Meet Our Staff
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  • Dr. Syedur Rahman is the Director of International Education Programs at NOVA and serves as the Project Director of the Community College Initiative Program. He has a Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He has over two decades of experience in managing faculty and student exchange programs. He served as the director of international programs at the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University. He also served as the president of the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies. His publications include research report for the United Nations, grant report for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs division of the United States Department of State and peer-reviewed papers on human resources, leadership development and financial management.

  • Leeza Fernand is the Associate Director for the Community College Initiative Program and holds an M.B.A. in International Business with a focus on leadership and cross cultural integration from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her background in higher education began with a role as Study Abroad Assistant with Miami Dade College and later as the Program Coordinator of the CCI pilot year in Miami. Originally from Belarus, Leeza has lived in Argentina and Spain; volunteering with underprivileged children and interning, respectively. She has also served as a translator and cultural attaché for visiting State Department dignitaries. Her work has taken her to various countries in Latin America – including Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Chile – where she has created new exchange partnerships and fostered cross-cultural understanding.

  • Andrew Shahan is the Program Associate for the Community College Initiative Program. He has worked with the Office of International Education Programs at NOVA since 2012 and has been working at Northern Virginia Community College since 2011. He is an undergraduate of James Madison University and holds a BA in Graphic Design. He was born and raised in Germany until coming to the United States to attend college. He has lived in Germany, Virginia, and California. He has traveled to many European countries and cities and still loves to experience new places and cultures. His passions include learning about ancient history and the artistic styles of international cultures.

  • Jaclyn Ruybalid Krueger is the Program Coordinator for Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus. Jaclyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a Master of Science degree in Higher Education with an emphasis on Student Development from the University of Kansas. Her studies as well as work experiences have been devoted to understanding and assisting with the varied needs of diverse student populations, first generation college students, international students and multicultural and urban environments. Jaclyn was born and raised in Southern California but has lived and worked in 6 other states, most recently moving to Virginia from New York. Living in such a wide variety of settings, as well as her time spent traveling internationally, has fueled her desire to continue to expand her horizons and become more involved in the international education community. Jaclyn loves music, traveling, animals and learning!

  • Kelly Forbes is the CCI Program Coordinator for Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus. She earned a B.A. in German from Old Dominion University and a M.A. in International Education from The George Washington University. Prior to coming to NOVA, Kelly worked with international students at the International Services Office and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at GW. Kelly’s passion for international education and cultural diplomacy stems from her childhood when she lived in Stuttgart, Germany. She enjoys traveling, reading, playing soccer, and meeting people from all over the world.

  • Lorin Banja is the Program Coordinator for the Houston Community College. Lorin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting. He is originally from the city of Elbasan, in Albania. He started his international education as an exchange student scholar in high school through a Fulbright Scholarship in 1999. He has more than 10 years of experience working with federal grants that help underprivileged students to get their higher education degrees. Lorin is currently enrolled in one year long international training through NAFSA, the Association of International Educators.

  • Nicole Spizzirri is the Program Coordinator for College of DuPage. Nicole earned her BA in Political Science and German from Elmhurst College, which included a study abroad experience in Strobl, Austria. She earned her Masters of Arts in Higher Education with an emphasis on Student Affairs. Nicole has worked with students in a variety of different settings, including first year orientation and academic advising. Nicole spent a considerable part of her childhood in Germany and has been around different cultures for her whole life which sparked her passion to work with international students. Nicole believes optimism is key in life and eager to work with incoming CCI participants.

  • Zoisa Edwards is the Bunker Hill Community College CCI Program Coordinator. She has a Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Zoe has studied and worked internationally in the UK and in South America. Most recently, she was the Director of International Programming for an international educational travel program. She also taught English and Service Learning at an International School in Guyana, South America. She has developed and directed international work abroad programs with both adult and youth participants. Zoe enjoys reading and playing hours of scrabble.

  • Megan O'Connor is the CCI Program Coordinator at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). Megan is an Arizona native with several years of experience working with local nonprofit organizations in Phoenix. She is a SCC alumna, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and studied at Charles University in the Czech Republic. In 2011, she was awarded a Carl Wilkens Fellowship in order to continue to advocate locally for victims of genocide and mass atrocities arriving in Arizona. Megan enjoys traveling, dancing, hiking, fishing, camping, meeting new people, and spending time with family.

  • Paul Patterson is the Program Coordinator at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona. Paul received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling and worked as a psychotherapist in many settings including a Native American Indian Reservation, an inner-city clinic for the homeless and mentally ill, a Congolese refugee camp in Africa, as well as private practice psychotherapy. He is completing his Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Formation with his dissertation-in-progress on "Inter-faith Dialogue." Having worked with the CCI since October of 2010, he has served as the event coordinator for the annual mid-year retreat and workshop for transformative leadership. Paul enjoys his opportunities for international travel, most recently visiting sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Jane Ann Rix is the Program Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jane Ann has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State University and extensive coaching and teaching experience. Her background in education has given her experience teaching English, Home Economics as well as specific coaching experience coaching girls basketball. For the past six years, Jane Ann has worked with a variety of programming needs of international students visiting Kirkwood on grant programs including coordination of Pre-Academic and Academic programming for CCI and SEED students. She enjoys advising students who are funded by grants that help underprivileged students get involved in campus and community activities. Jane Ann enjoys traveling and recently participated in a service project in Antigua, Guatemala as a Kirkwood Global Service Awardee. Her focus on community service and outreach to community leaders has facilitated international students at Kirkwood to contributing 1000s of hours to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa Communities.

  • Heath Mensher is the CCI Program Coordinator at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA. He has a BA in English from York College of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in Education from Kutztown University. He has been an instructor at NCC since 2011, teaching English Literature, Screenwriting, College Success, and Introduction to Film. Prior to his devotion to education, Heath was a writer for various publications and television, including a stint as a staff writer at MTV, VHI, and HD Net. Heath has worked behind the scenes on over 40 films and television commercials, and worked on NBC’s "The West Wing" for Seasons II and III. He has two young children and a patient wife, all of whom love meeting the students who come to Pennsylvania from all over the world!

  • Ariel Hernandez is the Program Coordinator at Valencia College in Orlando, FL. Born in Miami, FL, he is fluent in Spanish and, being a dual citizen, also considers Nicaragua to be home. Ariel earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Miami. He completed his graduate studies at Florida International University, where he earned a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution & Consensus Building and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. His journey in higher education has allowed him to work in various student services departments, mostly notably in Residence Life. Ariel has worked with international students as a student life skills instructor, guest lecturer in Intensive English, and by hosting pre-arrival programs and educational programming events in his residential communities.

  • Audrey Le Baudour, working alongside the International Studies team at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), is the CCI Program Coordinator. In addition to working with the CCI students, Audrey teaches a variety of courses in the Business Department at SRJC, with her favorite being Soft Skills. Audrey is also a professional coach specializing in career switching. Her educational background includes a MA in Human Services with an emphasis in coaching and a BA in Marketing. Audrey takes great pleasure in attempting to make a difference in the lives of others.

  • Amanda Fletcher is the CCI Program Coordinator for Edmonds Community College, in Lynnwood, Washington. Amanda earned a Master of Arts in International Education from the School for International Training (SIT). She has worked with the CCI Program since 2009. Prior to working with the CCI Program Amanda directed a college study abroad office and sent American students all over the world. As an undergraduate Amanda studied abroad in England and Italy, and she lived in New Zealand after graduating. These international experiences were transformational for her and inspired her to seek a career helping international students have similarly transformational experiences. In 2013 Amanda participated in the Fulbright International Education Administrator program in Japan. In her free time Amanda loves traveling, playing soccer, and reading.

  • Kari Olsen works as the CCI Program Coordinator and International Student Support Specialist at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Kari earned her bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, Social Justice and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. During her undergraduate education she studied sustainability in Mexico and completed an internship in Bolivia. After graduating she served for two years as an Environmental Protection Volunteer with the Peace Corps in rural Honduras. Kari previously worked as a Wish Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Program Manager for a local educational non-profit. She currently is pursuing her master’s degree in Transnational Human Services Leadership from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. In her free time Kari enjoys watching the Green Bay Packers.

  • Lauren Tollon is the CCI Assistant Program Coordinator at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She is a graduate from Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies: Africa and The Middle East, including four years of Arabic language studies. She also spent time volunteering abroad in Mozambique. Lauren has a variety of hands on experience related to working with international students and refugees. She previously worked as Resident Assistant for international students and completed an internship with Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley in Refugee Resettlement. Lauren grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and her passion for the International population drew her to the CCI position in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

  • Allisen Stojanovic is the CCI Program Coordinator and International Student Programs Manager for Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. She works closely with international students to achieve their academic, program and personal goals while attending FVTC. She holds Bachelors of Arts in Spanish and Masters of Arts in Public Administration and has participated in 5 exchange programs herself. She has traveled extensively and has had the opportunity to live and work as a translator outside the United States. She leads student language and cultural immersion trips abroad and throughout the United States as well for FVTC. Allisen enjoys tap dancing, cooking, traveling and spending time with her husband and 2 children.

  • Aaron M. Gorenc, CCI Program Coordinator and Manager of Global Education & Services for Fox Valley Technical College, coordinates the planning, development and implementation of customized training to business and industry in the district and beyond. He also oversees the creation, development and management of all study abroad initiatives at the college. Additionally, Aaron works closely with local businesses to help international students find and secure internships. Aaron received his B.B.A. at the UW-Whitewater with an emphasis on International Business and German in 2004 and completed his M.A. in Comparative and International Development Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2009. Aaron has received numerous leadership training through NAFSA: Association of International Educators and has presented at conferences related to international education and exchange. Aaron has studied in Germany and Switzerland and enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children.