AEteam2017

OUR TEAM:

 

Our Academic Expeditions team is dedicated to delivering exciting travel experiences that bring academic learning to its proper fruition out in the larger world.  While we have fun, we are not just "on recess" from classroom education, but rather, our expeditions take you beyond the school walls,and beyond familiar neighborhoods and towns, and make learning relevant and personal in the context of a variety of landmark destinations.

Browse the profiles below to get to know the great people who make up our team:


AEAndrew2017

Andrew Selinka, Managing Director

Andrew grew up near New York City and has traveled and lived extensively throughout the United States and the larger world, as he enjoys getting to know new cultures, communities, and landscapes. Andrew founded Academic Expeditions over a decade ago after working with many different educational travel tour companies and international schools over the years. He realized that there was a real need for a new ideal for a company that offered a high quality travel experience that was delivered with integrity and a focus on the client’s needs. Andrew is proud of what he and his incredibly talented staff at Academic Expeditions have been able to produce and are committed to the success and satisfaction of every traveler’s experience.

Contact:

917-520-5453

Best to Contact Andrew for:

General Administration, Human Resources, Government Relations


AEKara2017

Kara Williams, Director of Finance

Kara grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a 1999 graduate of the University of Virginia. Kara spent nine years working as an Underwriter for a large insurance company. After being introduced to student travel she decided to leave the corporate world to pursue a career as financial officer with Academic Expeditions. Kara and her family reside in central Virginia where they enjoy a recreational life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Contact:

Best to Contact Kara for:

Registration, Billing, Payments, Travel Insurance & Claims Queries


TIM LEAF2

Isaiah Mosteller, Director of Education & Guide

While Isaiah grew up on the plains of Oklahoma, the seeds of curiosity for the larger world were planted in him. In college, he earned a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Masters in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and found open doors into the global education of travel and cultural exchange. His experiences abroad include working in the UK, Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands, recreation work in Japan, and cultural explorations of Latin America. These unique experiences have inspired him to both plan and guide relevant travel experiences for others. In addition to leading trips in Eastern US over the last 17 years, he has also led trips around Europe and Latin America. Isaiah currently lives in Asheville, NC where he enjoys his time at home being outdoors, playing music with friends, and partaking in all the local Asheville eccentricities.

Contact:

917-608-3736

Best to Contact Isaiah for:

Curriculum Programming, Website Maintenace, SE Destinations, International Destinations.

Rebekah 2011

Rebekah Hancock, Director of Logistics, Trip Manager

Rebekah grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.  She is a 2006 graduate of Peace College with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Leadership Studies.  Rebekah has five years of corporate experience in marketing and operations.  However, travel has always been a large passion in her life and has led her to pursue her interests by joining Academic Expeditions.  Rebekah currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

917-608-0947

Best to Contact Rebekah for:

Photography / Media Requests, Social Media & Technology

AEKristin2017

Kristin Peterson, Program Development, Trip Manager, & Guide

Kristin is an east coast native with strong roots in Pennsylvania. For the past ten years, she has been leading educational tours throughout North America and Europe. Kristin has a Masters in French and Comparative Literature, is an ITMI certified tour director, GWU certified event manager, and licensed sightseeing guide in New York City and Washington, DC. She enjoys bicycling, good food, and foreign languages, and especially loves creating travel itineraries that combine all three. Kristin lives in western Massachusetts with her astrophysicist husband Jason, and together they develop astronomy-themed tours that explore the darkest skies and provide a better understanding of our place in space.

Contact:

kpeterson@academicexpeditions.com

917-658-2983

Best to Contact Kristin for:

European destinations, Astronomy, Customized Group Travel, Accredited Tours


AETracy2017

Tracy Hale, Program Development, Trip Manager, & Guide

Tracy was born in Washington, DC and now resides in quiet Chesapeake Beach, Maryland which is just a short drive to our Nation’s Capital. Tracy started out in the group travel industry right out of high school by working at her family owned motor coach company.  Working her way up the ladder she became the operations manager and after 22 years she decided to pursue her love of Washington and American history by becoming a DC Tour Guide.  She loves sharing her love of history and the city with groups of all ages! When she is not guiding, you will find her at home with her sweet boys, Kirby & Murph, Golden Retrievers and Loki a Mastiff.

Contact:

thale@academicexpeditions.com

917-608-3745

Best to Contact Tracy for:

Washington DC and US History programming & logistics


AaronFam

Aaron Mertig, Program Development, Trip Manager, & Guide

Aaron grew up in very rural northern Wisconsin an hour south of Lake Superior. He went on to earn a Bachelors in Education. After teaching Middle School Social Studies for six years, he successfully transitioned to Tour Guiding which became his love. After being a Tour Director for 10 years which included being a Licensed Guide in Washington, DC, he was seeking some balance in his life (and so were his beautiful wife, his four kids, and their weiner dog named Oscar) so he is now excited to be a Tour Manager with Academic Expeditions and share his passion of lifelong learning coupled with his love of traveling. Aaron and his family currently reside in Hudson, WI, just outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Contact:

amertig@academicexpeditions.com

917-608-3474

Best to Contact Aaron for:

US History & Student Travel


AEElitsa2017

Elitsa Somleva, Program Development

Elitsa was born and raised in Bulgaria where she received her Bachelors in Italian and Masters in Alternative Tourism. Curiosity and luck led her to the US which she now calls home. Travel has always been a big part of her life from the early family vacations to the Black Sea to the latest road trip exploring the coast of Uruguay. She has over 6 years of experience developing programs in the United States and Canada for international visitors. Her other big passion is food and she strongly believes that the best way to experience new cultures and places is through their cuisine. When she is not planning the next trip, you can find Elitsa leading scrumptious and educational food tours of San Francisco.

Contact:

esomleva@academicexpeditions.com

917-608-1418

Best to Contact Elitsa for:

Alternative Cultural Expeditions

 

  Seasonal - Contract Staff


Hannah

Hannah Feldberg, Program Development

Hannah "Banana" Feldberg serves as a part-time Management Consultant and brings over 15 years of youth focused program experience to our company, including summer camps, after school programs, outdoor experiential education, leadership development training programs and international volunteer travel programs. Beyond program support, Hannah also consults with us regarding key business functionalities including  hiring, training, organizational management and company culture development.  She did her graduate work at the University of Waterloo in the School of Applied Health Sciences, in the Leisure Studies Department -  focusing her stuidies on the educational value of youth programs (like leadership camps) have for young peoples' optimal learning environments.  Hannah has travelled all over the world (USA, Canada, Europe, The Middle East, parts of Africa and parts of South America). Hannah loves sweat pants and grilled cheese sandwiches, and wants nothing more than to contribute to the world by leaving it better than how she found it.

Contact:

hfeldberg@academicexpeditions.com

917-608-3857

Best to Contact Hannah for:

Western National Parks, Environmental Studies


dori ireland

Dori Robinson,  Program Development

Dori is an educator and traveler originally from Massachusetts.  She brings to Academic Expeditions her background in program and curriculum development, leadership training, and experiential education. She’s passionate about community engagement and hearing every person’s story. Dori has worked with various educational and non-profit organizations in Chicago, New York, Massachusetts, Ireland, and Israel. She holds a Masters from New York University Educational Theater program, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. She has tours and service-learning trips all over the world focusing on such topics as: the environment, leadership, social justice, theater, and literature. When not planning travels, Dori can be found hiking or reading Shakespeare.

Contact:

drobinson@academicexpeditions.com

 

Best to Contact Dori for:

Social Media, Chicago Programs, United Kingdom and Theater Programs


Leorayoung

Leora Tec, Program Development

As the founder and director of Bridge To Poland (BTP), Leora Tec creates immersive intellectual and cultural experiences in Poland that examine the history of the Jews in Poland and how Christian Poles today are commemorating that history. Leora is excited to be partnering with Academic Expeditions to lead groups to engage deeply in questions of reconciliation and memorialization and deepen their understanding of the intertwined histories of Jewish and Christian Poles. Leora holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD/LLM from Duke University School of Law. In addition to her work for BTP she writes and speaks publicly about her own experiences with Polish and Jewish identity (See her article). In her spare time, Leora is a docent at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, a narrator of audio books for the blind and an improvisor. She is a polyglot and has lived and/or studied in: Spain, Israel, France, Italy and Poland.  Leora is the proud mother of two wonderful sons.

Contact:

ltec@academicexpeditions.com

Best to Contact Leora for:

Poland and Israel trips; Religious identity and reconciliation programs

Jared2

Jared Robinson, Program Development

As a former corporate banker-turned-lifelong-entrepreneur, Jared has worked in various start-ups, managed event companies, created social enterprises and developed custom training programs as well as school experiences for both students and staff. Jared has worked in the corporate world, as an account manager and trainer, in not-for-profit organizations as a health and wellness training facilitator and educator, and in the arts as an improviser, actor, and director. He is passionate about events, facilitation, listening, and teaching people how to interact with communities as opposed to just observe. 

Contact:

jrobinson@academicexpeditions.com

646-246-5841


Kim  Kimberly McLean, Director of Creative Development and Conservation Education

Kim is an ecologist and educator, driven by a passion for nature, travel, and education. She has a Master of Science in ecology and evolutionary biology and a BA in the social sciences. She is an applied environmental education curriculum specialist and program designer, field researcher, and marine policy specialist. Kim has designed and taught environmental science courses, field experiences for university students, workshops for elementary school teachers on ocean literacy, and has done extensive field studies on endangered species. Her passion for education is rooted in a deep appreciation of the natural world and a belief that nurturing a love of nature in childhood is the best chance we have of conserving it. Kim's programs emphasize the importance of place-based learning and local culture, partnering with local business owners and conservation organizations. Kim met her British husband while traveling in Alaska. They live in Maryland with their two young daughters. Kim enjoys exploring natural areas, playing with her kids and husband in the outdoors and enriching people's lives through travel.

Contact:

info@discoveryexpeditions.org

Best to Contact Kim for:

Accredited Programs (Professional Development or Continuing Education Units),  Teacher tours, Environmental & Conservation Education, Nature Tours, Family Tours, Voluntourism and Community Service Trips


Eric2

Eric Lewis, Program Development & Guide

Eric is a Washington, DC based tour guide and photographer originally from Richmond, VA, with a political science degree from Old Dominion University. A passionate love of travel and American History led him into the Washington educational tour industry and further to more domestic and international touring. Eric's photography specializes in memorial and monumental architecture with a style emphasizing color and dynamic range. He also enjoys photographing interiors of churches and other houses of worship. He is currently developing a Beatles-themed tour to Liverpool and London. Eric fancies himself very clever and cracks himself up regularly. When not writing about himself in the third person, Eric enjoys Washington area culture, meeting large dogs, and memorizing world capitals.

Contact:

elewis@academicexpeditions.com

804-337-0647


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