- About UNK
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- Faculty & Staff
Mr. David Bacon
Writer and Photojournalist
David Bacon is a writer and photojournalist based in Oakland and Berkeley, California. He is the author of several books about migration and globalization: The Children of NAFTA (University of California Press, 2004), Communities Without Borders (ILR/Cornell University Press, 2006), Illegal People – How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008), and The Right to Stay Home (Beacon Press, 2013).
David Bacon was a factory worker and union organizer for two decades, including several years with the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies Garment Workers and other unions. Today he documents the changing conditions in the workforce, the impact of the global economy, war and migration, and the struggle for human rights.
David Bacon's photography has been exhibited widely in the U.S., Mexico and Europe, including at the Oakland Museum of California; University of California in Berkeley, Merced and Los Angeles; the National Civil Rights Museum; DeSaisset Museum, Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, Galeria de la Raza, Viewpoint Gallery, Puffin Gallery, Queens College, the Church Center of the United Nations, the Museum of Mexico City, the American Labor Museum, the Autonomous University of Mexico City, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, IG Metall Galerie in Frankfurt, Galerie Unterhaus in Passau, and KulturAXE, in Vienna.
His articles and photoessays have been published in Afterimage, New Labor Forum, Al Jazeera America, The Nation, The Progressive, La Jornada, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the East Bay Express, Contexts, Gastronomica and Race, Poverty and the Environment, among other media. His photography and journalism have received the Max Steinbock Award, Project Censored Award, Los Angeles Press Club Award, the East Bay Press Association Award, New America Media Award, Domingo Ulloa Cultural Award, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Southwest Labor Studies Association. Illegal People was awarded the C.L.R. James Best Book Award for 2007-8 by the Working Class Studies Association.
As a photojournalist, David Bacon has been documenting through photographs and stories the lives of farm workers since 1988. He has traveled through the Pacific Coast’s indigenous communities, developing the Living Under the Trees project in a way that enables community activists to participate and guide its course. In the process he has raised funding from sources that include the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, The California Endowment, and the California Council for the Humanities. He belongs to the Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA, and has been an organizer of the Bay Area Free South Africa Movement, the Labor Immigrant Organizers Network and board chair of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights.
Mr. Rick Najera
Comedian, Speaker, Screenwriter, Actor, Director, Author
Los Angeles, CA
Rick Najera is a comedian and nationally acclaimed speaker, award-winning screenwriter-performer-director and author with credits in film, television, theatre, Broadway and new media. Rick Najera is a key influencer with an expansive portfolio of talent.
Currently he is a writer and guest star on hulu’s Emmy-nominated original series, East Los High and also directs the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase (in his 11th consecutive year). Najera recently filmed a television pilot, Color Correct News addressing current news and issues. Najera also developed and hosts the Latino Thought Makers Series (in its third season) for Oxnard College Performing Arts Center, interviewing top industry leaders and community heroes in the industry such as Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales and dozens more.
Najera, a thought maker himself, is a national speaker addressing topics through comedy such as diversity, entertainment, media, politics and more and has spoken at the most prestigious corporations, universities and organizations in America including Google, Harvard, Stanford, The World Bank, CNN, Al Jazeera, CBS, UCLA, NAHREP among others. He was also recently signed by Latino Rebels, an influential news site and digital network, to develop and create original programming including a new web comedy sketch series.
Rick Najera currently directs for CBS and has directed the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase for the last 11 consecutive years. Najera directs and oversees the show in its entirety, from mentoring the actors, teaching writing and stage performance and presents the most important showcase of talent in the industry. Under his tutelage, more than 65 actors from the showcase have been cast as series regulars or leads in popular television shows including Saturday Night Live (SNL) and The Daily Show and hundreds have gone on to successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Najera’s fourth book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood, has garnered national attention and critical acclaim. In his memoir, Najera explores what it means to be Latino within the ever-changing backdrop of life as a Hollywood creative and offers an insider’s view through an ironic yet comedic lens, from in front of the camera to behind. Almost White was awarded Most Inspirational Non-Fiction Book.
A screenwriter by trade, Najera co-wrote the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him a prestigious ALMA Award. His writing/acting credits also include the nationally acclaimed stage play, Latinologues™ on Broadway, and was one of only three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway. He has also written for groundbreaking television comedies such as MAD TV and In Living Color, and currently the Emmy-nominated show on Hulu, East Los High. Najera has been nominated for two WGA awards for Best Writing for a Comedy/Variety Television Series for his writing on Fox’s MAD TV.
For more information on Rick Najera, visit www.ricknajera.com.
Dr. Božo Cerar, Ambassador
Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia
A career diplomat, Ambassador Cerar previously served as Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Canada, Poland, and as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to NATO. During his career, he was also Head of the Department for Europe and North America, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in London, Head of Minister’s Office, Head of the Department for Multilateral Relations, and Head of the NATO Department. He has also served as a State Secretary/Deputy Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. Cerar began his service as Ambassador of Slovenia to the U.S. in 2013. Additionally, he is Slovenia’s ambassador to Mexico. He is accredited as a permanent observer to the Organization of American States and CARICOM. Ambassador Cerar holds a BA in Law, MA in Diplomatic Studies and PhD in International Law. He has authored numerous articles and books on international relations and diplomacy.
Mr. Naivakarurubalavu Solo Mara, Ambassador
Embassy of Fiji
Fiji’s Ambassador to the US, Mr. Solo Mara, recently took up his position in Washington D.C. in December 2015 after a stint of four and half years as Fiji's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to Germany, Ireland, Israel and the Holy See. A proud husband as well as a father of 4 children, Ambassador Solo Mara is an enthusiastic rugby fan like most of his compatriots. Following various governmental positions, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000, rising to the position of Permanent Secretary in 2008. This appointment came shortly after Fiji's democratically elected government was ousted by a military government. As Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mara's role was to represent his country's new strategy that targets to rebuild Fiji into an inclusive society, addressing issues of race and economic disparity to bring about a politically stable Fiji.
Mr. Herbert Quelle, Consul General
German Consulate General
Herbert Quelle, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago, was born on December 27, 1953 in Herford, Germany. He is married and has two grown daughters. After school, military service and university, he joined the Federal Foreign Office, then still in Bonn, in 1980. His postings abroad include Los Angeles, Pretoria, Havanna, Warsaw, London, Baku and Boston in various functions. In Baku he served as Ambassador. His attachment to the Consulate General in Boston was combined with a fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University. Herbert Quelle has been in Chicago since July, 2014.
Ms. Gudalupe Sánchez-Salazar, Consul
Consulate of Mexico
Minister Sánchez-Salazar is a career member of the Mexican Foreign Service and currently serves as Consul of Mexico in Omaha, Nebraska. She has wide experience in the consular, bilateral and multilateral diplomatic fields. Some of her most important assignments include that of Chargée d'Affaires a.i. and Deputy Head of Mission at the Mexican Embassy in Jamaica; Deputy Representative to the International Seabed Authority, based in Kingston; Delegate at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations Organization (UNO) in New York, and Chief of the Consular Section at the Embassy of Mexico in Hungary. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, she has served in the capacity of Director at the Department of the United Nations Organization, and at the Department of the Organization of American States, among others. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico; a graduate Certificate in Foreign Affairs from the University of New York; a graduate Certificate in Mexico-United States bilateral relationship from the Center for Economic Research and Teaching/Columbia University and a Diploma in Public Diplomacy from DiploFoundation based in Malta.
Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador
Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda
Sir Ronald Sanders is Ambassador to the U.S. and the Organization of American States for Antigua and Barbuda. Before this appointment, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He was also an international business consultant and writer. His diplomatic career spanned two previous periods, from 1982 to 1987 and 1996 to 2004. He was twice High Commissioner to the U.K. for Antigua and Barbuda and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization. Sanders is the recipient of several honors, including Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation, member of the Order of Australia. A former Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, he holds a MA in International relations from the University of Sussex.
Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Consul General
Consulate of Pakistan
A post graduate of the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1993. He has handled bilateral, multilateral, consular and administrative assignments both in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and abroad. Tirmizi served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Desk Officer of Middle East, Central Asia, Afghanistan, India as well as Director of Personnel, Protocol and Foreign Secretary’s Office. Additionally, he held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (1996-1999), Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (2003-2007) and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2007-2010).
Tirmizi has served as Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago since September 2013. He is married and has two children.
Dr. Tom Farer, Professor
University of Denver
Tom Farer is University Professor at the University of Denver, after having served as Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies for fourteen years. He previously served as President of the University of New Mexico, of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, and of the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights. He has been a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment and The Wilson Center. He has worked in the Departments of State and Defense. At the United Nations he served as legal advisor to the chief of the UN operation in Somalia. He is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of International Law and the Human Rights Quarterly and was co-editor of the journal Global Governance. He has published 12 books and over a hundred and fifty articles which have appeared in The New York and London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Columbia and Harvard Law Reviews.
Dr. Nell Gabiam, Assistant Professor
Department of World Languages and Cultures and Department of Anthropology
Iowa State University
Iowa City, IA
Nell Gabiam is Assistant professor of anthropology and political science at Iowa State University. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. Prior to starting her appointment at ISU, she was provost postdoctoral scholar at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. She is the author of The Politics of Suffering: Syria’s Palestinian Refugee Camps, which was published in May 2016 by Indiana University Press as well as several journal articles. While her earlier research focused on the politics of humanitarian aid in Palestinian refugee camps, her more recent research has focused on the effects of the ongoing Syrian war on the country’s Palestinian population and has taken her to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, France, Sweden, and Germany.
Dr. Marjorie Heier, M.D.
Medical Director, Missions Clinic
Rufunsa District, Zambia
Dr. Marjorie Heier is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the Lincoln Medical Education Partners Family Medicine Residency Program. She practiced rural medicine for 22 years before accepting a contract as a consultant, while preparing to go to Zambia to work as medical director of a privately owned, publicly operated Missions Clinic, which she has done for more than 3 years. She remains board certified in Family Medicine in the U.S. for 27 years, and has full licensure as a physician in Zambia, as well, where she is the sole practicing physician in Rufunsa District with a population of more than 65,000. She is in Nebraska on furlough, visiting her parents in Columbus, NE, and her children, Andrew, 31, of Omaha, NE; Grant, 28 of Seattle, Washington; and Wendi, 26, of Lincoln, NE.
Mr. Brian M. Kelly, RA, NCARB
Associate Professor of Architecture
2014-16 Killinger Professor of Urban Design
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Associate Professor Brian M. Kelly, a licensed architect in the State of Nebraska, joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Architecture in the Fall of 2009. His previous teaching experience includes Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture in Springfield, MO and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Prior to joining the faculty at UNL, Brian served as lead designer in the office of Randy Brown Architects, designing several award-winning projects of various types and scales. In addition to teaching, he is a partner with AToM, a design office which focuses on small-scale architectural projects, objects, and graphics. Brian’s design work has been recognized through awards programs nationally and featured in publications internationally. His research is in the areas of design thinking, open-source design, and representational theory with regards to architectural construction and fabrication.
Dr. Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH
Retired Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Dean, College of Public Health
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, is a former Assistant Surgeon General and current Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Khan’s professional career has focused on health security, global health, and emerging infectious diseases. He completed a 23-year career as a senior director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which he joined as a disease detective. At CDC, Dr. Khan led and responded to numerous high profile domestic and international public health emergencies, including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, monkeypox, avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome, the Asian Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Khan was also one of the main architects of the CDC’s public health bioterrorism preparedness program and provided scientific and strategic oversight of CDC’s malaria and One Health activities. In 2015 he supported response activities for the West Africa Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone as a World Health Organization consultant. As Dean of the UNMC College of Public Health, his focus is on health system and community based health transformations. Dean Khan’s vision is for the UNMC College of Public Health to play an integral role in making Nebraska the healthiest state in the Union as a national and global model for wellness.
Dr. Khan received his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and completed a joint residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has a Master of Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians. He has authored numerous papers and publications and consulted extensively for multiple U.S. organizations, ministries of health, and the World Health Organization.
Ms. Tiffani Luethke, doctoral student
UNL College of Education and Human Sciences
Tiffani Luethke is a doctoral student in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) where she is specializing in Leadership Studies. She is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant/Instructor in the department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication (ALEC) at UNL. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Leadership Education from UNL and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Nebraska – Kearney (UNK). Tiffani’s research interests include topics related to migration and displacement, minority and gender issues in leadership, globalization and leadership, cross-cultural analysis of behaviors, and organizational leadership issues, such as ethics, related to cultural context.
Mr. Antoine Ripoll, Director
European Parliament Liaison Office with U.S. Congress
Mr. Antoine Ripoll is currently the Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office with U.S. Congress, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief of Staff and spokesman of majority leader of the European Parliament. His career with the European Union began in 1986, in various capacities and European Union institutions. Originally from France, Ripoll is married to a U.S./Italian citizen. They have two children.
Ms. Christa Yoakum, Coordinator
Nebraska is Home
Immigrants and Communities Program, Nebraska Appleseed
Christa Yoakum is the coordinator of Nebraska Is Home, a grassroots movement promoting mutual respect and cooperation among U.S. born and foreign born neighbors, creating safe, strong, and robust communities for all. She also works in the Immigrants and Communities program at Nebraska Appleseed, advocating pro-immigrant policies and employing arts, positive messages, community engagement and improving local policies to support new neighbors and promote immigrant integration. A Nebraska native, Christa has long advocated for policies that improve the lives of her neighbors. She had the opportunity work for the International Organization for Migration on the South Sudanese Out of Country vote on the Referendum to secede from Sudan creating the new nation of South Sudan.