Faculty & Staff

ANB_HeadshotMike Weigold (ADV) – Program Director; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Enrollment Management & Director of Distance Education

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a professor in the advertising department and a textbook author.  I teach a happiness class in the program and love every destination we visit.  Spending time each summer with our staff and students is one of the highlights of my year.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Curious, entrepreneurial, goal-oriented

What are your must-have items when traveling? My European coffee maker.  My laptop.  My iPad.

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. They are all great: Sydney, Florence, Paris, London, Barcelona, Dublin, Santorini, Madrid, Galway.   

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Truffle pasta in my favorite Florence restaurant.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? Congratulate yourself on your courage and sense of adventure for going!  Prepare for the trip by studying up on the culture and places you will visit.  Live each day fully.  Make connections, they will last a lifetime.


Debbie Treise (ADV) – Advertising Professor; Senior Associate Dean Division of Graduate Studies & Research

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. In no particular order: I’m from Buffalo, NY, I’m a professor in advertising, flight instructor, head up the science/health grad program, a mom to the best two sons in the world, health researcher, avid biker, exercise fiend…

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Happy, goal-oriented, funny (or maybe that’s goofy)

What are your must-have items when traveling? Flattening iron, iPad, credit card

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Wow!  Tough question – Italy for the culture, art and SHOES, Australia for the culture and fun, Greece for the absolute beauty and history (oh, and the food), Ireland for the people, Spain for the food, opportunities, architecture and shopping, etc….

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Donuts and Chicago hot dogs – only health food for me.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? This is an amazing opportunity!  Plan every day to see or do something new.  Challenge yourself.  Meet new people among our group and in the community where we’ll be staying.


Bridget Grogan (TEL) – Multimedia News Manager, Division of Media Properties

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born in Georgia, raised in Florida and have a passion for driving fast cars. I hate living where it snows. I LOVE teaching college students. They keep me young.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Organized, silly, passionate

What are your must-have items when traveling? iPhone for taking pictures, comfortable shoes, hot rollers

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. I can’t decide.  I would have to say Ireland is a favorite because I got married there.  But there are so many other places I truly love…the Greek Islands, Barcelona and Seville, Spain.  I also love Belgium, Austria, France, the Netherlands, England, Germany.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Chocolate Gelato.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? As Mike says, do your homework and learn about the places we will visit.  The month goes by very quickly so it’s a good idea to make a list of your must-go places that you don’t want to miss. Pack light and save room for souvenirs.  No need to pack 30 outfits.  No one will notice or care if you wear the same thing twice or ten times.  I over-packed my first Study Abroad year and regretted it!


Tim Sorel (TEL) – Telecommunication Professor

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. 13th year at UF. I am a professional director of photography for film and TV. 

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Imaginative, vocal, sentimental

What are your must-have items when traveling? Canon C100, laptop with Adobe Creative Cloud, cell phone, sunglasses, sunblock and running shoes. 

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Boston, MA where people have my kind of “attitude”  

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Vanilla iced birthday cake

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? Be prepared to be adventurous. There are many group events but be willing and open to explore with a friend or a small group of friends


Kim Walsh-Childers (JOU) – Journalism Professor

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born in Roswell, NM, while my dad was in the Air Force (which could explain a lot, eh?), but I grew up in a small town in southwest Missouri. I got my bachelor’s in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked as a health reporter for several years before going to UNC-Chapel Hill for my master’s and Ph.D. The only thing I don’t like about traveling is leaving behind my family – my husband (a potter), my two sons, a snooty cat, a goofy Labrador retriever and two horses. My family has spent more than a year of our lives in Ireland, so I look forward to going “home,” if only briefly.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Passionate, responsible and goofy.

What are your must-have items when traveling? Laptop, really comfortable shoes, books.

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Ireland.  I loved New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Australia. But I feel connected to Ireland in a way that’s almost creepy. It felt like home from the first time I landed on Irish soil. 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Aaargh – I have to pick just one? OK, grilled fish. No, wait, steak. No, wait, really good cherries… 

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? It’s not going to be like living in Florida or anywhere else in the United States, and that’s a GOOD thing. Relax and go with the flow, taking advantage of the chance to experience a totally different culture, make new friends, and see the world – and the United States – from a new perspective.


Tom Mueller – Advertising Professor

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a PhD grad from University of Florida in 2009. Professor in advertising, faculty in residence, fitness advocate, published author. My recent research has been directed at energy conservation through consumer behavior, also new models in gender identity; I was recently named to the board of directors for the Journal of Gender Studies

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be?  Compassionate, resilient, loyal.

What are your must-have items when traveling? My unlocked smart phone (buy a SIM card where ever I go); running gear; lightweight day pack; laptop with HDMI cord; MeetUp.com to join local running, tour and hiking groups. 

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. I find it hard to define “best” because every U of Florida study abroad trip is a privilege. To be part of alternate cultures, be in communities and find the best running loops and parks! Getting back to Barcelona is excellent. What a wonderful walking city with epic views, history and night life!

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be?  Crispy apples and protein bars.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? Remain open to new experiences. Use the mantra “not better or worse, just different.” Strive to transition from tourist to temporary local resident. Enjoy the simple things. Have a cup of coffee and relax.


Katy Robinson – Public Relations Ph.D. candidate

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. My heart is in Florida, and my roots are in Maine. Most recently, my love of people and passion for relationship-building has led me to pursue my Ph.D. at UF. That love and passion powers my research, made me a Gator, a mom (best thing ever), and makes me think every day is a new opportunity for a new person, a new relationship, and a new experience.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Loyal. Direct. Compassionate.

What are your must-have items when traveling? I try to bring my best self on every trip, I pack light and let memories and friendships be my must-haves and souvenirs, this really cuts down on luggage costs too! That said, I’m rarely without a notebook, lip-gloss, and the citymapper app.

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Santorini & Mykonos, Greece. Because they have many cats, and I love cats. I love the people of Greece too, they are genuine and sincere. They invite you to enjoy their culture through their fresh and delicious food, in a way you truly feel. Greece is an amazing place.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Coffee. Coffee should be added to the periodic table of elements.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? The new experiences Barcelona and the amazing group of study abroad students and travelers is about to share together! And cats. And coffee.


Amanda Kastrinos – Ph.D. Student  & Program Coordinator

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. This is my fourth year as a member of the CJC study abroad team, and traveling the world with my study abroad family (including over 300 UF students!) has been the best experience of my life. Every year is unique and wonderful in its own way, and I can’t wait for whatever adventures Barcelona will bring! Outside of study abroad, I’m a third-year Ph.D. student at UF, and I study families affected by aggressive cancers. I love learning in all its forms (books, museums, podcasts, documentaries, etc), I like doing anything outside, and I fall in love with every animal that crosses my path.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Enthusiastic. Compassionate. Curious.

What are your must-have items when traveling? Comfortable shoes. Invest in some Birkenstocks—your feet will thank you!

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. New Zealand. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world. I am forever in love with NZ’s beautiful forests, turquoise lakes, and strange and adorable flightless birds.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Coffee. Without it, I would simply cease to exist.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad?  Walk as much as you can and leave plenty of time for exploring. It’s the experiences you can’t plan for that end up becoming your favorite, and when you get home, you’ll be grateful for all the memories you made along the way!


Vaughan James – Ph.D. Student & Program Coordinator

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a native Floridian, born in Miami. Flash forward to now and I’m a fourth-year Ph.D. student studying science and health communication here at UF. I’m a great big nerd – I like reading and video games, quiet coffee shops and uncrowded museums. I’m a big fan of travel.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Calm, poised, witty

What are your must-have items when traveling? Headphones and something to give me recommendations on the best place to eat.

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Japan, and Mount Koya specifically. That was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in my entire life.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Noodle soups of any kind. I could drown in ramen or pho. Coffee is a close second.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? Take it all in, and don’t be afraid to feel a little uncomfortable. Try a new activity, order blindly in a restaurant – if you’re too worried about looking like a fool, you won’t have near as much fun.


Alexis Bajalia – Ph.D. Student & Program Coordinator

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I came to UF as a freshman six years ago and, like Amanda, decided I didn’t want to leave! When I’m not doing PhD-related work, you can find me shopping for clothes or home decor, spending time with my family or driving around listening to country music. 

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Determined. Curious. Empathetic.

What are your must-have items when traveling? Phone, camera & a positive attitude 🙂

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. Some of my best memories are in the Virgin Islands with my closest friends.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Definitely tacos.

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? This is my first study abroad trip, but the best advice I’ve received is to research the places we’ll explore ahead of time, take advantage of each day we’re there and be present in the moment. So excited for this experience with you all!


Bhakti Sharma – Ph.D. Student & Program Coordinator

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am from India and a first year PhD student at CJC. I recently finished my M.A. from CJC too and have an MBA from India. I am also an open water swimmer and love being out in the ocean. My interests lie in understanding people and especially what motivates them, persuasion in digital space. I taught a class this summer called Principles of Advertising and have come to absolutely love teaching.

If you could describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be? Resilient, adventurer and courageous

What are your must-have items when traveling? My phone, all the battery back ups known to human kind (gotta keep that phone charged) and a good book.

Best place you’ve ever traveled and why. This is a tough one as I love traveling and every place has been a new adventure. But if made to choose, I’d say Antarctica and London. Totally opposite kinds of places. London a big city with all its hustle bustle is still so warm and welcoming. I love London weather. Antarctica because it gives you a perspective in life that hardly any other place can. You’re right in the middle of nature with all the wildlife, only human beings are the ones you go with so that place really brings you closer to yourself.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Endless supply of any food,.hmmmm… this is a tough one for a foodie like me but I’d say all kinds of bread and coffee (yes, coffee is a food group for me :-p)

What advice do you have for our students about traveling abroad? Live and enjoy the adventure. Nothing changes worldview like travelling and it’s the best way to form lasting friendships too. Experience the place in its fullness, immerse yourself, with its food, culture, music and people.  Keep a journal (photo or written) to look back on this experience.


 

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