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2023-24 EPIC Community College Leaders

Lou Ascione

Dean of Liberal Arts, San Diego Miramar College

Originally from New Jersey, Lou received his B.A. in humanities from William Patterson University, and he received his doctorate in philosophy from Temple University in Philadelphia. After teaching philosophy for 18 years in several colleges, Lou accepted his current position as dean for the School of Liberal Arts at San Diego Miramar College in 2008. Lou’s desire for the future of education is to make the student experience more holistic through the integration of academic disciplines.

Outside of academia, Lou and his wife own a small ranch, just outside of San Diego, where they built a sanctuary for rescue horses and dogs (and two llamas).

Leadership Plan

At the district in which I work, there is no global component to curricula. Our only international education component is study abroad which is okay, but it does not enhance the student experience and educational journey for all students. I am looking to develop strategies to begin the process of adding a global studies component to our district curricula and give our students a more international perspective in their education. Currently, our curriculum does not provide students with a global perspective in their studies even though all cultures in the world are linked through social media.

Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine

Dean of International Affairs and Global Engagement, College of the Canyons

Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine is dean of international affairs and global engagement at College of the Canyons (COC), California. She has been at COC for almost two decades, having come to COC from the University of Houston-Downtown as a professor of English, and has been a faculty member in the field for nearly 25 years. A native of Taiwan and an international student herself, Dr. Cheng-Levine earned her Doctor of Philosophy in English language and literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s in English from the University of Georgia. Her life mission is to create pathways to higher education for those who are willing and capable, regardless of their countries of origins.

Leadership Plan

For my work through the Stanford EPIC Leadership Program, I will connect faculty with international partners of similar disciplines for dialogues on internationalization, continuing on work that my office has engaged in since 2020. I will also develop a timeline to modify important courses to advance key tenants of internationalization on campus and enhance institution-wide dialogues on internationalization through events, policy creation, and other such initiatives. The central animating goal for this year will be to demonstrate the value that comprehensive internationalization brings to all disciplines and academic departments.

Headshot of Aaron Korngiebel

Aaron Korngiebel

Aaron Korngiebel

Dean of Business and Social Sciences, Foothill College

Aaron Korngiebel is the dean of business and social sciences at Foothill College and oversees the college’s Global Studies program. His division also houses several faculty-led study abroad and service learning programs in Ireland, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Previously, he spent over 10 years at the Seattle Colleges District in a variety of roles. In his most recent role as dean of workforce instruction at North Seattle College, he oversaw all professional technical instructional programs and applied bachelor’s degrees. During his tenure, he helped develop an applied bachelor’s degree in international accounting and worked with international business faculty on an experiential learning program for students with college partners in Malaysia and Australia. He received both his M.A. and B.A. in history from Boise State University and undertook doctoral studies in history at the University of Arizona.

Leadership Plan

My goal for this fellowship is to work with knowledgeable professionals around developing a marketing and recruitment strategy to increase the visibility of our international experiential learning programs and to increase enrollment in our Global Studies program. I also hope to develop new international learning opportunities for Foothill students.

Michael Miller

Chief Librarian and Chairperson of the Library Department, Bronx Community College

Professor Michael Miller is the chief librarian and chairperson of the Library Department at Bronx Community College (BCC). After achieving tenure as the associate librarian for public services at Queens College – CUNY, he was appointed as chief librarian at BCC. He is a co-editor for the SUNY Press book International Librarianship: Developing Professional, Intercultural, and Educational Leadership. He is a two-time recipient of the Fulbright-Hays seminar program; once visiting the Maghreb surveying religious diversity in Morocco and Tunisia (2011) and then also journeying to Chile (2017) studying their educational system.

He has been an adjunct professor for the Queens College and Pratt Institute Graduate Library Science programs teaching courses in digital libraries and instructional design among others. His scholarly publications touch upon the infusion of educational technology into the library science graduate curriculum and also upon diversity within librarianship. He has long and distinguished service to the American Library Association and its divisions, including as an ALA councilor (2005 - 2008), and most recently as chair of the Community and Junior College Library Section (2015 – 2018).

Leadership Plan

This university branch/college has few independent study/service abroad opportunities. Collaborations with new international partners is a primary goal. Aligning with our institutional goals of educating students as global citizens and developing partnerships with international partners, further developing locally curated international opportunities will ensure immediately accessible and meaningful experiences for our community college attendees. Developing partnerships and outlining program commitments are the most important outputs for participation in this initiative.

Takami Nieda

Chair of the Global Studies Emphasis Program, Seattle Central College

Takami Nieda is the chair of the Global Studies Emphasis program at Seattle Central College. During the fellowship, she will create the Global Studies Hub, a webpage which will better connect students and the community to global studies-related opportunities at community colleges and area universities. Nieda is also a translator of Japanese literature into English including Kazuki Kaneshiro's GO and Hiroki Takahashi's Finger Bone.

Leadership Plan

I will create GS Hub, a webpage which will serve as a centralized access point for students, transfer universities, international programs, staff, faculty, and the community with an interest in pursuing and/or promoting opportunities in global studies (GS). The Hub will be used as an outreach tool for international programs, Running Start, and Seattle Promise to draw in students who have an interest in GS. Academic advisors will also be able to use it to help students to find opportunities to achieve their education and career goals.