2017-18 Fellows

Michele Back (Fellow) is an Assistant Professor of World Languages Education at the University of Connecticut. She works as an advisor and professor to preservice Spanish and French teachers at the University’s Neag School of Education. Sharon Brennan (Mentor) is an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships at the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. These two scholars have been working on redesigning Back’s Seminar in World Languages to incorporate well-defined and measurable global learning outcomes and to make use of hybrid classroom tools such as VoiceThread and blog assignments including an Autobiography of an Intercultural Encounter with students from Spanish speaking countries.

Delane Bender-Slack (Fellow) is an Associate Professor of Literacy and the Reading/TESOL Program Director at Xavier University’s School of Education where she works in many arenas as a teacher educator. Through the Fellows Program, she has been partnered with Kathy Short (Mentor) who is a Professor at the University of Arizona in their Language, Reading, and Culture program. Together, they have been working on reworking Bender-Slack’s Content Area Literacy course to address global competencies through Reflections and a Virtual Collaborative Photo Essay assignments with Peruvian teacher candidates.

Erik Byker (Fellow) is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Reading and Elementary Education. Together with James Shiveley (Mentor), who is the Condit Endowed Professor and the Director of International Programs for the College of Education, Health and Society at Miami University, Byker has been working on revamping his course in elementary social studies methods titled Social Studies Methods: Developing Globally Competent Citizens. Redesign has been focused on Big Idea Digital narratives, Global Competency Digital Library, and Global Module assignments.

Elizabeth Crawford (Fellow) is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the College of Education who specializes in elementary-level global education. Her Mentor, Kenneth Cushner, is an Emeritus Professor of International and Intercultural Teacher Education at Kent State University. Together they have been working on Crawford’s course in Research-Based Instructional Design and Assessment which incorporates food systems and makes use of The Global Goals Food Project: Every Plate Tells a Story materials.

Erika Dotson (Fellow) is an Associate Professor of French and Education at Clayton State University and serves as the Coordinator of the ESOL Endorsement Program and the Program Director of the Maymester in France Study Abroad Program. She has been working together with Jocelyn Glazier (Mentor) who is an Associate Professor and Chair of Professional Leadership and Practice at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The two have been working on Dotson’s course, Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education.

Nilufer Guler (Fellow) is an Assistant Professor of Education at Avila University who specializes in TESOL, English Language Learner (ELL) education, and teacher education. Her Mentor, Margo Glew, is the Coordinator of Global Initiatives and Global Educators Cohort Program at Michigan State University. Together, they have been working to redesign Guler’s course in Educational and Developmental Psychology to incorporate a Faces of Avila Project to find and learn from existing global connections on the Avila campus.

Glenna Gustafson (Fellow) is an Associate Professor at Radford University’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership who currently supervises pre-service elementary education teacher candidates. Together with Martha Lash (Mentor), who is an Associate Professor at Kent State University, Gustafson has been working on revising her course in Teaching and Learning Elementary Mathematics to incorporate global children’s literature in building global competencies.

Alison Schmidt (Fellow) is an Associate Professor of Education at the College of Wooster and specializes in elementary and early childhood education. Her Mentor, Mary Curran, is Associate Dean of Local-Global Partnerships and Coordinator of Language Education Programs at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The two have been working on revising Schmidt’s Seminar on Preparing Youth to Engage in the World and incorporating global learning objectives through an Autobiography of an Intercultural Encounter assignment.


2018-19 Fellows

Suzanne C. Chapman is a Lecturer in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. She earned her M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Chapman has eight years of experience in Title 1 education. During her time in Title 1 schools, she worked as a first-grade teacher, secondary level intensive reading teacher, and as a reading coach for a K-5 school. In 2011, Dr. Chapman returned to the University of Florida to pursue a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, concentrating on literacy and language instruction. In 2014, she was appointed to the role of Visiting Lecturer at the University of Florida, instructing courses in children’s literature, language arts, reading diagnosis and remediation, and content area literacy. Dr. Chapman received her doctorate in 2015 and has since been appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Florida. Her current research interests focus on disciplinary literacy in secondary content area classrooms and preparing pre-service teachers to use children’s literature as a tool for promoting social justice and global awareness in their future classrooms.

Laura Boynton Hauerwas is a Professor of Education at Providence College. Laura has a Ph.D in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. She teaches courses in the undergraduate elementary special education program and chairs the department’s study abroad committee which developed and now overseas two customized teacher-abroad semesters in Florence, Italy and Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 2013, she was the Faculty-in-Residence in the Florence program and since then has researched the impact of international teaching experiences on future teachers as well as the host community’s students and cooperating teachers. This research has been published in the journals Teaching and Teacher Education and Journal of Higher Education Outreach. Laura’s other research projects focus on language and learning, particularly for emergent bilinguals and those with reading/spelling disabilities and the implementation of Response to Intervention policies.  As part of her Teaching Globally course, Laura has recently partnered with the iEARN Future Teacher project to bring opportunities for intercultural communication and global learning to her students locally.

Shea Kerkhoff joined the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education as Assistant Professor of secondary education in August 2018. She holds a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Kerkhoff utilizes mixed methods to investigate critical, digital, and global literacies. Her research centers on integrating inquiry-based global learning with adolescent literacy instruction. For her dissertation study, she was named an International Literacy Association Outstanding Dissertation Finalist and earned the first-place award at the North Carolina State University Graduate Student Research Symposium. Her work has been published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Reading & Writing Quarterly. She taught high school English for seven years, including North Carolina and District of Columbia Public Schools and currently serves as Assistant Editor of English Education, a National Council of Teachers of English journal. She also serves as Going Global, Inc.'s Regional Director- Africa and previously served as 4 the World's Education Director. In this capacity, the International Literacy Association awarded her the Constance McCullough grant to conduct inquiry-based digital literacy professional development and research with teachers in Kitale, Kenya. Dr. Kerkhoff is passionate about global education at home and abroad.

Sumudu Lewis is originally from England, and now lives and works in the United States. Lewis received her Bachelors degree in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Brighton in England. She then continued to graduate level, and received a D.Phil in Organic Chemistry. Lewis’ first job as a science teacher was in a rural school in the southeast of England. The school was a high achieving school, with a homogenous body of students and staff. After two years, Lewis moved to London where she worked in a multicultural school with a diverse population of students and staff. It was estimated at one time that 52 languages were represented in that school. Lewis worked there as Head of Science Department for six years and left to take on a job as an Assistant Principal in another school in London. This school also had a diverse population of students and staff representing different parts of the world. Lewis moved to the U.S. in 2008, and received her Ed.D in Science Education from University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2015. She currently works as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UMass Lowell and as co-director of the UTeach program preparing the next generation of STEM teachers.

Kathleen Ann Ramos earned a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, Kathy is an assistant professor in the Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) graduate program at George Mason University. As a teacher educator, Kathy teaches a variety of graduate courses designed to prepare current teachers and preservice teachers, locally and internationally, to teach PK-12 English learners with equity and excellence. Her courses are delivered in asynchronous online, hybrid, and face-to-face formats. Kathy’s research interests include investigating ways to foster teachers’ global competence and building teachers’ capacity to globalize PK-12 curricula through a social justice lens. Other interests include researching pedagogies that are promising for supporting ELs in developing academic language and literacy practices. In fall 2017, Kathy participated as an Open GATE (Global Awareness in Teacher Education) Fellow via a partnership between OsloMet University and the Center for International Education at Mason. Recently, Kathy collaborated with an elementary education professor to create a study abroad experience for graduate students to implement an inquiry-based science and language learning enrichment program for K-6 learners in Costa Rica.

Sandra Schneider teaches foundations of education and multicultural courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Schneider serves as an Associate Professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. Schneider’s work in Global Education includes intersecting global education with local economic development, community problem-solving, and social entrepreneurship to address the unique needs of rural and Appalachian educators along with their students and parents in rural communities. Her research interest includes rural education, critical policy studies, non-traditional forms of research to develop public conversations about teaching, teacher preparation including teacher knowledge(s) and understandings about their work, and the use and impact of technology in teaching within local contexts and everyday activity.

Shannon Tanghe, originally from rural Minnesota, has spent most of the last two decades teaching English and TESOL courses abroad. After receiving a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota—Morris, Shannon began teaching English in Seoul, South Korea, where she earned an MA in TESOL/CALL from Woosong University. In 2013, she earned a PhD in TESOL & Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She was recognized by the TESOL International Association as 2016 TESOL Teacher of the Year. Shannon has spent more than 16 years living and teaching in South Korea. Shannon is currently the Program Director and Associate Professor with the MA in ESL program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Prior to this, she was department chair of the MA TESOL program at Dankook University’s Graduate School of TESOL in Korea. She has also taught in elementary schools in Cairo, Egypt, and Georgetown, Guyana. Shannon has recently published several book chapters and journal articles, with recent publications in English Today, System, Asia Pacific Education Review, and TESOL Quarterly journals. Her main research interests are teacher collaboration, internationalizing teacher education, World English and reflective teaching practices.

2018-19 Mentors

Paula J. Beckman is a Professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park. Beckman has a long career focused on children who are at risk for learning problems due to poverty and lack of educational opportunity. As part of this interest, she is currently working with children, teachers and schools in poor, developing countries, particularly in Central America. In this area, she has been providing training for teachers as well as working with administrators to improve the quality of education for children in poor communities. She serves as an Educational Advisor for International Partners, an NGO working to develop community led projects in rural El Salvador. She is a member of the U.S. Coalition for the Global Campaign for Education and a member of the Early Childhood Task for Children with Disabilities of the Global Partnership for Education. At the University of Maryland, she is an Affiliate Faculty member in the Latin American Study Center.  She has been leading service based study abroad courses for the past nine years. As an internationally known expert in early childhood development, special education, and working with families, Dr. Beckman consults with early childhood programs throughout the United States. She has also been involved in international research and training projects in Europe. She has 30 years of experience conducting training as well as in developing, implementing and evaluating projects.


Mary Elizabeth Curran is the Associate Dean for Local-Global Partnerships and Coordinator of Language Education Programs at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Curriculum and Instruction. Curran teaches courses on second language acquisition, the relationship between language and culture, and teacher education. Her scholarship focuses on the topics of globalization and education, service learning, and language teacher education. She has published in journals such as The Journal of Teacher Education, TESOL Quarterly, Theory into Practice, and Learning Languages.  She directs the award-winning Conversation Tree: Community-Based Language Partnership Program, and she has received STARTALK grants for Chinese language teacher preparation programs for the past eight years.  Dr. Curran has frequently collaborated with colleagues at the United Nations. In 2010, the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations was hosted at Rutgers under Dr. Curran's guidance. Together with colleagues, she has worked on the Rutgers United Nations Curriculum Development Project.  For three years, she served as Rutgers faculty liaison to the United Nations.  On several occasions she has taken her students on visits to the United Nations and has collaborated with UN staff and world language teachers on projects related to language education.


Laura Engel is an Associate Professor of International Education and International Affairs at the George Washington University (GW), where she is director of the International Education Program, co-director of the certificate program, Incorporating International Perspectives into Education, and co-chair of the GW UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development.

Laura has been actively involved in international education research in England, Spain, Romania, and the U.S., and has taught international experiences courses in Senegal and Cuba. Her interdisciplinary research on globalization studies, citizenship, and education policy has appeared in over 50 publications, including in Educational Policy, Compare, Journal of Educational Research, and Comparative Education Review. Her book, New State Formations in Education Policy: Reflections from Spain focused on globalization of education in federal systems drawing on the case of Catalonia and Spain. Her current work, funded by the National Geographic Society, focuses on the impacts of the DCPS Study Abroad and Local/Global Spaces programs on DC students, serving as the basis for the newly launched K-12 Global Innovation Forum. She also leads the National Science Foundation funded Arctic PIRE’s educational outreach project, #60above60, connecting Arctic and non-Arctic urban classrooms through the global exchanges of digital environmental stories. She is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the 2013 GSEHD Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2017 DEL Award in Teaching Excellence.


Janelle B. Mathis is a Professor of Teacher Education and Administration at the University of North Texas’ College of Education. As a literacy educator at UNT since 1997, Janelle Mathis focuses her teaching and research on children’s and adolescent literature, especially works that are multicultural and international. She teaches courses at all levels that either focus on literature in the classroom or are undergirded by children's and adolescent literature. Her research interests, which often focus on response to literature and critical content analysis, are in the areas of the transactional theory of reader response, socio-cultural contexts for literacy teaching and learning, and critical literacy. She received her doctorate at the University of Arizona in the Department of Language, Reading, and Culture in 1994. She was a teaching assistant and adjunct at UA, and she also taught at Northern Illinois University prior to coming to UNT.


Averil McClelland is Faculty Emerita and Professor of Cultural Foundations of Education in the College of Education at Kent State University. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology with honors from Hiram College and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in cultural foundations from Kent State University. The author of several articles on gender and multicultural issues in education, she is author of a sourcebook, The Education of Women in the United States, and a Member Center Director with the National Council for Research on Women.


Christelle Palpacuer-Lee is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is an applied linguist and a world language/ EFL educator. She taught French in France, England, India and in the US at different levels and in various institutions before joining the Language Education program at the Graduate School of Education. She is the former director of the French Resource Center, a joint initiative between Rutgers and the French Embassy in New York City. Dr. Palpacuer Lee is committed to equity and social justice in education, and to prepare classroom teachers to be effective educators, critical thinkers, and life-long learners.


Kathy Short is a Professor in the program of Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona and has worked extensively with teachers to develop curriculum that actively involves students as readers and inquirers. Her work focuses on global literature, dialogue, curriculum as inquiry, and intercultural understanding. She has co-authored and edited many books, including Critical Content Analysis of Children's and Young Adult Literature, Teaching Globally: Reading the World through Literature, Creating Classrooms for Authors and Inquirers, Learning Together through Inquiry, Stories Matter: The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children’s Literature, and Essentials of Children’s Literature. She is director of Worlds of Words (wowlit.org), an initiative to build bridges across global cultures through children’s literature and served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and of the United States Board of Books for Young People (USBBY). In addition, she has participated on major award committees for children's literature, including the Caldecott.