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custom programs Leadership

Jayna Winn
Director, Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Jayna Winn leads the Custom Programs team, partnering with U.S. institutional staff and faculty to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that support specific learning outcomes and student populations. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s onsite staff and in collaboration with the academic, program development, and university relations teams.

Jayna’s passion lies in fostering transformative educational experiences through intercultural communication and education abroad. In particular, she sees custom and faculty-led programs as a valuable tool in the effort to increase access to study abroad. Often, these customized experiences offer more flexibility in timing, price, and curriculum, thus breaking down barriers for underrepresented student groups. Additionally, custom programs can be intentionally designed for particular identity groups, ensuring that the specific interests and needs of these students are championed and supported.

Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. In addition to her work at CEA, she served as an adjunct faculty member at MIIS, co-teaching a January 2022 intensive course on Education Abroad Management. She also co-authored the Facilitator’s Guide to The International Education Handbook, published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators in May 2019. Prior to working in international education, Jayna spent five years managing international teams and partnerships within digital marketing, where she developed an intercultural training program.

Jayna has spent time working and/or studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. An avid traveler, she has also had the opportunity to explore Australia and Israel, as well as several countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

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Laura Madden
Partnership Director – Custom Programs

Based out of Los Angeles, Laura works closely with faculty and staff from CEA’s institutional partners and the University Relations Team to help our partners achieve their internationalization goals through custom and faculty-led programming.

With 15+ years of diverse experience in international education, from international student support and teaching to study abroad management and business development, she has a holistic understanding of the field and is an enthusiastic champion for innovative programming to meet the unique needs of higher education institutions and their students.

Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business & Marketing from DePaul University and her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations & Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Laura studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain during her undergraduate studies, and conducted field research in Havana, Cuba during her graduate studies. Laura taught and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which launched her career in international education and where she discovered how her study abroad opportunities had exponentially enriched her career, and her life.

Laura is a passionate international educator and thoroughly enjoys the opportunities to create programming that builds globally competent graduates, an increasingly important endeavor for higher education. When she isn’t working or planning her next travel adventure, Laura thoroughly enjoys exploring the cultural, environmental, and culinary diversity of Los Angeles.

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custom programs Team

Michelle Esche
Program Manager - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Michelle Esche works closely with university staff and faculty, alongside CEA’s University Relations team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both university and student needs.  

 Michelle holds a Master of Arts in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from DePaul University. Before transitioning to her most recent role, Michelle was a CEA Student Services Coordinator for custom programs. In this role, she advised hundreds of students through the pre-departure process on topics such as course registration, visas, and housing selection.  

As an undergraduate, Michelle studied abroad through DePaul University’s Madrid custom program; she attended La Universidad Complutense de Madrid to complete her Spanish minor. While studying abroad, Michelle took the opportunity to travel throughout Spain and Europe, where she visited destinations including Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Lisbon. 

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Kristian Howland
Program Manager - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Kristian Howland works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA’s University Relations team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both university and student needs.

Kristian holds a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Hawaiʻi Pacific University. She joined the CEA Custom Programs team after completing a two-year teaching contract at Tokyo International University in Japan. Previously, she coordinated faculty-led programs in her roles on the Global Seminars team at Study Abroad UC San Diego and the Study Abroad & International Exchange Office at Hawaiʻi Pacific University, helping thousands of students safely achieve their study abroad goals.

Kristian studied abroad as an undergraduate in Aichi, Japan and Essex, England. She has since traveled and lived in many countries throughout the world, particularly in Asia and Europe. She is passionate about making study abroad accessible, educational, and memorable to students of all backgrounds and interests. When not planning her next adventure, Kristian enjoys hiking, reading, drawing, and participating in local community events.

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Tim Ramsay
Program Manager - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Tim Ramsay works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA’s University Relations team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both institutional and student needs.

Tim holds a Master of Management degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before joining the CEA family, Tim worked in the field as a Director of Study Abroad and Student Activities for 10+ years specializing in program development and assessment. Tim has facilitated several faculty/staff training and workshops on risk management and overall student development across the state of Michigan.

Tim has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America. He is also passionate about the importance of service and has led many mission trips to the Caribbean and Latin America.

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Kassandra Carrasco
Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Kassandra Carrasco (she/her/ella) is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She is now returning home after three years from Durango, Colorado where she worked at Fort Lewis College overseeing their Hispanic/Latinx and LGBTQ+ Student Resource Centers.

Kassandra enjoys spending her free time outdoors whether it's going for a hike or visiting the lake to kayak. She also enjoys supporting the LGBTQ+ community by attending Drag Shows and other community events.

She is thrilled to be joining and growing with the CEA team. Kassandra strives to bring her DEI knowledge to enhance CEA's mission and student/faculty experience abroad.

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Sharon Wohl
Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

In her role as Student Services Coordinator, Sharon Wohl supports custom program students and faculty leaders as they prepare for their program abroad.  She also partners closely with staff at U.S. institutions to provide customized pre-departure support to meet each program’s needs.

Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta, where she participated in education abroad as both a student and as an intern.  She studied abroad in South Africa, where she also volunteered as a tutor in a local township. Upon her return, she began working at her college’s International Education office as a Study Abroad Ambassador and an International Student Peer Mentor.  In her senior year, Sharon was the first in her major to complete her internship requirement abroad, helping to facilitate an after school program in Ireland. Since graduating, Sharon has remained focused on supporting students, helping others, and diving into the field of international education. Prior to CEA, Sharon worked for an elementary school fundraising company, where she played a critical role in daily coordination and communication with both schools and parents.  

Sharon’s advice for students is to maximize their time abroad through immersing themselves in all available experiences and learning opportunities while remaining present in every moment.

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