As a Denver native who has always loved traveling, Ellen found herself in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania her third year at university. In the classroom, she learned through conversing with diverse peers, professors, and literature. Outside of the classroom, she experienced invaluable cultural immersion and cross-cultural learning.
This experience, among others, has placed Ellen at the Posner Center for International Development, where she continues to learn about global development and socio-biology from a professional lens. She works primarily as the program coordinator for the MDP, focusing on addressing technological needs of the program to reach students across the globe, creating marketing materials to share the program’s unique story, recruiting diverse students, and managing and supporting our partners, professors and practitioners. In addition, Ellen serves as the program director of the non-profit World Affairs Challenge. The WAC facilitates global learning for middle and high school students around the world. We know that critical awareness and holistic solutions to worldwide challenges and concerns start with our very bright, beautifully engaged youth. Ellen is honored to share a glimpse of her story with you, and is excited for the opportunity to get to know yours.
Dan Wessner, Executive Director
is a professor of history and politics at Regis University. As a professor of politics, he addresses civil and human rights, development theory and practices, international law, conflict transformation, environmental politics, and sustainability and collapse.
Dan finds it a privilege to work on three nonprofit boards, all serving the spectrum of communities seeking just and sustainable change. With iDE (International Development Enterprise), this is among entrepreneurial $2/day farming households in sixteen countries. With CSI (Community Solutions Initiative) of IEEE, this is in the company of engineers who design and deploy off-grid energy that enables “learning beyond the light bulb” as change and capacity emerge with electricity! And with WAC (World Affairs Challenge), this is with youth aiming to be tomorrow’s rock stars of just and sustainable development.
Global experience and educational opportunities have played off each other in Dan's life. Before, during and after a decade of village and university life in China and Vietnam, he studied history and humanities at Stanford, law at the University of Virginia, theology at Princeton and international studies at the University of Denver. This has left him with ordination in a peace church, membership in the California Bar and a great teaching gig at Regis University.
Matjaz Bren (Course Co-Designer, CBE) is Principal of ICARA Limited, LLC, and international business development firm. Matjaz consults with Fortune 500 corporations, the U.S. government, and nonprofits. He has lived in and worked on projects with colleagues in Belarus, Chile, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Slovenia, and Spain.
Karla Esser (Director of Regis College Master of Arts in Education (MAE)) is a graduate from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages- German/ Linguistics. Karla obtained her master’s degree with an emphasis in learning and teaching from the Regis University Master of Arts in Education Program, and she attended the University of Denver for the Principal Licensure Program. Karla later attended the University of Northern Colorado for her Doctorate in Educational Leadership Policy and Studies. After obtaining her bachelor’s, Karla lived in Bavaria, Germany, for many years, teaching elementary and high school English as second language students. She later returned to Colorado, where she worked for three years as a district ESL coach in Aurora Public Schools. After completing her master’s degree and principal licensure, she took a position as the director of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and ELA at Sheridan School District, where she stayed for eight years. Karla has also been a consultant for Amesse Elementary School, advising for literacy and teacher effectiveness, and has consulted for the Colorado Department of Education in initiatives concerning literacy and English Language Development benchmarks.
Juan Gallego-Toledo (Course Co-Designer, CBE) is an Organizational Development Consultant and Owner of El Toro Aburrido, LLC. Prior to El Toro, Juan worked globally for 18 years with Nokia. He continues to work extensively in Latin America, Europe, and East Asia, and is fluent in Spanish, French, and English. He has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and international business. He has held executive positions in Latin America, Europe, China, and the U.S.
George Fischer (Guest Speaker) is an independent consultant with 25 years of operational and financial management experience in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, and the United States. He focuses on restructuring. His expertise is in asset management, financial controls and reporting, manufacturing operations, and sales/distribution systems. He worked in South Africa with MAN AG for 12 years.
Ed Lindoo (Course Co-Designer, CC&IS) will join us from Florida where he is the Director of Enterprise Networks and Telecommunications for the Journal Media Group. He has 35 years’ experience in the newspaper industry, and has managed technical teams and information technology departments.
Jennifer McCurdy (Regis Affiliate) was a faculty member at Regis University in the Department of Health Care Ethics. She has a master's in humanities with an emphasis in ethics and philosophy and a bachelor's in nursing. Prior to joining Regis University, she established a permanent Clinical Nurse Ethicist position and created an Ethics Nurse Liaison Program at Children's Hospital Colorado. Jennifer also has 17 years of critical care nursing experience in adult and pediatric intensive care and emergency care. Her professional interests include international comparative health care ethics, ethics education, health policy, and ethics in the critical care environment.
Jonathan Moyer (Guest Speaker) is a research assistant professor and acting director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Prior to his appointment at DU, Jon was an early post-war educator in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and became the most eligible American bachelor in the country. His fluency in Vietnamese certainly helped.
Bill Pratt (Guest Speaker) is the Executive Director of iDE-Canada, a sister organization of iDE located within feet of our IEEE Global Classroom. Bill has 20 years’ experience among local, provincial, national, and international Canadian charities. His best impact is made with organizations and people underperforming against their potential. His passions are fundraising and the eradication of poverty. He joins our class from Manitoba.
Abigail Schneider (Guest Speaker, CBE) is an assistant professor of marketing at Regis University. She joins our class immediately after work in Uganda where she is designing a Regis Study Abroad opportunity among Denver-based nonprofits. She also consults with Unilever and mShopper in Boulder, Colorado.
George Taylor (Case Study Writer, Course Co-Designer) is a forester by training and a recovering USAID administrator and international development consultant by vocation. He is a director of international programs for philanthropy support services/Pax Terra and a Visiting Fellow at CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability. For 22 years George directed USAID agricultural, environmental and rural development projects in the Sahel Region, Nepal, Niger, and Bolivia, and while in Washington, D.C., he backstopped environment, energy and urban programs across Asia and North Africa. Raised on the Indian side of the Himalaya, George is fluent in several languages.
MDP Team also enjoys invaluable support and coordination from Elizabeth Holdeman (ESL), Chris Steele (Dayton Memorial Library), Doug Emmerich and Carl Kinney (Instructional Design Technology), Mia Derti (Admissions) and Mike Wilson (IEEE Smart Village).