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About Us

Who We Are & What We Do

It takes a mighty team to support program abroad advising for The University of Tennessee – a higher education institution with an undergraduate enrollment of over 25,000 per semester. This is why, in addition to our central office, there are coordinators embedded in colleges across campus who are ready to provide specialized advising to students based on college:

Don’t see your college listed? No worries! Our dedicated team of staff and student peer advisors working out of the central office in the Center for Global Engagement are here to assist and guide UT students & their support network, faculty & advisors, and #VolsAbroad alumni, as well as our partners across campus and around the world. We are a collaborative team of experienced professionals with expertise in fields across the international education spectrum and students with a passion for global engagement.

Center for Global Engagement | Programs Abroad Office 
1620 Melrose Avenue, G103 | Knoxville, TN 37996
O: 865-974-3177 | Web:

Meet our Team: Programs Abroad

Tessa Takash

Program Coordinator

Advising Oversight:
  • UT in Milan
  • UT in Florence
  • Exchange programs
  • Direct programs


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About me:

All students should take advantage of the international experiences available at UT – whether they go abroad or engage right here on campus. These opportunities for intercultural engagement allow students to cultivate relationships with individuals unlike themselves; learn from other’s varied life experiences; and develop a sense of empathy and global responsibility.

Hunter Baird

Program Coordinator

Advising Oversight:
  • College of Architecture and Design
  • College of Nursing
  • Tickle College of Engineering


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About me:

“International education has been transformative in my life personally and professionally. With direct experience working with international students in the past and having studied abroad, I feel it is my responsibility to promote cross-cultural exchange, encourage risk-taking, develop global citizens, speak to the value of open-mindedness to diverse perspectives, and help make study abroad accessible for students who will gain invaluable life-changing and life-enhancing skills.”

Christian Canizales

Program Coordinator

Advising Oversight:
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Last Names A-L
  • College of Social Work
  • Education, Health and Human Sciences


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About me:

From my time spent studying and researching abroad, I have realized the immeasurable benefits of international experiential learning. Studying abroad encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and rely on the personal, professional, and academic skills that you have collected over your lifetime.

Lindsay Shope

Program Coordinator

Advising Oversight:
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Last Names M-S
  • College of Law
  • Internships
  • International Research


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About me:


Joshua Spurling

Program Coordinator

Advising Oversight:
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Last Names T-Z
  • College of Communication & Information
  • Undeclared/ Exploratory


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About me:

I am a firm believer that just one person encouraging another can open them up to stepping out of their comfort zone and taking a chance on something that can dramatically change their lives. As a UT and Programs Abroad alum, I am incredibly proud to be in a position where I can give back to our current Volunteers so that they can find their own life changing opportunities. It’s my passion to show others that engaging globally creates a deepened sense of connectedness, humanity, and an awareness that there is far more beyond our own perspective.


Carolyn Becker

Director of Programs Abroad

Administrative Oversight:
  • Departmental leadership
  • Innovative program management and development
  • Global strategic planning and visioning
  • Global health and safety support
  • Partnership development
  • Compliance and best practices


About me:

Increasing access to global learning fuels my soul! It is a great joy to collaborate on innovative initiatives which expand opportunities for students to live, learn, and lead abroad. I am proud to be part of the Volunteer community and contribute to empowering the University of Tennessee’s Global Vision forward.”


Annalise Bryant

Assistant Director of Programs Abroad

Administrative Oversight:


About me:



Goeritz, Gisela

Gisela Goeritz

Financial Associate

Administrative Oversight:
  • Program accounts
  • Reconciliation
  • Contract processing
  • Vendor setups and payment
  • Faculty travel
  • Partnership agreements
  • Student billing


About me:

I love to support bringing study abroad travel on the way, so that faculty can show students the world, which I think is very important for their personal development.”

Albrianna Jenkins

Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

Administrative Oversight:
  • Campus visits
  • Special Events
  • Social Media and Website Management
  • Vols Abroad Lounge and Peer Advisor Program
  • Pre-departure and Re-entry Programming


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About me:

“I am passionate about the work I do, because I see the value of global engagement. I see that it challenges students to think critically, to develop independence, to engage authentically with diverse populations and truly experience the beauty of the world we live in and our duty as global citizens.”

Meet the Team: Peer Advisor Edition

Joaquin Subijana

    • Senior from Johnson City, TN
    • Supply Chain Management major with a concentration in International Business
    • UT in Milan (Fall 2022)
About me:

“As a Peer Advisor, I am most excited to get people going places! I have a unique perspective as a nontraditional student from Argentina!”

#nontraditionalstudent #studyabroadsenior #semesterabroad


Catherine Gerber

    • Senior from Valdosta, GA
    • Psychology major, Child and Family Studies minor
    • UTK Plants, Parks and People in Costa Rica (Spring Break 2021) AND IES Abroad in Salamanca, Spain (Spring 2022)
About me:

“I love interacting with new people, and I am excited to use my excitement for study abroad to connect with and help other UT students.”

#twotimestudyabroad #volunteerabroad #askmeallthethings #IES #facultydirectedprogram

Emma Ramming

    • Senior from Nashville, TN
    • Communication Studies major, Tourism and Hospitality Management minor
    • UTK Communicating Across Cultures in Dublin, Ireland (Summer 2022)
About me:

“I am excited to gain experience working in a job involving travel planning, as it is a career I may pursue in the future.”

#studyabroadtattoo #summerstudyabroad #GoAbroad #facultydirectedprogram

Lauren Dial

    • Junior from Edwardsville, Il
    • Biomedical Engineering – Honors concentration
    • Engineering in London (Summer 2022)
About me:

“I am most excited to get more students involved and introduced to study abroad programs as well as help student start the process of living out their abroad dreams.”

#outofstatestudent #womeninengineering #askmeaboutAdele #facultydirectedprogram

Avie Owensby

    • Junior from Chattanooga, TN
    • Global Studies major, Portuguese minor
    • UTK in Ghana (Summer 2022)


About me:

“I’m really excited to meet everyone and to be able to help students find which program best fits them and to help others get excited about travel!”

#nontraditionaldestination #summerstudyabroad #facultydirectedprogram


Kate Henry

    • Sophomore from Nashville, TN
    • English major, Spanish minor
    • UTK Advanced Spanish Language in Alicante, Spain (Summer 2022)


About me:

“I am most looking forward to meeting people who share my love of travel and appreciation for the far reaches of the world. I am excited to work with the Vols Abroad team and recruit more students for programs that will surely change their lives!”

#hostfamilylove #studyabroadsophomore #facultydirectedprogram