We About Us!

July 18-28, 2017 Migration Crisis

Service-Learning Study-Abroad

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM - USA 
Faculty-Leader and Organizer

Ixopo, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Dr. Sabine Hirschauer, Assistant Professor, Department of Government
Ph.D. in International Studies, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia – USA
Post-Doctoral Fellowship University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
BA in Political Science; BA in Mass Communication and Journalism, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill – USA

Areas of Specialization:
Human Security
Feminist Security Studies
Migration and Identity
Theories of IR and Comparative Socio-Political Studies

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
           ------Eleanor Roosevelt

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia - USA
  • Dr. Regina Karp, Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program of International Studies
Ph. D. in Political Science, University of Lancaster (United Kingdom), (1985)
Dr. Karp is a specialist in the topics of arms control, weapons proliferation, and international security. Recently, she has been working on the issue of security integration in the Baltic Sea region with special concentration on Sweden and Finland.

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia - USA 
  • Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, MD, MPH; Director of Center for Global Health; Chair of School of Community and Environmental Health 
Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci has more than 15 years of experience in clinical and field research working in pulmonary medicine, public and global health. Dr. Akpinar-Elci received her MD from Dokuz Eylul University, School of Medicine in Turkey. She completed her residency training in Pulmonology and fellowship in Occupational Medicine in Turkey. Dr. Akpinar-Elci also received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

During her career Dr. Akpinar-Elci worked for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In her last position, she was an Environmental and Occupational Health Track Director at St George’s University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. She was also a director of World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health in Grenada. Dr. Akpinar-Elci joined Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA in 2013 as a director of the Center for Global Health and became a Chair of School of Community and Environmental Health in 2016. She has been the recipient of several awards including: CDC Bullard-Sherwood Research to Practice award, 2008 and CDC/NIOSH Diversity Award 2016.
New Mexico State University Migration Crisis Service-Learning  Study-Abroad
Co-Faculty Leaders/Team-Leaders
  • Susan Johnson, New Mexico State University, MA Government, Expected Graduation: December 2017
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places, close to home–so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.  Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.  Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.  Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.  Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."                                                                                                                   ---Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Meagan Lashway, New Mexico State University, MA Government, Expected Graduation: December 2017

"Vielen kleine Leute
die in vielen
kleinen Orten
viele kleine Dinge  tun,
können das Gesicht der Welt verändern
Many small people
who in  many small places
do many small things
that can alter
the face of the world."

  • Lisa-Marie Valleroy Djang, New Mexico State University, MA Communication Studies, Minor: National Security; Expected Graduation: December 2018

"Hi I'm Lisa! My background is in German literature and Communication. My current interests include feminism, cultural communication, diplomacy, identity, and intersectionality.

I am interested in helping underrepresented voices be heard and different points of view be understood and respected."

New Mexico State University Migration Crisis

Service-Learning Study-Abroad Students

  • Amy Alexander, New Mexico State University, MPA Master Public Health
Hello all! My name is Amy Alexander. I am originally from San Diego, CA and currently live in Albuquerque, NM. I just received my Master of Public Health from NMSU in May. My background/undergrad is in Nutrition and Dietetics and I currently work for the New Mexico Department of Health with the Women, Infants and Children Program. My areas of interest include Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. I am looking forward to learning more about the migration crisis from a public health perspective… and looking forward to meeting and working with everyone! I love to travel, try new foods, and spend time outdoors camping and hiking. My husband and I are expecting our first child in December, so right now I am loving watching my little bump grow!

  • Sara Bonk, New Mexico State University, BS Secondary Education; Minor: Spanish 
"Hallo! My name is Sara Bonk, and I'm a senior studying secondary education at New Mexico State University. I'm originally from the small city of Billings, MT who loves to read, learn new things, and explore new cities and countries. This travel bug started the summer after my first year of college. I have been to Spain twice to study the Spanish language and the history of medieval Spain with a focus on the Moorish period. I have also been to Portugal, Morocco and Poland during my time in Europe. I have also traveled to Canada and Mexico.
In a ten year span, I see myself as an international English teacher, hopefully in Spain with a Masters in history. I plan to travel to many more countries and cities as I continue teaching, though an ultimate goal of mine would be obtaining a doctoral degree in history with a focus on literature and teaching at university level. I look forward to my time with my NGO and am exited for you to read about my time in München! Bis bald!"

  • Rachel Brenner, New Mexico State University, BA History

  • Donna Giaquinto, New Mexico State University, PhD Educational Administration
"I am the daughter of an immigrant so the entire issues with immigration is near to me.  My father lived in tenement slums in Jersey City without formal education - he was a self-made man who brought us to the suburbs to have the American Dream.  I have been in public education and psychotherapy for my entire adult career. I became a Special Education teacher at 20 years of age, hold two Masters, an ELA certificate and completed Counseling Psych doctoral program through to ABD.  Studied post-doc psychopharmacology at the program's inception in NM. I am a school psychologist, diagnostician, and administrator and hold licenses to provide psychological services with a small private practice. I also currently consult in northern New Mexico at a school district. My goal is to complete my PhD in ELA next year 2018 and to start teaching at the college level, hopefully in a hybrid distance learning college.  In ten years........I will be fully retired -- and have traveled to all the places on my current list (which grows all the time!!).  I have a wonderful daughter, Nicole, and the best son in law in the whole world, Michael.  I have great friends and enjoy spending time with them, my 94- year-old mom, and traveling with my brother, David."

  • Amalia Hernandez, New Mexico State University, MA Education

"The world is filled with nice people.
If you can't find one, BE ONE!"  

The picture is of my son and I 
enjoying a baseball game,
which is what we love to do
amongst other things. 

    • Sara Love, New Mexico State University, MSW Social Work
    "Hello! I'm Sara Love, a dual Master's of Social Work & Master's of Public Health student at NMSU. My BA is from the University of New Mexico, focused both on Intercultural Communication & Sociology. I am the mother of one 8-year-old tiny dancer, her best feline friend, and one hedgehog. The focus of my work includes: mothers, children, and their families and how integrating ecological models of health can influence intersectionalities, bringing strength-based healing of trauma."

    “...Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants...go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life...and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ― Walt Whitman  

    •  Gryffin Loya, New Mexico State University, MA Communication Studies
    “I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on... That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened?"          ----- Antonio Gramsci

    • Cris Rocha, New Mexico State University, BA Government; BA Digital Film Making 

    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-toast to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Emma Lazarus

    •  Tylan Tapley, New Mexico State University, BA Government

    “The only way we can ever obtain certitude is by the difficult process of examination. We cannot be satisfied with evidence that is incomplete and only probable. Our certitude is always a precarious one. Science relies on probability, not on certitude.”

    "This quote is powerful in that it is a reflection of the aspects of my epistemology that I hold very near and dear.  I view everything through a skeptical lens; like the skeptics under Pyrroh, Arcesilaus, and Carneades, I suspend judgment until truth is either obtained, or it remains ever so tenuously out of my reach.  This will be guiding my mind as I observe Germany, and its response to the influx of migrants.  I will pose questions, until such a time that I am able to obtain the truth I spoke of earlier. That is my ultimate goal to spawn from this trip; truth."

    •  Emma Tobe, New Mexico State University, BA Government
    “Hi, I'm Emma Tobe. I am a government major going into my senior year. I am very interested in international relations and international studies, and I hope to join the Peace Corps or attend an international relations graduate program upon graduation next spring.
    I am volunteering in Ghana the two weeks prior to our Germany excursion teaching elementary education. See you in Germany!”

    • Eva Videla, New Mexico State University, MA Communication Studies
    "Pursuing my Master’s in Communication Studies has allowed me to explore my interests in critical approaches to Media and Intercultural Communication.

    Therefore, in 10 years I want to be using my knowledge into a more practical way. I don't know exactly where I will end up, but I want to create a safe space for people to communicate in stressful situations. For example, community exchanges and disparities about government policies. We spend more than half our lives in school but never actually using it to create a difference. Let's be the change!”


      Old Dominion University Migration Crisis 

    Service-Learning Study-Abroad Students

    • Meghan Cozens, Old Dominion University, MA International Studies

    "Hello All! My name is Meghan Cozens, I am 26 years old and I am currently in the graduate program in international studies at ODU and I am graduating in December. I also did my undergrad at ODU in international studies and played for the soccer team. I love to travel and have studied abroad twice during my studies at ODU. The first time was during my undergrad in 2014 and I went to Sevilla, Spain for a semester and last semester I studied in Aalborg, Denmark and I am really excited for our trip to Germany! I have never been so I can't wait to go and experience all that I can for the short time we are there. I look forward to meeting you all!"

    • Alice Laubach, Old Dominion University, MA International Studies
    "Hello fellow travelers! My name is Alice Laubach. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Carnegie Mellon University as an undergraduate in Music Performance. I will complete my Master of Arts in International Studies at Old Dominion University in December. I also work in ODU’s Study Abroad Office as the Coordinator for Faculty-Led programs. During my undergrad, I spent multiple summers in Germany and Austria as a music student. After undergrad, I spent a year in Cologne, Germany as an au pair working for a German rock musician and his family. After returning, I worked in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and now Norfolk in some sort of international capacity ranging from student visas to study abroad. I have a personal interest in the livelihood of migrants as my grandparents and great grandparents migrated from the Middle East to the US to escape conflict in Lebanon. I am especially interested in the economic impact of migrants on Germany’s economy. Specifically, in what parts of the economy will they potentially benefit, and which parts they may possibly strain. I’m also interested to see how Europe is able to successfully absorb migrants into their often generous social systems. My husband plays with the Virginia Symphony and we have a 3-year old son. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, and going to the beach."

    • Michael Ma, Old Dominion University, BA Political Science and Communication
    "My Name is Michael Ma. I am a junior at Old Dominion University; majoring in political science. I look forward to this learning experience, because I am interested in understanding the social impact of migrants within a state. In particular, I want to learn how migrants assimilate in their new home, and the barriers language and culture poses. Moreover, I want to observe the native’s response to the migrants, because I want to understand how an influx in migration within a state affects their domestic politics.
    Personally, I enjoy comparative politics, and I plan on attending law school after graduation. My goal is to work for a NGO, and I would like to aid in the refugee crisis in Syria, and other parts of the Middle East. I believe this trip will give me a great deal of insight into the function of NGOs, and how they operate."

    • Patricia Ramirez, Old Dominion University, BA International Studies and French
    My name is Patricia Ramirez. I was born in New York, but grew up in Los Angeles.  After high school, I served in the Navy for four years, which brought me to Norfolk, Virginia.  I have lived in Hampton Roads since. I am taking this course as a non-degree seeking student.  I graduated from Old Dominion this past December 2016 with a double major in French and International Studies. I currently work in the contracts department of a government contractor.  In August, I will have been with the company for nine years.  I consider this a job and not a career.  I would like to pursue a career in post-conflict reconstruction; in whatever capacity my skills may be used.  I feel this service study abroad opportunity is a window to see how conflict can impact the lives of our fellow human beings and how agencies can work to help displaced individuals.  I hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the process from beginning to end and see how they are able, if they are even able to, address the psychological impacts experienced by these individuals."  

    • Crystal Rawls, Old Dominion University, BA Educational Leadership
    "My name is Crystal Rawls and I am a current Master's Student at Old Dominion University in the Higher Education Program. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2016 with a B.S. degree in Communications. This will be my first study abroad trip and I am excited that it will be with ODU and the Migration Crisis program. My goal for this trip is to learn more about the refugee situation in Germany and how refugees are adapting to their new lives. I also want to learn about Germany's higher education system and how the two tie together. Something interesting about myself is that I love to read and I love to listen to different types of music. I am excited to meet everyone and to spend 10 days in Germany!"
    • Madison Rose, Old Dominion University, BA Human Services
    "My name is Madison Rose. I am an undergraduate student at Old Dominion University majoring in Human Services and minoring in Children’s Rights and Women’s Studies. I am also pursuing a certificate in Diversity Studies. I am still figuring out my career goals, but I hope this program will help guide me in the right direction. I learned about this program through an email inviting me to the information session and I decided to attend sort of on a whim. I was extremely excited to learn that this program is interdisciplinary and service-learning oriented as I want to gain more experience in the service field and learn from different perspectives. I believe this program will be an amazing opportunity to really begin to understand the migration crisis in Europe and its effects on the refugees and local population. I have only been out of the country one other time, which was last summer on a study abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland. (I hope to go back as soon as possible and see more of the country; it is absolutely wonderful.) A few of my favorite things: coffee shops, jamming out to good music, breweries, re-watching New Girl on Netflix for the millionth time, and experiencing new and exciting things! This is a great opportunity that I am thrilled to be a part of."
    • Narketta Sparkman, Old Dominion University, PhD in Human Services; Assistant Professor of Human Services 
    Dr. Narketta Sparkman-Key is Assistant Professor of Human Services at Old Dominion University. She has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Services with a focus on Social and Community Service. Her research focus is geared towards further defining the professional identity of human services practitioners and delineating practice with diverse populations. She holds the HS-BCP (Human Services Board Certified Practitioner) designation. She has a certificates in college teaching and currently completing a certificate in global health. Dr. Sparkman-Key has been recognized for her accomplishments by the National Organization of Human Services and by former students whom nominated her as "Most Inspiring Faculty". She was recently presented the "2016 Top 40 Under 40 Award Hampton Roads" from Inside Business News, the "2016 Mariam Klubok Award for leadership from the National Organization for Human Services, the "2016 President Broderick Diversity and Inclusion Champion" award and the "2016 Provost Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor" award. She is traveling to Germany as a student to complete requirements for her global health certificate and learn more about refugee populations.
    • Jaime Zamesnik, Old Dominion University, BA Political Science
    "Hi! My name is Jaime Zamesnik, and I am a non-traditional student pursuing an undergraduate degree some 40+ years after I first began my studies. My major is Political Science, and I expect this service learning opportunity will provide welcome incite into, and better understanding of, an issue that is relevant to our country as well as to Europe.
    I began my studies at Northern Michigan University, and returned to college after spending 30 years as the spouse of a naval aviator. My formal education may have been put on hold during that time, but as we traveled across the United States and the world with our four children in tow, real-world experiences provided their own wonderfully unique education. Thanks to those experiences I developed a deep love of travel and adventure – and food. My favorite free time activities include visiting my grandchildren, camping, hiking, kayaking, or simply exploring the back roads of Virginia. In the last few years I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to venture abroad where I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and bungee jumped in New Zealand. I believe that travel enhances knowledge, and I expect that my time in Munich will be especially rewarding."



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