International Collaborative Research Forum Oct. 31, 2014


Speakers from Outside the U of M

Dr. Shana Gillette, USAID

Dr. Shana Gillette
Advisor, Human and Institutional Capacity Development, BIFAD
USAID Bureau of Food Security

Shana Gillette is an advisor in human and institutional capacity development at USAID in the Bureau for Food Security. Prior to joining USAID in the spring of 2014, Shana Gillette was research faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. Shana holds a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Washington, a M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a B.A. in botany and history from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Suzanne Ortega, Council of Graduate Schools

Dr. Suzanne Ortega
President, Council of Graduate Schools

Suzanne Ortega became the sixth president of the Council of Graduate Schools on July 1. Prior to to assuming her current position, she served as the University of North Carolina Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (2011-14). Previous appointments include the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of New Mexico, and Vice Provost and Graduate Dean at the University of Washington and the University of Missouri.  Dr. Ortega's master's and doctoral degrees in sociology were completed at Vanderbilt University. 

With primary research interests in mental health epidemiology, health services, and race and ethnic relations, Dr. Ortega is the author or co-author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and an introductory sociology text, now in its 8th edition.  An award-winning teacher, Dr. Ortega has also served on a number of review panels for NSF and NIH and has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on grants totaling more than $6 million in state and federal funds. 

Dr. Ortega serves or has served on a number of professional association boards and committees, including the Executive Boards of the Council of Graduate Schools, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the National Academies of Science Committee on the Assessment of the Research Doctorate, the National Science Foundation’s Human Resources Expert Panel, the North Carolina E-learning Commission, the North Carolina Public School Forum, the UNC TV Foundation, and the UNC Press Board of Governors.

Dr. Valerie Wilson, National Science Foundation

Dr. Valerie Wilson
Deputy Division Director for Graduate Education

Valerie Wilson is the Deputy Division Director for Graduate Education at the National Science Foundation. Prior to her position at NSF, Wilson was Associate Provost and Director of Institutional Diversity; and Clinical Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice at Brown University. Concurrently, for seven years, she was also Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance, a consortium of leading teaching and research institutions dedicated to preparing underrepresented students for careers in academic, government and private sectors through research and clinical doctoral training. From 2005 to 2009, she served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Brown, focusing on recruitment, retention, and professional development activities and serving as co-principal investigator of Brown's project in the Ph.D. Completion Project of the Council of Graduate Schools, and Ethics in Physical Sciences grants.

Dr. Wilson holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Debra Egan, CIES

Debra Egan
Director of Scholar Academic Partnerships
Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
Institute of International Education (IIE)

Debra Egan brings over 30 years of experience in worldwide higher education exchange and training. At the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), she is director of Scholar Academic Partnerships. She contributes to major Fulbright Scholar Program projects and priorities and manages scholar exchanges for other program sponsors, including foundations. As director of Scholar Programs, she led the program team to administer Fulbright U.S. and Visiting Scholar teaching and research grants with over 130 countries. Earlier, she handled the Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Hemisphere portfolios. Before joining CIES in 1998, she managed higher education and training programs for participants from Africa and the Middle East, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Debra holds a M.Ed. from Marymount University in Virginia. Her undergraduate degree, in development economics, and Certificate in African Studies, are from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Studies abroad included a year at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and an American Field Service exchange in rural Kenya. She has conducted short-term work in eleven other African countries as well as in Austria, Jordan, Peru, and Turkey.

U of M Speakers