CEA Directory

admissions counselors Team

Ashley Gordon

Admissions Counselor

I am from the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where skiing and hiking once a week was part of my school’s curriculum. I obtained my Bachelor’s in Business Management at Granite State College. The last two years of college, I took my classes online so I could work at the same time in Boston.

In 2015, I packed my bags and moved to Prague, Czech Republic, where I took a month long intensive Teaching as a Foreign Language certification course (TEFL). After receiving my TEFL, I stayed in Prague where I taught English to preschoolers and adults. Later on, I found myself working for that same TEFL school, teaching people how to teach English. I spent a lot of my weekends traveling to new countries and cities throughout Europe.

I love traveling and spreading the word about how living and studying abroad can really change your life and impact your future. As an Admissions Counselor here at CEA, I love talking with students to help them find the best program and guiding them along their journey to study abroad.

Fun fact: I grew up in an amusement park! 

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Cristi Pontius

Admissions Counselor

I am an Arizona native and deeply in love with the scenic views Arizona has to offer. I grew up as the oldest of three, who always wanted to leave Phoenix behind. When I was growing up, my family spent their summers traveling the country and exploring all that the US and Canada have to offer. As a result, by the ripe age of 16, I had visited 49 out of 50 states! As a high school student in Peoria, I got the opportunity to study abroad in Paris. I spent part of a summer living with a family and exploring.

I went to Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in History. I took a small break during my undergraduate program to try living outside of Arizona. I spent three great years living in Seattle, Washington. I gained my independence and saw what there was outside of Arizona. I ultimately came back to finish my degree. After earning my BA, I spent 5 ½ years, gaining experience in program coordination and volunteer management. During that time, I returned to ASU to earn a Master’s in Sustainability Leadership, where I learned how to motivate companies to create a culture of change.

I was drawn to CEA because of my love to travel and encouraging others to try new experiences! As an Admissions Counselor, I am able to work with students and help them make plans to achieve their goals. The world is so large and has so much to offer. It is a lot of fun to work in a position that allows me foster other’s sense of expl
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Iliana Gonzalez

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in a very small border town in Mexico. As a young kid, I nurtured an inquisitive curiosity for unfamiliar places and diverse cultures. I always dreamed about traveling around the world, so I set myself the goal to make this dream come true by studying abroad; however, living in a town with low economical resources, opportunities to study abroad were not accessible to students. Back then, my goals to go abroad seemed almost impossible to achieve.

After graduating High School, I had the fortune to move to the United States with my family. I applied to Arizona State University and was admitted into their Fine Arts program in 2006. It was while attending college that I discovered the wonderful opportunity to study abroad to earn credits towards my major in France.

I enrolled in a summer program to study Plein Air Painting and French language at the Institut Catholique de Paris. It’s every artist’s dream to study painting in one of the most artistic cities in the world, a place that has given birth to some of the most influential artists in history. I recall vividly the incredible joy I felt when I wandered the streets of Montmartre, carrying my paint and brushes and scouting for the best location to paint a landscape. I also remember my daily excursions to Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre seeking for inspiration from the impressionistic work of Claude Monet and the expressive Paul Cezanne. To this day, I still hold a painting of Notre Dame cathedral I executed “alla prima!” The opportunity to develop my academic skills in Paris changed my life, and it has greatly influenced my professional work in a way that sets me apart.

After graduating college, I ventured on my own to see the world and have traveled to some of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Southern Mexico, and Ireland.

As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I strive in helping students achieve their own dreams to see the world! I provide comprehensive counseling to assist my students find the best program that fits their career goals and I am always available to support them in all the different steps they take in their journey!

Did you know? I am trained in different dance forms from diverse cultural spectrums! My training ranges from Mexican Folklore, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Latin American styles, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Angolan (Kizomba), and Bollywood!
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Jessica Walker

Admissions Counselor
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to travel. I would read about a faraway place and hope to go there someday. Growing up in Texas, my family only traveled short distances, but these trips solidified my love of travel. In college, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Paris for a semester, and it definitely changed my life. I made lifelong friends, immersed myself in the culture, practiced my French, and became more independent. I plan to go back there someday! It was my study abroad experience that led me to the position of Admissions Counselor at CEA.

I am grateful to have been able to travel to Spain, England, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Belize, Canada, and Honduras. And this list is just the beginning, I hope to travel to many more places!

As an admissions counselor, I help students discover the world of study abroad. I enjoy assisting students with finding the program and destination that fits their academic and personal goals. It was a dream of mine to study abroad and I love helping other students achieve the same dream. Outside of CEA, I enjoy reading, dancing, watching movies, spending time with friends, and exploring new places!

Did you know? During a museum trip in Paris, the actor Hugh Jackman was standing two feet in front of me, and I didn’t realize for the longest time. When I finally did, I told my friend “Look it’s Wolverine.”
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Kasee Hurt

Admissions Counselor

As a Phoenix, Arizona native who has always dreamed of sliving outside of Arizona to experience what else this big world has to offer, I have always had a passion for design and travel. I fused the two to make my dream a reality.

After graduating from high school in Phoenix, I relocated to San Diego, California and settled in Los Angeles, where I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Visual Communication. Next, I left California to pursue my lifelong dream of moving to the beautiful Island of Oahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, where I began working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies. While at Manoa, I studied abroad in London, England, exploring multicultural relations and having the time of my life!

After my time in England, I returned home to Phoenix and began working at CEA to help others achieve their study abroad goals while also continuing to pursue my degree at U Hawaii Manoa.

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Rachael Brown

Admissions Counselor

I spent most of my life in a small town in Oklahoma, but got my first taste of adventure abroad when I was 15. I traveled to Italy and have been infatuated with travel ever since. Though I stayed in my hometown for undergraduate studies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, I went abroad every other year, to England, Ireland, and Wales, which allowed for me to travel to 11 other different countries! It was an amazing opportunity that left me with incredible memories and friends I still meet up with to this day.

After graduating, I worked in Admissions at my alma mater, as a reporter at the Oklahoma State Capitol, and then as a Proposal Writer before deciding that my true passion was in education abroad. Having experienced what study abroad offers first-hand, I went back to school to get my Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. While getting my Master’s, I also did an internship across the pond in London, working with students from a Texas university. While there, I was also able to connect with a friend I studied abroad in Wales with and go to Budapest! I love being able to work with students and encourage them to take advantage of abroad opportunities.

When I’m not helping students, I love traveling, spending time with my dogs, seeing family, and reading.

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Roxanne Anthony

Admissions Counselor
Outside of work, you can probably find me outside. I’m an avid rock climber, hiker, camper, sleep-under-the-stars kind of a gal. My parents are total environmentalists who helped foster my love of the outdoors and adventure early on in life. I am an Arizona native and can never seem to get enough of what the state has to offer, but I like to keep a good balance of being here and being away. I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of in country travel, hitting about 50% of the states, and some out of country travel as well.

In college, I spent summers and spring breaks in Mexico and parts of ski season in Canada. My junior year, I traveled to Ireland with a group of my sorority sisters and had the time of my life! We romped around castles, kissed the Blarney Stone, held tons of baby sheep, and dressed head to toe in green for St. Patrick’s Day. I even won a contest to see who had the best Irish accent. As a speech and hearing sciences major, I had a bit of a leg up on the competition. My favorite memory was towards the end of our trip while on an excursion to the Aran Islands. These islands have very few beaches and mostly meet the ocean by way of towering cliffs. In true form, I decided that I needed to hang off the cliffs for a photo op. This horrified my sisters, but the picture was well worth it! My trip to Ireland brought me closer to the friends I went with, but I also left with new friends from around the U.S., Ireland, and a few other countries as well.

I believe there is a sort of raw vulnerability that experiencing the world brings out in people. It allows us to tap into a part of who we are that we may have never found otherwise. As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I'm the first point of contact for students who are interested in studying abroad. I provide instruction and advice to assist students in choosing the perfect program for them based on their wants and needs. And of course, I’m here to answer any questions my students may have!

Fun Fact: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Arizona State University (Go Devils!), and I am current pursuing my Master of Business Administration at Grand Canyon University!
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Steven DelCegno

Admissions Counselor

The world is an amazing and wonderful place. Traveling exposes you to new cultures, customs, and opportunities. Family vacations as a child to Cancun, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and various U.S. locations set the stage for my zest to take in different environments, explore, and evolve my perspective on who I am and where my life could go.

After growing up in Connecticut, I traveled to both Ohio and Arizona. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Arizona State University.

Not only do I feel a strong connection to different places, but also I share this same passion for people. I am inspired by learning about others, and I love to use this inspiration to create positive and transformative experiences for them. I have spent my professional life working in youth sports, child welfare, and higher education. For CEA, my goal is to engage with students in order to ensure the facilitation of a meaningful and high-quality study abroad experience.

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Tristin Collins

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised on my family farm in a small Ohio town. Staying close to home, I went to college 45 minutes away, where I obtained my Bachelor’s in Organizational Communication and a minor in Psychology from Ohio University in Athens. Go Bobcats! After graduating, I was the Manager of the Athens Country Club for two years. With an unshakeable urge to see more of the world, I packed up my bags, drove what fit in my car across the country, and here I am in Phoenix, Arizona.

I started as an intern here at CEA, helping the Enrollment team make various types of contact with new students. In two short weeks, I heard there was an Admissions Counselor position available and applied for it immediately. In this new role, I have the pleasure of advising students through the study abroad process and matching them with a program that is best for their personal and academic goals!

When I am not at CEA, I enjoy various activities with my Boston terrier, Penelope, hiking with friends, finding new breweries, and attending local concerts. Traveling is slowly becoming one of my leading passions in life, and my goal is to visit every country in South America (for starters)!

Did you know? My first vacation and plane ride were to Costa Rica in 2016 to visit my girlfriends who were studying abroad!
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