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Webinar Recording: US Diversity 101 - What Every On-Site Team Member Should Know

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Diverse students do study abroad. Institutions of higher education in the US, overseas, and program providers must be inclusive in their practices and prepared to effectively support students from diverse backgrounds. The goal for this session is to provide a broad overview of diversity in the United States, with focus on specific aspects of identity to be considered when students from diverse backgrounds are abroad. Onsite Advisors, Program Managers, and Faculty Leaders are amongst those who can benefit from a better understanding of the (potential) unique challenges diverse students face while studying abroad. Included will be a discussion of how to address -- during trainings for onsite staff -- topics like mental health, racism/discrimination, sexual behavior, and the role that culture and identity play in diverse students’ overall experience.

Goals of the Webinar:

  • Refine understanding of US diversity.
  • Increase awareness of issues that may arise for a diverse student participating in an educational abroad experience.
  • Explore ways to effectively train and support onsite staff to address potential health and safety risks associated with identity.
  • Understand the relevant topics for diverse students studying abroad and understand how to find more information.


Andrew Gordon, President & Founder - Diversity Abroad 
Andrew is the Founder and President of Diversity Abroad. With a passion for working with diverse and underrepresented students, language, and cultures he founded Diversity Abroad in 2006 to help ensure all students had equal access to the benefits afforded through international education. Andrew has written and spoken extensively on topics pertaining to access, diversity, inclusion, and underrepresentation in international education. He has spoken on such topics at professional conferences including: NAFSA, AIEA, Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, GIC, Going Global, CIEE, IES Abroad, and UCEAP. Additionally, Andrew has consulted higher education institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and government agencies on diversity and inclusive good practices for international education. He is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where he serves on the Committee on Underrepresentation. He is also a member of AIEA, EAIE, National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA). Andrew is an alumnus of INROADS and Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce (AIESEC). Prior to starting Diversity Abroad, he worked as an associate at Deloitte and Touche and as a corporate real estate consultant for Duff and Phelps in San Francisco. Andrew is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and studied abroad in Mexico and Spain, and interned abroad in Madrid. He is fluent in Spanish, proficient in French and Portuguese and has traveled throughout Europe, South America, and parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Martha Johnson, Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota
Martha has worked in education abroad since 1991, including on-site at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several US-based educational organizations and consortia previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001. She holds a BA with a double major in Literature and Theatre Arts and an MA in Literature with an emphasis in multicultural and travel literature, and post-colonial theory and teaches courses exploring the interface between literature and culture. Martha has presented and co-chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and co-authored the “Working Abroad” chapter in the NAFSA Guide to Education Abroad, 2004 edition. She previously served on the NAFSA International Education Leadership team as well as serving and chairing multiple committees in NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad. 

Gretchen Cook-Anderson, Director of Diversity Recruiting & Advising, IES Abroad
As Director of Diversity Recruiting & Advising at IES Abroad, Gretchen Cook-Anderson has led efforts that have raised the participation of underrepresented students by more than 60 percent in just 4 years. An alumna of IES Abroad’s program in Nagoya, Japan (1988-89), she holds degrees from Spelman College and Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Cook-Anderson is an experienced speaker on study abroad diversity, having presented at the Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA, Diversity Abroad and IES Abroad annual conferences, and on numerous member campuses within IES Abroad’s consortium.