College of International Studies
GRD, OU in Arezzo
My name is Kinlee Allen and I am the new Graduate Resident Director here at the Rooney Family Center. I would love to introduce myself and share a little bit more about myself as well as what I do from day to day. Some fun facts: I love plants, fashion, traveling, reading, and talking with friends.
I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and found my love for traveling and learning other languages at an early age. I was fortunate enough to attend an international school where I started learning Spanish in kindergarten and when I was in 5th grade, I had my first study abroad experience. I spent three months in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and fell head over heels with not only the culture, but traveling in general. I knew from the moment I got back, I had to do whatever it took to study abroad again.
Former Center Coordinator
from 2016 to 2021
Leanna was a trailblazer for OUA in many ways. As OUA's first Graduate Resident Director in 2011 and the first Center Coordinator at OUA's Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center since its doors opened in 2016, Leanna has poured her expertise, creativity and energy into everything she's done.
OUA students have appreciated her willingness to help out in any situation, to be a listening ear at any hour of the day/night and for her sense of empathy and optimism when helping people work through the challenges that living abroad can bring. In addition to her roles as Center Coordinator, Leanna managed and supervised student workers and the OUA Media Interns.
Leanna also single-handedly created a strong social media presence for OUA, its students and the town of Arezzo. She's has played a huge role in making OU in Arezzo an awesome International Study Center for the university.
We wish her well in her new endeavors and adventures!! All her OUA colleagues, her friends in Arezzo,... and even the random people she's met while walking Beau & Betsi around town will miss seeing Leanna and her brilliant smile and infectious laugh.
Thanks a million, Leanna - Grazie mille! Arrivederci! We will miss you!!
OUA 2018 Graduate Resident Director, Nela Mrchkovska, started her undergraduate journey at UCO where she got a degree in Finance. She then went to OU for her graduate program in Global Economics and Development. She is currently finishing her Ph.D at the University of Washington. Nela’s job in 2018 was to ensure the safety and well-being of our students but her favorite part of her time at OUA was “getting to know and welcome students to Arezzo!”
GRD, OU in Arezzo
In addition to Nela, other past OUA Graduate Resident Directors are: Leanna Payton, Kaydee Dyer, Bridgitte Castorino, Wade Hensley, Colin Dunham, Vanessa Trackman, and Kala Sellers. GRD's have always been dedicated to student’s personal and academic success while abroad. They work hard to offer opportunities to get involved with the local community and to embrace the new experiences students will have during their semester abroad.