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Making the Most of Your Diversity Abroad Conference Experience

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 25, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2019

Making the Most of Your Diversity Abroad Conference Experience

The Diversity Abroad Conference is a venue that not only allows professionals to connect with colleagues in different offices and campuses, it’s a space for people to discuss ideas that often have a way of making it to the sidelines during regular operating hours. Let’s face it, diversity and inclusion in international education or international education in diversity and inclusion efforts aren’t often at the center of the agenda for most offices. In many cases, the convergence of these topics happens only a handful of times throughout the academic year. For this reason (among others) we are excited that for 4 days we’ll get to bring these topics to the center of our focus and create actionable plans for how we can all advance diversity and inclusion efforts in global education.

We have highlighted a few sessions that are new to the conference this year that you won’t want to miss!

If you are currently a member and would like to know how to get the most of your Diversity Abroad membership be sure to attend Maximizing Your Diversity Abroad Membership - Sunday, March 3 from 3:30-4:30pm as we provide an overview of Diversity Abroad benefits and resources available to you.

If you are new to Diversity Abroad and interested in engagement opportunities, please check out State of Diversity Abroad: Updates & Engagement Opportunities - Sunday, March 3 from 3:30-4:30pm as we provide an overview of organizational resources, membership, and opportunities to connect with Diversity Abroad throughout the year.


Awards Gala & Dinner - Monday, March 4 from 5:30-7:30pm

Join Diversity Abroad in celebrating our collective achievements as a field during the inaugural 2019 Awards Gala & Dinner. This formal event will provide an ideal backdrop for honoring the recipients of the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education & the Global Student Leadership Awards. Attire is Business/Cocktail so be sure to dress to impress as we celebrate these shining stars!

Action Planning Breakout Sessions - Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 2:30-3:45pm

The goals of the Action Planning Sessions are to support attendees with unpacking the conference content and provide structured time to map out action items for implementation at their home institutions/organizations. Discussions will be facilitated by conference planning committee members within different institutional types.


 This is only a preview of all the great things we have lined up for you at this year’s conference. Be sure to download the conference app or the conference website for more information about individual sessions, speakers and much more!

If you are looking for a quick tips sheet to ensure you gain the most from these 4 days of intense dialogue, interactive sessions, and thought-provoking discussion, checkout our resource link here and provided below.

Tags:  Diversity Abroad Conference 

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Diversity Abroad Welcomes New Team Members!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018


Diversity Abroad welcomes two team members to lead the organization’s Student Services division. The team will continue to develop inclusive resources and tools that support the success of diverse and underrepresented students throughout the education abroad continuum.


 Joelle Tolifero, Associate Director, Student Services

Joelle Tolifero’s passion for international education and access began when she realized she did not have funding to study abroad as an undergraduate student and instead began leading student travel/community service programs for high school students. She has explored the countries of Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos, the United States, Peru, and Greece alongside students for over 7 years. Joelle believes that cultural exchange is a means to peacemaking and cross-cultural understanding and believes all people, in particular students, should have access to this opportunity.

Experiences navigating global education with students led Joelle to pursue her Master’s in International Education with a concentration in Peace Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. There she developed her theoretical understanding of international education and applied it to her development of a Peace Education curriculum and school design for students, which served as her thesis. Joelle also served as the NAFSA Youth Representative to the United Nations where she attended the UN Department of Public Information briefings and represented the voice of youth working towards becoming international education professionals.

As a Student Affairs professional Joelle has worked for Northeastern University as an Assistant Site Director for N.U. in program in which first year students study abroad in there first semester of college and in Residential Life at Columbia University, Georgetown University, and Barnard College. Joelle’s direct student experience paired with her desire for every student to have access to global education led her to Diversity Abroad to serve as the Associate Director for Student Services where she oversees DiversityAbroad.com, manages scholarships, and supports student programming such as The Passport Tour, Campus Fellows program, and Overseas Ambassador program.

Joelle is based in New Jersey where she enjoys time spent with family, volunteering with her chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, exploring nearby cities, and blogging about her adventures and community service abroad.


Joelle can be reached at jtolifero@diversityabroad.org 



 Senait Chrisostomo, Program Coordinator, Student Services


Senait Chrisostomo is the Program Coordinator for Student Services, where she supports student-oriented initiatives, including the Passport Tour, Overseas Ambassador Program and Diversity Abroad scholarships. Senait also supports marketing and communication efforts across the organization. She was previously a Diversity Abroad Campus Engagement Representative for the Northeast region of the 2018 Diversity Abroad Passport Tour. She is an advocate for equitable access and opportunity to study abroad for diverse and underrepresented students and believes that cross-cultural exchange can serve as a medium for global understanding and academic and professional development.
Senait’s interest in global education was initiated after completing multiple study abroad programs during her high school and undergraduate studies to Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil and Dominican Republic. She has since worked in education abroad in various capacities, including administrative and event coordination in higher education and non-profit settings in Seattle, Atlanta and New York City.
Senait holds an M.A. in International Education from New York University and a B.A. in Business Administration, Marketing and a Certificate of International Studies in Business from the University of Washington. Senait is currently based in New York City. 


Senait can be reached at schrisostomo@diversityabroad.org 

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Diversity Abroad Welcomes New Director of Operations & Organizational Development

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2018

Wagaye JohannesDiversity Abroad is pleased to announce that Wagaye Johannes will join the team as Director of Operations and Organizational Development in September.

Diversity Abroad is the leading national organization advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in international education. Well into its second decade, Wagaye will oversee the growing infrastructure of the organization and work closely with senior leaders to map out and implement Diversity Abroad’s five year strategic plan.


“I am thrilled to join such a entrepreneurial organization which has had a tremendous impact on the field of international education in its first decade, ‘says Wagaye.  

Wagaye brings with her extensive experience in international education, scholarship administration, and nonprofit management. Born in Ethiopia and raised with a foot on either side of the Atlantic, Wagaye’s personal and academic background led her to the field of international education. In 2014, she launched the Institute of International Education (IIE)s national campaign “Generation Study Abroad” to increase and diversify study abroad participation, which now has grown to a global network of 800+ partners from higher education institutions, study abroad organizations, foreign governments and the private sector.


“Wagaye is an exceptional leader and is a great addition to our team,” says Andrew Gordon, Diversity Abroad CEO & Founder. “Her contributions will allows us to be even more effective in serving our diverse community of students and professionals.”


A thought leader on international education, access, and diversity, Wagaye’s academic pursuits focused on comparative studies of citizenship and integration between the U.S. and the European Union. She has presented at several conferences on how to expand study abroad and diversity, including Diversity Abroad, Council for Opportunity in Education, Germany Academic Service Exchange, and Fulbright Colombia.


She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam and a B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. She is fluent in German, speaks some French, and has a basic understanding of Dutch, Hungarian, and now is learning Arabic.



How did you get started in the field of international education?


As the daughter of a German immigrant and an Ethiopian international student, I have always been fascinated by the role of identity when it comes to living and traveling abroad. I grew up in California and Germany, surrounded by multiple languages and cultures. When I got to college, I decided to major in International Relations and planned to go to Austria for an academic study abroad experience. But with a single parent household and limited scholarships offered at that time, it was simply not possible.


It was this pivotal experience that took me to the Director of Study Abroad at Mount Holyoke College and ask about her job. If I couldn’t study abroad, I wanted to see to it that others could. I wanted to make it possible for other students, who may have not had the same global access as me to have an international experience. She told me about NAFSA and IIE.


That very same summer, I managed to secure on my own a summer internship in Japan leading pre-departure orientations for Japanese students headed to the United States for their studies. And years later, I finally studied abroad. I started my Master’s degree in Ethnic and Migration Studies at the University of Amsterdam on September 11, 2001. It was an incredible time to be abroad— I had the opportunity to discover and listen to different perspectives (my classmates were from literally every corner of the world), build a global network, and most importantly discover who I am as an American.



What advice to you have to the those entering the field now?


Be open! Volunteer, intern, and learn all that you can from everyone you meet. With such a small field, you never know who you might work with several years down the road.  


I am glad to see the field becoming much more diverse. It is important that those advising and setting policy reflect the growing diverse student population not only in the United States but around the world. My hope is at Diversity Abroad we can continue these efforts especially at mid-career and senior level positions.


Wagaye, a Bay Area native, will be based in New York City and can be reached at wjohannes@diversityabroad.org.

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Diversity Abroad Welcomes 3 New Campus Engagement Representatives!

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 13, 2018
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2018

Diversity Abroad is excited to welcome three new staff members to the team! As Diversity Abroad Campus Engagement Representatives, Tiffany, Senait, and Mya will be part of The Passport Tour (TPT) this fall, a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Since 2008, TPT has brought Diversity Abroad to hundreds of campuses across the country to connect thousands of students to resources. Each campus visit looks different, but can consist of various on-campus outreach initiatives such as tabling at a study abroad fair, hosting information sessions, moderating alumni panels, making classroom visits, and more.


Meet Tiffany Brown 

Tiffany Brown

Tiffany Brown is the Southern Campus Engagement Representative for the 2018 Diversity Abroad Passport Tour. Tiffany is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in global educational and professional opportunities and believes that equitable access in international exchange is the ultimate medium for an educated and inclusive global citizenry. 

Shortly after graduating with a BA in Spanish (2014) degree from the University of Georgia, Tiffany moved to Medellin, Colombia and worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Universidad de Antioquia. There, she delved into the world of international education and continued to nurture her interest in the intersection between language, race, and narrative. Most recently, Tiffany worked as a Princeton in Latin America fellow at Yspaniola, a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic, where she bridged her interests in Latin America, experiential learning, social justice, and community education. Tiffany is excited to return home and represent the South on this year’s Passport Tour and encourage diverse and underrepresented students in their decision to pursue educational opportunities abroad! 



Meet Senait Chrisostomo

Senait Chrisostomo

Senait Chrisostomo is the Campus Engagement Representative for the Northeast region of the 2018 Diversity Abroad Passport Tour. Senait is an advocate for equitable access and opportunity to study abroad for diverse and underrepresented students and believes that cross-cultural exchange can serve as a medium for global understanding and academic and professional development.
Senait’s interest in global education sparked after completing multiple study abroad programs during her high school and undergraduate studies to Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil and Dominican Republic. She has since worked in education abroad in various capacities, including administrative and event coordination in higher education and non-profit settings in Seattle, Atlanta and New York City.
Senait is a recent graduate of the MA in International Education program from New York University and holds a BA in Business Administration, Marketing and a Certificate of International Studies in Business from the University of Washington.


Meet Mya Peters

Mya Peters

Mya Peters is a recent graduate of Trinity College-Hartford, where she received her BS in Psychology. Mya joined Diversity Abroad as the Midwest Campus Engagement Representative. During the 2018 Diversity Abroad Passport Tour, Mya will continue her personal commitment of advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion for underrepresented young professionals seeking global educational and professional opportunities.
Mya knows from experience how powerful and transformative global education can be on a person’s life. As an undergraduate, Mya had the opportunity to study abroad in Argentina, Uruguay, India, South Africa, and Brazil. During her time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she worked at L.I.F.E. Argentina as the Program Director’s Assistant, where she exercised initiatives to enhance the accessibility to education for underrepresented youth living in poverty. She further built upon her interest in serving underrepresented groups through her comparative research project hosted by the School for International Training. Her research focused on Health and Community: Globalization, Culture and Care across a diverse range of communities in India, South Africa, and Brazil. After acknowledging her privilege to have had such eye-opening global experiences, Mya developed a passion for increasing diversity within the realm of international education. She vowed to support diverse students through the process of applying to global opportunities, being abroad and re-entering into their home lives with their new set of knowledge and skills! 

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Diversity & Inclusion Among International Educators | Diversity Abroad Working Group

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 13, 2018
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2018

Diversity Abroad is delighted to introduce members of the State of Diversity & Inclusion Among International Educators Working Group. The results from the Diversity & Inclusion Among International Educators survey, conducted by Diversity Abroad in spring 2018, present an opportunity to examine how the practices, policies, and culture of international education offices support the recruitment, retention, and success of diverse professionals in the field. This group of global education colleagues -- with experience in conducting research on inclusive hiring practices, recruiting staff/faculty from diverse backgrounds, and/or advocating to promote a culture of belonging for professionals from marginalized communities within Higher Education -- will collaborate over the coming months to develop resources & thought leadership to support inclusive recruitment, hiring, and retention practices in International Education. 


Working Group Members

Lauren CollinsLauren Collins
University of Denver

Lauren Collins is a PhD candidate in the higher education program at the University of Denver. Her research looks at community experiences of study abroad programs, academic capitalism's relationship to international education, and critical global citizenship education. A trained educator, she leads immersive field education programs in China for Where There Be Dragons and teaches Global Citizenship at the University of Denver.  She also works as a Community Engaged Fellow for the University of Denver Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, as well as runs the campus food pantry.


Andrew Gordon
Diversity Abroad

Andrew Gordon is a social entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of Diversity Abroad.  With a passion for student success and international education Andrew founded Diversity Abroad in 2006 with a simple vision, that the next generation of young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds have the confidence, experience, and skills necessary for success in the 21st century global marketplace.
As the chief national advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion within international education, Andrew speaks and writes extensively on such topics. He has consulted colleges & universities, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and government agencies on developing strategies for connecting ethnic and racial diverse, first generation and low income students to global learning opportunities. 
A native of San Diego, Andrew is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and proficient in French. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and has studied, worked and traveled throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.


Alisha StantonAlisha Stanton, Ed.D
University of Denver

Alisha Stanton is a graduate from the University of Denver – Morgridge College of Education doctoral program, where she also completed a Masters in Higher Education. She entered the field of education after spending many years in broadcast sports and music entertainment. Following the completion of an internship in Lancaster England, and traveling throughout Latin America and Europe with secondary students, she developed a passion for global and international education.  Her current research initiatives focus on creating global experience opportunities for students of all economic and cultural backgrounds, and the inclusion of global and international understanding in graduate education preparation programs - specifically in colleges of education. As part of the inaugural administrative staff of the Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello (DCISM), a Denver Public School, she provided opportunities to promote global and cultural learning, and positive youth development beyond what is offered during the traditional school day. Her prior work with non-profit organizations such as The Bridge Project and Colorado Challenge Foundation - whose missions are to improve education opportunities and quality to a diverse range of students - created an opportunity to develop a cultural enrichment programing which focused on promoting global awareness among secondary students in Denver Housing Communities.  Her current research is inspired by the lack of diversity in fields of global and international discourse, and the need to increase access to global knowledge.


Angela MillerAngela Miller, PhD
University of Florida

Dr. Angela Miller is the Liaison for Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Florida.  She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, her Master's Degree from George Washington University, and her undergraduate degree from Edinboro University.
Dr. Miller served as the Director of Study Abroad Services at the University of Florida, and the Assistant Director of Education Abroad, Coordinator of Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs, Study Abroad Advisor, and Assistant to the Vice-Provost for International Initiatives at Northern Arizona University.  She also served as the Coordinator for the Global Learning Initiative to implement global learning in the curriculum. 
Throughout her career in International Education, Dr. Miller has presented at numerous conferences on diversity in Study Abroad and Risk Management. She also served as the NAFSA State Representative for Region II, and Field Advocate for Arizona International Educators. Dr. Miller has coordinated multiple Faculty-led programs and co-led an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty to India.


Asabe PolomaAsabe Poloma, PhD
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program

As Assistant Dean for International Students & Associate Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program, Dean Poloma is responsible for advising and providing academic support for international undergraduates; in that capacity, she serves as the main academic support dean for the international undergraduate community and is the liaison for the Dean of the College to the Office of Global Engagement. Dean Poloma also serves as Associate Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program to coordinate a pipeline program with the goal of increasing the number of students from historically underrepresented groups who pursue careers in the professoriate.

Dean Poloma received her Ph.D. in Higher Education, with an emphasis on international and comparative higher education, from the University of Massachusetts Boston; she earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Hampton University, a Master’s degree in International Relations with a concentration in International Political Economy at Old Dominion University, and a Master’s degree in Management at Columbia University.

Prior to coming to Brown, Dean Poloma served as Executive Director of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), a selective national pipeline program with the goal of increasing the number of historically underrepresented groups who pursue careers in elementary and secondary schools and the professoriate. She also served on the program staff at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where she supported grant management, program development, and the fellowship selection processes of the Foundation. Asabe has taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the United States National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College. In addition, she has worked at the Hampton Roads Refugee and Immigration Services. As an administrator, advisor, and scholar, Dean Poloma has a passion for understanding and advocating for issues related to access and equity in education, global engagement, and the public good.

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