The Nominations Committee of The Forum Council is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the open positions in this year’s election:
- Keshia Abraham (CIEE)
- Janet Alperstein (New York University)
- Christina Carroll (Florida State University)
- Jonathan Kaplan (Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
- Leo Rowland (University of Redlands)
Institutional Representatives from Forum member institutions and organizations will receive an email with voting information. The deadline to vote in the 2018 election is May 19.
Keshia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her to the Forum Council. She has been engaged in advocacy and capacity building for increasing diversity in study abroad for decades. A champion of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and other institutions with demonstrated commitment to supporting students of color, Dr. Abraham has participated in forums, seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, and community-based programming promoting international educational exchange everywhere. Born in Pittsburgh, PA to African American parents who were passionate educators and community caregivers, Keshia developed a passion for international education early, being the first person in her immediate family to obtain a passport (which was used to participate in a program in Sweden at the age of 12). Following this with a more traditional study abroad program at 16, Keshia began writing and advocating for deeper intercultural knowledge and experience both for other students and for the faculty and K-12 teachers. Upon return from Italy, she founded a student United Nations team at her high school while volunteering with numerous anti-apartheid campaigns at local colleges and universities. Her choice to attend Spelman College was grounded in her expectation of going abroad to study and live in Southern Africa which became her home for many years, even while pursuing her PhD in Comparative Literature with concentrations in African/diasporic literature, women’s studies and popular education at Binghamton University.
In her role as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at CIEE, Keshia is able to draw on her many years holding simultaneous positions as Associate Professor of English, Director of International Education, Chair of Humanities and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Florida Memorial University, and prior work with other MSI-serving institutions around the world. In particular, her role involves managing CIEE’s partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) and the strategic priorities within this partnership which include the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Program, Project Passport, Project Passport Global Fellows, the Minority Serving Institution International Faculty Development Seminar, and developing special programs with these institutions; while developing and offering workshops, trainings and specialized programs for our global faculty and staff and teaching.
She is honored to be in a position that supports our shared mission of helping people of all backgrounds surpass the barriers of cost, culture and curriculum, to acquire understanding, skills and knowledge of this globally diverse world.
Janet F. Alperstein joined NYU’s Office of Global Programs in 2011 and serves as the Assistant Vice President overseeing global academic planning. Prior to that she was the Director of the Office of Academic Affairs at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for five years and the first full-time Dean for Study Abroad at Barnard College for six years before that. While working at Barnard College, Janet completed her PhD from Columbia University in Sociology and Education. In addition, she has annually taught a graduate class on gender and inequality and the role of schools since 2000, at Teachers College until 2011 and at NYU’s Steinhardt School from 2013 to present.
Throughout her career she has focused on helping develop study abroad opportunities for students who have had limited options. At Hebrew University, Dr. Alperstein developed innovative study abroad programs for instrumental music and dance majors at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. More than ten years later, these opportunities continue to provide students in these vertical majors an option to study away. Over the last few years in partnership with senior faculty in each of the disciplines at NYU, she has developed and implemented study abroad opportunities for students in Instrumental Music Performance, Recorded Music, Drama, Film and Television, Biology, Physics, and Computer Science. In the pipeline to launch in Spring 2019 are study abroad opportunities for Math, Chemistry and Engineering (pre-major declaration). Similar to Hebrew University, these study abroad opportunities are for students in majors which have often been underrepresented in study abroad. Since working at Barnard College, Dr. Alperstein has advocated for students with high need to be able to take advantage of all study abroad has to offer.
Advocating with students, faculty, families, faculty and administrative offices such as Career Development, Multicultural/Diversity and Financial Aid about the value of study abroad and addressing challenges to participation are an area that Dr. Alperstein hopes to work with through the Forum’s Council, committee and membership. Her involvement with The Forum on Education Abroad includes serving on the Boston and Prague Conference Committees.
In Christina’s seventeen-year tenure at Florida State University International Programs, she has worn many hats (like most of us in the field): immigration officer, U.S. ambassador, spokesperson, travel agent, tour guide, guidance counselor, financial advisor, and on more than a couple of occasions, a miracle worker.
In her latest incarnation, she serves as the Director of Risk and Emergency Management. In this role, she is in charge of codifying, evaluating and implementing relevant university standards, ethics and policies for all risk and emergency management issues related to FSU study abroad programs, as well as the application of the Standards of Good Practice established by The Forum on Education Abroad. This position has opened up yet another fascinating facet of her work, just when she thought she had experienced them all.
Among her more noteworthy accomplishments, to date: she has developed two courses for FSU that focus on global engagement through active participation in the study abroad location. Christina believes study abroad should be viewed as an essential part of higher education and that Florida State University is leading the charge on this front by including it in their liberal studies curriculum as a “formative experience.”
Previous to her current position, Christina has served in many capacities. She was the Assistant Director of Program Management that oversees the coordination of FSU’s study abroad programs, which combined, sends over 2,000 students abroad annually. She has worked as the Manager of College for High School and Faculty Services, for which she designed, implemented and marketed study abroad programs aimed at high school students for college credit. She also became FSU’s first immigration specialist, developing protocols and managing all immigration processes for students and faculty on their international programs. Christina also served as FSU’s first international internship coordinator, responsible for establishing and implementing FSU’s internship program.
Christina has actively participated with The Forum for many years and currently serves as the Chair of the Advocacy Committee and the Working Group for Strategic Communication for Health and Safety. Christina also served on the Conference Selection Committee for the 14th Annual Conference in Boston this year.
Christina is proud of the work she has accomplished these past three years on the Council and is seeking re-election to contribute far more going forward. Her background in program development and student affairs, combined with her current work in risk and emergency management will allow her to continue to contribute varying perspectives of membership interests. Christina is eager to continue to foster an increasing collaboration among her education abroad colleagues and hopes you will consider her for re-election.
Jonathan (Yoni) Kaplan has been active in international education since 1978 as a teacher and administrator, most recently as the Vice Provost of the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Rothberg School hosts over 2,200 international students annually and offers undergraduate and graduate studies in a variety of formats. As the school’s chief administrative officer, Yoni has been involved in program development, outreach, public relations, finances, and emergency management. He has also worked closely with American universities in these areas. Kaplan has brought together leading academic institutions in Jerusalem to offer joint programs in the performing and plastic arts. He has also guided the school toward increased activity within The Forum, providing sponsorship for its activities, presenting in multiple conferences and serving as a member of the 2017 conference committee. A historian by training, Yoni specializes in 20th century Jewish history and has written on the Holocaust and Jewish nationalism.
Yoni has been a major supporter of programs encouraging diversity and minority populations to study abroad. In this regard he has succeeded in raising considerable funds for diversity scholarships. During the past month he visited a number of HBCUs and MSIs in an attempt to encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities and to develop joint programs that would enable additional universities to send students to the Middle East. To this end he has also taken an active role in Diversity Abroad as a member of the 2018 conference committee.
Kaplan has been responsible for numerous collaborations with organizations and universities throughout the United States. Colleagues from prominent American universities have counseled Israeli staff in areas such as Title IX, security, student life and diversity issues. Some 30 faculty-led programs have been tailored to the needs of American institutions. Joint programs have been run with dozens of universities. Through these projects, Yoni has been in close contact with university leaders from around the country.
As the senior administrator of international programs at a prominent university abroad, Yoni is thoroughly familiar with both sides of the education abroad divide: the workings and concerns of American universities as well as the issues and challenges faced by host institutions overseas. From this vantage point, he is ideally positioned to understand changing university strategies and trends while at the same time paying attention to the minute details that make an international study experience safe and successful.
Yoni would like to contribute to the strengthening of an international perspective in The Forum’s work. As North American universities take an increasingly active role in their students’ study abroad experiences—academically and administratively—there is a greater need to understand and define the connection between home universities and those institutions that host students abroad. There may be a need for alignment in areas such as Title IX, diversity and inclusion, student safety and academic reporting. This could include services for institutions abroad that seek to better understand the needs of North American schools and wish to comply with their expectations through easily accessible training sessions, and could lead to the broader certification program specifically for foreign institutions. The promotion of The Forum among international institutions could also advance this goal. A second and related issue has to do with incoming international students. How can universities develop the competence and cultural sensitivity not only to send their students abroad, but also to receive and support students from other cultures and societies? What should be the interaction between incoming and outgoing students, in order to maximize the experience of each? A third issue of major concern today is safety and security, and Kaplan’s experience in the planning and operation of programs in conflicted areas could be of benefit to The Forum. For these reasons Yoni would be most interested in joining the Standards Committee.
Jonathan has also led various educational projects outside the university. He was very active in the development of new educational technologies, serving as the founding director of Aviv, Israel’s first virtual high school and later as the director of a state-wide project to integrate computer technology into the teaching and learning of schools located in underprivileged areas across the country.
Leo Rowland has been involved with higher education in a variety of capacities for 15 years in the United States, Seoul, South Korea, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Close to a decade of this time was in Buenos Aires where he held faculty and administrative positions at distinct organizations including a public university (Universidad Nacional de San Martin/Lincoln University College), a U.S. educational organization (IES Abroad) and a large language school with university programs (Expanish). He also lectured at various institutions while in Argentina such as Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Industrial and Pepperdine University, Buenos Aires. In the U.S. he has taught at the State Center Community College District (CA) and at the University of Redlands where he is currently the Director of Study Abroad. Other professional experience includes work as a journalist, translator, and editor/abridger for major publishing houses.
In the arc of his experience in the U.S. and overseas, his involvement with international education has ranged from high level strategic planning, overseas program development and management, and joint-degree program creation to engagement with students through teaching a range of writing and cultural studies related courses as well as through the full cycle of student advisement and support.
Since moving to the U.S. three years ago, he has taken advantage of being stateside with corresponding opportunities to contribute to and learn from the field. He has served on The Forum’s Curriculum Toolbox Working Group and Advocacy Committee and is currently a member of the Academic Working Group of the Overseas Advisory Council (OSAC) and OSAC’s Austria Country council. As a current member of the IES Academic Council he recently chaired the assessment of an IES study center. He has also served as a panelist for the Benjamin Gilman and Boren Scholarship Programs administered by IIE. At Redlands he is a member of the Latin American Studies Program Faculty and the university President’s chartered Committee on Comprehensive Internationalization and will be leading his first overseas course for the university in Italy this summer. He will also spend the fall semester guiding a self-study for a QUIP review.
Leo is eager to contribute to the work of The Forum through joining the Forum Council. He believes his background in teaching and administration at both U.S. and international institutions on three continents along with his strengths in strategic thinking will prove valuable to the activity of the Forum Council.