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By Travel Gene

The STAMPED podcast is designed to bring you episodes that highlight the study abroad stories of Black/African American students and industry professionals. Occasionally, we'll also be joined by travelers whose experiences have proven to be meaningful and influential in their lives today! Join us to hear how these travelers overcame fears, confronted their identity abroad, pursued careers in international education and so much more!
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STAMPED Updates - February 2023

STAMPEDMar 01, 2023

STAMPED Updates - February 2023
Mar 01, 202302:27
A Series of YES!

A Series of YES!

We're kicking off season 4 of STAMPED with a dynamic story from Candace Ricks! She opens the discussion by sharing the impact of her family on her decision to travel, paying special homage grandmother! Pick a destination, Candace has probably been there; building relationships with people in each place was a treasured take away from her time abroad. 

In this episode we're discussing study abroad, teaching abroad, serving as an au pair, and taking a radical sabbatical. Even more important is our discussion on wellness and intentional reflection. 

Enjoy...a Series of YES

You've Been STAMPED!

Feb 01, 202251:57
Study Abroad: The Basics
Sep 08, 202105:19
A Conversation from the Field w/Tyvi Small

A Conversation from the Field w/Tyvi Small

STAMPED is pleased to welcome Tyvi Small, Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Engagement at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. 

Our interview starts with Tyvi's early travel experiences as well as his introduction to the world of study abroad! He recounted that while in undergrad he was very engaged in various campus programs, but the one thing he didn't do was study abroad. Now, a higher education professional, Tyvi works diligently to provide international opportunities for all students. 

During this episode we discuss study abroad as one of AAC&U's High Impact Practices and what that means for students of color. Through the sharing of stories, Tyvi reminds us that we must be intentional about our work to diversify study abroad as it relates to participants and employees. He also shares information about the UT Success Academy, a program designed to maximize the transition to college for Black and Latinx male students. 

This epsiode is full of great tips; we hope you enjoy "A Conversation from the Field with Tyvi Small". 

To learn more about Tyvi or UT, visit Diversity and Engagement

Follow the STAMPED fun on Instagram or Linkedin.

Until next time...You've Been STAMPED! 

May 18, 202139:29
It’s Worth It! Study Abroad, Yoga and Life After (Kidney) Transplant with Phelicia Price

It’s Worth It! Study Abroad, Yoga and Life After (Kidney) Transplant with Phelicia Price

It is my pleasure to welcome Phelicia Price to STAMPED! I love when the experiences of friends and family align with the mission of STAMPED. Phelicia has been a dear friend of mine for roughly 20 years, so it was only natural that I wanted to share her story on STAMPED.

While obtaining a second bachelor’s degree, she did something rare…she read her email (lol). On that particularly day she found exiting news, an email about a study abroad program to Italy offered by the communication’s department at East Carolina University. She shared the opportunity with her parents and with their assistance she was off! Spending the summer in Italy really increased her love for travel and quickened the desire to travel internationally.

During our conversation about her study abroad experience, Phelicia talks candidly about taking in aspects of each location and really becoming a part of the way of life in each community. We also touch on intersections between race, gender and age and how that impacted her experience as well.

Since her college days, Phelicia has continued to explore new places and has even incorporated them into her life as a yoga teacher. In fact, she earned one of her certifications in Costa Rica! Check out her IG for the amazing photos.

Lastly, this episode is also extra special, today is her 5-year kidney transplant anniversary! Learn more about life after transplant and how working with the National Kidney Foundation has enabled her to travel and rep the USA at the same time!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Phelicia.

Until next time…You’ve Been STAMPED!


Connect with Phelicia on Instagram 

Learn more about her life after transplant at Syndei the Kidney

For more inforamtion on her virtual platform, visit

Connect with STAMPED at TravelGeneLLC

May 05, 202140:41
A Conversation from the Field w/Dr. Devin Walker

A Conversation from the Field w/Dr. Devin Walker

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Devin Walker, Director of Global Leadership and Social Impact at the University of Texas at Austin. Devin is also the CEO and founder of The World Walker Foundation, a 501(c) (3), which provides educational and financial resources to help students of the African diaspora participate in service-learning trips to the African diaspora.

Early travel experiences facilitated by his parents spurred his interest in people and places. He says with each trip his confidence grew as a result of the exposure he gained a new outlook on the world. During this episode, Dr. Walker takes us on a journey not only through his multiple study abroad experiences, but through his self-reflective process as well. You’re in for a treat!

We also discuss Dr. Walker’s research on Black male division 1 student athletes. A personal experience led to his dissertation that examined the intersection of race, sports, and education among this unique group of students. He says their study abroad experiences offered an opportunity for students to examine their identities from a lens that is separate from their athletic affiliations in their home country.

Lastly, he shares some tips for creating inclusive study abroad programs!

  • Relationships are important!
  • Telling students why they need to study abroad and then get to the how!
  • When creating programs, think outside of the box when promoting study abroad especially as it relates to students with limited or no experience with travel.
  • Be flexible and open to responding to students’ needs.

Stay in touch with Dr. Walker:




Check out his recent article for Diverse Issues: Black Students Must Experience Black Life Outside the U.S.

You've Been STAMPED!

Apr 27, 202101:00:10
A Conversation from the Field w/Malaika Serrano

A Conversation from the Field w/Malaika Serrano

This was an exciting first for STAMPED; this episode was done live! 

As a part of ISA by Worldstrides February 2021 Live Expo, we had the opportunity to interview Malaika Serrano, VP of Diversity and Inclusion. Malaika is a powerhouse in the industry and someone I look up to in the field. 

For nearly 20 years, Malaika has led diversity and inclusion initiatives in academic, non-profit and private sector spaces. In her current position as the VP for diversity and inclusion at WorldStrides, she works closely with Senior Leadership to define vision and strategy. This includes a number of education and organizational initiatives designed to foster a community of inclusion and a diverse workforce. During Malaika's tenure at the University of Maryland, she created and taught several international service-learning and social justice courses. Students were invited to examine their social identities in both domestic and international contexts, as well as challenge assumptions around race, class, ability, and gender. 

We hope you enjoy "A conversation from the field with Malaika Serrano". 

Follow the Fun on Instagram and LinkedIn 

Mar 02, 202145:54
Facing Fears: The Decison to Move Abroad Part II (Kenny Taylor)
Feb 16, 202144:46
Facing Fear: The Decision to Move Abroad with Kenny Taylor

Facing Fear: The Decision to Move Abroad with Kenny Taylor

You may remember our guest Kenneth (Kenny) Taylor from our episode "Quarantine Conversations". As we shared last year, we had such a good time catching up, we ended up on the phone for 3 hours!! Our chat was too good not to share, so we're offering it in small doses throughout the month of February. 

Kenny's story brings a new set of identities to our STAMPED stories. This episode, "Facing Fear" is an open and honest conversation about life as a Black gay man and how these identities played into his decision to move abroad. Two of Kenny's mottos are "live your most authentic life" and  "fear is meant to be a warning not a wall". In this first half of Kenny's story we learn about his early travel experiences, the importance of education and exposure, and what led him to ponder moving abroad. 

We hope you enjoy "Facing Fear: The Decision to Move Abroad". 

If you want to hear more from Kenny, check out his podcast Mama K's Adventures in China

Be sure to favorite us on anchor so you never miss an episode! 

Until next've been stamped!

Feb 02, 202131:33
Quiet Confidence: Teaching and Dancing Abroad with Henrietta Akindele

Quiet Confidence: Teaching and Dancing Abroad with Henrietta Akindele

I met Henrietta (Henrie) while teaching in China nearly five years ago and I'm so delighted we've remained in contact. She has a lovely spirit and it definetly shines through on this episode. 

Henrie's  experiences working in a bank highlighted the language barriers that existed between employees and foreign visitors. Recognizing this gap in service led her to research teaching English abroad. Initial findings related to being Black in China deterred her, but years later she revisited the idea and followed through...a decision that would lead her to teaching English in Shenzhen, China. 

During the interview we discuss the application and training process related to teaching English as a Second Language as well as her transition to life in China. Yes we cover the well documented experiences of having your photo taken or being stared at, but we also discuss the interesting facets of identity abroad. 

While in China, Henrie didn't just stick to teaching, she also found a way to continue one her! Check out her moves on  IG or her new YouTube channel. 

She reflects on how all of these experiences shaped her into the person she is today and is sharing them with us in her book Quiet Confidence

We hope you enjoy "Quiet Confidence: Teaching and Dancing Abroad with Henrietta Akindele"


Phrases you may here on this epsiode

Wǒ shì yīngguó rén (I am English)

Wǒ shì měiguó rén (I am American)

Shénme (What?)


This episode was brought to you by Green Leopard Sports!

Follow the fun on Instagram

Jan 19, 202128:44
Sports Abroad: A Conversation with Courtney Tucker, Founder of Green Leopard Sports

Sports Abroad: A Conversation with Courtney Tucker, Founder of Green Leopard Sports

Our first guest of 2021, Courtney Tucker, brings us a unique twist on travel and sports and how these efforts combined led to a budding new business!

Courtney began playing fastpitch around age 10. Family vacations soon merged into travel associated with softball tournaments! Participating in travel softball teams led to opportunities to play the sport she loved while seeing other parts of the U.S.

In this episode we talk about balancing athletics and academics and the importance of building a relationship with faculty to ensure smooth transitions during the seasons. We also discuss her international travel opportunities to play sports. Courtney traveled abroad for softball…twice! Her first trip took her to Germany, Amsterdam, and Holland and in 2008, she traveled to France, Amsterdam, and Holland. Playing against teams from Puerto Rico and Switzerland was cool, but seeing the Louvre ranked as a top tourist experience for her!

She got her start in collegiate coaching through s a graduate assistantship. Her experiences coaching opened her eyes to gaps that existed in the game of softball. This led to the creation of her new business Green Leopard Sports (GLS), a softball development company. GLS currently provides one-on-one lessons for softball players at all levels. Recognizing mental toughness as a need, her company differentiates itself by focusing on the mental aspects of the game in addition to fundamental skills needed to be an all-around player.

In an effort to diversity in softball, Courtney is building a nonprofit, Diamond Life, which seeks to help underrepresented female youth in the sport of softball.

A new addition to her business is her activewear line which can be found at or on IG at @GreenLeopardSports. Trust me, you’re going to want one of these beanies; they are so cute!

We hope you enjoy “Sports Abroad”.

Jan 05, 202134:24
The Pitch!

The Pitch!

Hello and happy first day of September! 

If you've been following our journey you know that we had the opportunity to pitch STAMPED at the Diversity Abroad conference. Even better than pitching was actually winning 3rd place! For those who weren't able to attend, I thought it would be fun to share my pitch with you. In this version I took the liberty of explaining things in a little more detail but overall this is the pitch! Again it was such an honor to present at the Diversity Abroad Innovation Competition. Thank you to Andrew Gordan and the DA staff as well as CAPA who sponsored the competition. I also need to shout out my dad, sister, and friends for listening and kindly critiquing my pitch!


Follow us on IG at Travel Gene LLC to see teasers for our first professional development!

Sep 01, 202010:33
From Study Abroad Student to Program Leader (Alieshia)
Aug 04, 202025:39
Travel Gene LLC has an Announcement!
Jul 21, 202006:43
STAMPED Conversations: Tyler Janeé Shares how Students can use this Time to Research, Plan, and Prepare for Study Abroad

STAMPED Conversations: Tyler Janeé Shares how Students can use this Time to Research, Plan, and Prepare for Study Abroad

Sometimes I’m still amazed at the connections you can make via social media, which is exactly how I became acquainted with our new guest, Tyler Janeé. Her early travel experiences started with family RV trips. A trip to Jamaica sparked her interest in international travel and for years she's been making it happen by any means necessary!

In high school, a study abroad advisor visited her class to talk about collegiate study abroad opportunities (how cool)! From that point on, she knew study abroad was something she wanted to do. Once enrolled at Clark Atlanta University, she made her way to the study abroad office. After weighing her options, she decided on a program in Costa Rica! The program representative for International Studies Abroad assisted her with the enrollment, choosing a home stay family, and so much more.

Prior to traveling abroad, she began researching online. Although there weren’t many resources at the time, she (fortunately) found Oneika Raymond’s blog Oneika the Traveler!  Resources like her blog are extremely useful for Black students studying abroad; we both agreed that while this perspective has grown, there's so much more to be done especially as it relates to the study abroad sector. 

During the interview we discuss her in country adventures, managing reverse culture shock, teaching abroad and how these experience led to the creation of the Turbulence Podcast and her new nonprofit Study Elsewhere.  

Keep up with Tyler Janeé on Instagram @TylerJanee or on Tik Tok at TylerJanee_

Enjoy...You've Been STAMPED!


Stay Connected 

Blog: STAMPED by Travel Gene 

IG: @TravelGeneLLC

FB: STAMPED by Travel Gene

Twitter: STAMPED by Travel Gene 

Jul 07, 202032:32
A Chat from the Field with Jordyn

A Chat from the Field with Jordyn

Our latest interview took place in May with Jordyn, a Hampton University graduate. While at Hampton he studied business management and leadership.

We recorded this interview in May, and initially it was slated for release in late August for our Fall 2020 season but our discussion on COVID-19 and the development virtual exchange seemed so timely that we decided to release it early. What we didn’t know was just how timely the other parts of our conversations would be. As the country continues to grapple with the recent deaths of African Americans due to systemic racism; protests, apologies, and requests for educational resources on anti-racism have seemingly filled every bit of media we consume. The sentiments shared in this episode highlight the importance of exchange and how it can be used to break down stereotypes, especially the narratives of African American/African American males. Gaining insights into the lives of others are critically important parts of the conversation that should continue in the US and around the globe.

In this episode, Jordyn walks us through his own developmental process of understanding study abroad as a vital part of his future success. He talks candidly about the importance of intercultural competence for all travelers and gives us a peek into how he's been using his passion to highlight experiences like Fulbright to other HBCU students. 

Episode Resources

NAFSA is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education.

Fulbright offers international research, study, and teaching experiences to recent graduates and graduate students. 

HBCUs: Historically Black Colleges and Universities 


Stay Connected

Blog: STAMPED by Travel Gene

IG: @TravelGeneLLC

Facebook: Stamped by Travel Gene

Twitter: @stampedbytrave1

Jun 09, 202033:05
A Chat from the Field with Noelle
May 26, 202048:50
Cautiously Hopeful: Insights on one student's dream to study abroad Fall 2020 (Mariam)

Cautiously Hopeful: Insights on one student's dream to study abroad Fall 2020 (Mariam)

I had the pleasure of interviewing a rising junior named Mariam who had her sights set on studying abroad in South Korea during the fall 2020 semester. With the continued impacts of COVID-19, Mariam's not sure her dream of studying abroad will happen, but she, like many other college students, remain excited and hopeful. 

In this episode Mariam shares her reasons for wanting to study abroad as well as her thoughts about traveling after COVID.  

Enjoy her story at 


Follow the Fun...

IG: @TravelGeneLLC

Facebook: STAMPED by Travel Gene

May 12, 202017:28
 STAMPED Conversations with Travel Blogger and Founder of PacksLight, Gabby Beckford

STAMPED Conversations with Travel Blogger and Founder of PacksLight, Gabby Beckford

Gabby Beckford is a well known travel blogger and founder of the brand Packs Light. Through her travel and lifestyle blog, she encourages members of Gen Z to seize opportunities and see the world! Gabby has earned over $69,000 in funding, $40,000 of which was dedicated to studying abroad which has allowed her to see the world both during and after college. Her weekly opps are a huge hit and have led to her followers winning funded travel opportunities to places like Russia and Azerbaijan! 

Gabby and Packs Light have been featured in Essence, Bustle, and Lonely Planet. She was even a TEDxMount Penn speaker. Check out her talk here

Join us as we explore:

  • Gabby's scholarship tips that led to her earning more than $40,000 in scholarships and sponsored travel 
  • Funding travel after college
  • Her thoughts on travel after COVID-19


Show mentions...

United in Travel

Stay Connected w/Gabby

IG: @packslight


Stay Connected w/STAMPED - click the favorite button and never miss an episode!

IG: @TravelGeneLLC

Apr 28, 202033:11
Quarantine Conversations: Kenny Taylor describes life quarantined in China

Quarantine Conversations: Kenny Taylor describes life quarantined in China

I had the pleasure of interviewing a dear friend, Mr. Kenneth A. Taylor, Jr. As evidence in our 3 hour conversation, he and I had a LOT of catching up to do. 

Kenny (as he's commonly known) has been living in China for almost four years (at the time of this interview). During our conversation, we discussed topics ranging from the decision to move to China, his podcast-- Mama K's Adventures in China, and  starting a business abroad, however this particular episode will focus on his experiences being in China when COVID-19 was first discovered, traveling to America and back to China, and finally his experience in quarantine. 

During the conversation, you may hear a couple phrases that aren't familiar, for context definitions have been added below:

Yuan- a term used to refer to currency in China. 

wàiguó rén- the literal translation is "person of a foreign country". It is often a term used to describe a foreigner. 

lǎowài-another term used for "foreigner"

At times, both wàiguó rén and  lǎowài carry negative connotations, which was the case in this scenario. 


Leave us your comments on "Quarantine Conversations" @TravelGeneLLC on IG. 

Apr 21, 202031:28
Let's Catch Up: A Personal Update on International Education and COVID-19

Let's Catch Up: A Personal Update on International Education and COVID-19

My oh my it's been a while, but I promise there's good reason for it!

This bonus clip is a special note to all our fans to update you on STAMPED...where I've been and what's to come!

Apr 14, 202002:49
The Journey to Fulbright (Casey)
Feb 18, 202031:23
Reflecting on El Camino de Santiago Study Abroad Program (Qadira)

Reflecting on El Camino de Santiago Study Abroad Program (Qadira)

Phenomenal and peaceful...that's how Qadira described her second collegiate study abroad experience to El Camino de Santiago. Known as one of the most popular pilgrimages in the world, the original route was to the remains of St. James. Today it is estimated that thousands take the journey annually, both as a physical challenge and a spiritual journey. 

This bonus episode is an excellent example of the reflective practices that can take place through study abroad. 

Feb 04, 202010:51
It Takes a Village: Study Abroad fundraising and scholarship opportunities with Qadira.
Jan 21, 202032:04
Happy New Year (Season 2)

Happy New Year (Season 2)


Thank you to everyone who supported the STAMPED podcast since it's debut, November 2019 during International Education Week. 

I can't thank you enough for your support! 

I'm excited to continue sharing study abroad stories as well as stories from industry professionals and travelers like you whose experiences have proved to be meaningful in their lives today. 

Favorite STAMPED on so you'll never miss an episode. 

Follow the fun

IG: @TravelGeneLLC 

Facebook: @STAMPEDbyTravelGene


Jan 08, 202002:20
4: God's Plan (JaNell Chavis)
Dec 24, 201925:28
3: Refrigerator Goals (Shayla Spruill)

3: Refrigerator Goals (Shayla Spruill)

In this episode, we welcomed STAMPED guest, Shayla Spruill who had her mind set on studying abroad in Japan since the 6th grade. She was so sure about this decision that she wrote out her goal and stuck it to her refrigerator for the entire family to see! Her junior year of college, that refrigerator goal became a reality when she applied and was accepted to become an exchange student at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. 

She made it a point to apply for funding to support her study abroad experience. Between her mom’s list of scholarship options (thanks mom) and her tenacity to push through every application (including the essays) she earned 3 major awards to support her time abroad.

The first was a scholarship specific to her  university which focused on academic coursework in art, history, and culture. The second scholarship she won was the Gilman Scholarship (including the Critical Language Scholarship) . This funding enabled her to stay an extra semester which would prove to have an impact on her culminating academic requirements once back home! Lastly she won the Freeman-Asia Scholarship  which is designed for students with a demonstrated financial need and who are studying in East or Southeast Asia.

Shayla encourages any student interested in studying abroad to seek information first and then make it happen!


Tune in on 

Never miss a new episode of STAMPED. Go to to get on the mailing list or follow us on IG @TravelGeneLLC. 

Share these stories by using #STAMPEDPodcast

For now...You've Been STAMPED!

Dec 10, 201926:45
2: All my Friends are Studying Abroad (Chelse Walker and Krystyna Williams)

2: All my Friends are Studying Abroad (Chelse Walker and Krystyna Williams)

Meet two friends, Chelse and Krystyna who are study abroad returners! Chelse spent a semester in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University while Krystyna spent the fall semester at Sungshin Women's University (South Korea) and the spring at Soka University in Japan. Their lively retelling of their time abroad awaits! 

Resources mentioned in this episode (this is not an affiliate)

Language resource mentioned in this podcast were the Youtube channel: "Talk to me in Korean".

Nov 26, 201931:43
1: Introducing STAMPED!

1: Introducing STAMPED!

Breaking down the barriers to make travel accessible, safe, and equitable are key considerations for many stakeholders around the globe. A common questions I get is "why aren't more Black people traveling or studying abroad?" Well they are, but it hasn't been on display in a meaningful way...until now.
STAMPED is your go to podcast for stories of study abroad and transformative travel of people of color.
If you're a student interested in studying abroad and want to hear the experiences of others, this podcast is most certainly for you!
International educators, we haven't left you out; we invite you to listen in too and of course share these episodes with your students.
Nov 19, 201901:28