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.

ari kramer
Ari Kramer
Assistant Director of Study Abroad
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Ari (Massefski) Kramer 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.

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.

Ashley Trebisacci
Ashley Trebisacci
Assistant Director of Study Abroad
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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 Laura Walkup
Laura Walkup
Graduate Assistant

Laura (she/her) joined the Office of Study Abroad in the fall of 2021. She originally served as a Study Abroad Ambassador after taking part in the Brandeis in Copenhagen program during the summer of 2021. The next summer, she returned to Denmark as a Program Assistant for Brandeis in Copenhagen 2022. She is finishing her undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business, while starting the 5-year BA/MA program in International Economics and Finance at the Brandeis International Business School. She plans to study abroad again during her master's program.

Laura is excited to continue her time working in the Study Abroad Office and assist students with their study abroad experience. She brings 3 years of experience as a research assistant in the Brandeis Economics Department. Under Professor Geoff Clarke, Laura researches an early 20th-century Black-owned penny bank. She looks forward to meeting prospective study abroad students.

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.