Pashoua Vang joined the Learning Abroad Center as an Associate Institutional Relations Director in August 2021, representing the University of Minnesota in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions of the United States. She holds a BA in Global Studies and Asian Languages & Literatures from the University of Minnesota and a MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Pashoua is an alumna of the NSLI-Y China program, FLAS Fellowship and Fulbright Malaysia. Her diverse international experiences and challenges navigating higher education as a first-generation Hmong American college and graduate student with limited financial resources, drive her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work as a professional in higher ed. When she’s not traveling, Pashoua is an avid baker and crafter who also enjoys hiking, weight training and chasing sunsets.
Paula Haeder started in the Learning Abroad Center in August of 2018 as an Associate Institutional Relations Director, representing the University of Minnesota in the Southeast and Lower Midwest portions of the United States. Paula grew up in a small town of 500 people (on a good day) in South Dakota. She graduated with a Spanish and Global Studies major from Concordia College where she studied abroad in Cordoba, Argentina. After college, she spent a year as a teaching assistant in Zhuahi, China. Prior to coming to the UofM, she worked for three years in Institutional Relations for another provider. In her free time, Paula likes to drink mate, bake bread, search for great Chinese restaurants, and listen to the same three audiobook series over and over again.
BJ has worked in education abroad since 2002 at both the University of Minnesota as well as Macalester College. He is currently the Director Institutional Relations & Diversity Initiatives in the Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota. He holds a BA in Spanish and Linguistics and an MA in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. In the past, he has worked with the Study & Intern in Toledo, MSID Kenya and MSID Ecuador programs, Study & Intern in Rome, Study & Intern in Florence, Arabic Language & Culture in Morocco program, as well as the Global Seminars. He has an amazing memory, likes Thai food and Indiana. Contact BJ.
Dana Elliott started in the Learning Abroad Center in August of 2022 as an Associate Institutional Relations Director, representing the University of Minnesota in the Western portion of the United States. Dana is originally from Texas, but grew up primarily in Idaho and now lives in Oregon. She graduated with an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Idaho, and she has studied abroad in Germany, New Zealand and South Korea. She also spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. She has fifteen years of experience in international education and, prior to coming to the UofM, she worked for five years in Institutional Relations for another provider. In her free time, Dana likes to play the drums, go to live music events, play video games and go shopping for more plants than she has space for.