Academy Coach applications are closed for 2022. Applications will open again in April 2022 for the 2023 Academy Coach Class.

Academy coaches are volunteer members who work with a cohort of six trainees. They represent a broad range of expertise and have worked in the field of international education for more than five years. Coaches work with their trainees to develop the trainees' learning plans and guide them as they navigate the world of international education, including NAFSA. They also advise trainees on workshop and session selections at the annual and fall regional conferences. Each coach is trained to be knowledgeable in six coaching skill sets:

  • Knowledge of the Academy
  • Marketing and Recruitment
  • Building a Cohort
  • Supporting Trainee Development
  • Professional Tools
  • Facilitating Learning

Become an Academy Coach

Access to coaches' experience and knowledge is one of the greatest benefits for trainees. The coaches provide professional guidance and direction to trainees while they receive a broad overview of international education through a variety of workshops.

Download the Academy Coach position description

Note: You must be a NAFSA member to serve as a coach for the NAFSA Academy.

Interview with an Academy Coach

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loveness schafer

Loveness Schafer
Associate Director of International Services
Louisiana State University

Loveness Schafer shares her experience of being an Academy Coach and offers advice to new, incoming coaches. Read her interview.

Janet Ray

Janet Ray
Providence College
2021 Academy Class 18 Chair
Janet Ray is an assistant dean of undergraduate studies and the director of international student success at Providence College. As a native of Barbados, the opportunity to come to the United States as an international student has helped her connect easily with international students. She can relate...

Amanda Yusko

amanda yusko
The Ohio State University
2021 Academy Class 18 Chair-Designate; 2022 Academy Class 19 Chair
Yusko is the program manager for the Student Immigration Team at The Ohio State University where she serves as a DSO/ARO and manages advising efforts for more than 7,000 international students. She has been very involved with NAFSA, serving in several capacities at the regional level as well as...

Todd Goen

todd goen
Christopher Newport University
2022 Academy Class 19 Chair-Designate; Academy Coach, Region VIII
Goen is a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Christopher Newport University, where he also serves the department as Internship Director and the Faculty Director of the Cultural Communication Abroad program in Benelux. Prior to his arrival at Christopher Newport, he held faculty...

Ryan Larsen, PhD

Ryan Larsen
Western Washington University
Academy Coach, Region I
Ryan is the Director of Education Abroad at Western Washington University, a public, comprehensive university in Bellingham, Washington. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Spanish Language and Literature, a Master of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Public Affairs. He...

Todd Karr

Todd Karr
The University of New Mexico
Academy Coach, Region II
Todd currently serves as the Director of Education Abroad at The University of New Mexico. Prior to UNM, Todd was the Assistant Director of University of Nebraska Online. He has served in various international education roles at Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Indiana...

Janel Dumbre

Janel Dumbre
SABIC
Communications Liaison, Region III; Academy Coach, Region III
Janel Dumbre holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. She has been a professional in the field of international education since 2004. She is currently an academic advisor at SABIC’s Scholarship Program in Houston, Texas. Prior to this, she worked at Rice University in...

Blerina Polovina

Blerina Polovina
Webster University
Academy Coach, Region IV
Blerina Polovina is the Director of International Admission and Services at Webster University. She has over 10 years of experience in international education with specific experience is international recruitment, admission, compliance and regulations, international credentials, internships...

Kemi Onajole

Kemi Onajole
Illinois Institute of Technology
Academy Coach, Region V
Kemi Onajole is the director of the International Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She has over 15 years of experience in higher education, with specific experiences in international education, international education, immigration advising and student affairs and has been a...

Rachel Hosler

Rachel Hosler
Walsh University
Academy Coach, Region VI
Rachel Hosler is the associate dean of experiential learning and director for the Renacci center for civic engagement at Walsh University, where she leads the global learning, service learning and career center teams. In her former role as the director of global learning, she doubled the number of...

Anna Hayes

Anna Hayes
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Academy Coach, Region VII
As Associate Director of Global Programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, Anna is responsible for exchange programs in Europe and all Global Immersion Electives for undergraduates. Additionally, she oversees team management, credit review and transfer...

Lin Reed

Lin Reed
Navitas USA
CEP Workshop Dean; Academy Coach, Region VIII
Lin Reed is the NAFSA Core Education Program (CEP) workshop dean for intercultural communication in practice and the 2022 NAFSA Academy Coach for Region VIII. Lin Reed is the Executive Director of Global Student Success Programs at Navitas USA. She is a senior administration team member who oversees...

Kim Howard

Kim Howard
The University of Vermont
Academy Coach, Region XI
Kim Howard was appointed Director of the Office of International Education at the University of Vermont in Fall 2008. She oversees a talented team committed to a work environment filled with integrity, respect, optimism, humor and collaboration balanced with autonomy. Kim has led the department...

Jessica Calhoun, PhD

Jessica Calhoun
The American College of the Mediterranean
Academy Coach, Region XII
Jessica Calhoun, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of Admissions at The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM) and its study abroad division, the Institute for American Universities (IAU). In her role at ACM-IAU she oversees institution-wide enrollment, program development, university relations, and...

Kira Espiritu

kira espiritu
University of San Diego
2021 Academy Coach, Region XII; 2022 Academy Coach, National Cohort
Kira Espiritu is the Director of the Office of International Studies Abroad at the University of San Diego. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in international education and has been a longtime NAFSA member. Kira oversees the development of all undergraduate study abroad programs at the University...

Machelle Allman

Michelle Allman
University of Washington - Bothell
Academy Coach, Region I
Machelle has devoted her entire professional career of over 20 years to international education. After five years in international admissions, she switched focus to international student advising and has served students in private colleges, community colleges, and large and small public research...

Shelley Jewell

Shelley Jewell
University of Wyoming
Academy Coach, Region II
Shelley Jewell is the director of education abroad at the University of Wyoming (UW), where she leads a team in the development and administration of education abroad programs including faculty-directed programs, student advising and support, and all related services. She is a member of NAFSA, the...

Loveness Schafer

loveness schafer
Louisiana State University
Academy Coach, Region III
Loveness Schafer is the 2020 Region III Academy Coach. Schafer is associate director of international services in the Office of International Programs at Louisiana State University and A & M College in Baton Rouge. She has worked for LSU since August 2000. She manages LSU’s Exchange Visitor Program...

Shannon Ingleby

shannon ingleby
Kirkwood Community College
Academy Coach, Region IV; Conference Registrar, Region IV
Shannon Ingleby is the international student advisor at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA. She started her career in international education while teaching and living in China. After living overseas for three years, she understands the difficulties of moving to a new country and can...

Kemi Onajole

Kemi Onajole
Illinois Institute of Technology
Academy Coach, Region V
Kemi Onajole is the director of the International Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She has over 15 years of experience in higher education, with specific experiences in international education, international education, immigration advising and student affairs and has been a...

Mike Brzezinski

Michael Brzezinski
Purdue University
Academy Coach, Region VI
Mike Brzezinski joined Purdue in 1993 as director of international students and scholars. Prior to joining the Boilermakers, Brzezinski studied and worked in China, two years as an exchange student and five years as an administrator and teacher for an American educational company, Educational...

Chris Larkin

Chris Larkins
University of Alabama
Academy Coach, Region VII
Chris Larkin is an international student advisor for The University of Alabama and primarily works with J-1 and H-1B scholars, but still works with F-1 and J-1 students occasionally. Before The University of Alabama, he worked at Texas A&M as an international student advisor for several years. Chris...

Todd Goen

todd goen
Christopher Newport University
2022 Academy Class 19 Chair-Designate; Academy Coach, Region VIII
Goen is a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Christopher Newport University, where he also serves the department as Internship Director and the Faculty Director of the Cultural Communication Abroad program in Benelux. Prior to his arrival at Christopher Newport, he held faculty...

Tricia Herritt

Tricia Herritt
State University of New York at Buffalo State
Academy Coach, Region X
Tricia Herritt is the director of international student and scholar services at State University of New York at Buffalo State. Working in higher education for the past 20 years, she has experience with international student advisement, study abroad, international recruitment and summer ESL...

Katie Irwin

kate irwin
Hampshire College
Academy Coach, Region XI
Katie Irwin, Director of Global Education at Hampshire College, has been at Hampshire College for 12 years and has been Director of the Global Education Office since 2011. Katie received her Master’s in International Education at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. Katie has...

Kira Espiritu

kira espiritu
University of San Diego
2021 Academy Coach, Region XII; 2022 Academy Coach, National Cohort
Kira Espiritu is the Director of the Office of International Studies Abroad at the University of San Diego. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in international education and has been a longtime NAFSA member. Kira oversees the development of all undergraduate study abroad programs at the University...

Aaron Clevenger, EdD

Aaron Clevenger
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
IEL/TLS Knowledge Community Liaison; Academy Coach, SIO/National Cohort
Aaron Clevenger is the International Education Leadership (IEL) and Teaching, Learning, Scholarship (TLS) Knowledge Community liaison for Region VII, and the 2020-2021 National Academy Coach. Aaron serves as the assistant provost and dean of international programs for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical...