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Staff Directory

Image of Joan Burton, Director of Federal/Global Fellows Joan B. Burton, Ph.D., Director, UMD Fellows Program: Maryland, Federal, Global
301-314-1920 | jburton1@umd.edu
Joan Burton is the founding Director of the University of Maryland Fellows Program. Achievements at UMD include transforming a small federal internship program serving 12 students per year into a high-powered set of learning communities serving over 150 students per year. Focusing on some of the biggest policy issues of the day, these year-long programs integrate academic and experiential learning to prepare a talented, diverse corps of students for careers related to public service and global leadership. Dr. Burton has given invited presentations at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Partnership for Public Service, and currently serves on a Pathways Implementation Team for the Office of Personnel Management. She also gave the keynote address at the Embassy of Bangladesh in D.C. for their 2015 celebration of International Mother Language Day. Related service at UMD includes sponsoring and hosting a White House Roundtable on the State of Education (2011) and cosponsoring, with the School of Public Policy, a White House Roundtable on the Economy (2012). She is also Director of the Individual Studies Program and serves on the Administrative Council for the Office of Undergraduate Studies. In 2012 and 2016, she was named a Philip Merrill Presidential Faculty Mentor, and in 2012 she was inducted into ODK. In 2018, she was awarded the University of Maryland President's Distinguished Service Award. Prior to moving to Maryland, Dr. Burton was Chair and Professor of Classical Studies at Trinity University, San Antonio, where she also served as Co-founder and Director of Comparative Literature. She has also held teaching appointments at Howard University and at the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Burton has a passion for interdisciplinary studies and empowering students. She is also a strong advocate for public service, civic engagement, and global citizenship education.

Jay Arasan, Associate Director, smiling in front a world map Jay Arasan, Associate Director
301-314-1130 | jarasan@umd.edu
Jay Arasan was a Training Manager at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Diplomatic Sales Consultant for the ONE UN New York before joining the Federal and Global Fellows Program in November of 2014. He has a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) and a Master in Science (Information Technology), both from University Utara Malaysia (UUM). He has extensive experience working with the U.S. Pacific Command, Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Department of State, and other Department of Defense agencies. He is passionate on International Affairs, Security Assistance and Security Cooperation related issues.



Headshot of Shannon Neal in white top  against yellow background Shannon Neal, Communications and Outreach Manager
301-405-9360 | smneal@umd.edu
Shannon Neal graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2023 with a Master of English and from Washington College in May 2019 with a Bachelor of English. This past spring Shannon co-led book arts workshops for teens at the local Hyattsville Library branch and held the Vice-President role for the English Graduate Organization. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Shannon worked in higher education and the public humanities, witnessing first-hand the value of communication in all forms.




Headshot of Sam Briglia, Operations Manager in a suit standing with confidence Sam Briglia, Operations Manager
301-314-0261 | sbriglia@umd.edu
Sam Briglia graduated from the University of Maryland in May 2023 with a B.A. in Public Policy and a minor in Spanish Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. He is an alumnus of the Energy and Environmental Policy concentration in the program's Federal branch. As an undergraduate student, Sam interned for the Maryland General Assembly and the US Department of Energy. He also has work experience from the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. In his free time, he enjoys biking and cooking.




Headshot of Sabrina LaBold in graduation regaliaSabrina LaBold, Academic & Student Affairs Manager
301-314-0689 | slabold@umd.edu
Sabrina LaBold graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2023 with a B.A. in Government & Politics and Environmental Science & Policy with a concentration in Environmental Economics. She is an alumna of the 2022 Energy and Environmental Policy concentration in the program's Federal branch. She has previously worked as a program assistant and a program associate for the UMD Fellows Program and as a teaching assistant for the GVPT department. She has internship experience at the Embassy of Spain, U.S. House of Representatives, and working in government affairs for a global organization. Sabrina is passionate about environmental and sustainability-based policy issues. She enjoys exploring the outdoors and is an avid reader.


Adam Cullen Headshot standing on McKeldin Mall and smilingAdam Cullen, Graduate Assistant
301-314-0689| fedglobal@umd.edu
Adam Cullen is a Graduate Assistant for the UMD Fellows Program and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in International Relations. Adam graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Government and Politics & Cinema and Media Studies. He has previously worked as an intern for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Maryland General Assembly and Charles County Government. In his spare time, he enjoys running, watching movies and reading.





Headshot of Jamal Oakman smilingJamal Oakman, Graduate Assistant
301-314-0689| fedglobal@umd.edu
Jamal Oakman is Graduate Assistant for the UMD Fellows Program. He is currently pursuing his Master of Public Policy degree with a specialization in Social, Health and Education Policy. Jamal graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2023 with a B.A. in Government and Politics. Jamal previously served as a Resident Assistant in both La Plata Hall and South Campus Commons. He also worked as an intern for the Maryland General Assembly for 2022 and 2023. This past summer he worked as a communications specialist for the Health and Government Operations at the Maryland General Assembly. Jamal loves board games and playing his guitar.




Headshot of Jen Solan smiling in a black blazerJen Solan, Graduate Assistant
301-314-0689| fedglobal@umd.edu
Jen Solan is a Graduate Assistant for the UMD Fellows Program. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Policy degree. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2023 with double B.A.s in Public Policy and Government and Politics, and a minor in Sustainability Studies. Jen is an alumna of the 2022 Energy and Environmental Policy concentration in the Federal branch of the program. She previously interned at the Maryland General Assembly and World Resources Institute. She is currently a program analyst intern in the Office of Multifamily Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her hobbies include crocheting, biking, and attending concerts.



Headshot of Jordyn Taylor smiling in Jordyn Taylor, Graduate Assistant
301-314-0689| fedglobal@umd.edu
Jordyn Taylor is a Graduate Assistant for the UMD Fellows Program. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in Social Policy. Jordyn graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2023 with a B.A. in Public Policy and a minor in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. She is an alumna of the 2021 cohort of the Political Engagement and Advocacy concentration of the Federal branch of the program. She previously worked at the City of Hyattsville as a Maryland Municipal League Fellow, and she worked as an intern at Rails to Trails Conservancy and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Prince George’s County. Outside of work and school, Jordyn enjoys doing ceramics and cooking.