About Us

Devon Bilsing Devon Bilsing Study Abroad Coordinator

Devon attended Iowa State University, where he earned a B.A. in German and a M.S. in Communications. His passion for education abroad began after a semester in Cork, Ireland during his sophomore year. During his college career, Devon had several international experiences including studying abroad in Florence, Italy; Berlin, Germany (twice!); Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and having an internship in Swansea, Wales. He joined SASE in November of 2015, and is delighted to be part of this fantastic team (and to be a Wildcat!). Professionally, Devon is interested in how study abroad is communicated to students, and believes it is important to create global citizens by exposing students to the world. Personally, he is interested in breakfast, endless learning, and riding his motorcycle. Future plans include more travel, another language, and pursuing a Ph.D.

Advises for: Italy, Greece, Portugal, United Kingdom, Ireland



Jill Calderón Jill Calderón Program Director, Senior

Jill completed her BA at Colorado State University in Creative Writing and her MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, she set out for Costa Rica where she worked at becoming fluent in Spanish while running her own business, Escuela Latina de Lenguas, S.A., a language school teaching English to Costa Ricans and offering service learning opportunities and Spanish language instruction to international visitors. While in Costa Rica, Jill had the opportunity to travel throughout Latin America. She came to Tucson from Costa Rica in 2000 to work at the UA and pursue her Master's degree.  Currently, Jill serves as the Program Director, Senior and assists the Center for Latin American Studies with international initiatives in teaching, research and study programs abroad.



Jennifer Clark Study Abroad Program Assistant

From Gator to Wildcat, Jennifer has always been driven by her international curiosity. As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, she studied abroad in both China and Australia, and interned in London. Jennifer’s passion for study abroad led her to become a Study Abroad Peer Advisor where she had the opportunity to share her experiences with other students. Following graduation, she pursued the other side of international education as an ESL teacher in Busan, South Korea. In addition to teaching abroad, her professional background includes helping Fortune 500 companies excel in the global marketplace as an Account Executive at the world’s largest translation company. Jennifer, a dual UK citizen, worked in London prior to relocating to Tucson to join the SASE team. As the newest member, she is excited to build a career in the field of education abroad and pursue her MA in Higher Education at UA.



Harmony DeFazio Harmony DeFazio Director

Harmony attended the University of Oregon, where she earned her BA in German, with minors in Italian and Linguistics. As an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to study abroad in both Italy and Germany and to travel throughout Western Europe. These experiences were pivotal in shaping her personal and professional goals and she decided to continue her studies at the University of Oregon, this time pursuing a Master of Public Administration with a focus on international education. In graduate school, she returned to Germany to develop a study abroad program for US business students. After completing her studies, she worked as a Study Abroad Advisor at Central Washington University for two years. Harmony joined SASE as a Study Abroad Advisor in May 2007. She is currently serving as study abroad director and executive director of the Global Mobility Lab for the Office of Global Initiatives.



Renee Griggs Renee Griggs Associate Director

Renee has been with Study Abroad and Student Exchange for many years. Renee is the principal advisor for most Eller programs and is the person you'll want to see for any help with registration, posting of credits, billing questions, or financial aid.



Donella Ly Donella Ly Program Development Manager

Prior to working in the Office of Global Initiatives, Donella’s professional career evolved from her work in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where she garnered knowledge regarding international challenges and societal issues associated with nutrition. After completing her M.S. in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona, Donella began work in the Office of Global Initiatives providing student support for East Asia and Mexico, and regional expertise for program development. Coming from a diverse cultural background, Donella is half Irish and Korean. Her husband’s family are Chinese refugees who traveled through Vietnam. Donella spends her recreational time learning Cantonese and Mandarin, hiking, camping and golfing.

Advises for: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico



Rudo Moyo Sandy Rudo Moyo Sandy Program Development Manager

Born in Lusaka, Zambia to Zambian and Zimbabwean parents, Rudo had early exposure to a cross cultural setting. She grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and Gaborone, Botswana. In 2000, after completing her undergraduate degree in French and English at the University of Botswana, Rudo’s family migrated to the United States. She has lived and studied in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Masters in Politics of Democracy at Oxford Brookes University. Rudo’s professional career includes working in the nonprofit sector on areas such as human rights and development. She has vast experience working with young people from diverse backgrounds. She has travelled to over 30 countries across Sub-Sahara and Northern Africa, South East Asia, Western, Northern and Central Europe. She is very passionate about inter cultural learning and believes that educational exchanges that facilitate such experiences are an integral part of personal growth. Rudo’s hobbies include writing poetry and playing tennis.

Advises for: Botswana, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ghana, France, Martinique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Honors Trip



Lisa Turker Associate Director, Operations and Student Engagement

Lisa’s interest in study abroad started with her own experience studying in Copenhagen, Denmark during her undergraduate studies. After completing her MA in Political Science in 2007, Lisa moved to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she worked at KIMEP University in the Language Center. While in Almaty, Lisa also worked on projects with USAID/CAR and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia. In 2010, Lisa became a lecturer and international advisor at Istanbul Arel University in Turkey. She has traveled to over 20 countries throughout Europe, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Having recently returned to the States, Lisa is excited to use her experience to encourage students to engage in meaningful and enlightening adventures abroad.

Advises for: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates



Katie Van Wyk Study Abroad Coordinator

Born and raised in the cheese head state, Katie attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she received her B.S. degree in Mathematics and Spanish. During her undergraduate career, she spent a semester studying in Granada, Spain and began working in the Office of International Education upon her return to help other students gain an intercultural experience. After graduation, Katie moved to Santiago, Chile where she worked as an Au Pair and Customer Service Representative for ECELA Spanish Schools. Upon completing her M.S.Ed in Student Affairs Administration, Katie was thrilled to join the SASE team in June of 2015. She serves as the Coordinator for Spain, South America, and Semester at Sea. 

Advises for: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Spain, and Semester at Sea



Hillary Vance Program Development Manager

Hillary was born and raised in New Jersey. She earned her B.A. at Rutgers University in History and Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Political Science. She also studied abroad in France, Tunisia and Sweden. After completing her M.Ed. in Globalization and Educational Change at Lehigh University, she moved to Cambodia to work for an education NGO. Hillary has traveled through over 20 countries and has studied French, Spanish, German, Arabic, and Khmer. Outside of work, she is pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education at the UA and planning future adventures abroad with her favorite Australian.

Advises for: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, and CAPLA Abroad



Danny Vander Ploeg Danny Vander Ploeg Study Abroad Coordinator, Senior

Before venturing out into the world, Danny grew up in Michigan.  During his time at Michigan State University, he studied abroad in Vienna, Austria where he had a transformative travel experience meeting new people, seeing different ways of living, and exploring some of the most interesting parts of Europe.  After graduating, he was looking for more adventures abroad, so he joined the Peace Corps where he taught English in a small village in southern Kazakhstan.  After returning from Kazakhstan, Danny still had the travel bug, so he spent another six months exploring Central America.  He then moved to Tucson where he worked at the Arizona State Museum while he earned an MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arizona.  Danny loves to travel, absorb culture, explore nature, spend time with his family, and play with his very rambunctious dog. 

Advises for: Austria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Global Engineering Education Exchange (GE3), Medieval Europe Study Tour



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