Our Story, Our Mission, & Our Team.

Get to Know Verto Education

Verto Education offers the onlyfirst year abroad experiencethat keeps you on-track to graduate in four years with world-class academic providers and 70+ partner colleges.

Our Mission

Verto prepares global leaders and transforms access to higher education through a coming-of-age first-year start to college abroad.

Our Values

Verto Education was founded to make travel the path of least resistance to a college education. We believe in inclusion, transparency, access, equity and, above all, the power of travel to foster empathy and kindness across cultures.

What Verto Education Offers

Photo: Two students talking, smiling and laughing in class

An Accessible, Global Academic Year

Verto Education helps participants discover themselves and the world around them by making education abroad a foundational and accessible part of a four-year college plan.

With Verto, students can begin college with a study abroad experience with world-class academics offered by our Academic Providers, while having the option to gain admission to Verto’s 70+ partner college.

Verto participants walk away with much more than incredible memories and transferable credits; they gain the confidence, self-awareness, and global perspective needed to thrive in college and in life.

Photo: Students sitting walking through plaza

Direct Admission to a Verto Partner College

Students can use their Verto Application to gain direct admission to our 70+ partner colleges, where the credits earned from our Academic Providers during the Verto experience will transfer seamlessly. Students have many available options after their time with Verto, allowing them to stay on track for a 4-year college graduation timeline.

Photo: Verto Education students surveying meals served in tropical jungle leaves and grass roof hut

A Well-Rounded Cross-Cultural Experience Focused on Personal Growth

Semesters foster self-discovery through journaling, mindfulness training, mentorship, service learning programs, and—for some locations—a homestay experience. Weekly structured reflection gives students a sense of who they are and want they want from their university career.

Is Verto Right For You?Frequently Asked Questions
Our ExperiencesVerto Study Abroad
Before You ApplyAdmissions & Enrollment Info

Meet Our Team

Executives & Leaders

Mitch Gordon

President & Co-Founder

Ben Welbourn

Chief Enrollment Officer & Co-Founder

Michael Kabbaz

Senior Vice President of Strategy & Chief of Staff

Emily Sauey

Head of People Operations

Nataly Huff

Vice President of Marketing

Ahmad Refky

Vice President of Operations

Sara Troy

Director of Program Development

Aline Parnagian

Director of Revenue Operations

Rick Silvestrini

Chief Operation Officer

Paige Butler

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Michael Goldstein

Executive Director, Verto Fund

Faculty & Program Staff

Andrés “Fofo” Zúñiga

Program Director, Costa Rica

Ananda Casanova

Academic Success Coordinator, Costa Rica

Antoine Callo

Student Life Coordinator, Costa Rica

Adam Nadel

Faculty, Photography, Costa Rica

Blaire Modic

Associate Country Director, Costa Rica

Andrea Bravo

Student Life Coordinator, Costa Rica

Edgardo Arevalo

Faculty, Environmental Science, Costa Rica

Eliza Wilton

Student Life Coordinator

Claire Kibblewhite

Program Director, England

Cristiana Gallai

Program Director, Italy

Amanda Cummings

Academic Success Coordinator, Spain

Laura Romero Calero

Student Life Coordinator, Spain

Fabricio Arguedas

Student Life Coordinator & Club Coordinator, Costa Rica

Johel Chaves-Campos

Faculty, Environmental Science, Costa Rica

Karen Masters

Country Director, Costa Rica

Marissa Ryan

Student Life Coordinator, Italy

Leslie Jernigan

Faculty, English Language Arts, Costa Rica

Manuel Ramírez Cordero

Program Coordinator, Costa Rica

Manuel “Manolo” Rufete

Program Coordinator, Spain

Michaela Hill

Student Life Manager, Spain

Maria Batista

Faculty, Social Problems, Costa Rica

Nadia Sousa Garzón

Academic Success Coordinator, Spain

Nicole Horvath

Program Manager, Spain

Rosario Sivianes

Faculty, Introductory Spanish I & Intermediate Spanish II, Spain

Oscar Ceballos

Center Director, Spain

Samantha Wasek

Student Life Coordinator, Spain

Juan Antonio Campos

Faculty, Comparative Religions, Spain

Stefanie Ramírez Brenes

Program Coordinator, Costa Rica

Rebecca Liebeskind

Change the World Manager, England & Costa Rica

Yesenia Obando Diaz

Faculty, Spanish, Costa Rica

Sarah Hughes

Academic Success Coordinator, England

Miguel de Lucas

Faculty, Comparative Politics & International Relations, Spain

Jorge Sánchez-Torres

Faculty, Intermediate Spanish I, Spain

Dan Manuel Serradilla Avery

Faculty, Western Civilizations I, Spain

Carlos Pineda

Faculty, Public Speaking, Spain

Laura Ludtke

Faculty, Rhetoric & Research, England

Gemma Miller

Faculty, Introduction to Theatre, England

Neil Coade

Faculty, Introduction to Business England

Scott Mclean

Faculty, Western Civilization, England

Faissal Hameed

Faculty, Comparative Government and Politics, England

Katy Layton-Jones

Faculty, Cultural Geography, England

Kristi Bauer

Administrative and Operations Assistant, Italy

Jill Cefalo

Program Director, Czech Republic

Sheriden Kuech

Associate Program Director, England


Our Regional Admissions Counselors frequently present at all-school assemblies, college fairs, High School lunchrooms, community events, and we even offer home visits for prospective Verto families (we’ll bring the coffee). Schedule a presentation with one of our regional admissions counselors using the links below.

Josh Sadagursky

Associate Director of Admissions, West Coast

Amy Wruck

Regional Admissions Counselor, Midwest

Chrè Davis

Regional Admissions Counselor, Houston

Edward “Ned” Liggett

Regional Admissions Counselor, NYC

Emma Tillman

Regional Admissions Counselor, Atlanta

Janet Currier

Regional Admissions Counselor, New England

Kaylee Koenig

Regional Admissions Counselor, Florida

Neal Crosson

Regional Admissions Counselor, VA/D.C.

Catherine Malcolm

Associate Director of Admissions

Daniel Marion

Associate Director of Admissions

Hillevi Johnson

Associate Director of Admissions

Gabriela Granote

Admissions Manager

Dan Quick

Senior Associate Director of Enrollment Services

Shaunene Edwards

Senior Admissions Counselor Team Lead

Hailey Darrow

Senior Admissions Counselor

Dan McSweeney

Senior Admissions Counselor

Hannah Swangler

Senior Admissions Counselor

George Goldman

Senior Admissions Counselor

Marla McLeod

Senior Admissions Counselor

Bradley Good

Senior Admissions Counselor

Michelle Korczynski

Senior Admissions Counselor

Nayshia Streator

Senior Admissions Counselor

Kristen Korkowski

Admissions Counselor

Student Onboarding

Brittni Weimer

Senior Manager of Onboarding Operations

Nicole Feliciano

Student Onboarding Advisor

Priscilla De Lara

Student Onboarding Advisor

Regina Roberts

Student Onboarding Advisor

Stuart Robbins-Butcher

Student Onboarding Advisor

Allie Hidy-Lukacs

Student Onboarding Advisor

Higher Education & Student Success

Brandi Turner

Associate Director, Student Accounts

Janice Johnson Shephard

Senior Associate Director for Academic Success

Jessica Willis

Strategy and Operations Manager

Matteo Travers

Community Manager

Derek Russell

Student Financial Services Advisor

Maurissa Miller

Billing and Scholarship Coordinator


David Collier, Ph.D.

Sr. Associate Director of Academics

Colleen Dutton

Assistant Director of Academic Scheduling & Registrar

Steven Mockler

Academic Affairs Manager

Programming & Operations

James Lorello

Dean of Students

Stephanie Collens

Assistant Director of Student Life

College Counseling & Partner Relations

Stephanie Espina

Director of College and University Relations

Escely Marr

Assistant Director of College Counseling

Lakota Bowen

Assistant Director of College Counseling Operations

Nicole Holmberg

Assistant Director for College & University Relations

Uyen Yasmine Vu

College Counselor

Analee Giordano

College Counselor

Revenue Systems & Operations

Akilah Arthur

Systems and Revenue Operations Manager

David Smith

Product Manager—Programming & Academics

Hilary Peterson

Senior Product Manager: Student Financial Services

Nicoholas Holly

Technical Systems Lead & Developer

Sheridan Gill

Senior Salesforce Developer

Joed Emile

Digital Product Systems Administrator

Steven Radabaugh

Full-Stack WordPress Developer

Christopher Lappe

Salesforce Developer


Brynna Rao

Director of Brand & Content Marketing

Elaine Diekroger

Senior Partnerships Marketing Manager

Meaghan Conly

Marketing Lifecycle Manager

Jeff Geisinger

Senior Graphic Designer

Parrish Preston

Student Communication Coordinator

Samantha Nani

Marketing Coordinator

Allie Chatas

Social Media Manager

People Operations

Nicole Simonds

Talent Acquisition and Onboarding Manager

Syed Ali

IT Manager

Jeremy Cantu

People Operations Generalist

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board guides Verto on its initiatives for student services, equity, inclusion, and access, curriculum, partnerships, and student recruitment.

Verto’s Advisory Board members were each selected for their demonstrated commitment to college access, their leadership in the field, and their expertise in educational advising.

Lucas Frankel

Shady Side Academy

Jeff McAdam

Director of College & Academic Advising, Saint Dominic Academy

Danielle Jakob

Associate Director of College Counseling, United Nations International School

Blair Parker

Head of Upper School, Friends Seminary NYC

Tara Miller, M.Ed.

Lead College Counselor, Stephen F. Austin High School

Suzanne Crossman

Director of Transition and Guidance, Landmark School

Beverly Low

Director of Guidance & College Counseling, Manchester Essex Regional School District

Sophia Bazile

Founder, F.L.Y.P Coaching and Consulting

Melissa Nipper

Director of College Counseling, Andrews Osborne Academy

Dean A. Jacoby

Director of College Guidance, Albuquerque Academy

Jason Vallozzi

Founder, Campus to Career Crossroads

Kyle Kane

Educational Consultant, LD Specialization

College Consulting Collaborative

Sawyer Earwood

Co-Founder, Virtual College Counselors

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