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CEA CAPA Program Development Directory


Program Development Leadership

Caroline Walsh
Senior Vice President of Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA CAPA’s current product portfolio and expansion into new markets. She works closely with leadership within University Relations to identify university needs and trends and collaborates with Academic Affairs and CEA CAPA staff worldwide to design and deliver new programs and academic partnerships that are best suited to meet the needs of our U.S. university partners.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Caroline worked in the Public Information Office for the Santa Clara Water District, at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, and at the Office of International Student Scholars at UW-Madison. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from UW-Madison (Wisc.), a certificate of global leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management (Ariz.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Santa Clara University (Calif.).

While living for a year in Madrid, Spain, Caroline used her school breaks and weekends to travel throughout Spain and many other countries within Europe. She also lived in Bolivia and Brazil, and traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Caroline thinks it's OK for students to be uncomfortable when traveling abroad: "It is in these moments we learn about ourselves and the new culture we are visiting. When you leave your comfort zone, you grow. You'll feel awkward and out of place many times, but that's OK. Don't shy away from difficult moments or stay where you are comfortable, you may be surprised at how strong you are."


  • Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators


  • "Planning Quality Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," Co-Presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II and III, Bi-Regional Conference 2005, Colorado Springs
  • "Crisis Management in Study Abroad," Co-Presented at Arizona International Educators Conference 2002, Tucson


  • Recipient of a University Fellowship as well as the Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship from University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Recipient of an Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship (Portuguese)
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Program Development Team

Alexis Jones
Director of Program Development Initiatives

As Director of Program Development Initiatives, Alexis helps to support CEA CAPA’s university partners’ internationalization efforts through the identification of program and course needs and the implementation of new program opportunities both by academic discipline and geographic location.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she was with the University of Kansas for nearly fifteen years, where she served as the Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Retention for the KU School of Engineering and Associate Director for the KU Office of Study Abroad. As Associate Director, she led a campus-wide study abroad curriculum integration initiative where she worked closely with deans, faculty, and academic advisors in over 40 academic units. The initiative identified major-specific study abroad opportunities, produced advising materials and resources, and developed targeted strategies promoting study abroad engagement.

Through her own experiences as a study abroad student in Florence, Italy, and as an English teacher in Monterrey, Mexico, she has seen firsthand the value of international engagement and the positive impact it can have on an individual. As a result, she has worked throughout her career to educate students and faculty about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that can enhance their academic and professional growth.


  • MA, Teaching and Leadership – English as a Second Language (Univ. of Kansas)
  • BA, Psychology (University of Kansas)
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Margit Pugh
Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Margit serves as a leader on data management initiatives for the Program Development department, managing the integrity of program data for internal and external stakeholders, as well as serving as the Department’s primary liaison on large-scale organizational data initiatives. This collaborative position regularly engages international staff to ensure the accuracy of program data, and requires Margit to work with staff across the organization to identify and implement process improvements in the areas of program data collection. In addition, Margit plays a valuable role in the development of new programs, from research to launch, and provides strategic support to other Program Development team members with data-related tasks such as research, database entry, marketing tasks, and training. Margit interacts heavily with CEA CAPA international staff and consistently works to enhance connectivity with our international colleagues. 

Margit is originally from Slovenia and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Margit started traveling abroad at an early age and has since checked more than 20 different countries off her long ‘must visit’ list. During her undergraduate education, she participated in two study abroad exchanges—at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, and at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona—which gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in the American education system and culture. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she worked for the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington D.C. as a Consular Advisor. Margit speaks 3 languages: English, Slovenian, and Italian.

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Mark Chakoian, PhD
Director of Program Development Initiatives
Mark (he/him) has a background in developing a wide variety of programs across several institutions of higher education, including academic outreach and professional development programs for Montana State University, graduate degree, non-degree and undergraduate mobility programs at Northeastern University’s bay area campuses, and faculty-led international programs with Columbia College Chicago.  He also brings experience as a faculty member with Gonzaga University’s department of philosophy, having earned his PhD in that subject from Loyola University Chicago.  Mark is an advocate for the immense value of higher education and a firm believer in the crucial roles that intercultural education and the inclusion of a diversity of perspectives play in challenging our assumptions and broadening our worldviews. 
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Shaelyn Ellershaw
Contract Administrator
Shaelyn has lived in the US and UK and was drawn to this position due to her love for travel and culture as well as her commitment to diversity. Study abroad initiatives hold a dear place in her heart—her parents met while her mother was participating in an exchange program in England. In high school, she volunteered for a study abroad organization and values the connections that developed during that time. She graduated with her BFA from the University of Arizona in 2019. Since then, her professional experience has spanned professional bridal tailoring to working under attorneys in contested litigation matters. Shaelyn is also an avid seamstress and horsewoman. She has worked in costuming for productions both stateside and in England and loves pursuing her creative passions. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and menagerie of pets.
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