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.

Academy Coach Applications!

Applications are open now through June 15, 2022. 

Amanda Yusko

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amanda yusko
The Ohio State University
2022 Academy 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

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Todd Goen
Virginia Military Institute
2022 Academy Chair-Designate
Todd Lee Goen is Director of International Programs and Senior International Officer at Virginia Military Institute where he oversees education abroad, international student and scholar support services, and strategic planning for campus internationalization. Prior to VMI, Goen held full-time...

Ryan Larsen, PhD

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Ryan Larsen
Western Washington University
NAFSA Academy Coach, Region I
Ryan is the Director of Education Abroad at Western Washington University, a public, comprehensive university in Bellingham, Washington.

Todd Karr

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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

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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

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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...

Rachel Hosler

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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kira espiritu
University of San Diego
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...