Meet Our Ambassadors

We are grateful for the leadership, commitment, and generosity of our UCSB EAP Ambassadors. Their collective expertise, personal & professional networks, and philanthropic support help us to open up the world to students through transformative and life-changing study abroad experience. 


UCSB EAP Ambassadors

Jim Maloney, Chair, Goettingen, Germany 1982-83 

Jim enjoyed a long career in the field of international transportation and logistics after his graduation from UCSB in 1984. He has been engaged in LGBTQ+ rights activism since the early 1990s and more recently has facilitated restorative justice work with inmates at San Quentin State Prison, where he also helps coach the 1000 Mile Running Club. He has been an avid track and distance runner since high school and loves to compete in distance, trail and track races and is a regular competitor in the quadrennial Gay Games. He continues to reflect on the positive impact his EAP experience had on his life, and remains engaged in the program through his annual named scholarship giving and participation on the UCSB EAP Ambassadors Program.



Dennis Allen, Bordeaux, France 1962-63

Dennis is board chair of Allen Construction, a company specializing in custom green residential and commercial building. In the late 1960s, he spent several years working in Europe for an international organization to improve cooperation between East and West European countries. In 1973 he was sent to Paris by a coalition of national antiwar groups to monitor the Vietnam Peace talks and provide on-the-ground feedback.

Currently, he chairs the Bren Graduate School Dean's Council at UCSB and serves as a board trustee of the SB Museum of Natural History. He enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and biking (he doesn't own a car). His latest passion is plein air watercolor painting. 


Brad Chapin, Glasgow, Scotland (UK) 1998-99 

Brad graduated from UCSB in 2000 with a Political Science degree, and after a brief and unsuccessful attempt to act in Hollywood, went to law school at the University of Southern California.  Since graduating in 2004, he has practiced general commercial litigation at Rutan & Tucker, LLP in Orange County, where he is a partner in their Trial and Litigation department.  Brad coaches soccer, loves musical theatre, and lives in Ladera Ranch with his wife, three children, two dogs and a cat.  Brad and his family have sponsored UCSB EAP participants for many years through a named scholarship fund.  Brad is ecstatic about being an EAP Ambassador and hopes to provide guidance, motivation and opportunity to the generations of EAP participants yet to come. 


Darryl Heller, ‘88

Darryl graduated from UCSB in 1988 with a degree in chemical engineering.  He moved to Silicon Valley to begin a career in computer chip manufacturing, completed his MBA and met his wife Linda.  Although they were not able to study abroad themselves, both of their daughters had positive study abroad experiences.  As a result, they have sponsored a STEM-based EAP scholarship annually since 2019 with the hope of extending the opportunity to this segment of students.  After a fulfilling career managing global supply chains, he is enjoying retirement playing tennis, trekking and spoiling his dogs.


Jan Koegler, Grenoble, France 1979-80

Jan Koegler is the public health emergency manager for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Her work includes preparedness planning in collaboration with organizations across the county and state, and response to disasters.  She previously worked at international non-profits planning and providing medical services. Jan completed her bachelor’s degree at UCSB, and a master’s in public health at UCLA. As a UCSB education abroad participant, she spent her junior year abroad in 1979-80 in Grenoble, France.

Sara Milles Gupta, Copenhagen, Denmark 2001-02

Sara grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, and understands the hard work it takes to reach one’s goals. She was the first in her family to attend college, and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in marine biochemistry. Sara worked as a cook on a scuba boat and as a makeup artist, before transitioning to running a sales team at a cosmetics company and eventually finding her way to the high-tech industry. Sara has visited over 30 countries on 4 continents, including spending 6 months studying at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.  In 2018, Sara established the Gupta Family StartWise Scholarship at UC Santa Barbara to fund first generation college students studying abroad in under-served countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Dr. Michael O’Connell, Rome, Italy 1964-65

Michael O'Connell is a professor emeritus of English, specializing in Renaissance and Late Medieval literature. He taught for 40 years at UCSB, and was director of its EAP program for 10 years, also serving as acting system-wide director in 2007-08. He was faculty director for the UK and Ireland 1992-94. His passion for study abroad began with his own year in Rome in 1964-65. 


Ellen Raede, Madrid, Spain 1978-79

Ellen’s year abroad in Madrid as part of EAP was the highlight of her UCSB years, and was a formative experience in her life. A strong passion of hers is to learn languages and experience other cultures.  She and her husband Rob (UCSB ‘80) recently spent a month in Rome studying Italian. They have been significant donors to EAP and Ellen found a way to give back even more by becoming the founding member and chair of the UCSB EAP Ambassadors group. 

Ellen has been active in many leadership roles in the Santa Barbara community including PTA president, synagogue board member, SB Hillel board member, and creator of a program bringing Israeli teenagers to live and work in the local community. Professionally, Ellen was a CPA (now retired) and helped in the family business running a hedge fund.  Most importantly, she is the mom of two now adult boys, and grandmother to twins.  


Sudi Staub 

Sudi Staub was the first development officer at UCSB assigned specifically to support the Education Abroad Program.  Her ongoing efforts led to the establishment of the Ambassadors Group and an affordable named EAP Scholarship Program, both of them ways to further engage and inspire alumni who first participated in the program as students. 


Marie Williams, Goettingen, Germany, 1987-88

Ms. Williams is senior director of technology for the Marriott Corporation. She is an experienced marketing and technology executive. Prior to joining Marriott, she was senior director, digital product management for Hilton Worldwide.

While studying abroad with EAP in Goettingen, West Germany during her junior year at UCSB, Ms. Williams developed a passion for international experience and has sought out global companies for most of her career.  While at Ford Motor Company, she lived in England as the global marketing lead for the Jaguar X-Type development program and then moved to Germany to be the fleet vehicles Marketing & Sales lead for Ford of Germany. Even while based in the U.S. with Ford, Capital One, Hilton and Marriott, Ms. Williams has led numerous global initiatives, particularly in the digital space. 

Marie has been supporting EAP scholarships since 2009 and has established the Marie Williams Scholarship Fund for EAP.


Leslie Meyers Zomalt, Bordeaux, France 1962-63 

Leslie Meyers Zomalt was one of 82 students in the UCEAP Inaugural Program. Her experiences in Bordeaux awakened her interest in Higher Education. She completed a BA, MA and PhD in History.  At the same time, she recognized that she enjoyed “starting things” and taking risks.  At 23 she began a college teaching career that lasted over 35 years.  As Dean of Student Activities at UCSB, she served as the first Director of the Women’s Center.  In 1990 she and her husband took on the challenges of opening California State University, San Marcos where she taught and developed the Undergraduate Advising Program.  In addition to serving as an Ambassador for the Education Abroad Program at UCSB, Leslie and her husband established the Ernest and Leslie Zomalt International Education Fund which secures scholarship funding well into the future for students pursuing their dreams of studying abroad.