TEDxFulbright is envisioned, orchestrated, and driven by volunteer leaders. The team takes the global nature of the Fulbright program literally, as members are currently located in eight countries across four continents, and originally from eleven countries. The efforts are supported primarily by the Fulbright Association as well as other national alumni associations and commissions. Financial support stems from public and corporate partners which seek to uphold the mission of the Fulbright program and further develop the alumni base for continuous progress.
Lead Curator, Julianne McCall
A neuroscientist at Heidelberg University, Germany, her passion for developing therapies is perpetuated by both the challenge of using nature’s ingenuity to overcome its own diseased processes and the moral obligation to treat unfortunate patients for their maladies. She currently leads the International Brain Bee neuroscience education program, an organization that engages students across 25 countries in learning about the brain. Julianne has established four independent science outreach organizations, currently serves as the Director of Youth Education for a European-wide ethics society, and recently sat on the Extended Board of the German Fulbright Alumni Association. Fulbright to Sweden, 2006.
Lead Curator, Roselin R. van der Torren
After concluding Biomedical Sciences and Medicine at Leiden University, the Netherlands, Roselin received a Fulbright scholarship to investigate causes of migraine headache at UCLA, Los Angeles and currently continues this path in Leiden in a PhD fellowship combining fundamental research with a close connection to the clinic. During her student years, she was involved in redesigning the (bio)medical curricula and became founder and editor-in-chief of a research journal for and by (bio)medical students. Now, every year, she teaches high school students about scientific research during a lab internship. Roselin is a board member of the Netherlands Fulbright Alumni Association and organizer of TEDxFulbright.
Experience Director, Adrienne Wiley
Adrienne E. Wiley, MSW, MID (New Zealand, 2006) is a public health specialist with particular skills in community-based research and monitoring and evaluation. Her career has focused largely on domestic and international issues of indigenous health and disability policy, while her personal interests include travel, writing & editing, and attempts at French language and cuisine. Ms. Wiley originally hails from the Chicago/Glenview area, but considers Pittsburgh, PA home. She currently resides in Baltimore, MD with her husband while working for Kauffman & Associates, Inc., a native-owned company that focuses on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native communities throughout the U.S.
Talent Relationship Director, Nicholas Bashour
Nicholas Michael Bashour is originally from Syria and grew up in Detroit where he graduated in 2009 from Wayne State University with degrees in Journalism and Biological Sciences. After completing a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, Nicholas traveled to Europe as a Fulbright-Schuman fellow and lived/studied in Belgium & Germany (Science Policy, 2012). He’s currently a graduate student at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and serves on the Board of Directors of Wikimedia District of Columbia, the local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia.
Wanda Sondiyazi is a Creative Producer who previously lead the footage delivery component of a digital media company where she learnt the power of the internet to market and distribute creative content, particularly using new media formats. During her undergraduate studies, she majored in Business Management and Marketing as well as obtaining a certificate in Video Production Operations specializing in documentary film making. She produced a historical documentary in early 2012 that explored the impact of colonization and land acquisition in South Africa. In 2012 she was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to study an MFA in Creative Producing at Columbia College Chicago. She is currently working on a film production for the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago which aims to educate parents about the effects that divorce and separation have on their children. She was recently awarded the AEIF grant to organize the Cape Town based Cine-Ndaba participatory film initiative which aims to empower women who are survivors of abuse through storytelling.
Graphic Designer, Munir Sayegh
Munir Sayegh is an artist, photographer, and designer. His BA is from St. Ambrose University where double majored in Marketing and Graphic Design. He conducted research on a Fulbright Scholarship to Egypt in 2011-2012 on Arabic calligraphy and typography. His photographs of Egyptian graffiti have been published in Art in America Magazine, Walls of Freedom, and Arabic Graffiti – Extended Edition. After working in the media industry as a project manager, he has started a new job at St. Ambrose University as their International Recruiter. Munir believes strongly in family, food, and dancing.
Partnership Coordinator, Rachel Bohn
Rachel Bohn is an executive assistant at a global strategic advisory firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to this role, she served as a Fulbright ETA in Ibagué, Colombia. A native of St. Louis, MO, Rachel holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latin America Studies from the University of Kansas. As an undergraduate, she studied in San José, Costa Rica and focused her coursework on the unique political and social landscape of the region. Rachel also served as a peer advisor in the Office of Study Abroad, a mentor for international students and a volunteer ESL teacher. After graduation, she interned at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. Rachel is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French and Portuguese.
Creative Director, Arlene Birt
Arlene Birt (Fulbright to The Netherlands, 2005) is a ‘visual storyteller’, public artist and information designer whose work makes ‘background stories’ visible in order to help individuals connect emotionally to the specific social and ecological-sustainability impacts of our everyday actions. Arlene’s work has been featured in international publications and she presents internationally about her approach to communicating sustainability. She consulted with the UN’s Environment Program, teaches at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and currently lives in Belgium where she works for organizations around the world to visualize topics of sustainability.
Coding Genius, Nooria Rezazada
A Fulbright scholar from Kabul, Afghanistan, Nooria has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Kabul University. She has worked with the most popular donors in Afghanistan through grant projects such as those implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Commission. She is currently completing her Masters in Information Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Logistics Coordinator, Guillermo Fok
Guillermo has a Bacherlor’s degree in Industrial Engineering with over 8 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He loves to interact with different cultures, which he had the opportunity to do from an early age, having lived in Germany and Spain as well. His public sector experience includes managing projects for State and local Government and coordinating events, forums and expos in charge of logistics and design elements. This 2013-2015 Fulbright grantee is set to start his MFA in Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where he plans to build his skills in experience and product design to develop socially responsible projects.
Volunteers Coordinator, Cristina Galalae
Cristina Galalae is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. candidate at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Romania. Ms. Galalae holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and Public Relations, a Masters in Strategic Marketing, and a Masters in Management and Communication. She has worked as a marketing specialist for several multinational companies. Ms. Galalae’s current research, which has earned her several grants, lies at the intersection of the fields of international relations and marketing, with migration studies and consumer culture theory at the core of her interests.
Stage Designer, Carlos Fierro
Carlos has applied his unique design approach to Science Storms at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, the Dinosaur Halls at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. In 2010, he accepted a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Kingston University in London, where he developed a Communication Toolkit to assist doctors and patients in multicultural contexts. Recently Carlos returned to Evidence Design and has worked on Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code and the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center at the California Science Center.
Communications Director, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams
Juleyka Lantigua-Williams earned an M.S. in print journalism from Boston University, graduated from the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University, and is a Fulbright Scholar (Spain). She has been a nationally syndicated columnist with The Progressive Media Project for fourteen years. Her columns regularly appear in The Houston Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, The Harford Courant, and the L.A. Times, among others. She previously served as a mentor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio. Her work is in The Simon and Schuster Short Prose Reader; Once Upon a Cuento; and Colonize This! She lives in CT and is at work on an MFA in Writing.
Experience Designer, Allan Martell
Allan Martell is a UX designer with experience as a trainer in low-income settings. He has run workshops on computer programming in Liberia, as well as video and radio production trainings in rural communities in El Salvador and Honduras. Martell’s professional goal is to use ICTs to advance sustainable development in impoversihed and underpriviledged communities around the world. He holds an M.S. in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) and a B.A. in Social Communications from the Central American University (El Salvador) where he also teaches.
Venue Coordinator, Toshiro Baum
A native of Seattle, Washington, Toshiro Baum is proud to be working with the TEDXFulbright team as the venue coordinator. Toshiro graduated with a B.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2011. He recently completed his Fulbright grant to Morocco where he studied energy policy with a particular emphasis on Morocco’s alternative energy development efforts. Toshiro now works in the Washington, DC office of the National Democratic Institute for its democracy support and strengthening program in Libya.
Production Advisor, Carol Wilder
Carol Wilder a writer, teacher and filmmaker based in New York City. She is Professor of Media Studies at The New School, where from 1995-2007 she was Associate Dean and Chair. From 1975-1995 she was on the Communication Studies faculty at San Francisco State University. Wilder has written many articles and book chapters on media theory and criticism. She received the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Book Award for Rigor & Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson(Praeger 1982).
Social Innovation Challenge Advisor, Francesco Chiappelli
Prof. Francesco Chiappelli (AAAS Fellow; Fulbright Specialist (Brazil, 2012); Pres. AAAS-Pacific Division 2013-14; Pres. Fulbright Assoc.-Greater LA Chapter 2013-15) came to UCLA from Europe in 1972. He has lived in Los Angeles ever since. His BA, MS, PhD and post-doctoral training are from UCLA. He has been on the faculty of the UCLA Dental School since 1994. An immunologist by training and a psychoneuroimmunologist (i.e., mind-body connections) by specialty, he veered his research efforts and productivity to evidence-based health care and translational effectiveness over a decade ago. He has written many peer-reviewed papers, chapters and books. He is married (Olivia), with three dogs.
Talent Relationship Advisor, Po-Ju Chen
Dr. Po-Ju Chen, Fulbright Scholar (Denmark, 2012), 2010 President of FL-Caribbean Chapter of CHRIE (Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educator). She joined the University of Central Florida in 2002. Her publications include generational studies, and sustainability and cross-cultural research in hospitality and tourism. Originally from Taiwan, Po-Ju earned her MS and PhD in Leisure Studies and Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching has earned several international awards for innovation. She regularly managed volunteers for social entrepreneurship programs such as the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) Bacchus Bash, a hospitality education fundraising events. She and her husband (Tony) enjoy reading and traveling.
Experience Advisor, Joe Polizzi
Joe Polizzi spent spent a year as a Fulbright in Hungary teaching English He is a former New York City public school teacher and currently an Associate Professor at Marywood University where he is the Director of the Educational Leadership and Higher Education Administration programs. At Marywood he serves as the Fulbright Campus Representative and is the Treasurer of the Philadelphia Delaware Valley Fulbright Alumni Chapter. His most recent publication is Films for a New DEEL: Documentary Films in the Educational Leadership Classroom published in the Journal of School Leadership (May 2013). He holds a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University and lives in Clarks Summit, PA. with his wife Eva and daughters, Lily and Sofie.
Sponsorship Advisor, Matilde Vallejos
A resident of Mount Airy, MD, Dr. Vallejos was awarded a Fulbright to Argentina in 2004 for Urban Education. She currently works as a Student Services Specialist and owns her own Consulting Firm. Dr. Vallejos is also a university professor at Johns Hopkins University and Ana G. Mendez Dual Language University and is passionate about making education accessible to everyone who is eager to achieve. She received a doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University, masters from George Washington University, and bachelors from the University of MD at College Park, all in various areas of special education. She was born in Argentina and has lived in the US for many years.
Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge Director, Keisuke Nakagawa
As a Fulbright fellow to Bangladesh in 2004, Mr. Nakagawa spent nine months piloting a health insurance program for the rural poor. Since returning to the United States, he has been actively involved in the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) of the Fulbright Association. He was elected to NCAC’s executive board in 2006, served as treasurer in 2007-08, and as president in 2008-09. During his term as president, the chapter held over 30 events including social activities, community service, and a gala at the Swedish Embassy. Mr. Nakagawa is passionate about strengthening the Fulbright community at the local, national, and international levels. He is interested in empowering Fulbright Association chapters and coordinating with sister alumni associations around the world to share best practices and to foster a more connected global network of Fulbright alumni. He is also interested in encouraging young Fulbright alumni to get more involved in chapter activities and to take leadership roles in the Fulbright Association. Mr. Nakagawa left his position as a policy analyst at the Congressional Budget Office two years ago to begin study at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University in 2004.
We are indebted to a number of other Fulbright volunteers that gave of their time, expertise, and energy so generously throughout the program’s development. Of particular note are the following:
Jan Anderssen, Computational Linguist, Idealo, Fulbright from Germany to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001
Qazi Fazli Azeem, Communication Designer, MIT Media Lab, Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan to the US, 2013