Global Mentors Program

First cohort of Global Mentors selected

After an inaugural call for Global Mentors applications, the Office of Vice Provost for Global Affairs has selected the first cohort of mentors who will work with University of Virginia faculty and students in the spring semester. 

The seven mentors for this semester are:

  • Ajpub’ Pablo García Ixmatá: He is a Maya Tz’utujil scholar who researches medical knowledge in the Popol Wujis and is a part of a broader program of language revitalization and cultural activism in the Guatemalan highlands and diasporic K’iche’ communities in the US. He will be working with Allison Bigelow, Tom Scully Discovery Chair and associate professor of Spanish and her students.

  • Mandla Majola: He is founder and director of the Movement for Change and Social Justice, based in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa. He will be working with Chris Colvin, associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences.

  • Dustina Gill, Nis’to, Inc: Nis’to is a Dakota-directed non-profit focused on creating conditions for the flourishing of Dakota youth on the Lake Traverse Reservation. In addition to working with David Edmunds, associate professor in Global Studies and his students, the group will also work with non-profits and organizations in the Charlottesville area to share stories of working with UVA and generate recommendations.

  • Abiol Lual Deng, myAgro: She is a South Sudanese American international relations expert working in humanitarian policy and government relations. Deng works across public and private sectors with the goal of moving farmers out of poverty in Senegal, Mali and Tanzania. An UVA Alumna, she will work with Karen James, associate professor in the Department of French and her students.

  • Seelai Karzai, Instructor, University of Oregon and Gazelle Samizay, Artist-in-resident in FORUM: They will work with Helena Zeweri, assistant professor in Global Studies to further develop a new course being offered in Spring 2021, called Migrant Women’s Political Activism: Global Perspectives.

  • Jane Harrison and PITCHAfrica: Architect and activist Jane Harrison and her nongovernmental organization PITCHAfrica received the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Greenest School on Earth” Award in 2013 for Harrison’s design of Uaso Nyiro Primary School in Laikipia, Kenya and her work has been featured widely in scholarly journals and news publications. She will work with Phoebe Crisman, Director of Global Studies to lecture in her classes, advise on student research projects and give a public lecture in the coming months.

  • Xolile ‘X’ Madinda: He is CEO & Founder of The Black Power Station, Around HipHop, and Fingo Festival basedin Makhanda, South Africa. He will work with Noel Lobely, assistant professor in the Department of Music to six open workshops for a dedicated cohort of about 15 students recruited from a series of loosely linked classes in music, global studies, drama, English and anthropology.