Our IFR Staff

Mary Lou Forward
Mary Lou ForwardExecutive Director
Mary Lou Forward leads the organization as the Executive Director of IFR. She is very excited to support and promote field based learning and research to improve our understanding of cultural heritage and environmental resources around the world. Prior to joining IFR, she served as the Executive Director of the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning, connecting faculty and students with peers around the world for project-based online collaborations. She was previously the Executive Director of the Open Education Consortium, dedicated to the development of open education and its impact on global higher education. Mary Lou served as the Dean of African Studies for SIT Study Abroad, working with institutions across Africa for nearly two decades. She was a faculty member in African Studies with a focus on Environmental Studies and Sustainability.
Angela Susak
Angela SusakDirector of Operations
Angela Susak earned her PhD in Egyptian archaeology from the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation research was a multi-disciplinary study of Roman glass from Karanis, Egypt, which combined archaeological and chemical compositional data, ethnoarchaeology, and historical insights to assess how objects were valued in the ancient world. She has over ten years of experience working on numerous archaeological projects in Egypt and in North America. She also conducted ethnoarchaeological studies in Egypt and in the United Kingdom. With an undergraduate joint degree in psychology and anthropology, she has a deeply rooted interest in human behavior, both past and present. She strongly believes that anthropological and archaeological research can inform present conditions worldwide and that field research is an invaluable experience one may apply to a vast range of disciplines. Angela strives to help carry out IFR’s mission to provide transformative programs and to promote equity, diversity and accessibility in field school education.
Monica Scovell
Monica ScovellDirector of Enrollment
As the Director of Enrollment, Monica Scovell is passionate about supporting students as they pursue transformative experiences that combine high-impact learning, problem-solving, and practical skills. Her former roles in the field of International Education include the Director of Global Experiential Learning at Elon University and the Assistant Director of Study Abroad & Exchanges at UNC-Greensboro. She has previously led multiple groups of students abroad and spent 12-years teaching language, culture, and literature both in the US and overseas.

In her free time, she’s an avid DIY’er and gardener with a growing interest in native plants and creating urban wildlife habitats.

Dr. Kurt Eifling
Dr. Kurt EiflingMedical Director
Kurt Eifling, MD, FAWM is a practicing emergency physician with residency training in Emergency Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and fellowship training in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine at University of Colorado Medical Center. He currently lives and practices medicine in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, where he serves on the faculty of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Northwest Campus. He has been active in the Wilderness Medical Society since 2011, helping to establish and update national practice guidelines for heat illness and for the immediate and long-term psychological impacts of emotionally stressful experiences in wilderness settings. Through a series of deployments, he has spent over two years providing medical care in field camp settings including active conflict zones in Afghanistan, Greenland’s Summit Station with the National Science Foundation, shipboard medicine, and mass gatherings in jungles and deserts. His own research and publications focus on wellness in field camp settings.