Board Members and Staff

Heather Atkinson

Heather Atkinson became Secretary on DCOWA's Executive Committee in 2020. Heather is a Foreign Affairs Specialist for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) where she facilitates science and technology collaboration with international partners. Heather holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida and an M.A. in International and Comparative Politics from Wright State University. Before joining AFRL, Heather was a Program Manager for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) working in Foreign Military Sales. She worked with multiple anti-human trafficking NGO’s including Polaris Project, BE FREE Dayton, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. She has served as adjunct faculty in the University of Dayton’s Intensive English Program.

     Additionally, Heather has a professional arts background in stage and screen acting, puppetry, sketch comedy, improv, stage management, and theatre/commercial/film production. She trained with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and has worked theater in Tampa, FL and Dayton. She currently sits on the board of the Dayton Theatre Guild.


Kim Bramlage

Kim Bramlage is the Retail Donation Manager for Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley.  Prior to this position, she served as Marketing Communications Coordinator at the Agency.

     Kim has experience in public relations, marketing, non-profit management, and community development. Prior to joining Goodwill Easter Seals, Kim worked at the University of Dayton, the YMCA of Greater Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Junior Achievement Dayton Power and Light and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Dayton, the Dayton Council on World Affairs, and the community council of the Non-Profit Leadership Alliance.  She is a volunteer with the Victoria Theater Association, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, St. Rita Parish, and Think TV.

Kim resides in Harrison Township and has two sons.

Board Member

Youssef Farhat

Youssef Farhat is the Partnerships and Communications Coordinator at the University of Dayton Human Rights Center, and a lecturer in the Department of Political Science. Youssef oversees the Center's outreach strategies, manages its biannual conference the Social Practice of Human Rights (SPHR), and coordinates the Malawi Research Practicum on Rights and Development.  

Prior to joining the University of Dayton, Youssef worked for the United Nations Development Programme and US Agency for International Development in Beirut, Lebanon as a multilingual researcher and coordinator for development projects in areas of education, income generation, women empowerment, environment, and LGBTQ+ rights. 

Board Member

Deborah Gavlik

Deborah Gavlik currently serves as the Director of International Education at Sinclair Community College. She is responsible for providing leadership for international programs at the college including international admissions, study abroad, international partnerships and international programming.

Previously, Ms. Gavlik served as Director of International Programs and Services at Owens Community College where she developed several key strategic partnerships, increased the number of international students studying at the college, developed and led a study abroad program to China, and worked with faculty to develop study and service abroad programs in Peru, Belgium and Egypt. She has also served as an Executive Director at the Ohio Board of Regents, where she worked in various capacities in international education, government relations, and budgeting. Her responsibilities included leading the Global Strategic Planning Group and developing a statewide higher education international strategy.

Ms. Gavlik's other international experiences include teaching English at Kabul University and the United Nations' Telecommunications School while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan and directing a refugee resettlement program in Houston, Texas.

Ms. Gavlik is a former member of the Ohio Department of Education's International Education Advisory Committee and the Ohio Department of Development's Global Markets Advisory Team.  She has a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, and a master's degree in public administration from the Ohio State University.

Board Member

Sangita Gosalia

Sangita is Director of Campus Engagement at University of Dayton.

Board Member

Pramod Kantha

Dr. Pramod K. Kantha is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. He teaches courses on Democratic Transitions, Politics of Nationalism, Politics of South Asia, US-India-Af-Pak relations. Dr. Kantha’s research and publications are focused on India, Nepal and Pakistan. His latest publications include a book chapter on Maoist-Madhesi Dynamics and Nepal’s Peace Process in Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, Revolution in the Twenty-First Century, Routledge 2009 and Corruption and Governance in South Asia, in Charles Funderburk ed. Corruption in Comparative Perspective, Ashgate 2012.

Past President/Board Member

Lori Oda

Lori Oda is the manager of Dayton Sports Medicine Institute and Athletic Workshop for Kettering Health Network. As well as Lori manages Wayne HealthSports athletic training program for Wayne HealthCare in Greenville, Ohio. Lori oversees the athletic training services that are provided to contracted schools, community centers and public entities. She works to live the mission of the organization on improving the quality of life in our communities.


Prior to managing Lori provided athletic training services to area high schools for over 10 years. Lori received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York where she played Volleyball and Track and Field.

Board Member

Derek Petrey

Derek is Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Sinclair Community College. He was elected Vice President in 2020.

Vice President

Carolyn Rice

Carolyn Rice has served on the board of Dayton Council on World Affairs for more than a decade.  She has assumed a variety of responsibilities including Adult Programs, Nominating Committee, and Youth Programs.  She has served as President (3 terms), Vice President, and currently serves as Chair of the Membership Committee.  She is a World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) 1918 Society Member and has attended WACA Leadership meetings on numerous occasions. 

     Carolyn is active in the community and has served on the boards of Dayton Rotary and Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and is the Co-Chair of the Holon, Israel initiative through the Dayton Sister City Committee.  In 2015, Carolyn chaired all the logistics committees for the Dayton Peace Accords at 20 Commemoration. Carolyn Rice has served as Montgomery County Treasurer (2007-2018) and is now a Montgomery County Commissioner. Carolyn serves as Chair of the Montgomery County Land Bank Board and leads the Montgomery County Vacant Properties Solutions (MVPS) group. 

Past President/Executive Committee Member

Katherine Rowell

Katherine is a professor of sociology at Sinclair Community College. 

Board Member

Vaughn Shannon

Dr. Vaughn Shannon is Professor of political science at Wright State University's School of Public & International Affairs, where he serves as Faculty Adviser for WSU's award-winning Model UN program. His research and teaching interests are in political psychology, international security and Middle East politics. Dr. Shannon is also on the Ohio Advisory Committee of the US Global Leadership Coalition, and is a member of the Dayton Sister City Committee. 

President/Executive Committee Member

Gary Shoup

Gary Shoup currently serves as the Chief Deputy Engineer for the Montgomery County Engineer’s Office.   Gary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Dayton and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. His responsibilities include overseeing the Design, Construction and Survey Departments.

Treasurer/Executive Committee Member

Bridget Federspiel

Bridget Federspiel has served as the Youth Coordinator for the Dayton Council on World Affairs since 2008. She

joined the social studies faculty at Stivers High School for the Arts in the Dayton Public Schools in 2002, and since that time she has been recognized repeatedly as an outstanding teacher. Graduating Wright State University with an MA in History in 2005, she has received several teaching awards including the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Rotary Club of Dayton (2006), the Panera "Rising Above" award for distinguished teaching (2007), the Ohio Council of Social Studies High School Teacher of the Year (2007), and the Ohio Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars High School Teacher of the Year (2014).

     Bridget has been the recipient of travel grants to England, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Australia, and Germany, and most recently went to Vietnam on a Fulbright Scholarship. She has made significant contributions to the collecting of military veterans' oral histories by teaching a course, "Veterans' Voices," at Wright State University and submitting with her Stivers students almost 400 veterans' oral histories to the Library of Congress.

Youth Program Director JCOWA/Executive Committee Member

Joy Wanderi

Joy is International Visitor Program Adviser for Wright State University.

Please reload

P.O. Box 9190, WBB

Dayton, Ohio 45409

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube