Ajaya Jonas serves as the Director for Global Programs at North Carolina State University’s College of Education. She is responsible for the integration and development of the college’s global efforts with its teaching, research and innovation initiatives. She represents the college on the International Operations Council and is a member of NAFSA, Association of International Educators.
Previously, she was the Study Abroad Advisor at Loyola Marymount University where she managed a portfolio of exchange, direct enroll and faculty led programs and coordinated LMU’s signature CASA program in Argentina. She spearheaded marketing and diversity outreach efforts and co-founded the Ralph J. Bunche Scholars, an on-campus program aimed to encourage minority students to study abroad through monthly workshops and faculty/staff mentorships. She also co facilitated the first generation college student study abroad to the Dominican Republic exploring cultural and racial identity and has led service learning programs to Jamaica and Argentina.
As the Study Abroad Coordinator at UNC Greensboro, she supported faculty in their development of study, research and service learning programs abroad and advised international exchange students. She created opportunities for study abroad returnees to engage with international exchange students during International Exchange Orientation and throughout the semester/year.
Her study abroad experiences include studying multicultural counseling and social justice competence in Imbabura, Ecuador – a graduate study abroad program offered through LMU’s college of education ; spending an academic year as an undergraduate exchange student in Manchester, England ; and studying spanish in Costa Rica and Bolivia. She loves learning new languages and speaks Spanish and Malayalam with some knowledge of Hindi and Tamil.
She is passionate about increasing opportunities and participation rates of diverse students within education abroad and enjoys bringing together international and domestic students for cross-cultural engagement and learning. She and her partner spent two years (2015-2017) traveling, volunteering and living in parts of Europe, South East Asia, Oceania and South America on a budget.