Objectives || Locations || Executive Committee || Advisory Board

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Title VI Undergraduate International Research and Foreign Languages
Western Illinois University Libraries

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WIU Global Citizens

Illinois International Scholars Initiative (IISI) -- This program has five major objectives:

1. Establish the foundation for the structure of the future IISI on international and cross-regional studies

2. Develop the curriculum for the future IISI program by enhancing and increasing the cross-regional and global nature of the area studies curriculum and incorporating community services and civic engagement activities

3. Create language opportunities for the future IISI program by expanding and enhancing less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) Swahili and Chinese (Invitational Priority).

4. Prepare scholars and librarians for the future IISI program by increasing their knowledge of the use of the new library collections related to area studies for teaching and research projects focused on cross-regional studies and for providing services to immigrant, refugee, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations

5. Prepare the study abroad opportunities for the future IISI by expanding and enhancing study abroad opportunities in new destinations in four world regions that include a community service experience


Cordoba, Argentina

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Madrid, Spain

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Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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Beijing, China

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Executive Committee


Executive Committee Project Leader

Project Director: Héctor J. Maymí-Sugrañes is the Dean of Libraries at Western Illinois University. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin with a major in Library and Information Studies and a minor in History. Also, he has a Master’s degree in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the same institution. Before becoming Dean of Libraries, he worked in Mexico for the past fifteen years. Since 1996, Dr. Maymí-Sugrañes has been the project director of more than five federal grants, two with the U.S. Department of Education. He also directed several grant proposals in California, Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico at the state and local levels. Internationally, he was the director of several federal, state, and local grants in Mexico. He was responsible for funding from foundations and private organizations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. For twenty-five years, he has managed more than sixty million dollars.

"Giving has always been part of this democratic experience called America. For students, scholars, and the community, gifts to the libraries represent a foundation for our work for them. Giving is part of solidifying the cathedral of knowledge that is the library in a free society."

Executive Committee Project Co-Leader

Co-Director: Julia Albarracín received her Law Degree from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (1989), her Master's in International Business from Universidad de Belgrano-École des Ponts (1997), and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida (2004). Dr. Albarracín has received numerous awards and is the 2022 WIU Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. Her main research interests include immigration, immigrant integration, undocumented populations, conspiracy theories, and Latinos in the United States

Executive Committee Project Co-Leader

Co-Director: Heather McIlvaine-Newsad is a professor of Anthropology at Western Illinois University. She received her doctorate from University of Florida ( 2000), her Master’s in Latin American Studies from Ohio University (1994), and a BA in German from Denison university (1990). From 1991-1993 she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic where she worked in community forestry. During her tenure at WIU Dr. McIlvaine-Newsad has led over 10 short term study abroad courses to India, Germany, Puerto Rico and Austria. From In 2016-2019 she was part of the UISFL project, Communities as Agents for Change: Language and Area Studies for a Sustainable Future, which provided faculty development and student internship opportunities in Latin America.

Advisory Board


Peter Cole WIU Professor

Peter Cole is professor of history at Western Illinois University and a Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2007, he served as associate director of the Culture & Society in Africa Program, Associated Colleges of the Midwest and as a visiting professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He is the author of Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area (2018), winner of the Philip Taft Labor History Book Prize, and Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia (2007). He co-edited Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW (2017) and edited Ben Fletcher: The Life & Times of a Black Wobbly (2007; 2nd edition, 2021). He is the founder and co-director of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project (CRR19).

Randy Glean WIU Professor

Randy Glean is the Executive Director of International Affairs at WIU. Randy began his position at Western Illinois University Aug. 1, 2022 Prior to coming to WIU, Glean was the director of operations and general manager for GoUSAdegree. He also previously served as director of International Services from 2006-19 and assistant professor of political science and international recruiter from 1997-06 at Midwestern State University (MSU) in Texas. "I am delighted to be at Western in this calm, serene, environment that seems tailor made for international students," said Glean. "We plan to shore up our markets in Asia and Africa, offer and promote study abroad to non-traditional populations, and support cultural exhibitions and expressions among our student body. I look forward to helping our international students assimilate on campus and in the greater community." Glean received his doctoral and master's degrees in political science from Washington University (St. Louis) and his bachelor's degree in mass communication from MSU.

Gloria Delany-Barmann, Ed.D WIU Professor

Gloria Delany-Barmann, Ed.D is a Professor of Multilingual/ESL education at Western Illinois University. She received her doctorate at Northern Arizona University (1997), her Master’s in Spanish and teaching from the University of Oregon (1991), and a Language Studies degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala (91-93) where she was a crop extensionist. Dr. Delany-Barmann’s research focuses on teacher preparation, language policy and planning in the United States and Latin America. She has had three Fulbrights (Guatemala, Bolivia, and Uruguay) and has led study abroad programs in Puerto Rico and Guatemala. In 2016-2019 she directed the UISFL project, Communities as Agents for Change: Language and Area Studies for a Sustainable Future, which provided faculty development and student internship opportunities in Latin America.

Angelica Villarreal Video

WIU Graduate Western Illinois Dreamers

Nicole Spencer born and raised in Central Illinois, Nicole Spencer attended Western Illinois University for her undergraduate education, through which she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Women’s Studies and Foreign Languages and Cultures with a focus in Spanish and had the opportunity to research indigenous populations and globalization while abroad in Peru. She went on to complete a Master of Arts & Sciences degree in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, with a focus in Translation for the Professions. Nicole has experience working in the public sector as a director at the local health department and currently assists immigrant populations and their families, as the Program Manager for the Western Illinois Dreamers Welcoming Centers for Refugee and Immigrant Services, a non-profit organization funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Dr. Ute Chamberlin WIU Professor

Ute Chamberlin is a Associate Professor of History at Western Illinois University in Macomb. She grew up in Germany and has been living in the United States since 1988. She received her Ph.D. in History in 2007 from Arizona State University. Her research interests include the Catholic women’s movement in Germany, the history of women in the Ruhr Valley, and women’s political activism in the Weimar Republic. She teaches European, German, and Women’s and World history courses and regularly offers classes on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. She teaches courses on Modern Europe, Germany, Gender and Urban Studies. Teaching Excellence Award Winner -- WIU Faculty Summer Stipend Award Winner

WIU Professor

Kane Mauldin-Curtis (KMC) manages the Fellows Program in Community Development at Western Illinois University. She served in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps and is an alumna of the Fellows Program at WIU. She holds a Master of Arts in Geography from WIU and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. KMC was named manager of the program on August 1, 2005. She is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the program, including design and supervision of training activities, internship site placement and support, development of program partnerships, and management of grant funds.

WIU Student

Andrea Escobar is Associate Director of WID Welcoming Centers for Refugee and Immigrant Services and is a graduate of Western Illinois University and she also works with the Western Illinois DREAMers program.

WIU Grad Student

Damilola Oluwemimo is a graduate student and a research assistant at Western Illinois University Libraries. She has served on several advisory boards such as the American Journal of Public Health Student Think Tank and the Illinois Public Health Association. She has a track record of working on various grant projects across Nigeria. Damilola is currently pursuing an MPH degree and a Business Analytics Certificate, she also holds a degree in Early childhood Education from Nigeria.

WIU Grad Student Political Science

Uruchukwu Onyemaobi is a Master's Student at Western Illinois University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and is working on a Master's degree in Political Science- Public Administration and Public Policy. I'm working on: Studying the public-private sector intersection, and how to practically leverage this as a public administrator or an entrepreneur Public Administration; Designing and implementing public policies Data science skills and methods for politics and business Management and Leadership