Staff

Photo of Gina Lopardo

Gina Lopardo

Gina oversees the Education Abroad Office and supervises all staff members. Additionally, she works with faculty and administrators to promote internationalization, including the development of new study abroad programs and partnerships. Gina collaborates with faculty directors and Associate Deans on education abroad courses (short-term, faculty-led, usually summer). This year marks Gina’s 16th year in international education and her 8th at Seattle University. Gina studied in Italy and holds a BA in Italian and MS in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island.

Gina's advice about education abroad: "As a first-generation student and Pell Grant recipient, my education abroad to Siena, Italy was my first time leaving the U.S. and boarding a plane. I studied and socialized with classmates from Greece, Syria, Tunisia, Japan, Budapest and, of course, Italy. This opportunity helped me understand my identity as an American citizen and to better understand myself. I hope that students curious about studying abroad come and talk with us before concluding it is not an opportunity available to them." 

Photo of Dario Ogaz

Dario Ogaz

Specialist

Dario is the liaison to the College of Arts of Sciences, College of Education, the School of Law, and the School of Theology and Ministry. By collaborating with Faculty Directors and staff, Dario helps facilitate faculty-led courses and immersions abroad. Dario also advises students in the exploration of international education opportunities, both long and short term. In collaboration with Education Abroad Office staff, Dario provides health and safety training, pre-departure orientation, intercultural preparedness, and re-entry sessions for SU groups traveling abroad. Dario holds a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Denver, where he studied abroad in Australia, and a MEd in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. 

Dario's advice about education abroad: "As is the case for many students, studying abroad was the first opportunity I had to travel and live abroad. Studying in Sydney, Australia was the start of my passion for international education because of the opportunity it gave me to better understand myself and to continue building the resilience to complete my education. This still inspires me today to help create opportunities for students to have similar experiences that challenge and inspire them to continue learning about themselves and the world around them."

Photo of Kirsti Ruud

Kirsti Ruud

Advisor (Last Names A-K)

Kirsti is an Advisor in the Education Abroad Office. In this role, she accompanies students through the discernment process in selecting an international program which meets the individual academic and personal goals of each student. In addition to working with students during this initial exploration phase, Kirsti supports students through further advising, Pre-Departure Orientation, and other event programming prior to departure and through the re-entry process. Kirsti holds a BA in Political Science from Seattle University and studied abroad in Madagascar through the School for International Training. Having experience studying, volunteering, and traveling abroad in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Kirsti joins the Education Abroad Office staff with a shared value of international education and its central role in the university’s mission.

Kirsti's advice about education abroad: "I studied abroad in Madagascar through the School for International Training (SIT), focusing on urbanization and rural development. Having experienced studying, volunteering and traveling abroad in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, I joined the Education Abroad Office staff with a shared value and belief in the transformative power of international education and its central role in the university’s mission to empower leaders for a just and humane world."

Photo of Jennifer Chan

Jennifer Chan

Advisor (Last Names L-Z)

Jennifer is an Advisor in the Education Abroad Office. Like her fellow Advisor Kirsti, she will work with students through the discernment process in selecting an international program which meets the individual academic and personal goals of each student. In addition to working with students during this initial exploration phase, Jenn supports students through further advising, Pre-Departure Orientation, and other event programming prior to departure and through the re-entry process. Jenn is a double alum of Seattle U, as an undergraduate, she majored in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and more recently, completed her Med in Educational Administration. Jenn has lived, studied, and worked in various countries (US, Hong Kong, Japan – JET Program).

Jenn's advice about education abroad: "As an undergraduate, I assumed that I would not be able to study abroad, so I didn’t even try to see what my possibilities were. However, I did have the opportunity to work abroad in Japan for five years teaching English with JET. As a third-culture-kid, I found living, learning and working abroad helped me define myself and allowed me to explore my identity as a global citizen. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity for students to learn more about themselves in a global context."