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It is with great enthusiasm that GlobaLinks Learning Abroad starts off the 2013/2014 Academic Year with news of:

U.S. Institutional Relations Team Welcomes Daniel O’Brien as Director plus four new team members.

Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel O’Brien as director, U.S. institutional relations and development. In this role, O’Brien will develop strategy and lead the institutional relations team for the U.S. market. For nearly 10 years, Dan served as a Regional Director developing and implementing programs with university partners in several states. He is a former study abroad participant in Spain who is passionate about the power of education abroad and the global competencies it provides students.
Dan has a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Management from the School for International Training as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (Spanish 7-12) from State University of New York, College at Oneonta. He also studied for a semester at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain, and served as a group leader for the Experiment in International Living – Spain.
In addition, we enthusiastically welcome four additional new U.S. Institutional Relations team members, whose experience will serve to elevate our partner relations and programs.
Please join us in welcoming the following new staff:

Eike Gundersen
(Regional Director for Washington D.C, DE, NJ, PA, MD, WV, KY, and TN)

Eike graduated from Justus Liebig Universität Giessen in Germany with an MA in American studies (minors in Spanish and Economics), a program which included a semester abroad and a one year scholarship to study at the University of Texas at Austin. Eike met her husband, a US Foreign Service Officer, at the American Consulate General in Frankfurt where she worked as a Travel and Protocol Assistant. After several years of moving from one diplomatic post to another with her husband and three children, she launched her own career in International Education, first at the US-Norway Fulbright Foundation in Oslo and then as Program Officer and Regional Director for ISEP (International Student Exchange Programs) where she was responsible for all Northern and Central European programs. Eike’s more than 10 years of experience in promoting student mobility called for extensive travel in Europe, as well as North and Central America.

Michael Girsch
(Regional Director for AZ, NM, TX, MN, WI, and IL) 

Michael Girsch joined the GlobaLinks Learning Abroad team after nearly 7 years in the Study Abroad Office at Arizona State University (ASU). At ASU, Michael worked with exchange, partnership, and faculty directed programs in the UK, Ireland, Spain, and South America. Michael’s international education experience began as an undergraduate when he spent a semester studying in Wales at Swansea University. After the completion of his undergraduate degree in communications/electronic media at the University of Northern Iowa, Michael worked in the feature film business in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. However, his love for study abroad led him back to his alma mater to complete a Master’s in Post-Secondary Education: Student Affairs. During his graduate work, Michael completed an internship in Liverpool, England and attended a Spanish language institute in Cuzco, Peru.

Shun Yanagishita
(Regional Director for OR, WA, ID, AL, WY, MT, ND, SD, and some Canadian partners)

Shun Yanagishita is proud to have been raised within three cultures, originally from Osaka, Japan, Shun, has lived back and forth between the U.S. and Japan throughout her life. She has lived in Eugene, Oregon for the past 14 years and previous to GlobaLinks Learning Abroad , she worked at the University of Oregon (UO) in study abroad for close to 10 years. At the UO she worked with Asia and multi-regional programs. She received her undergraduate degree at the UO in International Studies & Anthropology and while working there received her Master’s in Public Administration. Most of her international experiences have been in Asia (Thailand, China, Nepal, India, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan) and New Zealand, but she has many more countries on her travel wish-list.

Lindsey Hery
(Regional Director for NY, OH, MI, and IN)

Originally from Massachusetts, Lindsey received her BA in International Relations and Spanish from Roanoke College and her MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Lindsey was an exchange student at the Universidad de Malaga in southern Spain and participated in an international volunteer experience on the Island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. Lindsey is involved in international education leadership with the professional organization NAFSA. She currently serves as Special Projects Chair for Region XI. Prior to joining GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, Lindsey served as Director of Study Abroad at a college in Massachusetts. Lindsey also currently serves as the Co-Chair for the 2014 New England Study Abroad Returnee Conference, a day designed for study abroad returnees.

Please help us congratulate Dan and his team on their new appointments with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad. You can reach Dan directly at 540-230-5800 or via e-mail at dobrien@globalinksabroad.org

Academic Advisors Honored for Encouragement and Innovation in Study Abroad

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad is recognizing two academic advisors with awards for their encouragement and innovation in helping students experience the five areas of discovery – academic, cultural, personal, professional, and social – through study abroad.
India Karavackas, Director of the Office of International Services for The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is the 2013 winner of the Advisor Encouragement Award; and Orlina Boteva, Study Abroad Advisor for the The University of Maine, is the 2013 winner of the Innovation in Education Abroad Award.

India Jacobs

India Karavackas

“Academic advisors are pivotal in a students’ decisions to study abroad, and India and Orlina have gone above and beyond what is expected when helping students access the benefits of international education experiences,” said Cynthia Banks, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad CEO and Executive Director. “We are thrilled to highlight their good work through these awards.” 
Karavackas received the Advisor Encouragement Award in part for stepping into a director-level study abroad role and immersing herself in the field of international education, while developing and improving current practices at Stockton. In the last year, she opened the university’s first study abroad resource room for students, oversaw the hiring of a key advisor who is making great strides for the Stockton study abroad program, and engaged student workers.
Orlina Boteva
Orlina Boteva
Boteva received the Innovation in Education Award in part for creating an option for education majors at her university to study abroad through a summer program. In conjunction with Pam Kimball, Field Experiences and Certification Program Director at the University, Boteva created a custom internship program in which students complete the first half of their student teaching in the United States and the second half in one of the GlobaLinks Learning Abroad internship locations. Through her ability to think outside the box, Boteva created a unique, integrated, international teaching experience available to all education majors at the University of Maine.
The Advisor Encouragement Award is given annually to a study abroad advisor who has been in the position for a year or less and demonstrates motivation to work in the field of international education, commitment to improving programming at his or her home university, dedication to students, and an overall eagerness to learn. The award provides a paid fee to a NAFSA conference.
The Advisor Innovation Award is given to an advisor who has been working for any number of years but who has, in the past year or two, invented something new with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad that is revolutionary, helps get underrepresented students abroad, and/or involves faculty or their campus in an innovative way. Recipients receive a paid fee to a NAFSA conference and a $300 scholarship for a student from their campus on any GlobaLinks Learning Abroad program this year.