Brandeis Study Abroad Account

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Meet the Staff

Office of Study Abroad

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Mr. J. Scott Van Der Meid

Assistant Dean of Study Abroad

J. Scott Van Der Meid

Scott has directed the study abroad program at Brandeis University since 1999.  Prior to his time at Brandeis he worked for several years in Boston University's Office of International Programs.  Scott received his B.A. in History and German Literature with a concentration in Asia in the Modern World from Allegheny College and his M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.  He studied in West Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany's eventual unification. Scott also studied and worked for several years in Tokyo, Japan. He has been to over 52 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Professionally Scott has served on several national advisory boards in the field of international education including Arcadia University's National Advisory Board, IFSA-Butler's Executive Council of the National Advisory Council and SIT Study Abroad's Partnership Council. He is past Co-Chair of the NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group and served as a founding member of the Forum on Education Abroad's Advisory Council. Other national committee involvement included NAFSA's Committee on Underrepresentation in Education Abroad, the SECUSSA Data Collection Working Group, the CIEE Nomination's Committee, the IES Membership Committee, the Forum on Education Abroad's Data Committee and Forum on Education Abroad's Ethics Working Group. He currently serves as chair of the IES Institutional Membership Committee and is a member of the Advisory Board for the NAFSA Rainbow SIG.

Email Scott.

Ms. Alisha Cardwell

Department Administrator

Alisha Cardwell

Alisha began working at Brandeis in November 2012. She comes from a small town in Ohio and was fortunate to have a high school Spanish teacher who first took her out of the country to both Costa Rica and Spain. She holds a B.A. from Miami University in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and a M.Ed. with a specialization in higher education administration from Northeastern University. As a student, Alisha studied abroad for a semester in Luxembourg and also spent a summer in Costa Rica doing volunteer work. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Alisha worked with faculty-led study abroad programs at both EF College Study Tours and the Office of Lifelong Learning at Miami University and most recently worked in Graduate Admissions at New England College of Business and Finance.

Email Alisha.

Mr. Darren R. Gallant '08

Study Abroad Advisor

Darren R. Gallant

Darren joined the office in March 2013. He double majored in Sociology and Politics while at Brandeis. A member of the 2nd midyear class, he was very involved in various campus organizations and student life. During his junior year, Darren studied abroad in Copenhagen with the Denmark International Studies Program (DIS) to bolster his academic learning. Darren earned his M.A. in Higher Education / Student Personnel Administration from New York University. During his time at NYU he traveled to Israel to study international higher education. Most recently Darren worked at Grinnell College and Wheelock College in residence life and academic advising. He is excited to share his experience as an undergraduate at Brandeis and his travel to some 13 countries; including Australia, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, and France.

Email Darren.

Ms. Allyson W. Goose

Assistant Director of Study Abroad

Allyson W. Goose

Allyson started her work in the Office of Study Abroad in June 2008, bringing with her extensive experience in international and experiential education. Prior to coming to Brandeis she served as an advisor and resident coordinator at Dynamy, a gap year and college-access program in Worcester, Massachusetts. There she delivered leadership development programs, organized community service projects and counseled students on job skills. In addition, she has taught English in Unoke, Japan and Cuenca, Ecuador. She holds a Master's degree in Teaching from Brown University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Grinnell College. As a student, she studied abroad in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Netherlands.

Email Allyson.

Ms. Candace B. Matta

Assistant Director, Brandeis-Led Study Programs

Candace B. Matta

Candace joined the Office of Study Abroad in July 2014. As an undergraduate, she studied business at Bentley University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Concentration in Business Communication. While there, she spent a semester abroad in Australia at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) which opened her eyes to the big world outside of the small Western Massachusetts town she grew up in. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Cultural and Education Policy Studies with a concentration in Comparative-International Education from Loyola University Chicago. Candace comes directly to Brandeis from the Institute for the International Education of Students, a non-profit study abroad program partner, where she worked with a variety of institutions in New England as well as acted as a study abroad program advisor for many of their direct enrollment programs. She has volunteered her time with several professional-related activities, including the New England Returnee Conference, the Boston Area Study Abroad Association mentor program, and was recently elected to the NAFSA Region XI Leadership Team as Conference Chair-Elect.

Email Candace.

Ms. Kate Cheng

Graduate Assistant
Kate started her work in the Office of Study Abroad in March 2015. She is a first-year graduate student pursuing a M.A. degree in International Economics and Finance at Brandeis International Business School (IBS). As an undergraduate student at Colorado College, she studied abroad in Sweden at Jonkoping International Business School, where she immersed herself in different European cultures by traveling and interacting with fellow Swedish classmates. Prior to her tertiary studies, she went to a United World College (UWC) in Hong Kong, where she volunteered and taught English in Tibet, the Philippines and rural parts of China. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Colorado College. Currently she also serves as the senior business editor at Cypraea Magazine in Brandeis IBS.

Ms. Melanie Vandegrift

Graduate Assistant

Melanie started working in the study abroad office in Fall of 2015. She is a first year in the joint Master’s program in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Brandeis.  In 2014, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Anthropology from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania where, during her Junior year, she participated in the study abroad program SIT Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change.  During her time in Samoa, Melanie studied at the University of the South Pacific in Apia, Samoa and traveled to American Samoa and Fiji where she participated in homestays with local families and immersed herself in local culture.  Also while abroad, Melanie conducted Independent research on the topic of third gender in the Pacific, a subject that she wishes to build on during her time at Brandeis.