Three decades of impactful and diverse academic experiences, including teaching at a small liberal arts college, an HBCU, and large R1s. Recipient of multiple awards for teaching, research, outreach, and diversity. Well-regarded human rights researcher and teacher invited for at least 20 public talks, nationally and globally, since 2019.
I am an “outside the box” thinker and problem solver with a broad vision for human rights and global education. I have extensive experience shaping compelling common visions and building diverse coalitions inclusive of faculty, students, staff, and community members. Consensus-builder and frequent matchmaker between diverse stakeholders. Broad and in-depth experience with the nuts and bolts of twenty-first century academia, including educational technology, assessment, fundraising, grant writing, curriculum development, hiring, and promotion and tenure. Experienced raising funds for social justice projects as well as extensive experience monitoring and stretching limited budgets. Hard-working and respectfully persistent, I am a collaborative and empathetic leader devoted to shared governance and transparency, and skilled at bringing the best out of people and finding ways for everyone to contribute to the success of a project. I am a dedicated mentor to students, faculty, staff, and community members, as well as a proud mentee of so many academics and community members.
Key Administrative Roles
Founding Director, Online Graduate Programs in Human Rights Practice, 2017-Present: In our fourth year, we have taught approximately 120 students from around the globe, with 90 graduates by May 2022. More than 60 program faculty from 11 different colleges across the University as well as a very prestigious 11-member international advisory board. Cutting-edge pedagogy (see Simmons 2019) and curriculum based upon video-conference guest lectures and working with community members through the online format with on-the-ground, real-world projects. We have had over 400 guest lectures from more than 60 countries. We recently launched the first fully online BA in Human Rights in the US, and three new graduate certificates – all of them the first of their kind (gender-based violence, human rights and technology, and human rights and documentary media). We have signed MOUs with six international universities (in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ghana, Bangladesh, Italy, Austria) to develop joint MA programs and other initiatives. We are creating regional graduate certificates such as Human Rights in Eurasia, Human Rights in the Middle East, and Human Rights in Central Asia. These will include existing courses and workshops run by community members along with courses from international universities and our program.
Special Consultant to the Dean, Global Campus, San Diego State University, 2021-2022: Served mainly as a liaison between the Global Campus and academic programs on the main campus. I worked with the Dean to develop a sustainable organizational structure for the academic side of SDSU GC that included the responsibilities for a new associate dean of academic affairs for Global Campus. Provided an academic perspective on marketing analyses and budget models, recognizing that traditional market data and budget formulas are useful but incomplete for mapping opportunities, student interest, and potential collaborations. Began nurturing interdisciplinary faculty teams willing to collaborate to develop innovative online programs, including exploring reward structures to make participation in Global Campus more enticing for faculty, department chairs, and deans.
President of the Board of Directors, Lost Boys Center for Leadership Development, 2014-Present: Overseeing one of the largest organizations working with the Lost Boys from Sudan, we have successfully changed our mission twice and dealt with numerous fundraising challenges. Currently we are centering an invaluable archive of 17,000 testimonies gathered 30 years ago while the Lost Boys were in refugee camps in East Africa. We are raising funds, connecting individuals to their testimonial records, building an educational center in Juba, South Sudan, and developing a remembrance project to advance peace in South Sudan.
President, President-Elect, and Past President, Academic Senate, Arizona State University, 2004-2006: Led the West Campus Senate during one of the most chaotic and politically charged moments for higher education in state history, as President Crow built the New American University. I successfully rallied students, faculty, staff, and community members around a common vision of what our campus should be. I gained support for that vision from the Arizona State Legislature, the Governor’s office, and the Arizona Board of Regents, as well as community leaders and faculty and students across the state.
Founding Director, MA in Social Justice and Human Rights Practice, 2007-2011: This program was based on an innovative learner-centered curriculum that emphasized team-taught, problem-based, and community-embedded seminars as well as student internships, and the infusion of virtual lectures via videoconferencing from around the world. The curriculum brought university expertise to real-world community problems and created engaged interdisciplinary research teams of faculty, students, and community members. With almost no development infrastructure, I raised over $300,000 from community members for student scholarships.