Justin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance, minoring in Communication and Culture Studies. He received his B.A. in Anthropology and English Literature and his M.A. in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis. Justin has professional experience in grant preparation and reporting in both the arts and humanities as well as in social work and public health research, first serving as the Development Associate for St. Louis’s Metro Theater Company, then as a Grant and Contract Manager at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. At these institutions, he helped secure funding from government agencies including the NEA, NIH, and NSF, in addition to project support from corporate sponsors and private foundations. Subsequently, he served as the Fundraising Chair for the Board of Directors of OnSite Theatre Company. Justin’s research interests include the combined work of Tadashi Suzuki and Anne Bogart and the history of movement on the stage, as well as the history and performance theory of stage comedy and humor. His dissertation will focus on American comedy since 1980 as it uses humor to represent ever-changing notions of “family” and “home.”
Alyssa Meyer is a Spring 2017 dual-M.P.A. in Energy/M.A. in Central Eurasian Studies graduate in SPEA and SGIS who has won more than $150,000 in fellowships to support her research and education. After earning a B.A. in Political Theory and International Relations from Michigan State University in 2011, Alyssa worked for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia. Her Master’s thesis, “Assessing Household Energy Access in Kyrgyzstan: Government Rhetoric versus Daily Realities”, has been supported by a 2012-2013 Fulbright Research Grant and a 2015-2016 Boren Fellowship to Kyrgyzstan; during fieldwork, Alyssa analyzed the impact of Kyrgyzstan’s energy insecurity on living standards. Now an Alumni Ambassador for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Alyssa is passionate about promoting long-term academic exchange. During her time in Central Asia, Alyssa also served on fellowship selection committees for American Councils and as an advisor for EducationUSA, giving her a unique perspective on funding opportunities for non-U.S. students, as well. She is a recipient of Department of State VIII language funding (high-advanced Uzbek), a Boren Fellowship, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program (Advanced Azerbaijani), Fulbright, and FLAS (beginning and intermediate Turkish, high-advanced Russian), as well as numerous other awards. She hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D. in economics focused on the provision of public services, and work to increase energy access in Central Asia.
Elise is a dual Ph.D. candidate in the Departments of Folklore & Ethnomusicology and Central Eurasian Studies at IU. She holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University (2006) and Master of Arts degrees in Folklore & Ethnomusicology (2009) and Central Eurasian Studies (2011) from IU, where she has worked as an Associate Instructor in various departments and as the Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Folklore Research. She was the recipient of a 2013–14 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Grant (China, Sweden), a 2012–13 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant (China), and a 2012 Fulbright CLEA (Mandarin). She has also won numerous awards internal to IU, including two academic-year and three summer FLAS Fellowships to study the Uyghur and Tajik languages, a Pre-dissertation Travel Grant from the Office of the Vice President of International Affairs, the Dorson Award for outstanding dissertation proposal in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and numerous conference travel grants. Elise is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and dance enthusiast whose research focuses broadly on the performing arts of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, or Chinese Central Asia. She returned to Bloomington in July 2016 after a four-year stint of conducting research and living abroad, and is currently completing a dissertation about institutional “culture work” in/on Uyghur music. She plans to pursue a career as an academic, translator, and performer.
Esen Gokpinar-Shelton, Consultant/Proposal Developer
Esen is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at IU with a major in Higher Education and Student Affairs and a minor in International and Comparative Educational Policies. Esen holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a K-12 teaching certificate from Turkey (2009) and an M.A. in English with a TESOL certificate from IUPUI (2014). Esen has nearly eight years of English as a Second/Foreign Language teaching experience at both secondary and tertiary level education in various locations across the world, including Turkey and the United States. In 2014, she was awarded with a competitive teach abroad internship through IUPUI and spent a half year developing and teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses for students in the field of healthcare and medical humanities at the Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, China. Most recently, she worked as the full-time Assistant Director of the International Center for intercultural Communication (ICIC) at the IU School of Liberal Arts. In her role with the ICIC, Esen oversaw the planning, development and implementation of as well as teaching in ICIC’s local and globally customized ESP education programs. She also assisted writing and submitting numerous internal and external grant proposals, research papers, conference abstracts and conference presentations. Working with her colleagues at the Center, Esen helped in developing content for three workshops, including the “Grant Proposal Writing Workshop for International Faculty, Scholars and Students at IUPUI”, which were supported with funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Esen’s research interests lie in the realm of international education policies in US, Europe and Middle East, branch campuses, strategic enrollment management including recruitment and retention techniques for international students, globalization/internationalization efforts and policy-making decisions at the institutional level.