Dr. StScreen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.08.07 PMeve Mellema
Home Institution: Gustavus Adolphus College

A Minnesota native, Steve Mellema received his undergraduate degree (with majors in physics and mathematics) from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1972, and following his graduation spent six years in Malaysia with the Peace Corps. He subsequently attended graduate school at Ohio University, receiving a Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics in 1983. Following postdoctoral positions at Ohio University and the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Gustavus in 1986. He is currently Professor of Physics, and has served three terms as chair of the physics department there. An active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Steve has been incorporating the results of physics-education research into his own teaching of physics for more than two decades, including peer instruction, cooperative-group problem solving, computer simulations, and studio methods.


Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.08.15 PMDr. Mohan Gopalakrishnan
Home Institution: Arizona State University

Mohan Gopalakrishnan (“Dr. G”) is an associate professor in the Supply Chain Management Department, in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, USA.  He has also served as the Faculty Director for the Executive MBA program, Evening MBA program and the academic director for Network for Value chain Excellence in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Dr. G’s research interests center on effectiveness, efficiency and governance issues in operations and supply chain management, and he has published his work in the leading journals, including Decision Sciences, Interfaces, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Management Science, among others. Currently he is involved in research projects in non-profits (resource planning), healthcare (supply chain integration), trucking (capacity management and pricing), and manufacturing (product development and target costing).

Dr. G has significant teaching experience internationally and domestically (across all platforms and graduate and undergraduate programs) having received awards for outstanding teaching excellence. In addition, Dr. G has led applied research projects with firms like St. Vincent de Paul, Phoenix Fire, American Express, James River Corporation, MARS Foods, Scottsdale Healthcare, and PETsMART on issues related to operations and supply chain management. He also co-ordinates the capstone projects course for the Full-time MBA SCM Program.  In specific, Dr. G is an expert on manpower-planning and has spent time working with resource constrained and unionized environments (ex. Phoenix fire) in developing models for estimating and optimizing staffing levels. 

Dr. G is very active in his discipline, being part of global organizations and think-tanks such as Consortium of Advanced Management International (CAM-I ~ USA), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII ~ India), Consortium for Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP-USA), and Supply Chain Talent Council (USA).  He is also on the editorial boards of research journals such as Asia-Pacific Case research, IIE-Transactions on Healthcare Engineering, and International Journal of Production, Planning and Control. 

Dr. G holds a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering and a Ph. D. in Management Science, and has over 25 years of experience as an academic and a consultant. 


Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.08.40 PMDr. James Steele
Home Institution: University of Southern California

James Steele holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, a well as both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pa. and a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.

After receiving his Master’s degree at Penn, in the Louis I. Kahn studio there, he worked with him for a brief period, as well as serving an apprenticeship with several other architects in Philadelphia, before receiving his Pennsylvania registration.

He then opened his own office, specializing in the design of large single -family houses in both the Bucks and Montgomery County areas. He then accepted an offer to teach at King Faisal (now Dammam) University, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, remaining there for eight years before relocating to London. While there, he served as Senior Editor on Architectural Design (AD) magazine, published by Academy Editions, as well as teaching at the Prince of Wales’s Institute for Architecture. His first book, which is a monograph on the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, was published at this time.

After being contacted by the University of Southern California School of Architecture to take up a post as a Visiting Lecturer while he was in London, he relocated again to Los Angeles in 1991, and has remained there ever since, eventually being promoted to the rank of tenured professor. Dr. Steele has now published more than 50 books, including several on sustainable architecture, as well as others that focus on the Middle East, especially on the vernacular examples in that region. He has recently been appointed as a member of the UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of New Gourna, Egypt, which is Hassan Fathy’s best-known work.

While at USC, he has established two Semester-long Foreign Studies courses, with the first being founded in Malaysia in 1998. The second course was launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil in May, 2014. As the Director of the History Program, he has also inaugurated several new elective history courses, on Asian architecture, as well as revamping the History survey sequence, to make it more diverse.




Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.08.50 PMMatthew Wagner
Home Institution: University of South Carolina

I have a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Morris and an M.A. from San Diego State University, both in political science. From 2007 to 2009 I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Southern Thailand. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina, where I study political systems in developing democracies, primarily those in Southeast Asia. My current research involves political parties and party systems and their role in shaping electoral behavior. This is in addition to research interests concerning relationships between democratization, political violence, and ethnic politics. I also have a particular interest in making theoretical and empirical connections between the politics of Southeast Asia and Latin America. My work is forthcoming in the International Journal of Development and Conflict.


Jillian EdgeScreen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.09.05 PM
Home Institution: University of South Florida
Host Institution: UNIMAS

Jillian Edge is a Fulbright Student Researcher working with UNIMAS out of Kuching, Sarawak. Jillian’s research focuses on flooding impacts on access to services, which she became interested in while working in an emergency management department in the United States. She is concurrently finishing her Master’s in Public Health through the University of South Florida, with a focus on Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief. Her goal is to use this research to better understand ways that local governments can actively plan for the resilience of their communities in the face of climate change and more extreme weather. She applies public health methodology to emergency management efforts, making it a more proactive tool for mitigation rather than only a reactive method of response. 

Beyond her work and degree, Jillian enjoys traveling and volunteering. She has participated on a workgroup focusing on Seattle’s vulnerable populations, and has spent several summers building houses in Tijuana, Mexico. Her interest in disrupted access to services came as she worked with a local homeless coalition and saw the impact storms had on their access to available services provided by local volunteers and government. Jillian traveled across Europe and Egypt during her undergraduate years, and is excited for her time in Malaysia. When not working or studying, Jillian loves hiking and kayaking along the California coast where she is from.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.09.12 PMNora Salem
Home Institution: Virginia Tech

Nora Salem is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s MFA in Creative Writing program, where she simultaneously received a graduate certificate in Gender Studies. After focusing much of her personal and academic writing on Muslim women, she will be pursuing a research project on Islamic feminists in Malaysia, both as a way of discovering more about different or non-traditional practices of Islam and as a way to deepen her own understanding of the religion in which she was raised. 


Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.09.31 PMKathryn Hegarty
Home Institution: Wheaton College

My name is Kathryn (Katy) Hegarty and I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. From a young age I have been fascinated by the outdoors. Growing up in the city, I was surrounded by an artificially created environment which provided a unique opportunity to interact with a variety of flora and fauna that historically would have been improbable neighbors. Captivated by the outdoors and interested in both the taxonomy and structure of the organisms surrounding me I began using an old microscope to study the my surroundings. Applying science to the natural world augmented my understanding of that which intrigued me thus prompting me to further explore this field which presented mean to delve into my natural interests.

In high school I further merged my interests using art as an auxiliary medium through which I studied the natural world in my senior art show entitled, “Specimens;” a show in which I examined the unique intersection between nature and anthropogenic choices guiding specimen preservation. These observations catalyzed my interest regarding human impact on conservation efforts.

Intrigued by the insights I had gained through my work in high school I decided to study biology in college as a way of further augmenting my understanding of the natural world. Some of my favorite courses were those in which we studied and worked directly with organisms. These courses challenged me to become more aware of my own anthropocentric bias while encouraging me to “think like the organism,” allowing the organism to inform my research by means of careful observation and behavioral analysis.

Interest in organismal research lead me to contact Professor Emerita Brennessel, one of the main researchers studying northern diamondback terrapins in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Interning with Professor Emerita Brennessel this past summer gave me an opportunity to use and hone the skills I had developed in the classroom, in the field. Thus, upon noticing a discrepancy in nesting activity among nest sites when performing research, I incorporated the skills I had developed with the help of my Professors at Wheaton and throughout my scientific endeavours to better understand the phenomenon I observed. Realizing that I had the potential to conduct a study which could provide useful information to improve conservation efforts for this near threatened species inspired me to pursue this valuable research and look for opportunities to help other species like the northern diamondback terrapin.

In this vein, I conducted an extensive survey of northern diamondback terrapin nest sites in Wellfleet and Orleans, Massachusetts; studying and statistically analysing samples as a means of better understanding northern diamondback terrapin nesting preferences for my senior honor’s thesis. I am excited to apply what I learned in my experiences working with northern diamondback terrapins both in the field and in my honors thesis to my imminent collaboration with Professor Juanita Joseph studying the nesting preferences of green and hawksbill sea turtles on Redang Island.