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Dex Burns

Dr. Christos Kyrou

Symphoni Henry

President  


Dex is an avid world traveler and has been to over 15 countries and counting. He credits his passion for global citizenship to his initial study abroad experience in Cuzco, Perú in 2012. He is a staunch advocate of study abroad and in 2017, became the youngest alumnus to establish a named scholarship at the University of Illinois at Springfield for international travel. He lives in Washington, D.C. and has managed foreign affairs internship programs in both the federal and private sectors.

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Symphoni Henry

Dr. Christos Kyrou

Symphoni Henry

Secretary & Outreach Director   

 

 Symphoni is a dedicated educator, activist, advocate, and youth development worker. She has worked to provide post-secondary opportunities and resources to students from underrepresented communities. Through her work, she has served students in Chicago's public housing and Peoria Illinois' public-school system. Symphoni brings a level of expertise in working with higher education and secondary institutions on program development, academic advising, and community outreach. 

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Dr. Christos Kyrou

Dr. Christos Kyrou

Dr. Christos Kyrou

 Strategic Advisor  

   

 Dr. Kyrou is currently the Research Director of the Center for International Relations. His area of focus is Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Behavioral and Environmental Science, and Peacebuilding. He has taught international negotiations, conflict analysis, and transformative dialogue as professor at American University’s School of International Studies, as well as conflict related courses at many other institutions of higher learning throughout the US and the world. 

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Peggy Lewis

Ashundria Oliver

Ashundria Oliver

Board Member


Peggy is a retired real estate broker and former English/Theater teacher. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived and raised her family in Chicago’s northern suburbs. Peggy is an ardent supporter of higher education and created the Sheldon Lewis Memorial Scholarship in honor of her late husband, Mr. Sheldon Lewis. Dex was a recipient of this award in 2010 upon entering his first year of college.

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Ashundria Oliver

Ashundria Oliver

Ashundria Oliver

 Board Member 


Ashundria believes all students should be given the opportunity to study abroad. She became a world citizen after her first study abroad trip to Peru in 2012. As an undergraduate, she completed a course entitled “Latin American Expressions” which nurtured her love for global citizenship. She has since traveled to Canada, Iceland, the UK, France, and the Netherlands. Ashundria currently lives in New York and works to provide legal services to needy communities.

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Nola Senna

Ashundria Oliver

Nola Senna

   Board Member 


Nola is a world citizen. Born and raised in Brazil, she has lived in the US for many years, where she taught language and culture at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She now lives in England and continues to pursue her love for travel and learning. Her first experience abroad was at 18 and she continues to travel the world at 58. For Nola, traveling is addictive, and learning is essential.

Mark is a researcher of U.S.-China relations. He worked for the Center for Strategic and Internation

Mark Akpaninyie

Mark Akpaninyie

Mark Akpaninyie

 Board Member 


Mark is a global citizen and has lived in China for more than three years. He was a Teach For China fellow and a lecturer at Baoshan University. Mark is a researcher of U.S and China relations and analyzed economic initiatives in Eurasia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and a Young Leader with the Pacific Forum.

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Edgar Vizcaino

Mark Akpaninyie

Mark Akpaninyie

 Board Member 


Born and raised in Mexico, Edgar attended La Universidad de Colima. He traveled abroad for the first time as an undergraduate student to the University of Illinois at Springfield. After an impactful and eye-opening experience, he decided to pursue a graduate degree in Illinois where he now lives and works as a Software Engineer. Edgar loves traveling and considers it essential for the soul

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Liza Arias

Mark Akpaninyie

Liza Arias

 Board Member 


Liza earned her BA in International Relations from Wellesley College. A Fulbright scholar, her Chinese language studies were funded by the Taiwanese government and she lectured at Pingtung University. Liza is passionate about military studies and the use of force in counterinsurgency operations. She heads the organization Breaking Cycle, which focuses on helping first-generation college students succeed academically