Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies

The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies includes several core functions of Illinois International.

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Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies


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Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS) and Professor of Comparative and International Higher Education. Prior to joining the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies in the College of Education and Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Originally from South Africa, she received her BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She pursued and graduated with a Master’s in Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

A former Fulbright New Century Scholar (2006), Professor Mabokela’s research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. She has devoted a significant part of her career studying higher education issues in developing and transitional countries. She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international journals.

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Dr. Luis Canales

Associate Provost for Illinois International


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Dr. Canales joined Illinois International in April 2021 and serves as Associate Provost for Illinois International. He provides leadership, direction, and oversight to the administrative services within the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies as well as its reporting units, including: Global Education and Training, Global Relations, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, International Safety and Security, and International Student and Scholar Services. Prior to joining Illinois International, Dr. Canales was Director of the Office of International Studies and Programs at Illinois State University. Dr. Canales received his B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Counseling and Personnel Services, and Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville.

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Deborah Lowe-Morgan

Administrative Aide


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Deborah joined Illinois International as an Administrative Aide in December 2020. Before joining Illinois International, Deborah was the Visiting Assistant Director of Donor Relations for the Education Justice Project in the College of Education. Deborah received her B.S. in Business Administrations from Chicago State University. As Administrative Aide, Deborah's main duties include serving as the Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, and directing all aspects of general operations and administration of the unit.

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Jill Ouellette

Office Manager


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Jill joined Illinois International as an Office Support Associate in May 2014 before assuming the role of Office Manager in May 2020. Before joining Illinois International, Jill was an H&R Block Office Manager for 10 years. Jill received her B.A. in Business Administrations from DeVry University of Tinley Park in 2007. She is the main contact for room reservations within several Illinois International buildings, assists human resources with new hire and termination processing, and supports the Illinois International's Assistant Director for Administration.

Global Communication
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Marta R. Schneider

Assistant Director for Global Communication


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Marta serves as the Assistant Director for Global Communication where she is responsible for strategizing, planning, and executing all marketing and communication in support of Illinois International’s objectives and goals. She works closely with communication staff in each of the Illinois International units, the leadership team, and Public Affairs to ensure adherence to all University best practices for marketing and communication as well as cohesion amongst all Illinois International communication. Marta has been with Illinois International since 2015, first as a Digital Communications Specialist and later as the Coordinator for Global Communication.

Prior to joining Illinois International, Marta worked in communications and outreach for several non-profit organizations in Japan, India, and the United States. Marta brings with her a strong background and enthusiasm for all things international. Although a native of Illinois, she spent many years living and studying in Japan. Marta earned her B.A. in Asian Studies and Economics from Knox College and holds an international liberal studies certificate from Waseda University.

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John Todd

Assistant Director for Finance


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John holds a Master of Business Administration from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences with a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois. He has worked at Heartland Community College for over 9 years bringing experience in planning fundraising events, developing policies and procedures for college grant office, writing and editing grant applications, overseeing Adult Education budget, fiscal and programmatic guidance, served on the college’s strategic and accreditation planning team, as well as provided one-on-one trainings.

As the Assistant Director for Finance, John will be responsible for managing and provide daily oversight of fiscal activity for Illinois International, including providing leadership of all financial facets, budget oversight, expenditure analysis, outreach and administer fellowships and awards, and ad hoc financial reporting.

Human Resources
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Denise Esworthy

Associate Director for Human Resources


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Denise joined Illinois International in September 2014. She serves as primary HR contact to Illinois International units and LAS Centers with dual reporting relationships with Illinois International, Diversity Advocate, Intake Specialist, Department Classifier, and back-up to the Associate Director of HR. Before joining Illinois International, she worked one year for FAA Shared Services and 14 years with University Payroll and Benefits, bringing with her experience in foreign national payment processing to support the campus internationalization goals.

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Kelly Sellers

Human Resources Specialist


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Kelly joined International Business Operations (IBOPS) in December 2017. Before joining IBOPS she worked for University Payroll and Benefits for 12 years, most recently as an Assistant Manager of their Foreign National Service Center. She serves as one of the HR contacts for the Illinois International units and as back-up to the Assistant Director of HR.


Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies
507 E. Green St, Suite 426
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-333-6104