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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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.