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Global Learning Conference Speakers

UC Davis Global Learning Conference

Keynote

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Sandy Holman, Founder and CEO, Culture C.O.-O.P

Sandy Holman has presented to thousands on a variety of topics such as transforming systems, inequitable structures, dismantling racism/supremacy ideology and practices, the achievement gap, resilience, and institutional best practices for change. She focuses special attention on culturally relevant and responsive services and materials. As founder of the Culture C.O.-O.P., she assists organizations working with equity/diversity. She has served as a consultant to countless organizations in a variety of disciplines, locally, nationally, and internationally, to help meet the needs of diverse/ marginalized populations. She strives to encourage people to love themselves and others and share power and resources in the world.  

Concurrent Sessions 1

How to Become a Digital Nomad

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Kylie Blount, Partnership Development Manager, Absolute Internship

Kylie currently works for Absolute Internship as their Partnership Development Manager, based in San Diego, CA. She holds a BA in intercultural studies and international politics from Westminster College and a MA in international education from SIT Graduate Institute. Over the past ten years in the field, her various positions in study abroad offices have allowed her to travel extensively in Australia, Europe, and Latin America. She has served on several Lessons From Abroad planning committees and has also been a member of the Region XII leadership team. She is currently chair of the NAFSA Southern District Team.  

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Sarah Rapp, Head of Public Relations, Nomads Giving Back! 

Sarah is the current Head of PR at Nomads Giving Back! and Nomads Skillshare! and is a global citizen at heart. She is passionate about intercultural and cross-border communication, which led her to start the “how to Be global” movement, which includes a podcast, scholarships, and more. Sarah was also the first person ever hired to manage JA Worldwide’s estimated 100 million alumni around the world, now serving as Director, Alumni & Marketing Campaigns. When she isn’t traveling the world, while working remotely, she makes her home in Vienna, Austria.

Vision Boarding as Manifestation Tool

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Lisa Laughter, First-year Advisor, UC Davis

Lisa Laughter is a professional life coach and motivational speaker. She currently serves as the first-year advisor in the College of Engineering at the University of California - Davis after 22 years at Washington State University serving in a variety of academic advising and higher education administrative capacities. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Arts in Education. Lisa is a multi-faceted, passionate trainer, manager, mentor and coach with in-depth experience working with constituents from a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences. 

“Take a Stand” as a Globally-Minded Citizen!

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Sophi Mares de Juan, Peer Advisor, UC Davis Global Learning Hub

My name is Sophia, and I was born and raised in Mexico. I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in International Relations and Sociology Organizational Studies with a minor in Human Rights. I took a gap year before college. During that year I traveled with 100 people from 20 different countries to 35 cities from all over the world while doing community service and using music to impact and learn from the different communities we visited. When I came back to Davis I was able to live in the Global Living Learning community where I got to meet people from all over the world.

Concurrent Sessions 2

Exploring Careers in Global Policy

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Jolynn Shoemaker, Director of Global Engagements, UC Davis Global Affairs

Jolynn Shoemaker is the Director of Global Engagements in Global Affairs at UC Davis. In this role, she is leading the global engagement on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Centers Initiative, and working on a variety of other strategic UC Davis international initiatives. She is also a consultant and writer on gender equality in international peace and security policy. She is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Our Secure Future: Women Make the Difference, a program of the One Earth Future, where she focuses on research and advocacy on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.

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Tom Rosen-Molina, Global Centers Analyst, UC Davis Global Affairs

Tom has been an analyst with UCD Global Affairs since 2019. Prior to working in Global Affairs, he served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, where his roles included Consular Officer, Human Rights Officer and Refugee Coordinator in Montenegro, and Political Officer in Germany. Before joining the diplomatic corps, Tom was an economist for the California Air Resources Board.

Utilizing LinkedIn to Showcase Your Global Learning Experiences

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Ellison Weeks, Principal Customer Success Manager, LinkedIn

Ellison Weeks is a Principal Customer Success Manager on LinkedIn’s Global Clients Program team. In this role, he advises talent leaders at Fortune 100 companies on the design and delivery of globally scalable learning initiatives. He is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In particular, he's focused on helping folks from underrepresented communities access professional opportunities in the tech sector. His career spans social work, international education, talent development, and tech.

Post-Graduation Opportunities Abroad for U.S. Citizens

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Scott Palmer, Prestigious Scholarship Advisor, UC Davis

Scott Palmer is the Prestigious Scholarship Advisor who recruits, advises, and prepares applicants for nationally and internationally recognized funding opportunities including: the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, and the Critical Language Scholarship. During his tenure, UC Davis has been recognized as a "Top Producer" of Gilman Scholars twice and of Fulbright recipients once. In 2019, Scott attended the Fulbright International Education Administrators program in Germany where he engaged with German culture and education.

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Trina Van Schyndel, Membership Director, Imagining America; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Ukraine

Trina Van Schyndel is the Membership Director for Imagining America, and she also coordinates the Joy of Giving Something (JGS) Fellows program. She served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine where she taught English at the secondary and post-secondary levels. She has experience as an environmental educator in state and national parks. Her journey then led her to transition from environmental education to higher education, where she found a home in community engagement, especially place-based approaches to supporting and sustaining communities and their connections to the world around them.

Career Skills Plenary

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Ellison Weeks, Principal Customer Success Manager, LinkedIn

Ellison Weeks is a Principal Customer Success Manager on LinkedIn’s Global Clients Program team. In this role, he advises talent leaders at Fortune 100 companies on the design and delivery of globally scalable learning initiatives. He is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In particular, he's focused on helping folks from underrepresented communities access professional opportunities in the tech sector. His career spans social work, international education, talent development, and tech. The first in his family to attend college, Ellison obtained a B.A. in Communication Studies from CSU Northridge, with a minor in Japanese language.

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Ken Barnes, Assistant Director, UC Davis Internship and Career Center

Ken Barnes is an Assistant Director at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center and sees students interested in International opportunities and Student Employment. He graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Managerial Economics. He is also vice president of the Robla School District Board of Trustees in Sacramento, California. Through his education and experience, he has worked hard to keep students connected with the complex worlds of business, politics, education, and law.

Networking Sessions

Science and Technology

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Mr. Ahmed Osman Elamin AbdalgaderUC Davis Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, LinkedIn Profile

Abdalgader has a BSC in Mechanical Engineering University of Khartoum, Sudan and M.Sc. in Renewable Energy Technology from University of Khartoum May 2016. He is Certified Energy Manager (CEM) from Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). Abdalgader has 15 + years' experience Electricity Sector, including 10 years' experience in climate change and Renewable Energy projects development. Moreover, he is working as Sudan National Focal Point in International Solar Alliance since March 2018, and he is Director of Renewable Energy Technology, Sudanese Electricity Holding Company.

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Megan Chenaux, Ph.D.Senior Scientist, LinkedIn Profile

I have a strong background in microbial ecology. My M.S. Biology work introduced me to the principles of ecology through a study of urban soil carbon capture and its relationship with perennial vegetation, and I built upon that framework in my Ph.D. and postdoctoral work, where I studied microbial communities at the bottom of a frozen lake, and in frozen soils, respectively. At Novozymes, I’m focusing on product and solution discovery by identifying other internal teams who would benefit from microbiomics approaches and working with those internal stakeholders to develop studies.

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Ana Lucia Cordova, Strategic Initiatives Manager, UC Davis Office of Research, UC Davis AlumnaLinkedIn Profile

Dr. Ana Lucia Cordova is passionate about enabling cutting edge research, and supporting scientist in the development of their projects and ideas. She serves as the Strategic Initiatives Manager at the UC Davis Office of Research. In this role, she is responsible for working with faculty, researchers, and university administration to create a proactive research environment on campus, to promote excellence along the entire extramural research funding life cycle, and to increase institutional research competitiveness.

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Brian SwayBusiness Transformation Consultant, UC Davis Alumnus, LinkedIn Profile

Brian H. Sway, B.A. ’74 UC Davis: Brian is an advisor to public and private organizations on transformation. He has served as an executive in California state government and for a global information technology and business process management firm. Brian has founded 7 businesses and non-profits, including 2 cooperative corporations. Public service is his passion. He has helped to organize water, sanitation, literacy, and health projects around the globe. Brian served in the US Peace Corps, South Africa (2018-2019), where he leveraged his business expertise to aid in the fight against HIV. The US State Department recognized his efforts with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy. Brian is the 2020 Cal Aggie Alumni Association Emil Mrak International Award recipient.

Business & Entrepreneurship

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Veelie AlbaUniversity Relations Director, CIS Abroad, LinkedIn Profile

A believer in using business for good, Veelie Alba is an international educator and mentor. Her professional journey intersects interests in culture and travel, with her skills in business. Some of Veelie’s career highlights include recruiting for a Fortune 500 company, starting up a study abroad office, and working with CIS Abroad –a company that has sent 20,000+ students and interns abroad. At the height of the pandemic, Veelie launched a fair trade pop-up shop, a consulting business to provide support for social enterprises, and co-founded a home-textiles brand based in Colombia. Veelie loves dogs, sunshine, and spicy foods.

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José PalmaFounder, Acción ClimáticaUC Davis Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, LinkedIn Profile

José Palma is passionate about climate change, biodiversity protection, and sustainable development. He is a lawyer from the University of Chile and holds a master's degree in public policy and administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, with a special emphasis on climate change. Mr. Palma is the founder of the Latin American Climate Action Network, a non-profit association promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the region. The network was created in the context of COP25 in Chile and currently has more than 30 member organizations.

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Cecelia SullivanFounder/Investor, UC Davis Alumna, LinkedIn Profile

Cecelia Sullivan, an award winning executive, founded Sulli Companies and CLS Consultants, which specializes in C-Suite and Board level advising and consulting services. Cecelia is the former CEO of Noopl, Inc., a hearing solutions technology company and former owner and CEO of PTI Solutions, a 100% woman-owned telecommunications and IT infrastructure company. Prior to PTI, Cecelia held key executive leadership positions at Intel.

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Ellison Weeks, Principal Customer Success Manager, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Profile

Ellison Weeks is a Principal Customer Success Manager on LinkedIn’s Global Clients Program team. In this role, he advises talent leaders at Fortune 100 companies on the design and delivery of globally scalable learning initiatives. He is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In particular, he's focused on helping folks from underrepresented communities access professional opportunities in the tech sector. His career spans social work, international education, talent development, and tech. The first in his family to attend college, Ellison obtained a B.A. in Communication Studies from CSU Northridge, with a minor in Japanese language.

Education, Community Development and Nonprofits

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Alex Di Rienzo, Spanish Instructor, UC Davis Alumna​​​​​, LinkedIn Profile

Alex was born in 1991 into a mixed culture home where she started traveling from infancy. She was educated in both Italy and the United States which enables her to make comparisons between both systems of education and take the most effective and creative styles from each culture. Having experienced the struggle of having to learn to read a new language herself at a young age, Alex became dedicated to helping others to appreciate our diverse world through travel and losing the fear of diving in and understanding how language works and can be learned.

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Shelly Gilbride, PhDExecutive Director, International House Davis, LinkedIn Profile

In 2019, Shelly Gilbride joined the staff of International House Davis (I-House Davis) as the Executive Director after serving for five years as the Programs Officer of the California Arts Council where she was responsible for grant programs to support arts, culture, and creativity across the state. She has brought her commitment to supporting and uplifting all cultures to her work at I-House and has led the organization through the Covid-19 crisis.​​​

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Randeep KullarInstitutional Relations Manager, UC Davis Alumna, LinkedIn Profile

Randeep is a Career Counselor and International Educator. Currently, Randeep serves as Institutional Relations Manager at CAPA. Randeep spent the first part of her career developing internship programs while supporting students on their study abroad journeys at UC Berkeley. She transitioned to supporting international institutions in creating experiential learning programs with CIEE and then returned to UC Berkeley to support adult learners with their career journeys, prior to returning to international education with CAPA. Randeep received a M.S. in Counseling from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in History with a minor in Education from the University of California, Davis.

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Teron Marie McGrew, MS, ‘89, ‘92, Community Engagement Manager, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), CAAA Board of Directors, UC Davis Alumna, LinkedIn Profile

Teron Marie McGrew, CEO, McGrew & Associates, a regenerative housing & community development company, with a focus on climate adaptation and environmental justice. She is the community engagement manager at the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), a community-led, collaborative & participatory research and data nonprofit organization. She is a native of Oakland, where her resilience projects are born from the voices and priorities of frontline communities that are impacted the most by climate change. 

Public Service, International Development & Government

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Sarai Lillian AcostaUC Davis Alumna​​​​​, LinkedIn Profile

Sarai is a first generation Panamanian-American college student with a BS in Global Disease Biology from UC Davis. Early on she aspired to work for Doctors Without Borders. However, as she learned more about the root cause of health inequity, she realized that these crises are multifaceted and require interdisciplinary approaches. Currently she is obtaining a Masters in International Agricultural Development with an emphasis on critical development theory. Sarai’s thesis incorporates creating a comparative analysis of migration factors through interviews with academics, NGO’s, and migrants themselves, hoping to understand the role of imperialism in forced migration from Latin America.

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Ana DomínguezUC Davis Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, LinkedIn Profile

Ana Domínguez is Civil Engineer from the Technical University of Panama and holds her Master Degree in Energy and Environmental Management from the Technical University of Berlin. Ana has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service and the fight against the climate crisis, working for the Ministry of Environment of Panama since 2006. She believes in the power of youth to ignite transformative changes and promotes the youth participation in policymaking. During her Humphrey Fellowship Program at UC Davis, she is examining U.S. carbon pricing instruments mainly in California.​​​

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Mario GuerreroDeputy Director, California Human Resources DepartmentLinkedIn Profile

Mario Guerrero is Deputy Director for Legislation at the California Human Resources Department and a lecturer at Sacramento State and UC Davis where he teaches in their Political Science Departments. Mario has experience in various policy areas including labor, health, education (K-12), higher education, environment, criminal justice reform, and civil rights in California. He is a veteran of the United State Marine Corps and a graduate of Cornell University where is received a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on government, politics, and policy. He also received his bachelor’s degree from the University of La Verne.

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Brenley Markowitz, Volunteer & Donations Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee, LinkedIn Profile

With over five years of experience in refugee resettlement, Brenley Markowitz is passionate about helping refugees thrive in their new home. Prior to her current role as Volunteer & Donations Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee in Sacramento, she worked in the Arizona refugee community as an Intensive Case Manager at a Phoenix resettlement agency and as a Project Specialist at the State of Arizona's Refugee Resettlement Program. Brenley graduated from Arizona State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and minors in Spanish and Economics. She remains dedicated to supporting refugees on their resettlement journeys.