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Each December, Terra Dotta staff from around the country – and now around the world – gather in North Carolina for our annual staff meeting. These meetings are an opportunity to celebrate the past year and build excitement for the year to come. And for many of us who work remotely, they are an opportunity to put faces to names, especially as Terra Dotta continues to grow.

This past December was no different, albeit perhaps more poignant. As Terra Dotta continues to mature as an organization, we have added new solutions to meet the increasingly diverse needs of international education around the globe. These solutions require minds with increasingly diverse skill sets. Our clients can attest to this change as they connect with different TD staff depending on the solution. For us, the December meeting was an opportunity to connect with colleagues with whom we might not currently work.

This need for a diversity of skill sets applies not only to our Development and Support Teams, but also to our Business Development Team. In early 2018, we announced our international business development manager, as well as the creation of our Relationship Management Team in order to maintain our high level of customer service. Since those announcements we have welcomed additional new faces to the Business Development Team. So that you know who might be contacting you, here are the faces you are seeing represent Terra Dotta as we grow:


“In order to meet the overwhelming interest in our enterprise solutions and to continue increasing our customer satisfaction levels, we have implemented structural changes to our team to manage the growth and to ensure the best possible client experience.”
     — Cheryl M. Boeckman, Senior VP of Global Sales


James Lee – James has been with Terra Dotta for almost 11 years, making him a natural for heading up the Relationship Management Team. A well-known figure to clients, James is now the primary non-technical support contact for our customers in the western two thirds of the United States.


John Duncan – Another familiar face, John just celebrated his 10th anniversary with Terra Dotta. John joins James on the Relationship Management Team with responsibility for the eastern third of the U.S. Both James and John have been busy collecting feedback from our clients to strengthen our connections and ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.


Elaine del Rossi - The newest member of the Business Development Team, Elaine joins Terra Dotta this week as Vice President, Risk Solutions Evangelist. She will lead Terra Dotta’s outreach to the risk management community, a group with whom she has strong connections. Elaine brings an extensive background in healthcare, insurance and medical management. She joins Terra Dotta from Geo Blue where she spent the last 19 years of her career helping to solve risk management issues in the higher education sector.


Jennifer (Jenn) Kirkpatrick – Jenn joined the Terra Dotta Business Development Team this past fall and shares responsibility for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Jenn brings an extensive background in selling Enterprise SaaS solutions within the higher education arena, having represented leading organizations for eLearning and video-based learning.


Christopher (Chris) Kenyon – Also new to the Business Development Team this fall, Chris comes with 20+ years of sales experience in higher education. Chris got his start working at his alma mater, the University of Akron, in the Financial Aid Office, rising to director of financial aid. He will cover the Ohio Valley region and shares responsibility for the Northeast with Jenn.


Melissa Elliotte – Melissa joined Terra Dotta’s Business Development Team almost four years ago after working 10 years in study abroad and international admissions in the U.S., Switzerland and the United Kingdom. You will find Melissa working with institutions in the Great Lakes area, and with Jenn in the Mid-Atlantic.


Michelle Kresini – Another fall addition to the Business Development Team, Michelle brings 18 years of sales experience within the education sector, providing her with broad knowledge of the higher education market. Michelle will be focusing on the Southeast United States.


Ted Tollefson – Now in his second month with the Business Development Team, Ted brings over 10 years of experience in educational sales to the position of Business Development Manager. Raised in the Midwest, Ted is now a West Coaster and has responsibility for the Western region.


Mark Callaghan – Mark is our International Business Development Director. Based in London, he represents Terra Dotta to institutions around the world, particularly Europe, Asia and Oceania. Mark brings an extensive background in the global travel and security industry.


Daniel Bullins – Celebrating his sixth anniversary with Terra Dotta this month, Daniel is a Senior Solution Engineer working with the sales team to match TD solutions with our client’s business requirements. Someone with a thorough knowledge of Terra Dotta solutions, you may recognize his voice more than his face as Daniel often drives web-based solution demonstrations and fields technical questions.


Travis Ulrich – A familiar name and face to those in the ISSS world, Travis is now in his fourth year with Terra Dotta. As our ISSS Product Manager, Travis leads the way in working with university colleagues to be certain our ISSS solution responds to the pressing needs of international student and scholar advisors in addition to demonstrating the solution’s awesome capabilities.


Brandon Samter – One of many Dottans with extensive on-campus experience, Brandon joined Terra Dotta this fall as a Solution Engineer, working closely with Daniel and Travis. Brandon brings more than 16 years of combined experience covering international admissions, student and scholar services, and education abroad.


Wes Madocks – Wes joined Terra Dotta this past summer as Lead Generation Manager, thus being the first voice heard by some prospective customers. Wes brings to his new position customer relations experience from the insurance and financial services industries.

You may have noticed a large section of the U.S. missing from this list. We are in the process of filling the spot of a Central U.S. Business Development Manager.

We are very proud of the expertise and depth of experience represented by our Business Development Team. Whether a current or prospective Terra Dotta customer, they stand ready to assist you with your campus mobility initiatives. Feel free to contact your respective representative (our email format is or if you’re not sure whom to contact, email us at


Terra Dotta is pleased to partner with AFS Intercultural Programs, a leading nonprofit international education organization.This partnership provides Terra Dotta clients the possibility to integrate AFS’s Global Competence Certificate seamlessly into their programming.

AFS has developed the Global Competence Certificate to meet the needs of global universities to provide both outbound and inbound students with vital cultural awareness and skills needed for today’s communities and workforce.

“We are proud to partner with Terra Dotta and work together on empowering more higher education institutions to improve their internationalization programs. The AFS Global Competence Certificate is an amazing tool to help students gain the critical power skills that’ll help them navigate complex situations, communicate across cultures and work in diverse settings,” says Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs.

The program is available in eight languages, and it provides blended, personalized learning experiences through 18 modules with clear educational goals. It is currently used by 65 organizations in 40+ countries. Partners include the Purdue University, Augsburg University, the University of St. Thomas, Languages Canada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgium, as well as a number of academic institutions.

For more information about AFS click here. You may also contact Terra Dotta’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Robert Davis. AFS will also be at the NAFSA Annual Conference.

Terra Dotta users never cease to amaze us with their creativity. They take the ability to customize and “tinker” with their software instances to new levels, incorporating the individual needs of their campus. We at Terra Dotta decided it was time to recognize the ingenuity of our clients, so at TDU Global 2019 we will inaugurate the TDU Global Innovation Award.

Has your office – or do you know of an office that has – done something innovative in Terra Dotta software? Was there a business need that was solved by being creative? We want to hear about it! Submit your office’s entry for a TDU Global Innovation Award – yes, self-nominations are acceptable – via email to If you have been very inventive, you may submit more than one nomination.

Each entry should: 1) explain the business need that was solved, 2) describe the solution, and 3) describe how the solution was implemented. Feel free to attach screenshots and/or videos of the innovation in action to support your entry; the innovation must be currently in use. All entries will be reviewed by a panel drawn from Terra Dotta leadership. To be considered, entries must be received by 11:59pm EST on Friday, February 15, 2019.

One important consideration – a member of the winning office must be present at TDU Global to win. Remember, Early Bird Registration closes Thursday, January 31!

Questions regarding the Innovation Award, or anything about TDU Global, can be directed to Good luck!


Between printed and online materials, it can be daunting to keep up with the professional literature. Let us help you. Each month we will list several online articles or reports that we hope you will find interesting.

Find an article that you believe others will want to read? Send the link to! Here are some to get you started:

Attracting Top International Students Helps All Of Us: Here's Why It Matters
From Forbes

2018: A year in IntlEd with the PIE News
From The PIE News

One of America’s most successful exports is in trouble
From The Washington Post

That’s a Wrap: Our Best Articles of 2018
From IES Abroad

Five steps to a more active alumni programme
From ICEF Monitor

Expert Comment: The Biggest and the Most Overlooked Travel Safety Stories of 2018
From Safe Travels Magazine

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