Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe 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

Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala
Academic Dean
Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala
Academic Dean

Fabiola P. Ehlers-Zavala (Ella/She) is Professor of English at Colorado State University (CSU). She earned both her M.A. in English and her Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University (ISU). She earned a B.A. in English from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), Chile. Her scholarship addresses issues in language teacher preparation, internationalization for diversity, equity and inclusion, and leadership in higher education. In addition to having served as Chair of TESOL International’s Nominating Committee and the Bilingual Education Interest section (BEIS). She is Past President of Illinois TESOL/BE (Bilingual Education) and Past President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). She loves languages, travel, and animals.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala earned her Ph.D. from Illinois State University; her MA from Illinois State University; and her BA from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaÍso, Chile.
  • Personal Interests
    Travel, languages, reading, cats
Mike Ellis
Assistant Executive Dean
Mike Ellis
Assistant Executive Dean

Mike serves as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University. Mike sailed with Semester at Sea in Spring 2018 as the Dean of Student Life and is excited to return to the MV World Odyssey.

Mike is originally from southern California where, as a first-generation student, he attended UC Irvine and began his career in student affairs. He is committed to ensuring student access to leadership opportunities in higher education which help students not only feel connected in our communities of learning, but also empowered to make a difference in our world.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    EdD degree from University of Utah; MA degree from University of Maryland, College Park; BA degree from University of California, Irvine
  • Personal Interests
    Mike and his wife, Maria, can often be found in the Colorado landscape, fly fishing, hiking, playing pickle ball, and cycling through the city of Fort Collins.
Robyn Jeep Ernst
Academic Advisor/Registrar
Robyn Jeep Ernst
Academic Advisor/Registrar

Robyn Jeep Ernst (she/her) is currently a Graduate Student Advisor for the Online MBA Program a Colorado State University. Previous advising roles at CSU have been as an Undeclared Advisor in the Collaborative for Student Achievement, First-year Advisor for the School of Biomedical Engineering, and Key Explore Instructor for Key Communities. She worked at the Edwards Campus of Colorado Mountain College where she cultivated a passion for students at all stages of their education journey. Prior to working in higher education, she spent several years enjoying the ski areas around Breckenridge and took advantage of the opportunity to work abroad in New Zealand. Her favorite aspect of being an advisor is to help students understand their journey and how their unique story impacts academics.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Robyn earned her BS in Psychology from Colorado State University and her MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont.
  • Personal Interests
    Robyn most enjoys adventure and is inspired by interesting stories, a good cup of coffee, and colorful sunsets. Sailing with her will be husband, Joe, son Jonas (11), and daughter Elora (turning 9).

Faculty

Eric Adams
Film, Media, & Journalism
Eric Adams
Film, Media, & Journalism

A passionate film producer, screenwriter, novelist, and former journalist, Eric recently produced the feature film “Rickshaw Girl,” the first ever US-Bangladesh co-production.

Eric wrote the feature “Supremacy,” starring Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover and “My Suicide,” winner of 21 major film festival awards.

As a journalist, Eric’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The LA Times, Wired, and many travel, inflight and business magazines.

Eric is the author of four novels, including the thriller “Birdland” and satire “Cosmic Fever.” Along with his wife Kathleen (a counselor on this journey!), he co-wrote the children’s book “On The Day His Daddy Left.”

Eric and Kathleen live in Sonoma Wine Country and are proud parents of two grown sons, both in the film and music business.

  • Home Institution
    Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Education
    Eric earned his Masters of Arts in Film Studies from Sonoma State University; and his Film and Television Industry Certificate from NYU/Tisch.
  • Personal Interests
    Film, travel, guitar, spirited conversations, epicurean adventures, pizza, laughter. Let’s talk!
Ruth Alexander
History
Ruth Alexander
History

Ruth M. Alexander is Professor of History Emerita at Colorado State University. Ruth’s interests and expertise as a teacher and researcher extend from modern world history and the transnational history of gender and race to American and world environmental history and the global history of national parks. In addition to teaching on Semester at Sea and at CSU’s Fort Collins campus, Ruth teaches at the CSU Center in Todos Santos, Mexico. Her most recent book is “Democracy Mountain: Longs Peak and the Unfulfilled Promises of America’s National Parks.”

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Ruth Alexander earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University, her M.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her B.A. from the City College of New York
  • Personal Interests
    Road, gravel, and mountain biking, backcountry skiing, hiking, travel, literature, history.
Gayle Allard
Economics
Gayle Allard
Economics

Gayle Allard is a professor of Economics at IE Business School in Madrid. She is a native of California, but has lived and worked in Europe for most of her adult life. Her research centers on labor markets in developed countries, and development issues, mainly in Africa and in relation to innovation. She has an NGO that funds projects in water access and women´s education in Ethiopia. Besides her academic publications, she appears regularly in international media as a commentator on economic issues.
Dr. Allard teaches three courses on Coursera and her “MOOCs” have had hundreds of thousands of students. She has authored numerous interactive exercises and games to enhance learning in the classroom, and has written three e-textbooks.

  • Education
    Gayle Allard earned her PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis; Master in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, Master in Hispanic Studies from Middlebury Institute
  • Personal Interests
    Reading, horseback riding, travel, spending time with family and friends
Sona Andrews
Geography
Sona Andrews
Geography

Sona Karentz Andrews is a professor emerita of geography & provost emerita at Portland State University. She has held faculty positions at the Univ of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Boise State Univ, Portland State Univ, and taught at Semester at Sea. Her academic area is geography, cartography, and Geographic Information Science. Sona has held administrative positions at several universities, including Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs at Portland State University, Vice Chancellor of the Oregon University System, and Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs at Boise State. Sona is bilingual (she speaks fluent English and Armenian). She grew up in New England and she and her husband, Steve, like to hike, bicycle, travel, read, and attend live performances.

  • Home Institution
    Portland State University
  • Education
    Sona Andrews earned their bachelor’s degree from Worcester State College in Massachusetts and their master’s and Ph.D. from Arizona State University
  • Personal Interests
    hiking, bicycling, sewing, reading, travelling
Alissa Arp
Blue World Specialist
Alissa Arp
Blue World Specialist

Alissa Arp has extensive experience as a marine scientist and educator. She has conducted research, mentored graduate students, and published articles on the physiology of life in challenging environments ranging from the deep ocean to suburban estuaries. Alissa has been to the bottom of the ocean in research submarines, and at sea on many university research vessels. She currently travels extensively as an eco-tourist and has sailed on more distant oceans, including the Arctic, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean and South Pacific. These travel experiences are woven into her teaching, bringing personal first-hand experience to classroom discussions. Alissa recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, and is an avid collector of folk art from her world-wide travels, and an avid textile enthusiast.

  • Home Institution
    No Associated Institution
  • Education
    Alissa J Arp earned her BA degree from Sonoma State University, and her PhD from University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Personal Interests
    travel and textile arts
Xiaoyang Behlendorf
Librarian
Xiaoyang Behlendorf
Librarian

Xiao was born and raised in Harbin China. During her senior year at Beijing University, she hosted a group of Semester at Sea students and faculty. She has worked as an academic librarian at Loyola University in New Orleans, Ball State University in Muncie, University of Southern California, Woodbury University and finally Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) in Los Angeles. In addition to working in the library, she also led a team of librarians in California to create an open education resource information literacy textbook, Introduction to College Research. She is passionate about information equity, climate justice, and life-long learning. She is so excited about being a part of Semester at Sea Voyage, a dream that is over 30 years in the making.

  • Education
    Xiao earned her Master’s in Library Science from Louisiana State University; her Master’s in Communications from Beijing University; her BA in International Relations from Beijing University.
  • Personal Interests
    Xiao loves traveling, hiking and reading.
Chris Blocker
Business
Chris Blocker
Business

Christopher Blocker (Chris) is an Associate Professor in the College of Business at Colorado State University. He has taught business courses at the university level for 20+ years and has a background in high-tech and consulting. Chris expertise is in value creation in services, sales, and society. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee and his MBA at TCU. Chris’ research has been published in premier journals and he enjoys blending research, real-world projects, and students’ perspectives in his courses. Chris is married to his best friend Amanda, and they have four wonderful children, Ryan, Rebekah, Jacob, and Hallelujah. Chris counts it a privilege to work with students and help them develop the skills, knowledge, and passion they need for their careers and life.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Dr. Chris Blocker earned his PhD from the University of Tennessee; his MBA and BBA at Texas Christian University
  • Personal Interests
    Time with family and friends, reading, running, hiking, skiing
Colleen Burke
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Colleen Burke
Food Science and Human Nutrition

Colleen’s interests include sustainable food systems, global nutrition, public health, and foodways. Her passion for this discipline stems from curiosity about the physiological and psychological interplay associated with health behaviors, and the relationship among food, culture, and society. It is a dynamic field where everyone has a voice, opinion, and story to share. The influence among social, environmental, historical, political, and economic variables on food, nutrition, and health is complex and constantly evolving and responding to change. The Semester at Sea voyage will provide a unique platform to explore these interacting factors through a global comparative framework. Colleen looks forward to sharing this journey with you and her partner, Jeff!

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Colleen earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Colorado State University. In addition, Colleen studied at Lincoln University, New Zealand and the University of Toronto, Canada.
  • Personal Interests
    Collen’s favorite activities include travel, gastronomic adventures, time with family (adult children are SAS alum), playing in the mountains, live music, and sunset/rise from the MV World Odyssey!
Ingrid Bianca Byerly
Music and Communications
Ingrid Bianca Byerly
Music and Communications

Professor Ingrid Bianca Byerly directs the Humanitarian Challenges Focus program at Duke University. A South African ethnomusicologist, her early research explored the anti-Apartheid music movement, later expanding to global protest music. Her music lectures introduce students to the history, culture, and politics of musical soundscapes. She has led intercultural communication courses throughout South Africa, currently facilitates the Public Speaking seminars at Duke, and serves as a coach for TEDx talks. This will be Ingrid’s fourth voyage, having taught on Summer ’11, Spring ’14, and Fall ’19. She shared these voyages with her 3 sons, who sailed as ship-kids and then students. She treasures the company of family and friends, and relishes the inspiration of students and fellow travelers.

  • Home Institution
    Duke University
  • Education
    Ingrid Bianca Byerly earned her BA degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; her Honors Degree from the University of South Africa; and her Masters and Ph.D. from Duke University.
  • Personal Interests
    Ingrid loves traveling, writing, archiving life histories, piano, photography and film, mosaicking and stain glassing, art nouveau, sparkly things, and furred or feathered animals.
Sergio Carvalho
Marketing
Sergio Carvalho
Marketing

Dr. Carvalho is a Professor of Marketing at Dalhousie University, Canada. He has published research papers in the areas of international marketing and consumer behavior. He sailed with SAS four times and taught in the US, Canada, Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Israel, and Brazil. He received the 2016 A. Gordon Archibald Teaching Excellence Award given by Dalhousie and The Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 given by the University of Manitoba (UofM). In addition, he received the UofM-UMFA Merit Award for teaching for six consecutive years (2007-2012). In the USA, he was nominated for the 2003 Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching and received the 2004 Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award both at Baruch College.

  • Home Institution
    Dalhousie University
  • Education
    Sergio Carvalho earned his PhD degree in Business from The City University of New York (CUNY), his MBA from Northeastern University, and his BBA from University of Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Personal Interests
    I take great joy in exploring new cultures, languages, and educational opportunities around the globe. I constantly seek out experiences that deepen my understanding of the world.
Erin Davis
Psychology
Erin Davis
Psychology

Dr. Erin Davis is an professor at Indiana Wesleyan University with over 25 years of experience in the fields of student development, higher education, psychology and graduate counseling. She enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly in the areas of psychology, neuroscience, and sociology. Dr. Davis has studied and participated in service work in several countries around the world, including England, Uganda, Egypt, Australia and Portugal, and her research interests include cross-cultural and international psychology. Dr. Davis’ areas of interest include international student adjustment; neuropsychology and empathy; relational aspects of sexuality; dreamwork; cross-cultural and international psychology; positive psychology and coaching.

  • Home Institution
    Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Education
    Erin Davis earned her PhD degree from Ball State University in Counseling Psychology; her MA from Ball State University in Counseling, and her BA from Anderson University (Psychology).
  • Personal Interests
    Cross-cultural relationships, social justice, indigenous wisdom, storytelling, art, movies, books, writing, and adventures of all sorts.
Juan De Pascuale
Philosophy
Juan De Pascuale
Philosophy

Born in Argentina and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Juan teaches philosophy at Kenyon College. He also taught at Brown, Notre Dame, and was a visiting professor at the University of Louvain, Belgium and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Juan’s teaching interests are broad, embracing existentialism and phenomenology, philosophy of art, philosophy of religion, and Zen Buddhist philosophy. Juan is multilingual and has traveled throughout Latin America , Europe, and Asia. He is married to Carola Sanz, a Cuban-American sociologist and textile artist. They have four grown children. Juan has a PhD from Brown University, a L.Phil from Louvain University, Belgium, and a BA from Queens College. Juan is an avid hiker, woodworker and carpenter, and a published poet, mostly of Japanese short-form poetry.

  • Home Institution
    Kenyon College
  • Education
    Juan Edgardo De Pascuale, PhD Brown University, MA Brown University, L.Phil Louvain University, Belgium, BA Queens College, CUNY
  • Personal Interests
    Hiking, Carpentry, Poetry, Ikebana
Lindsay Gary
Lindsay Gary

Dr. Lindsay Gary (PhD, MFA, MA, MPA) is a professor-scholar (of History, Dance, and Africology/African American Studies), conceptual diasporArtist, Afrocentric entrepreneur, and cultural curator. She is the author of The New Red Book: A Guide to 50 of Houston’s Black Historical and Cultural Sites, and the director and creator of “Who Yo’ People?”, a documentary film that explores the African heritage of Louisiana. She has traveled to 39 countries, and is a Semester at Sea alumna.

  • Education
    PhD Africology & African American Studies, Temple University; MFA Dance, University of the Arts; Graduate Certificate in African American Studies, University of Houston
  • Personal Interests
    Reading, jogging, traveling (*wink*), tennis, museums, performing arts, yoga, food!
Dan Graham
Psychology, Public Health
Dan Graham
Psychology, Public Health

Dan Graham is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Colorado State University (CSU), and is the Faculty Lead for the Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles concentration in the Colorado School of Public Health. He is the director of CSU’s Behavioral Medicine Lab, which promotes better health through modifying social and physical environments to facilitate active living and healthy eating – for example, he has used eye-tracking cameras to see how people actually use nutrition labels and he likes walking on a treadmill desk while working, so he studies how active workstations affect health and performance. He is the author of the picture book How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate (Magination Press, 2021).

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Dan Graham earned a Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Behavior and an M.S. in Social Ecology from UC, Irvine, and a B.A. in Psychology and Math from Providence College.
  • Personal Interests
    My interests include reading, writing, doing various physical activities, spending time with my family – especially outdoors.
Peter Harris
Political Science and International Relations
Peter Harris
Political Science and International Relations

Peter Harris is Associate Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University, where his teaching and research focus on international security and US foreign policy. He is the author of Why America Can’t Retrench (And How It Might) (Polity Press, forthcoming) and co-author of Deterrence Gap: Avoiding War in the Taiwan Strait (US Army War College Press, 2024). He is a Non-Resident Fellow with Defense Priorities, a Washington-based think tank. Peter is originally from Wigan in the northwest of England, and has also lived in London, Vancouver, and Austin.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Peter Harris earned his PhD in Government from the University of Texas at Austin; his MSc from the University of London; and his undergraduate MA from the University of Edinburgh.
  • Personal Interests
    Peter enjoys films, music, history, overseas travel, and being around other people.
Tim Hibsman
English, Professional Communication
Tim Hibsman
English, Professional Communication

Dr. Tim Hibsman is very excited to serve on the Semester at Sea voyage. In Spring 2025, he will be serving as the Director of the onboard Writing Center and teaching Business Communications and Non-Fiction Writing.

Dr. Tim Hibsman has always had a sense of adventure and desire to experience different cultures. In 2014 he taught Professional Communications and Nautical Film & Literature at Sichuan University in Cheng Du, China. In 2016 he taught Sports Film & Literature at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. Dr. Tim Hibsman is a Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

He is delighted to be joining the program for an amazing adventure.

  • Home Institution
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Education
    Dr. Tim Hibsman earned their Ed.D. from Pepperdine University; their MA from University of Southern California, and their BA from California State University, Long Beach
  • Personal Interests
    Nautical film and literature. Also, he enjoys sports film and literature with a focus on winter sports (ice hockey).
Megan Jacobs
Fine Art
Megan Jacobs
Fine Art

Megan Jacobs is an Associate Professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Megan’s interdisciplinary honors courses range from evaluating art’s role as a socio-political tool, to a philosophical exploration of the good life, to exploring identity through photography. Jacobs earned a BA in Fine Art from Smith College and an MFA from the University of New Mexico.
Jacobs’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been part of exhibitions at Aperture Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, the Museum of New Art (MONA), and The FENCE. Her recent work explores the intersection of motherhood and the climate crisis and was recognized as the Society for Photographic Education’s 2024 Lauren Shrensel Zadikow environmental art award.

  • Home Institution
    University of New Mexico: Albuquerque
  • Education
    Megan Jacobs earned her MFA in fine arts from the University of New Mexico and her BA from Smith College.
  • Personal Interests
    Art, exhibit design, interior design, architecture, fashion, poetry, and bike riding.
Krista Johnson
Political Science
Krista Johnson
Political Science

Krista Johnson is Professor and Director of Center for African Studies at Howard University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and has published on a wide range of topics including health policy, gender and HIV prevention, global health governance in Africa, and race and racism in International Relations. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Africa and completed a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Botswana.

  • Home Institution
    Howard University
  • Education
    Krista Johnson earned their PhD degree from Northwestern University
  • Personal Interests
    Biking, hiking, yoga
Selena Kohel
Intercultural Specialist
Selena Kohel
Intercultural Specialist

Dr. Kohel has taught counseling and social psychology-related courses for over fifteen years, most recently as a professor at Cottey College. Before, she served as a student academic affairs administrator, with a focus on student development. Integrated throughout her work is an emphasis on social and cultural identity. She aims to continually increase her and others’ multi/cultural intelligence to be able to facilitate greater equity, equality and inclusion in an ever-broadening and changing world. For example, she has led several student trips to Thailand. Dr. Kohel’s specific areas of interest include exploring different kinds of justice and causes and interventions for injustice, such as recategorization, self and organizational assessments, strategic planning, training, and dialogue.

  • Home Institution
    No Associated Institution
  • Education
    Dr. Selena Kohel earned her BA in Psychology and Piano Performance and her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from UW-Madison and her MA in Student Personnel Administration from NYU.
  • Personal Interests
    Walking/being in nature; partaking in the performing and visual arts; travelling, exploring important sociopolitical and historical sites, food and coffee, arts and crafts, and festivals/holidays
Rachel Lucas-Thompson
Human Development & Family Studies
Rachel Lucas-Thompson
Human Development & Family Studies

Born in Chicago, IL, Rachel Lucas-Thompson has lived in Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, and now, Colorado. She has a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Theatre Arts (Acting and Directing), a master’s degree in Social Ecology, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology. As a faculty member in Human Development & Family Studies at Colorado State University, Rachel does research on families, mindfulness, stress, and mental health in adolescence and teaches classes on research methods, statistics, family relationships, and adolescent development. She loves living in Fort Collins with her spouse, two kids, and their dog.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Rachel G. Lucas-Thompson earned their PhD and MA from the University of California, Irvine, and their BA from Beloit College.
  • Personal Interests
    Biking around Fort Collins, reading fantasy/mystery novels, watching movies, traveling, spending time with friends, cross-stitching, and having spontaneous dance parties with my two kiddos
Moriah Meyskens
Management
Moriah Meyskens
Management

Moriah is passionate about venture creation and social entrepreneurship and is excited to be teaching on this voyage! Her research focuses on the role of partnerships in social ventures. She taught Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of San Diego and FIU for over a decade. Moriah also worked in finance and microfinance in New York and Florida. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently and has lived in Venezuela, Mexico, Germany and Brazil. Her husband Dany from Argentina and her sons Dante (14), Enzo (11), and Tiago (7) will be on the voyage. She has homeschooled her children the last few years and taken them across the US & Europe in RV and lived in Argentina. Moriah’s mother and uncle went on SAS in the 1960s! She can’t wait to continue the family tradition and meet you!

  • Education
    Moriah Meyskens earned their PHD from Florida International University, their MBA from New York University; and their Bachelor Degree from UCLA.
  • Personal Interests
    Bike, Hike, Swim, Read, Travel, Guitar, Cook, Write, Play Games, Spend Time with Family and Friends
Nina Namaste
Spanish Cultures; Gender Studies; Food Studies
Nina Namaste
Spanish Cultures; Gender Studies; Food Studies

Nina Namaste is Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Elon University, NC. Her core disciplinary research focuses on food-related imagery as a means to express issues of race, class, and gender identity formation within contemporary Spanish texts. Her Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) research explores transformative learning experiences, interdisciplinary thinking skills, and intercultural development, particularly in study abroad contexts, for both students and faculty. She has led two semester-long experiences abroad (Costa Rica & UK); all of her courses focus on interdisciplinarity and intercultural development, regardless of whether they are on or off-campus.

  • Home Institution
    Elon University
  • Education
    Nina Namaste earned her Ph.D. & MA in Hispanic Literatures from Indiana University; her BA in Spanish and Education from St. Olaf College.
  • Personal Interests
    I love to grow, stretch and learn in as many ways possible! I adore deeply exploring new cultures and places – via cooking, reading, traveling, hiking – so I can connect meaningfully with others.
Agnès Peysson-Zeiss
French and Francophone Studies
Agnès Peysson-Zeiss
French and Francophone Studies

Agnès Peysson-Zeiss is Senior Lecturer at Bryn Mawr College where she is in charge of the intensive language program. Her research interests focus on comics from the French Speaking world. Her latest works examine the text-image relationship in graphic narratives. In 2019, she published « Dans la marge de la BD : Génocide et résilience » in Nouvelles Etudes Francophones and co-edited the volume Handicap et études francophones : état des lieux, in which her article revisits disability issues. Her current research deals with trauma and disability representations. Her article « Entre enfermement et réinscription visuelle : les enfants albinos sortent des cases dans Dipoula et Pour une couleur de peau » (La revue de l’enfance irrégulière, forthcoming Fall 2024).

  • Home Institution
    Bryn Mawr College
  • Education
    Agnes Peysson Zeiss earned her MA and PhD from Michigan State University; she earned her BA from Université Marseille-Provence
  • Personal Interests
    Besides literature and cinema. I enjoy swimming, hiking, dancing, skiing and yoga.
Joshua Rosenberger
Biobehavioral Health
Joshua Rosenberger
Biobehavioral Health

My substantive interests and expertise center around research related to the promotion of health among minorities, specifically focusing on populations that have been traditionally marginalized as a result of age, race, sexual orientation, and/or social conditions. In addition, my research focuses on methodological approaches, including the utilization of technologies, to facilitate community-based research with vulnerable populations. I have been fortunate to be involved in multiple health promotion practice, research, and teaching initiatives in academic, corporate, governmental, and community-based settings, providing me with rich insights into community health issues across a broad range of cultures and geographic regions.

  • Home Institution
    Pennsylvania State University
  • Education
    Joshua Rosenberger earned their PhD from Indiana University; their MPH from IUPUI; their MEd from Pennsylvania State University; and their BS from The Evergreen State College
  • Personal Interests
    travel; cooking/foodie; reading
Carly Scott
Coral biology, microbiology, and symbiosis
Carly Scott
Coral biology, microbiology, and symbiosis

Carly earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2024. Currently, she’s working at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She’s interested in how organisms and their symbionts are adapting to climate change. For her thesis work, she studied how corals, their associated algae, and their microbiome change over long term time periods (up to 6,000 years!) through ancient DNA, genomics, and mathematical modeling.

When she’s not working in the lab or coding on her computer, you can find her diving, rock climbing, or playing board games.

  • Home Institution
    University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill
  • Education
    Carly Scott earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin; and their Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Idaho
  • Personal Interests
    rock climbing; cooking; board games; dungeons and dragons
Pete Seel
Murray Chair in Journalism
Pete Seel
Murray Chair in Journalism

Pete Seel is professor emeritus at Colorado State University where he taught video production, photojournalism, telecommunication, and documentary history/production. This is his fourth voyage with Semester at Sea and his positive experiences with students and experiential education on these voyages led to the creation of media-related study-abroad courses for Colorado State that he led in Europe and Australia/New Zealand. He has extensive professional experience in photojournalism and video production. His research is focused on the global effects of new communication technologies, primarily concerning the internet, artificial intelligence, and social media.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Pete earned his PhD in Mass Communication from Indiana University. His MA in Education is from San Francisco State University, and his BFA in Photography is from the San Francisco Art Institute.
  • Personal Interests
    Travel and wildlife photography and video production. Hiking, biking, skiing, and meeting people from diverse cultures and regions.
Allison White
Political Science
Allison White
Political Science

Allison White is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University with a PhD in Government, focusing primarily on domestic politics in dictatorships. In particular, she is interested in policymaking, elections, and corruption in one of the world’s most prominent autocracies–Russia. As the former Assistant Director of International Studies at Colorado State University, Allison enjoys engaging with students about all things international politics and policy. She currently directs the International Policy and Management specialization of CSU’s Master of Public Policy and Administration program. Allison also serves on the Executive Board of the Section for Comparative and International Administration of the American Society for Public Administration.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Allison earned her PhD degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin; her MA in Social Sciences from The University of Chicago; and her BA in Politics from Occidental College.
  • Personal Interests
    In addition to travel, Allison enjoys hiking, trail running, yoga, meditation, music, and podcasts.

Staff

Kathleen Adams
Counselor
Kathleen Adams
Counselor

Kathleen Adams, LCSW, has worked with children, adults and families for over 35 years in both the USA and overseas. She has a psychotherapy and mediation practice in Northern California where she focuses on transition, trauma and inspiring hope.

Kathleen is co-author of the award-winning children’s book on divorce, “On the Day His Daddy Left.” She is also a film producer passionately focused on issues such as suicide prevention and girl empowerment. Her most recent feature film, “Rickshaw Girl,” won 10 major film festival awards and was the first-ever US-Bangladesh co-production. And just for fun, she does some travel writing.

Recently she was honored by the National Association of Social Workers with the “California Social Worker of the Year” award.

  • Home Institution
    No Associated Institution
  • Education
    Kathleen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Catholic University in Washington DC; her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University in New York.
  • Personal Interests
    Film, travel and culinary adventures. Spending time with family. Dolphins and chocolate will always bring a smile to her face.
Jenai Copeland
Counselor
Jenai Copeland
Counselor

Jenai Copeland, LCSW, is passionate about supporting students and families through their trials and triumphs. She has an eclectic therapeutic style that is trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and relational. Prior to joining this voyage, Jenai provided therapy for individuals, couples, and groups through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Towson University, and Oaks Integrated Care. Her career in higher education has also included serving as a Residence Director at Montclair State University, Wesley College, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers University Newark. She values creativity and enjoys engaging folks through innovative groups including improv therapy, laughing yoga, and dancing mindfulness.

  • Home Institution
    No Associated Institution
  • Education
    Jenai earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Montclair State University; her MBA from Wesley College; and her MSW from Montclair State University.
  • Personal Interests
    Reading, journaling, hiking, biking, dancing, karaoke, mentorship, spending time with loved ones, exploring, etc.
Aki Hosoi
Counselor
Aki Hosoi
Counselor

Aki has worked as a licensed psychologist in the counseling center at the Colorado State University Health Network since 2011 and has been the Training Director there since 2012. She loves training master’s and doctoral-level graduate students who are learning to do therapy, while also providing individual and group counseling to CSU students. She identifies as multiracial and particularly enjoys providing support to students who are working to understand their own identities, including working with historical and identity-based trauma. Aki also has worked within the VA Medical Center, at a rape crisis center, and at an intensive outpatient program for eating disorders.

Aki is accompanied on this voyage by her partner and two young children.

  • Home Institution
    Colorado State University: Fort Collins
  • Education
    Aki earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University; a Ph.D. in Ecology/Evolution from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and a B.A. in Biology from Amherst College.
  • Personal Interests
    Aki loves anything creative/artistic: painting, photography, kid’s craft projects. As a former biologist, she also is passionate about conservation and loves seeing animals in their natural habitat.
Randy Orsborn
Physician Assistant
Randy Orsborn
Physician Assistant

Mr. Orsborn has over 24 years of experience in emergency medicine. He began his career at an early age, joining Utica Emergency Medical Services during the 10th grade. He later joined the Mount Vernon Life Support Team (LST) and was certified as a Basic (BCLS), Advanced (ACLS) and Pediatric (PALS) Advanced Life Support Instructor, and a Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS) Instructor.
Mr. Orsborn was selected to join the Grant LifeFlight EMS Helicopter team, where he helped staff our nation’s first remote-based EMS Helicopter program. While at Knox Cardiology Associates, he became one of only four physician assistants in the U.S. to become Board Certified in Lipidology. Mr. Orsborn also helped establish Knox County’s first Urgent Care.

  • Education
    Mr. Orsborn earned a Maters Degree in PA studies from the University of Nebraska; their BA degree from Excelsior University; and a Associate Degree (PA) from Cuyahoga Community College
  • Personal Interests
    Family outings, cooking, travel, music, movies, walking/hiking
Eddie Roth
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator
Eddie Roth
Global Studies Instructional Coordinator

Eddie has worked in a variety of student services areas within higher education (residential education, admissions, int’l education, disability services, financial aid), and has taught at the junior high, high school and college levels; he most recently served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California. He lived in Japan for nearly five years, has led int’l student service learning trips around the world (India, Guatemala, Belize, Thailand, Peru), and has spent significant time working with orphanages in Uganda and Kenya.

  • Home Institution
    No Associated Institution
  • Education
    Eddie earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California; his M.A. from the University of Southern California; and his M.Ed. from Oregon State University
  • Personal Interests
    Eddie enjoys hiking, surfing, swimming, reading, music, and foreign languages
Mairin Smith
Physician
Mairin Smith
Physician

Dr. Smith is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician. She has over 12 years of experience working in emergency departments treating patients of all ages and backgrounds. Following medical school and residency at the University of Virginia, she worked in the Boston area for one year, then returned to Central Virginia. Dr. Smith has also spent time working with medical teams in Guatemala and Honduras. She counts it a privilege to care for patients, and learns from every patient encounter.

Dr. Smith is married to Justin, a psychiatrist, and they have four children, a pandemic pup, and two gerbils. The whole family is eager to learn from the Semester at Sea community and the people and cultures they are fortunate to visit on the Spring 2025 Voyage.

  • Home Institution
    University of Virginia
  • Education
    Dr. Smith completed medical school and emergency medicine residency at the University of Virginia, and earned her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Yale University.
  • Personal Interests
    Reading great novels, running, gardening, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, UVA basketball, listening to her daughter’s Spotify playlists, exploring new places, and eating dessert!

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.