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.

Boswell Hutson

Boswell Hutson

Assistant Director for Media and Marketing
Global Communication


hutson2@illinois.edu

Boswell joined Illinois International in November 2021. As the assistant director for media and marketing, he serves in an embedded role in IAGE to collaborate on communications with campus study abroad offices and Illinois International units. Prior to IIP, Boswell served as a communications specialist for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he was tasked with communicating both broadly for the Center and as the external relations manager with the National Science Foundation-funded XSEDE Project. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, during which time he studied abroad at University College London.

Brandy Coy

Brandy Coy

Senior Business Manager
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.

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.

Thomas Schrepfer

Thomas Schrepfer

Business & Systems Support Coordinator
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

Assistant Dean, International Programs
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

Kate Abney joined LAS International Programs in December 2019. She is a social anthropologist and the acting Associate Director of Intercultural and Global Learning. She earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology at Boston University, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. of Social Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research explores infectious diseases and their social implications; with a specific focus on people being treated for Tuberculosis. She has been involved in international and experiential education since 2010; as a postgraduate student, university lecturer, academic coordinator, and program director. Before assuming her current role, Kate was the Cape Town-based Resident Director for the College of ACES (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) Human development and Family Studies service-learning program. She has worked with a number of institutions; the Organization for Tropical Studies, SiT International Honors Program, UCT, Stellenbosch University, Quest University, UWC and CIEE to name a few. Kate has spent the majority of her adult life outside of the USA and considers South Africa her adopted home. She is passionate about teaching at the intersections of global health, medical anthropology, and urban social justice issues.

Nikia Brown

Nikia Brown

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


nikiab@illinois.edu

Nikia Brown is a Philadelphia native with an unyielding passion for people and places. Growing up in a Caribbean household kindled within her a strong desire to build bridges between people of diverse cultures. After teaching English as a second language in South Korea, she obtained her first master’s degree in sociology at Sungkyunkwan University where she researched the identity negotiation of youth born to multicultural families. Upon her return to the States, she worked in youth development and civic engagement and completed a subsequent master’s degree in intercultural and international communication at The American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C. In Nikia's current role as the Associate Director of Intercultural and Global Learning –International Student Experience, she supports international students in their transition to UIUC and develops intercultural programs that unite domestic and international students. In addition to being a travel and brunch enthusiast, she is passionate about creating platforms that enable individuals to become agents of their own change.

Roman Friedman

Roman Friedman

Global Learning Specialist
College of LAS


rfridmn2@illinois.edu

Dr. Roman Friedman works as an Global Learning Specialist, 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

Kyle Schmude joined LAS International Programs in February 2021 with over 5 years of experience in the field of international education. Prior to joining LAS, Kyle was the Program Assistant of the Illinois in Vienna Programs, Illinois’ residential study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. In this role, Kyle offered on-site support to Illinois students and staff in Vienna, planned and supervised student excursions, and served as the on-site co-leader for the short-term, faculty-led course PS300: European Union and Governance.

Kyle also has over 5 years of experience teaching German and is certified by the Österreichsicher Integrationsfonds to hold and assess German examinations for integration purposes. Kyle has also taught GER 101, GER 211, GER 212, and GER 401 to Illinois students in Vienna on a regular basis. Kyle is based in Vienna, Austria and advises and coordinates for LAS education abroad programs in Europe. He holds a BA in German and Spanish Linguistics from DePaul University and is completing an MA in Teaching German as a Foreign Language from the University of Vienna.


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.