Global Engagement and Education Abroad (GEEA)

Shaylyn MacKinnon

School: 
Gerald R. Ford School, The School of Social Work
Major: 
Social Policy, Global Social Work Practice
Class Level: 
Masters

Shaylyn MacKinnon is a dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work student at the University of Michigan. After graduating with a B.A. in International Relations, English Literature, and Spanish Language & Culture, Shaylyn joined the U.S. Peace Corps as an Education Volunteer in Rwanda. When COVID-19 resulted in a global pause on Peace Corps operations, Shaylyn continued developing her intercultural skills as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with ELL students in her home city of Portland, ME. Shaylyn hopes to combine her passion for direct service with her interest in macro-level policy research in order to help ease the legal, cultural, and social integration process of refugee resettlement within Maine. In her free time, Shaylyn enjoys keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and finding the best ice cream spots in Ann Arbor.

Armando R. Otero

School: 
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)
Major: 
International Studies, Anthropology
Class Level: 
Undergraduate

Armando R. Otero is an undergraduate senior majoring in International Studies (Subplan in International Security) and Anthropology. Being born and raised in Puerto Rico, Armando has a special passion for Caribbean food, latin music and dancing. During the summers, Armando has (in person turned virtual because of COVID) interned with the UCD Dublin in Ireland as a research assistant and, more recently, conducted self directed research across all of Puerto Rico. In his spare time, Armando loves to watch and play futbol (he is a huge FC Bayern fan) and watch motorsport events like F1 and LeMans!

Vania Tally

School: 
Ross School of Business, School for Environment and Sustainability
Class Level: 
Masters

Vania is a dual-degree student in the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) and Ross School of Business. After completing her BA in Sociology and Religious Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Vania joined the Peace Corps in Paraguay where she served as a Community Health Promoter. Vania lived in a rural town and taught basic health and leadership skills in both Spanish and Guarani, the indigenous language. She enjoyed her time so much, she extended her service another year to support other volunteers as a Regional Volunteer Coordinator. Before returning for her Masters at UM, Vania worked for over three years at international medical non-profit Operation Smile, running medical missions and building global surgical strategy all over the world. Originally from North Carolina, she was concerned about Michigan winters, but has decided the amazing people make it worth it!

Christian Ilarraza Colon

School: 
Gerald R. Ford School, Ross School of Business
Major: 
Public Policy, Business Administration
Class Level: 
Masters

Peace Corps Recruiter: Christian Ilarraza Colon (he/him/él) is a dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Business of Administration student at the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Ann Arbor, Christian was a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. During that time, he collaborated with stakeholders to improve student achievement goals at a junior high school in Carmen, Cebu. In his free time, he enjoys listening to This American Life podcasts and walking his 11-year old schnauzer named Copernicus.

Jess Williams

School: 
Ford School of Public Policy
Class Level: 
Masters

Peace Corps Recruiter: Jessica is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in China from 2018-2020. As a university English teacher in the small city of Yongchuan, she had a passion for youth development and fostering relationships with students. One of her primary projects was Youth Group, a weekly forum for students to meet and discuss topics such as confidence building, professional development, time management, and healthy relationships. She often invited students over to her apartment to cook dumplings (饺子) and other traditional Chinese dishes. Outside of the Peace Corps, Jessica has worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is currently an MPP candidate at the Ford School of Public Policy. She is interested in the intersection of social and international policy, and hopes to continue her involvement in public service to create change and help others.

Kelly Nelson

Kelly re-joined the International Center staff in August 2017 after having previously worked as the Education Abroad Coordinator in the International Center from 2008 to 2014. After leaving Ann Arbor in 2014, Kelly worked for the Institute of International Education (IIE) through which she worked closely with international students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States. Kelly is thrilled to be returning to the University of Michigan in a role that will allow her to combine her interests in education abroad with supporting international students.

Job Title: 
Interim Assistant Director

Kelly Wagner

Kelly joined the International Center team in April 2017 as the Program Manager for Global Engagement and Education Abroad (GEEA).  Before joining the GEEA team, Kelly served as the Interim Education Abroad Manager and International Student Engagement Coordinator for the University of Michigan-Flint.  Kelly has traveled abroad to Mexico, Canada, England, Germany, France and Italy. She also studied art and opera abroad in Bregenz, Austria as an undergraduate student. 

Job Title: 
Program Manager

Jacob Koelzer

Jake joined the GEEA team in November 2016. Originally from Troy, Michigan, he received his BA in History from the University of Michigan. His interest in international education stemmed from his decision to study abroad in London, England as an undergraduate. After graduating, he taught English in Madrid, Spain for two years. Both of his experiences abroad allowed him to learn about many different cultures by traveling throughout Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Morocco.

Job Title: 
Program Advisor

Kate Zheng

Kate joined the University of Michigan in 1998 and currently serves as the Assistant Director for Global Engagement and Education Abroad at the International Center. Kate is originally from P.R. China where she began her career in international education in 1987. Kate has a Master degree in Education.

Kate is an active member of NAFSA (Association of International Educators) and has pursued an interest in intercultural communication and leadership. In her free time, Kate enjoys visiting national parks and international travel.

Job Title: 
Assistant Director for Global Engagement and Education Abroad
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