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Staff Bios

Dr. Leeanne Dunsmore

Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-7473 |
Dr. Leeanne Dunsmore is the Director for Education Abroad at the University of Maryland. She previously served as the Senior Educational Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, and launched the U.S Study Abroad Branch in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Prior to her role in government, she was the Associate Dean in the School of International Service at American University where she created international programs and partnerships throughout the world, building one of the most diverse schools of international affairs in the country. While at American she chaired the diversity initiatives committee for the 100K Strong Foundation, established the Pakistan Women’s Council and developed the first online degree program in international affairs in the United States. She received her B.A in international relations and business from the College of Wooster, her M.A. in international political economy from American University and a Doctorate in Global Education from the University of Southern California.


Jennifer Precht

Associate Director 
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-405-5747  |
Jennifer is primarily responsible for managing the development and implementation of all Maryland Short-term 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

Associate Director
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-405-0381  |
Lauren oversees the development and management of EA's program portfolio for all semester-long programs and affiliations. Additionally, Lauren oversees advising and student support services for Education Abroad, working closely with her team to develop and lead initiatives that support broader access to study abroad for UMD's diverse student body. She also serves as the co-chair of the Greater DC Area Scholarship Steering Committee for the Fund for Education Abroad. Lauren started working in the field as a study abroad peer mentor has worked in multiple capacities for Education Abroad since 2005, with some time away in Australia and Chile while she worked at the University of Sydney and 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 holds a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a BA in Spanish Language & Culture from UMD.


Deborah LakeDeborah Lake McConnell

Assistant Director for Operations
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-7790  |
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 coordinates all outreach activities and can be contacted for presentation requests. 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
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-7748  |
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.  


Niku Letang

Applications Coordinator
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-405-6964 |
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.


Isatta Mansaray

Enrollment Coordinator
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-405-0529  |
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.


Kerry O'Brien

Coordinator for Short-term Programs
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-405-7158  |
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.


Aileen Evans

Exchange Coordinator
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-7775  |
Aileen joined the EA team in the spring of 2018. She is responsible for maintaining exchange agreements and managing relationships with UMD’s international partners, as well as advising incoming international exchange students. Before joining EA, Aileen worked in international education at Georgetown University. Aileen holds a Master of Public Administration and a M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is originally from San Francisco, CA and as an undergraduate at Colby College, she studied abroad in both France and Senegal.


Brittany Lashley

Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-9708  |
Brittany Joined the EA team in the summer of 2016. She advises students interested in studying in Latin America, the Caribbean, China, Africa, the Middle East, 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

Pronouns: he, him, his
301-405-0596  |
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

Pronouns: he, him, his
301-314-7794 |
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

Pronouns: they, them, theirs
301-405-7917 |
Lindsey joined the EA team in the Fall of 2017. They advise for locations in Italy, Greece, the UK & Ireland. They hold a Creative Writing degree from Susquehanna University, where they began their international education experience with a study abroad program in London. Since then, they have served various roles advising and recruiting study abroad students. They place emphasis on diversity in its many forms in their advising with a particular passion for serving first generation and LGBT students.


Katherine Schwarzentraub

General Advisor
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-2153 |
Katherine joined the Education Abroad team in July, 2017, transitioning into the role of General Advisor in August, 2018 after initially working in EA as the Program Management Specialist overseeing the front desk operations. As EA’s General Advisor, Katherine works with students at the start of the study abroad process to help them set goals for study abroad and share resources to guide them towards program selection. 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 assist students throughout their study abroad experience, while continuing to learn more about cultures different than her own.


Gabrielle Burns

Administrative Assistant
Pronouns: she, her, hers
301-314-7473 |
Gabrielle is currently perusing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at University of Maryland University College. She has worked in various administrative support positions for many years, and joined UMD campus in 2016. She's eager and passionate about helping students discover the many opportunities available to them as students as well as encouraging them to be life long global learners.


Student Staff


Gabrielle Hernandez

Peer Mentor
Gabrielle is a junior double majoring in Journalism and Government and Politics. She studied grand energy challenges on UMD’s Terrapin Takeoff program in Berlin, Germany. While abroad, she enjoyed trying German food and experiencing German culture. More recently, she traveled to Havana, Cuba to learn more about family law, public health, and the impacts of poverty. On campus, she is involved with the Society of Professional Journalists, OMSE, Delta Gamma, and Phi Alpha Delta. She enjoys doing volunteer work, traveling, and playing field hockey.


Madeline Case

Peer Mentor
Madeline is a peer mentor in Education Abroad Office. She studied abroad the fall semester of her freshman year in Rome,Italy. She is part of the class graduating in 2021, and is a psychology major on the pre-med track. Aside from traveling, her hobbies include singing and theater, as well​ as being an advocate for LGBTQ+ issues.


Alexa Brenner

Peer Mentor
Alexa is a senior Government and Politics major with minors in International Development and Conflict Management and Spanish. She studied abroad on the winter program to Chile to learn about Chilean Democracy and Culture during winter 2017 and participated in the Maryland-in-Seville Program in spring 2018. Her favorite part about studying abroad was being able to learn the language and learn how the locals live by living with a host family in Seville. On campus, she is a Maryland Images campus tour guide and an Honors Ambassador. She is also participating in the 5 Year Master's Bachelor's program where she will be getting her Master’s degree in Public Policy! Studying abroad gave her the travel bug and she cannot wait for her next international experience.


Ivy Li

Peer Mentor
Ivy is a junior triple majoring in finance, economics, and operations management and business analytics (OMBA). She studied abroad her freshmen year in Berlin, Germany as a part of the Terrapins Take-Off program. More recently, over the past summer, she was able to not only study abroad but also intern abroad in Auckland, New Zealand as a Gilman Scholarship recipient. Her favorite activities while abroad included meeting new people, eating new foods, finding scenic spots, and more! Meanwhile, on campus, she is involved with the Smith Undergraduate Students Association, Model United Nations, and the Taiwanese American Student Association. Her fun fact is that she can speak 4 languages, including three dialects of Chinese!


Shiri Huber

Peer Mentor
Shiri is a Senior majoring in Operations Management/Business Analytics. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland during the Spring '18 semester and developed a strong appreciation for the Scottish highlands and haggis, but not whiskey. Besides being a Peer Mentor, she is a part of UMD's Global Fellows program and on campus you can find her in a hammock. She can't wait to live outside of the U.S. again someday and is excited to help students have a fantastic study abroad experience!


Margaret Crosson

Peer Mentor
Margaret is senior majoring in Psychology and Family Science and getting a certificate in Women’s Studies. She studied abroad in Sydney, Australia during the Spring ’18 semester. Her favorite part about studying abroad was meeting new people, hiking through Sydney’s numerous national parks, and hanging out with Australia’s most adorable, non-venomous, animals. Besides being a peer mentor, she is an intern at America Reads and enjoys volunteering with the coed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Studying abroad has given her the travel bug and she cannot wait to travel to all the continents one day!


Miranda Jackson

Online Communications Intern
Miranda is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majors in multi-platform journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Korean. In Spring 2018, she studied and completed two internships in Seoul, South Korea. Outside of her position at the Education Abroad office, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of M Magazine, a fashion publication, and volunteers at her dance studio and the 9:30 Club.


Sarah Lodder

Design and Marketing Assistant
Sarah is a junior Marketing and Information Systems double major, and a member of Strategic Design and Innovation Fellows in the Robert H. Smith School of Business. In the spring of her sophomore year, she studied abroad in London, England as an exchange student. When she’s not at the Education Abroad Office, you can find her performing in the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band as a piccolo, where she also serves as the Manager for the Marketing and Information Staff, or working in the Smith Office of Career Services as a Marketing and Events Intern.

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 Lauren Ruszczyk​​
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 Aileen Evans
Robert H. Smith School of Business Lauren Ruszczyk​​
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 Kerry O'Brien
Maryland Incentives Program Brittany Lashley 
University Registrar Lauren Ruszczyk
Veteran's Affairs Lauren Ruszczyk
Shady Grove Kerry O'Brien

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