International Presidential Fellows
The International Presidential Fellows program was designed to introduce leading graduate students and visiting scholars to ongoing pathbreaking research at CSU, to develop their leadership potential in the international sphere, and to help build bridges to other researchers across the entire CSU campus. This year there are 25 International Presidential Fellows representing 17 countries at Colorado State University.
Fulbright Teaching Scholar
Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship
Ana Maria Bossa
Applied Developmental Science
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language
Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Biology
Journalism & Technical Communication
Van Hong Le
Financial Risk Management
Global, Social & Sustainable Enterprise
Fulbright Teaching Scholar
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Armand Dagbegnon Tossou
Republic of Benin
Global, Social & Sustainable Enterprise
Luis Alanso Villalobos
Soil & Crop Sciences
Bashayer Alwazzan is a Kuwaiti teacher who taught English as a foreign language in Kuwait to both elementary and college students for six years. She gained extensive and diverse experience in the area of teaching EFL. She holds a bachelor's degree in linguistics from Kuwait University. She also worked as a UNESCO coordinator to promote current environmental, educational and cultural issues in schools. Bashayer has been awarded with a Fulbright scholar grant to teach Arabic in Colorado State University.
My name is Cristian Oliva and I am from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Currently, I am a second year master's student in Statistics at CSU. When I was 18 years old, I had the great opportunity to represent my country in the International Mathematical Olympiad which was celebrated in Hanoi, Vietnam. During that contest, I earned a bronze medal for my country. As part of that experience, I also traveled to Canada and Thailand to take some training with their respective national teams. Right after that contest, I started my undergraduate studies. I got a major in Mathematics from the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY). Furthermore, while I was an undergraduate student, I was elected to be a student counselor of the Math School and the president of the students of UADY from 2009 to 2011. It was a very different type of experience which helped me to start developing some personal skills like leadership and teamwork. As an active member of CSU, I am part of the Latinoamerican Students and Scholars Organization (LASSO). Among the different activities that we organize, we have a musical group called Raices Latinas where I usually participate as a dancer. Our objective is sharing with other members of the community the beautiful and wider latinoamerican culture.
I am very happy to be part of this program because I enjoy learning about new cultures, traveling around the world, and especially meeting new people with multiple ways of thinking. I am very sure that this program will represent new opportunities for me and all students who are going to be part of it.
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy in 2010 and went to work as an occupational therapist in the Community Health Department of a mission hospital. I was part of a team operating in the rural villages around Bangalore and I primarily worked with children with disabilities in their homes and in therapy centers established by the government within the region. I also worked closely with family members and key community stakeholders to create awareness about the causes and consequences of childhood disability and dispel myths that they have long believed: especially that people with disabilities are lesser individuals than they are. My experiences in practice have made me realize the stark realities that children with disabilities face in developing countries. Most of the children I worked with were not sent to school, and their participation in the community was minimal at best. This experience, in turn, opened my eyes to the need for improved knowledge about disparities in participation for children with disabilities and ways that school environments can be changed to promote children's participation in this setting. While I enjoyed working with and learning from these children, I feel that far more must be done to change school policies and educational practices in India, otherwise children with disabilities will continue to be marginalized for generations to come.
I am now pursuing my post professional MS in Occupational Therapy at CSU to get a step closer to fulfilling my dream of affecting systems level change in India. As a graduate research assistant in CPERL, I am helping to conduct a study to validate the newly developed Young Children's Participation and Environment Measure (YC-PEM). For my thesis, I will be using a subset of these data to closely examine environmental supports and barriers to school participation for young children with and without developmental delay(s) who reside in the United States. I anticipate that study results will inform my thinking about best approaches to building scientific evidence about disparities in school participation among children with disabilities in India and other developing countries.
Following my degree in Biological Sciences with a botany major from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I worked as a vegetation ecologist in Calgary for an environmental and engineering firm. I gained experience in vegetation and ecosystem data collection, report writing, and project management throughout the province. Over the years, I narrowed my focus to wetlands and acted as the wetland assessment consultant on pipeline, monitoring, and reclaimed wetland projects. After four years as a consultant, I returned to academia to further develop as a peatland restoration ecologist. My project is an interdisciplinary initiative located in the oil sands of Alberta where the first self-sustaining reclamation fen has been constructed on an abandoned extraction site. The project is a collaboration between Colorado State University and three Canadian Universities, involving fen ecology, hydrology, and geography. Under the guidance of Dr. David Cooper, my master's project focused on recreating peatland initiation processes on peat-mineral soils with five rich fen mosses subject to water level and cover treatments. The results informed methods used in my Ph.D. project where I designed and implemented the planting plan on the constructed fen in 2013 using salvaged fen donor material and testing cover, seedling and weeding treatments. My goal is to determine the most effective approach to establish a fen moss and plant community and initiate peat-forming processes in constructed peatlands. The overall research goal is to create a functioning fen comparable to natural systems in the region.
I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology in the Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management Department. I did my bachelor's degree in biology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in studying molecular plant-microbe interactions; therefore, I joined the Molecular Plant Pathology research group from the Biology Department for one year.
Afterwards, I worked as a research assistant at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in the Biotechnology Research Unit, for more than 2 years. As part of the project, I was a visiting scholar at Dr. Dellaporta's Lab at Yale University on two occasions.
My research project is aimed at finding novel resistance sources for bacterial diseases of rice in Africa and Latin America. It is a collaborative project between CSU, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and CIAT in Colombia. This year I received the Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholarship for my PhD. My main goal is to contribute to the reduction of losses caused by pathogens in crops, which will help decrease poverty and malnutrition in developing countries. On my return to Colombia, I plan to transfer the knowledge acquired abroad, consolidate research on sustainable crop development, and strengthen the collaborative work with research in different countries.
I enjoy getting to know people from all around the world, sharing our cultures, languages and food. I love swimming, salsa dancing and travelling.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Human Development and Family Studies department, where I will earn a degree in Applied Developmental Science. I study adult development and aging, as well as developmental research methods and statistical techniques. I am originally from Maryland and have always been interested in understanding the complex dynamics between psychological and physical health. After completing my master's degree, I worked as a research coordinator in the Neurology Department at Penn State's College of Medicine. My passion for research began in that position, as I was able to see the importance of applying research findings to real life applications, such as in falls prevention, management of cognitive decline, and improving quality of life among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). My current research here at CSU focuses on the subjective experience of aging, with regard to how attitudes about aging exert long-lasting and powerful influences on people's lives. My goal is to find effective ways for helping individuals to combat negative stereotypes of aging, and to promote more positive perceptions of aging, and I am interested in studying the long-term effects of such shifts in attitudes. I am fortunate to be part of an international collaboration with a research team at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, as I am also very interested in studying cross-cultural differences and similarities surrounding the aging experience.
My name is Yiran Chen and I'm from Shanghai, China. I got my bachelor's degree from Shandong University and my major then was chemistry. Currently, it's my second year studying in the horticulture department at CSU and working in the cancer prevention lab. I started my research career when I was a high school student. I did some research work on conductivity of PEO/lithium salt polymeric complexes and the stability of sodium hypochlorite in water. My bachelor's thesis focused on removing heavy metal from polluted soil by surfactant. After graduation, I found myself having more interest in biology rather than in chemistry. Thus, I changed my major and am focusing more on molecular biology. Now I'm doing research work based on detecting new biguanides compounds in tea and beans.
I am currently working as a visiting researcher in the Atmospheric Science department at CSU. I am originally from the beautiful city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
I received my BSc in Physics from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan back in 2004, and worked at UBCO as the Physics and Astronomy Laboratory coordinator till 2010. I then moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to study meteorology from Dalhousie University. I received a Diploma in Meteorology in 2011 and in the process met Dr. Jeff Pierce. After getting to know Jeff, I began my Master's of Science in Atmospheric Science in 2012 with him at Dalhousie. My crazy adventure in academia continued as Jeff became an assistant professor at CSU. This provided me with the opportunity to move to Fort Collins in January of 2013 to continue my research. I am finishing my MSc with Dalhousie in November 2013 and will be starting in the Ph.D. program in Atmospheric Science here at CSU starting in January 2014. I am extremely fortunate to have worked with, and continue to work with, researchers from Finland, Sweden, the UK, Colombia, Canada and the US.
My research involves modeling atmospheric aerosols with a global chemical transport and microphysics model. I am currently looking at the effect that organic aerosols have on clouds and climate in past and present atmospheric conditions.
My time so far in Fort Collins has been an incredible experience. I get up into the mountains as much as possible, and have become obsessed with road cycling! I have been surrounded by a crew of wonderful atmospheric science people, especially the rest of Team Pierce and my super awesome officemate! I look forward to continuing my studies at CSU, collaborating with many international colleagues, and enjoying all that Colorado has to offer.
Andre Dozier was born in Loveland, Colorado in the United States of America. He received a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering in 2010, and also received a M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in water resources planning and management in 2012 at Colorado State University. He is currently working towards a Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on hydrologic science and engineering at Colorado State University. Throughout his career, he has worked on a variety of projects related to water and power systems operations and management, water rights, irrigation design, artificial intelligence, and climate change while working as an Engineer in Training at Natural Resources Consulting Engineers, Inc., a Graduate Research Assistant at Colorado State University, and a Hydro Research Fellow to the Hydro Research Foundation. He is currently working as a NSF Fellow Grant Trainee within an IGERT program at CSU focused on interdisciplinary education between hydrologic, ecologic, atmospheric, and socio-economic studies.
Andre is a student member of ASCE, COSHA, AGU, and IEEE, and has received a number of awards and scholarships such as the NSF IGERT Fellowship, IEEE PES Student Paper Prize Award in Honor of T. Burke Hayes, Hydro Research Foundation Fellowship, Borland Advanced Graduate Student, and Colorado Distinguished Scholar Award. His career interests include socially, politically, economically, and physically sustainable international development with specific regard for access to clean water resources, and how market mechanisms can be utilized to achieve such sustainability. He has worked in North America, Nepal, and Central America on several humanitarian projects such as building houses and schools, developing groundwater supply and treatment, and interacting with schools, orphanages, and individuals on culture, health, water, and education.
Ryan Friese received dual B.S. degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science in 2011 and his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012, all from Colorado State University. He is currently a United States National Science Foundation graduate research fellow working towards his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include heterogeneous computing as well as energy-aware resource allocation.
During his tenure at Colorado State University, Ryan has attended multiple international conferences and has received best paper awards for his work in bi-objective energy-aware resource management presented at The Second International Conference on Advanced Communications and Computation (INFOCOMP' 12) in Venice, Italy, and the 6th Workshop on Computational Optimization (WCO'13) as part of the 2013 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS'13) in Krakow, Poland.
In his free time, Ryan helps out as a volunteer coach for the Colorado State University cross country and track and field teams. He enjoys running, camping, fishing, hunting and skiing.
Hello! My name is Jess Gantt and I'm a second year M.A. student in Communication Studies. I'm originally from College Station, Texas, where I also completed my B.A. in Communication and B.A. in Spanish at Texas A&M University. My master's thesis at CSU is focused on the effects study abroad programs have on student communication practices, which is my version of blending my two undergraduate degrees. During my time as an undergraduate, I was also able to study the Spanish language in both Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Granada, Spain. These two trips helped to ground my academic passion more holistically in intercultural and international studies. I've also been blessed with an international immediate family, and my home is a fantastic blend of the Texas and South Korean cultures. For these reasons and more, I'm dedicated to international scholarship and am honored to be an International Presidential Fellow!
I was born and grew up in Tehran, Iran. While earning my BA in Civil Engineering in the University of Tehran, I worked on different civil projects ranging from dams, tunnels and bridges to traffic and transportation. I was also involved with the Construction Material Institute University of Tehran where I worked on sustainable aspects and novice usages of concrete. In my junior year, I got the incredible opportunity to work for The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) as a cultural mentor and head of the student committee. Being exposed to students from all around the world, their different cultures and their passion to take any opportunity to do research in their own fields, I decided to apply for an internship in Austria. I was offered a position in the University of Innsbruck (a small city in western Austria), where I lived for a year and got to experience more about my major as well as getting more familiar with different construction settings in the world. I was working in a big team with individuals of different backgrounds, from architecture to finance and business, to perform a thorough energy analysis of a high tech commercial building that was being built at the time in Northern Italy. I was so fascinated by the state of the art construction methods, materials and mentalities, that I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Construction Management in the US.
I was lucky to be offered full financial support from the Graduate School, the Department of Construction Management (CM) and my advisor. I am currently a second year graduate student working on performance assessment, optimization and efficiency analysis, and safety in traffic and transportation as my master's thesis. I work with the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDoT) and Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) to help them make their roads safer and their patrolling operations more efficient, in an attempt to achieve a zero accident transportation corridor with more knowledgeable road users. I am passionate about sustainable practices in building design and construction as well as high performance and energy efficient buildings. I am hoping that one day I could put my knowledge into practice and change the way we build things, to make our living spaces a better, more efficient and more environmentally friendly place to live in. I am both honored and excited about this nomination. Thanks to everyone in my Alma Mater University of Tehran, University of Innsbruck and CSU CM Department for their time, effort and support that has helped me be where I am.
I am honored to be nominated to be an International Presidential Fellow. My name is Sookhee Jeong and I'm from South Korea. Currently I'm studying for a MA in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language (TEFL / TESL) at CSU. I taught English at public secondary schools in Kyonggi Province, Korea for over 16 years and will teach English again when I return to Korea after completing my degree. I love teaching and enjoy experiencing new places, different cultures and ideas. The world is becoming more globalized and efforts to embrace multiculturalism are badly needed more than ever. Experiencing a variety of cultures at CSU contributed to opening and widening my mind to diverse cultures and it could lead to improving my teaching philosophy with regard to cultures. I think teaching other languages ("English" in my case) includes learning about other countries' cultures as well as the language itself. Additionally, I want my students to have an interest and ability to articulate their own identity and to introduce their cultures to the people in the world in English. In other words, I hope people around the world are able to understand each other in English and realize the importance of culture in language education, keeping in mind that cultures are just different things. There is no superior or inferior culture in the world. If we believed in this basic principle and applied it to our actual life, we could live in more harmony.
Upulee is from Kandy, Sri Lanka. She has a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and a master's degree in Computer Engineering from Purdue University, USA. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Computer Science Department at Colorado State University while working as a graduate research assistant. She is working under the supervision of Professor James M. Bieman. Upulee conducts research in the field of software engineering, especially focusing on software testing. She is working on developing automated techniques for testing programs that face an Oracle problem. Upulee has published and presented her work at international conferences and workshops. In her spare time she enjoys travelling and gardening.
I am a Fulbright visiting researcher from India pursuing my doctoral degree at the Wildlife institute of India. Currently, I am working as a visiting researcher in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU with Dr. Liba Pejchar. I earned my master's degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Delhi. While studying for my master's, I developed an interest in community ecology and biodiversity conservation. One of the most important threats to habitat degradation by rural populations (e.g., timber, firewood, fodder, and other NTFP), is ranked as the second most important threat to biodiversity in tropical forests. The forest of Shiwalik in northern India is one such important area. It has a high conservation value due to the presence of two charismatic mammal species; the tiger (Panthera tigris) and the elephant (Elephas maximus) and its rich avifaunal diversity. Simultaneously, it is one of the world's most populated areas. For my doctoral research I am investigating the impacts of forest biomass extraction on plant and bird communities in the Shiwalik landscape. As an outcome of this study, I want to develop a habitat monitoring protocol using indicator birds for tracking disturbances. I have been awarded the Dr. Salim Ali National Wildlife Fellowship in India to study the effect of these cryptic disturbances on fruit eating birds. I am also examining the distribution pattern and effect of disturbances on the raptor (birds of prey) community in Rajaji National Park, one of the most important protected areas in India. For my Fulbright research, I am developing a research proposal to understand the seed-dispersal dynamics of native and invasive birds in Kauai Island, Hawaii. My selection in the Fulbright-Nehru doctoral and professional research program provided me a lifetime opportunity to conduct a research project at Colorado State University. I am confident that skills gained during my Fulbright tenure at CSU will greatly benefit my future bird conservation research in the tropics. In addition, it's a wonderful occasion to understand the similarities and uniqueness between American and Indian culture.
Sejin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication (JTC) at CSU. He has a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in Communication (minor in Statistics) from the University of Louisiana. He served in the Korean Army and worked as an actuarial consultant in a Seoul-based American company. Sejin was honored to be the recipient of both the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year Award as well as CSU's Programs for Research and Scholarly Excellence Fellowship for 2011-2012. Sejin has been assigned to be a sole instructor for the JTC 412 course (International Mass Communication) in the 2013-14 academic year and he greatly enjoys teaching this senior-level class.
Sejin's current research interests pertain to risk and health/environmental communication. He recently received a Professional Development Grant from the CSU Graduate School/the JTC Department and completed the education program, "Effective Risk Communication: Theory, Tools, and Practical Skills for Communicating about Risk," at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA. Sejin published a book chapter with Dr. D. Kim and a journal article with Dr. T. Adams, and has also presented his papers at a variety of regional/national/international conferences (the Louisiana Communication Association, the Western States Communication Association, the International Communication Association, and the Society for Risk Analysis). Ultimately, Sejin would like to contribute to more effectively creating messages as well as identifying messengers (and channels) for current and future risk and health/environmental communication.
My name is Van Le. I was born in 1991 in Hanoi, Vietnam. I just graduated this May under the American accredited curriculum undergraduate program between Colorado State University (CSU) and Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Vietnam. As an undergraduate student, I earned my major in International Economics and minor in Business Administration. At the moment, I am pursuing the Master of Science at the College of Business with a finance major and a concentration in financial risk management. Since I started this program, I have figured out that finance is exactly what I will follow in my future career. I am now part of the team of five students representing CSU to compete in the CFA Institute Research Challenge 2014 and I hope to gain many skills and knowledge from it. Now I am also a graduate assistant in the Finance and Real Estate Department, from which I am quickly improving my research skills, programming skills and time management skills.
Apart from academic activities, I love to get involved with cultural and international development activities. Since I arrived at CSU last December, I have been joining the Global Ambassadors Program (GAP) as a coordinator for last semester and a treasurer for this year. Being a GAP team member, I am very glad to have opportunities to bring cultural knowledge to American students. Beyond that scope, I would love to be part of and actively contribute to the Internationalization plan of CSU as an International Presidential Fellow. Together with English and Vietnamese, I know French a little bit and I am now learning Korean.
I am Mariana Negrao and I was born and raised in Brazil. I earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. As an undergraduate student, I spent a semester abroad in Germany studying biomedical engineering at the Universitaet Stuttgart. After graduation, I worked on the development of medical devices for emerging markets at a multinational company for three years. For the past 5 years, I have been engaged with the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), both as participant and organizer and have worked in social projects in communities in Ghana, Zambia and Brazil. I am currently an MBA candidate at the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program at CSU and the VP of Communications of the Colorado State University Net Impact Chapter. I hope that the GSSE MBA program will give me the tools to address health care challenges in developing countries.
My first international exposure occurred when I was an undergraduate at Amherst College. As a freshman, I discovered an affinity for foreign languages, which led to study abroad in Beijing as well as an internship with the State Department in Leipzig, Germany. My bachelor's thesis focused on the integration of ethnic Germans (Aussiedler) in western Germany. After graduation, I received an Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Scholarship to live in Germany for two years. During this time, I earned my Master of Arts from Osbabrueck University and also expanded my research in the area of ethnic German integration. Living abroad for two years was an amazing experience, especially as I myself was researching issues of immigration and integration!
Upon returning to the States, I spent time as a strategy consultant for high tech industries, and then decided to pursue a lifelong desire to become a veterinarian. I am currently in the dual-degree DVM/PhD program here at CSU, and my advisor is Dr. Paul Morley. Our research focuses on the issue of antimicrobial resistance as it relates to food-producing animals. We are using both epidemiologic and metagenomic approaches to exploring this issue. I am honored and excited to join my colleagues in the International Presidential Fellows program, and look forward to expanding my scientific research into the international sphere.
John Ohakim is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics. His research interests include the economics of growth and development, and political economy. Born in the city of London, he was raised in Nigeria, where he received his undergraduate education and earned a bachelor's degree in Economics. Prior to studying for a Ph.D., he worked as a graduate assistant in Bowen University, Nigeria. Since embarking on the study of economics at the graduate level, he has learned new techniques for studying economic interactions in society. He looks forward to a teaching career at the university level after the successful completion of his PhD. In his spare time, he enjoys watching soccer and seeing movies.
Dinara Safina earned her specialist's degree in teaching English and German as foreign languages at Bashkir State Pedagogical University in 2006. Since then she has been teaching various aspects of the English language at Bashkir State Pedagogical University, evening English classes and Summer English Camp. She is currently teaching Russian at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. She also helps organize various Russian cultural events with the Russian Club and participates in international events celebrating cultural diversity and studying abroad. In the future she will continue teaching English as a foreign language in her home country of Russia.
I am a Ph.D. student at CSU in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department. I am originally from Marsala, an Italian town located in western Sicily, having multiethnic roots and mostly known for its good wine. In Italy, at the University of Pavia, I pursued my bachelor's degree in Biomedical Biotechnology and a subsequent master's degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology. Since the start of my scientific training, I have been intrigued that, despite their extreme complexity, cellular events appear to be perfectly coordinated and executed. In 2010, I got the chance to work as a research assistant in a biochemistry lab at CSU. This experience, together with my enthusiasm for research and a strong curiosity for science, led to my next step to further engage in basic scientific research and earn a Ph.D. degree. Currently, I am a third year Ph.D. student focusing on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control a cellular catabolic process known as "autophagy". Defects in autophagy have been linked to numerous human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Being at CSU has exposed me to an incredible multicultural environment that has allowed me to make many friends from all over the world, learn about their way of life and traditions, as well as share my own.
Samir Sinha is a senior official of the Indian Forest Service with over 20 years of hands-on experience in Wildlife Management, including aspects of management planning, policy and implementation, at the local, national, regional and international levels. Currently the Chief Conservator of Forests and Director of the Corbett Tiger Reserve -- the protected area reported to hold the world's highest density of wild tigers -- he has been in-charge of various other important protected areas such as Rajaji National Park & Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. He has also served as the Head of the TRAFFIC programme of WWF for South Asia, working to strengthen regional collaboration to curb illegal wildlife trade. Samir has strong research linkages to issues like regional and global impacts of transnational wildlife crime and has published several articles and write-ups on this. Author of a book, "Handbook on Wildlife Law Enforcement in India" released in Feb. 2010, he has a special interest in capacity building of field level enforcement officials and has worked closely with agencies such as forest and police departments, paramilitary, customs, UNODC & ICPO-Interpol to conduct targeted training programmes for them. He has received several awards and acknowledgements for his work.
Currently, Samir is a Visiting Fulbright-Nehru Scholar at the Department of Human Dimensions of Wildlife Resources at the Colorado State University, Fort Collins, working on illegal wildlife trade issues and a comparative analysis of CITES Implementation in the USA and India.
It is a great honor for me to be selected as an International Presidential Fellow of Colorado State University.
I was born and grew up in Benin - a French speaking country in west Africa. Until this fall, I had been working for 8 years with the global maritime shipping industry leader - Maersk Line's agency in Benin - where I assumed various positions within the Finance and Accounting department. But the growing desire to contribute somehow to the development of the African Continent took over and I gave up a promising career. Thanks to the Fulbright scholarship, I am currently doing an MBA in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) here at Colorado State University, Graduate School of Business. The program is entirely focused on sustainable development with a special emphasis on entrepreneurship (both for-profit and not-for-profit) at the bottom of the pyramid. I could not have dreamed of a better place to be.
I am looking forward to pursuing a Ph.D., right after completion of the MBA-GSSE in a development related field (like public policy).
I have a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and masters degree in Agribusiness from the University of Costa Rica. I am on leave from the Department of Animal Science at the University of Costa Rica where I have been a Professor since 2007. My research program has focused on tropical (African star grass, Kikuyu grass, Brachiaria spp., and Panicum spp.) and temperate forages (perennial ryegrass and reed canary grass) in grass-based dairy systems in Costa Rica, with special interest in the relationship of grass phenology as it applies to the management of rotational grazing systems. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate enrolled in the Agroecosystems Management Program.