CGEE Staff Biography – Raziel Valiño

Raziel earned her Licenciatura in Social Anthropology at UAEM (Autonomous University of the State of Morelos) and recently completed her MA/MPhil in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University. Raziel is currently working on her PhD dissertation in Cultural Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences, focusing on unaccompanied Mexican migrant youth that form part of a Minnesota-Morelos transnational circuit. Prior to her graduate studies at Columbia, Raziel worked in Morelos on issues related to youth, gender, sexuality, identity, sexual and reproductive health, violence, and U.S.-Mexico migration. From 2004 to 2006, Raziel was a Research Assistant and Mexican Mentor for a summer program “Feeding the Family in Troubled Times,” which involved a bio-cultural study of patterns of work, consumption and nutrition at the household level in two communities of Morelos. In 2009, while in New York, Raziel became involved with the Latino community, researching access to medical care and breast cancer screening, as well as the impact of mobility on HIV care and treatment.

CGEE Staff Biography – Violeta Jamarillo

Violeta was born in Mexico City, where she spent most of her childhood.  She majored in Industrial Engineering with a focus on Quality and Productivity at Zacatepec’s Institute for Technology.  Upon graduation in 2001, she joined Burlington Performance Wear as a Junior Engineer.  She began her M.B.A., focusing on Enterprise Direction.  After leaving Burlington, Violeta started a new adventure in the French Gemplus Company, where she worked in manufacturing, and improved production processes by finding the best way operators could work with complex requirements coming from all over Latin America.  She was soon promoted and began working with international and intercultural teams from France, Poland, and the United States.  Currently, Violeta is a full-time professor at UPEMOR, in addition to her responsibilities teaching in the International Business and Global Citizenship course.  During her spare time, Violeta enjoys reading novels and self-improvement books that follow Louise L. Hay’s writings, watching movies, and traveling with her boyfriend, Carlos, and child, Inaki.

CGEE Staff Biography – Antonio Ortega

Antonio is a doctoral student (ABD) in History at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia en Humanidades CIDHEM (Center for Teaching & Research on Humanities), Cuernavaca, Morelos, where he also completed his Masters degree in History.  He earned his Licenciatura in Accounting at La Salle University in Mexico City.

Antonio is a Certified Public Accountant who worked for several years in the Mexican stock market. However, he wasn’t happy wearing a suit and tie nor living in Mexico City. He then went to Oxford, England where he studied English, but after a year he felt homesick, so he moved to Cuernavaca, where he has lived happily ever after since 1990. Prior to joining CGEE in January of 2003, Antonio spent several years teaching English and working at CETLALIC Alternative Spanish School, where he promoted the school and coordinated the Gay & Lesbian Studies Program. In 1999, Antonio received a Teaching Certificate from the Anglo American School. He is also a founder and active member of Grupo CD4, a non profit organization devoted to fight AIDS through sexual education. His primary academic interests are LGBT issues, literature, and history. He enjoys traveling, movies, reading, and writing.

CGEE Staff Biography – Lisanne Morgan

Lisanne earned a Hon. B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish from York University in Toronto. Before she began consulting for CGEE in 2002, she worked as a Program Director for the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development (CCIDD) from 1995-2001. There she led groups from the U.S. and Canada, facilitating a program for those interested in developing an understanding of the political, social, cultural, and economic realities of Mexico through experiential learning. After leaving CCIDD, Lisanne worked as a freelance translator and consultant. She has also coordinated and facilitated exposure programs to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Cuba, Chiapas, and Mexico City. Although she had previously worked as a consultant with CGEE, she joined the CGE team more formally in January of 2003. Lisanne is a Canadian citizen.

CGEE Staff Biography – Ann Lutterman-Aguilar

Ann completed her doctorate in International Feminist Theologies from the San Francisco Theological Seminary (University of California-Berkeley). She earned her Masters in Divinity with a focus on liberation theologies from Yale University and her B.A. in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College. In 2000, she completed a certificate program in Intercultural Communication. Prior to joining the CGEE staff in 1993, Ann worked in the ecumenical campus ministry at Penn State University and in a refugee camp in El Salvador during the civil war there. She has also worked with several different organizations as a full-time activist advocating women’s rights, human rights, LGBT rights, and changes in U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Her academic interests are in the areas of critical, experiential, and feminist pedagogies; intercultural communication; liberation theologies; and women’s studies.   She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading novels, and participating in several community organizations.  Ann is a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States.

CGEE Staff Biography – Fidel Xinico Tum

Fidel is the Guatemala Site Coordinator.  Fidel is a Guatemalan citizen of the Cakchiquel Maya ethnic group. He is from a small village called Chipiacul, in the Department of Chimaltenango. He studied at the Catholic High School Seminary in Sololá, and at Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala City, where he received a B.A. in Secondary Education and Philosophy. In 1984, Fidel received a scholarship from the New Ulm Dioceses of Minnesota to study at St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he graduated with a M. Div. in 1988.

Since returning to Guatemala in 1988, Fidel worked with the San Lucas Tolimán Parish as director of catechists and delegates of the word, as well as teacher and high school principal in his home village. He also worked closely with Sister Parish since its inception in Guatemala, organizing parish-to-parish linkages, and working with delegations.

Fidel joined the staff of the Center in 1993 working with the Center’s short-term travel seminars, then with semester programs. Fidel feels that this work has taught him about his own society and its problems, and he really enjoys an active exchange of ideas with North Americans and people from other countries who participate in the programs. He currently lives in San Lucas Sacatepéquez, a town near Guatemala City with his wife and three children.

CGEE Staff Biography – César Acevedo

César is the site coordinator in El Salvador and works with programs in Costa Rica and elsewhere.  He was born in El Salvador and as a youth participated in the Christian Base Community movement and other social movements. In 1982, due to the political repression, César and his family were forced to leave El Salvador. He lived in exile in Canada until returning to El Salvador in 1993. In Canada, he maintained close contact with the situation in El Salvador, primarily through his work with the El Salvador Ethno-cultural and Humanitarian Society and the Salvadoran Base Christian Community in Exile.

Prior to working for CGEE, César was youth educator for FUNDASIDA, the Salvadoran National AIDS Foundation. His work entailed training youth promoters in HIV/AIDS issues, including transmission and ways to avoid AIDS, human sexuality, gender roles, and self-esteem. He also has worked with Sister Parish in El Salvador and with organizations in Canada working on refugee resettlement.

While in Canada, César received a Social Work Diploma from Grant MacEwan College and has worked as a social worker. He recently concluded his studies in Latin American Social Work at the Salvadoran Lutheran University. He completed his thesis on the process of reinsertion of Salvadoran deportees from the United States. In 2012 Cesar completed two years of a Master’s Program in Political Science at the Central American University (UCA). He has begun working on his thesis: Political Culture of Salvadoran who had lived outside the country and had returned.

CGEE Staff Biography – Leah Spinosa de Vega

Leah joined Augsburg College in July 2008. In her role as Director of Global Initiatives and Off-campus study, she develops and manages Global Education initiatives that deepen a holistic model of global engagement at Augsburg College in support of the Mission, Vision and academic goals of the College.

Previous to becoming the Director of Global Initiatives and Off-campus study in the Center for Global Education and Experience in June 2015, Leah served as the Director of Augsburg Abroad.  During her 6 years of leadership as the Director of Augsburg Abroad, the number of students studying abroad increased by over 20%.   During this same period, over 40 Augsburg students have been awarded over $170,000 through the Gilman International Scholarship program.

She is particularly proud her team’s and CGEE’s achievements in making off-campus study more inclusive.  Much of this success has been through close collaboration throughout the College–in particular with Multicultural, LGBTQIA, and Disability (CLASS) Student Services, TRiO/SSS, and Student Financial Services and Advancement.

She has over 20 years of experience working in higher education in international education, academic advising, executive education, alumni relations and Spanish-language instruction.  Leah has a Bachelors degree in Spanish and Linguistics, and a Master’s in Hispanic Linguistics, both from the University of Minnesota.  In addition to these degrees, she is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory and holds a diplomado in Client Centered Therapy from the Instituto de Gestalt  in Cuernavaca, Mexico where she lived, worked and studied for over 7 years.

She sits on the Executive Committee on the Board of Directors for HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs).  She was elected Treasurer in June 2015.

CGEE Staff Biography – Susan Peacock

Susan Peacock coordinates customized programs in Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.  Since rejoining the CGEE staff in 2012, she has been particularly excited by opportunities to bring her expertise in peacebuilding and human rights to bear on the development of new programs.  Susan previously served as the coordinator of CGEE’s Mexico program from 1987 to 1991.  During the intervening years, she worked at The National Academies’ Committee on Human Rights, the Washington Office on Latin America, The National Security Archive at George Washington University, and the Guatemala Human Rights Commission.  She also directed the Global Education and Advocacy Office of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Susan has two master’s degrees, one in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University and another in International Administration from the School for International Training. She is the author of two books, In Search of Hidden Truths and Hidden Powers in Post-Conflict Guatemala.

CGEE Staff Biography – Fatimah Kinaphone

Since September of 2006, Fatimah Kinaphone, has been with the Center for Global Education and Experience at Augsburg College holding various positions as Office Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, and Program Assistant.  Her current position as Coordinator of Customized Programs will consist of integrating with external sponsors, faculty and staff of the College, the CGEE Nicaragua site, program participants, as well as consultants and partner organization.

Ms. Kinaphone graduated from Augsburg College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Augsburg College.  Her travels have taken her to Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Guatemala, and El Salvador.  She can speak Lao, Thai, and Indonesian.  She is excited of her opportunity to bring cross-cultural experiences for both community members and participants.  This will provide global awareness and international collaboration that will bring strong, positive, and lasting impact of respect and understanding.