be_ixf;ym_202009 d_25; ct_50
Get Involved

Alumni Councils

Alumni Association Leadership Council Members

  • Voyagers Council
  • Faculty and Staff Council
  • Parents Council
  • Lifelong Learners Council
  • Young Alumni Council
  • Chapter Representatives

Council Structure and Responsibilities

Each Alumni Association Council consists of 10 – 50 members.

Council members are expected to meet a minimum of three of the four requirements below:

  • Attend the AABOD annual meeting in January (required for new members);
  • Participate in at least three of the quarterly conference calls and other committee calls as needed;
  • Be an active member of the council by helping to reach the goals and priorities set forth by the council and ISE;
  • Contribute to the SAS Annual Fund.

Nomination Process

Council members are self-nominated and voted upon by the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Council members serve a two-year term starting in September with the option of serving additional two-year terms at the discretion of the council Co-Chairs, provided that the member is meeting all necessary requirements.

The following criteria will be applied for considering applicants:

  • A demonstrated commitment to serving the needs and interests of Semester at Sea alumni;
  • A demonstrated commitment to furthering the mission of Semester at Sea, through financial contributions, volunteer leadership and participation in Semester at Sea alumni events;
  • Evidence of leadership ability.

Selection Process

Alumni Association Council members shall be self-nominated, and must submit an application to be considered.

Alumni Association Council Co-chairs will determine how many candidates need to be added to their councils for the coming year, will review all applications and then forward their recommendations to the Alumni Association Board of Directors for a vote.

All Alumni Association Council nominees will be notified of the status of their application following the council quarter calls (March, June, September, November).

If you are applying for the Young Alumni Council, please read this first.

Alumni Association Leadership Application


Alumni Association Board of Directors

The principal purpose of the AABOD is to strengthen the bond between alumni and the Institute for Shipboard Education in supporting the mission of Semester at Sea. This includes support of increased enrollments, increased philanthropic giving, and increased engagement at alumni events. Semester at Sea alumni are considered anyone who has sailed on an academic credit granting “Semester” voyage as a student, lifelong learner, faculty, staff, or family member. Additionally, parents of alumni are special members of the Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors is made up of the Executive Committee (President, Vice President, Secretary and Past President) and the Co-Chairs of each Council.

  • Kyle Koelbel, President
  • Leigh Anne Gilbert, Vice President
  • Roane Akchurin, Secretary
  • Mandy Bratton, Immediate Past President
  • Liz Zavodsky, Past President
  • Patricia O’Neill, Faculty and Staff Council Co-Chair
  • Sarah Olson, Faculty and Staff Council Co-Chair
  • Elaine Church, Lifelong Learner Co-Chair
  • Barbara Garvey, Lifelong Learner Co-Chair
  • Jo-Ann Harris, Parents Council Co-Chair
  • Cathy Rodgers, Parents Council Co-Chair
  • Brooke Wojdynski, Voyagers Council Co-Chair
  • Jen Lewan, Voyagers Council Co-Chair
  • Madeline Rencher, Young Alumni Council Co-Chair
  • Liz Liweski, Young Alumni Council Co-Chair
  • Caryn Klein, Chapter Representatives Co-Chair
  • Jen Auerbach, Chapter Representatives Co-Chair

Faculty and Staff Council

Faculty/Staff Council

Parents Council

Meet the Parents Council Members

Voyagers Council

Lifelong Learner Council

Meet the Lifelong Learner Council Members

Young Alumni Council


Chapter Representatives

  • Dana Anderson (West/Central Florida)
  • Jennifer Auerbach (New York, NY)
  • Sue Camele (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Colleen Chapman (New York, NY)
  • Chris Chavez (Orange County, CA)
  • Deborah Clifford (Central Virginia)
  • Ana Da Cunha (Boston, MA)
  • Whitney Degerberg (Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C.)
  • Brian Durham (Charleston, SC)
  • McKinley Durham (Charleston, SC)
  • Libby Firer (Austin, TX)
  • Woody Freese (Boston, MA)
  • Sarah Freese (South Florida)
  • Ann-Marie Grannan (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Kendra Hartwell (Vancouver, BC)
  • Anne Herman (Portland, OR)
  • Autumn Hulke (Phoenix & Tempe, AZ)
  • Julie Hurst (Seattle, WA)
  • Kelly Kirchner (Boston, MA)
  • Caryn Klein (Atlanta, GA)
  • Sheryle Lengdorfer (Reno, NV)
  • Jennifer Madalena (South Florida)
  • Lian Mah (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Melissa Holland Mansika (Boulder, CO)
  • Bernie McCabe (Central Virginia)
  • Sara Le Meitour (Portland, OR)
  • Sarah Mihm (Midwest)
  • Melissa Moore (Charlotte, NC)
  • Katie Orlando (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Brittany Palmer (Austin, TX)
  • Ranak Patel (Baltimore, MD)
  • Natalia Peddycoart (San Diego, CA)
  • Mario Peraza (San Francisco, CA)
  • Michele Pino (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Thomas Scorcia (West/Central Florida)
  • Kayla Smith (Nashville, TN)
  • Juana Socorro-Aguirre (Baltimore, MD) 
  • Eshley Spitzer (Chicago, IL)
  • Laura Sturdivant (Washington, D.C.)
  • Kayla Thompson (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Philip Zhou (New York, NY)
  • Cindy Zomchek (Colorado Springs & Denver, CO)

Find Your ISE Regional Director