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Get Involved

Alumni Councils

  • 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 Directions. 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. The application period is February 1 – May 15 for a September 1 start. The online application will be available soon.

Applications must be received by May 15 to be considered for the following academic year. 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 by July 1 at the latest. All Alumni Association Council nominees will be notified of the status of their application no later than July 15. Mid-year applicants must wait until the application period to submit their applications.

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
  • Marillee Carroll, 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)
  • Katy Bailey (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • 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)
  • Monica Fahnhorst (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Libby Firer (Austin, TX)
  • Woody Freese (Boston, MA)
  • Sarah Freese (South Florida)
  • Kendra Hartwell (Vancouver, BC)
  • Autumn Hulke (Phoenix & Tempe, AZ)
  • Julie Hurst (Seattle, WA)
  • Julie Kiefer (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Kelly Kirchner (West/Central Florida)
  • Caryn Klein (Atlanta, GA)
  • Sheryle Lengdorfer (Reno, NV)
  • Jennifer Madalena (South Florida)
  • Melissa Holland Mansika (Boulder, CO)
  • Sarah Mihm (Midwest)
  • Melissa Moore (Charlotte, NC)
  • Brittany Palmer (Austin, TX)
  • Ranak Patel (Baltimore, MD)
  • Natalia Peddycoart (San Diego, CA)
  • Michele Pino (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Kayla Smith (Nashville, TN)
  • Juana Socorro-Aguirre (Baltimore, MD) 
  • Eshley Spitzer (Chicago, IL)
  • Laura Sturdivant (Washington, D.C.)
  • Julie Tahapary (San Diego, CA)
  • Kayla Thompson (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Dauri Torres (Boston, MA)
  • Philip Zhou (New York, NY)
  • Cindy Zomchek (Colorado Springs & Denver, CO)

Find Your ISE Regional Director