Trainer Corps


The NAFSA Trainer Corps is made up of approximately 300 member volunteers who develop, deliver, and maintain the NAFSA Core Education Program (CEP) curriculum and materials. Trainer Corps members deliver the NAFSA CEP Workshops at various events, programs, meetings, and conferences throughout the year, including NAFSA's Annual Conference, Regional Conferences, and On-Site offerings all over the country.

The NAFSA Trainer Corps Program provides an array of professional development opportunities for Trainer Corps members:

  • Gain valuable training skills
  • Share core job knowledge
  • Keep abreast of changes in the field
  • Network with other international educators

Trainer Corps members are recognized as valuable leaders within their regions and Knowledge Communities. They are ambassadors for the NAFSA Core Education Program Workshops and e-Learning Courses, which build fundamental International Education Professional Competencies for international educators throughout their career. Trainer Corps provides service and opportunity for giving back to the development and advancement of international educators all over the world!

Trainer Corps Leadership

Trainer Corps Chair

Chanda ChenLoveness Schafer
Region III

Loveness Schafer is the associate director in International Services at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Loveness has worked in this office since August 2000, managing LSU’s employment-based immigration program, and its exchange visitor program. She has served as a trainer at numerous NAFSA regional and annual conference workshops, and is a regular session presenter at these conferences. Loveness has a Master’s degree in Comparative Law from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Malawi. Prior to joining the staff at LSU, she worked with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as an Assistant Legal Officer in Malawi for two years, and for US Peace Corps in Malawi for several years, as a language and Cross Culture Trainer.

Trainer Corps Chair-Designate

Parinaz ZartoshtyParinaz Zartoshty
Region XII

Parinaz Zartoshty is the director of international student and scholar services at San Jose State University. Besides managing the staff and office and providing regulatory guidance, she is also actively involved in intercultural training for staff and faculty on campus. Parinaz received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in government/international relations and her master’s degree in international relations from Boston University. She is originally from Iran and is fluent in several languages including Farsi, French and German. She has been an active NAFSA Trainer Corps member since 2011, presenting at multiple workshops, both regionally and nationally. Parinaz has a passion for international affairs. Her previous work experience includes work with UNICEF and Amnesty International.

Core Education Program (CEP) Deans

Collaborative Approaches to Developing Faculty-Led Programs

Erin BellErin Bell
Region XI

Erin Bell is the assistant director for the Global Projects Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, MA where she manages the recruitment, housing, and orientation process for WPI’s 40+ faculty-led programs around the world. Bell has been working in the field of international education, primarily in education abroad, for over 11 years. Previous to WPI, she worked for a small Boston-based study abroad program provider where she oversaw student advising, recruitment, and marketing for programs in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, and Botswana. Bell also has experience designing faculty-led programs with a customized tour provider. She has been a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps since 2015, presenting at local and national conferences, and completed the NAFSA Academy program in 2009. She holds a BA in French and Education from Muhlenberg College and an MS in Global and International Education from Drexel University.

Education Abroad Advising

Jason KinnearJason Kinnear
Region VII

Jason Kinnear is a passionate higher education executive with experience in education abroad, service-learning and community engagement, program development and administration. Working in international education since 1998, he has held positions in international students and scholar services, education abroad, and service-learning at the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Missouri. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Study Abroad Office at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. These positions have focused on exchange, study abroad, faculty-led, service, and internship programs and touched on all aspects of education abroad program development and administration. He is active in the NAFSA, previously holding regional & national leadership positions and currently is a member of the Work, Intern, Volunteer, & Research Abroad (WIVRA) Subcommittee and Trainer Corps. He also served on the Forum on Education Abroad Glossary Task Force, Second Edition. Kinnear received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado and is completing a PhD in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University.

Education Abroad: Critical Skills for the Adviser

Chelsea KindredChelsea Kindred
Region III

Chelsea Kindred is Director of Alumni Development and Research at Academic Programs International (API), an international education organization based in Austin, Texas.  Chelsea manages API’s Alumni Development Programs and Research projects, where her responsibilities include drafting curriculum, facilitating training, managing and providing professional contextualization of the international experience for participants. Chelsea has presented at national and regional levels on many topics, including alumni development, diversity and inclusion, social media/technology, and orientation strategies.  Chelsea earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Chatham University.  Chelsea wrote the “Re-Entry: Advising Strategies and Programming” chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad: 4th Edition and was lead trainer for the 2016 and 2017 NAFSA annual conferences Current Topic Workshop: Current Trends in Education Abroad Alumni Programming. She will co-author a journal for the education abroad returnee experience, a new NAFSA publication, due for release in 2018.

Internships, Research, and Service Learning Abroad

CK KwaiCK Kwai
Region VII

C.K. Kwai is the Chief International Officer at Jacksonville University. He has worked in the areas of EA, IEM, and ISSS for the last 20 plus years. He has extensive experience in all aspects of International Education from developing new study abroad agreements to foreign credential evaluation and developing international student programming. Kwai’s expertise in higher education is in the field of international education and he has a PhD in educational policy and administration. He has presented at numerous NAFSA national and regional conferences, NAFSA’s Summer Institute, higher education institutions around the world, the NASPA national conference and is an adjunct professor at the Vietnamese German University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Managing the Education Abroad Office

Natalie SchlegelNatalie Schlegel
Region XI

Natalie Schlegel is Director of International Education at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Her office manages exchange partnerships and a diverse portfolio of education abroad programs that serve approximately 700 undergraduate and graduate students annually.  She came to Bentley in 2003 as Education Abroad Advisor.  Previously, Natalie held positions at LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas, where she supported Fulbright grantees from Latin America, and at EF Foundation for Foreign Study, where she managed the placement process for high school exchange students. Natalie earned a BA in Economics and Spanish from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Bentley University.  She is a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corps.

Mapping Short-Term Education Abroad Programs

Kristen KalbrenerKristen Kalbrener
Region I

Kristen Kalbrener has a life-long history of seeking out international and intercultural exploration through meeting people, study, and travel. She has a Master's degree from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Master's degree in International Education from the School for International Training. Her BA is from Pacific Lutheran University where she developed a global awareness and acquired an interest in service and working together for the good of all. Kristen worked in corporate conference management for 14 years, much of it international. She lived in the UK, coordinating programs for study abroad students and again in California with inbound study abroad programs. Following 6 years as Director of International Programs at UMass Dartmouth where she enjoyed working with exchange students, faculty program leaders, administration and partner institutions, Kristen is now very pleased to be back in the Pacific Northwest. She is a proud member of the University of Oregon's GEO team, developing and managing unique study abroad programs that help students discover inspiration in intercultural experiences.

Risk Assessment and Crisis Management in Education Abroad Programming, and Student Health and Safety Abroad

Mandy ReinigMandy Reinig
Region VIII

Mandy Reinig is the Director of Study Away at Virginia Wesleyan College. She has a Master's degree in teaching English as a second language from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master's degree in Latin American studies from Ohio University. Prior to working at Virginia Wesleyan she was the director of international education at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Mandy has been extremely active in NAFSA serving not only on Trainer Corps but on the Region VIII Team and the Education Abroad Knowledge Community National Team. Additionally, she presents regionally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of topics.

Admission and Placement of International Students, and Recruiting International Students

Michelle KowalskyMichelle Kowalsky
Region XI

Michelle Kowalsky is the Director of International Admissions at Western New England University. She has worked in International Admissions/Education for the past 11 years starting at Catawba College in NC. Here she served as the primary DSO and worked with the students from the recruitment stage to graduation and their OPT experiences. Since 2005, Michelle has been working with undergraduate and graduate international students at WNEU. She has participated in the strategic planning process for the growth of the international population, evaluated international credentials, and traveled extensively for the University. Michelle also serves on the International Programs Coordinating Counsel at WNEU which is a committee dedicated to internationalizing the campus. Outside of the office, she has served as the Chair of Study Western Massachusetts, is a member of Trainer Corps, and serves on the Region XI Leadership Team. She holds a BA in Elementary Education (Catawba College) and a M.Ed. in Higher Education (Springfield College).

International Credential Evaluation

Katerina RoskinaKaterina Roskina
Region V

Katerina Roskina is the Owner and Senior Evaluator at China Credential Services. Her professional interests are credential evaluation and research, integration programming, transnational education and academic exchange facilitation, international admissions consulting, training, and more with a mission to enable China-educated individuals to make educated choices about their study in the US, and US academic institutions to be able to assist those individuals to make the best of their investment in US education, and be able to develop viable transnational partnerships.Katerina holds a Master of Arts degree equivalent in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication with an emphasis on Mandarin Chinese. Her graduate research centered on ESL teaching and acquisition by native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Her professional background is in ESL instruction and curriculum design in China, English-Chinese interpreting and translation, and comparative international education in the US.

Filing Academic H-1B Petitions

Michael J. GoldsteinMichael J. Goldstein
Region X

Michael J. Goldstein is a partner at Goldstein and Cheung LLP. Admitted to the New York state bar in 2010, Goldstein practices general immigration law, with a focus on EB1, EB2, academic institutions, extraordinary and professional nonimmigrant, and family and business immigrant petitions. Goldstein was selected to the 2016 Super Lawyers New York Metro Rising Stars list in the practice area of immigration. He also participates actively in the American Immigration Lawyers Association New York Chapter Media/Advocacy Committee, and consults on international student and scholar issues at International Education Training Services. Goldstein is a frequent presenter on immigration law at NAFSA’s national and regional conferences and state meetings, as well as at college and university campuses throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Goldstein earned his law degree from New England Law | Boston in 2009, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the Washington University in St. Louis in 2002.

F-1 Student Advising for Beginners

Darcia GauerDacia Gauer
Region VIII

Dacia Gauer is senior associate director of the Office of International Services at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). She has been in the field of international education for over ten years, primarily as an international student and scholar advisor. Gauer has worked at JHU for eight years. In her current position, she leads the F and J student and scholar advising team on the JHU medical campus and advises H-1B employees. She received a B.A. in History from Loyola University in Maryland and an M.A. in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute. Gauer has been an active member of Trainer Corps since 2014.

F-1 Student Advising: Intermediate

Elena GruzdevaElena Gruzdeva
Region VIII

Elena was born and raised in Russia where she received a B.A./M.A. in Foreign Language and Literature (English) and taught English as a Second Language.  She first came to the U.S. in 1993 as a J-1 exchange student and then in 1995 as an F-1 international student. She holds an M.S. in Information Science from Indiana University.  She started her career in the field of international education at the end of 2003 at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, as an International Student Advisor and then Assistant Director of the International Services Office.  In 2009 Elena started working as an International Student and Scholar Advisor at the University of Michigan International Center, Ann Arbor, MI.  She was advising the population of approximately 7,000 international students and scholars on all aspects of F and J visas, later adding H-1B processing to her duties. From August 2015 to September 2017 Elena worked at Northeastern University in Boston, MA as an Associate Director. She was managing the area of the office responsible for providing advising and processing of all employment-related requests for international students, as well as services for all J-1 scholars, for the population of about 13,000 international students and scholars. In October 2017 she joined Carnegie Mellon University Office of International Education as Associate Director of Foreign Student & Scholar Services.

F-1 Advising: Secondary Students

Sarah Curry
Region XI

Sarah Curry is a Consultant and owner of SMS Consulting. Starting her career at The University of Vermont in 2000, her work has led her to focus on international student and scholar issues. She now works with multiple institutions and organizations with a focus on internationalization. Curry received her BA from Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY and her M.Ed from The University of Vermont. She is an active member of NAFSA and has served as the Vermont State Rep, Chair of Region XI, and as a Coach for three years in the NAFSA Academy, in addition to presenting at Regional and National NAFSA conferences.

J-1 Advising for Beginners

Becky ZamaBecky Zama
Region IV

Becky Zama is the Senior Scholar Advisor at Iowa State University where her responsibilities include advising and filing immigration petitions for J-1 scholars, H-1B temporary workers and permanent residents. Over her 25 years in international education, she has also advised F-1 and J-1 students. Becky is currently a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps and NAFSA’s Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee and is serving as the Scholar Regulatory RegBud for the NAFSA Region IV team. Her previous volunteer service to NAFSA includes Region IV Coach for the NAFSA Academy 11 and 12 cohorts; member of the NAFSA Regulatory Ombuds Subcommittee; member of NAFSA Region IV team as the Student Regulatory Ombudsman; member of NAFSA Region III Team as the COMSEC Representative and later as the Newsletter Editor. She was also a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Moldova where she served as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language.

J-1 Advising: Getting Started

Emily BrewEmily Brew
Region X

Emily (Quackenbush) Brew is the International Student and Scholar Services Manager within the SUNY System Administration Office of Global Affairs. Her responsibilities include providing general advice and referral for SUNY campuses on non-immigrant and immigrant visa categories as well as consultation and training to SUNY campuses, as needed, regarding services for international students and scholars. She also serves as the Responsible Officer for the SUNY J-1 Exchange Visitor Consortium and is responsible for monitoring visa and related immigration regulations, advising system administration on necessary adjustments to SUNY policy, practice, and compliance pertaining to international student and scholar services (ISSS) and convening ISSS personnel system-wide for purposes of consultation and professional development. Lastly, Emily has served on the NAFSA Region X Team in the capacities of Marketing and Development Representative, Conference Planner and most recently as a Chairstream member.

J-1 Advising: Intermediate

Jin ZhangJin Zhang
Region III

Jin Zhang is the associate director in International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Houston. Jin has being advising students and exchange visitors since 2002 as an advisor, SEVIS Compliance Coordinator and her current capacity. Jin has been an active NAFSA Trainer Corps member since 2006 and served as a trainer at numerous NAFSA state, regional and annual conference workshops on F and J advising. She has presented sessions on F and J related topics during these conferences. She served on the CEP J-1 Intermediate Curriculum Team in 2012. Jin received her Bachelor’s degree in Optics from Shangdong University in China, and her Master and Doctorate degrees from Houston Graduate School of Theology. Being international student herself, Jin enjoys helping international students and visiting scholars.

Strategies for International Student and Scholar Advising

Kim SteinmetzKim Steinmetz
Region II

Kim Steinmetz serves as the Program Director of International and Immigrant Student Services at Johnson County Community College (JCCC). She oversees all aspects of support for international and immigrant student services related to admission, visa and status concerns, and community support.

International Communication in Practice

Jennie von Drehle
Region V

Jennifer von Drehle is the Associate Director for Student Engagement and Leadership at DePaul University. She has been active in the field of International Education since 2001 and has held leadership roles in international student services, education abroad, English language instruction, and international admission. She is passionate about intercultural communication and experiential learning.

Trainer Corps Preparation Program Training Team

Amy CockrellSusan Lochner Atkinson
Region V

Susan Lochner Atkinson is the associate director for advising at International Academic Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also worked in education abroad at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the University of Minnesota. Atkinson has been active in NAFSA for over 15 years, has presented workshops and sessions at the regional and national level, and has been a Trainer Corps member since 2009. She holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA in comparative international development education from the University of Minnesota. Atkinson studied abroad in Mexico and Spain. Her professional interests include advising, curriculum integration, diversity and inclusion, process management, and training.

Erin GarciaErin Garcia
Region VII

Erin Garcia is the Director of International Programs & Services and PDSO at Lynn University where she oversees the International Student Services Office and Center for Learning Abroad. She also serves as RO for South Central Rotary Youth Exchange; she is an alumna of the RYE program and a Rotarian. Erin received her B.A. in International Studies/German at Southwestern University and a M.A. in College Student Development from St. Edward's University. She has been involved in NAFSA for several years, having participated in Advocacy Day and Trainer Corps, and is currently the CEP Workshop Dean for the F-1 Student Advising: Intermediate CEP workshop.

Gabriele SchmiegelGabriele Schmiegel
Region IV

Gabriele Schmiegel is the sponsored student coordinator at the University of Minnesota. She also serves as the liaison between the international student and scholar office and the university's student insurance office. Originally from Germany, she came to Minnesota as an exchange student and has worked in international education since 1995. She received her MA in political science from the University of Minnesota and is completing her PhD in comparative and international development education, focusing on the human capital development in the Palestinian Authority. She is a frequent trainer for NAFSA workshops pertaining to immigration regulations and was twice a NAFSA Academy coach.


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Deadline: Jan. 7, 2019.

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