Executive Leadership Council | CAS International Programs and Education Abroad | Kent State University

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's can help you learn about programs, find scholarships and tell you about their amazing experiences abroad.

                                  Samuel yocca

Samuel YoccaExecutive leadership council advisor


Hello global leaders! My name is Sam Yocca and I am the advisor of the Executive Leadership Council. I am the Graduate Assisant in the Office of International Programs and Education Abroad. 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 concentrating on the Internationalization of Higher Education. 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!

Noelle Armitage

Senior Advisor


Hi! My name is Noelle Armitage and I am a senior studying Studio Arts with a concentration in Printmedia and Photography. I also have minors in Art History and Italian Studies. I am from the Cleveland area, but had the great opportunity to study abroad twice through the Florence Summer Institute. My next destination is Poland through our spring break study abroad programs! Without studying abroad, I never would have understood what it means to be a world citizen and an active participant in your community. I was also able to achieve two minors just by studying abroad. I never would be on the career path I am without Florence!

Kevin Zezlina

Senior Advisor


My name is Kevin Zezlina. I am a senior Political Science-International Relations and European History major with minors in Joint-Military Studies, Italian, Italian Studies, World Literature and Cultures, and Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance Studies. I have had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in high school to England, France, and Spain and at Kent State to Italy 3 times, Kosovo, India, and South Korea. My experience in an international context has opened so many doors for me and I am so grateful for the prospects set before me from being able to give field trips in Rome to working at the oldest military defense company in the United States: Lockheed Martin. Study abroad allows you to unlock your true potential.These experiences have molded me into the person I am and don't know where I would be without them. An international education does SO MUCH MORE than provide you with credits and career prospects. It allows you to see the true nature of the world with eyes unclouded by hate which is paramount in molding yourself into a productive and well-rounded global citizen. 

piper matthews

Social media coordinator



My name is Piper Mathews, I am from Alliance, Ohio, and I am a junior studying anthropology, archaeology, and art history. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester and participated in the Florence Summer Institute. Also, I plan on returning to Florence for another semester this Spring! Studying abroad allowed me to learn so much about myself and the world around me, and I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to expand their worldview and gain valuable life skills.

                                            Maria Kuhn

Senior advisor


Hi everyone! My name is Maria Diane Kuhn and I am a masters student in Art History. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio and I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life. I've been to Florence, Italy twice and I really want to go to Poland or Xi'an, China. I got to lecture about art in the Vatican Museum and Bascilla, The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and The Brancacci Chapel! Also, Italian espresso is absolutely amazing! Study abroad is something that will completely change you at your core and expand your mind more than I can fit in one sentence.

caroline sorato

presentation coordinator



My name is Caroline Sorato. I am junior at KSU pursuing a dual major in Fashion Merchandising and Business Management. I was born in São Paulo/Brazil, and this is my fourth year living in the United States. I have traveled to a couple different places, including Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, France, Luxembourg and I am planning to study abroad in Florence/Italy next year. One of the main reasons that drove me to work at the Office of International Education Programs and Study Abroad at CAS was my passion for different cultures. My experience abroad was the best decision I have ever taken. It made me evolve in several scopes of my life, such as personal, social and cultural. I learned not only another language but how to see people with different eyes, understand and appreciate the differences. I think studying abroad is such an amazing experience that everyone should have.

                                                 Kaitlyn mears


Event coordinator


Hello Everyone! My name is Kaitlyn Mears. I am from Pittsburgh. I am a senior tourism management major with a minor in international business. I have studied abroad in Florence during the summer of 2017. Studying in Florence was truly an amazing experience. I loved getting to learn about tourism and the role it plays in a very tourism driven ara. I am also very passionate about languages so my time in Florence allowed me to start learning a new language that I have always showed an interest in. Lastly, I also loved getting to experience the new culture. My mind will mind and life will be changed forever because of this wonderful opportunity that I have had. 

chiara de arcangelis

Event coordinator



My name is Chiara De Arcangelis, I'm from Rome, Italy. I'm a Biology (pre-med) major here at Kent State University. 

I'm currently studying abroad here and I can certainly tell that is the best experience I've ever done so far. Being abroad helps you gain unique skills and expand your world in all the possible ways. Meeting new cultures and visiting new places makes you grow personally and, if it's also school-related, makes you improve also in the field of work.  

I'm grateful for the opportunity I had being here, and I hope I will have the chance to make other experiences abroad someday. 

shannon clark

community outreach coordinator


Buongiorno! My name is Shannon and I am an intern in the Education Abroad office. I am a Global Communication major with minors in both Italian and Italian Studies. I grew up near Dayton, Ohio and have spent about a year in Kent. I have studied abroad for a year and a half in Florence, Italy through Kent State’s study abroad program and hope to return there soon. While there I studied the Italian language and am now quite fluent. As well, I learned how to communicate with people from all over the world, even when there was a language or cultural barriers. This was very important to me so that I could better understand how my major functioned and how cross-cultural communication affects daily life and interactions.

shannon mcmaster

special projects-transfer to florence



My name is Shannon McMaster and I am a sophomore at Kent State studying Anthropology with a minor in Art History. I am from Youngstown OH, and I spent my first year at Bowling Green State University. I hope to help transfer students learn that they too can study abroad! I spent a part of my summer 2017 in France in the Alsace/Lorraine area and a week in Paris. While abroad, I learned so much about how capable I am, as well as how accessible the rest of the world can be. There is so much left to see and do and read! I want to emphasize that traveling does not have to be scary. There is no one "type" of person who is compatible with studying abroad, there is truly something in it for everyone.  Please feel free to come by the office and talk to me about this anytime. 

                               kayla janecek


assistant manager


I am a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and General Business with a minor in Italian Studies. I’m from Louisville, Ohio. I studied abroad during the 2017 and 2018 Florence Summer Institutes and am hoping to be able to study in Florence again or India and/or France. Since studying abroad, I am now on the way to becoming bilingual and have a greater appreciation for global cultures. Study abroad has been such a life changing experience by shaping me into a worldly student with the education to become a responsible global citizen.

sarah suntheimer

special projects-operations analyst



Hello Global Citizens! My name is Sarah Suntheimer I am an Applied Mathematics  major with a concentration in Probability and Statistics I also am seeking minors in Italian and Italian Studies. I am from Mayfield, OH (Go Wildcats!) and have traveled to Italy and intend to return to Florence as well as Poland. Spending time abroad allowed me to apply my foreign language and challenge my social skills in a new cultural environment. It has also motivated me to be a better student and resident by learning about my privileges as a US citizen. My advice to anyone interested in studying abroad, do it. Kent State's education abroad opportunities are vast in location and area of study, they are affordable and accessible to all students and will enrich your major, your profession and your understanding of yourself.