The MSU Global Engagement Speaker Series invites individuals of distinction from higher education, global organizations, and philanthropies to share their thoughts, research, and practice with the MSU community. Advancing fundamental human rights and meeting basic human needs are the primary foci for the Series. Speakers highlight the role of higher education as a collaborator, working with civil societies, governments, and industry to enhance societal well-being. Learn more

Past Speakers

Iman Nuwayhid

Political Determinants of Health in the Arab World: What Killed 'Jamal' the Syrian Young Man?

Iman Nuwayhid

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut

Iman Nuwayhid is professor and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. He received his M.D. from AUB in 1984 and his M.P.H. (1985) and Dr.P.H. (1991) in Occupational Health from Johns Hopkins University. He is American Board Certified in occupational medicine. He was elected as a Fellow to the Collegium Ramazzini in 2004, and was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2012. He is a co-editor of the landmark book, Public Health in the Arab World, published by Cambridge University Press in March 2012, and currently co-chairs the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict.

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Pauline Koelbl-Mujawamariya

Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise for the Public Good in Africa

Pauline Koelbl-Mujawamariya

Freelance Innovation Catalyst
Angel Investor
Co-Founder and Vice President of Operations, Professional Women of African Heritage (PROWAH)

Pauline Koelbl-Mujawamariya's passion lies in innovation, entrepreneurship, and empowerment of youth and women. She is co-founder and vice president of operations of the PROWAH initiative, which empowers professional women of African heritage to connect, learn from each other, and expand their professional and leadership skills to serve as change agents, shaping the African narrative globally. The organization is based in Switzerland.

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Norbert Steinhaus

Democratizing Knowledge: Science Shops, Knowledge Mobilization, and Broader Impacts

Norbert Steinhaus

Coordinator, Living Knowledge: The International Science Shop Network
Board Member, Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (Bonn Science Shop)

Norbert Steinhaus holds a master's degree in agriculture from Bonn University. He has been a board member of Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (Wila Bonn) since 1990. For the last 18 years he has cooperated with international projects on citizen participation in science and technology or responsible research and innovation. He is directly involved in EC-funded projects as a coordinator or consortium partner and is on the advisory boards of various Horizon 2020 (European Research Framework) projects. Since the end of 2007 he has been coordinator of Living Knowledge, the international science shop network.

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Nieves Tapia

Service-learning as a Platform for Active Learning, Applied Research, and Student Participation in Community Development

Nieves Tapia

Founder and Director, Latin American Center for Service-Learning (CLAYSS), Argentina

Nieves Tapia is founder and director of CLAYSS, an NGO based in Buenos Aires. From 1997 to 2010 she organized and directed the Argentina Ministry of Education's first national service-learning programs. She was a founding board member of the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement and co-founded the Iberican-American Service-learning Network in 2005.

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George Openjuru

Universities and Communities in Conflict Resolution and Social Justice in Africa: The Case of Gulu University in Northern Uganda

George Openjuru

Professor of Education and First Deputy Vice Chancellor, Gulu University, Uganda

George L. Openjuru is professor of education and first deputy vice chancellor at Gulu University, Uganda. He was formerly dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning at Makerere University, and head of the Department of Community Education and Extra-Mural Studies, Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. He was also an associate professor of adult and community education at Makerere University.

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Thelma Awori

African Women Post Independence: Economic Empowerment, Peace, and Security

Thelma Awori

Founding Chair and Co-President, Sustainable Market Women's Fund, Liberia

Thelma Awori is former assistant secretary general of the United Nations and director of the Regional Bureau for Africa of the UN Development Programme. She served the United Nations for 12 years, as deputy director for UNIFEM and as resident coordinator of the UN System in Zimbabwe.

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Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

LISTEN, LEARN, ACT, PIVOT: Disruptive Pedagogies in Entrepreneurship for Civic Engagement

Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

Founder and Co-Director, Social Innovation Lab, Pakistan

Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed is founder and co-director of the Social Innovation Lab, which hosts Pakistan's only social enterprise incubator, The Hatchery. The SIL functions as a hub for innovation in Pakistan and beyond, with a unique community engagement wing that combines sustainable development with concepts such as human centered design and appropriate technology. SIL serves as a one-of-kind bridge between academia and the field, and, with its partner UpEffect, recently launched a joint-venture company in London called InnHive.

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Catherine Odora Hoppers

Global Engagement, Human Rights, and Cognitive Justice

Catherine Odora Hoppers

Professor, Department of Science and Technology, and National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Development Education
University of South Africa

Born in Uganda, Odora Hoppers first studied in her home country and in Zambia before becoming a Swedish citizen and completing her doctorate in social sciences at Stockholm University. She has since forged a multifaceted career as a scholar and policy adviser, serving many leading international organizations in education, gender policy, disarmament, and intellectual property rights.

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Shawn Wilson

Working in Respectful Relationship to Engage Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Knowledges

Shawn Wilson

Director of Research
Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples
Southern Cross University

Shawn Wilson is Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba, Canada, with a doctorate in social sciences/Indigenous studies. His expertise is in research methodology and epistemologies, particularly in ways of knowing and conducting research used by Indigenous peoples.

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Budd Hall

Decolonizing Knowledge and Higher Education: New Approaches to Community

Budd Hall

Professor, Community Development, University of Victoria, Canada
Co-Chair, UNESCO Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education

Dr. Hall is co-chair of UNESCO's CBRSRHE and professor of community development at the University of Victoria, Canada. He was the founding director of the Office of Community Based Research and former dean of education at the University of Victoria.

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Rajesh Tandon

Engaged University: Global Citizenship and Democratic Governance in Uncertain Futures

Rajesh Tandon

Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia, India
Co-Chair, UNESCO Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education (CBRSRHE)

Dr. Rajesh Tandon is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a voluntary organisation providing support to grassroots initiatives in South Asia, and has continued to be chief functionary since 1982.

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