Illinois International is guided by the leadership of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies 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

Executive Director for Administration and Management

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Julie joined Illinois International in July 2015 as Executive Director for Administration and Management. In this position she provides leadership, direction and oversight to the administrative services within the Executive Office, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Office of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange. 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 and the LAS areas studies centers. The Director of IBOPS holds an executive leadership position in Illinois International with responsibility for fiscal and administrative activities and serves as a member of the Illinois International Senior Management Team, providing input and guidance to the Vice Provost on matters related to the strategic international goals of the units and the campus.

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Amy Hubbard

Assistant Director of Administration

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Amy joined the University in 2008 and brings with her 20 years of Administrative and Event Planning experience. She serves as the Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS). She holds an executive leadership position in the Office of Illinois International Programs. As a member of the executive team, Amy directs all aspects of general operations and administration of the office.

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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 has been with the ISSS office for ten years where he has assumed responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations.

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Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

(217) 333-6322

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Joy began serving as the Interim 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.


Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training
Director, Intensive English Institute
Director, Shanghai Office

(217) 244-3312

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Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in July 2015. 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, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.