AIFS Partnership Programs: Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

Northern California Study Abroad Consortium

Northern California Study Abroad Consortium
not your school?

London, England

Fall 2024

Faculty Bios

Anne Belden
Santa Rosa Junior College

The journalism bug infected Anne Belden in college when she experimented with radio news at UC Santa Cruz and then print at UCLA. After nearly two decades as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines, she took over the helm of Santa Rosa Junior College’s journalism program in 2006. She teaches the primary journalism courses and advises The Oak Leaf News staff, who publish a website, magazine, and social media sites.

Anne received her undergraduate degree in mass communication from UCLA and a master’s degree in media studies from Stanford University. In October, she published her first book, “Inflamed: Abandonment, Heroism, and Outrage in Wine Country’s Deadliest Firestorm” about the botched evacuations at two senior care communities during the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa.

Anne’s travels have taken her to 34 states, Canada, The Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guyana, Chile, Madagascar, South Africa, and several European countries. Yet she has always been drawn to London. Although Anne was slated to teach in Florence in 2021 — a trip cancelled by the pandemic — London was always her first choice. She is excited to teach journalism and mass communication in such a vibrant city and global information hub.

Greg Beyrer
Los Rios Community College District

I am the distance education coordinator and a professor of history at Cosumnes River College, and I am eager to spend a semester with you in London. In my history classes (including American history) I like to bring a global point of view. This is helped by my international travels, which include a summer spent wandering across Europe. I remember seeing the living remnants of times long past and feeling wonder as I walked the same roads and paths that others have been walking for hundreds or thousands of years.

History is an interpretive discipline, which means there are an endless number of stories from the past. Our journey will be filled with delight as we learn about the experiences of the many peoples whose actions and interactions made their world and echo through time to inform our lives today. Each of us brings a unique perspective to the study of the past, informed by the material we work with, our own identities, and the environment where we are learning. You too are a scholar of history, and in our classes, we will together discover what points of view emerge from being historians in London.

What will you discover?

Lindsey Ayotte
San Mateo County Community College District

Lindsey Ayotte is a Professor of Communication Studies at Skyline College. Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Performance Studies from San Francisco State University. Lindsey is the current Director of Forensics: Speech and Debate Team at Skyline College. She believes that speech and debate allows students to develop public speaking and argumentative skills through the idea and practice of transformation through advocacy, creative expression and dialogue as students test ideas in conversation with communities outside their own. Lindsey has also served in various leadership roles at Skyline College. Lindsey truly believes that humor in the classroom is an important way to build community, because learning should and can be fun. When Lindsey is not in the classroom she is most likely hanging out with her family and friends. Most weekends consist of playing with her 6-year-old daughter. Lindsey would describe herself as a passionate food enthusiast with a deep appreciation for diverse culinary experiences, especially while traveling. In addition, she loves to spend time outdoors, camping, and swimming.

Message from Professor Ayotte to prospective students: My goal for students during the semester abroad is to continue thinking for yourself. I want students to leave my courses and this experience not thinking the same way as I or your peers thinks but to learn to be more aware of the information you consume in order to be true critical consumers of knowledge. Oftentimes we associate the word "critical" with negativity but in fact this does not have to be true. To be critical of something is to consider the multiple perspectives/outcomes/solutions that are possible, rather than participating in a two-sided conversation. My courses will push you sometimes out of your comfort zone and encourage you to re-think what it is that you know. You all are coming from a very specific social location in which you have already existed for the duration of your life so far and this is important! You shouldn't feel like you need to check who you are at the door, but rather embrace your differences. What makes my courses, (I would argue all communication studies courses, but I am biased) successful is your willingness to participate fully, take risks in self-disclosure, and respect what your peers share as we attempt to make sense of what learning and engaging in dialogue amongst differences of opinion in an international setting can be.

LD Green (they/them)
Contra Costa Community College District

LD Green has taught community college since 2007, when they started part-time at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill and Merritt College in Oakland.  They have taught full-time at Los Medanos College since 2016 and in that time they have brought many speakers and guests to campus, been actively involved with LGBTQ+ inclusion and advocacy, organized a Creative Writing Competition, developed several new courses, and designed a Creative Writing Certificate.  They are a writer themselves, with numerous works published in magazines and journals. Their plays have been performed at national theater festivals, and they have two published books in the fields of poetry and creative non-fiction. This year, their agent is helping them pitch to publishers for their YA fantasy rom-com graphic novel set in medieval Europe.  

Note to students: The first time I traveled to England, I was eleven years old and I was enamored. I got to see a play in the West End, I witnessed Stonehenge, I rode double decker buses. The second time I went to England, was just two years ago in 2022 while I was on sabbatical and researching the graphic novel I was writing. This time, my love deepened. I saw a mind-altering play at Shakespeare’s Globe; I stood at the front of the crowd, shouting and slapping the stage with the rest of the “Groundlings.” I wandered the British Library in awe, gaping at the ancient and historically significant books on display. Across England, I visited a castle, a cave, a shrine to a mystic woman writer. 

I can’t wait to share my love of these British Isles and their literature–from classic to contemporary–with you.  In all of my classes, I value student voices, experiences, feelings, and opinions, and do my best to make discussions and class activities lively, engaging, entertaining—and of course, thought-provoking!