Directors

  • Nigel Cossar- Director
  • Nigel Cossar- Director

    Nigel oversees the Penn Abroad team at the University of Pennsylvania, providing leadership and support to the education abroad programs at Penn. Nigel comes to Penn from the University of Melbourne, where he directed the university’s study abroad and international exchange initiatives from 2007-2014. Nigel has previously been appointed as a Forum Council member (2012-14), and has held numerous leadership positions in education abroad including the Chair, Group of Eight Universities student mobility initiative and member of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) student mobility leadership group in Australia.

    Nigel earned his bachelor degree from RMIT University and his graduate degree from the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

  • Kristyn Palmiotto - Associate Director, Advising & Enrollment
  • Kristyn Palmiotto - Associate Director, Advising & Enrollment

    Kristyn serves as the Associate Director of Advising & Enrollment at Penn Abroad. In this role she oversees the advising team for all global programs available to Penn undergraduate students.

    Kristyn received her B.A. in Linguistics and Arabic Studies from Binghamton University and her M.A. in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. She studied abroad at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco as an undergraduate student, and also completed a Fulbright exchange to Malta, where she served as an English Teaching Assistant and conducted independent research on language policy in education. Prior to joining Penn Abroad, Kristyn worked at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where she managed international opportunities for the business school. 

Global Program Managers

  • Kevin Haines
  • Kevin Haines

    Kevin manages the International Internship Program.

    He received his B.S. in education and Spanish from Penn State and his M.A. from Middlebury College. Prior to working at Penn Abroad, he worked at Drexel University where he was an adjunct Spanish professor and was the study abroad coordinator as well.

    As an undergraduate student, Kevin spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. While studying at Middlebury College for his master’s degree, he spent the academic year abroad in Madrid, Spain and then finished that degree in Guadalajara, Mexico.

  • Josh Pontrelli
  • Josh Pontrelli

    Prior to joining the Penn Abroad team, Josh received his B.A. in Journalism and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at The Pennsylvania State University. He has conducted higher education research in Germany, served as a three-term Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Austria, and has taught or volunteered in Albania, Georgia, and Scandinavia. Prior to working at Penn Abroad, Josh served as the Student Exchange Coordinator in the Oklahoma State University Study Abroad/NSE Office. He has presented at multiple international education conferences and has participated in intercultural communication and risk management workshops. Josh has visited 40 countries, and in addition to travel, enjoys hiking, biking, live music, and trying different cuisines.

  • Jessica Williams
  • Jessica Williams

    Jess received her B.A. in English from Penn and her M.S. Ed. in Higher Education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education.  She studied abroad in Scotland at the University of St Andrews as an undergraduate.

    Prior to returning to Penn as a Program Manager, Jess was the Enrollment Coordinator at Penn Abroad and then held the position of Off-Campus Study Advisor at Colgate University.

Marketing & Outreach and Enrollment Coordinators

  • Gabriella Nelson - Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
  • Gabriella Nelson - Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

    Gabriella is the first person prospective students meet when they visit Penn Abroad’s office. She provides students with the tools and knowledge needed to have a successful study abroad experience during the pre-departure period. Gabriella delivers general information about studying abroad including information concerning the application process, admissions procedures and program deadlines.  Gabriella also coordinates the Penn Abroad 101 Sessions, the Penn Abroad Fair, and other Penn Abroad events.


    Prior to joining Penn, Gabriella worked in the study abroad office at Drexel University. She also served as an online journalist during her abroad experience in Costa Rica while studying at Universidad Latina. Gabriella graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a minor in International Area Studies from Drexel University. In her spare time, she can be found blogging about her international adventures and daydreaming about where she wants to explore next.

  • Mackenzie Weiler- Enrollment Coordinator
  • Mackenzie Weiler- Enrollment Coordinator

    Mackenzie maintains Penn Abroad’s computer systems and manages students’ enrollment information and documents.  She should be contacted for questions about application and transcript statuses.  In addition to helping Penn students behind the scenes, she also coordinates the enrollment of incoming exchange students.

    Prior to joining Penn Abroad, Mackenzie worked in international education at the University of Pittsburgh, and she spent a semester studying abroad in Berlin, Germany.  After earning her B.A.s in Political Science and History, she spent 9 months living and working in Prague.

Please only schedule an appointment with one program manager at a time.  If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please either cancel through the online scheduler or call 215-898-9073 to cancel.  No-shows and appointments canceled with less than an hour's notice will be noted in the applicant's profile.

How can I prepare my application before I meet with my Program Manager?

While you will not have access to your online application until you have met with your Penn Abroad Program Manager, there are still some things you can do to prepare your application. If you have not already done so, watch the Penn Abroad 101.  Do your research. Read about your…