Our Board

Our founder traveled abroad for the very first time as a 19-year old college sophomore to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It was during that educational Alternative Spring Break trip where she caught the travel bug. Deidre credits that international experience with changing her life forever. She went on to live in 4  different countries abroad and has traveled to over 45 other countries. She recently opened the US’s first black-owned hostel, Wanderstay Houston. 

If Deidre had not received a $1,500 stipend from her university to pay for that study abroad program, she may have never gotten her passport and traveled abroad that spring break.

In 2019 she founded the Wander Abroad Foundation scholarship so she could give that same experience to deserving college students across the United States. 

Iuliana Popa, Board Member 2020-2022

View Iuliana’s LinkedIn Profile Here

Iuliana is originally from Romania, but lived most of her life in the US. Her cultural background and frequent travels growing up gave her a passion for hospitality and tourism. This led her to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and she is now excited to be a part of an organization that helps students travel abroad for the first time and experience new cultures.

Tracy Daniel, Board Member 2020-2022

Tracy is a Texas native who has a passion for lifelong learning. Upon earning her Masters degree in history, she embarked on post-graduate sabbatical, which allowed her to transport her collegiate historical research skills outside the hallowed halls of academia. Daniel has conducted historical research across the globe, from studying the indigenous Maori culture in New Zealand to studying the culture of the Maasai Mara in Kenya. When she is not travelling, she is enhancing the minds of undergraduate students in her work as a history professor. 

Louis-Michael O’Donnell, 2021-2022 Board Member

Louis-Michael is a native of rural Mississippi. Growing up in “the Delta”, Louis-Michael dreamed of a way out. He finally got the opportunity to live out this dream with a trip to Denver, CO. He was instantly bit by the travel bug and has thus far traveled to 8 different countries and 2 U.S. Territories. This led him to spending 10 months in Puerto Rico experiencing all the things the territory has to offer. Louis-Michael obtained a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and works for a communications company in Houston, TX. Louis-Michael’s humble background has inspired him to want to be a part of an organization that gives the opportunity for students to be able to experience different cultures through learning abroad.

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