Our Staff

Merryn Clay

Merryn Clay

Interim Director of Global Education and Initiatives

I joined the Office of Global Initiatives in 2016 after teaching ESL and English at Tompkins Cortland for many years prior. I coordinate Tompkins Cortland’s Academic Exchange at the Walt Disney World Resort, in which students from international partner universities earn academic credit while gaining work experience in Orlando, Florida. I really enjoy helping students develop professionally and personally in this unique program. I also work closely with our dual-degree programs, support our team in furthering the internationalization of the College, assist with our Study Abroad programs, and currently serve as the PDSO on campus. I hold a B.A. in History and Spanish from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to moving back to the New York area, I lived in Ecuador and Chile for a number of years, where I taught EFL and attempted to become fluent in Spanish.  

Contact Merryn for inquiries about the Academic Exchange program, the Disney College program, and other partnership opportunities. 

ClayM@tompkinscortland.edu | Book a Virtual Appointment


Maria Barrero

Maria Barrero

Global Services Specialist

I am the Global Services Specialist of the Global Initiatives Office. I hold an Associate’s degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College and a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Cortland. I am from Spain and have been lucky to grow up in different countries like Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. I am a DSO and ARO and I work with partnership student’s admissions and handle the majority of clerical duties associated with this process and in the office. I advise F-1 International Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors on visa status maintenance, cultural and academic adjustment, work authorization, and a variety of other matters. I have been working in international education since 2010 and it has become a passion. I love working with international students and working at Tompkins Cortland Community College, which has become like a second home.

Contact Maria for inquiries about student visas (work authorization, status, etc.), billing, and registration.

 MEB@tompkinscortland.edu | Book a Virtual Appointment


Angela Palumbo

Angela Palumbo

Chair and Instructor of English as a Second Language and International Studies; COIL Coordinator

Bonjour! I serve as Chair of the International Studies A.S. degree program and the English as a Second Language department at Tompkins Cortland. As an Assistant Professor, I teach ESL, French, Anthropology, and English.

During the winter session, I co-lead our study abroad trip to Cambodia. I have been at TC3 since 2010 and have had the pleasure to meet and work with the most amazing students from all around the world. In addition to teaching, I work very closely with our Global Initiatives staff to coordinate and implement both our Summer Global and non-credit ESL programs. I also serve as our SUNY COIL Campus Coordinator, in which I assist faculty in finding overseas partners to create cross-cultural experience for students. I hold a B.A. in French from Stetson University and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts. 

Contact Angela for inquiries about our International Studies degree program, our ESL offerings, our foreign language offerings, and our SUNY COIL partnerships.