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Academic Advisory Board

The academic advisory board members at the CEPA Foundation provide their advice, insight, knowledge, and counsel on all issues relating to quality assurance, development, and maintenance of its academic programs and initiatives. Through active involvement at conferences, workshops, professional development, and leadership trainings, CEPA Foundation staff and advisory board members stay up-to-date on the best practices in the field of education abroad through membership or involvement in organizations, such as: NAFSA, The Forum on Education Abroad, and AIEA. By hosting free academic webinars, the CEPA Foundation is also able to share knowledge and information about important topics relevant to professionals in the education abroad community.

Jill E. Blondin, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Virginia Commonwealth University (USA)

Jill received her B.A. from Indiana University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before leading the Global Education Office, Dr. Blondin served as the inaugural director of VCU Globe, a global education living-learning program devoted to building cultural agility.

Under Dr. Blondin’s leadership, VCU Globe received the 2015 NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award and the 2018 Andrew Heiskell Award from IIE. Dr. Blondin has served as a Fulbright Specialist to Brazil (2018), as a speaker with the U.S. Department of State Study Abroad Engagement Grant Program and Fulbright Portugal (2019), and as an Expert Speaker on U.S. Study Abroad with the U.S. Embassy Guyana (2022).

Dr. Blondin, a 2021-2022 AIEA (Association of International Education Administrators) Presidential Fellow, serves on the Board of AIEA as chair-elect of the Member Outreach and Awards Committee. Her areas of expertise include strategic budgeting and internationalization, global learning, and art history.

Marcos Fragoso

Vice President for International Affairs, University of The Incarnate Word (USA)

He is a native of Mexico City, with a Master of Business Administration in International Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of The Incarnate Word. Mr Fragoso was the Rector of UIW Campus in Mexico City from 2004 to 2010 and was named Vice President for International Affairs on June 1, 2010. Mr. Fragoso is responsible for all the international initiatives and affairs for the university including sister school and exchange agreements, study abroad programs, faculty led trips, oversees the UIW campuses in Mexico City, Irapuato Mexico, Heidelberg Germany, and all the special events of the University. Prior to the University of The Incarnate Word experience Mr. Fragoso worked for 4 years with an Educational group overseeing 12 different K1-12 schools and Universities in Mexico.

Noah Rost

Director, Global Education Office, Arizona State University

Noah provides comprehensive leadership for the Global Education Office by directing an innovative strategy for study abroad aligned with ASU’s emphasis on high quality academics, innovation, access and career-readiness across all disciplines on all campuses. Prior to joining ASU, Noah served as the Associate Director of the Center for Global Engagement and the Director of the Programs Abroad Office at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Eric Spears

Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar Chair of International Education / Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement / Associate Professor, Columbus State University

He arrived to Columbus State University in October 2017 after his appointment as the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar Chair of International Education and Associate Professor of Geography. He came to Columbus State with more than twenty years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education, including roles at Georgia College and Mercer University. 

Dr. Spears offers a variety of Geography courses, including the World Regional Geography class. In addition to his research on Brazil, he also focuses on East Asia, and works with the Asian Studies Development Program alumni at the East-West Institute in Hawaii. He was the recipient of a Fulbright grant for work in South Korea in 2010. 

In addition to his teaching in the Department of History and Geography, Dr. Spears also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement at Columbus State, where he oversees the continued development of campus internationalization and CSU's award-winning study abroad programs.

Dr. Jon W. Stauff

Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, South Dakota State University (USA)

Stauff was the vice provost for global education at Monmouth University before taking the SDSU position. In his position at Monmouth, Stauff led the university’s international education efforts since 2016. He directed its international exchange programs, education abroad and international student services, supported international enrollment activities and promoted global and cultural literacy on campus.

Before Monmouth, he was the senior international officer and director at The College of New Jersey’s Center for Global Engagement for more than six years. Stauff also was the director of international education at Radford University. At St. Ambrose University, he rose through the ranks of assistant, associate and full professor of history while holding positions of academic director of study abroad, director of international education and assistant vice president of academic affairs and international education.

A former Fulbright scholar to Germany, Stauff has been active professionally in such organizations as NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Education Administrators as well as the state humanities councils in Iowa and New Jersey. Stauff earned a bachelor’s degree in history from The College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in history and a doctorate in modern German history from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Prof. Daniel Weiner, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Professor of Geography at the University of Connecticut

In February 2016 he was appointed as Vice President for Global Affairs. Prior to his tenure at UConn he served four years as Executive Director of the Center for International Studies at Ohio University and 11 years as Director of the Office of International Programs at West Virginia University. Professor Weiner received his B.A. (1979), M.A. (1981) and Ph.D. (1986) in Geography from Clark University.

In his role as Vice President, Professor Weiner serves as the University’s senior international officer (SIO) and is responsible for the development and oversight of a wide variety of university initiatives relating to global education and institutional internationalization. His objective is to advance the University’s commitment to internationalization and facilitate the coordination among the University’s internal and external programs and initiatives.

Professor Weiner is a development geographer with area studies expertise in eastern and southern Africa and is a specialist in the theory and practice of participatory geographic information systems. Professor Weiner’s research areas include agricultural geography, climate and society, land reform, participatory development and GIS and society. He has received 15 externally funded grants totaling over $2.5 million, published three books, 30 journal articles and 29 book chapters. Professor Weiner has lived in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe for a total of three years and has traveled widely in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.