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Shoshanna Sumka Assistant Director, Global Learning & Leadership Center for Community Engagement and Services

Master’s of Applied Anthropology, Cultural Resource Management, University of Maryland; Bachelors of Arts, Sociology/Anthropology, Earlham College

Languages Spoken
Shoshanna Sumka joined the Center for Community Engagement and Service in the summer of 2005. As the Assistant Director for Global Learning and Leadership, her primary responsibility is overseeing the Alternative Break program and other international immersion programs. Shoshanna is from Silver Spring, MD and has lived overseas for fifteen years. As an international & experiential education professional, she has lived, traveled and/or worked in Kenya, Israel, Indonesia, Ecuador, Belize, Eastern Europe, Venezuela, Zambia and India. She lived in Ecuador for five years where she was the director of the University of Idaho’s study abroad program and taught Service-Learning courses about indigenous groups in the Amazon rain forest, the Andes, and mangrove restoration in coastal regions.

She is a founding member of the Haiti Compact: Higher Ed with Haiti and has traveled several times to that country to engage with grassroots women's empowerment organizations.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Environmental conservation and responsible tourism, the impacts of study abroad on local communities, cross-cultural communication, indigenous rights and grassroots social justice movements.



Selected Publications

  • “Educational Travel as a Model for Responsible Tourism: The Impact of Study Abroad”, Transitions Abroad, May/June 1999.


  • “Study Abroad and Anthropology: Impacts from a Homestay Experience in Ecuador”, Practicing Anthropology, Summer 2000.
  • “Host Family Experience: What is the Impact? What Does it Mean?”, Transitions Abroad, September/October 2001.
  • The Learning Traveler: “The Monkey Hunt; Amazon Program Benefits Community.”  Transitions Abroad, November/December 2004.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

NASPA Excellence Gold Award for Alternative Breaks: Journeys Towards Justice


Professional Presentations

  • “Educational      Travel as a Model for Responsible Tourism: Homestay Experiences from a      Summer Abroad in Ecuador.”  Paper given at the Society for Applied      Anthropology conference, San Francisco, CA, March 2000.
  • “Bringing Global Social Justice Home through Alternative Breaks.” Moderator for panel at CORAL (Community-Based Research and Learning) Conference, American UniversityWashington, DC, April 2006.
  • “Global Social Justice: Student Collaboration and Partnerships in Cameroun, Haiti and Venezuela.” Moderator for panel at CORAL (Community-Based Research and Learning) Conference, American  University, Washington, DC, April 2007.