university relations Leadership
Justin Schaefer is CEA’s National Director of University Relations. He coordinates and oversees the University Relations Regional Directors as they work with colleges and universities to provide study abroad and international internship opportunities to students.
During Justin’s 20+ years in higher education, he has had the privilege of experiencing the industry from a variety of perspectives. He worked for a number of educational content providers helping professors, chairs, deans and curriculum specialists implement the highest quality educational content into their courses. Prior to joining CEA, Justin represented a Bay Area startup during a period of rapid growth and development in the higher education enrollment management space.
Justin firmly believes that study abroad and international internships can shape the lives of students and interns, broadening their global understanding and communication skills. He has visited 23 countries so far, bicycled across the US, and backpacked in Alaska. He is always planning his next international adventure.
Keziah Diaz provides operational support to the University Relations team. She helps create streamlined and efficient processes, refines assessment measures such as reporting and conference management, and supports the University Relations team to provide excellent service to University Partners. Keziah also oversees the CEA Alumni Ambassador Program.
Prior to joining CEA, Keziah worked for the University of Advancing Technology as Manager of Student Affairs, where she was responsible for student life, student government, student tutors, and transfer credits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia and a Master of Science in Technology Leadership from the University of Advancing Technology (Ariz.).
Keziah's travels have taken her to eight countries and she looks forward to traveling throughout Italy. Her advice for first time travelers is to "always take the scenic route."
Michelle Williams is the Marketing Director for University Partnerships. She is responsible for developing and executing the B2B marketing strategy for CEA Study Abroad. Michelle partners closely with Enrollment, Product Development, University Relations, Internships, and onsite teams to leverage key insights and experience to drive growth across the organization.
Michelle has over 19 years’ experience in higher education publishing, most recently at McGraw-Hill Education. Her love of learning combined with her experience in editorial, digital production, sales, and marketing infuses her work with passion and purpose.
Michelle loves sharing the CEA story and looks forward to partnering with new colleges and universities to provide high quality international education opportunities to their students.
university relations Team
Matt Janus' role at CEA is to oversee CEA's institutional relationships with schools in the Western United States. Matt and his team work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes, as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.
Prior to joining CEA, Matt worked as a Mortgage Consultant at Countrywide Loans and as a National Accounts Manager at Alansis Corporation. Matt obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz (Calif.). While there, he studied abroad in Morelia, Mexico and Barcelona, Spain. His next anticipated adventure will be a tour through Southeast Asia, with extended stays at each notable surf spot.
Rebecca's role at CEA is to cultivate and maintain relationships with study abroad offices, faculty and staff at U.S. colleges and universities to help support their education abroad goals. Based in New York City, she works primarily with schools in NAFSA Regions X and XI.
Rebecca serves as NAFSA’s France Country Coordinator through service on NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee (CAL). She has been on the CAL Subcommittee since 2010, and enjoys helping study abroad advisors and students navigate the French visa process.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in French, History and International Studies from University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina (UNC) and a Master of Arts from NYU in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for adult learners. Before joining CEA, Rebecca developed a study abroad program for Dublin Business School. She established partner institution and third party provider relationships that doubled the program's annual revenue and was solely responsible for admissions and overall program management and administration.
Rebecca first traveled abroad at 14, to England, and was keen to learn French from an early age. She participated in a French immersion program in Chicoutimi, Quebec and spent a year in Paris as an au pair after graduating from UNC.
Rebecca traveled to Hong Kong in May 2016, took a cruise up the Norwegian coast in 2017, and she is currently looking forward to (another) trip to France in 2018. Future travel suggestions are welcome, she says.
Based out of Wisconsin, Jon Jorgenson works with our university advisors, faculty and staff to support student exploration, advising, and registration processes, in addition to identifying ways CEA can help its university partners be more successful in internationalizing its curriculum.
Prior to joining CEA, Jon worked Expeditors International, PMT Corporation, RAM Center, and Red Wing Shoe Co. Jon's travels have taken him to 24 different countries, and he is most looking forward to visiting the Czech Republic next. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Spanish from Minnesota State University – Moorhead.
Jon advises first time international travelers that: "Studying abroad is magical. Make the most of your time while abroad plus stay true to yourself and your goals. Your time abroad will fly by quickly and if you experience it to the fullest it will be most rewarding, challenging, exciting and fulfilling time of your life."ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
- Forum on Education Abroad
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators
Kelly's role is to work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.
Kelly obtained his Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. and his Bachelor's Degree in History from Principia College in Elsah, Ill. He credits his high school study abroad experience in Germany with sparking his interest in obtaining a career in international education.
Kelly has traveled to over 35 countries after first getting a taste of travel through a high school exchange to Germany. After graduating from college, he spent a year each teaching in both Chile and Honduras. Leading high school groups to Mexico kickstarted his professional career in Study Abroad. And since then he has traveled throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia including some of his favorite locations: Iceland, South Africa, Spain, and The Maldives. Kelly would love for his next personal adventure to take him to Lithuania – where he can do some heritage seeking, explore the Trakai Castle, trace the ancient Amber Road, and see a statue and museum in Vilnius dedicated to one of his ancestors.ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
- NAFSA Member
- NAFSA Region III Team and Texas State Representative
Carissa Williams Murray
Based in Atlanta, GA, Carissa's role is to work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization. Before joining CEA in January 2012, Carissa worked at the University of Wisconsin-Stout as the Study Abroad and National Student Exchange Coordinator. She was named 'Advisor of the Year,' an award voted on by students.
Carissa obtained her Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Carissa is also a graduate of the NAFSA Academy (Class 10).
Carissa credits her love for travel and curiosity of other countries and cultures to her parents who encouraged her to participate in a German exchange program in high school. Carissa's travels have taken her to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Scotland, Taiwan, Japan, England/Wales, Turkey, India, Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic. She one day hopes to visit Russia, South Africa and Fiji (to name a few). When traveling abroad, Carissa reminds students to go with an open mind and positive attitude; the experience is what you make of it!
Currently, Carissa is the Chair for the Lessons from Abroad Conference in Georgia and is active in the Georgia Association of International Educators (GAIE). Carissa has also presented at GAIE, TAIE, and NAFSA Regional conferences.
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- MA, International Education – SIT Graduate Institute (VT)
- BA, Business Administration – University of Wisconsin – River Falls (WI)
- NAFSA Academy Graduate (Class 10)
As University Partnership Development Manager, Eric oversees all the organization’s university-facing marketing, communications, and relationship development strategies. Eric’s mission is to enhance CEA’s visibility and brand recognition amongst its university partners.
Before coming to CEA, he worked for St. Ambrose University and Vactor Manufacturing. Eric's travels have taken him to 13 different countries and lists Croatia as his next international destination. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Marketing from St. Ambrose University (Iowa).
Eric likes to give prospective international travelers this advice: "Dare to get lost or explore without using a map. You might stumble upon a local treasure like a hidden restaurant or plaza. When you are abroad allow yourself the chance to take it all in; the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. Push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone."ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
- NAFSA e-Learning – Introduction to Education Abroad
As a Regional Director based in Kansas City, Alexis works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions in KY, KS, MO, AR, IL, IN, OK, and TN. The goals of this collaborative relationship are increasing study abroad participation and achieving the institutions’ broader vision of internationalization. Alexis cooperates with campus partners to develop custom, faculty-led programs and to advise students about CEA's study abroad and internship programs.
Prior to joining CEA, 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.
One of her primary goals throughout her career has been to educate students about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that enhance their academic and professional growth. She looks forward to connecting with students throughout the Central States to share CEA’s study and internship opportunities with them.
• MA, Teaching and Leadership – English as a Second Language (Univ. of Kansas)
• BA, Psychology (University of Kansas)
Prior to entering the field of international education, Sean worked in corporate law and international finance for a decade. Since his career change, Sean has held a variety of leadership positions in global internship program management, career development, employer relations, study abroad, and university relations. He is the former Site Director for EUSA and the Academic Internship Council in Boston, the former Director of Internship Programs & Client Relations at Intrax in New York City, and was most recently the Director of Institutional Relations for Dream Careers.
Sean is a graduate of Connecticut College and studied abroad at Oxford University, New College during his junior year. He also completed a year of graduate studies in the Economic History of Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the London School of Economics. He’s a graduate of the Senior Leadership Executive Education Program in Non-Profit Management at Columbia Business School.
Sean lives in the Boston area.
Based in Philadelphia, Seth works closely with university advisors, faculty, and staff to identify ways in which CEA can support campus internationalization efforts through study abroad programs, internships, and customized faculty-led programs.
Seth graduated from Juniata College with a B.S in Biopsychology and spent a semester of his junior year studying in Newcastle, Australia. He also participated in two short-term programs in the Dominican Republic and Cordoba, Argentina. Through these experiences, he developed a passion for working in International Education, wanting to provide these same experiences to other students. Seth has years of professional experience in education abroad administration, working in the areas of advising, program development and management, and university relations.
Seth has traveled to over 18 countries and has been on every continent except Antarctica. His favorite experiences while traveling involve trying new cuisines and building a global network. Seth's advice for first time travelers is "Be open to new experiences, ask questions, and reflect on your experiences."
Based out of Los Angeles, Laura works closely with university faculty and staff to support student growth through study and internship abroad opportunities. She identifies ways CEA can assist its university partners achieve their internationalization goals.
Laura obtained her Master’s 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. She has 11 years of professional international education experience. Her most recent position was at DePaul University working within the Global Engagement Office.
Laura studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain during her undergraduate studies, discovering how study abroad can exponentially enrich your career and your life. Shortly after graduating, Laura worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an experience that launched her career in international education. Laura has a deep passion for international education and works tirelessly to enable as many students as possible to study and work abroad.
Prior to joining the University Relations Team, Steven worked as a Team Lead for the Admissions Counselors at CEA. In this position, he managed a group of Admissions Counselors while also providing advising and guidance to prospective students. Steven brings over two years of experience as a CEA Admissions Counselor to this position, giving him a unique understanding of CEA’s programs and the student process.
Steven obtained his BA in Anthropology from the College of Charleston, where he developed a passion for other cultures and expanding his world view. He decided on a career in international education after his undergraduate study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina and continues to explore new cultures every day. Steven believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad, as it’s a life changing experience that provides them with a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
Originally from Arizona, Shayla attended University of Colorado in Boulder. While earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she completed a study abroad program in Seville, Spain. After graduation, Shayla moved back to southern Spain to teach and work in the field of study abroad. Since 2012, Shayla has worked within various departments at the CEA Headquarters in Phoenix and on-site at the CEA Seville Center.
Living in Spain for five years, Shayla learned to speak Spanish and continued her world travels. A few of her favorite locations are Portugal, Costa Rica, and Australia! Working and studying abroad has had a powerful impact on her life and career path. Her international experiences inspired her to pursue a career in international education and to share her experiences with others considering a study abroad experience. Next on her travel list – Buenos Aires, Argentina!
As the Alumni Relations Associate at CEA, Ellie Barton works with the rest of the Alumni Relations team to help recruit Alumni Ambassadors to spread the word about their study or internship abroad experiences on campuses around the country.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Ellie received her B.A. in English with a minor in politics from Sewanee: the University of the South. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education Administration with a focus on Student Access and Success from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the university relations team, Ellie worked as a Travel Program Assistant at The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, where she helped to plan, promote, and sell over 100 domestic and international trips for Michigan alums a year.
Ellie understands the value of international education, after studying abroad three times in her academic career! Whether honing her Spanish skills in Ecuador, learning about politics and media in the United Kingdom, or studying post-apartheid educational efforts in South Africa, Ellie’s experiences inspired her to pursue a career in student development, especially as it relates to out of classroom practices. Next on her travel bucket list? Singapore, Colombia, and Italy!
Prior to joining the university relations team, Kate worked as an admissions counselor in the Enrollment department, advising students from all over the country on CEA Programs. She helped students through the enrollment cycle and made sure they were confident and prepared to study abroad.
Kate received her BS in Business Administration and Economics with a minor in German from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, where her passion for travel and international education grew. Kate then returned to help students at her home campus study abroad on a variety of faculty-led and exchange programs all over the world. Kate believes that studying abroad is an impactful experience that pushes students outside their comfort zone and teaches them how to learn in a totally new environment. She believes study abroad programs lead young people to gain many skills they can use in their careers after college graduation, and she’s proud to be a part of the team that helps them participate in study abroad.
Prior to joining CEA, Matthew worked in finance at Wake Forest University, where he worked with various departments across campus to answer their travel and financial policy questions.
Matthew earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he had the opportunity to live abroad in Spain for 3 years. During his time abroad, he developed a passion for travel and learning about other cultures. After working in higher education, Matthew wanted to transition to this role at CEA where he could inspire others to study abroad.
Tricia received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Concordia University Irvine. While in college, she was an athlete on the Women’s Swim Team. During her junior year, she completed a semester abroad in the Gold Coast, Australia. After completing her degree, she moved back to Arizona, where she was born and raised, in search of a position in event management.
Tricia grew up loving to travel and has visited over 15 countries. She’s always looking to plan her next trip somewhere new!