Three Illinois International staff were recognized for their contributions to advancing the rights of women during the 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards Brunch this past March. The Awards Brunch is part of the broader International Women’s Day celebration of the achievements made to promote the rights of women, which has been celebrated since 1911. The Women’s Resources Center at Illinois sponsored the Awards Brunch to recognize local efforts in the Illinois campus-community to improve the lives of women and girls around the globe. Many scholars and activists were honored for their work in Champaign-Urbana that has helped improve communities all over the world. Honorees came from a wide variety of fields, including education, health care, policy, history and social work. The honorees from Illinois International were Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Erin DeLuca, and Sebnem Ozkan.
Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela’s research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. Erin DeLuca's extensive FEMA training focusing on emergency preparedness and response for natural and manmade disaster, the science of natural disaster, Incident Command Structure and Crisis Communication has helped multiple student, faculty, and staff travelers abroad. Dr. Sebnem Ozkan has dedicated herself to advising immigrants and students from underrepresented minority groups and engages in humanitarian efforts, which has affected the lives of families and individuals in the U.S. and abroad. Complete biographies of the Illinois International awardees are listed below.
Other awardees included:
- Aashika Anantharaman
Undergraduate Student, Department of Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies
- Faye V Harrison
Graduate Academic Advisor, and Professor of African American Studies
Professor of Anthropology
Faculty Affiliate with the Center for African Studies
- Susan Koshy
Director of Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Associate Professor, Department of English and Asian American Studies
- Naomi Paik
Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies
- Nataly Quito
Undergraduate Student, Actuarial Science
- Ximena Rivera
Legal Intern for Immigration Project
- Alexandra van Doren
Co-Founder of Three Spinners
Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative and World Literature
Congratulations to all awardees!
View the original Women's Resources Center announcement.
Illinois International Awardee Biographies
Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela
Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies
Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS) and Professor of Comparative and International Higher Education. Prior to joining the University of Illinois, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies in the College of Education and Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Originally from South Africa, she received her BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She pursued and graduated with a Master’s in Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A former Fulbright New Century Scholar (2006), Professor Mabokela's research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. She has devoted a significant part of her career studying higher education issues in developing and transitional countries. She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international journals.
Former Coordinator for International Safety and Security
Erin served as the Coordinator for International Safety and Security from June 2016 to July 2018. She has extensive FEMA training focusing on emergency preparedness and response for natural and manmade disaster, the science of natural disaster, Incident Command Structure, and Crisis Communication. Prior to joining the Illinois International, Erin interned in Boston University’s Global Programs Safety and Security division. Erin’s experience abroad includes time in Arusha, Tanzania working with a non-profit called Green Hope Orphanage, and in Panahachel, Guatemala working with a traditional medicine and fair labor NGO called Mayan Traditions. Erin earned a B.Sc. in Emergency Medicine, with a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.Sc. in Healthcare Emergency Management from Boston University. Erin left the University for a position with the School for Field Studies effective July 19, 2018.
Dr. Sebnem Ozkan
Associate Director, European Union Center
Sebnem Ozkan is the Associate Director and Director of Graduate Studies at the European Union Center. Sebnem provides strategic guidance for developing core areas of the EUC, execute the Center’s programmatic activities, and oversee EUC’s academic programs. Sebnem started working at the EUC in 2008 as Outreach Coordinator and has played a key role in acquisition and execution of various EU and federal grants; created numerous innovative outreach programs; initiated, coordinated, and taught courses in the MA in EU Studies (MASEUS) program; and also served as the coordinator of and advisor for the EUC’s Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program. Prior to joining the EUC staff, Sebnem worked at the European Studies Alliance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as research project assistant and graduate research fellow from 1999-2008. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. degree in labor economics and industrial relations from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science (Mülkiye). She is a specialist on Turkish politics; EU-Turkey relations; and European social and industrial policy and labor and employment issues.