Global Leadership SerIES

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IES Abroad
November 20, 2021
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With the Global Leadership SerIES, we seek to share with you our incredible community of academics, artists, scientists, innovators, change-makers, philanthropists, justice seekers, and visionaries who are leaders in their respective fields. We hope this glimpse at the people behind the passion at IES Abroad—or who participated in or partnered on the experiences we provide—will leave you feeling inspired. 

As a part of the Global Leadership SerIES, we’re kicking off a series hosted by Gretchen Cook Anderson, former Associate Vice President, Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism, and Director of Diversity Recruitment and Advising. Fireside Chats with Fascinating Faculty are a chance to get to know IES Abroad professors worldwide. Because we believe that study abroad is a catalyst for peace and a long-term antidote to systemic racism, we consider our faculty members front-line agents for change. Learn more about the courses they teach, their research and professional interests outside of IES Abroad, and about how they are inspiring and giving students the tools to become global citizens.

Global Leadership SerIES Features

Richard Landers

Richard Landers (IES Abroad Vienna | 1968-69) has been an influential contributor to IES Abroad through his philanthropic efforts over the years. With his objective set on investing in the future, Richard has helped globalize students’ lives, careers, and cultural palettes. As an advocate for IES Abroad scholarships for over a decade, Richard emphasizes that study abroad “opened his eyes to the breadth and richness of the BIG world,” adding to his personal and professional development. We interviewed Richard to learn about his passions and intentions with study abroad, and how they each influence his connection to students. 

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Gretchen Cook-Anderson

In this installment of the Global Leadership SerIES, IES Abroad College Relations Manager Virginia Gabby had a virtual coffee chat with Gretchen Cook-Anderson, IES Abroad Nagoya alum. Using photos from Gretchen's life to guide their conversation, Virginia and Gretchen go deep on the life lessons, study abroad experiences, and special people who touched Gretchen's life. Gretchen also shares some of her own advice as an "International Education Celebrity." 

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Greg Hess

For the first installment in the Global Leadership SerIES, we interviewed IES Abroad President & CEO, Gregory D. Hess, Ph.D. Greg talks about what global leadership means to him, qualities a global leader should possess (hint: they all start with the letter "u"), his own leadership experience, and the global leaders he admires most. Naturally, Greg also discusses where study abroad and leadership intersect and how his own experience studying abroad made him the person he is today.

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Jorge Castro

This Global Leadership Series story spotlights University of Granada Professor Jorge Castro and his dedication to environmental activism and impact. Professor Castro shares insights into his career as a global leader and educator, remarking on the responsibility that we all have as individuals to influence collective change. Through an exploration of Precision Forest Restoration, Professor Castro considers the hope that holds for future generations to have restored ecosystems while living harmoniously with nature. He emphasizes the importance of conserving nature across every single citizen and owning up to our responsibility to the earth, caring for it in both large and miniscule ways.

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Fireside Chats with Fascinating Faculty

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Dr. Carla Lever

Gretchen Cook-Anderson chats with IES Abroad Cape Town professor Dr. Lever to discuss how her course Power & Protest: Apartheid to Present came about, from her interest in (and not to mention her thesis on) everyday acts of performance and how the course uses protest as a framework for understanding inequality, particularly in the South African context. She explains that the course subject matter lends itself to experiential learning, from visiting an activist training organization, to touring an informal settlement to learn why people are protesting, to starting class at the site of a defaced statue; teaching outside of the classroom allows students to feel uncomfortable in spaces, since not everyone can navigate space and culture in the same way.

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David Neita

During a time when global public health, the pandemic, and racial equity are hot topics globally, Gretchen Cook-Anderson sits down, virtually, with Professor David Neita of IES Abroad's London Health Practice & Policy program for a critical conversation that links each with study abroad. Neita's course, Social Welfare Policy in the United Kingdom and Jamaica: A Community-Based Learning Perspective & Practicum, guides students through complex questions addressing how we define and measure living standards from one country to another and how race, ethnicity, gender, age and disability influence public health and other needs of the UK population and the world population more broadly.

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David Reiersgord

In this installment of Fireside Chats with Fascinating Faculty, part of the IES Abroad Global Leadership SerIES, David Reiersgord, Center Director of IES Abroad Cape Town, and Hernando Sevilla-Garcia, Senior Diversity Relations Manager at IES Abroad, connect for this Fireside Chat focused on Mandela Day. Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrated annually on July 18th on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, honors the legacy of his dedication to community and social justice. David and Hernando join in exploration of identity, race, and global leadership to promote a culture of growth and innovation.

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Hugo Valdebenito

Dr. Hugo Valdebenito, IES Abroad Quito Professor, discusses his work, history, and the environmental climate and biodiversity of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. This Fireside Chat orients around conservation efforts and individual/collective responsibility to establishing and maintaining a sustainable environment in Ecuador. As he shares about the future of the region, Dr. Valdebenito also touches upon the biodiversity and history of the small country noting how important it is to preserve this space. The interconnectivity of the bioclimate within Ecuador calls upon the environments around the rest of the world, fitting in perfectly with discussion of how we all are connected.

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