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Introducing the David C Pollock Scholars 2022

Learn more about the David C Pollock Scholarship

Each year, a talented group of global-minded individuals come together to bring fresh insights to the Families In Global Transition (FIGT) community. Drawn from all kinds of specialists in global mobility, the FIGT David C. Pollock Scholars contribute their new energy, perspectives and ideas to our community throughout the year.

The FIGT 2022 Scholars are:

Ana Ghiban

Ana, is a Research Master student and ATCK from Romania. Growing up as an expat kid and attending international schools in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and China sparked her interest in questions of identity, class, and privilege, especially when it comes to cross-cultural engagement in (trans)national spaces.

Inevitably, these questions also gave Ana a cultural identity crisis. Alongside her interest in TCK-oriented research, her search for community brought Ana to FIGT. Currently, 

Ana is finishing her MSc in International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she is writing my thesis on a multicultural group of small-scale farmers in northwestern Transylvania.

Cecilia Lui

Originally from Hong Kong with a Canadian upbringing, Cecilia brings a cross-sector, international and multidisciplinary background of more than 3 decades with her current work in communications, intercultural-inclusion, and career advisory work supporting professionals, families and youths on understanding, adapting, and connecting across differences in our increasingly multicultural and complex world.

She is the founder and director of ILIA Connect. Cecilia truly feels that her bicultural upbringing and the relocation to her birthplace in 2001, with two moves back to Canada over the past 20 years, has gifted her with the experience and knowledge to apply her cultural lens on all disciplines of her work across consulting, coaching, and training, supporting others in bridging the gaps of understanding in their transitions and adjustment to their new environments. 

Cecilia delights in using her lived experience to help pave a path less challenging for others. 

Jon Springer

Jon's family has two neurodiverse boys. He will be speaking at the upcoming Special Education Network and Inclusion Association's Europe conference in Bonn on the value of parent-to-parent support groups for parents of neurodiverse children.

As an American who spent half his life as an expat, Jon's international experiences vary widely. He spent an early childhood in Japan, repatriated at 5, studied in London,  and spent 5 years writing “the great American novel” in Paris.

He lost his parents in an international plane crash,  but still visits his wife’s parents in the Czech Republic. He blogged for 4 years on the economies of Pakistan, Timor-Leste, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

He is currently in year 8 as a trailing spouse of an international school Humanities teacher. He is now focused on "Tier Zero" - the rez de chausée - of building a Parent-Led International School Inclusion Alliance to advocate for (1) parent well-being and (2) the value of inclusion of neurodiverse learners at international schools.

Mami Oyamada

Mami Oyamada is a tutor at TCK Workshop, an online tutoring company based in Tokyo, Japan that provides academic support to school-age individuals going through a mobile, intercultural upbringing. She identifies as a TCK, born in Japan and having spent most of her childhood in the Midwest and South of the US. She is eager to connect with individuals with their own unique stories of intercultural experiences and challenges. Mami received her M.S.Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the Educational Linguistics Division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in May 2021 and continues to explore such individuals’ academic and social experiences through her ongoing work.

Maria Luisa Blanco

Maria’s life in four different countries inspired her to create Metta Academy, a digital ecosystem for language education and cultural awareness focused on Women.  She will interrogate the very concepts of language and global mobility with us. www.mettacademy.com

Nonhlanhla Mkandla

Nonhlanhla is an entrepreneur, media practitioner, Afro jewelry maker, seeker of social justice and lover of all things creative.  Born in England to Zimbabwean parents and raised in Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia, she lives to travel. 

As home is where she sets down her suitcase, FIGT presents an incredible platform for connecting with individuals with similar interests.

She looks forward to exchanging experiences and being part of the FIGT community.  She is currently exploring research on Third Culture Kids.

Su’eddie Vershima Agema

Su’ur E. Su’eddie Vershima Agema [Su’eddie V. Agema or S. V. Agema, for short] is an award-winning creative writer, development worker, father and husband who loves traveling and building memories.

He has written and published some engaging creative work [fiction and poetry] related to the cross-cultural/global mobility field available online and in print.

Su’eddie was previously the Black History Month/Project Curator at the University of Sussex, where he earned an MA in International Education and Development as a Chevening Scholar. He blogs at http://sueddie.wordpress.com and is @sueddieagema on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.

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