2019 Emerging Scholar Awardees

Georgia Fountoulaki

Georgia Fountoulaki

Hellenic Open University, Greece

Georgia Fountoulaki is an independent researcher, author, and an education officer at the Greek NGO, We Need Books. She is a highly motivated professional with international experience, a strong academic background, and a genuine interest in the intercultural sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in European culture studies, and she is specialized in the history of immigration with an MA in arts, offered by the University of Tasmania, Australia. She is currently following a second MEd in language education for refugees and migrants, offered by the Hellenic Open University. As part of her MEd, she is researching issues related to intercultural education, educational material design, migration, and culture. She brings both her living and working experience abroad in multicultural environments, as well as in a refugee camp in Athens, to her intercultural educational research.

Sabrina Gupta

Sabrina Gupta

La Trobe University, Australia

Sabrina Gupta is an associate lecturer in the School of Psychology and Public Health and Assistant Course Advisor for the Bachelor of Health Science Program at La Trobe University. Sabrina completed her PhD in 2017 titled "Ethnicity, Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes: A Comparison between South Asians and Anglo Australians in Victoria, Australia." In this research she examined migration, ethnicity, lifestyle, CVD and diabetes, and the relationship with the healthcare system. She lectures in both undergraduate and post-graduate health science courses and one of the subjects that she co-coordinates is multicultural perspectives of health and well being in which culturally and linguistically diverse populations and their health are considered.

Maria Gouvi

Maria Gouvi

Hellenic Open University, Greece

Maria Gouvi studied German language and literature at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Afterwards, she continued her studies at Trier University, Germany, acquiring the Additional Certificate in Teaching German as a Foreign Language. She has a master's degree in teaching German as a foreign language (DaF) from Hellenic Open University. Since September 2008, she has been working as a German teacher at a high school in Patras. Since October 2018, she has been attending the Postgraduate Programme of Hellenic Open University titled “Language Education for Refugees and Migrants,” expecting to discover new tools to reflect upon her teaching practices.

​Maddie Kurchik

​Maddie Kurchik

University of Edinburgh, UK

Maddie Kurchik completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto where she majored in sexual diversity studies and minored in both aboriginal studies and English literature. She then went on to complete her master's degree in women and gender studies at Trinity College Dublin. At present, Maddie is a second-year PhD student in the organization studies group at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Maddie locates her doctoral research at the axis between organization, technology, and gender. Her broader research interests include intersectionality, gender and work, recruitment, company culture, and toxic techno-cultures.

​Angeliki Mikelatou

​Angeliki Mikelatou

University of Patras, Greece

Angeliki Mikelatou holds a master's degree in European administration and politics and an Med in adult education. She has worked as a project manager of projects co-financed by the European Social Fund in the EC Business and Innovation Centre of Attika and as a project officer of lifelong learning programs in the Ministry of Employment in Greece. Currently, she is working at the European Aviation Safety Agency in Cologne, Germany. She is also a PhD candidate at the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras and a research associate to the Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and Learning (Laboratory of Sociology and Education, DESECE, University of Patras).

​Maria Vlachou

​Maria Vlachou

University of Patras, Greece

Maria Vlachou is a coordinator educational work of preschool education at the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs (Greece) of the Ionian Islands based in Argostoli, Kefalonia. She has worked for 19 years as head manager of kindergartens. She has studied at the Pedagogical Department of Kindergarten of the University of Ioannina. She has a master's degree in the Faculty of Humanities, Department of Preschool Education and Educational Design of the University of the Aegean titled "Models for the Design and Development of Educational Units"; in the direction of "Management of Information and Communication Technologies." She is a PhD candidate at the University of Patras at the Department of Educational and Education in Early Childhood (TEEAPI), School of Humanities and Social Studies. She has participated in international and national conferences on preschool education as a rapporteur on issues related to intercultural education, diversity, diversified pedagogy, and creative writing. She has certification of skills and knowledge in information and communication technologies. She is a writer and has published three poetry collections.

Anila ​Mammou

Anila ​Mammou

University of Patras, Greece

Anila Mammou is a graduate of the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Rethymno and of the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education of University of Patras. She holds a MSc in special education from the University of Nicosia. Anila is currently a PhD student at the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education of University of Patras. She focuses on Greek minority education in Albanian schools. She is also a member of the Intercultural Forum, Laboratory of Sociology & Education, DESECE, University of Patras. Over the last nine years, she has been working in public primary schools in Greece either as a general education teacher or as a special educator.

Matthew Houdek

Matthew Houdek

Rochester Institute of Technology, United States

Matthew Houdek studies the rhetorics of race, racism, and racialization in the United States. Specifically, his research centers on the normalization of racialized violence in public discourse and culture, and the radical meaning-making practices that counter such erasures, elisions, and obfuscations. Other interests include public memory, precarity, temporality, and prison writing. Houdek’s work has been published in communication studies’ top journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. He received his PhD from the University of Iowa in 2018 and is currently a lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Funke Oba

Funke Oba

University of Regina, Canada

Funke Oba is an assistant professor in the faculty of social work at the University of Regina, Canada. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from the University of Ife and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, respectively. Upon immigrating to Canada with her family, Funke completed her MSW and PhD degrees at Wilfrid Laurier University. As a doctoral student, Dr. Oba received the Wilfrid Laurier University Teaching Excellence and Outstanding Dissertation awards. She teaches macro-, micro-, policy, and field integration social work courses, which she infuses with stories and case studies from her child welfare, domestic violence prevention, and youth engagement practice. Dr. Oba is passionate about Afrocentric research methodologies, practice models, and pedagogical approaches.

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Spyridoula Giaki

Spyridoula Giaki

University of Patras, Greece

Spyridoula Giaki is a PhD student in the Department of Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education (DESECE) at the University of Patras, Greece. She explores teachers’ intercultural competence and social capital. She has previous expertise with European projects, working as project manager at NGO’s and vocational training centers. Currently, she is working as an admin and media associate at the Intercultural Forum, Laboratory of Sociology & Education, DESECE, Univerisity of Patras. She also manages the erasmus projects of the Forum and undertakes related research.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis

University of Delaware, United States

Susan Lewis has been in the field of early childhood for over 18 years. She holds a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education and special education and a master of arts degree in applied technology in education. Susan previously taught preschool special education in both Delaware and Arizona public school systems. She most recently served as the curriculum and assessment program coordinator for the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood Education Professional Development department. Susan is currently a first-year PhD student in human development and family sciences at the University of Delaware, and her research interests focus jointly on early childhood special education and teacher development.

Laura Cutler

Laura Cutler

University of Delaware, United States

Laura has been in the field of early childhood for over ten years. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Delaware and a master of arts degree from the University of Maryland. Laura previously taught kindergarten and first grade and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. She instructs undergraduate courses and is co-chair of the Men in Families Focus Group for the National Council on Family Relations. Laura’s research interests focus on contexts that promote early literacy, father participation in early literacy experiences, children’s literature, and gender identity development in early childhood.

Di Liu

Di Liu

University of Delaware, United States

Di is a PhD student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware with an interest in early childhood education. Her particular research interests are early childhood teachers’ professional development and children’s play. Di had some practical experiences in both Chinese and American pre-school and daycare centers with children. When working with teachers and children in different cultures, she finds it important to understand the cultural contexts of early childhood care and education before judging what the best practice is, and then advocating for the best childcare practice. Di plans to apply her education and research experiences from the U.S. to early childhood education and children development contexts in China.

Sotiria Asanaki

Sotiria Asanaki

University of Patras, Greece

Sotiria Asanaki recently graduated from the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education (ESECE) at the University of Patras. Her undergraduate thesis concerned the intercultural competency development in early childhood examining an online platform created by the Graduate School of Education of the Harvard University. She has already obtained work experience in kindergartens in Patras and Athens, Greece and Cairo, Egypt. She is currently preparing for her masters in the field of educational research. She is interested in alternative pedagogical methods and intercultural education. As a volunteer, she has worked closely with children and teenagers implementing her academic knowledge and her cultural concerns.

Danielle Riser

Danielle Riser

University of Delaware, United States

Danielle is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. She considers herself an applied researcher, and has focused throughout her graduate career on policy, evaluation, methodology, and statistics. Her research interests center on issues that impact young children with disabilities and their families, with a particular focus on their child care. Through her work with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at UD and experience working with various research projects she has gained extensive experience with policy-relevant evaluation, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods design, data collection, analysis, and reporting.

In Their Words

The experience of taking part in such a conference has been a real eye-opener. My work has gained recognition and it has led to a boost to my career as well as to my self-confidence. "

Beatriz López, 2016 Awardee

I was able to make affiliations and gain experience in the field. My work is all about diversity in organizations, therefore, it provides me with more credibility and support in future works that I have underway."

Francesca Dansereau, 2017 Awardee

Interacting with and learning about new pedagogical tools that can be used to promote diversity in the classroom was my favorite part of the conference experience."

Gregory Luke Chwala, 2014 Awardee