International Studies & Programs

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Office for Education Abroad
Michigan State University
International Center
427 N. Shaw Lane Rm 109
East Lansing, MI 48824
Tel: 517-353-8920
Fax: 517-432-2082
abroad(at)msu.edu
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Lynn Aguado Program Coordinator
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
aguado(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Lynn Aguado coordinates MSU study abroad programs for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. She also advises and manages the administrative process for students participating in Non-MSU-sponsored programs. In addition, Lynn is the liaison with the Office of Financial Aid and works on outreach related to financing education abroad.

Lynn received a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, during which time she participated in an academic year abroad program at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain, where she developed fluency in Spanish and a love of discovering new cultures. After returning home, she worked as a peer advisor in the U of M study abroad office that led to a permanent position as a study abroad advisor after graduation. She has been working in the field of international education ever since, at U of M, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and now at MSU. Lynn obtained a Master’s degree in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education in May 2017 from the MSU College of Education.

Lynn enjoys using her Spanish language skills as well as the French that she studied in high school and college, and she has picked up some Italian over the years, as well. It was her love of language that propelled her to go abroad, but she gained much more than the ability to communicate in Spanish during her time in Spain. She learned to be flexible, patient and self-reliant, and to appreciate and celebrate diverse ways of thinking and living. She is proud to be part of a great team of MSU faculty and staff who support students to achieve their education abroad goals.

Kyle Anderson Promotion and Outreach Coordinator
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
ande1932(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Kyle Anderson coordinates promotion and on-campus outreach, manages the Education Abroad Advising Center and supervises the Office for Education Abroad Peer Advising program. Kyle is also responsible for a variety of events and contests sponsored by the office, including promotion on social media.

Originally from Spring Valley, Minnesota, Kyle is a graduate of the University of Dubuque with a B.S. in Computer Graphics Interactive Media. During his undergraduate degree, he studied arts, culture and history on a short-term faculty-directed program in Ireland. He completed his M.S. at the University of Central Arkansas in College Student Personnel Services and Administration. While at UCA, Kyle participated in a short-term program in China focusing on student affairs.

Through his experience of studying abroad and living abroad, Kyle is passionate about promoting the possibilities of international education to MSU students.

Opal Leeman Bartzis Executive Director
Office for Education Abroad

105 International Center
bartziso(at)msu.edu

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Biography: As executive director of education abroad, Opal provides vision for the education abroad office and leadership for all aspects of the education abroad experience at MSU. In addition to managing education staff units, she actively engages faculty and offices across campus in the institutional aim of cultivating globally engaged citizens.

Opal came to MSU from twenty years at the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University, where she was Vice President for Academic Affairs, overseeing curriculum development, faculty engagement, and student success, and instructor of Exploring Community and Culture in a Global Context, a unique course that engaged students studying in varied countries in online intercultural learning communities known as “global cohorts.” She also worked in Ireland for three years as a resident director, looking after over 300 students per semester and managing institutional relationships with nine Irish universities. Through her work at IFSA-Butler, she is credited with being the first education abroad administrator to adapt an academic advising/positive psychology practice known as appreciative advising to education abroad.

Opal studied abroad on multiple programs, including an academic year in Switzerland and a short-term program in Russia, and she was part of the first student diplomatic mission to Lithuania following the political end of the Soviet Union. She has an honors bachelor’s degree in German and a master’s degree in history (both from Butler University), and a doctorate in adult, higher and community education from Ball State University, where her dissertation evaluated the impact of engaging in student teaching abroad on the development of culturally sensitive instructional practices. Through professional and scholarly experiences, she has developed her expertise in areas such as inclusive pedagogy, experiential education, and academic ethics across cultures.

Some of Opal’s recent publications include chapters titled Student Teaching Abroad: Intercultural Learning in Context and a Changing Approach to US Teacher Education Preparation, Innovative Approaches to Study Abroad at Harper College and Fox Valley Technical College, and Study Abroad: Toward Fulfillment of a Critical Need for More Culturally Sensitive Volunteers. Opal has held multiple regional and national leadership positions with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Forum on Education Abroad, and is the current chair of the Study Abroad Committee of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

Maria Beam Executive Secretary
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
beamm(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Maria Beam supports the executive director with general day-to-day operations of the office, which includes managing the Executive Director’s calendar and providing support with planning and scheduling meetings and appointments, organizing and maintaining the Executive Director’s files, documentation and records, and attending meetings and events with/on behalf of the Executive Director as requested and taking notes as needed. Maria also provides support for the Education Abroad Council meetings, Education Abroad Leadership meetings and any other committee/group meetings as requested by the Executive Director.

Maria has been at MSU since 2003, beginning as receptionist, transitioning into an enrollment management specialist and now the assistant to the director. She has provided administrative support for the Global Internship Conference and attended conferences in Toronto, Ontario and Dublin, Ireland. In her free time, Maria enjoys spending with her family in Charlotte, Michigan. She has also participated in mission trips to France, Guatemala and Mexico.

Cheryl Benner Communications Manager
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
bennerc(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Cheryl Benner oversees information, public relations and marketing activities for the Office of Study Abroad. Cheryl works with the executive director on overall communications strategy and is responsible for the development of printed publications, digital communications (including the web and social media), and coordination of special events. She networks with units across campus, such as the Office of Admissions, to maintain positive relationships in order to promote study abroad at various campus events and orientations.

Collaborating with the university-level communications office, Cheryl ensures all communication maintains a consistent brand image. She also serves as the initial media contact for the office, and oversees all aspects of data collection, analysis and reporting for education abroad.

Cheryl has co-presented at the local and regional levels on interactive media, the Generation Study Abroad initiative, education abroad for under-represented student populations, and the effective use of technology in student advising. She holds a BA in Advertising from MSU and brings more than 20 years of experience in outreach and marketing at a large public institution.

Lewis Cardenas Assistant Director for International Partnerships and Special Programs
Office for Education Abroad

105 International Center
carden12(at)msu.edu

Max Chappuis Program Coordinator
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
chappui1(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Max has been with Michigan State Study Abroad since 2014. He first specialized in United Kingdom and Ireland programming before shifting into managing programs offered in partnership with the College of Arts and Letters and College of Music. In addition, he serves on the NAFSA Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee for the UK, and the Michigan Association of International Educators Education Abroad Knowledge Community and conference planning team. In 2016, Max was honored with the NAFSA Region V New Professional Award.

Originally from Florida, Max graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Economics and Political Science. During his time at Florida State, he spent a semester in the U.K. at FSU's London Study Centre, where he returned immediately after graduation to start his international education career as a program assistant before coming to MSU.

Swathi Chembathi Program Coordinator
Office for Education Abroad

109 International Center
chembath(at)msu.edu

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