Speaker Biographies

Presenters for WISE 2018

[ Keynote Speaker ]

Farzana Nayani, Diversity & Inclusion and Intercultural Specialist

Farzana is a nationally-recognized leader in diversity & inclusion and intercultural consulting with more than 15 years of experience supporting Fortune 500 companies, startups, higher education institutions and public sector organizations. Farzana frequently speaks on cultural awareness, employee engagement and intergroup relations in the U.S. and global workplace. A former advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration, she has been invited to the White House on several occasions to represent the voice of diverse entrepreneurs at discussions on national business initiatives and government policy. Her global background with professional and lived experience in Canada, the U.S., South and Southeast Asia affords her a keen perspective on understanding and working with stakeholders from populations from around the world.

Farzana Nayani serves as National Director of ERG Relations for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and Board Director for the Society of Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR) USA. Farzana’s expertise has been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, Diversity Inc, NPR and the LA Times. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication and Management from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa and the East-West Center. Farzana is a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory ®, an executive coach/trainer and adjunct faculty with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Intercultural Communication, a role she has served in for more than 10 years.


[ Pre-Conference Workshop Facilitator ]

Dr. Tara Harvey, True North Intercultural

Tara is passionate about helping people learn and grow through international and intercultural experiences. She has been in the international/intercultural education field for more than 15 years — teaching English abroad, advising international students, researching international education, facilitating intercultural training, teaching experience-based intercultural courses, designing curriculum and training fellow educators. Tara has worked at Texas A&M, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and as Academic Director of Intercultural Learning at the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). As founder of True North Intercultural, Tara provides intercultural consulting, training and coaching services to help educators and institutions of higher education facilitate transformative intercultural learning.

In addition to consulting work, Tara presents on relevant topics at international education and intercultural conferences, and is an Adjunct Faculty in Intercultural Competence at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey and an Associate Faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). She is an experienced Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), one of the most well-known and widely-used tools for assessing and building intercultural competence. In addition, she is a Senior Facilitator of the Personal Leadership methodology, a holistic approach to maximizing the learning potential inherent in intercultural experiences, improving one’s ability to work across cultural difference, and taking leadership of oneself.


[ Pre-Conference Workshop Facilitator ]

Dr. Eric Hartman, Executive Director of the Center for Peace & Global Citizenship at Haverford College

Through Eric’s role with the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, he advances a critical understanding of global citizenship through research and practice with global learning and community development. He has written for several peer-reviewed and popular publications including The Stanford Social Innovation Review, International Educator, Tourism and Hospitality Research and The Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning. Eric has served as executive director of a community-driven global nonprofit organization, Amizade Global Service-Learning, and taught on human rights, transdisciplinary research methods and globalization in global studies programs at Arizona State University and Providence College. He co-founded both globalsl.org and the global engagement survey, initiatives that advance best practices in global learning and cooperative development within community-campus partnerships.


[ Session Presenters ]

Kris Acheson-Clair, Ph.D. is Associate Director of Intercultural Pedagogy & Scholarship at Purdue University. With nearly two decades of teaching experience and extensive publications related to intercultural communication, she has brought many innovations and the capacity to scale up impact to CILMAR, Purdue’s new Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research.

Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D. serves as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Faculty at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication, and member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Leadership and Culture. An individual with eclectic personal and professional experience, he is a social justice educator, Hip Hop activist, diversity consultant, and college administrator, channeling his diverse experiences into work geared towards facilitating effective intercultural development.

Mesut Akdere, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation at Purdue University. He is the founding director of Purdue Polytechnic Leadership Academy and the inaugural faculty research fellow at Purdue’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research. Dr. Akdere’s research focuses on workforce development in STEM and leadership development through immersive learning technologies including augmented reality and virtual reality, quality management, and performance improvement through training and organization development.

Janet Bennett, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Intercultural Communication Institute, sponsor of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and director of the Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations Degree. As an educator and consultant, she designs and conducts intercultural training for higher education institutions, corporations, government, and nonprofit agencies. She publishes on intercultural training and adjustment and is editor of the recently published SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence.

Iris Berdrow, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor of Management at Bentley University (Waltham, MA, USA) and has taught at Harvard University Summer School, as well as internationally in France, Germany, Austria, Scotland, and Morocco. She holds an MBA and doctorate with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and International Management from the Richard Ivey School of Business, London, Canada.  Her research interests are in intercultural effectiveness, employee competencies and competency-based education. Dr. Berdrow has also served as Assurance of Learning Director at Bentley.

Will Boone, Ph.D. is an associate professor of English and African American Studies, as well as chair of the English Department at Winston-Salem State University. He teaches courses on hip-hop, gender, black expressive culture, and African American literature. Originally from Orange, New Jersey, Will received his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University. His research interests include black expressive culture, study abroad, new media, African American Literary Theory, and African American masculinity. He has also facilitated numerous workshops and delivered talks on academic success and hip hop.

Laura Boudon, Ph.D. is Director of Study Abroad at Florida International University where she leads FIU’s efforts to double the number of students who study abroad by 2020 and increase study abroad offerings. Laura participated in a multi-institutional research project with Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning on Study Abroad and Global Learning. She holds her Ph.D. in International Relations from FIU. She has eighteen years of professional experience in higher education administration and has worked for Georgetown University, American University, and the University of South Carolina before joining FIU in July 2009. Her professional interests include international education, scholarship advocacy, student affairs, cultural competency, diversity, and global health.

Stephen Braye, Ph.D. has been teaching at Elon University for the past 28 years. He has been consistently leading study away and study abroad programs since 1991. Braye teaches for the Elon in NYC program and also teaches a Junior/Senior seminar for students who have completed a study abroad or away experience called “Coming Home,” where students process their experiences through their own research.

Bre’Yon Brown is a Middle School teacher at Mott Hall IV Intermediate School in Brooklyn, NY. He studied at Norfolk State University, where he took an interdisciplinary approach to music and history and studied African Diaspora culture in Cuba. He now develops programs focused on highlighting underrepresented historical narratives in United States and World history, and is an advocate for service-learning and study abroad experiences in secondary education.

James Brownsmith III is a Field Consultant for Ford Motor Company in New York City and CEO of Black Line Promotions and Advertising in Atlanta. He holds a B.A. in History from Norfolk State University, where he studied abroad in Cuba, and holds a Master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University.

Nelson Brunsting, Ph.D. is Director of Global Research and Assessment in the Center for Global Programs & Studies at Wake Forest University, where he also teaches Introduction to American Culture and U.S. University Life for first-year international students. He is fascinated by human development and adjustment in times of transition, especially within an intercultural context.

Michael Brzezinski, Ph.D. began his Purdue University career in 1993. In addition to directing the International Students and Scholars office for 16 years, Brzezinski has led International Programs as Dean since 2009. In 2016 Brzezinski spearheaded the effort to found CILMAR, the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, Research. CILMAR is charting new territory in higher education in its work to embed evidence-based intercultural learning into the curriculum and co-curriculum.

Erik Byker, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He teaches courses in social studies methods and global education, and his fields of specialization are educational technology and curriculum foundations. Byker’s research is comparative and international in scope, as he has conducted research on the uses for computer technology in Cuba, India, South Korea, and the United States. Other research interests include global education and increasing teacher professionalism via web-based tools.

Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy at Northeastern University and the Director of the Cultural Agility Leadership Lab, a joint venture with the National Peace Corps Association. Paula has authored or co-authored several articles and books, including Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals.  Paula works extensively with leading organizations and universities on the selection and development of culturally agile students and professionals.

Elizabeth Coder is the International Student Services Coordinator at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Doha, Qatar, where she oversees international student services, campus exchange, and intercultural learning initiatives. She is a doctoral student in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota. Elizabeth is interested in researching the intersection between the intercultural learning that happens in study abroad and the multicultural learning that happens in diversity education programs on college campuses.

Rebecca Cruise, Ph.D. has served as the Assistant Dean of The University of Oklahoma College of International Studies since 2013. In this capacity, she directs student services for the college, which includes assisting in the oversight of the OU offices of Education Abroad and International Student Services. Specializing in security studies and taking an international perspective in much of her academic work, her regional focus tends toward Southeastern and Central Europe. Along with numerous articles, Dr. Cruise co-wrote a book exploring international maritime security policy and engages in multi-institutional research exploring global learning opportunities. Beyond her research interests, she has developed and taught a number of courses for the University of Oklahoma including Global Security, Comparative National Security, Women in International Security, International Terrorism and International Activism.

Geoffroy de Laforcade, Ph.D. is Professor of Latin and Caribbean History at Norfolk State University and the former director (2012-2016) of NSU’s International Studies and Service-Learning Program. He organized and led 15 study abroad programs in 11 countries on five continents. Dr. de Laforcade is a member of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) working group on “Afro-descendants and Counter-Hegemonic Strategies,” which recently completed its first post-graduate seminar in Cuba, and is the international representative of the independent Cuban “Neighborhood Afro-descendant Network.” He has written and spoken widely on the island nation and participated in community education projects.

Sophie Delfeus is a young professional within the field of international education, committed to finding new ways to promote authentic engagement for U.S. study abroad students. She is a 100 Projects for Peace Fellow with the Kathryn W. Davis Foundation, charged with designing and implementing a pilot program for study abroad students in Mendoza to help foster intercultural friendships. Her passion for this work stems from her academic year abroad in Argentina in 2015.

Paula DiBiasio, PT, DPT, M.S. is an associate professor at Elon University in the Department of Physical Therapy (DPT). She developed a successful global education program for DPT and Physician’s Assistant students. Paula works to establish high quality global learning experiences within reciprocating community partnerships. She is leading a multi-site study examining intercultural competence and a study assessing the concurrent validity of two measures. Paula has presented nationally on topics related to outcomes in global education and facilitating faculty development in the scholarship of global engagement.

Brianna Dostie is Manager of Faculty-Led & Custom Programs at Council on International Education Exchange. Bri collaborates with international staff and U.S. institutional partners to develop faculty-led and customized study abroad program options, focusing on partnerships within North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Maine, and Connecticut. Bri has worked with the Council on International Educational Exchange for five years and is passionate about integrating intercultural competency-building opportunities within short-term programming.

Susie Duke, M.Ed., coordinates Grinnell College’s Global Learning Program, an interdisciplinary course for first-year students coupled with multi-destination travel.  She manages logistics, implements intercultural training and program assessment, along with advising students toward other strategic global experiences. More broadly, she works to advance the short-term international opportunities available to students, faculty, and staff. Prior to Grinnell, Duke taught French for seven years and facilitated numerous international and intercultural exchanges for student groups, domestic and abroad.

Heidi Eigsti, PT, DPT, Ph.D., PCS, is an associate professor at Regis University School of Physical Therapy. Heidi has presented at national conferences on topics related to healthcare education research for leadership and intercultural sensitivity training. Her research interests are in the efficacy of leadership and intercultural competency-based curricula in healthcare higher education. Heidi is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory Assessment and has worked collaboratively with physical therapists internationally in community-based rehabilitation programs.

Xuanyu (Frank) Fang is a first-year undergraduate student at Wake Forest University from Shanghai, China. He is interested in understanding how cultural differences influence development and education. Frank plans to major in cognitive psychology and gain research experience while at WFU.

Seth Fisher is the Student Services Coordinator and Customized Programs Specialist at the IES Paris French Studies Center in France. In the past, Seth worked with incoming and outgoing exchange students at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler MBA Program and the UNC Center for Global Initiatives. During his time with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro International Programs Center, he co-founded the North Carolina Study Abroad Reentry Conference. Seth enjoys helping students become immersed and engaged in local communities while abroad.

Jessica Francis is the Director for Global Abroad Programs at Wake Forest University where she is responsible for developing Wake Forest semester programs and continued review of current programming. Jessica has focused on inclusive excellence and increasing participation in study abroad among first-generation college students, including serving as chair of the Diversity Abroad Task Force on First Generation Students. She has been active in presenting at national and international conferences.

Amy Garwood-Díaz is an Associate Program Director at the University of Minnesota (UMN)- Learning Abroad Center (LAC) and works with multiple instructor-led programs. She has worked at the LAC for more than three years and is involved with the LAC’s intercultural training initiatives. Amy has a Master of Science in College Counseling & Student Development from St. Cloud State University and is an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator. She teaches the LAC’s Global Identity course, fostering student’s intercultural development while abroad.

Gundolf Graml is Director of German Studies at Agnes Scott College, where he teaches German language as well as a range of courses on film and literature in German-speaking culture. As faculty coordinator of Agnes Scott’s global learning curriculum, he oversees the curricular design and teaching of Global Journeys, a course for all first-year students that includes a one-week immersion segment away from campus.

Heather Gregg Reed joined the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University in 2009 and serves as the Field Director for the Southeast and as Alumni Relations Manager. In addition to connecting with U.S. institutions, Heather oversees alumni outreach and programming at IFSA-Butler and loves working with returned students to continue the learning process post-study abroad. Hosting Digital Storytelling workshops has become a favorite part of her job during the last five years.

Tara Grischow, M.S.Ed. is an International Student Advisor in the Center for Global Programs & Studies at Wake Forest University, where she assists international students and scholars with immigration matters and helps develop programs to assure campus internationalization and sense of belonging. She has worked with international students and scholars in higher education for five years.

Shayla Herndon-Edmunds (she/her/hers/Shayla) is Director of Diversity Education at Wake Forest University where she develops and facilitates workshops and interventions that enhance the cultural competence of faculty, staff, and students. As a personal wellness and development professional, Edmunds helps individuals and organizations identify their goals and strategies for moving forward toward inclusive excellence. Edmunds is a first-generation college student who has received training and certifications in emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, mindfulness, and intercultural development.

Louis Hickman is a doctoral student in technology at Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute. Louis earned a Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology with specialization in Natural Language Processing from Purdue University. His research in human resource development focuses on the intersection of technology and people, including research on information systems, leadership development, quality management, and intercultural competence development.

Katherine Hill participated in a Gap Year and two semesters abroad before graduating in 2015 from Elon University. She completed a research project on her study abroad experiences, entitled “The ‘Reverse Narnia Effect’:  The Impacts of Reverse Culture Shock.” Today Katherine teaches English in Barcelona.

Kelia Hubbard, M.P.A. is the director of the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) division of Wake Forest University’s Center for Global Programs & Studies. The ISSS office provides immigration advice, support, and cultural programming to WFU’s international students, faculty, and staff. Kelia has been in the field of international education for 14 years and values the diverse perspectives that the international population brings to the higher education environment.

Alyson Hyman, M.P.H. is Associate Director of the Global Business Center at the  Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more than twenty years she has been a fervent intercultural professional. She oversees the on-campus activities that develop students’ intercultural skills and attitudes, a critical component of the school-wide Global Education Initiative. She designs and facilitates disruptive and experiential sessions that help students, faculty, and staff ignite their intercultural capacity.

David Imhoof is Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for Global Opportunities at Susquehanna University. He is the author of Becoming a Nazi Town: Culture and Politics in Göttingen between the World Wars (Michigan 2013) and numerous pieces on interwar German culture. He edited and contributed to The Total Work of Art: Foundations, Articulations, Explorations (Berghahn 2016) and a 2016 Colloquia Germanica issue on Sound Studies. He leads a student trip to Austria each summer.

Mary Lou Klotz, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at Susquehanna University. She earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her research interests include interpersonal relationships and communication. She has led short-term student trips to Australia since 1999 and recently led trips to New Zealand.

Julia Kruse, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Global Business Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With over twenty years of experience, she is an innovator in global education and strategy. Apart from designing and conducting intercultural and global leadership training, she shapes and oversees the school’s strategic Dean’s Global Education Initiative to increase the global competencies of all students, faculty, and staff.

Lindsey Lahr is a Program Director at the University of Minnesota (UMN)-Learning Abroad Center (LAC), and oversees the LAC’s Instructor-led programs. She has worked at the LAC for more than six years and is involved with the LAC’s intercultural training initiatives. Lindsey has a Master of Arts in Comparative & International Development from UMN and is an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator. She has taught the LAC’s Global Identity course and within the UMN Leadership Minor.

Tracey Laird, Professor of Music at Agnes Scott College, is an author or editor of four books, chiefly on country and folk music, including two on “Austin City Limits.” She teaches on American popular music, jazz, and ethnomusicology and has supervised projects on topics like music’s relationship to neuroscience, politics, the experience of meaning, and identity, as well as contemporary film music.

Lisa Lambert Snodgrass, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Youth Development and Agriculture Education as well as in the Office of Multicultural Programs at Purdue University. Research interests include culturally responsive pedagogy, intercultural learning, and experiential teaching methods. Lisa designed and led a Live-Learn-Work internship abroad program in Colombia, partnering with Purdue alumni, Colombian businesses, and community leaders to offer project-based internships. The model is now used in five study abroad programs at the university.

Prudence Layne began her international education experience as a year-long American Field Scholar in the Faroe Islands. She has more than a decade of experience developing and leading short-term study abroad programs, teaching in a variety of international contexts, directing a semester program, and serving as a curriculum development administrator for faculty-led education abroad programs. Dr. Layne is Associate Professor of English and Literature Coordinator at Elon University.

Michele K. Lewis, Ph.D. has been a member of the Winston-Salem State University faculty since Fall 2007. She was trained as a biopsychologist while completing her doctoral studies at Howard University. Dr. Lewis writes, researches, and teaches in psychology with attention to liberation psychologies, and advocates for the application of psychology to serve public interests. She uses intersectional, interdisciplinary, and cultural approaches to understand human thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

Elsa Maxwell, Ph.D. is Academic Director of Intercultural Learning at the Council on International Educational Exchange. She oversees intercultural teaching on curriculum development, assessment, and instructor training. She also teaches CIEE’s signature course, “Intercultural Communication and Leadership,” at the Valparaiso, Chile Study Center, where she is remotely based. Dr. Maxwell completed her graduate studies at the University of Chile in Cultural Studies and Literature.

Sean McIntyre, Ph.D. is Academic Director and Center Director for the Council on International Educational Exchange’s Global Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since obtaining his doctorate in German Studies from Stanford University in 2003, Dr. McIntyre has taught undergraduate humanities courses, German, and Brazilian Portuguese at several universities in the United States. Sean’s favorite role with CIEE is designing and teaching courses that encourage students to discover and explore Brazilian culture.

Adriana Medina is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She teaches courses in content area literacy, reading comprehension, reading assessment and intervention, and teaching reading to English language learners. Adriana’s research interests include adolescents who struggle with literacy, teacher education, and educational program evaluation. She has published research on the impact of study abroad experiences on pre-service teachers.

Megan Mischinski is pursuing a Master of Arts in Psychology at Wake Forest University and is a Research Assistant for the University’s Center for Global Programs and Studies. She has a bachelor’s degree in Global Justice Studies and has spent time studying abroad in Peru, South Africa, and Scandinavia. Megan is interested in cultural psychology and how it applies to international student adjustment.

Aleidine (Ali) J. Moeller is the Edith S. Greer Professor of Foreign Language Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her areas of scholarly interests include foreign language teacher education, professional teacher development, language assessment, and intercultural communicative competence. She served on the ACTFL Intercultural Communicative Competence Task Force and now serves as the President of ACTFL.

Nina Namaste is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Elon University. Her core disciplinary research focuses on food-related imagery as a means to express issues of race, class, and gender identity formation. In addition, her Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research on transformative learning experiences for students and faculty, have led her towards her role as co-director of a three-year research seminar on global learning sponsored by Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning.

Debbie Seykora O’Connell, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Winston-Salem State University. She holds a Master of Music in Music Education from East Carolina University and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Additionally, Dr. O’Connell has taught elementary, middle, and high school band, orchestra, and general music in North Carolina. Since joining the faculty at WSSU, she has been involved with the International Programs Committee and assisted with study abroad.

Anne O’Mahoney is Head of the Humanities Department in a leading French Graduate Aerospace Engineering School in Toulouse, France, ISAE–Supaero. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Higher Diploma in Education from University College Cork, Ireland and went on to do a Master of Political Science and International Studies in Nice, France. She works on a multicultural and multilingual team, and her professional interests include English as a Foreign Language debating, intercultural communication, diversity, and working with the school’s reach-out program.

Jay Moran is an Instructor of International Business at IES Abroad Barcelona, where for the past 10 years he has taught courses in leadership, strategy and marketing.  His book, Why Are We Bad at Picking Good Leaders?, was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the Top 10 business books of the year, and he has written for Corporate Board, Leadership Excellence, The Financial Times, and numerous other periodicals and journals. He has an MBA, J.D., and a Master of Public Administration, the latter from Harvard University, where the focus of his study was leadership.

Gemma Mills McGrath has served as a  Senior Lecturer in Tourism, Business Management at a range of UK higher and further education institutions (Birkbeck College, Open University, Canterbury Christ Church, and University of the Arts London). She has worked for the UK Department of Trade & Industry, World Tourism Organisation, the Costa Rica Tourist Board, The National Institute of Culture in Peru, Deutche Bank, and UBS in the City of London. McGrath holds a Ph.D. from the University of Surrey’s School of Management. She also writes plays, poems, short stories, and films.

Michael Putman is a professor and the department chair in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests are focused on the development of teacher self-efficacy and intercultural competencies through field experiences and the relationship of affective variables on literacy outcomes, including those associated with online inquiry. Dr. Putman has directed study abroad programs in South Africa and guided the creation of the Applied Understandings in Global Education minor.

Lesley Robinson is the Director of the Global Engagement Office at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Motivated by her passion to encourage students to engage in opportunities abroad, Lesley earned a Master of Science in Global and International Education with an emphasis in Peace Education from Drexel University. While a graduate student, Lesley spent a year in Gunma, Japan teaching English with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. As an undergraduate student at The University of Tulsa, Lesley studied abroad in Quebec, France, and Spain. Lesley is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University.

Jon Smart, Ph.D. is an assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University in the Writing Program and a collaborative partner on Global Connections with the Center for Global Programs & Studies. His doctorate is in applied linguistics from Northern Arizona University. Jon’s work is in developing language and academic skills of international students transitioning to American universities. Previously Jon managed the for-credit English as a Second Language program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Evan Small serves at the Assistant Director of Experiential Learning and Outdoor Adventures at Elon University, where he oversees outdoor education programming and teaches in the School of Education. Evan’s background includes a strong focus on social justice, service-learning, and experiential education. Evan holds a Master of Education in Adventure-Based Learning and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus in experiential education. Evan is interested in researching the intersections of experiential education and intercultural learning.

Sarah Speir, previously senior international officer at Georgia Southwestern University, recently joined Purdue University’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, Research (CILMAR) as Associate Director for Co-Curricular Programming and Engagement. In CILMAR she collaborates with colleagues to design and implement co-curricular experiences with intercultural learning outcomes for domestic and international students, faculty, staff, and community members. Sarah holds a doctorate in Educational Foundations and Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Michael Steinberg, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President for IES Abroad Academic Programs and manages their overseas programs. He is a frequent panelist at the NAFSA national conference and has given presentations related to study abroad at the Stetson Law Conference, the National Society for Experiential Education, CIEE,  Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Modern Language Association.  He has contributed articles to Frontiers and the Forum Guide for Assessment in Study Abroad as well as several NAFSA guides.

Linda Stuart is the Education and Training Specialist for Sentio Global Education Network, a subsidiary of AFS Intercultural, Inc., where she manages the Global Competence Certificate. She is President of Alma, Inc. and previously was Global Citizens Network’s Executive Director. Linda is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, Global Competencies Inventory, Intercultural Effectiveness Scale, and holds an executive coaching certificate from the University of Minnesota. Linda earned a Master of Arts from the University of Chile.

Rebecca Thomas, Ph.D. has been Professor of German Language, Literature, and Culture at Wake Forest University since 1993. She has specializations in 20th century Germany, modern Austrian studies, and foreign language acquisition. Professor Thomas has led multiple semester and summer study abroad programs in Austria and central Europe. Since 1988 she has been on the language faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she has also designed and regularly offers a specialized “survival” language and culture curriculum. She is currently collaborating on an interdisciplinary project researching the impact of the survival language skills model on the cultural adaptation of sojourners abroad in non-language-intensive programs.

Amy Wallis is a Full Professor of Practice in Organizational Behavior at the Wake Forest University School of Business and is also the Academic Director for WFU Business Abroad Programs, where her focus is on enhancing global awareness and cultural sensitivity in the business environment. Since joining the School of Business in 2012, Amy has been instrumental in advancing global immersion courses, and is the faculty leader for WFU’s MBA global immersion course in Nicaragua.

George Williams is the founder and Managing Director of Diversity Global Study Abroad, which provides access to impactful, immersive study abroad programs designed for underrepresented and nontraditional students. He studied Political Science and Simultaneous Interpretation at Howard University, and studied in Cuba with Norfolk State University. He also studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and Brazil as an undergraduate.

Wenjin (Wendy) Wu is a Junior at Wake Forest University, majoring in psychology. She has a multicultural background from her experience in different countries and she is interested in human psychological mechanisms.

Katherine Yngve, a “recovering” Senior International Officer, joined Purdue’s Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness in 2014 to support the Dean of International Programs in creating a culture of evidence-based best-practice in intercultural learning, in on-campus and off-campus contexts.  Since then she has institutionalized intercultural mentoring courses for semester-abroad participants, trained more than one hundred faculty study abroad leaders in intercultural pedagogy, and mentored multiple STEM professors in the art of making sense of qualitative data.