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About The Speakers

Global Teach Connect Celebration and Summit

In this summit, a panel of researchers, experts and participants will share experiences, pedagogical practices and policies for addressing needs of newcomer learners, teachers and leaders to build a thread of learning in global context based on research, practice and experience to improve knowledge of why language and cultural competencies are important for all educational leaders and educators. Participants will work in teams to learn how to use a proven logic model to produce powerful learning and teaching exemplars. In a minimal time, participants will be able to demonstrate application of language and policy principles for application in diverse learning environments in practice.

It is critical to pay attention to positionality, reflexivity, the production of knowledge and the power relations that are inherent in research processes in order to undertake ethical research…”(Sultana 2007 p. 380). Interpretive research begins and ends with the biography and self of the researcher (Denzin 1986 p. 12).

Joyce Pittman

Summit Leader, Joyce Pittman, PhD
International Education Policy Consultant
Drexel University Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership & Management
In the School of Education

She is the Principal Investigator and visionary leader for the sub-grant, Global-Teach Connect, a Title VI funded partnership between Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, Middle East and South Asia Area Studies Centers in Philadelphia, PA. Joyce supervises doctoral research, serves on Drexel’s Senate Committee on Academic Affairs (SCAA), formerly Research and Development Chair, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators 2013-2018.

She was Assistant to the Provost on Academic Affairs, United Arab Emirates University, UAE interim dean and department chair at Abu Dhabi University, Director of Teaching and Learning and Faculty Development and Curriculum at Qatar University, and founder of the Comprehensive Educational Reform and Technology Initiative (CERTI), University of Cincinnati, a $2.5M teacher training project.

She actively serves on Board of Directors, World Council on Curriculum & Instruction, a UNESCO-NGO. Notably Dr. Pittman is a motivating speaker who has directed over $50M in educational projects, diversely published, and is widely experienced in education research, policy and practice in the Middle East, South Africa, Spain, and other countries. She is the recipient of the National Digital Equity and Education Award from SITE, Society for Information Technology in Education. Her work has been recognized by US Department of Education, Ministries of Education and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Opening Speaker

Penny Hammrich

Penny L. Hammrich, PhD
Interim Dean of the School of Education
Drexel University
“Intellectual Center of Pedagogical Innovation”

Dr. Hammrich is interim Dean and a Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University specializing in Science Education and formerly the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the School of Education. Previously, Dr. Hammrich was a Professor and the Dean of the School of Education at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Professor of Urban Education and Educational Psychology at CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Hammrich was also a Professor and Associate Dean of Research at Temple University and a K-12 school-teacher. In the past 20 years she has been the Principal Investigator on over 35 research grants totaling over 30 million dollars.

Dr. Hammrich has published more than 150 articles, 5 science laboratory manuals for college level biology courses, 26 science curriculum manuals, 6 chapters in books, edited 14 articles, written 75 government and technical reports, cited in the media over 100 times, and made over 500 national and international presentations. Dr. Hammrich’s research has been nationally recognized over the years by such organizations as the American Association of University Women, Association of Science Teacher Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and National Public Radio.

Mollie Laffin-Rose

Panelist - Mollie Laffin-Rose
Associate Director, South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania

Mollie Laffin-Rose oversees the South Asia Center’s general programming, including the C.U. in India study abroad program, the Alumni in South Asia initiative, the Affiliated Faculty Program, and strategic partnerships. She also manages the National Resource Center activities and administration of the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. She previously served as Administrative Coordinator of Penn’s Center for the Advanced Study of India. Prior to that, she held program management positions and taught English as a Second Language with several institutes in India. Mollie began her career in higher education publishing with Macmillan Publishers, developing coursebooks in the Communications discipline.

Mollie holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and will receive dual M.S.Ed. degrees in Higher Education and Applied Linguistics from the Graduate School of Education at Penn.

John Ghazvinian

John Ghazvinian
Associate Director, Middle East Center

Dr. John Ghazvinian is an author, historian and former journalist, specializing in the history of US-Iran relations. He is the author of Iran and America: A History (Knopf, 2019) and Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil (Harcourt, 2007), as well as coeditor of American and Muslim Worlds before 1900 (Bloomsbury, 2019). He has written for such publications as Newsweek, The Nation, the Sunday Times and the Huffington Post, and has taught modern Middle East history at a number of colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. He earned his doctorate in history at Oxford University, and was the recipient of a "Public Scholar" fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016-2017, as well as a fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation's special initiative on Islam in 2009-2010.

Kristy Kelly

Kristy Kelly, PhD
Drexel University
Global Teach Connect, Co-Investigator- South Asia Center
Global Education Colloquium Director
Assistant Clinical Professor

PhD and MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison and BA, Pennsylvania State University
Drexel Program Affiliations include: MS, Global and International Education
PhD, Educational Leadership Development and Learning Technologies

Mila Thomas Fuller

Mila Thomas Fuller, EdD

President of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Technology in Education.
And Assistant Director, Online Learning, College of Education, Illinois State University
Mila Thomas Fuller, Ed.D., is an innovative ed tech leader with expertise in instructional technology from strategy through to implementation. She has nearly two decades of experience in learning and teaching with technology through her work with associations, districts, schools and universities.

In her current role as assistant director of online learning for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Education, Fuller works to develop strategy, promote and coordinate the delivery of online, distance and blended education offerings. Additionally, she collaborates with the college’s online learning stakeholders and service providers. Recent online programs include the Instructional Design MasterTrack Certificate program in collaboration with Coursera and online EdM and EdD programs for the College of Education.

Dr. Fuller is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Technology in Education. Long active in the association community and association leadership, Fuller is a member of the American Society for Association Executives, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and has been recognized as a Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholar.

For full bio visit

Celeste Rodriguez

Celeste Rodriguez
Teacher Liaison at U.S. Department of Education
Featured Presenter and Teach To Lead Facilitator
University of Pennsylvania, Masters in Urban Education





Rebecca Clothey

Rebecca Clothey, PhD
Associate Professor of Education AND Director of Global Studies
Case Study Advisor, Center for Public Policy
Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages
Center for Public Policy
International education; education policy; equity and access; cultural transmission; China

Rebecca Clothey, PhD, has been a faculty member at Drexel University since 2006. Her vast international experience started in India, where she attended an international school as a youth. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, she lived in China for five years where she was based at various higher education institutions throughout the country. Clothey’s current research on maintenance and transmission of Uyghur culture spans several countries, including China, the US, and Turkey, where she was a visiting scholar in 2018-19. Uyghurs are an ethnic group indigenous to China’s northwestern-most Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where she was a visiting scholar in the fall of 2014.

Prior to completing her PhD she was also seconded by the US State Department to conduct elections training for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo. She has been awarded two Fulbright Fellowships for her research, one to China and one to Uzbekistan, a Spencer Fellowship to study community-based schools in Argentina (with Kai Heidemann of Maastricht University in the Netherlands), and an ARIT-NEH Fellowship to study cultural transmission among the Uyghur diaspora in Turkey. She has a PhD in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.

Andrew Petersen

Panelist- Andrew Petersen

M.Ed. in TESOL/Administration of Overseas Schools, The College of New Jersey
B.A. in Economics, Duke University
University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Petersen loves teaching English to international students and teaches both ESL and Linguistics. He believes that an awareness of and appreciation for other cultures is crucial for all students in today’s world and that the opportunity for students of different backgrounds to interact with each other and learn about one another’s cultures is an invaluable part of the overall educational process. He has over 20 years of English teaching experience, both in the United States and around the world including in Spain, Turkey and Mexico.

He was born in San Francisco and grew up in Sydney, Australia. Besides having lived and worked in Spain, Turkey and Mexico, he has traveled extensively, including throughout Europe and Central America. He speaks French, Spanish and some Turkish.
You are encouraged to talk to Mr. Petersen about: Cross cultural communications, business English, linguistics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics.

Leona Donaldson

Leona Donaldson, PhD Candidate
Drexel University

Leona Donaldson is a PhD candidate in the Drexel School of Education. She is majoring in Educational Leadership and Learning Technology and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Her research interests focus on social justice in STEM higher education in the United States. She worked at a local nonprofit organization, Women’s Campaign International, as a program director of Girls Advocacy and Leadership Series (GALS) program. She is currently teaching Japanese at a local nonprofit organization.

Leona was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. She earned two degrees—one in Japanese Language and another one in Education—from two universities in Japan. She earned a master’s degree in Education at Portland State University in Oregon. She is a certified teacher of PreK-12 in Oregon. Prior to joining the PhD program at Drexel, she taught five levels of Japanese and English Language Development (ELD) courses at public high schools in Oregon and Japanese calligraphy in Japan.

Bruce Levine

Bruce Levine, JD
Associate Clinical Professor and Program Director of Educational Policy
Program Director of Global and International Studies
Program Director, Education Improvement and Transformation MS
Director, Drexel Washington, DC Center
Education JD, New York University School of Law, MGA, University of Pennsylvania
BA, Hamilton College and Program Affiliation in the Drexel School of Education is: Certificate - Educational Policy

Carlene Murray

Dr. Carlene Murray, Principal
Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County
Drexel University Alumni
Educational Leadership and Management Education Doctorate

It is my privilege and honor to serve as Principal of Northwestern High School. I am in awe of the rich, diverse community that includes Northwestern and our feeder schools Hyattsville and Nicholas Orem Middle. I am no stranger to Prince Georges County. I taught Spanish at Largo High School over 10 years ago, my family and I live in the county, and my daughter has attended a Prince George’s County School since kindergarten. I am committed to providing the highest quality education possible in a safe and supportive learning environment through collaboration with our staff, parents, and community. I truly believe that education does not take place in a vacuum. Our success is dependent upon the input, support, and involvement from all of our stakeholders. We are only as strong as each member of our team and each member is equally as important as the next.

At Northwestern High School, World Class Teachers and Staff are preparing our World Class Students to be College and Career Ready. I love this mantra that was introduced to me on my very first day of school. I would like to add our World Class Community without whom we cannot be successful. I am very passionate about collaboration inside and outside of our school house. I spend a considerable amount of time engaging with all of our stakeholders to advance our agenda to improve Attendance, Achievement, Instruction, and Matriculation; the 4 Big Rocks that are the cornerstone of our work at Northwestern.

Mac May
GTC Summit Coordinator
Office Manager
Drexel University-Washington, DC Center

Mr. Mac May is responsible for: Drexel DC Center’s Facilities and Reservations
Facilities include hotel-like office space, meeting and conference room, a video capture location with videoconferencing capabilities, and a small green screen studio suited to filming interviews or video content for online courses. Our space is 5,061 square feet. Offices can be utilized as short-term individual work areas during a conference, or small meeting spaces. The Drexel DC Center can host catered receptions and networking events in the center’s lobby and conference space, roundtable discussion groups, and informational lectures. Our roof deck, which offers spectacular views of the White House and the city proper, can also be used for meals and receptions.