16th Annual Conference
Education Abroad at a Crossroads: Actions for a Sustainable Future
April 21-23, 2020

Education Abroad has the potential to make a transformative impact on a student’s personal, academic, cultural, and professional trajectory. However, education abroad impacts much more than the participants: home and host communities and institutions, local economies, partners, faculty and program leaders, and the environment all feel the effects of our growing global industry.

We gathered as a field to consider the viability of education abroad and the sustainability of our actions as humans on the planet. How do we ensure that we are honoring the communities in which we are operating over time? How do we value reciprocity and build sustainable and mutually-beneficial relationships? How do we sustain the deep and emotional impact of the experience on students in order to enact positive change on their home campuses and communities?

The generation that is preparing to study abroad will one day be called upon to solve the global problems of the 21st century, and their international experiences have the power to prepare them for the challenges ahead. The 16th Annual Conference came at a critical time to discuss education abroad as a conduit for change.

Critical Dialogues:

Group of people participating in a Critical Dialogue at The Forum's 15th Annual Confernece

Sponsor: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Facilitators: Jay Antle (Johnson County Community College); Lindsey Lyons (Dickinson College); Lucy Spelman (Rhode Island School of Design)
Education abroad professionals strive to increase the number of students who participate in safe, high quality experiences abroad. What does this mean for our impact on the planet? What environmental considerations should we have in place when choosing program partners or designing our own faculty-led programs? What can we do to equip students with the knowledge needed to make good programmatic choices, to understand the power of their actions, and to ignite a lifelong interest in protecting the places that impact them and which they impact? The Forum thanks thefor sponsoring this Critical Dialogue.

Sponsor: University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center 
Facilitators: Kris Holloway (CISabroad); Latanya Mapp Frett (Global Fund for Women); Christiane Magnido (SIT Cameroon); Sarah Roma (SIT Graduate Institute)
U.S. Higher Education today is framed by sustained attention to misogyny, sexual harassment and survivors of sexual violence. As a result, college-aged women (and men) in the U.S. are encouraged and increasingly empowered to speak up about these issues when they encounter them on campus or in the workplace. What happens when these same students encounter cultural norms and traditions abroad that clash with their expectations and values, and seem to promote gender inequality? How do we as educators prepare students to interpret and respond to gender inequality in their host community, as well as a plethora of other issues facing women around the world, including racism, educational and economic inequality, restrictions on reproductive freedom, and the impact of climate change?

Opening Plenary Speaker: Latanya Mapp Frett

The Opening Plenary was delivered by Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women.

Interconnected, Intergenerational, and Intersectional: The New Voices in Social Justice

We’ve seen the power of movements firsthand in the past few years: #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, #NiUnaMenos and the climate strikes have shown that moments of outrage across the globe are fueling calls for social justice and collective action. The leading voices in these movements are largely interconnected, intergenerational, and intersectional. Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, explored the link between rising movements for women’s rights and sustainable development, detailing what emerging social justice trends mean for educators and students alike.

Currently the President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, Ms. Frett was previously the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field.

Ms. Frett worked for eight years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and for 10 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Frett served as a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and continues to fight for the human rights of women.

An attorney by training, she began her career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Washington, DC. She has received many honors and awards, including two Esteemed Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. government and the highest honor in civil service, the Superior Honor Award, from the U.S. State Department. Ms. Frett was one of 30 Foreign Service Officers honored with the Colin Powell Fellowship by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Ms. Frett currently serves on the Board of Directors at Oxfam America and CHANGE, and is an Adjunct Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Ms. Frett is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and author of four U.N. human rights reports and manuals. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Alum of ICAP. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a bachelor of arts in government and politics, a master’s in public policy, and a JD from the University of Maryland.


The following sessions were offered during the 16th Annual Conference. If you were unable to attend the conference, you can access some of the sessions through online packages that The Forum has made available. In addition to the topical focus, each package includes a selection of sessions related to The Forum’s resources, programs, and publications. Learn more»

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 | 9-10:15 A.M.

A Campus-Wide Approach to Developing Intercultural Consciousness
Lisa Byrne Miller (Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth); John Tansey (The Guarini Institute, Dartmouth College); Milton J. Bennett (Intercultural Development Research Institute)

Changing the Climate of and through Study Abroad: On the Environmental Impacts of High Impact Learning
Jennifer E. Coffman (James Madison University); John Bodinger de Uriarte (Susquehanna University); Michael di Giovine (West Chester University); Paul Sylvester (West Chester University)

Anna Welton (Warren Wilson College); Rich Kurtzman (Barcelona Study Abroad Experience); Scott Tayloe (International Education Programs [IEP])

The New Standards for Education Abroad: Introduction and Recommendations for Use
Natalie A. Mello (The Forum on Education Abroad); Emily Gorlewski (Wesleyan University); David Wick (Middlebury Institute of International Studies)

The Pathway to Inclusive Leadership – Seven Global Skills Gained through International Internship Programs
Sabrina Starke (Absolute Internship); Shannon Williams (Boston College)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #1
Ben Chamberlain (University of South Florida); Julie Friend (Northwestern University); Vanessa Sterling (CET Academic Programs)

Sustainable Advising Practices: Using the Guidelines for Education Abroad Advising to Strengthen Partnerships and Improve Advising
Chrissie Faupel (University of South Carolina); Veelie Alba (CISabroad); Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad)

Utilizing Diversity Abroad’s AIDE Roadmap to Advance Inclusion Efforts
Kelly Brannan Trail (University of Dayton); Holly Hudson (Texas A&M University); Arielle Gousse (Diversity Abroad)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 | 10:45 A.M.-12 P.M.

Beyond the Brand: Marketing Diverse Destinations for a Sustainable Future
Jill Reister (University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center); Zachary Tobin (ISEP); Andrea Wiley (Babson College); Micaela Mathre (Via TRM)

Community Connections: Newcomers

Education Abroad Policy Crossroads: How to Advocate for Education Abroad with Congress and on Campus
Mark Farmer (NAFSA: Association of International Educators); Melissa Torres (Forum on Education Abroad); Heather Ward (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad presents…
Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad); Elizabeth Niehaus (University of Nebraska – Lincoln); Tiffany Lachelle Smith (University of Minnesota/Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad); Christopher Johnstone (University of Minnesota)

Integrating Behavioral Health Into Your Institution’s Duty of Care and Risk Management Strategy
William Siegart (On Call International); Jill Sanchez (Empathia Inc.); Daniel Kampsen (Lafayette College)

Language Learning at a Crossroads: How to Reconcile Gendered Languages with the Continuum of Gender
Janet F. Alperstein (New York University); Maria Datel (Boston University); Gabriella Etmektsoglou (New York University); Jessica Menz (New York University)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #2
Patrick Morgan (University of Michigan); Stephen Robinson (Champlain College – Dublin Campus)

Studying Abroad in the Anthropocene: Integrating Environmental Sustainability into Short-Term Faculty-Led Courses
Gundolf Graml (Agnes Scott College); Susan A. Kidd (Agnes Scott College); Margaret Mullins (University System of Georgia)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 | 1-2:15 P.M.

Acknowledging the Elephant in the Room: Engaging Religion in Education Abroad
Meg Ramey (Tutku Educational Travel); Suzanne Fils Aime (International Studies Abroad); Bo White (Baylor University)

Are Your Students Career Ready? Integrating Competencies into Education Abroad
Kelly M. Holland (Global Experiences); Casey Miller (Towson University); Jacklyn Fisher (Towson University)

Community Connections: Community Colleges

Conversation with the Globalsl Network: Identity, Belonging, and Education Abroad
Eric Hartman (Haverford College); Bibi Al-Ebrahim (Amizade); Sabea Evans (Lagim Tehi Tuma); Lily López-McGee (Howard University); Nicole Messmore (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis); Caitlin Ferrarini (University of Massachusetts Boston); Nora Pillard Reynolds (Haverford College); Dawn Whitehead (AAC&U); David Wick (Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey); Tasha Willis (California State University, Los Angeles); Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad)

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Legacy: Sustaining the Impact
Keshia N. Abraham (CIEE); Vareva Harris (Benedict College); Elizabeth Terry (CIEE London Global Institute); Lara Dunwell (CIEE Cape Town)

Moira Rogers (Child Family Health International); Kelly Brannan Trail (University of Dayton); Opal Leeman Bartzis (Michigan State University)

Navigating the Intersection of U.S. and Foreign Laws Abroad
William Hoye (IES Abroad); Gian Franco Borio (Studio Legale Tributario Internazionale Borio); Lesley Melega (IES Abroad)

What’s Your Latest App? Why You Should Be a Technology Hub If You’re Not One Already
Margaret McCullers (IFSA); Brook Blahnik (University of Minnesota Twin Cities)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 | 2:45-4 P.M.

Community Connections: Professional Certification Participants

Embracing Commitments to Education Abroad and Carbon Neutrality: The Quest for Responsible Practice at Three Liberal Arts Colleges
Ken Foster (Concordia College); Shanti Freitas (Macalester College); Matthew Kaye (Central College); Jackie Maahs (Concordia College)

Emotional First Aid: Tips and Techniques to Assist Education Abroad Students
Laura Thompson (Regis University)

If You Build It, Will They Come? Creating Inclusive Programming and Engaging the Right Stakeholders
Erica Rideaux (DePaul University); Ochmaa Escue (Indiana University-Bloomington); Dominique Brown (DePaul University); Alma Sandoval (DePaul University)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #4: Virtual Exchanges and Summer 2020
Mary Lou Forward (SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning [COIL]);Kris Acheson-Clair (Purdue University, Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research [CILMAR])

Short-Term and Intercultural: Using Course Design to Foster Effective Learning on the Go
Petra Hejnova (Syracuse Abroad); Martha K. Diede (Syracuse University); Heather R. McDougall (Leadership exCHANGE); Elizabeth A. Balko (Oswego State University)

Student Showcase

Tackling Varsity Blues: Productive Engagement of Parents in Study Abroad
Kira Espiritu (University of San Diego); Paige Butler (Middlebury Institute of International Studies)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 | 4:15-5:15 P.M.

Open Forum on Mitigating Developing Risk
Natalie A. Mello (The Forum on Education Abroad); Rochelle Keesler (Lafayette College); Patrick Morgan (University of Michigan); Wendy Lou Pedersen (University of Southern California)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23 | 9-10:15 A.M.

Belonging vs. Fitting in Education Abroad: Articulating Expectations and Outcomes for Student Learning and Support
Hannah Sorila (SIT Study Abroad); Abe De La Rosa (The Forum on Education Abroad)

Community Connections: Resident Directors & On-Site Staff

Expanding Our Mission: Strategies to Serve Military-Connected Students in Education Abroad
Michele Arellano (University of Kansas); Katelin Christianer-Donkers (Kansas State University); Chrissie Faupel (University of South Carolina)

Lisa Chieffo (University of Delaware); Catherine Spaeth (Seminars International); Rich Kurtzman (Barcelona SAE)

Natalie A. Mello (The Forum on Education Abroad); Sarah E. Spencer (Global Leadership League); Heather Ward (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)

Orienting for Risk Management Awareness in an Era of Crisis Fatigue
Loren Ringer (The New School – Parsons Paris); Holly Carter (University of Evansville); Kerry Geffert (Terra Dotta)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #5: Refund Policies
Elena Corbett (AMIDEAST); Nick Gozik (Boston College); John Sunnygard (Western Kentucky University)

Revisiting Smooth and Striated Spaces: Reimagining Study Abroad Processes and Practice
Yeana W. Lam (UCEAP); Stacie R. Furia (UCEAP); Jessica Davis (University of Sydney); Lucía Conte (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Sarah Nelson (University of Sydney)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23 | 10:45 A.M.-12 P.M.

Alcohol and Sexual Risk Abroad: Implications for Intervention and Policy
Eric Pedersen (RAND); Dru Simmons (The Ohio State University)

Community Connections: MSIs, HBCUs, & TCUs

Diverse Student-Athletes Go Global: Sustaining Inclusive Excellence Through Short-Term Experiential Learning Programs
Mikaela Terry (Northern Arizona University [Education Abroad]); Melissa Pokorny (Northern Arizona University [Athletics]); John Gartin (Northern Arizona University [Faculty])

Global & Public Health Education Abroad: Essential Updates & Research Briefing
Moira Rogers (Child Family Health International); Caryl Waggett (Allegheny College); Tricia Todd (University of Minnesota)

Harnessing the Power of Information to Understand What Makes Education Abroad Unsafe
Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad); Natalie A. Mello (The Forum on Education Abroad)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #6: Academic Continuity

Sustaining the Impact of Education Abroad Through Alumni Programming
Jackie Sheridan (Vanderbilt University); Angela Branigan (University of Texas at Austin); Sandra Cortez (City University of New York, Lehman College); Debbi-Ann Francis (Gilman International Scholarship Program); Theresa Gagnon (U.S. Department of State)

A Team Effort: Building and Sustaining a Culture of Inclusion
Margaret McCullers (IFSA); James Lucas (Michigan State University); Jessica Francis (Wake Forest University); Sandra Rodriguez Pareja (IFSA Spain)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23 | 1-2:15 P.M.

Community Connections: Graduate Students

Creating Faculty Champions: An Education Abroad Certification Series
Jessica Jones (CISabroad); Magdalena Grudzinski-Hall (The University of South Carolina); Jim Mensch (The University of South Carolina)

The Education Abroad Gender Gap: Are We Complicit in Sustaining It?
Kerry Geffert (Terra Dotta); David Black (University of Toledo)

Global Service-Learning Online Course Development: Sustainable Models and Approaches for Study Abroad Practitioners and Faculty
Rebecca Richey (International Studies Abroad); Lisa Parker (University of Tennessee – Knoxville)

High Impact Learning Experiences during a Sustainable Building Program in Costa Rica
Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez (Colorado State University); Mehmet Ozbek (Colorado State University)

Internationalizing the Curriculum Through Integrative Learning Using Reflective Writing Models
Annalease Gibson (Albany State University); Nneka Nora Osakwe (Albany State University)

It Takes a Global Village: Collaborating Across Communities for Sustainable Inter-Professional Experiential Programs
David Crisci (Global Education Partners); Lisa  McAdam Donegan (Johnson & Wales University); Karen Noval (Universidad de Congreso)

Moving from Accommodations to Inclusive Design: Including Students with Disabilities in Education Abroad
Becca AbuRakia-Einhorn (Gallaudet University); Julie Henry (Gallaudet University)

What Effect Does Studying Abroad Have on Student Mental Health?
Timothy L. Elliott (Brigham Young University); Landes Holbrook (Brigham Young University); Ben Salazar (Brigham Young University); RD Boardman (Brigham Young University)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23 | 2:45-4 P.M.

Career Interrupted: Working Through the Impact of COVID-19
Melissa Torres (The Forum on Education Abroad); Camille Helkowski (Professional Counselor & Author; Loyola University Chicago Career Development Center [retired]); Martha Johnson (University of Minnesota); Libby Marshall (Steam Capital)

Community Connections: One-Person Offices

Community Connections: Risk Managers and Health & Safety Specialists

Don’t Pack a Pest for Academic Travelers: Minimizing the Spread of Invasive Species Through Travel and Fostering Environmental Sustainability
Samuel Chan (Sea Grant Extension at Oregon State University); Vanessa Walton (University of Minnesota Twin Cities); Ryan Dye (Miami University); Jared Franklin (US Customs and Border Protection)

Interning Abroad Through a Rainbow-Lens: Best Practices for LGBTQIA+ Students
Sabrina Starke (Absolute Internship); Drew Crawford (Texas A&M University)

It’s Never Too Early To Go Abroad: First-Year Programming for an Engaged Future
Sara M. Easler (University of Tennessee, Haslam College of Business); Mark E. Willoughby (University of Tennessee, Haslam College of Business); Jennifer Engel (CISabroad); Kimberly A. Cahill (Villanova School of Business)

Responding to COVID-19 Webinar #3: Taking Care of Our Students and Ourselves
Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad); Natalie A. Mello (The Forum on Education Abroad); David Wick (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey)

Virtual Exchange and Education Abroad: Synergies for Sustainability
Kris Acheson-Clair (Purdue University); Jennifer Wiley (James Madison University and CoreCollaborative International); Carine Ullom (Ottawa University and UNICollaboration)

Host Institutions

Drake University
The Education Abroad Network
Iowa State University
Missouri State University
Seminars International
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of Missouri, Kansas City

Sponsors & Exhibitors


Conference Committee

Elizabeth Strong, Missouri State University (Chair)
John Sunnygard, Western Kentucky University (Past Chair)
Jerry Barnaby, CCSA – Cooperative Center for Study Abroad
Paige Butler, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Katelin Christianer-Donkers, Kansas State University
Maritheresa Frain, IFSA
Chris Fuglestad, UT Health San Antonio
Kerry Geffert, Terra Dotta, LLC
Whitney Longnecker, Texas Tech University
Paul McVeigh, Northern Virginia Community College (retired), Forum Board of Directors
Maraina Montgomery, Howard University
Andria Morse, University of Wisconsin – Stout
Katherine Mulfaul, University College Dublin
Christopher Quinlan, Brigham Young University
Andrea Rizzotti, FLACSO
Katie Saur, DePaul University
Bianca Schonberg, University of Houston – Clear Lake
Patricio Varas Guerrero, Analogic Abroad
Kate Wozniak, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Basma Zeidan, American University of Beirut