Andrea Hodgman Named Alumni Association Travel Program LLC Director
Andrea Hodgman will begin her tenure as the NIU Foundation's new Director of Alumni Travel on June 1.
Whether she’s standing eye-to-eye with a charming street vendor in Cairo or finds herself nose-to-nose with a baby sea lion in the Galapagos, Andrea Hodgman creates joy in every moment and prides herself in her ability to help others do the same.
On June 1, Hodgman will help NIU travelers find joy in their adventures as the seasoned international travel professional joins the Alumni Association Travel Program LLC as its new Director.
Hodgman says her passion for travel started in the ninth grade on a trip to Mexico with the Spanish Club.
“I remember everything about that trip,” she says. “It was the first time I'd been on a plane, first time I'd packed a suitcase. I got to speak Spanish and bargain for things in the market, to meet people from a culture we'd been studying for a year. I've been hungry for travel ever since.”
That hunger for travel led to a successful career. Hodgman comes to NIU with a wealth of experience from the University of Chicago where she served as Senior Associate Director of Intellectual Engagement and Travel. Over the years, she has led a wide variety of trips from luxe Baltic cruises to Silk Roads expeditions.
There is nothing more important to Hodgman than experiencing the world, and she has a special appreciation for group travel.
“There is really no way to describe the joy I feel watching someone experience something they’ve been waiting their whole life to see,” she says. “It’s also nice to experience these once-in-a-lifetime moments with a group of people you have something in common with. There’s an added level of comfort and community.”
Becoming part of the Huskie community is something Hodgman is excited to do.
“I can’t wait to get to know the travelers at NIU. We will host lunches, dinners, and send some formal surveys,” she says. “But it’s also important to me to hop on the phone, learn about travelers’ families and pets, what they care about, and what adventures they want to take.”
As an educator, Hodgman has a natural curiosity and loves learning new languages.
“Everywhere I visit, I want to learn a little of the language and speak it as best as I can,” she says.
Hodgman taught English in Poland, is a novelist, and has spent time in Costa Rica studying Spanish, yoga, and photography. Other interests include her boyfriend, Bobby, their nephews, and their family mascot, a spunky Husky named Evo.
“I feel fortunate to be the person who will build on NIU’s extraordinary travel program. I’m proud to become a Huskie and adventure with this group. The world awaits us, and I look forward to the experiences we’ll create together.”