Fall 2022 | European, African, and Asian Adventure

Faculty & Staff

Exploring countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, this voyage gives participants a truly impactful study abroad adventure on our floating college!

We are a diverse team of academic experts and professionals

Under the leadership of the executive dean, academic dean, and dean of student life, Semester at Sea faculty and staff are a team of innovative and stimulating educators who are passionate about international education and focused on developing a dynamic and compassionate shipboard community.

Voyage Administrative Team

Craig Chesson
Executive Dean
Craig Chesson
Executive Dean

Dr. Craig Chesson serves as the Associate Dean of Students at Colorado State University. Craig sailed on the Fall 2016 as Assistant Dean of Students voyage and is excited for another opportunity to be part of this life changing transformational experience.

He earned his BS in Hotel & Resort Management from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University.

Craig has 27 years of higher education experience primarily in administration. He works directly with campus crisis management and response initiatives, behavior intervention teams, and the Incident Bias Consultation Team. Craig is instrumental in bringing best practices to the university relating to emergency situations relating to students.

Kyle Oldham
Dean of Student Life
Kyle Oldham
Dean of Student Life

Kyle serves as Director of Workplace Inclusion and Talent Management for Housing & Dining Services at Colorado State University to create an inclusive learning and working environment for staff and students to find their voice, their inner passions and their ability to lead. Kyle has primarily served in residence life working with student leadership, diversity and inclusion, and on-campus housing. He also serves as an Assistant Professor in CSU’s Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) masters program teaching autoethnographic research methods and advising students. In addition, Kyle works with the Vice President for Diversity Office at CSU to provide training and facilitation to staff and faculty on topics of equity, diversity and inclusive excellence.

Bridget Collier
Assistant Executive Dean
Bridget Collier
Assistant Executive Dean

Bridget serves as the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs at the University of Chicago and oversees efforts related to the prevention and response to all forms of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct; accessibility initiatives and ADA/504 compliance; initiatives related to veterans and the military-affiliated community; and equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. She joined UChicago in May of 2015 as Dean of Students and Senior Director of Student Engagement at the Graham School, where she provided innovative and strategic leadership for a variety of programs in service to students. Bridget brings over twenty years of higher education administrative experience in program improvement, crisis response and student development, and holds a master’s in education and student affairs administration from Norther Arizona University and a doctorate in education and higher education administration from the University of Southern California.

Brittany Gaalema
Assistant Dean of Student Life
Brittany Gaalema
Assistant Dean of Student Life

Brittany (she/her) is staculty alumni of Semester at Sea (Resident Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Fall 2016) who is excited to return to the MV World Odyssey for a new adventure in the Fall of 2022!

Brittany was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. It was during this time that she was first exposed to Residential Life in her role as a Resident Assistant. After student-teaching in the United States and abroad in England, she realized her passion was working with university-level students. Brittany returned to Indiana University where she received her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs while serving as the Graduate Assistant of Leadership Development.

Noel Blanchet
Field Director
Noel Blanchet
Field Director

Noel Blanchet’s career has spanned over 14 years focusing on empowering people to grow their skills and create economic opportunity for themselves and their families. As a Senior Customer Success Manager with LinkedIn Learning, she works with higher ed institutions and corporations to meet their learning and development needs through upskilling their employees. In her three years at LinkedIn, she has also held multiple leadership roles for HOLA (Hispanics of LikedIn Alliance) where she has worked to help recruit and develop Latinx employees and create allyship within the company as a whole. Before this, she served as the Director of Program Strategy at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she helped build and run programs like the Service Corps and the Cultural Corps. These programs have provided thousands of CUNY students of all backgrounds with training, mentorship, and paid work experiences in non-profit and cultural organizations to introduce them and prepare them for careers in these industries.

Rebecca Villalpando
Academic Advisor / Registrar
Rebecca Villalpando
Academic Advisor / Registrar

Rebecca (Becky) was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins. Becky currently serves as the International Strategic Partnerships Manager in the Office of the Registrar at CSU.

With over twenty years of professional and graduate experience working in different areas of higher education, she has learned that her passion lies in creating and supporting learning environments that foster individual growth and success, and in helping students reach their full potential. Becky has extensive experience advising diverse populations, enhancing student learning experiences in and outside of the classroom, leading and sustaining new programs and initiatives, and in utilizing technology systems and tools to produce high-quality services and outcomes.

Michael Phillips
Physician
Michael Phillips
Physician

Michael Phillips MD is pleased to be one of the medical care providers on the Fall 2022 voyage.  He has been a full time rural Emergency Medicine specialist since 1985.  Michael has intermittently helped out in primary care rural health clinics, pediatrician’s offices, his wife’s Aesthetic Dermatology practice, and as a locum tenens doctor in Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, and even Johnston Atoll (ask him about it!).

Michael was attracted to this position with Semester at Sea for the same reasons he suspects all voyagers were.  A learning environment with ever changing horizons, while developing meaningful relationships over several months being part of a tight knit community.  ‘Travelling on a ship’ has been allegorical in literature for just about all of life’s great quests, reveries, ambitions, or epiphanies; it is the play of isolation and inwardness, interwoven with adventure and discovery.  The health care team will be with voyagers every step of the way, they have your back!


Faculty


Staff

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.