Illinois International is guided by the leadership of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, the Associate Provost for Illinois International, and the directors of our units.

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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, 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 at 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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Julie Misa

Associate Provost for Illinois International

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Julie joined Illinois International in July 2015 and currently serves as Associate Provost for Illinois International. She 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 (ISSS). Prior to joining Illinois International, Julie was director of ISSS, where she was responsible for the leadership and overall management of the office. Julie earned her B.A. in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies and M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Development with an emphasis on bilingual counseling, both from the University of Iowa.

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Andrew Collum

Associate Director for International Safety and Security

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Andrew joined Illinois International as the Associate Director for International Safety and Security in 2017. He develops and coordinates policies and procedures that support the safety and well-being of Illinois students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad for study or university business. Andrew also provides global emergency response services to travelers. Before working for Illinois International, Andrew served in the U.S. Army as a political-military specialist on Africa. He holds an M.A. in African Studies from Ohio University and a B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

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Cheryl Heck

Director, International Business Operations

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Cheryl joined Illinois International in March 2015. Cheryl leads International Business Operations (IBOPS), a shared service center that provides financial, human resources, and administrative support to all Illinois International units. Cheryl provides oversight of fiscal and human resource activities within the Office of the Vice Provost, and serves as a member of the leadership team. Cheryl received her B.S. in Marketing and Business Administration from Illinois State University.

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Amy Hubbard

Assistant Director of Administration

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Amy serves as the Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS) with a primary role to provide excellent and high-level administrative support to the VPIAGS. In conjunction, she manages the overall operations and services administered by Illinois International by providing analysis and planning for the Office of the Vice Provost in matters of space management, gift/protocol management, event planning and training programs, and coordinates related business functions that contribute toward achieving University and Office of the Vice Provost’s long term objectives and goals. Amy also provides technical, functional, and project management support and works to maintain positive working relationships with University senior administrators, University units, international business partners, and private sector partners. As the Assistant Director for Administration, Amy directs all aspects of general operations and administration of the office, and serves as a member of the leadership team.

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Sammer Saleh Jones

Assistant Director for Global Relations

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Sammer Saleh Jones is the Assistant Director for Global Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she is responsible for developing and fostering University international relationships through engagement at the institutional, national and international level. She joined Illinois International Programs (IIP) in 2018 after her position as the first project coordinator for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Gifted Student Program (KGSP) under the Global Education and Training unit of IIP.

She completed her BS in Pre-Med/African American Studies from Simmons College, MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University, and MBA and PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on nineteenth century educational history of Liberia, West Africa. Among her many credentials, her effectiveness as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate students has been demonstrated through her recognition across several semesters on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent” at Illinois while she was a doctoral candidate.

Her multidisciplinary educational and professional experiences have afforded her the ability to work internationally in the fields of business, health and education in countries such as Liberia, South Africa and as well as domestically in various U.S. states.

Prior to her graduate studies at Illinois, Sammer worked at Harvard School of Public Health on violence prevention and at the MetroHealth Center in Cleveland on a longitudinal breast cancer study.

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Martin McFarlane

Director, International Student and Scholar Services

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Martin became director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in 2015. A former international student himself, he had been with the ISSS office for ten years prior to becoming director, and held responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations. Martin earned his Master’s degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Aberdeen.

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Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

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Joy began serving as the Director of IAGE in September 2017. She originally joined IAGE in 2013 as Assistant Director for Academic Integration. In her role, Joy collaborates closely with both on campus academic departments and international partners abroad to identify and develop study abroad programming that aligns with and complements academic learning goals. She also oversees the incoming exchange student program and study abroad academic processing teams for IAGE. Previously, Joy worked at the City University of New York in New York, NY, and developed a variety of study abroad policies for the university system. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services in government and non-profit sectors, and studied abroad in India. Joy earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies from Kenyon College and M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training

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Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in 2015. During Matt’s tenure, the Shanghai Office and the Intensive English Institute became a part of GET. Prior to joining GET, from 2010-2015 he was Senior Associate Director of the European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois. Rosenstein also served as EUC’s Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Arts degree program in EU Studies. Previously, Rosenstein was Associate Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS) at Illinois from 2001-2010. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.

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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 a one-year international studies degree from Waseda University.