Advisory Council
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Diversity Network Advisory Council

The Diversity Abroad Network appreciates the guidance and dedication of the Advisory Council.

Cynthia Banks has decades of experience in entrepreneurial leadership as Founder/CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, a global education abroad organization which helped more than 30,000 students study or intern abroad at 120 programs worldwide. She currently serves as President of the Foundation for Global Scholars, a non-profit supporting globally minded young adults with scholarships and other resources.  Her consulting practice, New World Vistas, designs business and leadership strategies with an emphasis on supporting women leaders.    

Banks has served as a member of NAFSA’s Board of Directors, is a current trainer for the NAFSA Management Development Program and has held four other significant leadership roles with the Association including Chair, Education Abroad Knowledge Community and Executive Committee Treasurer, Region 2.  She serves as board advisor for the Colorado State University Institute for Entrepreneurship and is an elected member of the International Women's Forum.  Now in the faculty for the University of Colorado – Boulder Leed’s Business School, she also travels as an invited keynote speaker and presenter at national and global education conferences.  Honors include 2009 Small Business of the Year by Colorado Women’s Chamber, Inc. Magazine Top 5000 Business and the 2013 Top Three Minority/Women Owned Business do by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.


Dr. Heather Barclay Hamir is the President & CEO at The Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University (IFSA-Butler) A career international educator, Heather has led efforts to expand study abroad participation at three universities and now leads the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University. She has participated in various national boards committed to enhancing quality and participation in international education. Currently, she serves on the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Board of Directors of the Fund for Education Abroad, and Diversity Abroad’s Advisory Council. She is an active contributor to national discussions on access and equity in education abroad, including numerous national and international presentations on the topic.

While at the University of Texas at Austin, the institution rose from seventh to second in the nation for the number of study abroad participants, with 2,800 students abroad. UT Austin received both NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award and Diversity Abroad’s Excellence in Diversifying International Education (EDIE) Institutional Award in 2014 as a result of broad-based initiatives and partnerships that significantly improved participation rates among a variety of underrepresented groups. Under her leadership, UT Austin also implemented one of the first programs in the nation to pilot study abroad programming as a retention strategy.


Richard Bartecki serves as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Institutional Relations at IES Abroad, where he leads the organization’s Enrollment Management, Recruiting and Advising, Admissions, Diversity, and Marketing departments. These groups are responsible for IES Abroad’s national and international recruiting and advising efforts, financial aid, online advertising and marketing, publication production, diversity recruiting and advising, special events and conferences, and strategic pricing.

During his 30-year career, Bartecki has won more than 20 local, national and international awards, including honors from PR Week magazine, the Publicity Club of Chicago, and the American Association of Museums, for his public relations, design, online marketing, employee communications and branding work.

Bartecki joined IES Abroad in April of 2009 from the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he served as Vice President of Marketing for the Garden, its Regenstein School, and the organization’s Institute for Plant Conservation Biology. 

Prior to the Chicago Botanic Garden, Bartecki served at Ogilvy PR Worldwide, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, as Senior Vice President and Group Director, leading US-based and global account teams that included BP, Castrol, Rubbermaid, Snap-on Tools, Dow Chemical, DuPont, True Value Hardware, the International Race of Champions, and many other consumer products companies. 

A resident of Evanston, Illinois, he serves on the Board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Chicago River and is a past president of the DuPage Audubon Society. He holds of Bachelor’s of Science degree in Journalism from Iowa State University.


Dr. Aaron Bruce is the Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University, where he focuses on campus-wide multicultural understanding, social justice, and strategies related to diversity and inclusion. In addition to developing ways improve campus climate, Dr. Bruce helps strengthen the university’s connections to San Diego’s diverse local and global communities. His experience in the advertising and marketing affords him with the creative energy to promote diversity in a variety of ways. He presently is an active member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), Vice President of the Southern California Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (SCADOHE) and is a International Multicultural Institute certified diversity trainer, who has facilitated numerous professional development seminars in the U.S. and abroad.He serves on the National Advisory Council for Saving Students Saving Lives an anti-bullying conference for educators and school counselors.

Dr. Bruce has held management positions in Latin America and Africa. His passion for global understanding has afforded him with opportunities to conduct research on management strategies, public health and education in Cuba, Mexico, and Kenya. Prior to joining SDSU, he served as the Director of Multicultural Affairs at Rhode Island College, where he developed policies and programming supporting underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.

He holds a BA degree from Michigan State University where he majored in Economics and Political Science, and earned a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He holds a Master’s degree in International Business Administration from United States International University. Dr. Bruce completed his Ph.D. in Education from the joint Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island Doctoral Program in Education. He is the first African American male to hold such a distinction. He is presently editing his first book titled Beyond the Black Horizon; African American Experiences Abroad. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Dr. Bruce has traveled extensively and is committed to making a difference in the world. He volunteers for numerous organizations and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is an advocate for global education, who lives by the motto “Awaken the sleep, protect the weak, and guide the strong”


Julius E. Coles was appointed the Interim Director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership beginning in July 2012 and has previously served as the Director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and the Office of Global Education from April 2010 to June 2012. Before returning to Morehouse, he was President of Africare from 2002 to 2009. He has also served as the Director of Morehouse College’s Andrew Young Center for International Affairs from 1997 – 2002 and as the Director of the Director of Howard University’s Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center from 1994 - 1997. Most of Mr. Coles’ career of some twenty-eight years in the Foreign Service has been spent as a senior official with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). While with USAID, Mr. Coles was Mission Director in Swaziland and Senegal and served in Vietnam, Morocco, Liberia, Nepal and Washington, D.C. He received a B.A. from Morehouse College (1964) and a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (1966). He has also studied at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, the U.S. Department of State Foreign Institute’s Senior Seminar, the Federal Executive Institute and Institut de Français. Mr. Coles retired from the U.S. Government’s Foreign Service in 1994 with the rank of Career Minister. He received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate of International Affairs from The University of Findlay, Ohio (2012), the Bennie Achievement Award, Morehouse College (2010), Princeton-in-Africa Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), James Madison Medal from Princeton University (2007), Morehouse College National Alumnus of the Year for 2006, Amistad Achievement Award (2003),Distinguished Career Service Award (1995), the Presidential Meritorious Service Award (1983-1986), and was decorated by President Abdou Diouf of Senegal as Commander in the Order of Lion (1994). Mr. Coles is a member of the Boards of Health and Development International, Academy for Educational Development (AED), CAPA International and Gregory University (Uturu, Nigeria). In addition, he was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Rotary Club of Atlanta, Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee and has been appointed as a member of the UNESCO International Commission on the Gorée Memorial.


Dr. Donna Ekal is Associate Provost in the Office for Undergraduate Studies (OUS) at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her duties include leading the nine departments in Undergraduate Studies, coordinating the university programming with El Paso Community College (EPCC), and participating in other campus programs and activities.

The mission of the Office for Undergraduate Studies is to provide integrated, high-quality programs that foster and support student success for UTEP students prior to entering the university through the entirety of their undergraduate education in order to encourage and enrich their academic experiences and achievements. Included in OUS are the Academic Advising Center, Developmental English, Developmental Math, Early College High School Academic Success Center, Entering Student Program, Medical Professions Institute, Student Support Services Program, Study Abroad Office, and the University Honors Program. By establishing a data informed culture of program development and evaluation that is student centered, the OUS is contributing to student success in the El Paso area by creating opportunities that respond to and address student needs. Working with our partners in the area independent school districts and El Paso Community College, Dr. Ekal co-chairs the EPCC UTEP Articulation Committee and UTEP’s Dual Credit Initiative to ensure both first time and transfer students’ successful transition to UTEP.

She has represented UTEP on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Undergraduate Advisory Committee and is the PI on several grants including a UT System Transformation in Medical Education and a Kresge Foundation sponsored program entitled Academic Institutions for Military Students. She was the former Program Coordinator of the Medical Professions Institute in the College of Science at UTEP and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences. She was the Faculty Advisor for the Pre-Dental Society, Health Occupations Students of America, and the Medical Professions Organization where she was selected as the UTEP Advisor of the Year for 2005 – 2006 and 2006 – 2007.

Prior to coming to UTEP, Dr. Ekal was principal of El Paso Country Day School, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and worked on a U.S.A.I.D. grant with University of Illinois at Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota in Agronomy and her graduate degrees from Cornell University.


Margaret Heisel has been director of The Center for Capacity Building in Study Abroad, established in Washington, DC, by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and NAFSA: the Association of International Educators. She has recently returned to the Bay area and will be an visiting scholar at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Heisel has extensive experience in higher education administration with a concentration in international education. As head of the Center for Capacity Building, she directed studies focused on the character of education abroad programs, concentrating on curriculum, learning assessment, development of new models within professional degrees, and financing of education abroad programs. Her recent work builds upon three decades of policy analysis and implementation in academic affairs at the University of California, Office of the President, where she headed a unit administering off-campus study programs for the University’s ten campuses. In addition, she has extensive experience at University of California in undergraduate admissions and outreach policy and implementation. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American studies from the University of Kansas and has taught at the University of New Orleans, Middlebury College, and the University of the Pacific.


Martha Johnson is the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in education abroad since 1991, including on-site at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several US-based educational organizations and consortia previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001. She holds a BA with a double major in Literature and Theatre Arts and an MA in Literature with an emphasis in multicultural and travel literature, and post-colonial theory and teaches courses exploring the interface between literature and culture. Martha has presented and co-chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and co-authored the “Working Abroad” chapter in the NAFSA Guide to Education Abroad, 2004 edition. She previously served on the NAFSA International Education Leadership team as well as serving and chairing multiple committees in NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad. She is currently serving on the Forum Council as Vice Chair.

The Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota is one of the largest education abroad offices in the US and currently sends over 2500 students abroad annually, the 3rd highest number in the US. The office and University is internationally recognized for its Curriculum Integration initiative and successes in sending students from underrepresented disciplines abroad.


Eveadean Morrison Myers currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for International Initiatives at Prairie View A&M University. She oversees campus wide efforts to create a campus community actively committed to inclusion and pluralism.

She previously served as the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach at North Dakota State University for seven years. Myers served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and was NDSU’s first executive director and chief diversity officer.

Myers was Associate Director for Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity and Diversity for Iowa State University for ten years before coming to NDSU. Myers began her career at the Pillsbury Company Legal Department. Myers’ career expands more than two decades in administrative positions both in public higher education and corporate America. Myers earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University and her Juris Doctorate degree at the University of Iowa, College of Law.

As the Senior International Officer at Prairie View A&M University, Myers coordinates university-wide internationalization strategy and efforts and has been instrumental in raising the profile of PVAMU as a globally identified Historically Black Land-Grant Institution. She is the recipient of a Fulbright International Education Administrators Program award, and participated in the Fulbright U.S. – Japan 2013 program, where she had the opportunity to meet with educational leaders and visit universities across Japan.

Currently, Myers serves on the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council and the Diversity Abroad Advisory Counsel. Myers is a former Board Member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). She previously served as a Board Member for the American Association for Affirmative Action and also served as national membership chair.


Dr. Anthony L. Pinder serves as the inaugural Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for Internationalization and Global Engagement at Emerson College in Boston, MA. He plays a pivotal role in helping the College determine what it means to be a leading institution in the arts and communication in a global way. As the chief international officer, he is responsible for managing and building on all of the College’s international operations, such as Emerson College’s European Center at Kasteel Well, The Netherlands; its partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme and the Academy of Performing Arts for Film and Television in the Czech Republic. He established Emerson’s Global Pathways Program, which number 15 faculty-led education abroad programs around the world. He provides leadership to Emerson’s Curriculum Internationalization Studio, international student operations, education abroad programming, international agreements, English Language Learning, among other strategies for internationalization.

Previously, he served as the charter Director of Internationalization and Assistant Professor of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). In this role he was responsible for the vision, implementation and staffing of GGC’s comprehensive internationalization operation. Dr. Pinder’s research and professional interests focus on the international dimensions of higher education at the institutional, system, national and international levels, student global learning outcomes/assessment and minority serving institutions. His 16 years in higher education have also included serving as the chief international officer at two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), notably, Executive Director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and Associate Dean of Global Studies at Dillard University (New Orleans, LA). 

Prior to his academic appointments, he served as the National Director for Minority Recruitment with the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, DC. In addition, he held the Peace Corps appointments of Country Director in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa; Regional Budget Analyst for Africa in Washington, DC; and Small Business Volunteer in Ecuador, South America. Other professional appointments include National Director of Program Development with the United Negro College Fund; Senior Program Officer at The African American Institute; Management Consultant with DAC International, Inc., and Futures Trader with Cargill, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Pinder holds a doctorate in education from Clark Atlanta University; MA in international economics and Latin American studies from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and a BA in finance from Morehouse College.

Togunde Dr. ‘Dimeji Togunde joined Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, in 2011 as a Professor of International Studies and founding Dean of the Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education, which is supported by a $17 million endowment. In 2013, he was elevated to Associate Provost for Global Education. In his capacity as the Chief International Officer, Professor Togunde provides senior leadership for the College’s comprehensive internationalization agenda. He is responsible for the implementation of the College’s Strategic Planning and its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), known as Spelman Going Global! He also leads the assessment of the global travel programs, internationalization of the curriculum, and building of strategic partnership agreements aimed at enhancing faculty and students’ research, students’ international internship and service learning, and study abroad opportunities. He oversees the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange, Cultural Orientation Program, International Affairs Center, International Student Services, Global STEM Program, and all faculty-led study abroad programs. 

With more than two decades of leadership experience in the development and implementation of strategic planning on campus internationalization, Professor Togunde’s internationalization philosophy is anchored on shared vision and building consensus. He recognizes that it is imperative for students and faculty to be knowledgeable about global issues and to acquire the skills they will need to navigate the diverse global cultural landscapes so they can function effectively and work confidently with people of other national, racial and ethnic groups. Through collaboration with stakeholders, Dr. Togunde embraces every opportunity to advance international learning and global competence. Under his leadership in the last five years, students’ international travel experience at Spelman has increased from less than a 100 in 2010 to 402 in 2016. In addition, 71% of the Class of 2015 had a global travel experience before graduation compared to about 20% in 2010. Not only have we vastly diversified the majors of those studying abroad, but we have almost doubled the number of destination countries during a five-year period. Concomitantly, faculty/staff-led study abroad programs have grown from 7 to 29 while 22 internationally-focused courses have been added to the curriculum. Furthermore, 18 new strategic partnerships have been developed to support Spelman global initiatives at the same time period.  

Prior to joining Spelman College, Dr. Togunde held the John S. Ludington Trustees’ Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences as Professor of Sociology and served as Chair of Department of Anthropology/Sociology and Director of Ethnic Studies Program at Albion College, Michigan, where he spent fifteen years. At Albion, he provided leadership in developing the College’s global initiatives, served as founding member and Chair of the Global Studies Curriculum Committee, directed a faculty-led program on immigration to El Paso/Juarez, Mexico, for ten years and served as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Team for Global Diversity. He has also served as reviewer and consultant on international initiatives and has presented papers at many international education forums. Currently, he sits on the Advisory Board of Diversity & Democracy; a publication of AAC&U. Dr. Togunde earned his doctorate degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University.