CEA Directory

admissions counselors Team

April Arrowood

Eastern Team Lead
What’s my favorite travel memory? That’s easy – the first time I saw Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Having learned about it in high school, I remember marveling at the architecture first-hand and thinking that its first impression did not disappoint!

When I was a student at the University of Arizona (go Wildcats!), I studied abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain near Madrid. I’ve also visited Portugal, Italy, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. While it’s hard to choose a favorite location, I consider Spain my second home.

As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I help students choose the study abroad program that is the best fit for them, and use my own passion for study abroad to assist them throughout the entire enrollment process. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends, hiking, backpacking, playing tennis, reading, baking, and when given the chance, traveling!

Did you know? I was a colorguard member on the Pride of Arizona Marching Band for three years in college and performed at pre-game and half-time shows in front of thousands of football fans!
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Cara Appleton

Admissions Counselor
As a native of Phoenix, Arizona, from a very young age, I would hear my friends speaking Spanish and knew that learning Spanish was something I must do. I first studied abroad during high school in Santa Fe, Argentina, and continued to work on my Spanish language skills while attending Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. During my junior year, I studied abroad again, this time in northern Spain. While in Spain, my host family was the best. When I would mess up a word or get confused, they were so helpful, and their corrections often provided amusing stories I would later share with my friends. During my time in Spain, I traveled to Italy over Easter Break. Italy was amazing and gave me the chance to eat gelato and see the Colosseum in all its gladiator glory.

After returning, I spent a summer interning in San Jose, Costa Rica. The “Ticos,” as those from Costa Rica call themselves, are warm and inviting, and their Spanish is very easy to understand. There were many late nights I spent talking with my Tico friends, listening to the tree frogs sing, accompanied by a massive plate of roasted chicken, rice and beans, and more fresh, tropical juice than you can shake a stick at!

Are you dreaming of studying abroad? As an Admissions Counselor with CEA, I can guide you through the process to make that dream a reality. I am excited to get you started in selecting a program that fits your personal, academic, and financial needs. When not counseling students on study abroad, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with my cuddly dog, and exploring the Arizona desert.
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Erica Collins, M.Ed.

Admissions Counselor
Although I was raised in the sunny, beach city of Los Angeles, California, I spent my summers with my aunt and uncle in beautiful Prescott, Arizona. My education consists of a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education—Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Administration from Northern Arizona University. “Go Lumberjacks!”

I realized how much I loved to travel during my time as a competitive gymnast from age 9-15, as I traveled throughout our beautiful country. My additional moment of travel excitement was when I traveled throughout Europe visiting France, Spain, and London to name a few incredibly alluring travel destinations. I had been officially bitten by the travel bug. I recently had the opportunity to vacation in Cancun and absolutely loved every moment of the food, beach, culture, and the people.

I look forward to continue to travel as time allows. In the meantime, I have been blessed to have the opportunity as a CEA Admissions Counselor to share my love and excitement of traveling with our CEA Study Abroad students and help guide them successfully and correctly towards their educational and career goals as they study abroad. When I am not at CEA, I enjoy watching and learning from HGTV, reading, hiking, listening to music, taking care of my pets, and spending time with my family.

Did you know? During my time as a competitive gymnast, I was training towards the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain when my path changed due to an injury. I ended up coaching elite-level gymnasts for 6 years instead.
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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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Kathryn Theisen

Admissions Counselor
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and braved harsh winters for 18 years, before moving east to Wisconsin, where I put up with 4 more snowy winters. Finally, I moved to Arizona to embrace the sunshine! Living in a rural community, I always felt like I was missing a huge part of the world and knew that when I went to college, I wanted to study abroad. Being a college athlete, I was limited in choices and resources for going abroad. But, thankfully, I had a great support system and ended up spending a whole summer away while still pursuing my athletic career.

My time abroad was based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I listened to bagpipes, dipped my face in the fairy pools, and learned to ceilidh dance. During my program, I checked out 12 other countries and became an expert on packing for budget airlines, running through airports, and figuring out public transportation. One of my most memorable experiences was getting to meet one of the direwolf “puppies” in Northern Ireland that were used in the first season of Game of Thrones! The travel bug bit me pretty hard during my time abroad, and I loved having so many memorable adventures. I cannot wait to cross the pond again!

When I’m not at CEA, I love going to movies, exploring my new home, playing with my foster kittens, and planning my next big adventure!

Did you know? I hold a basketball scoring record at my University.
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Nina Baum

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in Maryland and spent many summer vacations traveling with my family. I earned a BA from Arizona State University in Business with a concentration in Tourism and an International Business Certificate. As an undergraduate, I did a summer internship in Sydney, Australia. It was a rewarding experience and I made some great friends; in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I became the campus ambassador for my program! 

After graduation, I worked at the Venetian in Las Vegas. While there, I met a professor from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln who runs a program that takes hospitality students abroad for conferences and to study. I took two trips with his program. One the first trip, I spent a week in Dubai and on the second trip we traveled to Manchester and London for a conference in Hospitality and Tourism. The Dubai trip is one of my most memorable study abroad experiences. I learned so much about students, traveling abroad, and networking. I was surprised at how different Dubai was from what people had told me. I felt so comfortable there and loved exploring U.A.E. 

I will complete my Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education at ASU in 2016. I plan to keep traveling and to keep helping students study abroad. As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I work with students to address their questions and concerns, and share their excitement to travel and explore the world! When I am not at CEA I love to travel, explore new places, hike, and go country dancing. 

Did you know?  I was a gymnast and cheerleader until I was 20. I even cheered on the ASU Club Competition squad for two years. 
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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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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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