Meet the Office: New Associate Director and New Peer Advisors

villamarphotoPlease welcome Katie Villamar to Towson University. She joins TU as the new Associate Director for Study Abroad. Katie’s passion for the international education field stems from her own global experiences. An avid traveler, her first study abroad experience as a Student Ambassador in Western Europe in 2000 helped her to realize her life’s passion of seeing the world and experiencing its many different cultures. During her undergraduate years at Salisbury University, she worked as a community outreach volunteer for Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca in Mexico. She also spent a semester studying, and later a minimester interning, at the Centers for Interamerican Studies (CEDEI) in Cuenca, Ecuador. After receiving her B.A. in Spanish, Katie returned to Ecuador to work as an International Programs Coordinator at CEDEI. She later served as the Assistant Director of International Education Services at UMBC for several years and earned her M.A. in their Intercultural Communications program in May 2011. Katie chose a career in this field because of her commitment to the idea that facilitating people-to-people connections can help to make the world a better place.

We also welcomed three new Peer Advisors this semester!

Becca Sciabarasi, Brianna James, and Lyndsi Jones have joined Alie Waller to help you tackle the needs of study abroad from a peer perspective.

beccasciabarasiBecca is a senior studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy on the TU in Italy program at Lorenzo de Medici. “Living and studying in Florence was the best decision I have ever made. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to immerse myself in the Italian culture, travel around Europe to cities I never imagined visiting and going completely outside of my comfort zone. I believe everyone should study abroad if they have the opportunity to because this experience is life changing!”


lyndsi_pictureLyndsi is a senior Mass Communication major with a Marketing minor. She studied abroad in Leeds, UK on the TU Exchange Program to the University of Leeds. “Leeds is a city filled with a diverse student life and amazing culture; it’s not uncommon to walk right into music festivals and art exhibits, happening right on the city streets. Being immersed in a culture that was entirely different than what I’m used to will always be the best experience of my life. Everyone should study abroad, or just travel, if given the chance, and studying in Leeds showed me how valuable travel really is.”

Brianna is a senior, double majoring in English and Electronic Media and Film. She studied abroad in London, UK with AIFS. “This past January I was fortunate enough to take my very first flight–and I do mean ever, all the way to London! My trip was completely spur of the moment but ended up being one of the most memorable experiences of my life. In a short three weeks I met amazing new friends, took an authentic British-Literature course, and even took two additional trips to Paris, and Amsterdam! Though the best part of my study abroad experience was the confidence it instilled in me. I now imagine a life for myself that I never dared dream of before; and better than that I have faith in these dreams to come true. In fact, I’m hoping to get an internship back in London next summer!”

We are so excited to have these lovely ladies join us as new members of our team!