International Presidential Fellows
The International Presidential Fellows Program was designed to introduce leading graduate students and visiting scholars to ground breaking research at CSU, develop leadership potential and build bridges to other researchers across the entire CSU campus.
This year the International Presidential Fellows program includes 24 graduate students and post-graduate visitors representing 17 countries at Colorado State University
Mohamed Al Faitouri
Public Communication and Technology
Fulbright Teaching Scholar
Global, Social and Sustainable Enterprise
Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Student Affairs in Higher Education
School of Education
Ahmed O M Getlawi
Fayyaz ul Amir Afsar Minhas
Khurram Shahzad Munawar
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Sherona Patrice Simpson
Trang Thi Khanh Tran
Global, Social and Sutainable Enterprise
Fulbright Teaching Scholar
I am from Benghazi, Libya; I am married and have three children. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in the Geosciences Department with a focus in hydrogeology. I am researching the groundwater in Libya, using isotopes and noble gases to study three aquifers in central and southeast Libya in order to estimate recharge rates and paleoclimates. This research may also provide important evidence of the changes in the aquifers due to water abstraction areas. In addition, the collected data can be used to interpret climate change history in the region. I decided to be a hydrogeologist because of the shortage of water resources in my country. I received my M.S. in hydrogeology in 2005 from Godollo University, Hungary, and my B.S. in geology in 1995 from University of Garyounis, Benghazi-Libya. I have worked as a lecturer at the University of Garyounis from 2005-2008, and as a teaching assistant before that (2001-1999). Also, I have worked as a geologist in the Libyan oil field and a hydrogeologist for the Great River Project. In the future, I hope to continue working as a hydrogeologist in order to help with water resources and environmental issues.
I am Salah Alshumaily from Yemen. I did my bachelor's degree in education, English language studies. After graduating from college, I worked for two years teaching English and assisting in managing an English language institute. Later in 2010, I competed for a scholarship to do my master's degree in France. I did win that scholarship and I did my master's degree in international project management in France in ESC Clermont, Grand School of Management. I have had chances to participate in international workshops and international weeks, and such events have added life-time experiences to my career. I have also conducted research on education and business development.
Currently, I am a Fulbright scholar at CSU. I am here as part of FLTA, the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program. It is a non-degree program which has two parts. Firstly, it gives you the chance to take courses that relate to your interest and specialization. Secondly, it gives you the responsibility to assist in teaching your language and to be an ambassador for your culture. I am really so happy to be part of such a program and all the opportunities and experiences it presents.
I earned a degree in political science and philosophy from Makerere University in Uganda and a post graduate diploma in project planning and management from the Uganda Management Institute. I spent five years working with World Vision in rural southern and war affected Northern Uganda in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. I also worked with Panos Eastern Africa as a programs coordinator developing and implementing projects to enhance democratic governance and accountability through media development in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Prior to coming to CSU, I did private consulting conducting project evaluations for NGOs in Uganda. I am currently an MBA student in the Global Social Sustainable Enterprise Program (GSSE). I ultimately hope to start a sustainable business that will enable me to support education for children from poor households in Uganda. I am also currently president of the African Students Association at CSU.
My name is Mariana Chapela. I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I got my bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering back home. While doing my degree, I had the opportunity of participating in a research project about in vitro micro-propagation of ornamental plants while working as a TA for a plant therapeutic and integrated pest management course. I did research on bio-fungicides as a final project for obtaining my degree.
At the same time that I was finishing my degree, I worked as technical assistant in a certification agency for organic agricultural products and quality systems. Afterwards, I worked at Dirección Nacional de Vialidad Argentina, an agency in charge of the construction and development of the network of roads of Argentina. From January 2010 to May 2010 I was in charge of the Environmental Management Center of the 1st District Buenos Aires.
In the Summer of 2010 I joined Colorado State University to pursue an MS in integrated pest management
I am enjoying my staying in Fort Collins very much, since it's a very friendly city and a great place to meet people from different parts of the U.S and all around the world.
I love Colorado's mountains because of the great possibilities of outdoor activities like skiing and hiking.
I am Gongxiang Chen, I come from China and am a visiting scholar in the Department of Psychology at CSU. I grew up in Shandong Province, China and obtained my Ph.D. from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Now, I work at the University of Jinan. I am a professor in cognitive psychology. My major research is in metamemory and suppression. It is interesting to think about ourselves - I am willing to make a life-long effort to explore the human mind. As a vice dean in the Department of Educational and Psychological Science, University of Jinan, I am interested in learning how to improve the quality of undergraduate students, including all kinds of international cooperation.
I like playing sports with my friends, and I also like to walk by myself and think about what I like thinking. I like taking photographs to keep all the beautiful views in our lives. Most importantly, I like making friends from different cultural backgrounds. A good friend, the greatest wealth in life, but also a most long-lasting wealth.
I am currently working as a visiting scientist in the department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. I was born in Denmark and moved to the US in 2001 to study marine science (BSc) whilst on a golf scholarship. In 2006, I moved to Scotland to study marine and fisheries science (MSc) at the University of Aberdeen. The continuation of my master's research led to a Ph.D. in harbour seal reproductive ecology at the Lighthouse Field Station, University of Aberdeen. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to take part in other projects such as a long-term study of the reproductive ecology of grey seals on an uninhabited Scottish island, a long-term study of foraging patterns in northern fulmars in Orkney, Scotland, as well as investigating the cognitive abilities of wild African elephants in South Africa and Kenya. Following the completion of my PhD in 2011, I began working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Lighthouse Field Station on several different projects such as understanding the impacts of seismic surveys and pile driving from wind farm construction on populations of harbour seals and cetaceans. I was working in this position until July 2012 when I moved to Fort Collins with my husband who was offered a postdoctoral position at CSU investigating the impacts of anthropogenic sound on wildlife.
Sereyrithy Chhun has always been inspired to become a well-rounded engineer who has a balance of knowledge and practical experience in both engineering and management. He joined CSU in the Department of Construction Management this year (2012) as a Fulbright scholarship student from Cambodia to pursue the master's degree in construction management. In Cambodia, he had two bachelor's degrees - one in Civil Engineering (2010) and another one in Business Administration (2012). Professionally, he has been a freelance consultant engineer, structural engineer, and a full-time construction engineer at a petroleum company, KAMPUCHEA TELA Co., Ltd.
At CSU, he is particularly interested in researching about construction management knowledge acquisition and transfer in the construction industry. After graduation, he hopes to become a certified construction project manager in Cambodia. Then, once he is professionally mature, he would like to teach at a university or universities to share his accumulated real world expertise and knowledge about the construction industry with his colleagues and students, so that they can go out to design, plan, and manage construction projects everywhere in Cambodia.
My name is Andrea Dajer. I am originally from Merida, Yucatan in Mexico. I majored there in social communication and I am currently a second year graduate student for the Master in Communication Studies at CSU. I worked for five years at a study abroad office where I got to meet a lot of students from the United States. After witnessing the positive experiences these students had studying abroad, I was encouraged to do the same thing. I am interested in media studies and in sports and communication studies.
I am both honored and excited to accept this nomination! Thanks to you, Dr. Cooney and the rest of International Office for your time, effort, and consideration with this program.
My name is Spencer and I'm from the Land of Enchantment: New Mexico, USA. I have my mom, dad and siblings to thank for my interest in multiculturalism. While earning my BA in international studies at CSU, I was honored to serve as a cultural mentor for the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. This, along with my experience as a student-staff at the OIP, afforded me the opportunity to further my fervor for international education.
Currently I'm pursuing my master's in the School of Education. I'm one of the managers of the International House and 1500 Apartments, as well as a T.A. for the Global Perspectives of Student Affairs and Services course. I'm also helping to organize an international field experience trip to China and Hong Kong this January for SAHE students and faculty. As co-chair of the graduate student organization International Student Affairs and Higher Education (iSAHE), I work to provide other graduate students opportunities for internationalization in their professional and academic experiences at CSU. Most importantly, I love learning from my fellow global citizens by listening to their stories.
Karen Gardenier is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education with a focus on higher education administration and international development. Her dissertation research examines student learning on an alternative break program to Kenya. Part of her interest in this project stems from her own international experiences, including teaching English in Kyrgyzstan as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2002-2004. Karen works full time in the Office of International Programs with Peace Corps programs, U.S. Student Fulbright, and several academic programs. She enjoys hiking in Colorado, traveling to new places, and multiple kinds of art and music.
My name is Ahmed Getlawi, PhD candidate in the Department of Horticulture. I am interested in ecophysiology. My research area includes salinity, drought and plant growth regulators .
I grew up in Benghazi, Libya, where I received my undergraduate and master's degree in botany at Benghazi University, I am involved in many social events and volunteer in many organizations. My hobby is soccer, and I love traveling. Fort Collins is my best place in the USA and CSU my favorite.
My favorite saying is what I have read on the side of a company car: "The race of quality does not have a finish line..!"
Born in 1983 in a small village nestled in the undulating terrain of the Potohar plateau in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. He received his early education in the nearby town of Chakwal. He did his bachelor's and master's degrees at the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad, in computer science and systems engineering, respectively. He received two gold medals from the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences for excellence in academics and research. After receiving his master's, he was engaged in teaching at the same institute and in collaborative research on automated prediction of cardiac abnormalities and on making algorithms for identifying liver diseases through ultrasound images. In recognition of his research, the government of Pakistan conferred upon him the "National Youth Award" in the field of science and technology in 2009. In 2010, he received a Fulbright doctoral scholarship to Colorado State University (CSU). He is now a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Computer Science. At CSU, he has worked in collaboration with CIRA on predicting the intensity of hurricanes and with the USDA Rocky Mountain Research Station on identifying goshawks using images of their molted feathers. Currently, he is involved in a research project with the proteomics and metabolomics facility at CSU which aims to identify pre-cursors to product relationships in mass-spectrometry data. His Ph.D. research is focused on understanding patterns of inter-molecular interactions between proteins. He is the current president of CSU's Pakistan Rams Society (PakRams) and is a member of CSU's chapter of Upsilon-Pi-Epsilon (UPE). His interests include poetry, hiking and volleyball. His webpage is located at: sites.google.com/site/fayyazafsar/
I am Khurram from Pakistan, born in a small village called Bhabra. I grew up in Sargodha, which is known as the "City of Eagles." I got my basic education from my native city then joined the University of the Punjab, Lahore for my master's degree in the field of chemistry, where I worked on "syntans" (leather tanning material). After that I moved to the capital of my country, Islamabad, and joined the Quaid-i-Azam University for my Mphil and Ph.D.. I came to CSU in 2012 and here I am working on vanadium chemistry, a metal that shows excellent insulin mimetic properties.
I am originally from Tirana, Albania, but grew up living in Bergamo, Italy. After receiving my undergraduate degree from the University of Pavia, I pursued my master's degree in industrial biotechnology. During this period I grew fonder of science and research in particular. I joined the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at CSU in 2009 as a Ph.D. student and since then I've had the opportunity to learn many new techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology. My research focus is the study of transcriptional regulation by transcription factors modified with the small protein ubiquitin. I love Colorado for its weather and gorgeous mountains, and CSU for the multicultural environment. By living in the University Village I have had the opportunity to make friends from all around the world and I have really enjoyed learning about many different cultures.
I am a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology since 2010. I was born in Quito, Ecuador, where I studied biological sciences. During this time, I became interested in studying the processes that shape the biodiversity patterns that we observe in the world today. Currently, I am deeply concerned about tropical biodiversity and its principal threats. Although I have witnessed a great advance in biological research in these regions of the globe in recent years, I still consider that more resources should be allocated in this field. For this reason, my Ph.D. dissertation aims to investigate the interactions between ecological features and diversity patterns in the Andes Mountain range of South America. One of my main career aspirations is to strengthen scientific research in Latin American countries, particularly in Ecuador. The main strategies I consider necessary include the improvement of the education level and opportunities at the undergraduate and the graduate level, the creation of specialized research institutions, and the enhancement of multidisciplinary and national/international collaboration. During my time at CSU, I have been involved in several intercultural activities through the International Students Office at Colorado State University and the Global Ambassadors Program. These activities have greatly enriched my experience in the United States. Moreover, being at CSU has given me the opportunity to make good friends from several countries, to learn about their different culture and to share my own.
I'm a Ph.D. student in the interdisciplinary graduate degree program in ecology with a focus on archaeology from Colorado State University. I have received my MA from Colorado State University in anthropology and my BA in anthropology from Kent State University. I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and prior to studying in the U.S., I attended the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) for two years in the Facultad de Filosofia y Letras.
I could say that I have spent at least half of my adult life (over 15 years) as an exchange student or in international education programs. My initiation into international education started when I was 16 years old and I was awarded a one year scholarship to study abroad under A.F.S (American Field Service). From that first experience being a high school exchange student, my life changed forever. I knew that I wanted to study and conduct research in an international environment. I finished my B.A at Kent State University, and then I started my graduate studies here at C.S.U where I began my research conducting archaeological work with anthropology professor Dr. Christopher Fisher and geography professor Dr. Steve Leisz in Mexico. I have been conducting archaeological research in Mexico for at least 7 years. My M. A. research focused on agricultural terraces in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin. My doctoral research will focus on a recently discovered city in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin and will incorporate remote sensing (LiDAR and satellite imagery) and excavations for the next two years.
My research interests include past human-environmental interactions in Mesoamerica and the implications on states and empire formation and collapse, agricultural landscapes, agricultural intensification, land use dynamics, and maguey cultivation. My methodology interest include GIS analysis, applications of remote sensing to archaeology, applications of GPS technology for mapping and survey methodologies, and the applications of palo-environmental proxy data for reconstructions of paleo-environments in Mesoamerica.
I am Elena Ruggeri, a Ph.D. candidate at CSU in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. I am originally from Soncino, Italy and I got my bachelor's and MSc degrees in veterinary biotechnologies from the University of Milan. In Milan I focused my undergraduate and master's studies on feline reproductive physiology and assisted reproduction techniques in cattle. In August 2010 I got the chance to come to Colorado and do a 5 month internship at the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory at CSU, working on in vitro production and vitrification of bovine embryos. I fell in love with Colorado and was impressed with the excellent equine reproductive physiology program at CSU. In January 2011 I joined Colorado State University and started my Ph.D. in Equine Reproductive Physiology working at the Equine Reproduction Laboratory in the clinical and research program. My research area is maternal aging and reproductive physiology in the mare as a model for human aging and infertility. I am focusing on equine oocyte meiotic spindle analysis using confocal microscopy. My projects focus on meiotic spindle deterioration with maternal aging and factors involved in cytoskeletal organization and chromosomal segregation. I am currently collaborating with Kansas Medical Center and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at CSU. I am also a teaching assistant for an introductory physiology lab. My goal is to understand and study what`s involved in maternal aging and infertility and hopefully apply my research to human infertility and post-cancer clinical studies.
I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. The research that I am engaged in here at CSU predominantly focuses upon the impacts of anthropogenic noise on the behavioural ecology of large mammals in Western Colorado. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but also lived in England where I attended the University of York (BSc in biology) and the University of Kent, Canterbury (MSc in conservation biology). In 2002, I moved to Durban, South Africa where I pursued a Ph.D. studying the foraging ecology and movement patterns of African elephants. Following the completion of my Ph.D. in 2006, I began working as a postdoctoral researcher on two distinct projects. The first focussed on the role of elephants and fire in savannah vegetation dynamics, while the second explored the cognitive abilities of wild elephants using playback experiments of animal vocalizations. This work on cognition led to a three-year postdoctoral position at the University of Sussex, England. During this project I spent 6-months of the year in Africa carrying out fieldwork, while the rest of my time was divided between Sussex University and home in the North of Scotland, where my wife was studying for her Ph.D. in marine mammal ecology. We moved to Fort Collins in July 2012 and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far, both from a work and life perspective.
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with first class honors from the University of Technology, Jamaica in quantity surveying in 2009. I worked as a junior quantity surveyor with Davidson and Hanna Chartered Quantity Surveyors, and with the University of Technology, Jamaica, as an assistant lecturer, where I served the Land Economy and Valuation Surveying, Construction and Quantity Surveying Divisions.
On completion of my master's in construction management at Colorado State University, it is my hope that I will be able to contribute to the development of the quantity surveying and the construction management courses at the University of Technology, Jamaica, to include aspects of sustainable design and facilities management. It is also my desire to work in The Ministry of Transport and Works, or The Ministry of Housing and Water, in order to contribute to the development of sustainable infrastructure in my country.
In my spare time, I like reading, hiking in the Blue and Johncrow mountains of Jamaica, biking in Fort Collins, fellowshipping at my neighborhood church and socializing with my friends.
I am so grateful for this opportunity and I do hope that I will be able to make a momentous contribution to the program here at CSU.
Trang Tran is a Vietnamese native. She graduated from Hanoi University of Technology in Hanoi, Vietnam with a B.A in technical English. Upon graduation, she spent three years working with an international non-governmental organization and a Vietnamese social business to develop clinical solutions for saving newborn babies throughout Southeast Asia. As a monitoring and evaluation specialist, she conducted numerous fieldtrips to hundreds of hospitals in some of the most rural parts of Asia to learn about their problems and support them with appropriate technologies and training. Trang is currently the president of Colorado State University Net Impact Chapter and an MBA candidate at the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program at CSU. She sees the program as a great opportunity to equip herself with the necessary tools, knowledge and networks to advance her area of passion: international development. Apart from English and Vietnamese, Trang can speak French and Spanish conversationally.
I am a visiting scholar from China under the program of FLTA which means foreign language teaching assistant. I have a master's in Translation and have been teaching medical terminology at Tianjin Medical University for 5 years. Medical science is amazing and I hope to make some contribution to the communication between China and the U.S. in the medical field. Here at CSU, as a language instructor, I teach Chinese to American students who I have found out are eager to learn about current developments in China. As a cultural ambassador, I will take every opportunity to help American students gain a better insight into Chinese culture and strengthen the relationship between our nations. I love to draw cartoons and am eager to make friends who are interested in Chinese or painting.
Chuan is a Ph.D .candidate from the Department of Mathematics at Colorado State University. He was born in China, and got his bachelor's degree in applied physics at Yunnan University in 1999, and Ph.D. degree in biophysics from the Institute of Biophysics in Beijing in 2005. In his dissertation work, motion vision in pigeon visual systems, was investigated. His research work provided the direct evidence showing that tectal and thalamic cells extract different visual information from the same region of the visual field, and his microcircuit model provided a biologically plausible substrate for the classification of the pretectal motion-sensitive neurons and the origin of the three properties of the neurons. After getting his degree in China, Chuan moved to the United States and worked for the medical center at Georgetown University for two years. He used the voltage sensitive dye imaging techniques to study the spatiotemporal patterns of the population neuronal activities in rodent neocortex. Closely collaborating with Dr. Jian-Young Wu and Dr. Takagaki Kentaroh, Chuan developed the flow method for detecting the propagating waves from the experimental recordings, and the spectral method for estimating the complexity of the wave patterns. Due to his deep interest in revealing the underlying principle for memory theoretically, Chuan decided to pursue his Ph.D. degree in applied mathematics. Under the guidance of Dr. Gerhard Dangelmayr and Dr. Iuliana Oprea, he is now studying storage and retrieval of cyclic patterns in Hopfield-type neural networks with dynamical system theory. As a part of his long term goal, Chuan will continue to extend his results to more biologically plausible network models such that some predictions which can be directly tested in experiments can be obtained. Chuan likes outdoor activities, especially hiking and skiing (he is at the advanced level in downhill skiing).