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SAF Headquarters Leadership and Staff

SAF was established in 2000.  The organization currently works in 14 countries and maintains fully staffed offices in the United States, Mainland China, Japan and Korea. Part-time Student Liaison Officers (SLOs) provide student support and emergency services in locations where SAF does not currently maintain a full-time presence.

Board Chairperson 
Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., is president and CEO of IES Abroad, the Institute for the International Education of Students, one of the nation's oldest, largest and most reputable not-for-profit organizations providing study abroad and internship programs to U.S. college and university students. Prior to IES Abroad, Dr. Dwyer was a faculty member in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for 18 years and the campus Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.Dr. Dwyer has consulted extensively over the past 25 years and been called upon by an array of U.S. and international organizations across 20 developed and emerging countries, including the World Health Organization (WHO), global ministries of health and education, Kellogg Foundation and national health and professional associations.  Dr. Dwyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and social sciences from Mundelein College, a master’s degree in educational leadership, a doctorate in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of the South – Sewanee.

Vice President 
 Carol Carmody is a founding director of the Study Abroad Foundation. Carol began her career in international education in 1989 joining the newly established Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University (IFSA-Butler). In addition to facilitating study abroad programs for American undergraduate students, Carol has experience with English language programs, international student recruitment, and US immigration regulations through her work with the American Cultural ExchangeButler University, and Ball State University . She is a graduate of Colorado State University and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (M.Sc.) and studied abroad in Austria and Germany while an undergraduate student through IES Abroad. 

Accounting Manager 
 Ron Hungerford holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Indiana University. Prior to joining SAF, he performed multiple financial management roles for healthcare, service and retail-based private and publically traded companies and as a city comptroller. Ron looks forward to supporting SAF with his financial management expertise.

Associate Director  
 Fumie Ichikawa joined SAF in February 2009. Fumie earned her bachelor's degree in Management from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan and her Master of Business Administration from University of Missouri, where she originally attended as an exchange student. Fumie is fluent in English and Japanese and has taught intermediate Japanese courses at the University of Missouri. Fumie worked in logistics and purchasing in the automotive industry prior to joining SAF

Assistant Director  
 Melissa Trahyn began her work at SAF in February 2010. Prior to joining SAF, Melissa was at Butler University in the International Student Services Office and before that the American Language Academy. Melissa first began traveling while in university, where her first trip was to Tirana, Albania; she has traveled and lived extensively in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She first ventured out in international education to teach English in Baku, Azerbaijan at the International Learning Center (ILC) for one year right after graduating from university, then one year of teaching ESL and Music at the International School of Indiana. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University and a MS in Effective Teaching and Leadership with a focus in Instructional Technology from Butler University. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied Azerbaijani and Russian.

Communications Manager 
A native Marylander, Erika Woodward joined SAF after spending three years in Tokyo crafting marketing communications as assistant editor for Tokyo American Club. Erika earned a Master of Journalism from the University of Maryland, and covered education and politics as a statehouse correspondent. Her first international assignment took her to Iceland, where she covered the birth of a new political faction. When she's not working on the latest communications project, the former ballerina hits the studio to unwind.

Program Coordinator 
 Xin Chen recently earned her PhD in Higher Education from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining SAF, she interned at the Institute of International Education (IIE) DC Office and Office of International Education at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), helping students secure the study abroad experiences of their dreams.

Program Coordinator 
An Indiana native, Keith Seidel traveled Korea as a missionary for two years after high school. He earned a bachelor's degree in International Studies from Indiana University and a master's degree in Korean Language from the University of Hawaii, before going on to work at Korea University's International Center for Korean Studies. He brings his love of East Asian culture to his work at SAF.

Program Coordinator 
Born and raised in Southern California, Chelly Venegas earned her Bachelor of International Studies from the University of California, Irvine, where, after graduation, she joined the International Programs Office at UCI Extension. Fluent in Spanish, Chelly has taught English in Santiago, Chile. She is delighted to continue working in support of international education.

Program Coordinator 
Laura Izzo received her BA in Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Laura worked for Tulsa City-County Library and a law firm prior to joining SAF, where she enjoys helping students pursue their study abroad goals.

Student Accounts Bookkeeper 
Pam Shannon joined SAF in February 2013. She was previously employed by J.C. Penney Co. and has a background in bookkeeping. Pam has lived in Japan where she was a bookkeeper for OMS International and taught conversational English. Pam is responsible for preparing student invoices and receiving payments, along with other duties that may arise with student accounts.


Last Updated: 1/30/17