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Meet the Team

For our Travel/Study tour leaders, home is where the heart is. Where is that, exactly? All over the world. Meet the team and travel 'home' with us:

Our Director

Brett S. Thompson, '83
Travel/Study's fearless leader has been creating extraordinary travel experiences all over the globe for more than 20 years. With seven hometowns, six continents and 105 countries under his belt, this Stanford grad's passion for world travel has only one rival: his love of warm climes.

And the faces of Travel/Study

Ana-Catrina Buchser, '00, MA '01
Hailing from Romania, Ana-Catrina was born into a family of artists who believed traveling is just as educational as going to a university. So she did both! After exploring Europe throughout her childhood, she ended up at Stanford for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and now continues to explore the world with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not planning trips, Ana-Catrina directs plays in theaters all over the Bay Area and sings with Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale.
Emily Casperson
Ever the explorer, Emily spent the summers of her childhood at the lakes in northern Minnesota searching for blue herons and beavers. After a high school trip to the Soviet Union inspired Emily to become a scholar of Russian culture and language, even the Land of 10,000 Lakes couldn't contain her. For the past ten years, she has journeyed with Stanford travelers to every continent in search of knowledge and adventure.
Kara Cronk
As a child, Kara crisscrossed the country with her family, traveling to more National Parks than she can name and exploring every state save two. (We're betting all those road trips are what made even-keeled Kara such a great listener.) While this foodie loves immersing herself in the cuisine and culture of far-flung places, there's nothing that Kara enjoys more than the journey itself—and bonding with Stanford travelers along the way.
Joelle Derham
This adventure seeker’s Bay Area roots run deep — born at Stanford, raised in Mountain View, Menlo Park and San Jose, and educated at Palo Alto University. Luckily for us, after almost two decades in other departments at Stanford, Joelle made her way to Travel/Study, where she is delighted to combine her love of travel and the outdoors with helping others. When not attending pretend tea parties or dancing in the kitchen with her two young daughters, she might be found satisfying her photography bug, river rafting or enjoying a Lake Tahoe getaway. Joelle’s life is wild and busy and wonderful – and she would have it no other way.
Kristy Harrison, '02
This sixth-generation Texan pointed her boots toward Stanford and later honed her ops expertise at a number of mission-driven organizations. Having studied environmental science in Hawaii and lived with families in Japan and Italy, Kristy's dedication to educational travel is only matched by her desire to read all the great books ever written. This former Stanford Tour Guide has tromped around Europe, Oceania and Asia as her kids’ “unofficial Young Explorer Leader.” A published photographer, Kristy is happiest exploring and making new friends with a camera slung over her shoulder.
Lisa Hepps, '91
Bollywood, look out! Lisa isn't just an experienced tour guide and educator with more than 60 countries, five languages and a Stanford degree under her dupatta—she's an expert in the traditional folk dances of Punjab, India. When she's not performing with her dance company or on the move discovering delicacies in hidden corners of the world, this Oakland native finds her rhythm at home with her husband and two cats, Pelé and Koshka.
Elizabeth Player Jones
The daughter of two Stanford alumni, Elizabeth was born on campus and has called the Farm home ever since. Her home-away-from-home? Planes, trains and automobiles. Of the exclusive, chartered variety, that is. Extensive experience managing luxury travel makes Elizabeth the perfect person to have around when comfort is key—every day and everywhere Travel/Study goes.
Leslie Kim, '98
Three of Leslie's obsessions: great food, scuba diving and fireworks (what can we say, she comes from a family of pyrotechnicians). As a Stanford undergrad, Leslie spent time overseas with the Stanford-in-Oxford program and backpacked around Europe. If you find yourself in a faraway land with her, stay close. She has a knack for discovering little-known gems in the unlikeliest of places.
Nancy Kraemer
Now here's a riddle: What do the Chicago Bears, 19th century American history, rugby and Rhodesian ridgebacks have in common? You guessed it: Nancy Kraemer. She loves 'em all. Her life loves can't be boxed in—and with 32 countries and six continents under her belt, it's safe to say Nancy can't be pinned down either. She's at her happiest when learning and doing things she's never done before. Though there is one thing she'll never be caught doing again: driving stick shift in San Francisco.
Meredith Narrowe, '04
This Maui-raised lover of shave ice caught the travel bug early on—30 countries and counting—and even once organized her clothes by country of origin! Her favorite destinations? Sri Lanka, Guatemala, the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia and the Greek island of Milos. When not traveling, Meredith likes spending time outdoors, pop culture, exploring the many tasty offerings of San Francisco and all things whimsical.
Amy Nichols
Raised in Marin County, Amy headed to Carcassonne, France, after graduating from the University of Puget Sound in Washington State, to teach English in a small town outside of the city. Her love affair with France began when she studied abroad at the University of Burgundy in Dijon—she couldn’t believe she was staying in a home built in the 1600s. A true lover of languages, Amy enjoys memorizing the lyrics to a song in an unfamiliar foreign language even if she doesn’t understand a word of it!
Carolyn Raider
From winning a national Argentine Tango competition to reciting all the U.S. capitals in alphabetical order, Carolyn Raider has a wide range of passions. An explorer at heart, Carolyn spent her early years on a quest to discover every inch of the woods near her home and in her teenage years she started traveling abroad. Later on she began to lead students on international trips, helping them explore the natural world, understand climate change and hone their photography skills. These days you can find this Italian-speaking SCUBA diver in a ballroom dance studio or even opening a ball or two at the Holfburg Palace in Vienna!
Laura Slaughter
If you ask Laura what her time studying abroad in Thailand and Vietnam was like, she'll most certainly say: Life changing. This former Cal Poly lacrosse player launched her career at an NGO in Cambodia and now leads Travel/Study trips around the globe. When she isn't traveling, you'll find her biking the hills of San Francisco.

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(650) 725-1093

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