Staff List

Administration

Erika Wilkens, PhD

Erika Wilkens, PhD

Assistant Provost & Executive Director

As Executive Director, Erika oversees all aspects of the day-to-day operations of Syracuse Abroad, including academic programming, personnel, compliance, budget and real estate. Working with faculty, administrators, and other stakeholders and partners on campus and abroad, she works to further expand opportunities for students to pursue global study, research, and internships.

Prior to her role as Executive Director, in 2010 she was appointed the founding director of the University’s new study abroad center in Istanbul. She led operations at that center until 2017, when the center closed its doors due to political unrest in that region.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Erika served as an assistant professor at Okan University in Istanbul and as an instructor at Sabanci University, Istanbul, and New School University’s Graduate Program in International Affairs in New York City. She also has worked as a research consultant to the World Bank and as a visiting faculty member on a Soros Foundation Civic Education Project at Vilnius University in Lithuania. She has conducted international research in several countries including Canada, Belgium and India.

Erika earned a Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University; a master’s degree in international development from University of Calgary, Canada; a master’s degree in international relations from Lancaster University, United Kingdom; and a bachelor of commerce degree from University of Calgary.

Diane McKenney

Diane McKenney

Director, Administration

Diane has been with Syracuse Abroad since 2001. As Director of Administration, she assists with HR, legal, risk management, compliance, and other issues for Syracuse staff and for staff and faculty at our overseas centers. She also provides administrative support to the Associate Provost for International Education and Engagement.

Prior to her current position, Diane worked as an independent public relations consultant and event planner for various clients in the Syracuse area. She also worked in the public relations department at Crouse Hospital, and as Assistant to the VP of Public Relations at Crouse. Diane holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in PR from SUNY Geneseo.

Contact Diane:

Admissions & Programming

Center Programs

Tara Blomvall

Tara Blomvall

Director, Admissions

Tara serves as the Director of Admissions and Student Engagement for Syracuse Abroad.  In this role, she oversees the admission and predeparture process for all Syracuse Abroad Center programs, campus outreach initiatives across Syracuse University and the recruitment and the recruitment of non-Syracuse University students from our partner schools.  Tara has over 14 years of experience working in higher education, specifically in the areas of undergraduate admissions and recruitment, CRM implementation and design, and education abroad.

She obtained her MBA degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and her BBA degree in International Business and Human Resource Management from Temple University.  As an undergraduate student, she also had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain.

Contact Tara:

Mary Fedorko

Mary Fedorko

Assistant Director, Admissions

Mary Fedorko has worked in the field of international education for nearly 25 years, with a special emphasis on student advising, scholarship administration, program management, and cultural exchange. She most enjoys guiding students towards finding the best study abroad program to meet their academic, financial, and personal needs. Mary studied and lived in China for three years shortly after China opened its doors to U.S. students. She has a BA in English from Smith College, and an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Contact Mary:

Maria del Mar Aponte

Maria del Mar Aponte

Campus Outreach Manager

Maria del Mar Aponte Rodriguez is the Campus Outreach Manager for Syracuse Abroad and a current PhD student at Syracuse in the Cultural Foundations of Education program. In her position, Maria del Mar strives to create and implement a comprehensive strategy for engaging Syracuse University students in Syracuse Abroad programs and initiatives, with special attention devoted to currently underrepresented groups of students. She also serves as the point person for the planning and coordination of Syracuse Abroad special events and presentations, and they will oversee and engage a team of student global ambassadors. She is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and has over 8 years of experience as an international educator, specifically the areas of education abroad, international students, and ESL teaching. Her work has included student advising, Terra Dotta implementation, scholarship advising, underrepresented student outreach, program development, among others.

As an undergraduate, Maria del Mar studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt and studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo. She also completed her master’s degrees in International and Comparative Politics, and English as Second Language at Wright State University. Maria del Mar enjoys assisting students with learning about our programs and navigating the vast number of opportunities available to them. She also enjoys experiencing Upstate New York, trying new cuisines, and traveling.

Contact Maria del Mar

Theresa Barone

Theresa Barone

Front Desk Coordinator

Theresa joined the Syracuse Abroad team as Office Coordinator in 2018. She graduated Canisius College with a B.A. in Industrial Psychology. After completing her degree at Canisius she opened and operated her own retail store in Syracuse for 15 years. While running her business she obtained a Paralegal Certificate from Syracuse University.

She has had the opportunity to live in London with her husband and children and travel throughout Europe. Theresa can now share her passion for education abroad and travel with Syracuse University students.

Contact Theresa

Rick Cieri

Rick Cieri

International Program Advisor, Madrid

Rick Cieri is the International Program Advisor for Syracuse Abroad programs in Madrid. He is responsible for assisting students as they prepare for their semester abroad in Spain. Rick also serves as the campus representative for the U.S. State Department’s Gilman Scholarships.

A 2017 graduate of Syracuse University, Rick holds a BA summa cum laude in International Relations, Modern Foreign Languages, and Political Science. As an undergraduate, he attended Syracuse Abroad’s Strasbourg Center program and Madrid Summer Session. Rick also spent his senior year abroad as an NSEP Boren Scholar in São Paulo, Brazil through CET Brazil – a World Partner Program. Prior to joining the Syracuse Abroad team in June 2018, he served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Madrid, Spain.

Rick is currently pursuing master’s degrees in Public Administration and International Relations at SU’s Maxwell School. His studies center on the connection between U.S.-foreign relations and international education.

Contact Rick:

Courtney Eppel

Courtney Eppel

International Program Advisor, Central Europe & Santiago

As a member of the Syracuse Abroad Admissions team, Courtney serves as advisor for the Exploring Central Europe and Santiago programs, and as the Florence program’s visa coordinator. She is the main contact for student veterans interested in study abroad.

Courtney is an alumna of the SU Florence studio arts program. She holds a BFA in Painting, and an MA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University.

Contact Courtney:

Joelle Orecki

Joelle Orecki

International Program Advisor, London & Strasbourg

Joelle serves as the advisor for Syracuse Abroad’s Center programs in London, England and Strasbourg, France. As part of the Admissions Team, she works with students through every step of the abroad experience. As an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Joelle spent a semester abroad in France. Prior to joining Syracuse Abroad, Joelle held various education roles both in the U.S. and overseas. She is committed to international education and the experiential learning opportunities that study abroad exemplifies.

Contact Joelle:

Cullen Stubbs

Cullen Stubbs

International Program Advisor, Florence

As International Program Advisor for Florence and Discovery Florence and as a member of the Admissions Team, Cullen is the point of contact for all Florence-related questions. In his role, Cullen assists students throughout their Florence study abroad process. Born and raised in Syracuse, Cullen studied at Syracuse University where he received his B.A. in International Relations and History. While at Syracuse University and after, he studied abroad multiple times in China, and has traveled throughout Italy and Japan. Having these experiences, Cullen knows the important impact study abroad can have on personal and professional growth.

Contact Cullen

World Partner Programs

Cara Hardy

Cara Hardy

Assistant Director, World Partner Programs

At Syracuse Abroad, Cara manages the portfolio of World Partner programs and advises students who are interested in studying abroad in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Cara began her career in education abroad over 20 years ago at the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and has held roles in advising, institutional relations, and program development and management, including a stint abroad as the Assistant Resident Director of CIEE’s center in Barcelona. She has also taught Spanish language at Syracuse University and other colleges and worked as a grant writer for non-profit organizations.

Cara graduated with an AB in Spanish and Women’s Studies from Dartmouth College and holds an MA in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has spent time studying, working, volunteering, and living in Spain, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Program Portfolio:
Europe (Austria, Czech Rep., Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden)
Latin America & the Caribbean
Africa, India, & the Middle East

Contact Cara:

Deb Goddard

Deb Goddard

International Program Advisor, World Partner Programs

Deb has worked at Syracuse Abroad, originally called DIPA, for 20 years. She manages the other half of the World Partner Programs in locations including Australia, New Zealand, England and the Asian programs (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea). She also manages our incoming international exchange students every semester.

Deb enjoys their motorcycle rides and participates in riding events to raise money for different charities such as events for Golisono Children’s Hospital, Miracle Ride for Babies, Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund and support for our Law Enforcement. She especially enjoys spending time with her new grandbaby.

Program Portfolio:
Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand
Asia Programs (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea)
Incoming Exchange Students

Contact Deb:

 

Summer Programs

Marie Kulikowsky

Marie Kulikowsky

Assistant Director, Summer & Faculty-Led Programs

Originally from Paris, France, Marie first came to Syracuse University as an exchange student and spent her junior year here. She came back after graduation and received her Master’s Degree from Newhouse. She stayed in Syracuse after that, taught French at SU and joined Syracuse Abroad in 2013. As the Assistant Director of Summer Sessions and Faculty Led programs she oversees both Summer and Short Term programs. She works with faculty and overseas centers to create and run meaningful and high quality programs.

Contact Marie:

Myles Chalue

Myles Chalue

International Program Advisor, Summer & Faculty-Led Programs

Myles was born and raised in southern New Hampshire. He attended Syracuse University for both his undergraduate and graduate studies where he graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy and a minor in Educational Studies, and a Master of Science in Higher Postsecondary Education. As an undergraduate, he spent a summer abroad as part of our Madrid Summer Session program. He has spent time abroad during personal travel to countries such as Colombia and Argentina. Myles has been with Syracuse Abroad since the fall of 2017 as an International Program Advisor, where he has been able to advocate for the unique opportunities that summer and faculty-led programs can offer students. In his spare time, he has volunteered as a tutor with Syracuse RISE (Refugee & Immigrant Self Empowerment), while also finding time to pursue his love for both running and hiking.

Contact Myles:

Stephanie Ramin

Stephanie Ramin

International Program Advisor, Summer & Faculty-led Programs

Stephanie was born and raised in Minnesota. She attended Bethel University for her undergraduate studies where she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester abroad in Cyprus and participated in a faculty-led J-term program studying the history of Psychology in Europe. Upon graduating, she moved to Seoul, South Korea to teach English for a year and a half. Through these experiences, Stephanie became passionate about wanting to assist students going abroad, helping to bridge cultures and create meaningful intercultural connections. This led her to pursuing a Master’s degree in International Education Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. During her studies, she completed a practicum at the Syracuse Madrid center in Madrid, Spain. She now enjoys working as an advisor for Summer and Faculty-led programs at Syracuse Abroad.

Contact Stephanie

Student Services

Seth Tucker

Seth Tucker

Director, Global Safety & Student Services

Seth A. Tucker serves as the Director of Global Safety and Student Services at Syracuse University Abroad where he is responsible for developing policy and institutional practice in the areas of global safety, risk mitigation, and crisis management. He also provides leadership for the Student Services department and, with his team, works to ensure students have a safe and engaging experience abroad. With 25 years’ experience in both academic and student affairs administration, he has previously served as the Vice President for Campus Life and Safety at Onondaga Community College and as the Director of Crisis Management at Syracuse University. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Contact Seth:

Bridget Demorest

Bridget Demorest

Assistant Director, Student Services

Bridget has been with the Syracuse Abroad team since 2007 and primarily focuses on student wellness, health and safety. Bridget provides students with connections to resources while working closely with colleagues locally and abroad so that students can achieve their highest potential for success. With a background in college student counseling, Bridget values the life-changing caliber of a college experience combined with an international adventure. While each brings their own unique challenges and opportunities, this human services approach to student support abroad is most rewarding to her. Bridget has a BS in Family & Consumer Sciences from Mercyhurst University, and an MS in Counseling & Human Services from Syracuse University.

Contact Bridget:

Neil Savoy

Neil Savoy

Coordinator, Student Services & Inclusion

As a member of the Student Services team, Neil works with students whose unique circumstances may require additional preparation before going abroad. As a junior undergraduate student with Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, Neil studied abroad for back to back semesters in the Spanish cities of Oviedo and Madrid. His own transformational experiences in college drew him to working in higher education to make those experiences possible for future students.

Contact Neil:

Institutional Relations

Brock Price

Brock Price

Associate Director, Institutional Relations

Brock Price is the Associate Director of Institutional Relations. He is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has over 10 years of experience as an international educator, specifically the area of education abroad. His work has included student advising, health and safety management, faculty-led programming, marketing and branding campaign development, curriculum integration and course mapping, Terra Dotta implementation, and scholarship advising. As an undergraduate, Brock studied abroad in Costa Rica, The Netherlands, and India. He also completed his master’s degree in International Business Management in Lille, France. Brock enjoys assisting newcomers to the field, and helping them navigate and understand the nuances of education abroad. He also enjoys exploring Milwaukee by bike and planning trips with his wife and son.

Contact Brock:

Ray Wihak

Ray Wihak

Assistant Director, Institutional Relations

Ray Wihak is the Assistant Director for Institutional Relations. He has worked at Syracuse Abroad for over 30 years. Ray graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University and has traveled extensively throughout his career. He is fluent in Ukrainian and also has working knowledge of Italian, Spanish, Polish and Russian. Ray is an avid cruiser and goes on yearly cruises with his family. Someday, Ray hopes to retire in Southern California.

Contact Ray:

Ariana Sahinovic

Ariana Sahinovic

Institutional Relations Specialist

Ari is an alumna of Syracuse University and the Syracuse London Program having majored in International Relations and Communications. Since graduating, Ari’s work has related to university alumni engagement, in-person and virtual event coordination, and communications. Ari is a running enthusiast, professional Netflix binger, and aspiring baker.

Contact Ariana:

Academic Services

Petra Hejnova, PhD

Petra Hejnova, PhD

Director, Curriculum & Academic Services

As a Director of Curriculum, Petra Hejnova, PhD, oversees curriculum and academics for Syracuse University’s Centers abroad. She also holds a faculty appointment in the Political Science Department of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Dr. Hejnova previously served as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and an Executive Co-Director of the Gender Studies Center in Prague. As a faculty, she developed and taught courses in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Dr. Hejnova holds an MA in Public Policy from Charles University in Prague and a PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University.

Contact Petra

Jackie Lewis-Frenay

Jackie Lewis-Frenay

Assistant Director, Academic Services

Jackie has worked in international education at SU for more than 30 years and currently specializes in academic matters for our Central Europe, Florence, Hong Kong, and Strasbourg semester programs. An alum of the Syracuse London program and a Newhouse grad, Jackie couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the many and varied study abroad opportunities that Syracuse University offers students!

Contact Jackie:

Jeanne Chu

Jeanne Chu

Program Assistant

A Syracuse native and Newhouse graduate, Jeanne supports the Academic Services team as the Program Assistant. She specializes in academic matters for the Madrid and London semester programs. Jeanne loves helping students realize their for overseas study ambitions (and still hopes one day to bag her seventh continent, Antarctica).

Contact Jeanne:

Marisa Lostumbo

Marisa Lostumbo

Student Records Specialist

As the Student Records Specialist for Syracuse Abroad, Marisa primarily works to ensure the accuracy of academic and financial records for students studying abroad. She attended Ithaca College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a minor in Legal Studies. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, she began working for the University in 2011 and has been with Syracuse Abroad since 2014.

Contact Marisa:

Business Office

Shukhrat Aminov

Shukhrat Aminov

Director, Global Operations

The Director of Global Operations is new role at Syracuse Abroad, developed in response to our growing student numbers, changing expectations, and increased complexities in all of our locations. Reporting to the Executive Director, Shukhrat is responsible for overseeing all non-academic operational issues at Syracuse Abroad and our centers abroad. His scope therefore is supporting our centers in the areas of budget/finance, human resources, IT/data, legal, facilities, agreements, and other operational areas. Within Syracuse Abroad, Shukhrat is responsible for the direct supervisory responsibility for Assistant Director of the Business Office, Senior Budget Analyst, and Functional Business Analyst positions.

Shukhrat brings more than a decade of operations management experience to Syracuse Abroad, some of which was within international contexts. His qualifications include budget management, administration, strategy development and implementation, project management, and asset management. He has completed Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Prior to joining Syracuse Abroad, Shukhrat served as the Regional Chief Operating Officer for Western & Central New York region of the American Red Cross, where he was responsible for overseeing all administrative and business functions for a team that provided humanitarian services for a population of more than 4 million individuals. Some of Shukhrat’s past experiences include managing complex humanitarian aid operations in post-Tsunami Indonesia and supporting humanitarian efforts in post 9/11 Northern Afghanistan.

Contact Shukhrat

Nancy Hard

Nancy Hard

Assistant Director, Business Office

For over 20 years Nancy has worked with Syracuse Abroad staff and students. Primarily responsible for managing financial transactions, she partners with overseas business managers to ensure they are accurately recorded.

Contact Nancy:

Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

Administrative Specialist

As the Administrative Specialist within the Business Office of Syracuse Abroad, Miguel primarily manages budget accounts, financial records and reconciliations. Miguel’s most recent employment was with BNY Mellon where he worked as a Fund Accountant. Miguel holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Le Moyne College.

Contact Miguel:

Marisa Lostumbo

Marisa Lostumbo

Student Records Specialist

As the Student Records Specialist for Syracuse Abroad, Marisa primarily works to ensure the accuracy of academic and financial records for students studying abroad. She attended Ithaca College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a minor in Legal Studies. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, she began working for the University in 2011 and has been with Syracuse Abroad since 2014.

Contact Marisa:

Marketing & Communications

Ashley Alessandrini

Ashley Alessandrini

Communications Manager

Ashley serves as the liaison between Syracuse Abroad and the Division of Marketing & Communications and works to develop and deploy marketing strategies across Syracuse Abroad’s various teams and activities on and off campus. As an undergraduate, Ashley studied abroad in Rome, Italy and graduated from Salve Regina University.

Prior to joining Syracuse Abroad, Ashley held marketing roles at various organizations including CVS and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Currently, Ashley is working toward her M.S. in Communications at Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Contact Ashley:

Information Technology

Amy Sturgeon

Amy Sturgeon

Functional Business Analyst

Amy has been with Syracuse University for over 15 years and has been with Syracuse Abroad for 13 years. Amy’s primary responsibility is maintaining the Syracuse Abroad systems and managing technology and data needs for the organization.

Contact Amy: