Executive Leadership Council

Want to learn about study abroad from expert students?

Come speak to some of our Executive Leadership Council members, who are study abroad alums with a passion for all things international. Our staff of ELC members can help you learn about programs, find scholarships and tell you about their amazing experiences abroad.

SSamuel Yoccaamuel Yocca

Executive leadership council advisor


Hello global leaders! My name is Sam Yocca and I am the Graduate Assistant in the Office of International Programs and Education Abroad and the advisor of the Executive Leadership Council. I completed my Bachelor's Degree in International Relations with minors in Spanish and French from Grand Valley State University and am currently pursuing my Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration here at Kent State. I studied abroad in Israel/Palestine, did two service trips to Costa Rica and Peru, visited Spain, France, Gibraltar, Morocco, and Australia, and most recently did an internship in Bulgaria. Education abroad is a monumental piece of your education so please stop by our office and meet our experienced staff that can help you start your next adventure!

Alina Howard


Ciao! My name is Alina Howard and I am a Photojournalism and English Major with minors in Italian, Italian Studies and Ancient Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Raised in Warren, Ohio I had an urge to travel outside my community; going to Montreal, Canada and traveling twice to Florence, Italy. I have learned that the world is not as scary as it seems and communities that may look different from your own are fundamentally similar. If your thinking about going abroad the answer is always yes. Don’t just travel to change the look of your Instagram feed, travel to change how you look at the world and yourself. The country I would like to visit next would be Mexico in order to understand both the regional and local culture that is so often vilified in the States. Lastly I love to document and tell of the stories of communities in whatever medium is accessible to me.

Amy Cox


Hello! My name is Amy and I love travel! I have studied abroad with Kent State through the summer Florence program and it sparked my love of seeing the world. So far I have personally traveled to Germany, Croatia,, France, Greece, Portugal, and Spain as well!

Jordan Worrell


Hello, my name is Jordan Elaine Worrell and I am a dual major in Music and Psychology with a minor in Italian Studies. I speak beginners Italian and I have traveled to Florence, Italy as well as Split, Croatia. My skills are in writing, event planning, organizing, and social media mostly, however, I tend to be good at rolling with whatever new tasks are thrown my way. I try to stay as flexible as possible! I am constantly driven with a passion to learn about new cultures. I am making it a life goal of mine to be as well rounded as possible in regard to understanding as many new cultures as possible.

Kayla Janecek


Hello! My name is Kayla Janecek and I'm from Louisville, Ohio. I'm a senior majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in business and Italian studies. I studied abroad during the 2017 and 2018 Florence Summer Institutes and spent a week with family in Ireland, and am hoping to be able to study in Florence again *crosses fingers* before I graduate in August. Since studying abroad, I am now on the way to becoming bilingual and have a greater appreciation for the different cultures you can expose yourself to by traveling outside of your comfort zone. I loved learning about Renaissance art in a museum setting where all of the art is right in front of you. Seeing Venice firsthand during a mild acqua alta shaped how I want to approach a career in my field and my desire to influence environmental conservation. Going abroad is a unique opportunity that you should definitely take advantage of. It's intimidating and scary at times, but you'll learn so much more about yourself than you'd have ever imagined! Fun Fact: I'm obsessed with houseplants!

Logan Heffelman


Hiya! My name is Logan and currently I am a senior double major studying architecture and the environment, with particular interest in urban planning and transportation. In my studies I find myself hoping to bridge the gap between the natural and built environment and find inspiration through travel. I live in the U.K. for a break every year and recently completed a semester abroad in Italy My interests in fashion, architecture and design have take me to world cities like New York, London, Vienna, and Milan and through this I have developed a love for language. My personal goal of being able to fluently speak 7 languages by the time I am 27, is both a challenging and exciting way for me to understand different cultures.

Mackenzie King


My name is Mackenzie King. I am a Freshman at Kent State University. I am majoring in Psychology with a concentration in child psych. I am a part of the 2021 Destination Florence Program, apart of the Psychology cohort. I love to travel, make new friends, and learn about different cultures. I am excited to study abroad because I want to become my own person, be more independent, and explore the amazing culture’s the world has to offer.

Mia Mascioli


Hello, everyone! My name is Mia Mascioli and I am a junior Art History and Psychology major with a minor in Italian Studies. My study abroad experience will begin this Spring break with a faculty-led trip to Paris, France to study Gothic art and architecture. This will be my first time leaving North America, but certainly not my last! I will also be spending a semester in Florence, Italy to hone in on my Italian language skills, as well as visit my family in Campobasso. I am so excited to come back from these experiences and share what I’ve learned and encourage other students to expand their horizons and utilize the travel opportunities Kent State has to offer. I hope to one day work in American higher education institutions throughout Europe, assisting students to broaden their cultural understanding of the world.

Moira Armstrong


Hi! My name is Moira Armstrong and I'm from Warren, Ohio. I'm a sophomore with a double major in English and United States History as well as minors in LGBTQ Studies, Italian Studies, and Ancient, Renaissance, and Medieval Studies. I participated in the Freshmen in Florence program during my first semester of college, and the experience changed my life. Not only am I a more confident and independent person now, but I've also been bitten by the travel bug! This upcoming intersession, I will be participating in the Researching Queer Britain trip to the United Kingdom, and I also hope to study abroad in Asia before graduating. Kent's incredible global opportunities are the main reason I chose this university. Everyone here wants you to make the most out of study abroad, and there's a wide variety of programs that will fit any academic area or interest. In addition to travel, I'm also really passionate about music (especially rock and roll), theatre, and advocacy--and all the ways those subjects intertwine with my majors!

Morgan Hill


Hello! My name is Morgan Hill. I am a senior majoring in Fashion Merchandising, with a minor in Costume Design. I’m from Saint Clairsville, Ohio. I am pursuing a career as a buyer, and I am hoping that it enables me to travel more as I still have many goal destinations! During the fall 2019 semester I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Studying abroad gave me a chance to look at the world in a new way. It is an incredible way for students to not only learn about the world, but even more about themselves. It helped me to gain confidence and independence, in addition to a life-changing semester of experiences. During this semester I was able to travel to many places, including Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, Pompeii, Rome, Venice, Switzerland, Paris, London, and more. I have been interested in languages for a long time, as I have studied French in the past and am pursuing more knowledge of Italian. Being bilingual has always been a goal of mine, and I am hoping that within the next few years I can make it a reality.

Nick Householder


Hi my name is Nick and I serve as an Education Abroad Executive Leadership Council member and intern for the office of International Programs and Education Abroad. I recently studied abroad at the Kent State Florence program during the fall 2019 semester. I was able to travel all around Europe to places such as: Paris, Greece, Rome, Venice, and many others with the help of this study abroad program. The main takeaway from this experience was that I had the privilege to view the world in a whole new light, as I was able to learn a new language, interact with many different people from many different countries, all while having the experience of a lifetime. I currently am majoring in History (with a concentrate in American history), minoring in Art-History and Italian Studies. I aspire to be a museum curator as my current employment and education abroad experience will help with this goal! I love to learn new things about culture, art, language, etc; and with this I recommend to anyone looking for a whole new experience by studying abroad to go for it, as I believe it has changed my life for the better.

Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter is a passionate Political Science major with a minor in Italian Studies, and she enjoys taking courses in international relations and global studies. Outside of her classes, she is a new member of the Italian club to further her Italian language skills. Olivia has studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and plans on returning to a Europe for a Master’s program in International Relations after she completes her undergraduate degree.



Hello! My name is Shannon McMaster and I am a third-year anthropology (archaeology) major with minors in art history and Italian studies. I am serving the ELC as a virtual intern as I am currently participating in the Florence semester program and this is my fourth semester working with the Office of International Programs and Education Abroad. As a transfer student, and a formerly change-phobic person, I wish to show fellow transfer students that we too can study abroad! I have also visited France and hope to one day explore Egypt, Morocco, and the Netherlands. If you ever wish to contact me about anything study abroad or transfer student related I am only an email away. I would love to hear from you!



My name is Sarah Suntheimer and I'm a sophomore major in Mathematics and Political Science and minors in Italian, Italian Studies and Jewish Studies. I am currently studying at the Florence Campus and in the past I have been to Israel/Palestine, Poland and the Czech Republic on education abroad programs within the university community.