university relations Leadership
Aaron joins the CEA team after spending 19 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). He served the organization through a variety of roles, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Engagement, where he managed their nationwide recruitment team and custom program division. Prior to serving as the AVP for Institutional Engagement, Aaron served as the Field Director, Great Lakes Region and Enrollment Manager, where he was responsible for increasing program participation, growing the number of affiliated programs, as well as expanding the base of sending institutions across a 9-state region. He also served as the Senior Program Advisor for programs in the U.K. and New Zealand, where he actively engaged with students, parents, and advisors to educate them on programs that fit students’ academic needs, as well as exploring ways to remove barriers to make students’ dreams of studying abroad a reality.
Aaron is a graduate of Butler University and holds a BS degree in Finance. During his undergraduate experience, Aaron studied abroad in London, England at Birkbeck, University of London. His time abroad was so transformative for him that he wanted to devote his professional career to promoting life changing, international experiences to other students.
When Aaron is not advocating for students to learn abroad, he can be found planning his next travel adventure and spending time with his family. He is an avid hiker, skier, and golfer, and enjoys seeing live music and collecting vinyl records. Aaron is also very active in his community, engaging and volunteering with a number of organizations throughout his community, specifically with the Indiana Humane Society, Second Helpings, and Newfields.
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.
Originally from North Carolina, and now a long-time resident of New York City, Rebecca has been a member of CEA’s University Relations team since 2009. She works closely with study abroad offices and university faculty at institutions of higher education in the Northeast (NAFSA Regions X and XI). Her primary goal is to establish long-term partnerships that support and increase participation in study and internship abroad programs, therefore contributing to her college and university partners’ broader strategic goals for internationalization. Just as important, as one of her former university partner contacts remarked, these partnerships allow institutions to “exit” better students – “better” being defined as young adults with a broader worldview and, hopefully, compassion and empathy for people beyond the U.S. border.
In addition, Rebecca serves as NAFSA’s France Country Coordinator through NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee (CAL). She has been on the CAL Visa Subcommittee since 2010. The French visa process can be challenging, and Rebecca enjoys being of service to advisors in the field who need support and guidance.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in French, History and International Studies from the University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina (UNC) and a Master of Arts in TESOL for adult learners from New York University (NYU). Before joining CEA, Rebecca developed a study abroad program for Dublin Business School, where she established partner institution and third party provider relationships that doubled the program's annual revenue. She was also solely responsible for admissions and overall program management and administration.
A trip abroad to England at the age of 14 sparked Rebecca’s life-long love of international travel and culture; 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, both deeply enriching experiences. She has maintained her proficiency in French ever since.
Rebecca is a passionate international educator and thoroughly enjoys the opportunities for relationship building that come with her role. When not planning her next trip abroad, she is perfectly content being at home, watching Hitchcock films and planning meals. She is an avid cook, whose palette and cooking have been heavily influenced by her travels.
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. Some of 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!
Carissa served as the Chair for the Lessons from Abroad Conference in Georgia from 2013-2018, 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 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)
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.
As a Regional Director based in Indianapolis, Kira works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions to support student growth through study and internship opportunities. Kira also coordinates with CEA’s campus partners to develop custom, faculty-led programs.
Kira comes to CEA after 5 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), where she served in several university relations roles, most recently as the Field Director for the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Prior to entering the field of international education, she worked in Greek Life at her sorority’s national headquarters. Kira obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Journalism, and Leadership Studies from Bradley University and her experience studying abroad for a semester in Granada, Spain furthered her love of travel and language learning. Kira has traveled to 20 countries, and she hopes to visit New Zealand or Southeast Asia next.
Kira is passionate about equity and making sure study abroad is accessible to all students. Her advice to students considering study abroad is to not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, be endlessly curious, ask questions, and remember that cultural differences are what make our world a better place.
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.
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!