P: 706.542.9713 | E: discoverabroad@uga.edu

Faces of Discover Abroad: Staff

Faces of Discover Abroad: Staff

Photo of Dr. Michael A. Tarrant

Dr. Michael A. Tarrant

Director and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor

My Role: I strive to create each Discover Abroad program with the same passion for learning, doing, and growing as with the very first program to New Zealand in 2000

Hometown: Spilsby, England, home of the intrepid explorer, Sir John Franklin

Favorite Things to Do: I love to teach on the programs, travel with my wife, and be in nature with our two boys.

My Favorite Discover Abroad Memory: The emails I receive from former students, sometimes days, months, and especially years after the program has concluded, reminding me of why I think I have the best job in the world.

Why Discover Abroad: To laugh with students, to learn about and play in some of the most dramatic environments on Earth, and to love the different peoples of the world to which we find ourselves intimately and inextricably connected.

Photo of Zachary Ennis

Zachary Ennis

Administrative Associate
My Role: Who you gonna call? This guy! I assist students through their entire Discover Abroad experience—I oversee the student application process, help students register for courses, and advise students on programs as a Teaching Assistant. If you contact the office, I can answer questions you may have regarding Discover Abroad!Hometown: The origin of the Allman Brothers and home to Otis Redding—good ol’ Macon, GA!

Favorite Things to Do: I love swimming, baking, hiking, sipping hot tea, and people watching just as much as I love re-reading Harry Potter and pretending to learn to play guitar.

My Favorite Discover Abroad Memory: There are too many! After snorkeling every day, swimming with sea turtles, and going on solitary sunrise walks on Lady Eliott Island in the Great Barrier Reef, a surreal moment for me was taking off the grass runway in the 8-person plane leaving the island and watching the bright blue ocean grow as we flew higher. I still can’t believe the variety of life that exists in and around that tiny oasis!

Why Discover Abroad: You get to see the world through a new lens. Whenever I think of Discover Abroad, I think of these words from Civil Rights activist Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” If you want an experience where you always have a chance to get out of your comfort zone, whether it’s to wake up for 6AM snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or to hike the snowy Southern Alps of New Zealand, go with Discover Abroad.

Photo of Dr. Mikell Gleason

Dr. Mikell Gleason

Assistant Director
My Role: At Discover Abroad, I hold the post of Assistant Director for Program Development. I work with faculty and host country contacts to create programs that are academically engaging but also fun for students. I teach regularly on many of our programs and enjoy working with students.Hometown: Difficult to say, I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, lived in Detroit, MI for several years before moving to Clarkston, GA for highschool. My parents now live in Tucker, GA, but I have lived for most of my adult life in Athens, GA. I’m a double Dawg who never left.

Favorite Things to Do: So many things! I like to ride my bike, watch sci-fi and animated movies, and hang out with my friends.

My Favorite Discover Abroad Memory: Some of my favorite memories are about times when the weather worked against us on a program. One year we were up in Lamington National Forest in southeast Australia and it had rained a half year’s worth of rain in two days. There was no electricity where we were, nor could we go out and do anything. We had a great time anyway! Everyone lined their flashlights up on the dinner table to create a Hogwart’s effect. We spent a lot of time in that lodge playing cards, telling stories, and really getting to know one another. Another time there was a tropical storm in Fiji that left us “stranded” on a tropical desert island. The students put together a talent show for the staff, and when they got back to the mainland they organized themselves to help clean up a school to prepare it for storm refugees. These events will remain etched in my memory forever.

Why Discover Abroad: One of the best ways to know oneself is to get outside the things that are most familiar. Go away from the things we take for granted to learn how beautiful and magical the world really is.

Photo of Joshua Hanna

Joshua Hanna

Administrative Associate
My Role: I’m the face you’ll see and the voice you’ll hear when you contact Discover Abroad. I oversee the student application process and work to ensure that everyone registers for the right courses. I’m also a Teaching Assistant on programs, so hopefully, I’ll see you abroad! Always feel free to let me know if there’s anything you need.
Hometown: Born in Gastonia, North Carolina – Raised in Snellville, Georgia – Adulted in Athens for the last 10 years.
My Favorite Discover Abroad Memory: On my first day working with the Discover Abroad Team we brought real kangaroos to the UGA campus. It was so incredible to see these iconic animals so close and get everyone excited about the possibility of traveling to Australia. What a great first day on the job!
Why Discover Abroad: Discover Abroad offers a wide range of programs, taking you all over the world. What other program can offer you so much growth and life experience in just a few weeks? And what better time in your life than now?

Ansley Silva

Administrative Associate
My Role: I help students throughout the application process and work with our Ambassadors for our special events and marketing. I’m also a Teaching Assistant on some of our programs. Have a question about our program? Feel free to call or stop by the office and chat with me!
Hometown: Born and raised in Kennesaw Georgia, a town just a little over an hour and a half away from Athens. But Athens has become my wonderful home away from home.
My Favorite Discover Abroad Memory: There are too many incredible memories to name just one, so I will say this: I absolutely loved bonding with and learning from each field guide we had on the trip. I miss being able to go on hikes or swim in the ocean and whatever random questions I could think of, they always seemed to know the answer! But honestly? I could talk for hours about how much I love Discover Abroad and every single moment on my trip I will truly cherish for the rest of my life.
Why Discover Abroad: Discover Abroad is more than your average study abroad program. It takes us out of the relatively small bubble of where we live, immerses us in new cultures, allows us to visit and learn about drastically different environments and challenges the way we view the world. Where else can you have the opportunity to snorkel/scuba-dive in the Great Barrier Reef? Visit the Fiordlands of New Zealand (a place where even some New Zealanders haven’t had the opportunity to visit), study the surrounding planets of Earth and the Milky Way in the Outback, and create memories that last a life time? Discover Abroad can give you that and so much more.