Current Council Members
Bruce L. Blair is an Instructor of Leadership Studies at the University of Alabama. He was a Fulbright-EDUFI Research Fellow for 2019-2020 and was primarily located at the University of Jyväskylä where he researched Finnish nuclear waste management efforts. Like all Fulbright scholars, Bruce’s Fulbright was ended prematurely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bruce’s research background not only includes nuclear waste management on the country and international level, but also includes international cooperation and conflict, non-profit management, and public-private partnerships. Bruce is also an experienced higher education administrator with previous appointments in student success, international education, graduate education, and on-campus housing.
Bruce is excited to serve on the FoFF Alumni Council and to help pay forward all of the help and aid he has received.
Mary Anne Butler is currently the Superintendent of Stonington Public Schools in Stonington, Connecticut. Prior to her superintendency, she held Assistant Superintendent positions in Stonington, Groton, and Windsor Public Schools. Her career in public education also includes over 6 years of experience with the Connecticut State Department of Education in various roles including Chief Academic Officer. Butler has over a decade of classroom teaching experience serving in Somers Public Schools. The Bureau of Education and Research in Bellevue, Washington hired her in 2003 as a national presenter on science education and she continues to deliver seminars across the country as a consultant. Mary Anne just completed her second 4 year-term on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) High School Review Committee. She is a free-lance writer for Penguin Random House. Mary Anne is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools (Finland). She holds a B.S. in Biology from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, a J.D. from Western New England University School of Law, and a 6th Year Degree in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University.
2019 Fulbright-Turku UAS Scholar Award
2021 Fulbright Specialist Program
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Dr. John Donnellan is an accomplished academic and experienced professional in the field of management. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor and Chair of the Management Department at the NJCU School of Business, located in Jersey City, NJ, USA. With an international teaching background, Dr. Donnellan has delivered lectures in various countries including China, England, France, Finland, and Mexico. Notably, he has had the privilege of lecturing at prestigious institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the United Kingdom, as well as Columbia University in New York City.
Prior to his academic career, Dr. Donnellan gained valuable executive management experience on Wall Street, having worked at JPMorgan and Prudential Financial. This practical background in finance and management serves as a solid foundation for his research pursuits.
Dr. Donnellan's latest research focuses on the development of the ARC model in higher education, specifically addressing the internationalization of curriculum. His work on this topic gained recognition when it was featured on NPR's "Academic Minute," showcasing the significance of his findings in the field of academia.
Education-wise, Dr. Donnellan earned his MBA and Doctoral degrees from Nova Southeastern University and Pace University, respectively, specializing in Entrepreneurship and International Business. His research is primarily grounded in management and financial theories, leading to the publication of numerous articles that highlight and contribute to these areas of study.
In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Donnellan has conducted research collaborations with the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), examining the small business sectors in both rural and urban areas of Mexico and the United States.
Dr. Donnellan's dedication to research and academic excellence has been recognized through his participation in prestigious programs such as the US Specialist and Scholarship Fulbright Programs. During these programs, he conducted research in Rauma, Turku, and Rovaniemi in Finland, focusing on small businesses and curriculum development at Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. In addition, he earned a TIES State Department award and participated in lectures dealing with the rural communities of the US in Birmingham Alabama 2023.
Overall, Dr. John Donnellan's extensive academic and professional background, coupled with his research contributions, make him a highly regarded figure in the field of management and higher education.
North Bethesda, Maryland
Dr. Annette Marie Jones, an educational consultant, has served as former assistant director of school leadership for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), school principal, assistant principal, and teacher in Indiana and Maryland. During her tenure as principal, she led two schools to the coveted National Blue Ribbon Award from the United States Department of Education.
As an avid traveler, Dr. Jones has participated in numerous international programs, including the Senator J. William Fulbright Scholarship Program to Finland, United States Department of State Fellowship to Argentina, and the Global Exchange Initiative to China. She has consistently integrated global perspectives and international partnerships into her schools' culture and leadership programs.
Dr. Jones’s educational passions include leadership formation and development, organizational leadership, teacher leadership, and global education. She is unwavering in her collaborative work to develop professional presentations, programs, publications, and resources for national and international leaders. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and friends, exercising, decorating, and gardening.
Dr. Jones holds a Doctoral degree in educational administration and supervision and a Specialist in Education degree in school superintendency from Ball State University. Her doctoral research centered on building teacher leadership capacity in award-winning schools throughout the United States. She completed a Master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Butler University and a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and French education (minor) from Wittenberg University.
Special Project Adviser for the Rediscover Suomi Journey
E. Michael Loovis received his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1975. He is professor emeritus at Cleveland State University where he taught from 1978 to 2013 and where he is currently chairperson of the Department of Health and Human Performance having come out of retirement in July 2016. He is a fellow of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 2011, teaching and doing research at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. In 2015, he served as the Mark R. Shibles Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Maine. The development of fundamental motor skills and patterns in typically developing children and development of motor proficiency in children and youth with intellectual disabilities are primary areas of research.
Julia Miller is the Program Manager of the Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network. As a former play-based learning specialist, Julia is committed to helping support projects that that lead to high-quality education without barriers to success through playful learning best practices.
Her philosophy of education has derived from the belief that all children deserve a stimulating social-emotional, sensory-oriented, and academic environment where every child can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in a playfully conducive setting. This vision was influenced by her year-long Fulbright Scholar research grant in Helsinki, Finland, where she researched the effects of play-based learning in early childhood by way of a Finnish social-emotional environment. When Julia returned to the U.S in 2019, she was able to secure a grant to turn a charter school storage room into a play-based classroom. Julia’s self-created program, Just Play, operated out of the grant-awarded playspace in North Philadelphia.
Julia holds an Urban Education Master’s Certification from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in International Education and Music Business from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania where she served as the President of the Class of 2013. As Program Manager of PLLAN, Julia is able to continue her Fulbright work within local communities to help transform public places and spaces that families frequent to create playful learning opportunities where they are needed the most!
Susanna Monseau is a professor in the School of Business at The College of New Jersey where she teaches a variety of law and policy courses. Ms. Monseau is an attorney qualified in the state of New York and in England. Prior to becoming an academic, she worked as an Intellectual Property litigator at law firms in London, Philadelphia, and Princeton, New Jersey. Ms. Monseau’s research interests include law and policy issues that relate to the globalization of the world economy particularly questions about intellectual property. Her scholarship has been published in a wide range of law and business journals. She has also written two books: Law, Technology, and the Future of Business and Protecting Creativity in Fashion Design: US Laws, EU Design Rights, and Other Dimensions of Protection. She spent Fall 2022 as the Fulbright-Turku UAS Scholar working on understanding the policy obstacles to a sustainable textiles and fashion supply chain. She will return to Finland in 2023 on an American Scandinavian Fellowship to continue work on the role of the EU textiles strategy and certifications in the supply chain.
Susanna is honored to serve on the FoFF Alumni Council to pay forward all the help she has received and to help shape the future of the Fulbright Finland alumni program.
Maedeh Pourrabi is a lower school science teacher at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe, MI. She is passionate in implementing sustainable development into school curriculum and has developed projects related to renewable energy, climate action, the water crisis, and the UN's Agenda 2030. She is a National Geographic certified teacher and believes in the commitment to inspire the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and changemakers. She conducted research on sustainability and global citizenship education (GCED) in Finland in 2020. Even though her time was cut short due to Covid-19, she was still able to visit twelve schools in nine Finnish cities and developed an ethnographic study to analyze Finland's approach to GCED. The study also aimed to evaluate the attitudes of 29 teachers and 180 students towards global citizenship practices at their schools. Maedeh is also a human rights promoter and is a member of the United Nations Association of the USA.
Leasa is the Director for Strategic Partnerships at the University of Denver Office of Internationalization - one of the many roles she holds includes serving as the Fulbright Scholar Campus Liaison. Her career has been shaped by the Fulbright program; she received a Fulbright grant to conduct PhD fieldwork at the University of Jyväskylä and lived and worked in Finland for 11 years. From 2019-2023, she served as the Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives for the Fulbright Finland Foundation.
Leasa has over 20 years of experience as a scholar-practitioner in international higher education, including roles as the president of the global Erasmus Mundus Association, Knowledge Development Advisor for the European Association for International Education and an expert in numerous European projects. Bridging research with practice, she continues to contribute to thought-leadership in the field of internationalization and has authored and edited numerous international publications.
She holds a PhD in higher education policy from the University of Georgia, an Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree in European higher education from the University of Oslo, Norway; University of Tampere, Finland; and University of Aveiro, Portugal, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Members for the Term Ending in May 2025
Mary Anne Butler
2018 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program
2017 Fulbright Specialist Program
2019 Fulbright-Turku UAS Scholar Award
2021 Fulbright Specialist Program
East Stroudsburgh, Pennsylvania
2018 Fulbright U.S. Graduate Student Program
2022 Fulbright-Turku UAS Scholar Award
2011 Fulbright-EDUFI Fellow, University of Jyväskylä; Tampere University; University of Helsinki
Members for the Term Ending in May 2024
2019 Fulbright-EDUFI Fellow, University of Jyväskylä
2007 Fulbright Administrator Exchange, Central School of Viiala
North Bethesda, Maryland
2019 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching, University of Jyväskylä
Former Council Members
Members for the Term May 2021 - May 2023
Cheryl J. Fish
2006 Fulbright U.S. : Core Fulbright Scholar Program, University of Tampere
New York, New York
Michael Saffle (until October 2022)
2000 U.S.: Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki
2019 U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Research, University of Jyväskylä
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Members for the Term May 2020 - May 2022:
2014 Fulbright Haaga-Helia Scholar Award
San Rafael, California
2018 Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair
Members for the Term May 2019 - May 2021:
2014 Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award
2016 Friends of Fulbright Finland Enrichment Award, Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku
1982, 1990 Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki
Members for the Term May 2018 - May 2020:
2014 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, University of Jyväskylä
Campbell, New York
2012 Scholar Grantee to University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy
2006 Scholar Grantee to University of Helsinki
Members for the Term May 2017 - May 2019:
2000 Scholar Grantee to University of Turku
1999 Graduate Student to Metsäntutkimuslaitos, Rovaniemi
Members for the Term May 2016 - May 2018:
2011 Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award
2013 Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching to Jyväskylä University
2012 Scholar Grantee to Åbo Akademi
Lake Forest, Illinois
Members for the term May 2015 - May 2017:
2014 Fulbright-Cimo student grantee to Laurea University of Applied Sciences
2011 MCPD grantee to Helsinki City Library
2006 Scholar grantee to Oulu University
2001 MCPD grantee to Aalto University
2007 Specialist grantee to Jyväskylä University
San Diego, California
Council members are appointed for 2 years.
Council members have been active personally in the various FoFF projects:
- Ken Kolson represented the American alumni on the Finnish Embassy’s Suomi100 planning committee
- Nancy Commins and Phil Alperson have held FoFF gatherings at their homes
- Yvonne Allen coordinated a get together at the FinnFest in Buffalo in 2015
- Mike Loovis presented a special recognition gift, photo of the “Spirit of Finland” sculpture, to the Finnish Ambassador at the November 2017 reception
And numerous Council members have donated to the FoFF Alumni Enrichment Fund, joined the Welcome Network and promoted Fulbright Finland through the Centennial Ambassadors initiative.