As a founder of StudentUniverse, he has taken the company from an idea at his kitchen table in New York City to the world’s largest student deals site. During this ride, he has led fundraising activities and been an active manager of the business. Espen grew up in Oslo, Norway, however moved to the United States to attend Columbia University. As a national champion in swimming, he proved early on that he is highly competitive. As a student in New York, he founded his own travel agency, which would later become Prism Travel. In 2000, he moved to Boston and launched StudentUniverse.
Chief Executive Officer
Atle joined StudentUniverse in 2005, and prior to his role as a CEO, he led the business development and marketing teams. Having grown up in Norway, you would think he would not mind the cold Boston winters - think again. Atle loves whiteboards, digital business and good wine. He is in charge of continuing StudentUniverse’s growth and is involved in all commercial aspects of the business. Atle received his undergraduate degree from The Norwegian School of Management - B.I. and his graduate degree from Boston University.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mike joined StudentUniverse in 2011 and is responsible for the commercial strategy and development of the company. During his 20+ years in the travel industry, he has owned and sold a ski tour company and an educational tour company. Prior to his role at StudentUniverse, Mike was in charge of sales and business development for Ski.com, the largest provider of mountain travel in North America. Prior to Ski.com, he led EF College Break (a division of EF Educational Tours). Mike loves spending time with his wife and three daughters. He is also an avid skier and fisherman.
Chief Financial Officer
Affectionately known as “The Principal”, Cindy joined StudentUniverse as Controller just prior to launching our first online presence in April 2000. Cindy built the accounting and finance departments from the ground up and now manages finance, accounting and HR as CFO of our global organization. When not crunching numbers, Cindy tries to find time to spend with her husband and often gets tackled by her two young sons in the suburbs, where she enjoys gardening and channeling her inner Martha Stewart (the creative one, not the crook) on various projects around the house.
Vice President, Software Development and Operations
Chad is responsible for making sure our website and service works the way we want it to. He grew up in central Indiana (Frankfort- home of the Hot Dogs), and got his B.S. from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2000. After receiving his degree, Chad lived in Cork, Ireland for a while before moving to Boston in 2001. He had no job, but wanted to be close to his lifelong favorite baseball team – the Boston Red Sox. Chad joined the StudentUniverse team in 2002, and has held positions in many departments over the years. He loves sports, Las Vegas, relaxing vacations where there is possibility for some culture (hates Cancun, but loves Costa Rica) and spending time with his 2 young daughters.
Software Engineer, Software Development
Alejandro is the guy that makes sure things actually work. At StudentUniverse, we like to move fast, but we always need to make sure our site and services work. Alejandro leads the Quality Assurance process. Señor Moncayo became the national Judo champion of Colombia when he was in high school, then discovered rum and beer. Alejandro got his associate's degree from BHCC.
Director, Business Intelligence
Amy joined StudentUniverse in 2004, and prior to her current role as data junkie, she lead the development, customer service, product sourcing and product management teams. So, she knows what's happening all over StudentUniverse. She is the only one at StudentUniverse with 'intelligence' on her business card - she spends hours figuring out how to get what students want to students when they want it. Amy got her B.A. at Dartmouth College and her masters degree at University of Michigan. Her degree at Michigan was Master of Information - something her mom liked to mention during all conversation pauses.
Manager, Brand Development -SUMM
After graduating from college in 2003, Andrew spent almost ten years working in higher education, at both Saint Anselm College and the Culinary Institute of America, working extensively with student recruitment, financial aid, program development and alumni relations. With his broad knowledge of higher education and student life, Andrew joined the SUMM team, taking on the role of driving new business and partnership development. In addition to business development, he also works with brands to create unique ways to grow their presence in the college student space. Outside of work, skiing, playing soccer, and keeping up with all things food are always on his to-do list.
Director, Customer Care
Antonio heads up the team that helps our customers. He developed the “travel bug” when he worked for Malaysia Airlines in the Philippines and traveled around Asia for almost three years before migrating to the United States. During these years, he saw some remote places in Sabah and Sarawak, Thailand, but also visited cosmopolitan cities such as Singapore and Tokyo. Antonio has been in the student travel business for more than twenty years before joining StudentUniverse in 2007. Antonio enjoys going to the beach, cooking, shopping, and of course, traveling when he has the time. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.
Database Architect, Software Development
Biren was born in India a few hours north of Mumbai, and then at the age of 7, he moved to New Jersey with his family. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1994 with a B.S. in Computer Science. After graduation, he worked for The Vanguard Group in Pennsylvania but left in 1999 to help launch a startup in Boston. This startup would be known as StudentUniverse. Biren loves road trips and has been on many all over the US starting in the Northeast to Iowa (5x), New Orleans, Denver, Chicago (2x), Atlanta (2x), Orlando, and one semi-cross country circle. His favorite parts of the country are the Midwest and Southwest.
Systems Engineer, Systems
Carlos is part of the Systems team at StudentUniverse. He has studied Computer Science and has served in the Army and Airforce. Carlos is from the Dominican Republic and loves traveling. In the last three years, he has been to ten countries. When he’s not making sure everything runs smoothly, he loves going to the movies, listening to music of all kinds, dining out and drawing.
Courtney graduated from Bentley University in 2009. At StudentUniverse, she works on client acquisition and sales, executing ad campaigns and new initiatives for StudentUniverse. She has the unique opportunity to learn about new components of both the travel and advertising industry on a regular basis. She enjoys the challenge this brings to her work. Courtney was born and raised in Addison, Vermont. She loves everything and anything having to do with Vermont. Both of her parents worked for the airlines, so she pretty much grew up in airports and had the opportunity see many different parts of the country. She loves traveling, being outdoors, snowboarding, country music, fireworks, sunsets and America.
Sales Agent, Group Sales
Crista joined StudentUniverse in July 2004 and graduated from Lasell College, located in Newton, MA, with a B.S. in Hospitality Management. Crista worked in the Customer Care department before moving to Groups. She loves Boston sports, especially the Boston Red Sox, and vacations in the sun.
Senior Developer, Software Development
Originally an architecture major at UMiami, Dale shifted to Computer Science at UMass Dartmouth. He started his career as a web designer, but quickly transitioned to web development, and joined StudentUniverse in 2001. He was the chief developer responsible for the main web site for many years. Currently, he is engaged in designing new applications for StudentUniverse. Dale’s proudest moment at StudentUniverse was leading its dodgeball team to victory in 2004. When he's not writing beautiful code Dale likes to play volleyball and, of course, travel.
Quality Assurance Engineer
Dana came to StudentUniverse in 2012 with 17 years experience in Information Technology. He joined our QA team where he now gets to break things instead of fixing them. Unlike many of his coworkers, Dana lived his entire life in the Boston area where he graduated from UMass in 1996. When he's not working, he enjoys a sedentary lifestyle filled with TV, movies, music and unhealthy food.
Emily recently joined StudentUniverse to help with the newly launched Tours product as Tour Specialist. She’s been traveling abroad since her first trip to Paris at age 13 and hasn't looked backed since. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2010 with a degree in Communication and came to us from EF Educational Tours working in customer service and sales. Emily grew up on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and in her free time can be found snowboarding, watching live music, cooking (attempting to at least) and working towards her ultimate bucket list goal of setting foot on all seven continents.
Director, Group Sales
Eric has worked in the student travel business for a decade (makes him sound older than he really is). He graduated with a B.S. in Hospitality Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2000. Back in those ye olde days, plane tickets could be handwritten on paper, and the internet was still ‘new’. Since then, he’s been hopping from one continent to the next, while helping others do the same. He only recommends bringing a toothbrush, comfy shoes, and a good camera when travelling. He’s not sure why you’re reading this, so go back to planning your next trip.
Analyst, Website Operations
Erin graduated from from Mount Holyoke College in 1997 with a B.S. in Anthropology. After college, she pulled pints in London and traveled around Ireland before returning home to Boston to get a "real" job. She worked on Martha's Vineyard for a couple of years from 1998-2000 at the local historical society and drove cabs around the island. In 2001, she moved to Scotland for a year with her husband and came back to Boston in 2002, which was when she started working for StudentUniverse. As part of the Website Operations team, Erin tests the website functionality to ensure customers have a positive experience. Outside of the office, Erin is an avid hiker and runner, having completed the Marine Corp Marathon in 2003 and London Marathon in 2004.
Director of Partner Development
Evan joined StudentUniverse in 2011 and is responsible for student deals. Evan formerly held the role of Director of Marketing and Business Development at Edhance, a student deals program that was acquired by BuyWithMe, the third largest daily deals site in world in 2011. While at Edhance, he gained a great deal of knowledge of the student marketplace, affiliate marketing, strategic partnerships, and the deal industry as a whole. Evan received his Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst - Isenberg School of Management. Outside of the office, he is an avid snowboarder in the winter, spends as much time as possible in the summer on the beach, and enjoys traveling everywhere and anywhere he can.
Senior Software Engineer, Software Development
Francis started at StudentUniverse in 2002. He has had his hands in nearly every area of the website, but you probably don't care too much about that. What you care about is that he's the founder of the company rock band The DevWikis, the company dodgeball team The Whirlin' Gherkins, and is the director of the company holiday movies. His hair is the stuff of legend and is uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person.
Manager, Hotel Operations
Hannah is part of the hotel team and manages operations. She grew up attending Petersfield School in the beautiful rolling countryside of Hampshire, England. Later, she studied business and fashion design at Chichester Arts and Technology College. Her first proper job was working in HR for a charity, which she really enjoyed, but as the Brit puts it: “I hankered for sunnier climates!”. So after college, she travelled and worked in Portugal. Loving the country and people, she decided to make the official move from the UK to Portugal and has never looked back.
Operations Manager, Groups Sales
Heather joined StudentUniverse in May of 2002. She develops and manages relationships between airlines and StudentUniverse for domestic and international group travel. Prior to StudentUniverse, Heather pursued a degree at Berklee College of Music. A voice principle, studying music business. After college, she was finding herself wanting to travel the world for inspiration to her music and landed a travel agent position at Council Travel. Heather enjoys traveling the world, meeting new people and finding inspiration not only for her music, but for interior design as well.
Database Analyst, Website Operations
Jason joined StudentUniverse in 2007, and he is one of the guys that makes our cheap student airfares appear on the webite. When he is not in work-mode he is an avid video gamer. Jason received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.
Software Engineer, Software Development
Jeff has been a Software Engineer at StudentUniverse since 2000. He is an avid golfer and lover of all things beef and bacon (washed down with a nice glass of box wine). He is also the reigning SU hamburger eating champ, devouring 7 half pound burgers. His favorite travel destination is the beautiful island of Aruba, where the weather, beaches, and golf are always perfect. (Jeff also wonders why his head barely fits in this picture)
Manager, Online Marketing
Jessica was born and raised in Upstate New York, later moving out to Boston after graduating from Bentley University. Although she's an avid New York sports lover, she fell in love with the city of Boston. At StudentUniverse, Jessica manages email marketing, social media, public relations, website content, and other online and offline marketing initiatives. Growing up in the fast-paced, always-connected digital age, she enjoys the ever-changing, always-evolving nature of online marketing. When she's not at work, you can find her at the beach, playing golf, running, reading or planning her next vacation.
Sales Agent, Group Sales
Kathlina grew up in New Hampshire where she also attended and graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a B.S. in Marketing. She first got into the aviation industry when she started working at the Manchester Airport for Northwest. That soon led to working with Delta and United. Throughout high school and college she was constantly taking class trips and traveling around the world. In addition to traveling, some of her other interests are cooking, yoga and she is a huge animal lover.
Junior Developer, Software Development
Kim used StudentUniverse to get cheap flights as a student at Florida State University. Like Peter, she also created her first website at the age of 11. Now she is our newest developer. She enjoys learning new languages (human and computer programming). She has been working on enabling our code to take on translations such as Chinese and Spanish.
Analyst, Website Operations
Laura grew up in Ithaca, NY and also attended Ithaca College where she met her husband and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. After spending 21 years in Ithaca, she decided to move to Boston. Shortly after, Laura joined StudentUniverse in 2004 and started off in Customer Care. She then moved over to Website Operations in 2009, where she currently does QA. She’s one of the people who makes sure the products on the site show up correctly and helps make sure the site itself is running smoothly. Laura has lived abroad twice, both times in Germany. She lived in Munich when she was 10 and Dresden when she was 18. During this time she got to travel extensively throughout Europe and also got the chance to see her favorite rock bands, Pearl Jam and U2, for the first time. When not working, Laura enjoys playing violin, reading, playing with her 2 kids and traveling.
Manager, Human Resources
Liezel oversees the life cycle of our employees as well as recruiting, performance, payroll, benefits, & employee relations support & resolution. She ensures we are in compliance with laws & regulations affecting our employees and the workplace. Liezel started with StudentUniverse 11 years ago as a temp, entering cash receipts. When the Director of HR left in 2001, she picked up from there with limited experience and just ran with it. Personal life? Hmm…she has a family the size of a basketball team on court, whom she loves going home to.
Maria grew up in Boston and attended the Boston Latin High school but moved to Cuenca, Ecuador for 3 years where she finished high school. She has been in the travel industry since 1997. She started at StudentUniverse as a travel consultant, moved on to do Accounts Receivable and now handles all Accounting duties. When not at work, she enjoys her time with 3 daughters and a new puppy - causing sleepless nights. She would one day like to move back to Ecuador to live. Maria loves to travel, as well. Her favorite place other than Ecuador is Paris, France.
Director, Website Operations
Matt heads up Website Operations handling overall project planning, build execution and management, process control and pricing strategies. After college and some time abroad in Aix en Provence, France, Matt moved to Boston and started working in the airline industry, specifically in student travel. Prior to joining StudentUniverse in 2002, Matt worked for Council Travel at 3 different local university shops focusing on retail sales, e-commerce and international support. Matt received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and certification in Spanish and International Relations at Saint Anselm College. His love for language forces him to learn more - taking on studies of Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.
Web Graphic Designer, Software Development
Matt's the guy you can blame if something looks odd on our new website. He graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Studio Art. Luckily, Al Gore invented the internet so Matt could get a web design job upon graduation (or else he'd be painting). Matt's done illustration work for publishers such as Pearson and comic book companies Marvel, DC and Disney. When he's not working, he's probably working on something else.
Senior Director, Client Management and Business Development - SUMM
Nina loves to plan events and has been doing so ever since she planned her own 10th birthday party! Her career in experiential marketing has taken her all over the world working for the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, Reebok International, American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc., and most recently Microsoft. She enjoys spending summers at the beach, fashion blogs, cookbooks, magazines, but most of all she loves spending time with her little girl.
Analyst, Website Operations
Oscar is a cute balding Colombian born in Medellin. He finished his secondary education in Boston. He currently travels and has fun in Asia. Oscar found it amusing that he was once told in an airport in Thailand that he is being refused entry since Colombia is not a VALID country. Now married to a crazy filipina, who is pregnant with their 2nd child, as he writes this. And yes, they also have a dog.
General Manager - SUMM
Paul is a serial entrepreneur in the college marketing field. In the late eighties, he founded his first marketing services company while still in college – Collegiate Advantage. Ten years later he sold the company to StudentAdvantage (pre-IPO). As a result of the acquisition, Paul joined StudentAdvantage as the Vice President of Sales. In 2002, he was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of youth marketing agency Mr. Youth. He partnered with leading brands and helped them reach students and young consumers. The company was later sold to a group of investors. At StudentUniverse, Paul leads the effort of helping more brands reach students effectively.
Director, Business Development
Paul joined StudentUniverse in 2008 to develop new business partnerships and opportunities. He graduated with honors from Bentley University majoring in Business Management with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. At StudentUniverse, Paul works to continue the growth of our business and the strategic partners that we work and collaborate with. Paul caught the travel bug back in college while studying abroad in Italy and continues to take every opportunity to explore new places.
Junior Developer, Software Development
Having made his first website at the age of 11, Peter has always been fascinated with technology. Born, raised, and currently residing in Rhode Island, he makes the 45 minute commute to work every day, helping make our website what it is today (and more importantly tomorrow). He is currently studying Computer Science and Information Processing at the Community College of Rhode Island. Outside of the StudentUniverse world, Peter enjoys sports, his favorite sport being American Football, doing freelance programming, and playing cards. If not a computer programmer, he would have liked to become a professional poker player. His dream vacation spots are Las Vegas, Hawaii, and Japan, but would love to travel the world. He is hoping that working at StudentUniverse may one day help him accomplish that.
Vice President, Customer Care
Phil is in charge of customer care for StudentUniverse and a contact center junky. He’s one of those weird people that likes to walk into call centers and talk with people for hours about customers and how a company could do a better job. Phil is obsessed with customer feedback, and makes a point to read emails and listen to calls every day. He started at StudentUniverse on 9/17/01, and so he has only known the travel industry during interesting times. Before StudentUniverse, Phil worked as a consultant for Digitas (aka, Bronnercom, Bronner Slosberg Humphrey) and helped companies like Delta and AMEX figure out how to talk (and listen!) to their customers. He also worked for your friendly local cable conglomerate for almost 7 years, and still considers watching TV “research”. Way back, Phil went to the University of Vermont and never went skiing once, and really never understood why you would go outside in the middle of January in Vermont unless it was for a good meal.
Vice President, Airline Product
Renaud is in charge of making sure students can fly for less. He grew up in Maine where he attended the University of Maine before heading to Kissimmee,FL, where he graduated from the now non-existent Southeastern Academy. Attracted to the lights of the big city, he moved to The Big Apple where he had accepted a job with Trans World Airlines (TWA) looking for that opportunity to “see the world for free”. After 12 years in The Big Apple, he headed to the quieter, slower paced Midwest where he worked 11 years for Northwest Airlines (NWA). Having now worked for a total of 30+ years in the travel industry, making him one of the two “grand dads of travel” at StudentUniverse.
Software Engineer, Software Development
Rich joined StudentUniverse in 2011 and is one of the developers who works to make the site cool, fun and engaging. Rich enjoys playing guitar, drums, bass and attempting to sing. He’s played in and out of bands for the last 20 years. He also loves to bicycle, but you’d never know because he doesn’t like to wear the get-up. When not working or attempting to sing, Rich is playing with his adorable 2 year old daughter.
Lead Software Architect, Software Development
Rick has been coding for more than thirty years. When he’s not watching Star Trek, he is involved in everything architectural from the infrastructure to the application front and back end of the website. Before joining StudentUniverse, he worked at Netzero with linguistic content analysis (for ad targeting) and searching, content management authoring software at EBT and search engine technology way back at Silverplatter. Before that, it would look like stones and knives.
Desktop Support Technician, Systems
Ruskin is the go-to-guy when StudentUniverse employees have technical issues. He is responsible for providing the support that keeps all of our systems up and running smoothly. He is of Dominican decent which was born in Jersey but raised in Roxbury, MA. He is a die hard Boston Red Sox fan who likes fast cars and traveling. In 2007, 2 years after graduating high school, Ruskin received his associates degree in applied science - computer networking systems. He worked with Siemens IT solutions as a contractor performing technical support at the Monster.com headquarters until summer of 2010 when he was offered a position at StudentUniverse by our Systems engineer.
Junior Web Graphic Designer, Software Development
Shi-Min joined StudentUniverse as the Jr. Graphic Designer in January 2012 having just graduated with an MA in Graphic Design from the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University a month earlier. She also has a background in Communications/Advertising and combines the two specialties to turn concepts and ideas into coherent pieces of visual communication. She spent most of her life country-hopping as a third culture kid before settling in Boston for college. Shi-Min loves traveling, experiencing new cultures, being outside, having adventures and hates sitting still (which sometimes makes her wonder why she got into anything computer-based). She spends her free time running around, eating cupcakes, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Director, Airline Product
Tina is part of the Airline Product team at StudentUniverse. She is responsible for negotiating fares and fare rules with our airline partners. Tina grew up in New Hampshire and went to college at the University of New Hampshire. She studied one semester of her junior year in London (Regent's College), after which she decided she wanted to keep traveling. After graduating from college she decided to move to the "big" city of Boston. Since then, she has been with StudentUniverse since 2001 and has moved apartments seven times.