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Our Staff

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Staff Bios

Jennifer Precht

Associate Director of Programs
301-405-5747  |  jprecht@umd.edu
Jennifer is primarily responsible for managing the development and implementation of all Maryland Short-term and Maryland Semester (Maryland-in) study abroad programs. She advises faculty interested in leading study abroad programs on various programmatic models and oversees the faculty-led program proposal process. In addition, Jennifer manages the Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps (MSEC) civic engagement programs. Prior to joining the EA team in 2013, Jennifer served as Senior Director for Africa Programs and Crisis Management at the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP).  She has an undergraduate degree in Japanese and German from Georgetown University and a master’s in peace and conflict studies from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

 

Lauren Rusczyzk

Assistant Director of Advising & Outreach
301-405-0381  |  lrus@umd.edu
Lauren manages the advising services for Education Abroad. She coordinates all outreach activities and can be contacted for presentation requests. Lauren has worked for Education Abroad since 2005, with some time away in Australia and Chile while she completed her MA in international studies at the Institute for International Studies at the University of Technology Sydney and the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago. Lauren earned her BA in Spanish language & culture at UMD in 2005.

 

Deborah LakeDeborah Lake McConnell

Assistant Director for Operations
301-314-7790  |  dmlake@umd.edu
Deborah joined the EA team in 2012 and enjoys being in the DC area. Her work focuses on managing the peer mentors, scholarships, registration, statistical reporting and several other operational functions in the office. She works with the Freshmen Abroad and Terrapin Take Off programs, specifically designed for incoming first-year students as well. She received her bachelor’s degrees in French and Anthropology from the University of Kansas and received her MA in international education and nonprofit management from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont.

 

Leanne Johnson

Director of International Risk Management
301-314-7748  |  lijohnso@umd.edu
Leanne Johnson has been a part of the University’s Education Abroad team since 2013, overseeing risk management. She is a member of the State Department’s Overseas Advisory Council and its Academic Working Group, The Forum on Education Abroad, and the University Risk Management and Insurance Association. Before coming to the University of Maryland, Leanne served as the Assistant Director for the Global Perspective Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has also worked for the City of Riverside in California, California's 51st Assembly District, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Peace Corps, and the Clinton Administration. Leanne completed her own study abroad experience in Yaounde, Cameroon and has since traveled professionally to countries in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Leanne holds a master's degree in international communication from American University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Washington Adventist University.  

 

Wil Biddle

Business Manager
301-405-1175  |  wbiddle@umd.edu
Wil joined the Education Abroad team in 2014 as an advisor before moving into the position of business manager in 2015. As the business manager, he works closely with EA's finances and program budgets. Wil began his career in mutual fund analysis in corporate America, but made the transition to international education, while maintaining a strong interest in budgeting and finance.Wil's previous professional experience includes working in study abroad outreach in the United States and five years working in Student Life at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar. Wil earned his MBA from Bloomsburg University, PA.

 

Niku Letang

Applications Coordinator
301-405-6964 |  nletang@umd.edu
Prior to joining the Education Abroad team in Spring 2016, Niku worked as a Graduate Assistant for Study Abroad at Valdosta State University. She manages MyEA, the online student database and application portal, and facilitates statistics and reporting on study abroad enrollment. She also maintains and updates the EA website and helps to coordinate EA's social media initiatives. A native of Dominica, an island in the Eastern Caribbean, Niku moved to the United States to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies. Niku has a MA in Public Administration from Valdosta State University in Georgia and a BA in Political Science from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

 

Francisca Cortes

Associate Specialist
301-405-8283  |  fcortes@umd.edu
Francisca has an undergraduate degree in elementary education and has worked on the UMD campus in various administrative positions for many years. Both of her daughters attended UMD, making her a proud Terp mom! Francisca enjoys spending her free time with her grandchildren.

 

Isatta Mansaray

Enrollment Coordinator
301-405-0529  |  imansa@umd.edu
Isatta became a part of the EA team in 2013. She works with EA staff, faculty, and student support partners across campus to provide administrative support to students in the areas of registration, billing, and scheduling. Before joining EA, Isatta worked as a Program Associate for Global Communities, an international nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of vulnerable people around the world. Isatta received her BS in business administration with a focus on international business at Towson University, where she completed her own study abroad experience with American University in Rome.

 

Krista Uhrig

Exchange Coordinator
301-314-7775  |  kuhrig@umd.edu
Since 2014, Krista has worked as the exchange coordinator in EA and provides oversight for exchange programs, including making arrangements for international exchange students to study at UMD, working with the EA advisors on outgoing exchange opportunities, and managing exchange agreements. Krista studied abroad in London, England, worked as an intern with the U.S. Department of State in Dublin, Ireland, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania. She has a BA in history and European studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MA in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota. 

 

Kerry O'Brien

Coordinator for Short-term Programs
301-405-7158  |  ksobrien@umd.edu
Kerry joined the EA team in December 2016 and manages a portfolio of short-term study abroad programs in multiple countries. Prior to working at UMD, Kerry worked as an EducationUSA Adviser at the Fulbright Commission in Bogotá, Colombia. As an undergraduate, Kerry worked as a Peer Advisor at the Towson University Study Abroad Office and later gained experience working at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Institute of International Education, and teaching English as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. During her master's studies in nonprofit management, she participated in The New School’s International Field Program in Buenos Aires. Kerry believes it is important for education abroad opportunities to be accessible to all types of students.

 

Brittany Lashley

Advisor
301-314-9708  |  blashle1@umd.edu
Brittany Joined the EA team in the summer of 2016. She advises students interested in studying in Latin America, the Caribbean, China, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, Brittany is the coordinator for Maryland-in-Buenos Aires, and Maryland-in-Beijing, the intensive Chinese language program. As an Undergrad, Brittany got her BA in Chinese Language and Culture, and a certificate in East Asian Studies from the University of Maryland.

 

Conrad ZeutenhorstConrad Zeutenhorst

Advisor
301-405-0596  |  czeut@umd.edu
Conrad has been a part of EA since 2010, advising students on study abroad opportunities in France, Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia. Graduating with a BA in French from the University of Washington, Seattle, Conrad interned at his school’s study abroad office and with CET Academic Programs. His professional highlights include coordinating a short-term program to Western Europe and a site-visit to China. Conrad enjoys advising students on the cultural and historical elements of their study abroad experience and specializes in supporting LGBTQ students in study abroad. He coordinates Maryland-in-Nice, the intensive French language program, Maryland-in-Copenhagen, and Maryland-in-Berlin, and is energized by the diverse opportunities present in both his advising region and working at UMD.

 

Malik Blue

Advisor
301-314-7794 |  mblue@umd.edu
Malik joined the EA team in October 2017. He advises students interested in studying abroad in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Southeast Asia. Malik is also the coordinator for Maryland-in-Barcelona and Maryland-in-Sevilla. Malik studied at Northeastern University in Boston for both his undergraduate degree in International Business and his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. As an International Business student, Malik lived in Madrid, Spain for a year exchange where he studied at Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE) and completed an internship at L’Oreal Spain. Over the past few years Malik has worked seasonally for educational travel and service organizations in Dominican Republic, Thailand, and Cuba. Malik is passionate about creating access and supporting students who are traditionally underrepresented in international education programs.

 

Lindsey Sitler

Advisor
301-405-7917  |  lsitler@umd.edu
Lindsey joined the EA team in the Fall of 2017. She advises for locations in Italy, Greece, and the Middle East and North Africa. She holds a Creative Writing degree from Susquehanna University, where she began her international education experience with a study abroad program in London. Since then, she served various roles advising and recruiting study abroad students. She places emphasis on diversity in its many forms in her advising.

 

Diana Daisey

Program Assistant and Advisor 
301-314-2153 |  ddaisey@umd.edu
Diana joined EA in spring 2016. She offers general advising to students interested in studying abroad as well as advises students interested in studying in the UK and Ireland. Additionally, Diana provides administrative support for UMD programs, and conducts outreach. As an undergraduate at UMD, Diana studied abroad in Chile and earned a BA in Studio Art. She is passionate about languages, sustainability, and accessibility and enjoys learning about students’ many interests.

 

Rose Malone

Short-term Program Assistant 
301-405-8309 |  rmalone3@umd.edu
Rose joined the EA team in the Spring of 2015 as a peer mentor. Since graduating in December 2016 with a B.A. in Anthropology, she has joined the office as Short-term Program Assistant where she is eager to assist students in the pursuit to #JustGoAway and study abroad. She has personally studied abroad in both London, UK and Skibbereen, Ireland where she loved meeting new people and “living as the locals do."

 

Katherine Schwarzentraub

Administrative Assistant
301-314-7473 |  ktraub@umd.edu
Katherine is a recent graduate from Wofford College, with a double major in Government and German and Art History minor. During semesters abroad in London and Vienna, she furthered her interest in British culture and German language. Katherine is excited to join the EA team and assist students throughout their study abroad experience, while continuing to learn more about cultures different than her own.

 

Student Staff

 

Mary Woolsey

Peer Mentor
Mary is a junior at UMD who is majoring in Economics. She studied abroad in London as part of the Destination London Freshman Program in the fall of 2014. She is a member of the Real Estate Club and is playing for the Women’s Ice Hockey Team. Her favorite part of studying abroad was traveling and experiencing many different cultures and she looks forward to doing it again.

 

Harriet Dadzie

Peer Mentor
Harriet is a senior Finance major and Law and Society minor. She went abroad to Vienna, Austria's University of Economics and Business for the Fall 2016 semester and went to Brisbane, Australia during the summer. One of her favorite things is to discover and explore cultures that are different from her own. On campus, she is an Images tour guide, serves on the University Student Judiciary, and is a member of Alpha Phi Omega. She plans to go to law school and concentrate in international law.

 

Gabrielle Hernandez

Peer Mentor
Gabrielle is a sophomore majoring in journalism and government and politics. She studied grand energy challenges on UMD’s Terrapin Takeoff trip in Berlin, Germany. While abroad, she enjoyed trying German food and experiencing German culture. On campus, she is involved with the Society of Professional Journalists, OMSE, and she has taken part in Terp Thon events. She enjoys doing volunteer work, traveling, and playing field hockey.

 

Ireland Lesley 

Peer Mentor
Ireland Lesley is a sophomore majoring in Government and minoring in Sustainability and Public Leadership. She studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic during a 2017 summer term. At UMD she is a member of Maryland Discourse and the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. Her favorite part about studying abroad is finding “hidden gems” and trying new food.

 

Tolwanimi (Tolu) Obalade 

Peer Mentor
Tolu is an international student from Lagos, Nigeria. He is a senior Economics major with a minor in Global Poverty at the University of Maryland. Prior to moving to the United States in 2014, he lived in Nigeria for 16 years and the United Kingdom for 2 years. Tolu studied abroad in Nicaragua for 2 months as part of the Maryland Social Entrepreneurship Program in the Summer of 2016. He is a Global Semester Fellow and the former President of the Economics Association of Maryland. In his free time he loves to watch Arsenal Football Club and play games on his PlayStation 4. His favorite part about studying abroad was stepping outside of his comfort zone and living with host families.

 

Kellie Holovac

Peer Mentor
Kellie is a senior at University of Maryland majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in French Studies. She studied abroad in spring 2017 at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. Her favorite part of studying abroad was traveling to different countries on the weekends and exploring new cultures. At UMD, she is involved with Engineers Without Borders and is a member of Theta Tau. After graduation, she hopes to go to medical school and become a physician.

 

Madison Hearney 

Peer Mentor
Madi Hearney is a Senior majoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences with a minor in Leadership Studies. She spent the Fall 2016 semester at the International Studies Institute in Florence, Italy, through the Maryland-in-Florence program. One of her favorite things about being abroad was meeting the locals and learning the best non-touristy spots to explore and eat in Florence. At UMD, Madi is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, an intern at the University of Maryland Golf Course, a Teaching Assistant for UNIV100, and recently graduated from the College Park Scholars program. She spends most of her free time researching new travel destinations and planning her next trip abroad.

 

Eric Higgins

Design & Marketing Assistant
Eric is a junior Marketing Major and LGBT Studies Minor at UMD with a background and passion for graphic design. Although he has never studied abroad, he has done his fair share of traveling. Some of his favorite places he has visited include Barcelona, Malta, and Amsterdam to name a few. Eric uses his design knowledge and cultural experiences to create diverse and engaging materials for the Education Abroad office.

 

Alessandra Gonzalez-Callan

Online Communications Intern
Alessandra is a junior Public Relations and Spanish double major at UMD. She was born in Lima, Peru and is very passionate about her culture and heritage. Though she hasn’t studied abroad, Alessandra loves learning about other countries and their traditions. She hopes to someday travel to every continent and see the world’s most beautiful places. With her communications skills, she helps EA develop content for its social media platforms and hopes to continue to grow as a writer.


Campus Liaisons

To ensure a high level of service to the campus community, we appoint staff members to act as liaisons for each academic college and many campus departments. Each EA liaison serves as a point person for inquiries and requests from your department and will share information about our opportunities, opportunities for collaboration, and ideas for promoting study abroad to your students.

Academic Colleges

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conrad Zeutenhorst
College of Arts and Humanities Lauren Ruszczyk​
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Ilana Waldman
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Deborah McConnell
College of Education Brittany Lashley
College of Information Studies Lauren Ruszczyk
A. James Clark School of Engineering Krista Uhrig
Robert H. Smith School of Business Ilana Waldman
Philip J. Merrill College of Journalism Conrad Zeutenhorst
School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Lauren Ruszczyk​
School of Public Health Brittany Lashley
School of Public Policy Deborah McConnell

Campus Offices

Office of Undergraduate Studies Lauren Ruszczyk
The Graduate School Lauren Ruszczyk
University Honors Deborah McConnell
University College Park Scholars Deborah McConnell
University Career Center Diana Daisey 
Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education (OMSE) Brittany Lashley
Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) Diana Daisey
Nyumburu Cultural Center Brittany Lashley
Fraternity and Sorority Life Deborah McConnell
LGBT Equity Center Conrad Zeutenhorst
National Scholarships Office Conrad Zeutenhorst
Academic Achievement Program Brittany Lashley
Athletics Rose Malone
Maryland Incentives Program Brittany Lashley 
University Registrar Lauren Ruszczyk
Veteran's Affairs Lauren Ruszczyk
Shady Grove Rose Malone

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