Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

2017 Institute Staff

Academic Director

Marcia Croft

Marcia Croft

Marcia has a passion for and deep experience in the developing world. Marcia has considerable overseas experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America – and is intermediate or advanced in Kiswahili, French, Spanish, Thai, and Japanese. She recently earned a PhD from Purdue in Horticulture and Ecological Sciences and Engineering and, in Colombia, was a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Intern. Marcia is looking forward to hosting the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue because of the unique opportunities for personal and professional growth this Institute will offer both the Fellows and members Purdue community through the sharing of cultures and diverse perspectives.

Administrative Director

Maria Khlebnikova

Maria Khlebnikova

Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry through the College of Science at Purdue University. While at Purdue, Maria was involved in research at the Department of Chemistry and at the Purdue Center for Cancer Research (PCCR), where she had the opprotunity to participate in projects studying gold nanorod-enhanced chemotherapy. In 2015, she studied abroad at the University of Bath in the UK, taking courses from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Recently, she took part in a volunteer mobile clinic in Lima, Peru. Maria has been invited to attend the Indiana University School of Medicine and is looking forward to beginning her studies there in August. Maria is excited to host the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue because this will give her a chance to show all of the amazing opportunities Purdue University has to offer.

Additional Key Staff

Alexander Moseson

Alexander Moseson

Managing Director, Global Engineering Programs

Dr. Moseson is a global development engineer and entrepreneur. As Managing Director of Global Engineering Programs (GEP) at Purdue University, he convenes and catalyzes the faculty, students, and staff within and beyond the Top-10 College of Engineering for global impact. In particular, he co-leads the Innovation for International Development (I2D) Lab in putting engineering innovations to work for sustainable global development.

Prior to joining Purdue, Dr. Moseson was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). As part of the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) program within the US Global Development Lab, he catalyzed MIT's International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) - including acting as a Design Facilitator in Botswana - and supported MSU's Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI). He further co-led the HESN student engagement working group, served on the core team for Global Innovation Exchange, and represented USAID on the White House (OSTP) inter-agency working group for Making.

Dr. Moseson’s path to being a development professional included advancing sustainable technology and entrepreneurship on four continents having been inspired by service following Hurricane Katrina. An interdisciplinary engineer, he earned a joint B.S. (Mechanical Engineering) / M.S. (Materials Science & Engineering), then Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering; committee of four departments) as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. With over $200K in funding, his programs benefited Tanzania (low-cost lathe), India and the USA (affordable “green” cement), and Thailand (upland agriculture and water) - the latter supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also co-created the Technology Seeding development framework, a course on sustainable engineering, and has been featured in national TV, radio, and print. He derives professional value from personal pursuits in the performing arts, videography, and photography.

Heidi Arola

Heidi Arola

Managing Director, Global Partnerships

Heidi Arola joined Purdue’s Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships in August 2015 after a 13-year career as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. In her last position, she served as Chief of the Department of State’s EducationUSA network, overseeing 400 educational advising centers that promote U.S. higher education in 170 countries to millions of international students. Heidi has a B.A. in English with a French minor from Tulane University, and an M.S. in Foreign Service, International Relations, from Georgetown University where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. Following service in the Peace Corps in Cape Verde, West Africa, and work with the Hmong refugee community in St. Paul, MN, Heidi joined the State Department as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. She spent 11 years overseas, nearly six of which were in Brazil where she was last Public Affairs Officer and Deputy Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Recife, Brazil. Heidi was also posted in Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam and Montreal. In her current position, Heidi is formally involved with international student recruitment strategy; developing strategic global relationships including planning, resource development, assessment, and communications; and project planning and coordination.

Heidi is looking forward to engaging with the dynamic group of young leaders who will take part in Purdue’s 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute and learning from their diverse experiences.

Gary Burniske

Gary Burniske

Managing Director, Center for Global Food Security, Discovery Park

Mr. Burniske is a specialist in international relief and development, with a technical focus on sustainable agriculture, forestry and natural resource management. He is the Managing Director of the Center for Global Food Security within Discovery Park at Purdue University. Mr. Burniske is responsible for the day to day management of the Center and networks with Purdue’s faculty and scientists to take a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling global challenges affecting food security. He supports the Center’s work in education, research and development, and policy as well as a graduate fellows’ program and summer institute on global food security.

Mr. Burniske has 35 years of international experience covering over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Former Soviet Union. He has held senior level technical and managerial positions with humanitarian organizations and international public institutions. Before joining Purdue, Mr. Burniske served as Country Director for Mercy Corps in Colombia and Tajikistan, and Country Director for the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Russia. He worked as Regional Technical Advisor in Agriculture and Natural Resources with CARE covering 25 countries in Asia and Latin America. Mr. Burniske headed the International Tropical Timber Organization’s conservation efforts globally, and was Principal Technical Advisor to the Nicaraguan Forest Service with a leading role in drafting national forest policies and legislation.

Mr. Burniske’s notable accomplishments include the design and management of Mercy Corp’s regional flagship program for Latin America utilizing alternative dispute resolution to resolve land conflicts on two million acres of Afro-descendent and indigenous communal land in the Darien Gap region of Colombia. In Tajikistan, he led the transformation of a small Tajik NGO, the National Association of Business Women into the largest microcredit provider in Tajikistan. Mr. Burniske also has a successful track record in raising funds from bilateral and multi-lateral donors as well as the private sector.

Mr. Burniske holds an MS in Forest Economics and a BS in Natural Resources Management, both from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He is fluent in Spanish, Russian, Thai and Arabic, and conversational in Portuguese.

Greg Deason

Greg Deason

Senior Vice President, Purdue Research Foundation and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Greg Deason, Senior Vice President - Purdue Research Foundation and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Purdue University, leads the teams that are building a vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem and accelerating startup and tech-based company activities at Purdue University. Mr. Deason’s responsibilities include activities of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the Purdue Foundry and the activation of Purdue’s innovation and entrepreneurial assets in order to move Ideas to Impact.

The Foundry is dedicated to taking ideas to a point of impact and to expanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indiana. By providing robust resources to inventors and entrepreneurs, new ventures are being created, ideas are making it to the marketplace and jobs are being created. The Foundry was announced in June of 2013 and has had record-breaking performance with startup companies at Purdue University in the years that have followed.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is Purdue University's premier interdisciplinary hub for entrepreneurship, playing a key role in facilitating business development for emerging concepts and technologies stemming from Discovery Park research. Through its sponsored initiatives including the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology Realization Program, Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy, and Business Plan Competitions, the center aims to stimulate entrepreneurship in the Purdue community and serve as a resource for the citizens of Indiana and beyond.

Mr. Deason served as the Executive Director of the Purdue Research Park for two decades where he led the team that transformed the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette into an engine for Indiana's economic development initiatives. Mr. Deason was instrumental in the creation of Purdue Research Parks in multiple locations in Indiana beyond West Lafayette and also the creation of the Purdue Technology Centers Complex – the largest university-affiliated business incubator complex in the country. During Deason’s 20-year tenure at the Purdue Research Park, the statewide network grew to more than 250 companies and over 4,000 jobs; providing an annual impact of $1.3B to the Indiana economy. In September of 2013, Deason received the Career Achievement Award from the Association of University Research Parks. This award recognizes excellence in research park creation and development and service to the industry.

Purdue University received the Innovation Award from the Association of Public Land Grant Universities in 2016. Both Purdue Research Park and the Purdue Foundry have received their industry’s most prestigious international awards for outstanding contributions and excellence in spurring economic development, assisting high-tech companies and having a vast impact on entrepreneurship.

Mr. Deason serves in a variety of capacities at Purdue University providing leadership as a board member for the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans as well as the Purdue Improved Crop Storage program that is impacting crop storage in Africa and other locations. Mr. Deason is also an evangelist for research parks, entrepreneurship and innovation at conferences and entrepreneurial gatherings on a global basis.

In 2010, Mr. Deason was named an Outstanding Alumnus of Purdue University and remains active in service to the College of Agriculture.

Torbert Rocheford

Torbert Rocheford

Patterson Endowed Chair & Professor of Agronomy

Torbert Rocheford is Professor of Agronomy and Patterson Endowed Chair for Translational Genomics in Crop Improvement. He received degrees from Universities of Massachusetts, Maryland and Nebraska, and performed postdoctoral research with USDA-ARS at University of Florida. He was on faculty at University of Illinois before coming to Purdue. Research involves the basic study and application of maize genetics and genomics to maize breeding. Projects include use of formerly plant variety protected commercial maize inbreds for higher grain yield and selection for higher levels of proVitaminA in maize for Africa.

Michael Wilcox

Michael D. Wilcox, Jr.

Senior Associate at the Purdue Center for Regional Development

Michael D. Wilcox, Jr. is a senior associate at the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and assistant program leader for economic and community development with Purdue Extension, joining the staff in 2012. Michael’s PCRD responsibilities include leading and supporting Center projects related to regional development. His Extension responsibilities include staff development and program planning, development, evaluation and reporting.

Michael's Extension and research work integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability into entrepreneurship, workforce development, population dynamics and land use. He has been involved in tropical tree crops marketing research in western Africa and Latin America and conservation agriculture in research southern Africa.

Michael, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Kentucky and past president of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals, holds a B.S. in biological sciences from Cornell, a M.S. in fisheries and allied aquacultures from Auburn and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Purdue. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

Lindsey Payne

Lindsey Payne

Director of Service-Learning, Office of Engagement at Purdue University

Lindsey Payne is the Director of Service-Learning in the Office of Engagement at Purdue University coordinating service-learning programs and initiatives and has a PhD in Ecological Sciences & Engineering. She has a courtesy appointment in Environmental and Ecological Engineering where she teaches a service-learning course in which interdisciplinary teams of students collaboratively identify stormwater management problems, co-design solutions, maintain budgets, and evaluate impacts with community partners. Lindsey’s research sits at the intersection of sustainability, teaching and learning, and engagement focusing on transdisciplinary decision-making frameworks in community-based design projects. Through engagement in a variety of sustainability boards and councils, including the Clear-Blue-Green business certification program, water quality programs, environmental policy boards, and community planning committee, Lindsey has worked to create a more sustainable Greater Lafayette Area. Past work history includes employment as a researcher, educator, and non-profit worker. Lindsey is also an avid international explorer, having spent many months traveling through countries like Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Laos, Namibia, Peru, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

Juliana Casavan

Juliana Casavan

Entrepreneurial Programs Manager, Purdue Foundry

Juliana is the Entrepreneurial Programs Manager for the Purdue Foundry and Operations Manager of The Anvil, a student-run coworking space. As part of the founding team at the Foundry she provides clients with workshops, seminars and educational opportunities such as ideation, business model evaluation and customer discovery. As the operations manager of The Anvil she is responsible for guiding the student leadership team and providing workshop opportunities for Purdue students and community entrepreneurs.

Lionel (Bo) Beaulieu

Lionel J. "Bo" Beaulieu

Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development

Beaulieu has played a major role in the launch of a number of innovative national research and Extension programs, including the National e-Commerce Extension Project, the extension rural entrepreneurship effort, the Stronger Economies Together (SET) regional economic development initiative in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the Food Assistance Competitive Grants Program in collaboration with the USDA Economic Research Service. He has been a key player engaged in the development and implementation of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, a new program established by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in 2014.

Beaulieu completed his term as president of the Rural Sociological Society in August 2004 and served as President of the national Community Development Society in 2012-13. He was honored in 2014 with three major awards — the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award from the Rural Sociological Society, an inductee of the George Washington Carver Hall of Fame for Public Engagement at Tuskegee University and the Honor Award for External Partnership by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Bo received his M.S. degree in 1975 and his Ph.D. degree in Sociology in 1977, both from Purdue University.

Arvind Raman

Arvind Raman

Associate Dean, Global Engineering Programs

Professor Raman is the “Chief Global Affairs Officer” of the College of Engineering in his role as the inaugural Associate Dean for Global Engineering Programs since 2014. He has led College of Engineering strategic initiatives for global engagement in Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Under his leadership, the Innovation for International Development Lab started at Purdue in 2014 with the goal to accelerate the development impact of engineering innovations.

Arvind Raman is also the Robert V. Adams Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. His research focuses on applications of nonlinear dynamics, vibrations, and fluid-structure interactions in nanotechnology, manufacturing, and biomechanics applications. He has mentored seventeen PhD students, co-authored more than a hundred and thirty peer-reviewed journal articles, held visiting positions at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain), University of Oxford (UK), and Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany), and secured funding from the NSF, NIH, NASA, NNSA, and several national and international industrial sponsors. He is an ASME fellow, an ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award recipient, Keeley fellow (Wadham College, Oxford), College of Engineering outstanding young investigator awardee, and the NSF CAREER awardee. Professor Raman joined Purdue University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor following a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (1999) and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University (1993), and a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (1991). He was promoted to Associate Professor (2005), full Professor (2009) and named the Robert V. Adams Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University (2013).

Arvind is a believer in the potential of appropriate technology to help people transform lives especially in low and middle income countries. Understanding the barriers to adapt technologies for local use, and scale them through local businesses is a key interest of his. Another interest is to partner with educational institutions around the world to strengthen research and education in engineering. He hopes to share these interests with the visiting Washington Mandela fellows.

John Lumkes

John Lumkes

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Associate Director, Global Engineering Program (GEP)

Dr. John Lumkes, Jr. is Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Associate Director of the Global Engineering Program (GEP) at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue in 2004, Lumkes was an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Dr. Lumkes received his BSE from Calvin College in 1990, his MSE from the University of Michigan in 1992, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1997. His Ph.D. research was the design and implementation of a control system for a hydraulic hybrid vehicle. His current work focuses on appropriate design, agricultural mechanization, international service learning, multi-domain modeling of dynamic systems, mechatronics, and fluid power. He has published over 60 journal and conference articles related to his research and educational activities; in 2002 he published a textbook titled “Control Strategies for Dynamic Systems.” Dr. Lumkes facilitates international activities in Africa, Brazil, and China for Purdue students, and since 2008 has mentored over 180 undergraduate students on international design projects. He has been recognized for his teaching, mentoring, and service learning activities with the Purdue Global Engineering Impact Award, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (Purdue), Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy fellow, Community of Service Learning Faculty Fellow, Purdue College of Agriculture David C. Pfendler Outstanding Counselor Award, ABE Department Outstanding Counselor, inducted into the Purdue Teaching Academy, ABE Outstanding Department Teacher, Purdue Teaching for Tomorrow Award, SAE International Faculty Advisor Award, SAE International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, and Falk Engineering Educator Award (MSOE).

Alok Chaturvedi

Alok Chaturvedi

Professor, Krannert School of Management

Dr. Alok R. Chaturvedi is a Professor in Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and the Department of Computer Sciences (courtesy). He also serves as a Faculty Fellow for Policy at Purdue Policy Research Institute. He is the founding Director of the Institute for Social Empowerment through Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (ISEEK).

ISEEK empowers under-privileged and poverty-stricken young people in the world to lift themselves out of poverty and lead healthy and prosperous lives. It achieves its goal through innovative technology-enabled models for health and entrepreneurship education, on-the-job training and ICT support for starting and sustaining their businesses and managing their health. Project “Saksham” is ISEEK’s flagship project based in India, Bulgaria, and the US that will help raise nearly 1500 young women out of poverty in the next 12-18 months.

Professor Chaturvedi is an accomplished researcher and educator. He has served on several government task forces on important public policy and national security matters. He was named in the list of 100 most influential professional by Federal Computer Weekly in 2007 and was awarded the “Sagamore of the Wabash” by the Governor of Indiana, the highest civilian award, for his service to the State.

Professor Chaturvedi and the ISEEK team are looking forward to working with the Mandela Washington Fellows, so as to understand their challenges and introduce them to new ways of thinking to solve grand challenge problems.

Tim Peoples

Tim Peoples

Entrepreneur Services and Programming Director, Purdue Foundry

Tim has been involved with three startup companies as either a founder or a member of the executive team. Prior to working in the Purdue Foundry, Tim was the Director for the Purdue Technology Centers of West Lafayette where he directed the business incubation programs. Currently, he is the lead EIR and first contact with all Foundry clients.

  • 2017 Institute Staff

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