborates with faculty to develop education abroad programming, develops and refines education abroad processes and policies to align with the best practices, and serves as the Academic Programs Abroad risk mitigation and management key contact. She has participated in previous Gilman panels and has helped her previous institution, University of Alabama, achieve the #2 Top Producing Midsize Institution in 2020-21.
Ashley has been in the field for over a decade, previously serving as an Education Abroad Advisor and various other capacities in International Education at a 4-year public institution in the Midwest. Ashley graduated from Missouri State University with her Bachelor in Science in Administrative Management, minor in Accounting, and her Master’s in Business Administration. Ashley is recognized by the Forum on Education Abroad with a Professional Certification in the Standards of Good Practice and serves as a Forum Trained Facilitator.
Study Abroad Program Manager
University of Arizona
Dafne Johnson grew up in the Arizona borderlands, an area which she still proudly calls home, as a first-generation US citizen and college graduate. She holds Bachelor’s in History and a Master’s in Secondary Education, both from the University of Arizona, where she now works as a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office.
Dafne had an impactful experience living and working in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for two years. This opportunity significantly heightened her awareness of the pressing societal need to encourage, cultivate and recognize the talents, skills, and contributions of individuals with diverse worldviews. With nearly six years of experience within the field of International Education, Dafne is committed to breaking down barriers for students and expanding access to international experiences.
In her present role, Dafne advises over four hundred study abroad students annually, collaborates with key stakeholders to plan study abroad programs, organize logistics and prepare financial program budgets. Dafne has also co-led study abroad programs in Italy and Spain and served as an instructor in an introductory college success course. These experiences have allowed her to design inclusive curriculum utilizing learner-centered teaching methods, both in-person and online. Dafne also develops new and innovative study abroad scholarship opportunities especially for first-generation, first-time international travelers, and high financial need students. Recently, she was awarded the IIE Passport Project Grant and is eager to launch another scholarship that will cover the passport costs for first-time passport holders.
Dafne serves as a Gilman Certifying Advisor and as a selection panelist for the Benjamin A. Gilman Critical Needs Language Award. Dafne spearheads Gilman outreach events and workshops at the University of Arizona, which is recognized as a Gilman Top-Producer. This recognition exemplifies the university’s institutional efforts to enhance study abroad accessibility and promote diversity among participating students, aligning closely with the mission and values of the Gilman Scholarship Program. Dafne’s goal is to connect with other professionals in the field to learn about best practices related to Gilman outreach and student support to further her and her team’s efforts to empower students with tools, resources, and skills necessary to prepare for their own transformational international experiences.
Program Director, American Indian Institute
Mesa Community College
Samuel (Sam) Stevens is the Program Director of the American Indian Institute (Aii) at Mesa Community College (MCC) which serves approximately one thousand Native American students every year by supporting their transition from high school to college and moving from university directly into employment. has a wealth of experience and knowledge in student service and engagement that he brings to this role. Originally from Crystal, New Mexico, he is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He graduated from Navajo Pine High School in 1992 and came to MCC as a student in 1999. He transferred to Arizona State University in 2002, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology in 2004. In 2007, he earned a Master’s in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. While there, he studied academic leadership and student support pedagogy in higher education, as well as critical theory about student support services, complete with an internship advising student-athletes. He gained a strong background in the development and maintenance of student academic skills related to relevant social issues including race, gender, identity, cultural relevancy and representation, equity, and inclusion.
Prestigious Scholarships Advisor
University of California, Davis
Scott Palmer has served as the Prestigious Scholarships Advisor at University of California, Davis (UC Davis) since August 2013. His work involves recruiting, advising, and preparing students and alumni for competitive fellowships including The Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Program, Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), and Fulbright, in addition to others. He previously served as the Financial Aid Director at Bushnell University (Eugene, OR).
Scott is a first-generation college student who benefitted from the federal Pell grant while earning a BA in History from the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA) in 2001. He earned a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership from George Fox Seminary (Portland, OR) in 2010.
The lone regret from Scott’s collegiate experience is not studying abroad, consequently, he now strives to make study abroad opportunities accessible to all, particularly as UC Davis has a high proportion of first-generation, minority, and low-income students.
UC Davis has been recognized multiple times as a Fulbright and Gilman Top Producer, and as a Top Producer of Gilman Scholars for the first 20 years of the program during Scott’s tenure.
University of Denver
Malin Hilmersson is a Program Manager for the Office of International Education at the University of Denver, where she works with incoming and outgoing exchange students. She has almost 15 years of experience in higher education, having worked for institutions in Sweden, Australia, California, Texas, and Colorado. She entered the field of international education in 2017, when she also began serving as a Gilman Advisor, helping students through the application process. Malin has served on multiple selection committees for national scholarships, including the Gilman Program.
During her undergraduate studies, Malin studied abroad for one semester in Rennes, France, and one semester in Darwin, Australia. As a first-generation student with limited exposure to other cultures, these transformative experiences profoundly shaped her career and personal life.
Malin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Jönköping International Business School, Sweden, and her masters in Higher Education Administration with a graduate certificate in Academic Advising from Sam Houston State University, Texas. She recently completed a graduate certificate in Web Design and Development from the University of Denver. She is a strong believer in lifelong learning.
Assistant Director of the Office of National Scholars
University of South Florida
Lauren Roberts is the Assistant Director of the Office of National Scholars at the University of South Florida (USF). She has been a Gilman Scholarship Program advisor for six years and has participated in Gilman selection panels, webinars, and social media outreach. During her time as an undergraduate student at Denison University, Lauren studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania with the School for Field Studies, where she experienced the impact of international education. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Biology and went on to complete her Master’s degree in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida.
Lauren primarily focuses on undergraduate study abroad scholarships and works with students interested in research and internships in environmental sciences. She seeks to help students find the opportunities that best suit their goals and support them in the pursuit of those goals as best she can.
The Gilman Program not only provides means for international education, but also a launching pad, giving students confidence to take on applications for other competitive opportunities – a topic Lauren presented on at the 2019 National Association of Fellowships Advisors Conference. She invests most of her time in her Gilman Scholarship Program applicants because she knows the transformative power of not only becoming a Gilman Scholar, but also the application process itself.
The Associate Director of Study Abroad Programs
Georgia State University
Joshua Hudson is the Associate Director of Study Abroad Programs at Georgia State University. Previously, he worked at Clemson University as a Study Abroad Coordinator where he supported students throughout their study abroad experience while working towards university initiatives. Prior to Clemson University, he worked at CIS Abroad as a University Relations Representative in the southeast. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University. He is enthusiastic about connecting students to a variety of international experiences and has lived and worked in Thailand, Chile, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Assistant Professor of History and Assistant Director of International Education
Albany State University
Ron Leonhardt is an Assistant Professor of History and the Assistant Director of International Education at Albany State University. He also maintains a non-resident scholar position with the George Washington University’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies. He is currently working on his first book project, entitled, The Maitreya’s Revolution: Buddhist-Socialism and Cold War Anti-Imperialism in Sangkum Cambodia, 1955-1970. His most recent work, “Cultivating Cotton in the Red Earth of Kampong Cham: Self-Sufficiency, Alternative Modernities, and Wartime Refugees in Cold War Cambodia, 1955-1970” was published in Asian Studies Review in 2022. He first traveled to Cambodia as a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient in 2012-13 and now is Albany State University’s certifying advisor for the Gilman Scholarship Program and has served on numerous Gilman selection panels.
Leonhardt received his Associate degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois and then received his Bachelor’s in Political Science and History from Northern Illinois University, with a focus on mainland Southeast Asia and Cold War politics. Thereafter, Ron completed his Master’s (2016) and PhD (2020) in History at George Washington University. He has worked at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia since Fall 2020.
Coordinator of Global Learning Program and Assistant Professor
Bowie State University
Vivian Shannon-Ramsey is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Global Learning Visit Program (GLVP) within the Department of Social Work at Bowie State University. She also serves as a member of the Study Abroad Advisor Committee to advocate for efficient administrative practices and support student and faculty scholarship opportunities. She has worked in higher education for 15 years. For nearly 10 years, she has served as a Gilman advisor and has been involved in international and faculty-led study abroad programs. Vivian has organized and implemented international programs in South Africa, Japan, Panama, Columbia, Ghana, Germany, and Portugal. Vivian previously served as the Director of the TRiO Student Support Services Program for seven years, helping first-generation, low-income, and individuals with disabilities apply for and win the Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad. She also serves as a selection panelist for the Gilman, Critical Language, and Boren Scholarship programs.
Vivian Shannon-Ramsey holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Winthrop University and a Certificate of Community Health from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She also has an English to Speakers to Other Language (TESOL) certificate from the Training Institute at Montgomery College and a Bachelor of Science from South Carolina State University.
Study Abroad Coordinator – Office of Student Finance
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Cathy Schuster is the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Office of Student Finance (OSF) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC.), where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. She manages off-campus study financial aid coordination and serves as the primary liaison to the Learning Abroad Center, Carlson Global Institute and National Student Exchange (NSE) programs. Cathy and her advising team counsel Twin Cities and Rochester students for “Financial Aid Preview Meetings,” crucially helping them understand how their aid package would work with potential off-campus study costs, thereby ensuring the program is a good fit financially prior to confirming their participation. She has presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics to further promote financial aid literacy for students, faculty, and staff. She has presented as a panelist in a Gilman-sponsored Financial Aid webinar, is a two-time Gilman selection panelist and has been a financial aid certifying advisor for many years. She has also presented at the 2018 National Student Exchange Annual Placement Conference and in several NSE webinars. Cathy’s work on the UMTC Education Abroad Network, in which she serves as a board member in addition to the UMTC Financial Barriers Advisory Group, has been integral in supporting the work of providing meaningful education abroad opportunities for students. Cathy also helped create the UMTC Bridging Loan program which received a 2015 Andrew Heiskell Award Honorable Mention.
Program Manager of Education Abroad
New Mexico State University
Erica Nikolaisen is the Program Manager of Education Abroad at New Mexico State University where she leads a team of Education Abroad Advisors in developing and administering education abroad programs, including faculty-led international programs, student advising and support, health, safety, and risk management, and all related services. Previously, Erica was an Education Abroad Advisor at Penn State and the Assistant Director for the Center for Global Engagement at the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business.
Erica is a 2023-2024 U.S.-Germany International Education Administrators Fulbright Scholar and was a 2022-2023 U.S. Department of State U.S.- Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) University Connections Initiative Fellow. Erica has served as a selection panelist for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship, and the U.S. Department of State, Increase & Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) grant. Other leadership experiences include participating in the Forum on Education Abroad Learning from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges About Education Abroad Working Group. She also contributed to the Forum on Education Abroad Guidelines for Education Abroad Advising.
Erica is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration at New Mexico State University with a concentration in higher education. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in government and history from New Mexico State University. She has also completed the Forum on Education Abroad Professional Certification in the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad programs. Erica studied abroad in England as an undergraduate student through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).
Assistant Director of Off-Campus Programs
St. Lawrence University
Kimberly Longfellow is the Assistant Director of Off-Campus Programs at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She has been a Gilman Advisor for six years and served on a selection panel in the fall 2022 application cycle. Kim and her colleagues have worked to dramatically increase awareness of the Gilman Scholarship Program on St. Lawrence’s campus. This has included utilizing the Gilman Advisor resources to build and train a diverse coalition of Gilman advocates and advisors, leading outreach sessions and writing workshops for Pell recipients, supporting mentorship opportunities by Gilman alumni, and meeting one-on-one with students to discuss the nuances of their essays. To Kim, the value of the Gilman Scholarship Program is not only the critical financial support it provides to students but also the application process itself, encouraging deep and holistic reflection on the study abroad experience—including what motivates each student to study abroad, how they will meaningfully engage with their host community, and how their study abroad experience can impact future academic and professional goals.
Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and German Studies from Gettysburg College, and her master’s degree in human behavior from Hood College. She studied abroad in Heidelberg, Germany as an undergraduate, and later worked in Leverkusen, Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.
Assistant Director of the Center for Global Programs
Meghan Mason is the Assistant Director of the Center for Global Programs at Denison University where she advises students on selection of off-campus study programs, prepares students for program and scholarship applications, facilitates pre-departure planning, and coordinates assessments. She focuses on building inclusion into the off-campus study process at all phases, particularly for traditionally underserved students in study abroad. As a Gilman advisor for the past six years, she enjoys helping students translate their personality and passion to the application.
Meghan has traveled with education abroad programs to Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Italy, and Hungary, and studied abroad for one semester in Luxembourg. Meghan earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Miami University, and her Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. She has 15 years of experience in supporting international education.
Director of Global Learning
Virginia Commonwealth University
Stephanie Tignor is the Director of Global Learning at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she leads education abroad, campus and virtual global learning programs, and supports international students. Stephanie is enthusiastic about increasing access to global learning opportunities for underrepresented students. Under her leadership, VCU consistently ranks as top producer for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in the state of Virginia and has received the CIEE Passport Caravan and IIE American Passport Project grants which funded over 150 first time passport recipients.
Stephanie has served as a selection panelist for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), the Fund for Education Abroad, USAC’s STEM Scholarship Program, the U.S. Department of State Capacity Building Grants for U.S. Undergraduate Study Abroad, and the Hosteling International USA Explore the World Scholarship Program; she regularly serves as a campus reviewer for Boren Awards, Fulbright, and other nationally-competitive international scholarship programs.
Stephanie is a two-time alumna of VCU and first discovered a passion for cultural exchange as an undergraduate music major on a semester program in Scotland. As a graduate student in English, she studied in Peru and volunteered in Ecuador as an English teacher. She has led short-term programs to Mexico, Malaysia, and France, and in the U.S. for international students.
Senior Study Abroad Coordinator
University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
Katie Sabo is the Senior Study Abroad Coordinator for the Office of Study Abroad & International Exchange at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in French Language and Literature from the University of Arkansas and studied abroad in France. She served as a lecturer of French at the university level before moving into international education in 2016. In her role as the Senior Study Abroad Coordinator, she serves as the study abroad advisor for students in the College of Arts & Sciences, manages College of Arts & Sciences and Honors College faculty-led programs, and leads the Office of Study Abroad’ s strategic plan for access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Katie also manages the office’s application software and serves on university committees related to study abroad and high impact practices.
Katie has been a campus certifying advisor for the Gilman Scholarship Program for over five years and has served as a selection panelist for the Gilman Scholarship Program and Critical Language Scholarship Program. She coordinates outreach efforts across campus, information sessions and conducts application workshops, including review of application materials one-on-one with students. Her professional interests center on developing her own education and advocacy efforts for increasing access and belonging for underserved student populations in education abroad. She has presented regionally and nationally on these topics, is a member of NAFSA and Diversity Abroad, and serves on the AIFS Abroad Board of Advisors.
Andre P. Stevenson
Professor of Social Work and Director of International Programs
Elizabeth City State University
Andre has been a professor of social work for over 25 years, both in the U.S. and abroad, and involved in international education for nearly 10 years. He serves as Director of International Programs and Director of the University Honors Program at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), an HBCU in North Carolina. He first became acquainted with the Gilman Program in 2014 while at a previous institution. He applied to serve as a selection panelist, and it was the beginning of a non-stop commitment. Since then, he has served as a panelist four times and as a Gilman Advisor at two institutions over six years. He has sponsored numerous outreach opportunities for students to learn more about the Gilman Program. As a result, ECSU produced their first Gilman Scholar in 2018. Since then, a total of 11 students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships. He says this is largely due to the excellent webinars, trainings, and feedback received from Gilman staff, as well as the commitment demonstrated by students. ECSU established a Gilman Alumni Association in 2020 to increase awareness, support, and participation on campus.
Andre holds a PhD in Social Work Research, a Master of Social Work (MSW), and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Bachelor of Science from South Carolina State University. He is currently enrolled in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Graduate Certificate Program at East Carolina University.
University of Pittsburgh
Josh Cannon’s first international travel experience was to Kuwait in February 2003 when he was in the Marine Corps as an Arabic linguist. Iraq was the second country he visited when the U.S. invaded the following March. After his time in the military, Josh went to the University of Pittsburgh with a Pell Grant and discovered international travel in a much more positive way, visiting Cyprus and then Turkey for archaeological excavations. He continued going to Turkey as a student at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in Near Eastern languages and civilizations. When he started fellowship advising at Pitt in 2018 as a scholar mentor, he requested responsibility for the CLS, Boren, and Gilman programs because he wanted to help students find the excitement and value in international travel. He has been advising students on these scholarships and others for over three years now.
Josh’s work with Gilman applicants has predominantly focused on helping them with their essays. He is interested in promoting this scholarship more ambitiously and building a campus culture around this opportunity, with winners encouraging and helping potential applicants. Josh also served as a selection panelist for the Gilman Program in 2019.
Alsace-Lorraine (Alsace) Gallop
National Scholarships and Fellowships Coordinator
North Carolina A&T State University
Alsace-Lorraine (Alsace) is the National Scholarships and Fellowships Coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the country’s largest historically Black university. In that role, she also serves as the Fulbright Program Advisor. Alsace has served as a selection panelist for the Boren Awards, the Gilman Program, and the Critical Language Scholarship. She has presented at the past three biennial conferences for the National Association of Fellowships Advisors on topics related to actively identifying, guiding, and supporting first-generation college students and underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities as candidates for nationally competitive and prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and internships.
During her nine years in the scholarship and fellowship advising field, Alsace has recruited and advised hundreds of students and alumni at North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her student and alumni national outcomes for international awards include NC A&T State University’s first documented Fulbright Program grant finalist from among their alumni community and three Rangel SEP Scholars. Alsace recruited and advised UNC-Chapel Hill’s first Churchill Scholar in five years and first Marshall Scholar in nine years, as well as NC State’s first Truman Scholar in 15 years and their first Marshall Scholar in ten years, who was also their first Black Marshall Scholar.
Alsace earned a diploma from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences as a Banneker/Key Scholar at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, and an MHA in Health Policy and Administration with a focus in marketing from the School of Public Health (now the Gillings School of Global Public Health) at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Senior Program Coordinator
University of Iowa
Monica Ernberger is a Senior Advisor/Coordinator for International Internships and Study Abroad in the University of Iowa International Programs Office. She works with credit-bearing internships and research opportunities and collaborates with the Pomerantz Career Center for ISLRA abroad non-credit placements. She does general major-based abroad program advising for students from several colleges and majors on campus. She has a background in education abroad crisis response and risk management. Monica is passionate about social media marketing and communications. She loves working with students, faculty, and staff and has been active in the field of higher education since 1998.
Education abroad, and higher education, are faced with significant challenges. It is her goal to come up with creative ways to continue to meet the needs of students, faculty, and universities. She is also dedicated to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion among international programming student participants at her university. Promoting, advising for, and reading for the Gilman Program are a big part of that effort. Her experience working with the Gilman Program began in 2005. She is a certifying advisor, has worked in marketing and advising for Gilman, and has been a selection panelist several times, both in-person and remotely.
International Fellowships Coordinator
Middle Tennessee State University
Laura Clippard has over 25 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves in the Honors College as the National and International Fellowships Advisor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). MTSU has a high percentage of first-generation and low-income students. Her past employment includes 15 years of service in TRiO where she worked with low-income, first-generation, and disabled students.
Laura has served as a non-certifying Gilman Advisor, Fulbright Program Advisor, and Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) campus advisor for the last 14 years. She served as a selection panelist for the Gilman Program, CLS, and Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad scholarships.
Laura conducts over 45 workshops per year related to studying abroad and fellowships, including Gilman workshops. As she advises students on their Gilman application essays, her focus is on helping each student learn from the application experience regardless of whether they win. Additionally, she seeks to understand the perspective of students and their families around studying abroad as many students are anxious about the process.
Past leadership activities include four years of service on the National Association Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) Executive Board. She was awarded an IEA Fulbright to Japan in 2019 and has served on the JET interview panel for the Consulate General of Japan in Nashville.
Dr. Jacob English
Director of the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research
George Washington University
Dr. English leads efforts to 1) introduce students and alumni to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate research and fellowship opportunities at GW, and 2) provide mentoring and scholar development through the process.
Dr. English is a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging scholar. Taking an anti-deficit approach, his research and writings focus on identifying barriers to education (specifically high-impact practices) for college students. His work highlights the necessity of focusing on social mobility, intersectionality, and sense of belonging in learning spaces to develop digital and global citizens. Dr. English is currently working on a project supported by the Atlanta Global Research & Education Collaborative with colleagues at Agnes Scott College, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, and Delta Air Lines to increase the number of Black students who participate in study abroad.
Dr. English is active in his field. He serves on the executive board and as the DEI Committee chair of the National Association of Fellowships, as a Counselor for the Education Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and, for the second year, as an advisor for the Gilman Advisor Ambassador Program.
Dr. English is a member of Georgia State’s 40 under 40 Class of 2020 and a 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee.
Director of Education Abroad
University of Wyoming
Shelley Jewell is the Director of Education Abroad at the University of Wyoming (UW), where she leads a team in developing and administering education abroad programs, including faculty-directed programs, student advising and support, and all related services. She oversees risk management and serves on university committees related to international services. Shelley assists the state of Wyoming with their international relations. Prior to joining UW, Shelley was the Director of Study Abroad at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Assistant Director of Global Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Shelley has served as a selection panelist for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), and the Fulbright International Education Administrators Grant (Germany). She has been advising and supporting applicants for these awards since 2007. This work includes hosting workshops and information sessions, reviewing applications one-on-one with students, and facilitating follow-on service projects. She worked alongside her faculty colleagues at the University of Wyoming to host a U.S. Future Leaders Seminar in 2019 for the Gilman Program and CLS alumni. She is a member of NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the CO/WY Consortium of International Educators, and the Fulbright Association.
Shelley is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education from the University of Wyoming in Higher Education Administration. She holds a Master’s in International Education Policy Management from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor’s in International Economics and Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Director of Global Engagement
University of Houston
Maggie is the Director of Global Engagement of Learning Abroad at the University of Houston (UH), where she provides office leadership, supervision, and strategic planning. She has served as a Gilman Advisor for UH since 2015. She participated in multiple Gilman selection panels over the past six years, and she helped UH Learning Abroad achieve the Gilman Greatest Growth award in 2019. She is completing a Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership from the University of St. Thomas with a focus on Global Competence and Student Involvement.
Maggie holds a Master’s of Education in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s in French with a minor in Spanish from Centenary College of Louisiana. She speaks French and has working proficiency in Spanish.
Director of Global Education
University of Hawaii, Hilo
As a daughter of immigrants from Peru and China, Carolina Lam learned at an early age how to navigate through different cultures while growing up in Hawaii. Understanding how not to disrupt the peace was second nature to her. From pre-school, as a non-English speaking student, Carolina knew she was different from her peers. Yet, her exposure to school and community organizations sparked an appreciation for other cultures, for their languages, dialects, customs, and cuisines. The diversity in cultures made her gain a deeper understanding that although we may have differences in our lives, we are all human beings striving to be accepted, appreciated, and respected.
The opportunities Carolina received to participate in many international education programs as an undergraduate student inspired her to help other first-generation college students learn about intercultural programs abroad, including applying for the Gilman Scholarship. Most of the students on her campus applying for study abroad programs qualify for this program, allowing them to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during their undergraduate career. Carolina is striving to help others learn how to adjust and develop strategies and skills to succeed when placed in a different cultural situation, while also building a foundation to respond to different cultural perspectives and adversity. The field of international education is about broadening our learning to bridge the differences around us beyond our borders. By creating pathways that instill the importance of diversity, individuals can then foster thriving and collaborative communities instead of divisive environments.
International Education Manager
Madison Area Technical College
Tammy Gibbs is the International Education Manager for the Center for International Education at Madison College, a community and technical college in Madison, Wisconsin. In this role, she co-leads the Center for International Education, supervises staff, coordinates, and manages study abroad and virtual exchange programs, teaches an online course, and manages a peer-mentoring program. She has served as a Gilman Program certifying advisor for over ten years and has assisted many students through the application process. She has been in the education abroad field since 2006 working in large and small offices. She has a background and Master’s in Experiential Education. She has led study abroad and wilderness programs for students of all ages. Tammy lived in Germany for four years, where she studied, worked, and most recently served as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow. Tammy also previously served as the education abroad representative for the Wisconsin Association of International Educators and has presented at numerous local, regional, and international conferences.
Study Abroad Advisor
Western Washington University
Hannah is a Study Abroad Advisor in the Education Abroad Office at Western Washington University. She has been in the field of international education for over 10 years. As a testament to Hannah’s international education experience, she currently serves as a NAFSA Trainer Corps member and NAFSA Region 1 Mentor, and she has served as a selection panelist for both the Critical Language Scholarship and the Gilman Program. Hannah is also a member of the Academic Programs International Advisory Board and was part of the foundational committee for Lessons From Abroad in Washington State. As a first-generation, Pell Grant student herself, Hannah studied abroad with her twin sister in Rome, Italy, while an undergraduate. After graduate school, Hannah worked as an onsite coordinator for a Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica. An advocate of the appreciative inquiry advising model for student engagement and outreach, Hannah is dedicated to increasing access to study abroad especially for first-generation, high financial need, and historically underrepresented students.
Hannah earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Washington State University.