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Internationalization Laboratory Advisors

December 30, 1899


​The Internationalization Laboratory is led by a team of Advisors who guide participating institutions through the program. Advisors are internationalization experts, with a wide range of background and experience. Each Lab institution is assigned a lead Advisor with whom it works most closely, but all benefit from the collective expertise of the full advising team throughout the process. The Lab advising team includes:

McKenna Brown, Ph.D.
Susan Carvalho, Ph.D
Barbara Hill, Ph.D.
Robin Matross Helms, Ph.D.
Gil Latz, Ph.D.
Tony Pinder, Ph.D.
Susan Buck Sutton, Ph.D.
Heather H. Ward

From left to right: Barbara Hill, Tony Pinder, Gil Latz, McKenna Brown, Susan Buck Sutton, Robin Matross Helms, and Susan Carvalho.

Robert Edward “McKenna” Brown, Ph.D.

McKenna Brown is the executive director of the Global Education Office and professor of world studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  As senior international officer, he oversees an operation of 49 fulltime faculty and staff charged with the expansion, coordination and support of international activities across the institution.  Under his leadership, VCU has completed a multiyear strategic planning process for comprehensive internationalization; launched the Quest Global Impact Awards, allocating $500,000 towards over 32 projects aligned with the university’s strategic plan; and established VCU Globe: a global education living learning community, and the International Faculty Development Seminar.

During this tenure at VCU, Dr. Brown has received the Elske V.P. Smith Distinguished Lecturer Award (2007), the Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (2006), and the Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award (2002). He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ecuador 1978‐80) and has held leadership positions in several community and professional organizations including World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond, Red Cross Multicultural Advisory Board, Guatemala Scholars Network, Foundation for Endangered Languages and Modern Language Association. 

Dr. Brown's academic appointments prior to joining VCU include four years as a faculty member at University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, during which he led a number of study abroad programs to Latin America​. His research interests include the links between language and identity; he is the recipient of three Fulbright awards and has served as co‐PI on two US Department of Education Title VI funded projects and numerous Department of State educational grants.

Dr. Brown earned a B.A. in speech therapy at Florida A&M University, and an M.A. and doctorate in Latin American Studies at Tulane University.​

Susan Carvalho, Ph.D.

Susan Carvalho is associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama (UA), where she leads an agenda focused on growth and globalization of graduate education, including work with UA’s Capstone International to increase international graduate enrollments. ​

Before joining UA, Dr. Carvalho served for seven years as associate provost and senior international officer at the University of Kentucky (UK). Her other leadership positions at UK included interim dean of the Graduate School, associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, chair of the General Education Reform Steering Committee, interim department chair in Hispanic Studies and in Political Science, and chair of the Domestic Partner Benefits Committee.

At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Carvalho guided the expansion of the Office of International Affairs into a full-fledged International Center, and served as a resource to the president, provost, and campus leadership teams for the development of global competitiveness. She has served on the executive committee of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and is a past AIEA Neal Presidential Fellow and American Council on Education Fellow. 

Dr. Carvalho’s scholarly foundation is in the field of Hispanic Studies; she has authored a monograph, a collection of essays, and over 30 scholarly articles in the area of Latin American and Latino/a cultural studies. She has been the principal investigator on several grants focused on higher education development in post-conflict regions, and has delivered multiple presentations on internationalization and on women’s leadership in higher education.

Dr. Carvalho holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Virginia.

Barbara Hill, Ph.D.

Barbara Hill is a senior associate for internationalization at ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. Since the Internationalization Laboratory cohort beginning in 2003, she has guided over 115 U.S. and international institutions through a strategic planning process for comprehensive internationalization.

Prior to joining ACE, Dr. Hill held senior level administrative positions at several higher education institutions, including acting director of admissions at Hood College (1979-1980), associate dean of the faculty at Barnard College/Columbia University (1984-86), provost of Denison University (1986-1990), and president of Sweet Briar College (1990-1996).

Dr. Hill has also served as a senior consultant to the Higher Education for Development program (formerly the Association Liaison Office for University Development), working to develop organizational infrastructure to serve international development through university partnerships and organizing conferences to disseminate expertise in international development. She was a participant in the Visiting Advisors Program of the Salzburg Seminar, consulting with universities in Russia and Eastern Europe about governance, management, finance, academic structure and program quality. Dr. Hill moderates the Intellectual Renewal Seminars for Leaders, begun at Radcliffe College/Harvard University, which are seminars on leadership, ethics and the good society for various professional groups.

Dr. Hill earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English literature from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Robin Matross Helms, Ph.D.

Robin Matross Helms is director of ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. She is responsible for designing and carrying out CIGE’s internationalization research agenda, including the Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses study, and overseeing administration of the Internationalization Laboratory.

Dr. Helms’s previous experience includes international program management for the Institute of International Education, EF Education and CET Academic Programs, and faculty development program management at the University of Minnesota. She has also worked as a consultant to a number of organizations in the international and higher education fields, including the World Bank, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, and the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In her role at ACE, Dr. Helms works with a broad range of institutions to gather and disseminate good practices for internationalization. Her publications include Internationalizing the Tenure Code: Policies to Promote a Globally Focused Faculty, Mapping International Joint and Dual Degrees: U.S. Program Profiles and Perspectives, and International Higher Education Partnerships: A Global Review of Standards and Practices.

Dr. Helms holds an A.B. degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College.

Gil Latz, Ph.D.

Gil Latz is associate vice chancellor for international affairs, professor of geography, and philanthropic studies affiliated faculty member, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI); and associate vice president for international affairs, Indiana University.Until 2012 Dr. Latz was affiliated with Portland State University (PSU), where he held positions in Geography, International Studies, and as vice provost for international affairs.

In addition to his position at IUPUI, Dr. Latz is the immediate past president of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). He has a longstanding interest in curricular internationalization, including publications on the intersection of internationalization, diversity, and community engagement, global learning for all, and assessing study abroad. In 2009, Dr. Latz chaired the submission that garnered PSU the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Senator Paul Simon Award for Exemplary Campus Internationalization. Prior to his appointment as an Internationalization Laboratory Advisor, Dr. Latz served as a peer reviewer for 10 Lab institutions.

Dr. Latz’s academic research focuses on: regional development and resource management policy (agriculture and urban) in East Asia, North America and Europe; Japan’s modernization process in terms of the role played by philanthropy and civic leadership; international trade; and curricular internationalization.

Dr. Latz earned his B.A. at Occidental College.He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and studied at the University of Tokyo as part of his graduate research training.

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Anthony L. “Tony” Pinder, Ph.D.

Tony Pinder serves as the inaugural assistant vice president of academic affairs for internationalization and global engagement at Emerson College in Boston, MA.  He provides leadership to Emerson’s international student operations, oversees initiatives to facilitate the internationalization of the curriculum and co-curriculum, and is responsible for managing and building on all of the College’s international operations.

Previously, Dr. Pinder served as the charter director of internationalization and assistant professor of education at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). His 14 years in higher education have also included serving as the chief international officer at two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), notably, executive director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and associate dean of global studies at Dillard University (New Orleans, LA).

Dr. Pinder’s research interests focus on the international dimensions of higher education at the institutional, system, national and international levels, and student global learning outcomes and assessment. Prior to his academic appointments, he served as the national director for minority recruitment with the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, DC, and held a number of other Peace Corps positions. 

Dr. Pinder holds a B.A. in finance from Morehouse College, an M.A. in international economics and Latin American studies from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a doctorate in educational leadership from Clark Atlanta University.

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Susan Buck Sutton, Ph.D.

Susan Buck Sutton served as senior advisor for international initiatives in the Office of the President at Bryn Mawr College, where she guided strategic planning with regard to international matters. She is also emerita associate vice president of international affairs and emerita chancellor’s professor of anthropology for Indiana University, where she had both system-wide and campus-specific responsibilities at IU’s urban campus, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

Dr. Sutton is past president of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and past chair of the International Education Leadership unit of NAFSA. She has given numerous presentations and workshops on the changing nature of internationalization, institutional partnerships, curriculum internationalization, and international service learning, and has consulted and/or conducted internationalization reviews for 25 colleges and universities. Under Dr. Sutton’s leadership, IUPUI received the 2009 Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute for International Education and 2011 Senator Paul Simon Award Exemplary Campus Internationalization from NAFSA in recognition of its internationalization efforts.

As an anthropologist, Dr. Sutton’s research has focused on migration, tourism, and community in contemporary Greece. She is past president of the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association and past editor of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. She currently sits on the executive board of the Modern Greek Studies Association and the board of overseers of the Gennadius Library in Athens.

Dr. Sutton holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.​

Heather H. Ward​

Heather H. Ward is Associate Director for Internationalization and Global Engagement at the American Council on Education (ACE), where she develops programs and resources to support the internationalization of higher education institutions, as well as increased collaboration among higher education institutions and systems worldwide. Ward leads ACE’s efforts to promote the use of technology to deliver global learning and manages the U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative, designed to strengthen higher education ties between the two countries using virtual exchange. 

Before joining ACE in 2014, Ward served as Associate Director for Internationalization and Outreach at George Mason University, where she was responsible for international campus programming, and as Director of International Programs at Mary Baldwin University, where she oversaw education abroad, international student and scholar services, global partnerships, and the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement. Ward was selected to participate in the Fulbright-Nehru Institute Education Administrators seminar in India in 2012, and the DAAD Germany Today program on higher education internationalization in 2015.

Ward’s previous experience in international affairs focused on human rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration. From 1996-2000, she coordinated a comparative project among 10 countries to examine civilian oversight of police in democratic societies with the Vera Institute of Justice. She has held positions with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, U.S. Department of Justice, Americas Society, and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

Ward holds a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University.​


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"From a ROI point of view, we’ve been able to advance conversations on key issues of internationalization in a manner we would not be able to do without participating in the Lab. It’s given us a huge level of credibility for ourselves and the great work that we do. ACE has confirmed our great work.”  

- Karim Ismaili, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Criminal Justice, Bridgewater State University (MA)



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