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2022 Forum Council Candidates Announced

The Nominations Committee of The Forum Council is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the open positions in this year’s election:

    • Joy Phaphouvaninh, Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, Illinois International, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    • Emelee Volden, Director, Office of International Education, University of Denver
    • Adam Rubin, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Education Abroad, University at Buffalo
    • Elena Corbett, Director, Education Abroad, Amideast
    • Lou Berends, Vice President of Academic Affairs, CEA Study Abroad
    • Jennifer Engel, VP of Academic Affairs & Experiential Learning, Center for International Studie, CIS Abroad
    • Maureen Gordon, Director, Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses, Temple University
    • Stephanie Tilley, Program Coordinator, Prairie View A&M University

Institutional Representatives from Forum member institutions and organizations will receive an email with voting information on Tuesday, April 26 (please check your spam/junk folders!). If you are an Institutional Representative and you do not receive the email ballot, please contact us at info@forumea.org.

The deadline to vote in this year’s Forum Council election is 5 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2022.


Click here to learn more about Joy Phaphouvaninh

Joy Phaphouvaninh, Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, Illinois International, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

I am seeking re-election to serve a final term on the Forum Council. I have been a Forum Council member since 2019; I was chair of the 2022 Annual Conference and have also served alongside leaders of the Forum staff and Board to contribute to the strategic planning process.

Professionally, I have worked in international education since 2007, with over six years at the City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban public university in the United States. In that role, I focused on policy and procedures including management of a scholarship that supported students with high financial need, many of whom are traditionally underrepresented in education abroad. I am currently director of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where our emphasis is academically aligned programming as well as access to students with disabilities through our Enabled Abroad scholarship, which we partner on with our campus Disabilities Resources and Educational Services unit.

As the field resumes programming around the world, I am committed to ensuring that the perspectives of colleagues outside the U.S. are heard. Additionally, I seek to continue to participate in the deep inquiry of inclusion and equity as we continue to interrogate systemic patterns and make changes to our field.

It is critical for global educators to have the tools of standards, guidelines, and professional development opportunities to empower us in service of our students. It would be my privilege to continue my service on the Forum Council to support these efforts. Thank you!

Click here to learn more about Emelee Volden

Emelee Volden, Director, Office of International Education, University of Denver

I have worked in international education since 2007 and I have held leadership roles as a senior international officer, in international enrollment management and education abroad. My tenure has spanned urban R1 university, rural community college, regional state and, currently, a leading private R1 as the Director for International Education at the University of Denver.

Throughout my career, I have been involved with many professional organizations, and have been engaged with Forum as a member and a practitioner of their best practices. If elected, I would be honored to engage deeply with the Forum and contribute to the advancement of our field and the exceptional work of the Council.

As we look to the future of education abroad, we must be able to adapt to current and future challenges. As such, it is crucial to recognize the field within the larger comprehensive internationalization framework. I would bring this experience to the Council having led internationalization strategic planning efforts and subsequent working committees at two different institutions.

While the University of Denver has consistently sent more than 70% of our undergraduate students abroad annually, we work diligently to increase access and inclusion through quality programming for the remaining 30% of students. As a first-generation college student from rural South Dakota, it is of crucial importance for me to translate the value and outcomes of education abroad and global learning to our students who do not imagine themselves participating in study abroad.

Throughout my diverse management roles, I have turned to the Forum for best hiring practices, staff support and development. My professional successes have been in partnership with the teams I have been part of and have led. Team building and integrity are priorities in my leadership, and I would bring these values to the Council if selected. I will also contribute strategic visioning, diverse knowledge, and demonstrated thought leadership in my role in the Council with dedication, enthusiasm, and motivation. I would be truly honored to be selected for the Forum Council and thank you for your consideration.

Click here to learn more about Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Education Abroad, University at Buffalo

I currently serve as Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Education Abroad at The University at Buffalo. As a passionate and collaborative education abroad leader for over 25 years, I am eager to contribute to The Forum on Education Abroad in new ways during this time of great transformation and challenge. The Forum continues to lead our field through its advocacy, thought leadership, partnership development, programs, and training services. I have been actively engaged with the Forum from its earliest days as a committee member and regular conference presenter and attendee. I have served on the Forum Standards Committee, Incident Database Committee, Annual Conference Committee, Curriculum Award Selection Committee, and as a founding member of the committee that developed and launched the Forum Annual Institute on Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management. As a member of the Forum Council, I believe that my extensive background in global program development and evaluation, risk management, program management, partnership development, enrollment management, and intercultural communication would allow me to help the Forum expand and strengthen its domestic and international partnerships, provide additional expertise to the field in various areas, and, perhaps most importantly, reimagine its leadership role and develop new opportunities within our field. Having served with a diverse range of organizations and institutions throughout my career, I understand many of the challenges facing public and private colleges and universities, education abroad organizations, service providers, and junior, mid-career, and senior education abroad professionals. I’m energized by opportunities that allow me to collaborate with a diverse range of people, help organizations and institutions successfully navigate the challenges impacting our field, and contribute to the development of programs, services, and processes that improve access to high quality global academic experiences.

Through my work in higher education student affairs, global program development and management, risk management, program assessment, staff training and development, partnership development, and enrollment management, I have helped to develop high quality and inclusive programs, services, and processes designed to improve and expand educational opportunities for students and professionals on six continents. My background includes roles at small liberal arts colleges, private non-profit education abroad organizations, public high schools, foreign universities, medium-sized private universities, and large public research universities. I bring over 10 years of classroom teaching experience at the high school and college levels and have also provided consulting services to domestic and international higher education institutions and non-profit education abroad organizations. In my roles with CIEE and Arcadia University, I collaborated with colleagues on specific diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and on the development of new programs and scholarships that helped make education abroad accessible to a broader range of students. I am actively continuing these efforts in my role at The University at Buffalo on a series of new UB and SUNY System-wide projects and initiatives.

I am eager to help The Forum advance its mission, increase education abroad engagement and advocacy, develop and nurture more sustainable and diverse partnerships, and continue its efforts to make its programs and services more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As a member of the Forum Council, I look forward to collaborating with colleagues on new ideas and initiatives to help our field successfully navigate current challenges, respond to the changing needs of Forum members, and provide new education abroad programs and services to faculty, staff, and students.

Click here to learn more about Elena Corbett

Elena Corbett, Director, Education Abroad, Amideast

Whatever spin we feel we need to promote education abroad, most importantly it offers another pathway on our life-long challenge to be better people. This is not to claim superiority over others, but to be better selves. Facing the myriad consequences of climate change, inequality, profitable misinformation, and unabashed fascism, doing our part—whatever that is—to be better selves and support everyone else on that journey feels painfully urgent. I first went abroad the summer after my second year of university because I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist. More than 25 years ago, that experience became instead the gateway to a personal and professional life trying to be a better self, dedicated to learning as much as I can about the “Middle East and North Africa” and working to be better at Arabic so that I could share it all—as an educator, mentor, colleague, friend—in hopes of affecting something good. That journey is always humbling. The MENA region, about which I learn more every day, is resilient, innovative, diverse, complex, and lives with conscience and joy. Rather than being a siloed part of education abroad that remains most invested in reproducing problematic paradigms and assumptions about the region, the MENA creates knowledge from which everyone needs to be open to learn. Everything we send young people to learn everywhere else in the world can and should be studied there. As the Director of Education Abroad at Amideast, I work for this every day.

Long before the traumas of 2020, The Forum was a space where the work happened to name and actionably challenge the forces and histories undergirding the inequities embedded across our field. For this reason, as with the need to find a community of practice after years being a full-time practitioner outside the U.S., I sought to become involved. I have been a reviewer for Frontiers, a member of the annual conference Program Committee, contributed to an updated Guidelines for language learning abroad, and have co-led a Critical Dialogue on Decolonizing Education Abroad. Using my positionality to advocate for holistically decolonized educational engagement with the MENA region as one part of the Global South means seeking equal action for traditionally excluded learners and host communities. Close to my heart are those whose labor is the work on the ground. Their voices are so often uninvited, and as bad as the pandemic has been for our field generally, the losses they have endured are incomparably catastrophic.

Being elected to the Council in 2019 to represent The Forum membership was thus a great honor and responsibility; serving most of that term during the pandemic, I have felt both more acutely. When The Forum invited me to represent the morbidly unpopular side of the refund debacle in their spring 2020 Responding to COVID-19 webinar series, I was terrified. But I had to do it. I knew I had the utmost support of The Forum, colleagues on the Council, and fellow panelists. It was safe and empowering. This is what The Forum cultivates, and why I seek a final term on the Council.

Council work is rewarding, and through activities both specific to the Council and the working groups composed of large numbers of volunteers from among The Forum’s diverse membership, I have been introduced to gifted colleagues from around the world and given opportunities to engage with them in impactful work. As a member of the International Inclusion working group, we explored opportunities in different countries to build capacity to host students from other countries and set about creating an FAQ on how The Forum’s resources and professional development opportunities are helpful to international colleagues. The Latin America working group and the inclusion of Africa and the Middle East to the former European Conference demonstrate how such initiatives can affect lasting change. In the working group dedicated to Learning from HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs and Community Colleges, we worked to compile and share best practices used by these institutions to engage, recruit, and serve their learners. This group followed upon the work of previous groups focused on the successes and needs of these institutions, and shows that the deliverables of each working group consistently inform ongoing and larger initiatives critical to the field. I currently serve on the Member Engagement working group, which is developing a number of initiatives to better understand and serve the vast scope of needs and interests among the institutions and organizations comprising The Forum membership. I have previously served on the Council Nominations Committee.

Click here to learn more about Lou Berends

Lou Berends, Vice President of Academic Affairs, CEA Study Abroad

I am incredibly interested in earning a role on the Forum Council. I am deeply committed to the field of education

abroad and believe that the Forum on Education Abroad is the premier organization in the United States for professionalizing this sector. With over 20 years of experience working in education abroad, I bring both the provider and college/university professional experience when approaching global learning topics. I continue to be an advocate for increased access and support for historically under-represented students in education abroad, and would be honored to continue this work as part of the Forum Council. My own identities include being a first-generation college student and coming from a low-income family background. Additionally, I have worked for several different U.S. colleges and universities that represent varying institutional types and internationalization priorities. I bring significant experience working for – and with – partners and providers of education abroad, and currently serve as Vice President of Academic Affairs at CEA Study Abroad. Bringing this diverse experience working in both the provider and university-proper landscape of education abroad will allow me to contribute a unique perspective to the Forum Council.

I currently serve as Chair of the Forum’s Research Advisory Committee, and truly believe the ongoing work of this group of is critically important. The work of this Committee and so many others reveal the importance of research to innovate and push the field of education abroad forward. I am excited at the prospect of serving Forum members, and the field as a whole, with the tools and resources needed in order to maximize education abroad outcomes as a solution to the many challenges currently facing higher education in the United States and abroad. U.S. higher education administrators working in the spaces of global learning and education abroad are continually asked to showcase the positive outcomes and benefits of these high-impact educational practices. One of my goals is to help lead efforts in creating additional resources around research and assessment that can validate and elevate the work of education abroad professionals.

I am a life-long learner and hold a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education, and I am always open and curious to other perspectives in order to learn from colleagues. Most recently, I earned a certificate from the University of South Florida on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace” that has allowed me to continue to advocate and support numerous diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. I feel very fortunate to work in a career and field focused on intercultural learning that cultivates a better understanding of the “other”. I am continuously humbled by the amazing work of our colleagues working in education abroad in the U.S. and around the world, and I pledge to continue to champion for the transformative power that global learning can have on our students and the many communities in which we engage.

Click here to learn more about Jennifer Engel

Jennifer Engel, VP of Academic Affairs & Experiential Learning, Center for International Studies, CIS Abroad

Currently, I am the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Experiential Learning at CIS Abroad. Previously, I served as the Executive Director of International Programs at Loyola University Chicago and as Executive Director for Global Learning at the University of South Carolina.  Collectively, my experience spans: partnership cultivation; program and policy development; risk management; strategic planning; student advising and programming; and campus internationalization.  I am motivated to serve as a Council member by a desire to help the Forum remain current with international (and higher) education trends; to represent the needs of the membership at a pivotal time; and to support the organization in advancing initiatives that align with its mission.

As a Council member, I would contribute my experience as a strategic, collaborative, results-oriented leader.  I have been involved with The Forum, as well as AIEA and NAFSA, holding leadership positions, serving on committees, mentoring new professionals, and presenting nationally and internationally.  I would bring to this role an understanding of how professional associations in our field function and how they can effectively serve their constituents in various ways.  I would be particularly positioned to contribute to the following Forum project areas:

  • Engagement and partnership development outside the U.S.
  • Developing and implementing organizational strategy
  • Training, management, and professional development
  • Student success and career readiness through global learning
  • Campus internationalization

I am eager to work with new ideas generated by membership, in light of trends both within international education as well as higher education and industry more broadly. This includes, for example, continuing to explore how we infuse the UN Sustainable Development Goals into our work; maximize virtual and hybrid global learning; and move the needle on expanding access and support to diverse groups of students as the field adapts to constant change.  Ensuring that education abroad, as a key element of campus internationalization, maintains relevance among the competing priorities of campuses and colleagues is especially imperative at this point in time.

The professional experience and personal background that I bring to the role would contribute to both diversifying the Council as well as enhancing the work we do to support diverse groups of students, faculty, and colleagues.  As a first-generation college student, and the first in my family to go abroad, my first position in the field was as the Director of Study Abroad at Marygrove College in Detroit.  At Marygrove, the average incoming first-year student was female, non-traditional age, African-American, and Pell grant eligible.  It was my experience working with these students that would serve as the catalyst for my work in diversity and access within education abroad – a focus that has continued in my roles since then.  I currently represent a U.S. based education abroad program provider, which affords me the opportunity to work with a range of U.S. colleges and universities and stay current with the variety of challenges and opportunities they each face.  I would also bring to the Council role 20 years of experience working in international offices in a variety of campus contexts, including public and private, and small liberal arts to large, public research 1 institutions.

Click here to learn more about Maureen Gordon

Maureen Gordon, Director, Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses, Temple University

I currently serve as the director of Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses at Temple University, a large, diverse, urban, state-related research institution whose global footprint includes campuses in Rome and Tokyo, as well as exchange partners and faculty-led programs worldwide. In this role, I provide strategic leadership and oversight to a team of education abroad professionals who manage dedicated to innovation in the field. My career in education abroad spans nearly twenty years, including several years at Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies, where I worked closely with Resident Directors and on-site staff to implement a consistent and effective incident response and student support strategy. I have extensive experience in program management, communication strategy, crisis response, and organizational leadership, and I am committed to inclusive, student-centered approaches to transformative global learning experiences.

I have been a committed member of the Forum on Education Abroad for many years. In 2018, I co-chaired the committee for the 9th Annual Standards of Good Practice Institute, and I also contributed to the Forum’s Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19. I am interested in serving on the Forum Council for the opportunity to give back and to contribute to advancing the mission of the Forum as the field continues to meet this moment of reevaluation and pandemic-recovery. There has never been a more critical need in our world for the global understanding and problem-solvers transformed through education abroad. I believe my years of experience working at and collaborating with multiple institutions would lend well to serving the Forum’s membership community, and I would be honored to be elected to the Council.

Click here to learn more about Stephanie Tilley

Stephanie Tilley Program Coordinator, Prairie View A&M University

Stephanie Tilley is a culturally responsive scholar who is dedicated to the growth and development of education abroad; her professional and education background is rooted in critical thought, cultural appreciation and human connection. As a result of having dual membership within two historically oppressed, but sacred and revolutionary social identities, blackness and womanhood, she understands the importance of education abroad systems and curriculum affirming all parts of students’ identity as it allows them to stand in their agency. Stephanie is excited to work with the Forum and supporting initiatives that advance intersectional development and equity for diverse communities in education abroad. As a proud scholar and educator of a Historically Black University and College (Prairie View A & M University), a Hispanic Serving Institution (Texas State University), and a small, private liberal arts university (Loyola University- New Orleans) who has worked at a community college and overseas in various capacities, she possess a broad and deep understanding of various higher education contexts pertaining to inclusion and globalization efforts.