Global Learning Launchpad Participants

The first cohort of educators to join the Global Learning Launchpad come from a range of institutional types, disciplinary/professional interests and experiences.  This year’s cohort spans both novice and experienced program leaders.

Eric Archer, inaugural Global Learning Launchpad faculty participant
Eric Archer, Western Michigan University
ABOUT:  Dr. Eric Archer is an associate professor of educational leadership whose research focuses on topics including diversity and inclusion in postsecondary education, international education leadership, and the internationalization of higher education both in the U.S. and globally. He teaches courses on global leadership, international and comparative education, and diversity and inclusion and is active in teaching and consulting in various countries including Albania, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, and Malaysia. One interesting facet of his proposed education abroad program in Albania is that it is one of the least visited countries by Americans in Europe even though the U.S. has maintained close diplomatic relations with the country for over 100 years. One issue he plans to explore during the Global Learning Launchpad program is how to better integrate effective experiential and reflective learning activities for students participating in education abroad activities.

PROGRAM/COURSE: Global Leadership and Social Change in Albania

Elisheva Cohen, Indiana University-Bloomington
ABOUT: Elisheva Cohen, Director of International Education Programs and Outreach at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. In her role at Indiana University, Elisheva Cohen develops, supports and implements global learning programming and outreach for undergraduate and graduate students, K-12 teachers, businesses, organizations, and the general public. Her academic and professional experiences are in the field of international development with a particular focus on education in and about areas of conflict and crisis. Through the Global Learning Launchpad, she will be working on strengthening a course on refugee studies that takes students to Jordan and building out a course where students learn about international development through travel to Mexico.

PROGRAM/COURSE: Refugees and Forced Migration in the Context of Jordan

Debra Dreisbach, Penn State University- Lehigh Valley
ABOUT: I’m an Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator for the Criminal Justice program at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Prior to entering academia, I was fortunate to have opportunities in my work where I traveled and worked with global partners, which ignited my interest in global learning.  I’ve worked with PSU Global for the past four years in an effort to deliver the course, Organized Crime in Film & Society, an inter-disciplinary course that examines the relationship between criminological and justice theories of organized crime and the portrayal of the mafia in popular Italian American film.  We will examine the anti-mafia community movement in Sicily, which was spearheaded by college students and severely mitigated the mafia’s influence. Students will examine the value and importance of looking at systemic inequities, the patterns of power and privilege, and how they shaped the country. Through this course, I hope to explore avenues, where students, through examination of the student-led movement in Sicily, are motivated to organize and engineer meaningful change movements.

PROGRAM/COURSE: CRIM 225N Organized Crime in Film & Society

William Geibel, inaugural Global Learning Launchpad faculty participant
William Geibel, University of California- San Diego
ABOUT: A global scholar and practitioner, Bill Robertson Geibel currently holds a dual appointment at UC San Diego’s Sixth College as a faculty member and the Associate Director of Experiential Learning. In this role he oversees and teaches within the College’s experiential learning program and works to develop educational programming and partnerships that provide students with real world learning opportunities including study abroad, internships, and community engagement.

Bill’s teaching and scholarship lies at the intersection of globalization, diplomacy, and higher education. In particular, much of his work is focused on understanding how globalization is shaping the way universities prepare students to be engaged citizens, both within and beyond national borders. This interest is reflected in his faculty-led study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland, which seeks to blend the values of career, civic, and global learning, as well as his other global-local experiential learning courses at UCSD.

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Bill worked at UCLA’s International Institute, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, and the US State Department as a Fulbright scholar in Kirikkale, Turkey. He holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara, an MA from Brandeis University, and a PhD in International Education from UCLA.

PROGRAM/COURSE: Sixth College Internships in Dublin

Scott Griffin, The Ohio State University
ABOUT:  Scott is the Director of the Keenan Center & Lecturer in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He brings three decades of experience in starting, managing, and growing businesses across a variety of industries nationally and globally, with a proven track record for building high-performing teams.  As part of his role, Scott teaches courses on New Product Development and Innovation at The Ohio State University’s Fisher Graduate School of Business. He also served on the Board of Directors for several non-profit institutions, including Ohio State Parks and Columbus State Community College.

Griffin is a patent holder and has led the successful commercialization of several new products. Examples include the Earth minded Rain Station and the social venture PackH20 that was awarded the 2013 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt’s People’s Design Award. Griffin received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in 1987 and his MBA from Xavier University in 1992.

PROGRAM/COURSE: Sustainable Business Global Lab

Lauren Karplus, University of Illinois-Champaign
ABOUT:  I am an Academic Advisor and the Experiential Learning Coordinator in the Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois-Champaign. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to spend my junior year of high school living in Germany. That early experience was pivotal in sparking a desire to live in cultures much different than my own, and I have since spent many years traveling internationally whenever I can and living for years in Africa and Europe. Higher education was the best fit for me to be able to live near family in central Illinois while still experiencing a huge diversity of world cultures daily. I’ve worked in immigration advising, study abroad advising, and now work with faculty on building high-quality short-term study abroad programs. I am currently assisting a professor in our department to lead a course on Recreation and Tourism Economics in Croatia this May. I am interested in exploring ways to seamlessly weave in cultural values/worldview differences into course and program content for students who may be primarily focused on the touristic and academic aspects of the programs.

PROGRAM/COURSE: ACE 436: International Business Immersion Program

Ramona Lewis, inaugural Global Learning Launchpad faculty participant
Ramona Meraz-Lewis, Western Michigan University
ABOUT: I am a Master Faculty Specialist [equiv. – Clinical Professor] in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research & Technology at Western Michigan University. My work as a faculty member centers on teaching and supporting undergraduate and graduate students in exploring themes of leadership and intercultural development in a variety of educational environments, with a special focus on higher education leadership. I am passionate about helping create opportunities for global perspective taking, particularly for students from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented backgrounds. My work in this area has included launching a variety of initiatives including the development of three different study abroad programs: Canada, Malaysia & Singapore, and the Dominican Republic that serve both undergraduate and graduate student populations.  In addition, I have created globally focused courses, expanded the number of global internship partners available to graduate students, and co-designed an award-winning global classrooms experience for graduate students.  This work is highlighted in publications, presentations, and podcasts and has been funded and awarded through professional associations.

PROGRAM/COURSE: CEHD 3050 Seita Scholars Study Abroad: Exploring Themes of Social Justice & Youth Empowerment in Education & Social Services in the Dominican Republic

Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University
ABOUT: Jennifer is a professor of English at Longwood University. Dr. Miskec’s interests include contemporary American children’s and young adult literature, popular picture books, Early Reader books, Middle Grade Reader books, global children’s culture, and place-based pedagogy.  She was a 2019 Fulbright Scholar in Croatia and has extensive experience leading study abroad programs.


Girija Shinde, inaugural GLL cohort member
Girija Shinde, Volunteer State Community College
ABOUT: I am a biology professor at Volunteer State Community College, where I have taught for more than 20 years. I am the chair of the international education committee at VSCC. I was an international student, came to the United States in 2001 and since then I have learnt so much even about other states in India and about other cultures across the world. That is why I have always encouraged my students to have a broader world view, to interact with people from other cultures, to travel when there is an opportunity, and expand their horizon to help them to be global citizens. I have done this by inviting Humphrey Fellows to our campuses to meet and chat with students. I have created opportunities for my students since summer 2013, who live in very rural counties to travel abroad to countries like India, Ecuador, Japan, so that they can get out of their comfort zone and see the world. Today I am proud to say that some of these students have become world travelers! So, over the 2 decades I have been a faculty in the education system in the United States, I have tried to improve the quality of teaching and learning for my students using the global perspective, and helped them to widen their lens, think critically, and cultivate a community of global learners.

PROGRAM/COURSE: Special Topics in Biology – Galapagos Program