Meet the Staff



Dr. David L. Di Maria   Associate Vice Provost for International Education

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Dr. Di Maria joined UMBC in 2017 as the inaugural Associate Vice Provost for International Education. Dr. Di Maria oversees the Center for Global Engagement’s partnerships, programs and services. As UMBC’s senior international officer, he promotes the international dimensions of teaching, research and service by working collaboratively with administrators, faculty, staff, students and community leaders to create global engagement opportunities that align with UMBC’s mission, vision and strategic goals.


Wanda D. Meinschein   Business Financial Specialist

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Wanda has been at UMBC since 2014 in various part-time positions and with the Center for Global Engagement since February of 2020 where she helps develop, manage, reconcile, and analyze budgets for CGE and Education Abroad.  She began her career in higher education at Louisiana State University and has worked at several other institutions of higher learning.  She has a degree in Business Administration with a double concentration in Finance and Management from Notre Dame University of Maryland.  She has traveled extensively with her husband and daughter both domestically and internationally. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, learning to play the guitar, and training her Portuguese Water Dog, Olive (aka Terrapin’s Shaken not Stirred).


Rachel Vandegrift   Administrative & Operations Coordinator

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Rachel joined the Center for Global Engagement at UMBC in 2022. She is thrilled to develop procedures that help all teams at CGE run smoothly together. Previously, she worked as a Program Coordinator for study abroad and an Admissions Counselor for international internships. She has also worked internationally as a digital marketing intern in Barcelona, Spain, and a Native English Teacher in Yeonggwang, South Korea. In her free time, she enjoys creating art of all kinds, especially through fiber arts and ceramics.


Mariia Usova Graduate Assistant




Adam Holden   International Partnerships Coordinator

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Adam joined UMBC in 2018 and serves as the inaugural International Partnerships Coordinator. In this role, Adam serves as UMBC’s primary contact for internal and external constituents engaged in international partnerships. These partnerships promote and advance the international dimensions of teaching, learning, research, and service at UMBC.


Polina Tsygelnikova  Student Worker



Katherine Heird Director of Education Abroad & Global Learning


Katie rejoined the UMBC community as the inaugural Director of Education Abroad & Global Learning in 2022. In this role, she leads the transformation of the Education Abroad Office to a holistic model of programming and funding for global opportunities for our students and recent alumni.


Brian Souders, Ph.D.   Associate Director for Global Learning


Brian has served as UMBC’s Fulbright Program Advisor for student awards since 2009 and as Fulbright Scholar Liaison for faculty since 2020. Brian also advises current undergraduate and graduate students on other global scholarships, including the Boren, Critical Language, Gilman and DAAD scholarship programs, among others.


Ogonna Owu Jones   Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program Coordinator

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Ogonna rejoined the UMBC community as the inaugural Faculty-Led Education Abroad Coordinator in 2023. In this role, she manages, markets, develops, and scales the number of students and faculty on new and existing faculty-led study abroad programs in more diverse and less-represented world regions as well as facilitates the training to prepare them for their programs. Previously, she taught English in South Korea and worked as a Study Abroad Advisor.


Alicyn Curtis   Education Abroad Advisor

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Alicyn Curtis is the Education Abroad Advisor at UMBC. She graduated from UMBC with a degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics: Korean focus. She taught English in South Korea to young students from 2017 to 2020 before returning to the U.S. She speaks English and Korean. She enjoys painting, playing with her dog, and keeping up with the newest fashion trends.


Devayani Gadgil  Graduate Assistant

Devayani Gadgil is a Graduate Assistant at the Center for Global Engagement. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Human-Centered Computing. She joined UMBC in 2023 and has a passion for User Experience Design, which allows her to creatively solve problems and design digital experiences accessible to everyone. In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Devayani enjoys expressing her creativity through painting and photography in her free time.


William Mo  Peer Advisor (Student Worker)

Betty Kyei  Peer Advisor (Student Worker)

Reese Brooks  Peer Advisor (Student Worker)

Kayla Nemirovsky  Peer Advisor (Student Worker)




Ryan Sheldon, M.A.   Director of English Language Institute and Special Programs

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Ryan Sheldon is proud to support all ELI students as they continue to work towards reaching their own personal, academic and professional goals. He began his career in ESOL in 2009 teaching young learners in South Korea and later Ecuador. Upon returning to the U.S., his studies brought him to Washington D.C. where he earned a CELTA and later would move up to Baltimore to pursue his M.A. in TESOL at UMBC. While studying, Ryan worked as an instructor and graduate assistant at the ELI where he discovered his passion for program development. First, he served as an Assistant Director at the ELI. Then, he worked at Notre Dame of Maryland University where his work focused on testing and evaluation, curriculum development, marketing, student services and advising, and faculty support before coming back to the UMBC ELI. Ryan also holds a degree in Electronic Media from Xavier University in Cincinnati and spent several years working in television news and cable media.



Georges Mushayuma, M.A.   General Assistant

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Josie Penn   Program Management Specialist

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Josie Penn joined the ELI in 2000, after 12 years facilitating children’s development by owning and operating a licensed childcare facility in her home. She prides herself on helping others achieve their goals. In April 2007, she received UMBC’s Employee of the Quarter award in recognition of her work. In addition to her work at the ELI, Josie has taught aerobics for UMBC. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, outdoor activities and traveling.


Sarita Foutz, M.A.   Program Coordinator

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Sarita Foutz is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. She has a degree in accounting and a professional license in public accounting from the University of Benito Juarez of Oaxaca, Mexico, and an M.A. from UMBC in instructional systems development. Before pursuing her M.A., Sarita began her studies at the ELI! Sarita has worked at the ELI for nearly 10 years.


Madison Pickard   Graduate Assistant / Special Programs Coordinator

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Madison Pickard is a Graduate Assistant working as a Special Programs Coordinator at ELI and studying Intercultural Communications. She has lived in various countries as an English teacher including Ecuador, Australia, and most recently, Thailand. She understands the difficulty and the joy of living in different countries and is here to help and chat with any students that want to share their experiences. She speaks Spanish, Thai, and some ASL.


Lauren Mister Graduate Assistant



Christopher McKinnon, M.A.   Faculty

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Chris McKinnon began his career teaching English in Katowice, Poland where he spent six years teaching business English to adults. In 2007 he received a CELTA from the Lewis School of languages in Barcelona, Spain and began teaching young learners. After teaching children for another year in Spain, Chris returned to Eastern Europe to Prague, Czech Republic where he spent two more years teaching adults. Chris has a BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics and an MA TESOL. Chris speaks both Polish and English and has a great love for Polish culture.


John Lundquist   Faculty

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Kati Milter, Ph.D.   Faculty

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Kati Milter holds a B.Ed. with an ESOL specialization and an M.A. in English from ELTE, Budapest, Hungary. Kati has more than 10 years’ experience teaching English as a second language in her native country, and taught English literature and history at Janus Pannonius University in Pecs, Hungary before moving to the U.S. in 2000. Kati earned an M.A. in Telecommunications and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Ohio University, where she also taught undergraduate courses in advertising and communications. Specializations within her doctoral studies included adult education, applied technology, distance education, and blended learning. Kati resides in Catonsville with her husband, who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, and her two bilingual daughters.


Mark Beachy, M.A. Faculty

Mark Beachy holds a M.A. in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from UMBC. In addition he holds a B.A. in Asian Studies with a certificate in Chinese Language from UMBC. He is the recipient of an Undergraduate Research Award for 2020-2021 at UMBC. His research is entitled “Performing Traditional Chinese Folk Songs.” Mark is a Fulbright Scholar semi-finalist for Taiwan. Previously a professional actor, award-winning playwright and composer, and drama teacher, Mark brings that creativity into the classroom by presenting engaging, educational, and culturally responsive lessons.



Dave Anguish  Director of International Student & Scholar Services

Dave serves as Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), coordinating immigration services for F-1 students. He is responsible for advising F-1 students, J-1 Exchange Visitors, and H-1B specialty occupation workers. He leads efforts ensure UMBC’s compliance with DHS reporting requirements. He has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from UMBC, and has worked in international student affairs since 2013.


Natalie Lobb  Assistant Director of International Recruitment

Natalie serves as UMBC’s Assistant Director of International Recruitment. In her role, she coordinates the university’s international student recruitment initiatives to support campus internationalization in alignment with UMBC’s mission and strategic plan. Natalie works to help future international students discover UMBC’s premier academics, research, and opportunities. Through international student recruitment, her efforts continue to enhance UMBC’s supportive, diverse and vibrant campus community.


Sarah Wong International Student Support Manager

Sarah serves as the International Student Support Manager working closely with UMBC’s Global Ambassadors and other campus partners to provide support to prospective and current international students. Originally from Illinois, Sarah lived in Tennessee and Hong Kong before settling in Maryland.


Sarah Cockcroft, International Student and Scholar Advisor

Sarah serves as one of UMBC’s Designated School Officers (DSO). She is responsible for assisting international students and scholars with immigration and other questions and concerns. Sarah is originally from Charleston, SC, but has lived in Paris, London, Suzhou, and Buffalo, NY. She has worked in international higher education since 2020.


Diane Zeenny Ghorayeb, International Scholar Coordinator

Diane serves as an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) for UMBC’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and coordinates H-1B petitions for specialty occupation workers. She obtained her Master of Arts in Intercultural Communication from UMBC. Diane was born in Beirut, Lebanon; lived in Paris, France, for more than 20 years; and moved to the U.S. in 2006. Diane is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.


Victoria Sung   International Student and Scholar Advisor

Victoria Sung serves as a Designated School Officer (DSO) at UMBC. She assists international students and scholars with the process of studying in the U.S. and helps answer immigration questions and concerns. Victoria enjoys taking spontaneous hiking trips and has backpacked across Europe during her study abroad at the London School of Economics.


Brionna Stokes International Student and Scholar Advisor

Brionna serves as one of UMBC’s Designated School Officials (DSO). She assists international students and scholars with immigration questions and concerns. Brionna is originally from Mansfield, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Toledo with a major in Global Studies and a Japanese minor. She enjoys reading and playing video games in her free time.


Farhan Nadeem International Student Career Advisor

Farhan serves as a Designated School Official (DSO) at UMBC. He has a shared role as the International Student Career Advisor at the Career Center. He also assists international F1 students with the process of studying in the U.S and helps answer immigration questions and concerns. He previously worked abroad on refugee resettlement and Global Human Rights issues.


Sai Sourab Ganti Global Ambassador (Graduate Assistant)

Jiwon Choi Global Ambassador (Graduate Assistant)

An Dang Global Ambassador (Student Worker)

Jervon Drakes Global Ambassador (Student Worker)

Praise Lasekan Global Ambassador (Student Worker)