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Committee Members

Jenia Allen ›

Jenia Allen is a doctoral candidate in Diversity and Equity with an emphasis on HRD. Her background is in anthropology/sociology from Eastern Oregon University with a master's degree in I/O psychology from Northcentral University. Jenia's focus includes early adult education and college readiness with a specific interest in first-generation college attainment. She currently teaches higher education psychology and physics.

Sanchari Banerjee (Co-chair) ›

Sanchari Banerjee is a doctoral student of Educational Psychology in the Developmental Sciences division and co-chair of the GSC Organizing Committee. Her research focusses on using mixed methods and a cultural lens to study temperament and peer interactions among pre-schoolers. She is currently a teaching assistant for Educational Psychology and co-chair for the 12th Annual College of Education Graduate Student Conference. 

Melissa Kisubika ›

Melissa Kisubika is a doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education. Her research interests center on the umbrella of women in STEM with a focus on how perceptions of success in the classroom lead to changes in career aspirations. She is also interested in how student engagement outside of the classroom impacts women in STEM. Her interests originate from her experiences working in both student affairs and academic affairs.

Yoonjin Nam ›

Yoonjin Esther Nam is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership. The focus of her dissertation is in documenting children’s appropriation of transnational popular culture within official and unofficial settings in an elementary school. Her research interests also include childhood and transnational popular culture; teacher education in relation to critical race and critical media literacy. Her professional experience includes instruction in pre-service teachers in language arts. Yoonjin also published an article related to her research interests in May 2020.

Roberto Rojas (Co-chair) ›

Roberto Rojas Alfaro is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, a Fulbright-LASPAU scholar, and a Technology Innovation in Educational Research and Design (TIER-ED) fellow. His current research focuses on English for specific purposes and informal L2 learning in mobile environments. He is an active member and speaker of TESOL International Association, a teaching assistant in the College of Education, and co-chair for the 12th Annual College of Education Graduate Student Conference.

Julia Snider ›

Julia Snider is a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education under the Leadership in Secondary Curriculum, Outcomes, and Research (SCORE) for Youth with Severe Disabilities grant. Prior to entering her doctoral program, Julia worked for eight years as a special educator and inclusion facilitator in the Chicago Public Schools. Julia is deeply passionate about utilizing inclusive practices that support and instruct all students both inside and outside of the classroom. Her research focuses on the types of courses in which high school students with severe disabilities are enrolled and the locations in which they take place.

Angelique Evans ›
Angelique Evans is a PhD student in the Department of Education, Policy and Leadership with dual specializations in Global Education and Diversity and Equity. Her research interests include global education and study abroad, African American participation in global education programs, diplomacy, international policy, international education, and foreign language(s). When not working or studying, Angelique enjoys good music, cooking amazing food, traveling, and watching foreign films. 
Dora Kourkoulou ›

Dora Kourkoulou is a PhD student in Global Studies in the EPOL department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she works with Professor Cameron McCarthy. Dora received her BA and MA degree from the National University of Athens, Greece in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature. She also has an EdM degree in Human Resource Education from EPOL and has worked as an administrator in Higher Education in Greece. Dora currently works as a teaching assistant at the Global Studies in Education program and as a communications research assistant for the Department of Anthropology. Her research interests lie in public pedagogies and digital worlds, especially the potential of video games in influencing learning cultures in higher education.

LaTanya Kurney ›

LaTanya Kurney is a first-year doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a specialization in Global Studies. She currently works for the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio, Texas as the Coordinator for International Relations. In this role, LaTanya works with the colleges of the district to coordinate the development of strategic partnerships and facilitate the implementation of academic programs to include traditional and virtual exchanges, dual degrees, and international transfer agreements. LaTanya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership (Kansas City, MO) and a Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature (San Antonio, TX). Her research interests include the impact of early access to international education for Black and LatinX early college high school students.

Bianca Lopez ›

Bianca Lopez is a second-year master's student, studying Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education. She earned her bachelor's degree in Sociology, with minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bianca currently works a pre-professional Graduate Assistant for the Illinois Leadership Center. She will graduate with her master's degree in May 2021.

Emily Malouf ›

Emily Malouf is in the second year of her doctoral program in the department of Special Education. She received her bachelor's degree in Special Education from the Ohio State University and her master's degree in Education in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Emily worked for six years as a special education teacher, servicing students in middle and high school with significant disabilities. Additionally, Emily has held positions at private Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) companies and in non-public school settings in Texas, New York, and California. Emily's research interests include understanding how to expand outcomes and increase opportunities within the area of employment for individuals with significant support needs.

Laura Valderrama ›

Laura Valderrama is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology, a research assistant in the Educational Psychology Psycholinguistics Lab, and a teaching assistant for the EPSY201-Educational Psychology course. Her research interests focus on the biliteracy practices of Latino children and in the training of future teachers on issues pertaining to language diversity. The majority of Laura's professional experience has focused on teaching English speakers of other languages, linguistics, and language acquisition. Upon graduation, Laura intends to become a faculty member in a teacher training program and a researcher in the field of linguistics and educational psychology.

Leo Van Cleve ›

Leo Van Cleve is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Off-Campus Programs for the California State University (CSU) System based in the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach, CA. CSU International Programs works with more than 50 universities in 19 countries to offer study abroad programs for an academic year. As Assistant Vice Chancellor, Leo works with campuses to promote internationalization and with Chancellor's Office staff to develop policy and implement systemwide initiatives. Leo coordinates meetings of campus senior international officers (SIOs) and supervises the systemwide Summer Arts program which offers CSU students the opportunity to work intensively with outstanding guest artists. He has presented nationally on a variety of topics including internationalization and systems of higher education, diversity in Study Abroad, and safety and security in Study Abroad. Leo has published pieces on recruitment and publicity for study abroad as well as program design in international programs.