Get to know our team
Our Academic Expeditions team is dedicated to delivering exciting travel experiences that bring academic learning to its proper fruition out in the larger world. While we have fun, we are not just “on recess” from classroom education, but rather, our expeditions take you beyond the school walls, and beyond familiar neighborhoods and towns, and make learning relevant and personal in the context of a variety of landmark destinations.
Browse the profiles below to get to know the great people who make up our team:
Andrew grew up near New York City and has traveled and lived extensively throughout the United States and the larger world, as he enjoys getting to know new cultures, communities, and landscapes. Andrew founded Academic Expeditions 20 years ago after working with many different educational travel tour companies and international schools over the years. He realized that there was a real need for a new ideal for a company that offered a high quality travel experience that was delivered with integrity and a focus on the client’s needs. Andrew is proud of what he and his incredibly talented staff at Academic Expeditions have been able to produce and are committed to the success and satisfaction of every traveler’s experience.
Kara Williams -Mawyer
Director of Finance
Kara grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a 1999 graduate of the University of Virginia. Kara spent nine years working as an Underwriter for a large insurance company. After being introduced to student travel she decided to leave the corporate world to pursue a career as financial officer with Academic Expeditions. Kara and her family reside in central Virginia where they enjoy a recreational life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Contact: Email Kara / c: 917-608-4177
Director of Education, Program Director and Guide
While Isaiah grew up on the plains of Oklahoma, the seeds of curiosity for the larger world were planted in him. In college, he earned a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Masters in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and found open doors into the global education of travel and cultural exchange. His experiences abroad include working in the UK, Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands, recreation work in Japan, and cultural explorations of Latin America. These unique experiences have inspired him to both plan and guide relevant travel experiences for others. In addition to leading trips in Eastern US over the last 17 years, he has also led trips around Europe and Latin America. Isaiah, his wife Kim and son Walker live in Asheville, NC where they enjoy being outdoors, playing music with friends, and partaking in all the local Asheville eccentricities.
Director of Logistics, Program Director
Rebekah grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She is a 2006 graduate of Peace College with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Leadership Studies. Rebekah has five years of corporate experience in marketing and operations. However, travel has always been a large passion in her life and has led her to pursue her interests by joining Academic Expeditions. Rebekah currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Contact: Email Rebekah / c: 917-608-0947
Director of International Programs
Kristin is an east coast native with strong roots in Pennsylvania. For over ten years, she has been leading educational tours throughout North America and Europe. Kristin has a Masters in Comparative Literature and French, is an ITMI certified tour director, GWU certified event manager, and licensed sightseeing guide in New York City and Washington, DC. Kristin enjoys bicycling, good food, and foreign languages, and especially loves creating travel itineraries that combine all three.
Tracy was born in Washington, DC and now resides in quiet Chesapeake Beach, Maryland which is just a short drive to our Nation’s Capital. Tracy started out in the group travel industry right out of high school by working at her family owned motor coach company. Working her way up the ladder she became the operations manager and after 22 years she decided to pursue her love of Washington and American history by becoming a DC Tour Guide. She loves sharing her love of history and the city with groups of all ages! When she is not guiding, you will find her at home with her sweet boys, Kirby & Murph, Golden Retrievers and Loki a Mastiff.
Contact: Email Tracy / c: 917-608-3745
Aaron grew up in very rural northern Wisconsin an hour south of Lake Superior. He went on to earn a Bachelors Degree in Education. After teaching Middle School Social Studies for six years, he successfully transitioned to Tour Guiding which became his love. After being a Tour Director for 10 plus years which included being a Licensed Guide in Washington, DC, he was seeking some balance in his life (and so were his four kids and their
Contact: Email Aaron / c: 917-608-3474
Elitsa was born and raised in Bulgaria where she received her Bachelors in Italian and Masters in Alternative Tourism. Curiosity and luck led her to the US which she now calls home. Travel has always been a big part of her life from the early family vacations to the Black Sea to the latest road trip exploring the coast of Uruguay. She has over 6 years of experience developing programs in the United States and Canada for international visitors. Her other big passion is food and she strongly believes that the best way to experience new cultures and places is through their cuisine. When she is not planning the next trip, you can find Elitsa leading scrumptious and educational food tours of San Francisco.
Contact: Email Elitsa / c: 917-608-1418
Program Director & Guide
A product of the Midwestern United States, George has devoted his entire professional career to education and travel. With a Bachelors in International Relations from The Ohio State University and a Masters of Science in Education, George synthesizes these two fields to motivate young adults to explore the world. Guiding and Tour Directing from Boston to Cuba, he is always ready to adapt to any situation. Whether it be an urban hike in New York City, or a desert adventure in Egypt, he believes there is fun, beauty and knowledge to be found...one just needs to seek it out. Although his pastime is exploring the 'out of reach' places, just the same, he is as comfortable at the local county fair or neighborhood barbecue.
Contact: Email George / c: 917-608-6896
Program Director & Guide
Adrian was born and raised in Hong Kong. With a BSEE and an MBA, he spent time working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. In between software jobs, he spent 2 years traveling around the US and the world, and that love of travel eventually led him to becoming a tour guide. In addition to being ITMI certified, and having both a DC and NYC guide license, he also speaks 3 languages. His travel experiences on tour include the Eastern Seaboard, the National Parks, the Western US, and Canada. In his spare time, you’ll find him helping out at his parish church, hiking, reading, and looking for the best places for ice cream, chocolate, candy and bubble tea!
Contact: Email Adrian / c: 917-525-9066
Seasonal Program Director & Guide
Dori Robinson is an educator and traveler originally from Massachusetts. She brings to Academic Expeditions her background in program and curriculum development, leadership training, and experiential education. She’s passionate about community engagement, the arts, and learning every person’s story. Dori has worked with various educational and non-profit organizations in Chicago, New York, Massachusetts, Ireland, and Israel. She holds a Masters from New York University's Steinhardt Program in Educational Theatre, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. She has lead tours and service-learning trips all over the world focusing on such topics as: the environment, leadership, social justice, theatre, and literature. When not planning travels, Dori can be found hiking, writing, or reading plays.
Contact: Email Dori /
Academic Expeditions is an accredited educational travel provider and a member of the major student travel, guiding, and transportation organizations across the country.
Contact Us: 917.520.5453 (General Inquiries) / 917.608.4177 (Registrations and Billing)