GPL 2021: Innovating Global Mentorship and Connection

UIW Study Abroad hosted, virtually, The Global Peer and Leadership Conference on Friday, April 16, 2021 

GPL was organized to allow globally minded student leaders the opportunity to engage with one another via presentations, discussion and social activities. Sessions were facilitated by student leaders from universities across the U.S. GPL is about bringing together global student leaders and their advisors to learn, share and lead.

Who is a Global Peer?

  • Global Ambassadors
  • International Student Buddies
  • International Office Student Employees
  • Peer Advisors
  • Resident Assistants in Global LLCs

Undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn more about how to serve and be an ally to international or study abroad students are Global Peers.

By attending the GPL Conference, students:

  • Enhanced their cultural competency including awareness, attitude, knowledge and skills.
  • Developed their understanding of advocacy within international education.
  • Learned best practices related to peer outreach and engagement, mentorship and advising, policy, leadership development and community building.

GPL was proud to announce the 2021 keynote speaker was Texas' own Diplomat in Residence, Ms. Kris Sivertson!

Download the Global Peer and Leadership Conference 2021 Session Brochure.

Meet the 2021 Conference Team!

Brooke Paynter

Study Abroad and Exchange Coordinator
GPL Conference Host

Brooke Paynter, a Minneapolis native, completed her undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in Social Studies for Secondary Education. After earning her Wisconsin teaching license, she went to work in Hangzhou, China, for a UIW system study abroad program titled Experience China! Falling in love with the city that semester, she decided to stay and work at the host institution, Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU), as a teacher of Spoken English and American History and Culture. While working in China, Brooke earned her M.A. in International Studies with a focus on Education in China and research on LGBTQ+ resources in Chinese higher education.

During the summers, Brooke led faculty-led programs to the U.S. As lead faculty, Brooke was able to co-author the textbook utilized at ZISU today for American culture courses, Traveling Classroom-U.S.A. Brooke also earned the Foreign Affairs Division of Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education’s Certificate of Honor for teaching in 2017. Moving back to the U.S. in 2018, Brooke worked in Residence Life at the University of North Dakota, earning the Outstanding Service to UND and Outstanding Service to Students awards.

Since starting at UIW in the summer of 2019, Brooke loves sharing about the importance of education abroad and her experience as a first-generation student; something she and many UIW students have in common!

Danielle Vogel

International Student Advisor
GPL Conference Facilitation

Danielle Vogel, MS, is the International Student Adviser at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She is responsible for advising F-1 students, planning a multitude of cultural activities and workshops, and working on special projects for her office. Danielle started in the international education field in 2017, having worked as a graduate assistant at her alma mater, before moving south to transition to her new role at UIW. She received her bachelor’s degree in international business and her master’s degree in college student personnel administration, both from Illinois State University. She recently completed her year in the NAFSA Academy for International Education where she has focused on developing her international education proficiencies, and creating campus internationalization and international student advising strategies.


Maggie Mahoney

Assistant Director of UH Learning Abroad
GPL Conference Facilitation

Maggie is the Assistant Director of UH Learning Abroad, leading the office in strategic planning, oversight, risk management and program development. She joined the Learning Abroad team in 2015 as a Learning Abroad Advisor and has advised the UH Global Guides since their creation in 2016. She holds a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Spanish from Centenary College of Louisiana.


Chris Gray

Study Abroad Advisor
GPL Conference Facilitation

Chris Gray has served as a study abroad advisor at Rice University since March 2017. Chris earned a B.A. in Political Science from Rice University in 2012. Chris studied abroad in Japan, and served as a Study Abroad Ambassador during his senior year. After graduation, Chris taught English in Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, later returning to the U.S. to serve as program coordinator with the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan in the United States. Originally from northern Virginia, Chris has also lived in Canada, Egypt and Tunisia.


Malin Hilmersson

Study Abroad Advisor
GPL Conference Facilitation

Malin Hilmersson works as the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Office of International Programs at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville, Texas, where she also graduated from with an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She has worked in the field of higher education for over ten years in different capacities and for institutions in Sweden, Australia and the United States. In her role at SHSU, Malin overseas all study abroad programs at SHSU, advises students, and assists faculty manage study abroad programs.


Caleb Chapman

Communications Coordinator
GPL Conference Facilitation

Caleb is new to Education Abroad, but has worked in higher education since 2009. He assists with coordinating outreach efforts that include presentations and speaking engagements, events, social media, departmental communication and various print and digital publications at Texas A&M University. Caleb also advises the Education Abroad Ambassadors – a group of students passionate about and dedicated to getting more Aggies to participate in study abroad programs.

Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Caleb worked for the Division of Student Affairs at Tarleton State University where he served as director of multiple programs such as marketing and communications, student media, and leadership and service programs. He obtained a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing from Tarleton and a Master of Arts in College Student Development from St. Edward’s University in Austin.

Caleb is a Texas native and enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with his wife and two dogs.