Therapy Abroad consists of a small staff of dedicated professionals who love what they do and want to share their experiences by creating a unique learning environment that combines international travel, study abroad, hands-on experiences, professional development, and cultural exchange in a fun and safe environment.
Jessica Brown, MS, CCC-SLP
Jessica is a co-founder and clinical director of Therapy Abroad. Jessica completed her undergraduate degree in Music Therapy with classical guitar as her primary instrument and began her career spending five years as a music therapist working for hospice. After taking a career break to travel in Southeast Asia and South America, she decided to return to school and pursue a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. Jessica worked as speech-language pathologist and director of clinical rehab for several years before moving to Thailand where she lived and worked for nearly six years. Jessica continues to travel and now lives and works in southern California.
Chad serves as the managing director and is also a co-founder of Therapy Abroad. He has more than 15 years of experience working domestically and internationally in community-based program design and implementation, program management and volunteer management. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines where he developed his love for working with people, organizations and communities and a passion for international travel. Since then, he has lived and worked in Thailand, South Africa, and Australia as a project leader and country director for a student volunteer and travel organization. He continues to travel and explore the world whenever he can. Chad attended Florida State University where he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in geography.
Kristin AmRhein M.S., CCC, SLP
Kristin is the Therapy Abroad team Leader for Belize and an Early Intervention speech and feeding therapist in New York City. She obtained her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and prior to attending graduate school, she spent 2 years travelling and working throughout Europe and Asia. It is during this time that she became passionate to expand speech, language and feeding services in countries continuing to develop in the field. After obtaining her MSc in Speech and Language Therapy from City, University of London, Kristin participated in her university’s Cambodia Project where she provided speech and language services to children with cleft lip and palate in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for three months. She is ready to embrace a new and exciting overseas experience with fellow clinicians and students eager to contribute to international speech-language pathology with Therapy Abroad this summer.
Marcela Lutthans M.S., CCC-SLP
Program Advisor - Belize
Marcela Lutthans is a bilingual licensed speech-language pathologist, certified by ASHA (American Speech, Language and Hearing Association). She has 20 years of experience in diagnosis and remediation in speech and language disorders of children. Marcela is trained in utilizing the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and is a Certified Vitalstim therapist. After earning her Master's degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale Florida, she worked in Florida's public school system with children with Autism. From there, Marcela worked in hospitals, private practice and for 10 years she had her own private practice. Her therapy repertoire includes, but is not limited to: articulation, expressive/receptive language disorders, Autism, feeding/swallowing disorders, apraxia, and oral motor disorders. Marcela's therapy approaches are fun and functional for all ages. She combines the latest technology with the best practices to ensure optimal outcomes. Home programming and patient/caregiver education expedites her therapy programs.
Ellen McKamey, M.A.
Program Coordinator - Belize
Ellen serves as program coordinator for Therapy Abroad’s Belize program. She has over 14 years of experience working in domestic and international special education, including applied behavior analysis, public awareness and child advocacy. Ellen served in the United States Peace Corps as a special education teacher trainer in Belize for 27 months. She knows the ins and outs of the country and has a strong language and cultural understanding of Belize. Ellen’s love for adventure and helping those in need has taken her all over the world from studying chimpanzee behavior in South Africa to backpacking through southeast Asia and working with local schools in India to increase their knowledge in working with children with autism. She most recently graduated with her master’s degree in sustainable living and is thrilled to be returning to Belize on a regular basis to work with Therapy Abroad and their mission to give students from the United States a unique opportunity to gain hands on experience and cultural awareness.
Mollie Mindel, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Advisor & AAC Specialist
Mollie Mindel received her M.S. in Communicative Disorders from SFSU, with a prior B.A in Cultural Anthropology. In addition to being a speech-language pathologist, Mollie is an AAC Specialist and focuses on working with culturally & linguistically diverse (CLD) populations. She has presented on issues of disproportionality of African American students in special education at ASHA 2013, CSHA 2014, and ASHA 2017, and presents in-services on various topics involving CLD issues and AAC topics to various districts across the extended San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, Mollie had been working in Berkeley Unified School District (both elementary school and high school), focusing on incorporating a collaborative team approach within the district's full-inclusion model. Additionally, Mollie was an adjunct professor at SFSU teaching in their undergraduate Communicative Disorders department. Currently, she is working in West Contra Costa Unified School District, utilizing a transdisciplinary approach as the district’s sole preschool/EI AAC specialist. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking with friends, and traveling the world.
Amanda Puentes, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Team Leader
Amanda is a pediatric speech language pathologist based out of Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in which she received her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology. Over the years, Amanda has worked in a variety of settings including schools, clinics, home health, and a children's hospital. She has worked in both the US and Mexico providing speech, language, and feeding therapy to children with a variety of diagnoses, as well as providing training to professionals in order to promote self-sufficiency. Amanda has also guest lectured in schools and universities, educating others about the importance of the field and understanding cultural differences. Amanda is passionate about helping others in her local community and abroad.
Program Director -India
Angshu works with Therapy Abroad through our partner organization in India, which focuses on empowering parents to teach their pre-lingual deaf children to talk. Angshu himself was born deaf, but says “I am lucky to be born of two very special parents who had a dream that their child would be able to talk and play as any other child despite having a hearing problem.” Through their guidance, encouragement and knowledge and his tenacity, Angshu can converse fluently in English and two local languages. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Visva-Bharati University and is now pursuing his Ph.D at Visva- Bharati University in the field of social sciences. Learn more about Angshu and his story here.
Dr. Tonya Dantuma, CCC-SLP
Academic Team Leader & Program Advisor
After earning a B.A. from Biola and an M.A. from California State University, Fullerton in Communication Disorders, Tonya started her career working as a speech-language pathologist in a public school early intervention program. Her work included assessment and treatment of young children from a variety of ethnic and socio backgrounds with various communication disorders including phonological delays, apraxia of speech, autism, and language delays. After working for twelve years as a speech-language pathologist, Tonya began teaching in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at Biola University. She holds a PhD in Exceptional Student Education from Northcentral University. Her research interests include the provision of speech and language services via telepractice, treatment and assessment of pediatric phonological disorders, clinical education, and international speech-language pathology.
Dr. Kris Brock, CCC-SLP
Academic Team Leader & Program Advisor
Kris is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) who specializes in neurogenic communication disorders and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). His primary research interests concern the development of AAC interface designs that are more compatible with the cognitive-linguistic capabilities of persons with aphasia and children with autism. Additionally, he is interested in translational research that investigates the communicative competence (e.g., turn-taking and longer communicative interactions) of individuals using currently available AAC technologies. Kris is also the Co-advisor of the CSUF National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association chapter. While traditional didactic lectures are an important component of learning, Kris understands that repeated practice, structured mentorship, and active learning in the field are better teaching techniques that develop clinical scientists capable of engaging in life-long learning.
Victor Gebhardt serves as the operations manager for Therapy Abroad. He has years of operations experience in the tech and real estate sectors and has experience leading development projects across Southeast Asia. He served in the Peace Corps in Thailand focusing on youth development through the use of IT. Victor has a passion for international travel and adventure, most recently driving a junk car from London to Mongolia. He is currently an MBA candidate at UCLA.
Stephanie Wilson RN
Medical & Health Advisor
Stephanie has been a nurse for over thirty years and is currently working in the health and wellness field. She loves to travel internationally and volunteer her time. Stephanie's true passion has always been caring for her children. Her youngest was adopted from Guatemala with special needs, including a cleft lip and developmental delays. After many years of speech, physical and occupational therapies, he is now sixteen and doing well. Stephanie joined Therapy Abroad to advise on student health concerns and help facilitate our integrative approach to meeting the needs of the communities and children we work with.