Maximizing Your Education Abroad Strategy

Please note – the Lab has been rescheduled to Spring 2024
One-Day Virtual Lab

Sessions, Strategic Consultations,
and Action Plans

There are all-lab (plenary) sessions as well as a group of concurrent sessions. For the concurrent session block, you can choose one of two sessions to attend and you will have access to the session recording of the other sessions. All lab sessions will be recorded.

Gillissen (Gigi) Green, GlobalEd Lab Participant

I participated in the GlobalEd Lab: Reimagining Intercultural Pedagogies last fall and found it hugely beneficial to my own professional development and very impactful to my work. As a seasoned international educator, I sought out the program to refresh my own intercultural learnings and to update the curriculum of a program that my center runs.  It was exactly what I was looking for. The sessions and discussions in the Lab were interactive and thought-provoking.  I came away with new insights, intercultural concepts, and specific activities that I have since integrated into our program. Some of the concepts we explored in the Lab that were especially helpful to my work were: The Intercultural Praxis Model, UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and Story Circles. Perhaps the most impactful piece of the experience was the consultation the GlobalEd Lab provided on the creation of an assessment tool that we have since used to evaluate our program and to apply for funding. I strongly recommend participating in the GlobalEd Lab.

Gillissen (Gigi) Green
Academic & Cultural Engagement Specialist
Global Education Center/Office of International Students & Scholars
University of New Hampshire

Gillissen (Gigi) Green, GlobalEd Lab Participant


Note: Program is subject to change.

8:30 am – 9:00 am
“Breakfast” and Networking

We kick off the Lab with a talk by Bryan McAllister-Grande, GlobalEd Founder/Director, on the new approaches to intercultural communication and pedagogy, and their implications for program design and practice. Participants will also have time for virtual networking in thematic breakout groups.

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Lab Keynote – “From Theory to Practice: An Actionable Plan to Maximize Your Education Abroad Strategy”
Speaker/Trainer: Rich Kurtzman, Barcelona Study Abroad Experience

This opening session of the GlobalEd lab provides the scaffolding to help create, or refine, an intentional strategy to increase cultural awareness in Education Abroad programs. Based off of Rich’s 2022 book: Like a Fish in Water: How to Grow Abroad When You Go Abroad and his 20+ years working directly with students onsite in Barcelona and beyond, participants will walk away from this session with activities that they can implement immediately in their pre-departure orientations, onsite programming, and reentry workshops to facilitate student intercultural growth. Rich turns the theory into practice so educators can guide students towards feeling more confident, adaptable and resilient in unfamiliar environments and then harness that development to land a job and live happier, more fulfilling lives.

10:00 – 11:00 am
Plenary Session: “Not an Extra: Embedding Education Abroad into the Campus and Curriculum”
Kirsten Sheppard, Maryville College
Ashley Neyer, Louisiana State University
Anita Deeg-Carlin, Wesleyan University

Three panelists, all from very different institutional contexts, will discuss transformative strategies they have employed to embed and integrate education abroad into a larger global learning ecosystem. From large grant funded programs to the creation of new Minors and Certificates, these strategies involve consistent faculty engagement and structures, long-term vision, data collection and analysis, and engaging in difficult dialogues across the university leadership. In some cases without full leadership buy-in, the panelists and their collaborators have instituted a concrete, learning-based rationale for education abroad that integrates experiences within the larger goals of the campus and places faculty and students at the center. This session will include a panel discussion, activities, and presentations designed to bring innovations like these to your own campus or context.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
30-minute Strategic Consultations

These 30 minute small-group consultations are designed to offer a framework for approaching strategic change for education abroad, based on the principles of backward design. They are an included feature of lab registration. We’ll walk through a basic set of questions for approaching strategic change and then, later, apply the principles to creating a strategic action plan as a “take away” for the Lab. We will conduct these consultations in small groups, offering an opportunity to learn from your peers.

12:00 – 1:00 pm
Optional “Lunch” and Networking

An informal opportunity to dialogue and connect with peers.

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Plenary Session: “Using Data in Practice: Insights from a Campus-Researcher Partnership”
Suzanne LaVenture
Melissa Whatley, School for International Training

Suzanne LaVenture, former Director of International Education, Davidson-Davie Community College, and Melissa Whatley, Assistant Professor at the School for International Training, will discuss their innovative partnership in data analysis, which led to a set of journal publications and strategic directions for international education at Davidson-Davie. Suzanne gave Melissa, then a postdoctoral researcher, access to Davidson-Davie institutional data which allowed Melissa to identify trends in student participation in both education abroad and internationalized courses. Panelists will discuss how the partnership unfolded, how to collect and analyze data at your own institutions, and considerations when forming data or research partnerships.

2:00 – 3:00 pm
Concurrent Sessions

Choose from one of two different sessions to attend; you’ll also have access to the recording of the other session.

Matching Student Expectations of Education Abroad to Employability 
Trainer/Speaker: Martin Tillman, Global Career Compass and GlobalEd Consultant

The onset of a new academic year comes with renewed hope for a continuing rebound of student mobility.  For several years before the pandemic, there was a growing global dialogue – principally in North America, the EU, Japan and Australia – about the linkage of education abroad to student employability and the necessity of re-aligning the internationalization agenda to reflect changes in the global workforce. This session will revisit this dialogue and reflect on the need of institutions and campus decision-makers to regain the momentum in purposefully designing education abroad to integrate both academic learning outcomes with student expectations of employability after graduation.

“Enriching Perspectives via Cross-Cultural Media Collaboration”
Speaker: Roma Sur, Professor and GlobalEd Visiting Faculty Member

The objective of this research presentation is to showcase how collaboration in the field of arts, within universities from different parts of the world, helps in expanding the global understanding and appreciation of other cultures, among students. Roma Sur is a film faculty member teaching for the last thirteen years. Her teaching philosophy relies heavily on internationalization. During her session, she will be highlighting three bi-lingual film projects she led, as a cross-cultural collaboration, between Denver film students and their cohorts in India. She will show highlights from the films produced on location, talk about the research and learning outcomes among students across continents, and highlight the process of leading such a program, as a faculty member. The session will end with the screening of her 27-minute documentary, MAA, a tribute to her mother who passed away in June 2023. 

3:00 – 4:30 pm
Strategic Consultations & Creating Your Action Plan

These final consultations will reunite your small group for further discussion and planning. Using the framework, we will workshop a one-page Action Plan that can be used for further strategic discussion, planning, fundraising, or action steps. The goal is for participants to come away with a tangible outcome that be utilized immediately on their campuses.

Speaker Biographies

Anita Deeg-Carlin
Director, Intercultural Learning, Wesleyan University

Anita brings almost two decades of experience in higher education, first at Mount Holyoke College, previously at Wesleyan, Fairfield University, and Trinity College, mainly in the global education space. Raised in an international and multilingual home, she made a career out of intercultural engagement and advocacy, interning in Uganda for six months as an undergraduate studying subsistence farming, volunteering and working for four years in Madagascar as an Environment Sector Peace Corps volunteer and Rural Appraisal Consultant, and running an immersive high school service and leadership program for three years on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.  She received her interdisciplinary undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, IL, in Culture and Development, and holds a Master’s Internationalist degree from Colorado State University in Watershed Management. 

Rich Kurtzman
Founder & Director, Barcelona Study Abroad Experience

Rich Kurtzman was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He studied abroad in Russia and Spain and interned in Italy before following his dream to work in Barcelona. Still there twenty years later, Rich has dedicated his entire professional career to international education. Today, he directs Barcelona Study Abroad Experience and is a sought-after speaker on building intercultural competence and working across cultures. Rich and his wife, who is from England, live just outside Barcelona with their two multicultural, multilingual children. His newsletter, Culture Stock: Tips and Tricks for Increasing Cultural Awareness, has a distribution of thousands. Find more information at

Suzanne LaVenture
Former Director, International Education, Davidson-Davie Community College

Suzanne LaVenture is the former Director of International Education at Davidson-Davie Community College, having recently retired after 29 years of service. Suzanne participated in a 2016 Fulbright International Educators Seminar in Russia and serves as a Fulbright alumni ambassador. She has decades of experience working with international students, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants and Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence. Suzanne also led and managed short-term study abroad programs for over 20 years. She helped create the NC Scholars of Global Distinction program, which has been replicated in 30 other colleges. Suzanne holds degrees in Spanish from Wake Forest University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Ashley Neyer
Director, Academic Programs Abroad, Louisiana State University

Ashley Neyer is the Director of Academic Programs Abroad at Louisiana State University. Neyer joins LSU with over 12 years of experience in the field of international education, leading the advancement of education abroad (EA). Prior to LSU, Neyer served as the Director of Education Abroad at University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she collaborated with faculty to build EA programs, developed and refined EA processes and policies to align with industry standards, and served as the EA risk management point of contact. Neyer has served in various leadership roles across NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Forum on Education Abroad, Fulbright, and WorldStrides as well as contributed publications and presentations on topics including the impact of short-term study abroad programs, academic advising for EA, and navigating risk management. Neyer has also won several national grants such as the 2022 Institute for International Education’s Passport Project of which she used to expand passport access to underrepresented students at UAB. Neyer strives to expand EA access and impact so that any interested student can study abroad. 

Kirsten Sheppard
Director, Center for Global Engagement, Maryville College

Kirsten Sheppard grew up in Calgary, Canada. She came to the United States as an F-1 international student to complete her MA in International Education at the School for International Training (SIT Graduate Institute) in Brattleboro, VT.  She has been working at Maryville College, in the Smoky Mountains since 2004, and is the Director of the Center for Global Engagement. She enjoys helping both international and US students figure out how to make the most of their experiences abroad. She has travelled to many countries but always looks forward to her next trip, be it within the U.S. or abroad. Research interests include helping students develop global competencies, assessment of study abroad impact, crisis management, and re-entry programming. She is an adjunct instructor, teaching Sustainable Tourism in the Outdoor Studies and Tourism major.

Roma Sur
Faculty, University of Denver; Filmmaker and Screenwriter

Roma Sur is a screenwriting and film production faculty member at the University of Denver’s Media, Film and Journalism department. Prior to that, Sur taught fiction and non-fiction writing for the Film and Television program at University of Colorado (CU) at Denver, from 2009 to 2022. She received the 2020 President’s Diversity award, one of the highest honors across all four campuses of University of Colorado. Sur has led three global initiatives in the past, and is currently leading the HashtagBollywood Program, 2023, at the University of Denver. While at CU Denver, Sur founded and led the study abroad program titled, Bollywood Connections. This program fostered the seed for a long-term relationship between Whistling Woods University in Mumbai, India and University of Colorado-Denver College of Arts & Media. As a screenwriter and filmmaker, Sur found her niche in narrating cross-cultural stories that channel her Asian-American immigrant experience and her childhood growing up in cosmopolitan India. She writes young adult and female driven dramas with levity, typically with a diverse cast. Her screenplays have been acknowledged by Sundance, Screencraft and Stowe Story Labs. 

Martin Tillman
President, Global Career Compass

Martin is a nationally recognized author, thought leader and expert on the linkage of education abroad to student career development and employability. He is President of Global Career Compass, an international consulting practice and an Affiliate to the Gateway International Group.  Previously, he was Associate Director of Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. In his distinguished career as an international educator, he has held senior leadership positions with pioneering international education programs. Among his many publications, he is co-author of: Employability: How education abroad impacts the transition to graduate employment (2020), in Education Abroad: Bridging Scholarship and Practice; and Higher Education and the Employability Agenda (2015), in the SAGE Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance. Marty’s blog, Global Career Compass, is widely read. 

Melissa Whatley
Assistant Professor, School for International Training

Dr. Melissa Whatley is assistant professor of international and global education at SIT Graduate Institute. Her research applies quantitative and mixed-methods approaches to improve our understanding of policies and practices that impact access and equity in U.S. international education, particularly in the community college context. She teaches courses on quantitative research methods, theoretical foundations of comparative and international education, and program planning and design in SIT’s master’s and doctoral programs in international and global education. She is author of An Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for International Educators (2022). Her research has been featured in journals such as the Journal of Higher EducationResearch in Higher Education, the Journal of Studies in International Education, and Higher Education. She is associate editor for the Journal of International Students.

Ben Levy

Ben Levy is a scholar-practitioner of higher education internationalisation with over 22 years of experience on 6 continents. He has a proven record of fostering mutually beneficial, equitable and sustainable internationalisation partnerships and facilitating the exchange and mobility of people across contexts, cultures and languages. Adept at effective leadership and management of diverse teams in a variety of settings globally including the USA, Aotearoa New Zealand, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, and Peru. As a Senior International Officer for 13 years at a U.S. public, liberal arts college, Ben led the institution’s first strategic plan for comprehensive internationalization and oversee all internationalisation activities including curriculum at home, mobility, faculty engagement, risk management and partnerships. The institution received various federal grants in support of their internationalisation activities through Ben’s dedicated and collaborative work. He has served on numerous leadership positions, boards and completed numerous consultancies, presentations, and trainings. Ben actively serves as a peer reviewer for various indexed journals, as a section editor for the Journal of International Education: Comparative Perspectives, co-leads the New and Emerging Scholars of the Oceania Comparative & International Education Society and as an International Programme Development Advisor for the University of Otago (Aotearoa New Zealand).

Bryan McAllister-Grande

Bryan McAllister-Grande is the founder and director of GlobalEd. He has over 20 years of experience in global higher education strategy, program design, intercultural teaching and coaching, assessment, and curriculum development. He is Director of Academic Integration and Planning at Northeastern University’s Global Experience Office. Bryan has twice served on the national Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Leadership team for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and he co-founded NAFSA’s Global Studies Literature Review. He formerly led initiatives or programming at Brandeis University, Clark University, and E.F. Education. Bryan has authored over 25 publications in higher education history, internationalization, and intercultural education. He is the co-author of NAFSA’s International Higher Education Research: The State of the Field (2020) and a contributor to The Handbook of International Higher Education, Second Edition (2021), The Promise of Higher Education (2021), and The Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education (2018).

Patricia Sagasti Suppes

Currently an independent consultant in Internationalization; Curriculum Development; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Project Development, Dr. Sagasti Suppes has over twenty years of experience in higher education. After receiving an A.B. in Spanish and French with a minor in English from Sweet Briar College, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. Upon her return to the U.S. she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in modern Latin American literature in Spanish, with a minor in Francophone literature. In graduate school she participated in a study abroad intensive language program through the Alliance Française du Val de Loire, and earned a certificate from the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She’s co-editor of Transnational American Spaces, from Vernon Press, and author of various academic articles and book chapters. At private and public colleges, universities, and community colleges, Dr. Sagasti Suppes has taught all levels of Spanish language, as well as the literature and culture of Spanish-speaking Latin America and Spain and U.S. Latinx communities, and language classes in French. She has created original content and taught travel courses in five countries and has delivered presentations and workshops in nine countries across three continents. She has also held various leadership positions, including heading the Study Abroad and the International offices at three institutions. She is a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps, has completed the NAFSA Academy training, and has held various leadership roles in NAFSA regional teams.

Registration Details coming soon. The event is being rescheduled to Spring 2024.

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