Meet the Staff

Alisha Cardwell
Alisha Cardwell
Director of Study Abroad
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Alisha has served as the Director of Study Abroad since January 2021 and has been at Brandeis since 2012. Prior to serving as the Director, Alisha was the Assistant Director for two years, a Study Abroad Advisor for three years, and the Department Administrator prior to that. When she arrived at Brandeis, she brought with her experience working in faculty-led study abroad programs at EF College Study Tours and Miami University (Ohio). 

A native of Aberdeen, Ohio, Alisha holds a B.A. from Miami University (Ohio) in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and a M.Ed. with a specialization in higher education administration from Northeastern University. As an undergraduate, Alisha studied abroad for her junior fall semester in Differdange, Luxembourg where her most impactful experience was meeting with the few remaining Luxembourgian survivors of concentration camps during the Holocaust. She also spent a summer in the rural mountains of Costa Rica volunteering in a community center.

In her eight years at Brandeis, Alisha has contributed to the development of I Am Global Week and I Love Study Abroad Week, which occur every fall and spring, respectively. She has expanded the Study Abroad Ambassador program and strengthened scholarship advising through the Office of Study Abroad, leading Brandeis to be named a top producer of Gilman Scholars for two consecutive years.

Outside of Brandeis, Alisha has contributed to continued reflection and development within the field of study abroad. A regular attendee and frequent presenter at professional conferences and workshop, Alisha has presented on topics such as intercultural agility among short-term study abroad students, effective engagement with technology-focused students, and other areas of professional interest. She is a founding member of the Jewish Students Member Interest Group at NAFSA: Association of International Educators and has served as a scholarship reviewer and selection panelist for the Fund for Education Abroad and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship.

Alisha enjoys her work with all the members of our diverse community and is grateful to be part of such a globally-minded campus.

erica martinson
Erica Martinson
Senior Department Coordinator
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Erica joined the study abroad department in June 2019 as the senior department coordinator. Erica holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Italian Studies from Trinity College; an M.A. in Literature from the University of New Hampshire; and a combined MLIS/MA in History from Simmons College. She spent her junior spring semester studying abroad at Trinity College's Rome campus. Her most memorable experience abroad was the week spent with distant relatives in Budapest, learning about the city's, and her own family's, history.

Erica brings to Brandeis six years of experience as administrative coordinator for the Emily Dickinson Museum and an academic career focused on writing both as instructor and student. She is excited to support the Brandeis community's commitment to global educational opportunities.

ari massefski
Ari Massefski
Study Abroad Advisor
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Ari has been at Brandeis since mid-2019. He has an M.A. in Global Ethics and Human Values from King's College London in London, U.K, and a B.A. from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In addition to receiving his Master's degree internationally, Ari studied abroad twice as an undergraduate: once for a year in Jerusalem and once for a week in Paris on a faculty-led program studying the effect of globalization on the media. While at GW, Ari also participated in an Alternative Winter Break just outside of Chinandega, Nicaragua, where he joined a group of GW students volunteering to refurbish local school buildings and participate in activities with local elementary school students.

At Brandeis, Ari advises students looking to study abroadon any semester- or summer-long Approved Affiliate Program. Ari also provides support for midyear students seeking to study abroad, oversees the Brandeis-Led programs in Copenhagen and Siena, and manages the inbound student exchange program. Prior to working at Brandeis, Ari served as the University Relations Manager for the Friends of the Arava Institute, where he worked with American students traveling to Israel to study environmental peace-building with Israeli, Palestinian, and other international students.

Ashley Trebisacci
Ashley Trebisacci
Study Abroad Advisor
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Ashley (she, they) is a Rhode Island native who joined the Office of Study Abroad in July 2018. They hold a B.A. in English and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Stonehill College and an M.Ed. in Higher Education from Merrimack College. She spent her junior year studying abroad at Worcester College in Oxford University through IFSA-Butler, and for their Master's capstone, wrote an autoethnography on the transformational relationship between study abroad and sexual orientation identity development.

Ashley brings nine years of higher education experience in the areas of diversity and inclusion, study abroad, and international student services. Their past research and presentation topics include LGBTQ+ student activism at religious colleges, campus sexual violence activism, queer students' experiences abroad, and students' identity fluidity. She is thrilled to join Brandeis' community of globally engaged learners.

Headshot of Amanda Woolsey.
Amanda Woolsey
Graduate Assistant

Amanda began working as a graduate assistant in the study abroad office in September 2021. She is a Sustainable International Development & Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies graduate student at the Heller School. Amanda holds a BA in Sociology and Gender and Women studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her summer semester in 2014, she studied abroad in Udaipur, India learning more about global feminism through a Labor, Food, and Gender program. She continued her international journey by joining the Peace Corps, where she worked as a Youth Empowerment Specialist in rural Fiji from 2016 to 2018. While abroad she helped to empower women, raise awareness for international women’s issues, and actively participated in the ways in which different communities responded to gender, health, and education challenges. She then worked as a Project Coordinator at the University of St. Francis from 2019 to 2021, where she provided prevention education, training, and resources to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

Amanda is extremely passionate about study abroad and feels that her study abroad opportunity paved the way for her educational and career opportunities! She is very excited about helping Brandeis students to be able to experience that same magic that study abroad offers.

Headshot of Tony Yu.
Tony Jianqi Yu
Graduate Assistant

Tony joined the study abroad department in October 2021 as the Graduate Assistant. He is currently a graduate student studying Business Analytics at Brandeis International Business School. Tony is originally from Beijing, China, and has been studying abroad since ninth grade. His most memorable experience abroad was being thought of as a local in Hokkaido, Japan when he was asked to help with directions in a transit center. 

Tony holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Business from Lake Forest College near Chicago, Illinois. He brings to Brandeis two years of experience as an administrative staff at Lake Forest College, a marketing analytics intern at Wang Vision Institute, and a community outreach specialist at the Common Ground Network of Nashville, Tennessee. Tony is passionate about gaining global experiences and is excited to help students in their study abroad journey at Brandeis University.