Our Team

Dr. Darla Deardorff
Founding President, Executive Team
Dr. Nadine Binder
Executive Team
Marcela Lapertosa
Executive Team
Marcela Lapertosa is a Child Psychologist with a Masters degree in Cross Cultural Psychology. Intercultural facilitator and trainer who led the development of multiple intercultural learning curricula including the AFS Global Competence Certificate, a blended learning program for 18+ study abroad participants. Marcela is a former faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.
Fran Baxter
Executive Team
Fran is the co-founder and executive director of Value Learning. Fran is an educator who has developed intercultural programs for audiences across Australia and internationally. Fran holds a B. Adult and Vocational Education and has trained trainers and assessors for accredited learning in Australia. She has developed government projects for international education related to Indonesia, China and India, and designed the International Student Forum. Fran was previously the CEO of AFS Australia.
Amy Rasmussen, M.S.
Executive Program Manager
Amy is an international educator who recently moved back to the US after six years in Madrid, Spain. Her experience includes teaching English and Cultural Competence in a K-12 environment, program management in higher education, and lecturing on culture and travel to prospective university students. She has a BA in History and Secondary Education from Kean University and an MS in Global and International Education from Drexel University.
Dr. Yovana S. Veerasamy
Executive Researcher
Dr. S-Veerasamy, is a consultant & researcher in higher education. Her professional experience includes teaching and advising international students in the U.S. community college sector. Winner of the Comparative International Education Society, HESIG Best Dissertation Award, her research focuses on U.S. Internationalization policy in the 2000s. She has working experience with the adaptation of intercultural competence in online delivery of education and services including VE/COIL. She believes in promoting peace in the world through intercultural understanding, diplomacy and cooperation.
Stephan van de Van
Community Engagement
Stephan, raised in the Netherlands, living somewhere in Europe, is an Interculturalist like all of us. Graduated from the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France and has an MA in Intercultural Management. He is a ‘hands-on-kinda-guy' that supports us by maintaining our community platform and in his career trains, coaches and facilitates dialogues for young people and teams. He is always open to a conversation and is eager to engage in new endeavors with like-minded people like yourselves. He enjoys the great outdoors, but even more so dance, music, capoeira, videogames and books.
Hayley Pottle
Interim Web Team Lead
Hayley is dedicated to providing leadership development experiences in cross-cultural mentoring. She serves as the Program Manager for TechGirls, U.S. Department of State initiative and Education Consultant for the University of Richmond. She previously worked in Jordan where she acted as the Project Development Manager for Hopes for Women in Education. Hayley holds a Bachelor of Science degree from VCU in Mass Communications and Business Studies and is currently earning her Master of Arts in International Education and Development at the George Washington University.
Michael Soucek
Web Developer Lead
Kelly Pengelly
Intercultural Connector, Lead
Emily Brokow
Intercultural Connector, Editor
Emily is an emerging librarian and freelance writer and editor. Raised in Southeast Asia, she is keenly aware of the importance of cross cultural experiences and intercultural communication. She has participated in several intercultural programs with the aim of fostering conversations across cultural boundaries. Emily is passionate about the use of information services to facilitate interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration. She holds an MLIS from Kent State University.