The Global Citizen Forum brings together educators, students, policy makers and citizens from around the world for a discussion on equity and inclusion in higher education.
Chief Diversity Officer, Dickinson College
Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D. is the Founder and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to enhancing the development of organizations through leadership, professional development, assessment, and strategic change. In addition, he currently serves as interim Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Director of Equity and Inclusivity at Dickinson College and is a member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Education. Dr. Ahmed’s approach is grounded in social justice and commitment to community. He is the host of “The Eclectic Inclusion Podcast”, and has been featured in media such as MSNBC, documentary film, and other press outlets. He also has keynoted prominent conferences including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Higher Education, the Global Engagement in the Liberal Arts Conference, and the Society for Intercultural Education (SIETAR) Conference.
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Drake University
Dr. Rachel Allen-McHugh has over 20 years of experience serving children, caregivers, and community members in a variety of practice settings. Dr. McHugh’s primary area of clinical expertise is with pediatric clients. Her work as an Occupational Therapist both in Europe and the United States has enabled her to develop a unique perspective of therapeutic use of self and building relationships within diverse communities. She is a registered yoga teacher, meditation facilitator and certified educator of infant massage. Dr. McHugh’s current interests as a Drake University Assistant Professor for the Occupational Therapy program include health and wellness, pediatrics, advocacy, and community engagement.
MED Candidate, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Ms Innocentia Alexander is an MED Candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Assistant Vice President/Title VI Coordinator, Providence College
Quincy A. Bevely, M.S.Ed., is the assistant vice president/title vi coordinator at Providence College (PC). Quincy teaches courses in Global Studies and the Department of Western Civilization. Before PC, Quincy worked at Kansas State University.
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Religion, Buena Vista University
Swasti Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., RN is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Religion at Buena Vista University. She is an applied ethicist who combines her experience as a Registered Nurse with her expertise in religious studies to examine ethical issues from multiple religious perspectives.
Funds Management Coordinator, Iowa State University
Ph.D student, Drake University
Kayli Burnside received her B.A. in Business Administration and Financial Services at AIB College of Business and her M.Ed. in Leadership Development and Higher Education from Drake University. She is currently a doctoral student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program at Drake University. Her research interests focus on study abroad and intercultural development in higher education.
Drake Occupational Therapy Doctorate Student
Branden Christensen is a second-year occupational therapy student in the Drake Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program. He has strong interests in pediatrics and neurorehabilitation. He is a certified brain injury specialist and is certified in LSVT BIG and LSVT Big for Life. Branden has worked with children with varying healthcare needs for the past 6 years. He obtained his bachelor's degree in health sciences from Drake University in 2019. Branden has presented on a method of occupational engagement to help decrease worry and improve mental health at both the American Occupational Therapy Association student conclave in Chicago, IL as well as via a virtual conference series held by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Assistant Dean of Global Education and Adjunct Faculty, Providence College
Grace Cleary, MA, is Assistant Dean of Global Education and adjunct faculty in the Global Education and TESOL Master’s program at Providence College. She has held leadership positions with NAFSA and is completing the Professional Certification program with the Forum on Education Abroad.
Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation, New York University
Lisa Coleman, Ph.D, is New York University’s (NYU) inaugural senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation, and the University’s chief diversity officer. Prior to joining the NYU community, Dr. Coleman served as Harvard University’s first special assistant to the president and its first chief diversity officer. During her tenure there, she and her team developed some of the first initiatives focused on the intersections of technology and disability. Before her time at Harvard, she directed the Africana program at Tufts University and was later appointed as that institution’s first senior GID executive, reporting to the president. Dr. Coleman earned her doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies from NYU and three master’s degrees from the Ohio State University in African and African American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Communication Studies.
Service Coordinator for Equity and Inclusion / AmeriCorps Member, Drake University
Jazlin (She/Her/Hers) spent most of her undergraduate career at Drake University discovering ways to encourage college students to interact with community members in the Drake Neighborhood. In 2017, she served as a Service-Learning Ambassador creating a College Positive Volunteer program, where she promoted confidence and enthusiasm toward going to college for local youth, especially underrepresented students, by providing support and information about college preparation, paying for college, financial resources, and a mentoring relationship with Drake students. Jazlin also aided in Drake maintaining a strong relationship with the ByDegrees Foundation and the Des Moines public K-12th schools. She received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from Drake, along with a minor in psychology and a concentration in Leadership.
Jazlin serves in the Office of Community Engaged Learning at Drake as a full-time AmeriCorps member focusing on equity and inclusion research and initiatives.
International Student Services Coordinator and Inclusion and Intercultural Engagement Advisor, The College of Idaho
Adán De La Paz is the International Student Services Coordinator and Inclusion & Intercultural Engagement Advisor at The College of Idaho. He earned his master’s degree in education and is a certified international educator with eight years of experience living and working abroad. During his five years at the College, record growth has resulted in both underrepresented domestic and international students reaching over 40% of the overall population and hailing from more than 90 countries. Furthermore, he co-leads all programming to advance underrepresented domestic and international student engagement and advocacy, serves as a task force member for campus Inclusive Excellence Initiatives, assisted in the restructure of the institution’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion, and is a founding member of the College’s Representation, Inclusion, and Equity (RIE) Alliance. In 2020, he was selected as a recipient of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators RISE Fellowship conducting investigations and developing resources related to the intersection between interculturality and DEI.
Maxwell Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Drake University
Debra DeLaet is the Maxwell Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at Drake University. Her scholarship focuses on human rights, global health, global gender issues, and global migration. She is interested in building capacity in civil society to translate global norms into concrete human rights practices within communities.
University of Delaware Exercise Science B.S.
Drexel University Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling, MA Candidate 2021
Rachel Mariah DeLauder is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware, with a B.S. Degree with Distinction in Exercise Science, double minors in Theatre Performance and Dance. Ms. DeLauder has been a part of Sharing Our Legacy (SOL), serving as co-rehearsal director and research scholar artist since 2017. Ms. DeLauder attends Drexel University Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling MA program and will enter Trinity Laban Dance Conservatoire (MSC) in Fall 2022. She serves on the College of Nursing Health Profession’s (CNHP) Board for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Additionally, Ms. DeLauder recently studied abroad in London in the Shakespeare Globe Acting Programme. Ms. DeLauder aspires to receive a doctorate in physical therapy and PHD in performance studies, and also seeks to continue a career as a performer and artistic director of productions. Ms. DeLauder conducted a senior thesis, entitled, “Dance and Posture: The Effects of the Alexander Technique on Alignment”, and published in Undergraduate Research in Dance: A Guide for Students, under the direction of Dr. Lynnette Overby. DeLauder has presented Why Can’t Peace Be Still?: The Legacy Continues at NYU’s Performing the Archive Black Portraiture[s], NDEO Conference and DaCi Conference in Adelaide, Australia.
Lecturer in Law and Human Rights, University of Iowa
Brian Farrell is a Lecturer in Law and Human Rights at the University of Iowa where he serves as Associate Director of the Center for Human Rights. He teaches international law, criminal law, and human rights courses. He is the director of the Citizen Lawyer Program and was a co-founder of the Innocent Project of Iowa.
Associate Vice President for Global Engagement & Inclusive Leadership at NYU’s Office of Global Inclusion
Monroe France serves as NYU’s associate vice president for global engagement and inclusive leadership. In this role, he is responsible for enhancing inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity opportunities and resources for NYU community members—including students, researchers, faculty, staff, and administrators—throughout the University’s global network. Prior to this position, Monroe was the associate vice president for student affairs and diversity initiatives at NYU. He has more than two decades of global experience as an educator, strategist, consultant, trainer, and presenter in the areas of inclusive and innovative leadership, transformation, and human rights. He is an adjunct professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Communication’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program. Monroe is honored to have received a number of awards for his work, including NYU’s 2012 Distinguished Administrator of the Year Award; the Student Affairs Administrators’ (NASPA) Diversity Achievement Award; and the 2018 The Ohio State University’s Maude A. Stewart Award for exceptional leadership, service, and innovation in higher education and student affairs.
Founder & Facilitator, FACTUALITY
Natalie is the creator of FACTUALITY, a facilitated dialogue, crash course, and interactive experience, that simulates structural inequality in America. FACTUALITY has supported the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at NBC, Google, Bloomberg, the American Heart Association, Princeton, Yale, and The University of Arizona, where author and civil rights activist, bell hooks participated.
FACTUALITY has reached over 30,000 participants and was featured in Amazon Best Seller | The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table and Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore issue. Factuality is listed in the Kellogg Foundation's Racial and Equity Resource Guide and became an ice cream flavor through a partnership with social justice ice cream brand, Taharka Brothers.
Director of Study Abroad, Wesleyan University
Emily Gorlewski, Ed.D., is the Director, Study Abroad in the Fries Center for Global Studies at Wesleyan University. She has been working in the field of international education for 15 years. The study included in this panel is her doctoral dissertation.
Lecturer, University of Prishtina
Dr. Linda Gusia is a feminist activist and a lecturer at the departments of Sociology at the University of Prishtina. Her research has focused on topics of gender, nationalism, activism, representation and public space, memory, dealing with the past and war, and environment. She has interrogated ambiguities of nationalism and gender by looking both at the women's movement in Kosovo and sexual violence as a strategy of war centering on the politics of gender representation visually and textually. She holds a PhD from University of Prishtina (2016) and MA from NYU (2003). She co-founded the University Program for Gender Studies and Research, UP.
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Drake University
Anisa Hansen, PharmD is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Anisa serves the university as an Equity Action Partner and has played an active role in two campus climate surveys. She has a passion to educate learners on topics in the areas of mental health, LGBTQ health, wellness, and equity and inclusion. Anisa is the mental health clinical pharmacist for Iowa Lutheran Hospital where she provides clinical service, educates sixth-year pharmacy students, and provides medication education groups in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. Dr. Hansen graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 2002
Chief Education Officer (CEO), Synergistic Transformations
Terrence Harewood, Ph.D., currently teaches undergraduate courses in multicultural education and social foundations at the University of Indianapolis, where he is primarily assigned to teach undergraduate, master’s level, and principal preparation candidates. His primary role is in the preparation of interculturally competent preservice teachers and school leaders. In addition, he serves as a site team leader on external audits of various Mayor of Indianapolis Charter Schools, where he brings a cultural competency focus to the Charter School audits. Dr. Harewood is the recipient of the coveted University of Indianapolis 2011 Teacher of the Year Award. More recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2018 IDI Intercultural Competence Award, for outstanding contributions to student and educator intercultural competence.
An IDI Qualified Administrator since 2006, Dr. Harewood has used the IDI to benchmark and measure the intercultural development growth for his courses over the past 13 years. He has also used the IDI in conducting extensive research in his classes and in assessing the impact of short-term study abroad courses on his campus. His primary research interest examines a link between teachers’ intercultural competence and the rates by which they refer minority students for discipline. Dr. Harewood, a native of Barbados, West Indies, has also conducted extensive professional development using the IDI-Guided Development framework with many educational institutions and districts, ranging from K-12, higher education, and Charter Schools.
Founder & Chief Intercultural Educator, True North Intercultural LLC
Tara Harvey, Ph.D., founder of True North Intercultural LLC, combines broad experience in international education with a deep understanding of intercultural teaching and learning to help faculty and staff better navigate cultural differences and facilitate intercultural learning (at home and abroad). Dr. Harvey began her career in international education, first teaching English in Spain, then working as an international student advisor at two U.S. universities with large international student populations. She later earned a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, focusing her research and studies specifically on the complex process of facilitating students’ intercultural development during an international experience.
In addition, Dr. Harvey has taught graduate and undergraduate intercultural courses at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and was Associate Faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). As Academic Director of Intercultural Learning for CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), she developed the signature course, Intercultural Communication & Leadership, now taught at study centers around the world, and trained resident staff in how to effectively and appropriately facilitate intercultural learning. An experienced Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and a Senior Facilitator of the Personal Leadership methodology, Harvey also holds a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Masters in International Relations from the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain; and a Bachelors in Communication Studies and Hispanic Studies from Northwestern University.
Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Kelley Haynes-Mendez is Associate Professor of Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (USA). She received her doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from The California School of Professional Psychology (USA). She is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in intercultural issues that arise during the practice of psychology with cross cultural populations. She has more than 18 years of teaching experience in higher education with her scholarship and teaching interests including intercultural psychology and global citizenship. She has organized faculty development programs in collaboration with The University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. Kelley was also a guest lecturer at Cornerstone Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. Kelley is currently the Vice President for Diversity and International Relations of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP).
Senior Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Dr Mlamuli Nkosingphile Hlatshwayo is a scholar in the field of Higher Education, and politics. His research interests include theorising transformation in the global South; student movements; issues around epistemological access and curricula; and the philosophy of education. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Early Career Fellow for 2020-2025. He was recently honoured as the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans for his contribution to the field of Education for 2020.
Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Advisor, State University of New Paltz
Clare Kelly-Barra, MA, is an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Advisor at the State University of New Paltz. For thirteen years she has been the EOP study abroad liaison with the campus’’ Center For International Programs.
Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, South Africa
Tawana Kupe, Ph.D, is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria since January 2019. He is the Africa Co-Chair of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) since 2019 and a Honorary Doctorate in Humanities was bestowed on him by Michigan State University in December 2019. Prior to this appointment, Professor Kupe served as the Vice-Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, responsible for the daily running of the University and the coordination of operations across all executive portfolios. Prior to this appointment, he held the rotating Vice-Principal post for one year and also served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation. Between 2013 and 2014 he was Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. He served as the Executive Dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities for six years, between January 2007 and December 2012, after serving as the Head of the then Wits School of Literature and Language Studies, and the founding Head of the Media Studies Department.
Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Law at Drake University
Erin Lain, J.D., Ph.D. serves as the Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Law at Drake University. She attended Drake University for undergrad, law school and her doctoral work. She teaches in the area of legal writing, race and the law, criminal law, social justice, and academic success. She has published a book on leadership entitled Follow the Leader, and coauthored the second edition of No One is Above the Law: The Story of Southern Iowa's Federal Court. She publishes in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion, with a focus on diversifying the legal profession. She was named as one of the 2020 Des Moines Business Record Forty under 40, and she recently received the Gertrude Rush Award for demonstrating leadership in the community and in the legal profession, as well as a concern for human and civil rights. Annually, she holds trainings and CLEs in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, diversity, and equity and inclusion.
Director of Training Initiatives, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arizona
Earl E. Lee, M.A., (they/them, he/him) is the new Director of Training Initiatives at the University of Arizona, with responsibility for the development, coordination, and presentation of campus-wide programs and training to promote inclusion and equity on campus. In their previous roles, Earl supported the academic, transitional, and integrational journey of both domestic and international students from diverse backgrounds. Raised in Jamaica, Earl taps into their cultural values to engage in collaborative, transformative projects that advocate for access and equity in higher education. Also, a doctoral student in Justice Studies at Arizona State University, Earl addresses issues of access and equity in higher education with a focus on global education, development, and cultural practices.
Assistant Professor, University of Prishtina
Ass. Prof. Nita Luci teaches at the departments of Anthropology, Sociology, and Art at the University of Prishtina. Her research and publications have focused on topics of gender and manhood, memory and contemporary art, cultural heritage, energy, ecology and the state. In 2014 she spearheaded the establishment of the University Program for Gender Studies and Research at the University of Prishtina. She has been a fellow and visiting scholar in universities in the US and Europe and has received numerous grants and fellowships. Her academic work intersects with her social engagements in gender equality and activism in post-socialist and post-colonial contexts. She is head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Prishtina.
Director, Office of Strategic Diversity Planning and Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Torsheika Maddox is Director for the Office of Strategic Diversity Planning and Research in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA). Dr. Maddox is a Social Demographer by training with a research background in discrimination and racial inequities. She is the Program Manager for DI, directs teams responsible for research, evaluation, and assessment actions, leading quality improvement activities and supporting auditing and monitoring both internally and by external organizations
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Drake University
Arturo Marquez is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Drake University. His areas of scholarly expertise include immigration, transnationalism, and transcultural psychiatry.
Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Drake University
Inbal Mazar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Drake University. Her research centers on gender, immigration, and maternal care from a transnational perspective.
Professor of Political Science, Drake University
Mary McCarthy is Professor of Political Science at Drake University where she specializes in Japan’s politics and foreign policy and Asian memory studies. She teaches courses on human trafficking and on comparative/ transnational human rights.
Assistant Dean of Students, Trinity International University
Brett Mitchell is Assistant Dean of Students at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. He is passionate about empowering voices and finding leadership pathways for the students with whom he works. Currently, he is working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education around the topic of student success and leadership development of African-American college students in small dominantly white institutions.
Clinical Professor of Higher Education at New York University & Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria, South Africa
Teboho Moja, Ph.D, is a Clinical Professor of Higher Education at New York University, an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape - South Africa, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She previously served as an Executive Director and Commissioner of the National Commission on Higher Education in South Africa (1995), appointed by President Mandela. She has published extensively on higher education policy, presented numerous keynote addresses at international conferences on higher education issues. Before coming to NYU, Teboho Moja served as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Education. Teboho Moja has served on numerous committees, advisory boards and boards of international bodies such as UNESCO and Councils of Universities in South Africa. In 2010 she was appointed visiting professor at the University of Oslo (Norway) and University of Tampere (Finland), and in 2017 she was a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Professor III, Palm Beach State College
Dr. Eliana Mukherjee has over 20 years of work experience in all aspects of education, including teaching, administration, research, planning, curriculum development and teacher training. She was the Director of the American International School of Costa Rica for two years, and she taught elementary school in the United States for five years. She has worked on research projects for the World Bank on school improvement and for Harvard University on early language and literacy development. She worked as Assistant Professor in the Peace Education M.A. program at the United Nations mandated University of Peace for six years. Additionally, she worked as a consultant for UNESCO/International Bureau of Education in developing guidelines for curriculum developers and teacher training institutions in Angola. Dr. Mukherjee earned her B.S. in Mass Communications from Emerson College and her Ed.M. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. She completed her Ph.D. at Florida Atlantic University in Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry. Dr. Mukherjee currently works as a Professor in the teacher education program at Palm Beach State College.
Assistant Professor and Director, Study Abroad, Regis University
Naomi J. Olson, Ph.D., (she/her) is Assistant Profession and Director of Student Engagement at Regis University, where she provides overall leadership for and management of the education abroad program. In her role, she advises faculty and a diverse student body about the program requirements and cultural adjustment as they plan their experience abroad. Dr. Olson holds a doctoral degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She currently teaches courses in intercultural communication and fosters student success by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence at Regis.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions, University of Northern Iowa
Yasemin Sari is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of Northern Iowa. Her work focuses on democratic political theory, especially as it relates to human rights, extra-institutional recognition, and the borders between citizen and non-citizen. Her current research takes up the global refugee crisis.
CEO of Safia, LLC
Dr. Leslie A. Saulsberry helps Visionary Women create, build, and grow their companies, careers, and cultivate expansive lives by teaching them how to shift their mindset, establish lifestyle practices, and dive deep into reflective work so they know intuitively what it feels like to live and lead in Joy!
She is a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach to senior global, academic, government, political, and executive leaders. She trains global team leaders (that manage six and seven figure budgets/projects/portfolios) in Leadership and Communication; Team-building; Accountability; Emotional Intelligence; Multiple Intelligence; Planning and Organizing (while also teaching the evidence-based benefits of leading from a place of competency, compassion, clarity, connection, awareness, purpose, and flow).
Dr. Saulsberry a CEO, Guest Expert and the creator of The Art of Whole Leadership™ Joyful Leader™ and Intuitive Joy™.
Research Associate, Pepperdine University
Sonya Sharififard currently serves as a Research Associate at the Center for Global Partnership and Learning at Pepperdine University. In her role, she facilitates higher learning workshops and advises graduate students on education-related topics, including leadership, organizational change, teaching and learning philosophy, and scholarly communications.
Sonya has co-authored: New Horizons in Positive Leadership and Change (Springer 2020) and Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment (Palgrave 2018); and has presented at major international conferences. Sonya also serves on the review panel for various associations and institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia. Sonya’s research focuses on advancing student success, workplace well-being, and law and policy in higher education.
International Career Consultant, University of Minnesota
Jane Sitter is the International Career Consultant at the University of Minnesota, serving undergraduate international students career development. She has served in this role for 3 years and while doing so created resources to educate employers about international students, hosted a dozen programs and workshops for international students' career development each academic year, and collaboratively gathered student services staff in meetings and training to improve career services for international students. Jane holds a Master of Arts in Comparative International Development Education, and is pursuing a PhD in Higher Education at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
PhD candidate in Jurisprudence & Social Policy at UC Berkeley
Abigail Stepnitz is a PhD candidate in Jurisprudence & Social Policy at UC Berkeley where she studies the asylum system. She has taught in the University of San Francisco’s MA in Migration Studies, and from fall 2021 will be an Assistant Professor of Law, Politics and Society at Drake University.
Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of English at Drake University
Jody Swilky is Ellis and Nelle Levitt distinguished professor of English at Drake University. For over a decade, he has contributed to the internationalization of Drake University’s curriculum and to strengthening our relationship with a partner institution by designing team-taught courses; facilitating workshops at a partner institution; hosting residencies across campuses; and creating multiple travel seminars.
His poetry has been published in national journals, and his theoretical essays regarding reform in writing studies and multicultural education have been published widely. He is the writer and co-producer of the award-winning documentary A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa, which has had almost 50 public screenings, been featured at state and national film festivals, been shown several times on Iowa Public Television, and could be viewed for two years on Direct TV’s Documentary Channel. He also served as head researcher and consultant for the documentary The Fort: 177 Years of Crime and Punishment at the Iowa State Penitentiary.
For his writing and film work, he has received grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Iowa, Iowa Arts Council, and the Bock Family Foundation. He is currently working on a book adaptation and expansion of A Little Salsa on the Prairie.
Executive Director, Pride and Joy Foundation
Elena Joy Thurston is an inspirational LGBTQ speaker, trainer, and founder of the nonprofit Pride and Joy Foundation - which is dedicated to reducing the rate of suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ community. A Mormon mom of four who lost her marriage, her church, and her community when she came out as a lesbian, Elena’s viral TEDx talk on surviving conversion therapy has been viewed 40,000+ times and landed her media and speaking opportunities with ABC, CBS, FOX, Boston’s First Event, Seacoast Wellness Series, and THRIVE.
Vice President of Neighborhood Relations / Equity and Inclusion Service Learning Ambassador, Drake University
Sydnei Washington is a student at Drake University studying Elementary Education with endorsements in reading, ESL and a concentration in Social Justice in urban schooling. She was a member of Engaged Citizen Corps at Drake where she worked with the nonprofit Children Family Urban Movement. She is currently Vice President of Neighborhood Relations for the Community Action Board and the Equity and Inclusion Service-Learning Ambassador for the Office of Community Engaged Learning at Drake.
Associate Professor, Drake University
Dr. Cristina de Mello-e-Souza Wildermuth is an Associate Professor at Drake University, where she leads the Master of Science in Leadership Development. Passionate about international education, she has led several trips abroad for Drake University, facilitating student learning in Brazil, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. As a leadership consultant, Dr. Wildermuth has traveled extensively, developing leaders in multiple countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Portugal, and Egypt. She leads an international LinkedIn group with almost 1,000,000 members and conducts research on leadership development, personality at work, and ethics.
Student, Drake University
Marguerite "Maggie" Wildermuth is a senior at Drake University with a major in Psychology, a minor in Neuroscience, and a concentration in leadership. Her goal is to become a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids and teens. She currently works as a research assistant at Drake University and loves doing qualitative research in a variety of areas, including cross-cultural issues.
Dean of Global Education, Providence College
Christian Wilwohl, Ed.D., is dean of global education at Providence College (PC) and has 13 years’ experience in higher education. Before PC, Christian worked at SUNY New Paltz and the University of Lynchburg.