Spring 2023 | Asian, African, and European Exploration

Faculty & Staff

Exploring countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, this voyage gives participants a truly global study abroad experience on our floating campus!

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 Leadership Team

Nancy Hartley
Academic Dean
Nancy Hartley
Academic Dean

Nancy Hartley spent thirty plus years in higher education with her last 20+ years at Colorado State University as a faculty member, Director of the School of Education, and Dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences (now the College of Health and Human Sciences). Nancy was the Semester at Sea Spring 2018 Academic Dean!

During her career in higher education Nancy received numerous honors and special awards including: Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, Colorado State University Community Service Award, Poudre Valley Health System Meritorious Service Award, University Council of Workforce and Human Resource Education; Colorado State University Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, and was a Finalist for the Unique Woman of Colorado Award.  She attended the Colorado Institute for Women in Management and has been actively involved in supporting/mentoring women in higher education.

Jon Cleveland
Jon Cleveland

Jon is thrilled to set sail on his first voyage with Semester at Sea! He’s psyched to be a part of this special community, experience new cultures, make new friends, and ensure the participants have a safe, life-changing, and positive learning and sailing experience. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and grab an opportunity to meet up with Jon. You’ll see him, his wife (Gretchen), and children (Yale, Neve, and Birdie) all over the ship.

Outside of serving as the Dean of Student Life for the Spring 2023 Voyage, Jon works as the Executive Director of Career Services for Colorado State University, supervising a team of 70 to rock career services for the institution. His professional experiences have centered on higher education administration, including extensive work in residence life, academic advising, leadership and volunteer programs, and now career services. Jon holds a PhD from Colorado State University, a master’s degree from Michigan State University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kristin Sykes
Kristin Sykes

Kristin Sykes is excited to once again sail with Semester at Sea.  She has had the privilege of sailing on the Spring 1996 voyage as a Resident Director and Fall 1999 and Summer 2014 as Assistant Executive Dean.  She was inspired each time by the growth and transformation of the voyagers and can’t wait to support students, faculty and staff as Assistant Executive Dean on the Spring 2023 voyage.

Kristin has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas where she worked in Residential Life for numerous years.  She was then in the role of a community college counselor for four years before switching into administration in order to make positive changes within systems.  She is currently the Dean of Students at Century College, the largest community and technical college in Minnesota, where she leads committed staff in providing equitable services and opportunities to a diverse student population.  Departments that she supervises include Student Life, Records, Transfer Student Services, Athletics, Disability Services, the Resource and Support Center, Federal Grants, Tutoring, Title IX, and the Student Health Clinic.

Kristin jumps into opportunities to learn and grow especially through experiential learning opportunities both locally and globally.  In addition to her love for travel, Kristin enjoys camping, biking, hiking, finding great food to make or eat, planning adventures for friends and family, hanging out on a Minnesota lake, and performing in local theater productions alongside her husband and two children.

One of Kristin’s favorite quotes summarizes the transformational journey that is  Semester at Sea:  “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  ― Marcel Proust.

Jenni Schreiner
Jenni Schreiner

Jenni is thrilled to sail on the Spring 2023 voyage as the Assistant Dean of Student Life. She sailed in 2016 as a Resident Director and can’t wait to return to ship life.

Jenni has worked through her career in Housing/Residence Life at various colleges around the country, most recently calling Salt Lake City, Utah home. Outside of work she loves getting out into nature to camp and hike. In addition to traveling, Jenni also loves creating art, listening to 80s music, and snuggling with her kitties, Henry and Gus.

Koty Erdmann
Field Director
Koty Erdmann
Field Director

Koty Erdmann started at ISE in late 2015. After serving three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia and attending graduate school in Vermont, Koty merged a love of geography, cultures, and spreadsheets(!) into a position with the Field Programs department. When not making arrangements with tour operators, building out Field Programs in the registration portal, or chatting with prospective voyagers to help them decide what to see and do in country, Koty bounces between a variety of different hobbies. These have included experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, volunteering doing trail work or eco restoration activities, authentic relating, archery, ‘trying’ to read for pleasure, and learning to play the mandolin.

  • Education
    Koty earned her MA in International Education from the School for International Training (SIT), her BA in Anthropology from CU Boulder, and her AA from Front Range Community College.
  • Personal Interests
    Koty enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, volunteering doing trail work or eco restoration activities, authentic relating, archery, ‘trying’ to read for pleasure, and learning to play the mandolin.
Marianna Walsh
Marianna Walsh

Marianna Walsh (she/her) is currently the Student Information Systems Manager for the Office of the Registrar at Colorado State University where she leads a team to manage university information systems, support students, faculty, and staff in managing student data, and collaboratively support student success initiatives. Marianna is thrilled to be returning to the MV World Odyssey as Academic Advisor/Registrar, having sailed in the role in Spring 2018.

Marianna has been at Colorado State University in some capacity since 2008, earning a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, and a Master’s in Management Practice with a focus on multimodal communication methods. Marianna enjoys being able to use this transdisciplinary experience to apply strengths-based leadership and advocacy to support learning and growth.

Marianna is also passionate about centering diversity, equity, and inclusion in her work to improve her community. She currently serves as co-chair of the campus-wide Disaggregating Identity Data workgroup, and is a Safe Zone facilitator. In 2019, Marianna was honored to be the recipient of the Rainbow Inspiration Faculty/Staff Award, presented by the Pride Resource Center recognizing a CSU faculty or staff member based on their contribution to, involvement in, and impact on the local LGBTQIA+ community.

In her free time, Marianna enjoys spending time outside camping, hiking, and generally appreciating nature. She is excited to continue exploring the world with her partner, Adam, as they learn about new places, people, and foods.

Scott Smith
Scott Smith

Dr. Scott Smith is a Board-Certified Family Physician who will be joining his first Semester at Sea voyage from Santa Fe, NM.  Scott received his undergraduate degree from Ursinus College, his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College and completed his Family Medicine residency in York, PA.  He spent 6 years as a National Health Service Corps Scholar providing full scope family medicine and rural emergency care to the Dine (Navajo) people of Ganado, AZ. It was here that he first experienced the challenge and rewards of a medical practice in remote underserved areas. While practicing Family Medicine in Vermont, he participated in several medical brigades to Peru and Panama and was a longtime medical volunteer of a local free clinic providing care to uninsured and the large migrant dairy worker community. Most recently he has worked in several urgent care clinics while continuing to provide emergency/urgent care to the local residents and commercial fishing industry on the remote island of Unalaska (Dutch Harbor), AK.

Scott will be traveling with his wife Leanne who is a retired pharmacist. Both are excited by the opportunity to support and grow with the staculty, life long-learners, students and crew of Semester at Sea community.


Faculty

Lori Barker
Intercultural Specialist
Lori Barker
Intercultural Specialist
  • Home Institution
    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
David Borgo
Ethnomusicology
David Borgo
Ethnomusicology

David Borgo is an ethnomusicologist, jazz saxophonist and composer, and Professor in the Department of Music at UC San Diego. He joined the faculty in 2002 and served as the Department Chairperson from 2017-2020. David is affiliated faculty in Ethnic Studies and Cognitive Science, and he received a 2020 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Teaching Award. David’s book, Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age (2005, 2022 rev. ed.), won the Alan P. Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2006. David also won the International John Coltrane Competition in 1994. He has concertized extensively, including performances in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North, Central, and South America. David has published numerous academic articles and released 14 CDs and one DVD of original music.

  • Home Institution
    University of California: San Diego
  • Education
    David Borgo earned their PhD degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, and their Bachelors of Music degree from Indiana University
  • Personal Interests
    David loves travel and biking, skating, skateboarding, and motorcycle riding
Ed Boyer
Ed Boyer
  • Home Institution
    Prescott College
Geno Carr
Theatre
Geno Carr
Theatre

Geno Carr, a San Diego based actor, singer, director and educator, originated the role of Oz & Others in the Tony and Olivier Award-winning hit musical Come From Away. He has appeared Off-Broadway, on five national tours and in over one hundred plays and musicals across North America.

He was an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Guest Artist at Stephens College; served on the faculties of Grossmont College, MiraCosta College; and taught on three voyages with Semester at Sea. He has also served as a speaker coach for Google and TedX.

Geno holds an MFA in Acting and Directing from Sarah Lawrence College, a dual BA in Music and Theatre from Hartwick College, and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. www.GenoCarr.com @GenoCarr

  • Home Institution
    Grossmont College
  • Education
    Geno Carr earned their MFA degree from Sarah Lawrence College; and a dual BA from Hartwick College.
Cat Clerkin
Psychology
Cat Clerkin
Psychology

Cathleen is a psychologist interested in how individual differences (e.g. race, gender) and social contexts (e.g. culture, work) come together to shape human development and well-being. She has experience researching and teaching a broad range of topics including leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion; and social, political, and positive psychology. Her research has been published broadly in both academic and popular press venues.

She has taught courses at the University of Michigan and the Center for Creative Leadership. She is currently the Senior Director of Research at Candid (a research nonprofit), and an Affiliated Research Scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California.

  • Home Institution
    Candid
  • Education
    Dr. Cathleen Clerkin earned her MS and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Personal Interests
    In addition to psychology, Cathleen enjoys art, fiction, friends, and of course, traveling! She lives in Charlottesville, VA, with her partner Grey and their dog, Martha.
Cat Clerkin
Cat Clerkin
Mike Connolly
Mike Connolly
  • Home Institution
    Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Stu Cottrell
Sustainable Tourism & Environmental Education
Stu Cottrell
Sustainable Tourism & Environmental Education

Dr. Stuart Cottrell is a professor of Sustainable Tourism at Colorado State University. His research focus includes sustainable tourism development – linking tourism, nature conservation and protected areas; collaborative conservation and protected area management; and perceptions of landscape disturbance – implications for human dimensions of natural resources, recreation and tourism. He conducted research in Argentina, Colorado, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Uruguay. These interdisciplinary efforts contribute broadly to the fields of tourism development in natural resources. He teaches courses in sustainable tourism development, ecotourism, social science research in natural resources and international issues in recreation and tourism.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    He has a Ph.D. in Recreation and Parks with a minor in public administration from Penn State University, MS from Florida International University, and BS in Parks & Rec. Western Illinois University.
  • Personal Interests
    When not teaching, Stu’s passion is sailing as the proud owner with his wife of a 50-foot classic sailboat with many new waters that he looks forward to crossing in the future.
Scott Denning
Global Studies Director-Blue World Specialist
Scott Denning
Global Studies Director-Blue World Specialist
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Sam Doss
Marketing
Sam Doss
Marketing

Samuel Doss has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate marketing and entrepreneurship courses while working with a variety of business and nonprofit startups. Prior to his tenure at Barry University from 2014-2021, he worked on the faculties of Florida Institute of Technology and Kansai Gaidai University. His research interests have centered around brands, culture, and consumer behavior. Dr. Doss is a former stockbroker and owner of several entrepreneurial ventures.

Raised in Indianapolis, Dr. Doss comes from a business-minded family—stocks, money, and startups were discussed over many meals and cups of coffee. Bringing the knowledge of the real world into the classroom is what drives Dr. Doss to be engaged in the classroom.

  • Home Institution
    Kenyon College
  • Education
    Samuel Doss earned a Ph.D. in Business Administration (Marketing) from the University of Rio Grande Valley, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.S. in Finance from Butler University.
  • Personal Interests
    Living in South Florida playing pickleball, bridge, poker, and painting (acrylics).
David Haberman
David Haberman
  • Home Institution
    Indiana University: Bloomington
Philip Hörhager
Business and Project Management
Philip Hörhager
Business and Project Management

Philip Hörhager is excited to serve on SAS again and teach MGT 411 Leading High Performance Teams.

Philip has a background in aerospace engineering and management. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with and lead high performing teams, in roles including Director of Engineering, Head of PMO, and Program Manager, for innovative aerospace, R&D, and tech companies in the US and abroad.

Philip hugely enjoys mentoring and coaching students during SAS voyages. He has taught project management and leadership classes in various organizations and study abroad programs. His research includes human factors in aviation, and he runs a consulting company that focuses on project management, organizational communication, leadership and team training.

  • Home Institution
    Adastrium LLC
  • Education
    Philip has earned advanced degrees in engineering and business, from the University of Stuttgart (Germany), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and the CDI Paris MBA program.
  • Personal Interests
    Philip is passionate about all things aerospace and tech-related and is an active pilot, with most time logged in the CO mountain airspace. He has taught during the SP 2018 and 2023 SAS adventures.
Joonok Huh
Joonok Huh
Jean Ippolito
Jean Ippolito

Dr. Jean Ippolito is a Professor and Art Historian to a very diverse body of students at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. This is her second time to teach on a Semester at Sea voyage; the first was in Fall 2011.

After completing her Ph. D., Jean Ippolito taught a combination of art history and computer art at colleges in Savannah, Georgia and Georgetown, Kentucky. In 2003, she accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. Fortunately, some of the experimental artists that she studied earlier, were now internationally recognized for their achievements, and so she began to publish articles, and a book, on the pioneering digital media artists of Japan. More recently she has written about contemporary artists of China that use digital technology in their work.

  • Home Institution
    University of Hawaii: Hilo
Tobi Jacobi
English & Writing
Tobi Jacobi
English & Writing

A specialist in community literacy studies, Dr. Jacobi teaches courses in public writing, composition theory, feminist methodologies, critical pedagogy, and literacy theory. She is the director of the Community Literacy Center which sponsors weekly “SpeakOut!” community writing workshops. Her research focuses on the complexities of moving adult literacy beyond the GED, the ethics of community-university relationships, and incarcerated women writers as activists. She has published on prison writing, community service learning and activism in the writing classroom, rhetorics and archives, and the ethics of university-community collaborations in journals such as English Journal, Community Literacy Journal, and The Journal of Correctional Education and co-edited Women, Writing, and Prison.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Tobi Jacobi earned her an English BA from University of WI, Stevens Point, an English MA from University of IL, Chicago, and a PhD in Composition and Cultural Rhetorics from Syracuse University.
  • Personal Interests
    She enjoys traveling to new places, trying new foods and spice combinations, and spending time with her dogs and family.
Jen Johnson
New Student Seminar / Gap Year
Jen Johnson
New Student Seminar / Gap Year

Dr. Jen Johnson is a faculty member in the School of Education and the Director of the Office for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has worked in higher education for more than 20 years and has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in Education, Leadership, Service-Learning, and Student Affairs.

Born and raised in a small college town in central Iowa, Dr. JJJ’s passion for travel and learning about other cultures and communities stemmed from her 2-year experience living overseas as a United State Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa. Since that time, she has been fortunate to travel across 5 continents.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Jen earned her B.S. from the University of Minnesota; her M.S. from Colorado State University; and her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University
  • Personal Interests
    Dr. JJJ loves spending time with her amazing and adventurous family including her partner, 3 kids, their geriatric beagle/pug mix, and 2 pet gerbils.
Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager
Intercultural and International Communication/Glob
Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager
Intercultural and International Communication/Glob

Dr. Khrebtan-Hörhager is a professor of communication, director of the ACT International Human Rights Film Festival, and a holder of four International Communication Association Top Paper Awards. Her research, teaching, and consulting interests are in intercultural communication, European studies, global conflict, Othering, cinematography and critical media studies. Feminist studies and business leadership are her further foci. She is the author of two books, Communicating the Other across Cultures; and Migrant World Making, and a wide variety of articles and book chapters. She is an education abroad director in Italy. Julia is fluent in seven languages and is often called “a cultural mentor” and “an intercultural ambassador” by her colleagues, and current and former students.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Ph.D. in Communication & Critical Cultural Studies, University of Denver, USA. and M.A. & B.A. in Comparative Linguistics, and British & American Studies, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Personal Interests
    Served as a: journalist, Ukraine; counselor, international children’s center, Crimea; translator, technology company, Germany; education abroad director, Italy; founding partner, consulting group, USA
Ed Lessor
Ed Lessor
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Kan Li
Kan Li
Romel Mackelprang
Romel Mackelprang

Dr. Romel Mackelprang has been involved in human and disability rights for four decades. In the 2000’s he began working in sub–Saharan Africa, and, in 2010 he and his family founded Access without Borders (AWB) a 501(c)3 to invest in health, access, and education opportunities for people in Africa. He has developed and administered a five country African research project studying the efficacy of donated wheelchairs. He has organized and led several university-based, service-learning study abroad programs to Ghana; the next study abroad scheduled for summer 2023.

  • Home Institution
    Eastern Washington University
Sam Pack
Anthropology
Sam Pack
Anthropology

Sam is a Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kenyon College. His research interests address the relationship between media and culture and specifically focus on an anthropological approach to the production and reception of television, film, photographs, and new media. He has authored almost fifty articles as well as two book manuscripts and three ethnographic films. Sam teaches a wide variety of courses in cultural anthropology, visual anthropology, narrative history, Native American Studies, and Asian Studies. He possesses significant experience teaching overseas, having held visiting appointments at universities and research institutes in 12 different countries. Currently, Sam is a Fulbright Senior Scholar at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan.

  • Home Institution
    Kenyon College
  • Education
    Sam earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University and his B.A. from Colorado College.
  • Personal Interests
    Muay Thai, street food, and competitive synchronized swimming
Jana Raadik Cottrell
Tourism Development
Jana Raadik Cottrell
Tourism Development

Dr. Jana Raadik Cottrell is an Assistant Professor, University Honors Program at Colorado State University (CSU) and senior lecturer at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia with over 20 years of international experience in teaching and academic collaboration in hospitality, tourism development and natural resource management. Her research focuses on sustainable tourism development on islands, place identity, second home ownership and flexible work. Jana values knowledge gained through the diversity of human experiences and ways of living and appreciates the opportunity to share her passion in arts, food and travel with her students. She is also the coordinator of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Jana Raadik Cottrell holds an MA in Art Education from Estonia, MS in Leisure and Tourism from the Netherlands and a PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University.
  • Personal Interests
    From an island as part of the former Soviet Union, “Iron Curtain,” she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall & joined hands in a human Baltic chain spanning 400+ miles during the Singing Revolution.
Chandra Ranade
Chandra Ranade
George Salembier
George Salembier

Dr. George Salembier is Associate Professor Emeritus, College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont (UVM), where he most recently served as Chairperson of the Department of Education. His scholarship and teaching focus on special education and inclusion, cognition and learning, adolescent literacy, curriculum and assessment, the social construction of disability, and multi-cultural education.
Since retiring from the University of Vermont in 2018, he has been consulting on strategy for the “Inclusive School Project in Ghana,” the goal of which is to build the nation’s first school for children with disabilities.
He currently serves as a Board Member for the Vermont Partnership for Literacy and Learning and as a Mentor in the local school system.

  • Home Institution
    University of Vermont
Jim Schiffman
Journalism & Communication
Jim Schiffman
Journalism & Communication

Dr. Schiffman worked for more than 30 years as a reporter and editor — for United Press International, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal and CNN — before turning to teaching at Georgia College & State University from 2012 to 2021. During his career as a working journalist, Schiffman served as a resident correspondent for the AWSJ in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Beijing before transferring to the WSJ in Atlanta, Georgia. At CNN, he worked mostly for the international network, finishing his tenure as chief copy editor for CNN International. At Georgia College, Schiffman supervised the student-run television newscast in addition to teaching journalism and other media courses.

  • Home Institution
    Retired
  • Education
    Schiffman earned his Ph.D. in Communication at Georgia State University, his Masters in Chinese history from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and his bachelor’s from Cornell University.
  • Personal Interests
    One of my academic interests is media history and especially radio and television history.
Bonnie Simpson
Marketing
Bonnie Simpson
Marketing

Dr. Bonnie Simpson is Associate Professor, DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies and is a consumer researcher – aiming to make the world a little bit of a better place through understanding why consumers act as we do. She’s most interested in how and why individuals engage in prosocial actions such as sustainable behaviours, charitable giving, and purchasing that supports social good. Her teaching often focuses in these areas – introducing students to marketing concepts that focus on how marketing shapes and is shaped by non-profits, sustainability, and the consumer’s daily life. Bonnie has studied and taught in countries around the world and loves how an international classroom brings new perspectives into collaborative applied learning.

  • Home Institution
    University of Western Ontario
  • Education
    Bonnie Simpson earned her PhD in Marketing from University of Calgary; her Master in Human Kinetics from University of Windsor; and her Bachelor in Sport Management from Brock University.
  • Personal Interests
    Making a positive difference – anywhere and everywhere.
Nancy Snow Carr
Nancy Snow Carr
  • Home Institution
    Grossmont College
Molly Takeda
Molly Takeda
Diego Vega Araya
Psychology
Diego Vega Araya
Psychology

Diego Vega is a proud citizen of Costa Rica and will be happy to share his views about the political, economic, and cultural landscape of his own country. Spanish is his first language. He has had the privilege of sailing as a faculty member with Semester at Sea in Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2019 (interport lecturer for Costa Rica), and Spring 20223. He understands culture and ethnicity through experience.
He is a Psychology professor and a holds a full-time private practice in Costa Rica.
As a practicing couples’ therapist for more than 20 years, he has work with many Costa Rican and U.S. couples living in Costa Rica. His research interests include: trust issues in romantic relationships, understanding culture and ethnicity, aging, and bilingualism.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Diego Vega earned his Ph.D. and his M.Sc. in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University, and his BA in Psychology from Universidad de Costa Rica.
  • Personal Interests
    Diego enjoys spending time at the gym, playing tennis, and running. He also likes playing online chess and sudoku.
Melissa Wdowik
Nutrition and Food Science
Melissa Wdowik
Nutrition and Food Science

Dr. Melissa Wdowik is a nationally recognized registered dietitian with over 20 years’ experience as a university professor. She has received many teaching awards and is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor helping students develop a passion for culinary nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

She has experience ranging from coaching the pit crews of Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon to creating a podcast with Elle Fanning to being published in the Washington Post. She founded and directed a successful nutrition outreach center at Colorado State University and authored the book Eat to Defeat Viruses.

Professor Wdowik sailed with SAS in 2018 and looks forward to again promoting cultural competence with contemporary nutrition and sustainable farm-to-table practices.

  • Home Institution
    East Carolina University
  • Education
    Melissa Wdowik earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois; her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University; and her doctorate degree from Colorado State University.
  • Personal Interests
    Since attending high school in Mexico, Melissa continues to travel the world. She is a foodie, volunteer, wife, mom, and dog owner who loves yoga, the outdoors, hiking, cycling, skiing, and kayaking.

Staff

Raja Bhattar
Resident Director
Raja Bhattar
Resident Director
  • Home Institution
    American River College
Melissa Carlson
Resident Director
Melissa Carlson
Resident Director
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Brittany Cotton
Resident Director
Brittany Cotton
Resident Director
  • Home Institution
    University of New Hampshire: Durham
Jennifer Crane
Administrative Assistant for Program Support
Jennifer Crane
Administrative Assistant for Program Support
Ann Nora Ehret
Physician Assistant
Ann Nora Ehret
Physician Assistant
Erin Fender
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator
Erin Fender
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator
  • Home Institution
    Healdsburg High School
Jolie Ginsburg
Field Program Coordinator
Jolie Ginsburg
Field Program Coordinator
Juan Gonzalez
Resident Director
Juan Gonzalez
Resident Director
Spencer Hudec
Resident Director
Spencer Hudec
Resident Director

Spencer Hudec is from a multi-generation military family that settled in San Antonio, TX early on in her childhood. Since then, she has always been afflicted by wanderlust. Her independent nature and desire to learn have prompted living in six states across the U.S. and multiple solo adventures both domestically and abroad. She has spent nearly ten years post-masters at a number of institutions including University of Virginia and most recently, Purdue University where she serves as the Associate Director for Risk Management in Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life.

  • Home Institution
    Purdue University: West Lafayette
Chris Leck
Counselor
Chris Leck
Counselor
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Nhechell Pedroza
Dependent Child Coordinator
Nhechell Pedroza
Dependent Child Coordinator
Mark Robinson
Medical Swing
Mark Robinson
Medical Swing
Roundtree Roundtree
Medical Swing
Roundtree Roundtree
Medical Swing
Kelsey Schultz
Resident Director
Kelsey Schultz
Resident Director
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Scott Smith
Physician
Scott Smith
Physician
Steph Starks
Counselor
Steph Starks
Counselor

Stephanie Starks is a Clinical Social Worker and has been a private practice counselor working with college students for most of her career. She is excited to go on her second SAS voyage, having sailed as a student on the Spring 2016 voyage. She is excited to join as a counselor on the Medical/Health team to help students have the best possible experience.

She has a passion for working with young adults and helping them explore the world around them. Stephanie has a philosophy and practice of acceptance, compassion, and support for those she serves while providing an emotionally safe and respectful environment.
Stephanie is looking forward to sailing again and joining the entire Spring 2023 SAS community.

Andy Sykes
Dependent Child Coordinator
Andy Sykes
Dependent Child Coordinator
Austin Trapnell
Social Media Coordinator
Austin Trapnell
Social Media Coordinator
Barbara Wagar
Counselor
Barbara Wagar
Counselor
Adam Walsh
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator
Adam Walsh
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator
  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
Cindy Zomchek
Lifelong Learner Advancement Coordinator
Cindy Zomchek
Lifelong Learner Advancement Coordinator

Cindy is very excited to join everyone on the Spring ’23 Voyage (her 10th Semester at Sea Voyage)! Cindy sailed initially as an RD in the Fall of 1986 and since then, has sailed as the Dean of Student Life on 6 Voyages, the Lifelong Learner Coordinator on Spring 2015, and most recently as a member of the Voyage Administration on Spring 2022 (in both Academic Affairs and Student Life). She has worked at the University of San Francisco, Humboldt State University, Stony Brook University, the University of Iowa, and Colorado College (in Residential Life/Student Affairs) to name a few. Recently, she’s been a Counselor at a High School for several years and currently works in the Semester at Sea Home Office as one of the Student Support Services Advisors.

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.