Janelle Papay Decato

Janelle Papay Decato: Director of Program Management and Partnership Development

As an advocate of intercultural learning and an educator focused on high-impact practices, Janelle Papay Decato (she/her) has built a career in international education managing and increasing access to impactful domestic and international programs for students and faculty.

Janelle's origin story starts with her family hosting exchange students with Rotary International and then becoming an exchange student to Germany at the age of 15. The experience, a stark contrast to growing up in central Pennsylvania, fostered Janelle's cultural curiosity and she went back to the Salzkammergut in Austria as an exchange student for a gap year before college. These opportunities to live in a different cultural context led to self-discovery and development of cultural humility in such a profound way that Janelle chose international education as a career path.

From 2013-2022, she worked in Elon University’s Isabella Cannon Global Education Center – predominantly overseeing operations for faculty-led programming as an Associate Director. Enrollment management, program development, and stakeholder relationships aside, Janelle enjoyed cultivating a community of practice for faculty instructors to enhance their teaching methodologies and deepen student learning. Mission critical was also supporting student access throughout the journey, from forming goals for their study abroad experience to incorporating lessons learned abroad to future goals. Other highlights of her time at Elon include co-teaching courses on ‘Wilderness and Adventure Therapy’ to Peru and ‘Theory and Practice of Global Education’ to Japan.

Janelle received a B.A. from Gettysburg College (2010) in Globalization Studies and German. Upon graduating, she was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Grant to Germany. She then earned a M.Ed. from The Pennsylvania State University (2013) in College Student Affairs. Her studies focused on higher education administration, student development theory, and social justice in higher education.

Janelle currently serves ieiMedia as Director of Program Management and Partnership Development in addition to a Pre-Doctoral Research Associate for Elon University’s Center for Research on Global Engagement. She is also a prospective PhD student at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy for the Internationalization of Higher Education program.

In her free time, Janelle enjoys attending story slams with friends, exploring the woods with her two young kids, and visiting family near and far.

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