Study Abroad Staff

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's education abroad community is a group of dedicated and knowledgeable international education professionals.

Study Abroad Offices

Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE), the campus study abroad office, is divided into three distinct teams: the Education Abroad team, the Global Engagement team, and the Business and Systems team. As the Director, Joy oversees all office staff and services. The Education Abroad team oversees day-to-day operations, conducts general office administration, and manages our program portfolio. The Global Engagement team provides expertise in partner relations, exchange program management, diversity/inclusion initiatives, and marketing. Finally, the Business and Systems team oversees all financial operations, ensures agreement/contract compliance, and maintains technical systems.

Joy Phaphouvaninh

Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director


joypha@illinois.edu

Joy assumed the position of Director of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange in February 2018 after having joined the office in 2013. She collaborates closely with both on campus academic departments and international partners abroad to identify and develop education abroad programming that aligns with and complements academic learning goals.  Previously, Joy worked at the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York, NY, and developed a variety of education abroad policies for the university system. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services in government and non-profit sectors, and studied abroad for an academic year in India. Joy earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies from Kenyon College and M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2019, Joy was elected to the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad.

Stacy Billman

Stacy Billman

Associate Director for Administration
Education Abroad Team


sbillman@illinois.edu

Stacy joined IAGE in January 2009. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the office including the Advising and Resource Center that is staffed by students who have studied abroad on Illinois-sponsored programs. She works with key IAGE staff on consistent process improvement of structure and services supporting student mobility programs. Stacy also advises for the IAGE signature program in Rome with GustoLab International. Stacy studied abroad for an academic year in Leeds, England and during her employment with IAGE, has done site visits to various cities in the U.K. and Italy and has been the program assistant on faculty-led programs to Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Peru. She earned her B.A. from Stephens College and her Ed.M. with a concentration in Higher Education from the University of Illinois.

Alex Hall

Alex Hall

Assistant Director, Business & Systems Support
Business & Systems Team


ahall1@illinois.edu

Alex joined IAGE in the summer of 2016. He oversees financial management for IAGE, and maintains the technical systems used by IAGE and other college education abroad offices across campus (Terra Dotta Software). He is also responsible for all statistical reporting, ensuring compliance with international contracts and agreements, and for implementing continuous process improvement regarding the technical systems used by IAGE. Prior to joining IAGE, Alex worked for the university’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office for four years. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University and his M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois – Springfield.

Helen Agans

Helen Agans

Office Support Associate
Education Abroad Team


hagans@illinois.edu

Helen Agans joined IAGE in the spring of 2016 as the Office Manager. Just prior to that, she was with the university’s International Student and Scholar Services office for five years. She also has previous experience organizing and managing international academic conferences for a local organization.

Brooke Baslee

Brooke Baslee

Coordinator for Exchange & Student Initiatives
Global Engagement Team


bbaslee@illinois.edu

Brooke joined IAGE in August 2017. As the coordinator for exchanges and student initiatives, Brooke manages incoming exchange student admissions and advising processes in close collaboration with other units on campus, such as college deans’ offices, Admissions, and ISSS. She also leads study abroad returnee engagement programming and organizes IAGE’s efforts to support inclusive and diverse student participation in study abroad. Brooke comes to Illinois from the University of Missouri International Center where she advised for both outbound study abroad and incoming exchange students. She earned a B.A. from the University of Missouri and a Master’s degree in cross cultural communication and applied linguistics from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.

Brandy Coy

Brandy Coy

Business Manager II
Business & Systems Team


bcoy@illinois.edu

Brandy joined IAGE in 2015. She manages the IAGE business office and is responsible for the financial oversight and operational planning of the IAGE office. She and her business team oversee all financial aspects of the office; including but not limited to student billing, programs budgets, international travel insurance, foreign banking and contracts/purchasing. Brandy has been with the university since 2000 and has worked her way up from an entry level accounting position in OBFS Accounts Payable. Most recently, she worked as a business manager in the Illinois International executive office where she focused mainly on the financial management of Title VI grants and a large endowment. In her spare time, she loves live music and doing Sudoku puzzles. She is a proud mother of 1 adult son and looks forward to grandchildren someday.

Shirice Harris

Shirice Harris

Education Abroad Coordinator
Education Abroad Team


shirice2@illinois.edu

Shirice joined IAGE in May 2020, where she manages programs in Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa and advises students. Prior to joining IAGE, she coordinated education fieldwork programs, cultural events and marketing with the College of Education Office of International Programs at University of Illinois. Shirice has taught Literature and EFL internationally in China, Japan and the Northern Mariana Islands as well as domestically. She has travelled to several countries and spent part of her childhood living in Jamaica. She earned her Bachelors degree in Communications from Howard University in Washington DC and her Masters degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Andy Hinnant

Andy Hinnant

Education Abroad Coordinator
Education Abroad Team


ahinnant@illinois.edu

Andy joined IAGE in August 2016 and is in charge of programs in the Middle East, northern Africa, and several programs in mainland Europe. Previously, Andy worked in Career Services at Baker College, taught ESL at the University of Florida, and organized programming activities for international students at Indiana University. He earned his B.S. in International Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and M.A. in Public Affairs and East European Affairs at Indiana University. He studied abroad for a year in Aix-en-Provence, France, interned in Montreal and Warsaw, and started a small language business in Gdansk, Poland. As an Education Abroad Coordinator, Andy hopes to inspire students to go abroad and have their own life-changing experience.

Sommer Ireland

Sommer Ireland

Education Abroad Coordinator
Education Abroad Team


irelands@illinois.edu

Sommer joined IAGE in February 2019 as an Education Abroad Coordinator and manages IAGE programs in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Prior to joining IAGE, she worked in the private sector for Lidl, a German-based international grocery retailer, where she planned and executed international food promotions and managed communication between the German and US Food Promotions departments. She received her B.A. from Washington and Lee University in Economics and German, and studied abroad on three separate occasions in Germany. Sommer also taught English in Imst, Austria for a year through Fulbright Austria.

Thomas Schrepfer

Thomas Schrepfer

Business & Systems Support Specialist
Business & Systems Team


schrepfe@illinois.edu

Thomas joined IAGE in November 2018. He has a background in university financial and enterprise data management, providing IAGE with support in financial reporting, analysis, and in developing business and systems solutions for study abroad programs and operations. Thomas spent four years living and studying in Ireland, travelling extensively across Europe. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin.


ACES Study Abroad

The College of ACES has its own study abroad office and programs designed specifically for ACES students. Many ACES programs are also open to students of all majors. Learn more.

Ali Freter

Ali Freter

Interim Director
College of ACES Study Abroad


freter1@illinois.edu

Ali assumed the role of Interim Director of ACES Study Abroad in July of 2020 after having joined the team in July of 2019. Previously, Ali worked with the Institute of American Universities (IAU College) to support study abroad programming in France, Spain, and Morocco. Ali has a background in International Education and Foreign Language and studied abroad on Illinois programs in Costa Rica and France as an undergrad. Ali earned her BA in Spanish Language & Literature with a minor in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in International Education from the George Washington University.

Allison Harmon

Allison Harmon

Business Administrative Associate
College of ACES Study Abroad


harmon1@illinois.edu

Allison specializes in incoming exchange students, course approvals, and finances.


Education Study Abroad Program

The College of Education has its own study abroad office and programs designed specifically for education students. However, programs not restricted to College of Education students. Learn more.

Allison Wiitt

Allison Witt

Director of International Programs
College of Education


awitt1@illinois.edu

Dr. Allison Witt is the Director of International Programs in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches Global Studies in Education and is the Program Leader for the International Education Administration and Leadership program. Allison is a former Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education, where she contributed to state higher education policy in Illinois. She is the author of Shifting Tides in Global Higher Education (2011) published by Peter Lang. Allison earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has worked in international education for over 20 years, now with particular interest in internationalizing teacher education.

Wei Liu

Wei Liu

Associate Director of International Programs
College of Education


weiliu1@illinois.edu

Dr. Wei Liu is the Associate Director of International Programs. Dr. Liu teaches CI 499 and EDUC 499 study abroad courses. These courses introduce comparative education inquiry and provide space to consider the cultural, political, and ethical implications of engaging in education travel and research in cross-cultural, global contexts.


FAA International Programs

The College of Fine and Applied has its own study abroad office. Many programs in FAA are only open to FAA students, however, some programs are open to all majors. Learn more.

Nicole Turner

Nicole Turner

Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and International Education
College of Fine & Applied Arts


faa-abroad@illinois.edu

Dr. Nicole Turner is Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and International Education for the College of Fine & Applied Arts. She provides leadership for international programs and assist faculty and units to develop global strategies for student abroad experiences. Nicole studied Mediterranean ecosystems while abroad in Ortigia, a small island just off the coast of Sicily, Italy.

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Rebecca Páez-Rodríguez

Associate Director for International Programs
College of Fine & Applied Arts


faa-abroad@illinois.edu

Rebecca Páez-Rodríguez is the Associate Director for International Programs at the College of Fine and Applied Arts.


Gies Study Abroad

The Gies College of Business has its own study abroad office and programs designed specifically for Gies students. Learn more.

Nicole Lamers

Nicole Lamers

Director, Study Abroad Programs
Gies Study Abroad


lamers@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable

Christine Walls

Christine Walls

Exchange Coordinator
Gies Study Abroad


cjwalls@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.


International Programs in Engineering

The Grainger College of Engineering has its own study abroad office called International Programs in Engineering (IPENG) and programs designed specifically for engineering students, as well as several STEM majors. Learn more.

Meredith Blumthal

Meredith Blumthal

Director
International Programs in Engineering


mblumth@illinois.edu

Meredith Blumthal has been in the field of international education for 15 years and joined the International Programs in Engineering (IPENG) office as the Director in 2017. The IPENG office provides study abroad advising, expertise, international exchanges, and cultural experiences in over 60 programs throughout 20 countries, specifically to server the need of Grainger Engineering students. Meredith’s areas of expertise includes program development, partner collaboration, faculty training and development, comprehensive program management, and administration. Previously, Meredith worked for six years as the Director of Education Abroad for the College of ACES, and before that, she was an academic advisor and Experiential Learning Coordinator in the Dept. of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. Meredith earned a B.S. & M.S. in Horticultures and a second M.S. in Agriculture Economics, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a student, Meredith studied abroad for a semester at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and she was a Foreign Language Areas Fellow (FLAS) where she studied Quechua as part of the Andes and Amazon Field School, and conducted field research in Ecuador during her graduate program.

Jana Gadbury

Jana Gadbury

Exchange Coordinator
International Programs in Engineering


jgadbury@illinois.edu

Jana joined International Programs in Engineering in July 2009. In her current position as Exchange Coordinator, she manages the day-to-day operations of the office in the absence of the Director, manages IPENG partner exchange balances, supervises student employees, manages the incoming exchange student processes, processes all Grainger Engineering students study abroad credit and maintains the financial records for IPENG. She participated in a short-term study tour in Europe, and through her position has done site visits in Uruguay, Argentina, Ireland, Italy, and China. She earned her B.A. from Western Illinois University.

Kim Bone

Kim Bone

Outgoing Exchange & Outreach Coordinator
International Programs in Engineering


kbone@illinois.edu

Kim has been with International Programs in Engineering since 1999. She currently coordinates programs in Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom, as well as internship experiences through SageCorps. In her current position, Kim advises students, oversees IPENG scholarships, coordinates IPENG events, and is a course scheduler.

Belinda Barnhart

Belinda Barnhart

Academic Advisor/Coordinator
International Programs in Engineering


bbarnhar@illinois.edu

Belinda joined International Programs in Engineering (IPENG) in September 2006. During her time with IPENG, she has coordinated programing for all outgoing engineering exchange programs for both semester and summer term programs as well as short term programs. She has had the privilege of accompanying students to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Guatemala. In her current role, she will assist with incoming exchange student applications.

Erika Brewer

Erika Brewer

Academic Advisor & Coordinator of ZJUI Programs
International Programs in Engineering


esbrewer@illinois.edu

Erika Brewer serves in the International Programs Office for the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as an Academic Advisor & Coordinator of ZJUI Programs. In her role, she facilitates outgoing programs to Asia and Australia and facilitates incoming exchange students from the dual-degree partnership known as the Zhejiang University and University of Illinois Joint Institute. Additionally, she strengthens the partnership by providing support for students enrolled in the ZJUI program as they engage and fulfill their requirements on the UIUC Campus. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Augustana College where she studied abroad in Vietnam and Hong Kong and earned her master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University.

Hannah Dougherty

Hannah Dougherty

Academic Advisor & Coordinator of International Programs
International Programs in Engineering


doghrty2@illinois.edu

Hannah Dougherty is an Academic Advisor and Coordinator of International Programs for International Programs in Engineering in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She coordinates programming for virtual global experiences, faculty-led and the office’s social media while also advising students. She holds a BS and a MS from UIUC where she studied abroad in both semester and faculty-led programs in Europe and Latin America. In 2018, Hannah completed a Fulbright U.S. Graduate Award at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.


LAS International Programs

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has its own study abroad office and programs designed specifically for LAS majors, as well as those open to students campus-wide. Learn more.

Elly Hanauer

Elly Hanauer

Director of Education Abroad
College of LAS


ehanauer@illinois.edu

Dr. Elly Hanauer has worked in the field of international education for 20years managing international exchange, professional development and academic enrichment programs. Prior to joining LAS, Elly was the Associate Director of the Center for Global Studies at Illinois, and worked with study abroad, international students, andfaculty exchangeprograms at New York University. Elly also spent six years working in the internationaleducationnon-profit sector, leading program evaluation for Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange and managing government, corporate, and foundation-sponsoredtraining and scholarshipprograms at the Institute of International Education (IIE). Elly holds BA and MA degrees in French from Wellesley College and Middlebury College, and a doctorate in International Education from NYU.

Kate Abney

Kate Abney

Associate Director, Intercultural and Global Learning
College of LAS


kabney@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.

Nikia Brown

Nikia Brown

Associate Director, Intercultural and Global Learning, International Student Experience
College of LAS


nikiab@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.

Roman Friedman

Roman Friedman

Instructional Designer, Global Classrooms Coordinator
College of LAS


rfridmn2@illinois.edu

Dr. Roman Friedman works as an Instructional Designer and a Global Classrooms coordinator, helping facilitate the internationalization of the curriculum in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Prior to his work in international education, Roman received a BA in Economics and worked as a public school History teacher while pursuing his MA in Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Education Policy studies with a focus on Philosophy of Education at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Amanda Lentz

Amanda Lentz

Academic Program Advisor for Education Abroad
College of LAS


alentz@illinois.edu

Amanda Lentz joined LAS International Programs in November of 2019 with over 5 years of experience in the field of international education. She comes to Illinois with experience in international student services, education abroad, and student recruitment. Her work in LAS primarily focuses on coordinating global programs and advising students on study abroad programs and virtual global internship or research programs.

Amanda earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies, political science, and Spanish from the University of South Dakota where she studied abroad for a semester in Costa Rica, a summer in Cuba and Israel, and on a faculty-led program in Turkey. She earned her master’s degree in international education from the SIT Graduate Institute, where her research focused on best practices for education abroad advising.

Kyle Schmude

Kyle Schmude

Program Coordinator
College of LAS


kschmud2@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.


Media

The College of Media has its own study abroad office and programs designed specifically for College of Media students. Learn more.

Katie Clark

Katie Clark

Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services
College of Media


keclark@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.

Kyle Potthast

Kyle Potthast

Senior Coordinator of Student Programs
Media Study Abroad


kpotthst@illinois.edu

Bio unavailable.