Opening Keynote Speakers

Neal Sobania has had a significant career as an international educator, focusing on both study abroad and off-campus domestic study, and was the 2006 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES). He is the editor, Putting the Local in Global Education (Stylus Press), and a scholar of African History.

Headshot of Amanda Sturgill directory photo

Amanda Sturgill is Associate Professor of Communications at Elon University.  She has professional experience in newspaper journalism and marketing communications, and her research focuses on the intersection of education and community-based work, the relationship of region and media, and on new technologies and the news. Amanda routinely teaches study abroad courses and has published on methods of reflection in service-learning abroad.

Closing Keynote Speaker


Dawn Michele Whitehead is the Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change at the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC.  At AAC&U, Whitehead’s work focuses on advancing practices, strategies, and projects for integrative global learning across the undergraduate curriculum. Her work focuses on integrative global learning with an emphasis on thematic local and international experiences that provide students with globalized learning opportunities throughout their education to prepare them to function and thrive in the modern world. She has also worked on projects that have integrated high impact practices across general education and the majors to provide students with consistent, high-quality liberal learning and has been engaged in global learning and global service learning program and course development.  At the heart of her work is the concept of inclusive excellence to ensure all students have access to high-quality global learning experiences. She has written articles and presented nationally and internationally on global learning and global service learning, and facilitated grant-funded projects to advance student success through curricular change.  She earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies with a doctoral minor in International and Comparative Education and a concentration in African Studies and her master’s degree in International and Comparative Education at Indiana University Bloomington.

Prior to her work at AAC&U, Whitehead served as the Director of Curriculum Internationalization at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where she also served as a faculty director and/or an instructor for global service learning programs in East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, taught Global and International Studies courses in the United States, abroad, and through real time videoconferencing, and facilitated the development of international partnerships, internationalized curriculum, and global service learning.