Dr. Tom Hansen, Director
Dr. Thomas Hansen is the program director for the semester program. He has coordinated education abroad programs for more than 20 years, and has served as a group leader for more than 3,000 participants; many of these programs took place in Cuba. Dr.Hansen will work closely with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and CGE to ensure academic integrity and a positive living/learning environment for all program participants.
César 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 CGE, 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 and is currently working on a thesis on the process of reinsertion of Salvadoran deportees from the United States.
Margaret (Peggy) O’Neill
Peggy completed her Masters Degree in Theology at Marquette University and her Doctoral Degree at New York University. She has taught at Iona College in New York and Barry University in Florida. She presently teaches for Casa de Solidaridad, a study abroad program for university students from the United States. Peggy has lived in El Salvador since 1987.
Fidel Xinico Tum
Fidel is a program 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.
Ann Lutterman-Aguilar, Site Director and Instructor
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 CGE 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.
Lisanne Morgan, Homestay and Program Coordinator
Lisanne earned a Hon. B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish from York University in Toronto. Before she began consulting for CGE 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 CGE, she joined the CGE team more formally in January of 2003. Lisanne is a Canadian citizen.
Antonio Ortega, Program Coordinator and Instructor
Program Coordinator and Instructor:Antonio earned his Licenciatura in Accounting at La Salle University in Mexico City and completed a Masters degree in History at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia en Humanidades CIDHEM (Center for Teaching & Research on Humanities), Cuernavaca, Morelos. 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 CGE 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.
Violeta Jamarillo, Adjunct Instructor
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.
Abril Olmos, Adjunct Instructor
Adjunct Professor: Abril has the Mexican equivalent of two Masters degrees – one in Anthropoligy and the other in Psychology. Her recent thesis was on racism against indigenous peoples in the northern Mexican stat of Chihuahua, where she was born. Most of her professional experience is related to social science research. For the past five years, she has worked with various immersion programs on globalization and social justice. She is also very passionate about feminism, psychoanalysis, languages, and English literature.
Suyen Barahona Cuan, Program Coordinator
Suyen holds a B.A in international relations from Mobile University, San Marcos, Nicaragua and a M.S. in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental policy from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. Prior to her work in the Center, Suyen worked as campaign and project coordinator for various Nicaraguan non-governmental organizations involved in environmental work at the national and international level. Her experience includes: research, lobbying and advocacy work on Nicaraguan environmental policy; the relationship of macroeconomic policies and natural resource management in Nicaragua (analysis on external debt, free trade agreements); organizational, educational and advocacy work involving ethnic, indigenous communities and local organizations in the Caribbean of Nicaragua. In addition to working with travel seminars Suyen teaches Political Science in the CGE semester program in Nicaragua.
Mark Lester, Regional Co-Director
Mark shares the position of Regional Co-Director of Central America and the Caribbean for the Center for Global Education with Kathy McBride. In addition they share the responsibility for the Center’s program in Nicaragua. Mark began working with the Center in 1987. His responsibilities include designing educational experiences that help participants from the First World explore Third World culture and issues and understand the impact that relationship has on the lives of the local population. In addition, Mark is the representative of the Winds of Peace Foundation, part of a contract with the Center for Global Education in Managua.
In Nicaragua, Mark has also been Material Aids Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, and represented the Wisconsin Coordinating Committee on Nicaragua in the Central Credit Committee of CEPAD in their Nicaraguan Community Development Loan Fund. He coordinates the Sub-Committee on Neo-liberalism for the Ecumenical Committee of U.S. Church Personnel in Nicaragua.
Prior to his work with the Center, Mark was a pastor of San Dionisio Parish in San Dionisio, Matagalpa, Nicaragua for two years (1985-87). He received cross-cultural and language school training with the Maryknoll Missioners Associate Priest Program in both New York and Bolivia. He was also a parish priest and high school religion teacher in Ft. Wright, Kentucky. Mark received his B.A. in Philosophy from St. Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Kentucky and his M.A. in Theology with a concentration in Scripture from Mt. St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Juan Carlos Lopez, Program Coordinator
Juan Carlos is a Nicaraguan and graduated from the Central American University in Managua with a degree in English translation. Before joining the Center, Juan Carlos worked for 6 years at the El Limon Mine with a Canadian gold-mining company as a translator and manager of the procurement department. He joined the Center as a Study Abroad Facilitator in August of 2001. In addition to his work with the center, Juan Carlos has worked with exchange programs through churches and has accompanied doctors and dentists from the US who come to provide free medical and dental consultations for rural Nicaraguans. Juan Carlos is married and has a lovely wife and two children.
Kathleen McBride, Regional Co-Director
Kathy shares the position of Regional Co-Director of Central America and the Caribbean for the Center for Global Education with Mark Lester. In addition they share the responsibility for the Center’s program in Nicaragua. Her responsibilities include coordinating the Central America semester abroad program, oversight of regional staff and programming, and designing cross-cultural educational experiences within Nicaragua for travel seminar participants and university students.
Prior to joining the Center for Global Education in 1988, Kathy worked with the Christian Base Communities for three years in Nicaragua. Before moving to Nicaragua in 1984, she worked for 8 years in community development in a squatters’ settlement on the outskirts of the city of Caracas, Venezuela. Her primary work involved literacy training and teaching primary health care to women factory workers. Kathy has received theological and cross-cultural training in the Maryknoll Lay Mission Program. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from George Mason University and Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University with a concentration in International Education. Kathy teaches History & Women´s Studies in Nicaragua since 1999.
Romanus Shivoro, Director
Romanus Shivoro has a bachelor’s in education from the University of Namibia and a master of arts in education from the University of Lucknow in India. He has been a lecturer at the Institute of Open Learning and University of Namibia, and served as an education technical training coordinator for the U.S. Peace Corps in Namibia.
Linda Raven, Program Coordinator and Instructor
Linda Raven, is the Interim Co-Director of Southern Africa, in addition to serving as a program coordinator and adjunct professor. Linda completed an M.A. in international development and social change at Clark University. She has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She previously spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia working in secondary education and as an HIV/AIDS coordinator
Frederick Simasiku, Program Coordinator
Frederick was born in Katima Mulilo, Namibia and graduated from the University of Namibia with a Bachelor’s Degree in education with majors in geography and English as a second language. He completed an honours degree in environmental education at the University of South Africa. Frederick was awarded a scholarship by the Southern African Development Community Regional Environmental Education Programme (SADC-REEP) to undertake studies at Rhodes University in South Africa, where he earned a Master’s degree in environmental education.
Prior to working for CGE, Frederick worked as centre manager and environmental educator for a Namibian NGO. He also served as a tutor/assistant lecturer for environmental education at the Polytechnic of Namibia and at Rhodes University. He also worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, environmental management, and development studies. Frederick is interested in how education contributes to sustainable development in a southern African context of risk and vulnerability.
Janessa Schilmoeller, International Resident Advisor
Janessa recently graduated from St. Catherine University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. Janessa studied abroad several times in the Middle East and also participated in a J-term course with CGE in Namibia. Her academic research has specialized in the role of cross-cultural programs in the Arab peace process and methods of social change in East African immigrant communities in Minnesota. Janessa is the former assistant camp director of an international scholarship program in New York and has previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations for the program’s Minnesota Alumni Association. Janessa enjoys salsa and swing dancing, in addition to traveling. In the future, Janessa hopes to receive a Master’s degree in International Policy and coordinate cross-cultural education programs as a US Foreign Service Officer.