Friends of Fulbright Finland Alumni Council

The Friends of Fulbright Alumni Council was established in May 2015.  As a working group, its purpose is to consider how to develop the American alumni program further through gatherings, enhanced communication, FoFF Alumni Enrichment Award support and development, and other topics as suggested by alumni. Council consists of 6-8 American alumni of the Finnish Fulbright program, recruited from throughout the U.S. and representing all the different grant programs.

Current Council Members

Picture of Casie Hermansson
Casie Hermansson
2014 Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award
2016 Friends of Fulbright Finland Enrichment Award, Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku
Pittsburg, Kansas

Casie Hermansson is Professor of English at Pittsburg State University (Kansas), where she has taught literature and film courses since 1997. She is the author of books on the Bluebeard fairy tale, the Peter Pan story in literature and film, and film adaptations of children’s literature. She has recently co-edited two collections on adaptation and on children’s media. She also authored two instructional non-fiction books on film and media for youth, and more than twenty K-12 literacy fiction readers for Heinemann Education. The 2014 Fulbright spent in Turku was transformative for her and her two children, and she has returned to teach and enjoy friendship, fellowship, and research collaborations in Turku three more times since then. She looks forward to her next visit, hopefully very soon!
Picture of Annette Jones
Annette Jones
2007 Fulbright Administrator Exchange, Central School of Viiala
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.
Picture of Edwin Loovis
Edwin (Mike) Loovis
2010 Fulbright Scholar Program, University of Jyväskylä
Special Project Adviser for the Rediscover Suomi Journey
Cleveland, Ohio
Picture of Barbara Mossberg
Barbara Mossberg
1982, 1990 Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki
Eugene, Oregon

Dr. Barbara Mossberg, President Emerita Goddard College, and Professor of Practice, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, is a Fulbright Specialist, international education advocate, and worldwide educational leader of learning "the world needs now" as a public intellectual--poet, actor, dramaturg, playwright, scholar, professor, consultant, radio host, cultural entrepreneur, and learning activist. History and English B.A. at UCLA, M.A. and Ph.D. Indiana University, Mossberg has served as President (Goddard College), Poet in Residence (City of Pacific Grove), Dean (College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, California State University, Graduate School, University of Oregon, Arts and Sciences, National University), faculty (Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Ethical and Creative Leadership, Union Institute & University, M.A. in Engaged Humanities, Pacific Graduate Institute, Professor, University of Oregon), Visiting Scholar (multiple institutions), and host of weekly hour The Poetry Slow Down, podcast Mossberg teaches, preaches, and writes the power of language “to engage our hunger and develop our capacity to matter utterly to our world.” Prizewinning poet, scholar, and teacher, her Emily Dickinson was Choice “Outstanding Academic Book of the Year.” Senior Fulbright Distinguished Scholar twice as Bicentennial Chair of American Studies, and Study Abroad Faculty of the Year (PSU), Mossberg was appointed federal U.S. Scholar in Residence for USIA( U.S. State Department), lecturing and consulting in over 20 countries, and Senior Fellow for the American Council on Education (including for the Center for Institutional and International Innovation). She is a professor and scholar of transformational learning and leadership through study abroad.
Picture of Maedeh Pourrabi
Maedeh Pourrabi
2019 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching, University of Jyväskylä
Alexandria, Virginia
Picture of John Self
John Self
2014 Fulbright Haaga-Helia Scholar Award
San Rafael, California 

John Self is Professor Emeritus at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona). While there, he also served as interim associate dean of the college and Chair of the Academic Senate with over 1,100 faculty.
Prior to entering academe, Dr. Self spent fifteen years in restaurant management, working for several chains including Chili’s and Steak and Ale, and as vice president of operations of a regional restaurant chain. He has also owned three independent restaurants, including a comedy club.
Dr. Self remains involved in the hospitality industry by serving as an expert witness in restaurant litigation, consulting opening restaurants, and holding management workshops. He has written numerous research articles on restaurant failure and management and employee turnover which have been published in many academic journals. He has also been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and has been a guest on Los Angeles National Public Radio.
Dr. Self has taught twice in China, at universities in Dalian and Xian. The high point of his academic career was as a Fulbright Scholar at Haaga-Helia University of Technology in Helsinki, Finland.
Picture of Bin Yang
Bin Yang
2018 Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair
Richland, Washington

Members for the Term Ending in May 2022

Annette Jones
2007 Fulbright Administrator Exchange, Central School of Viiala
North Bethesda, Maryland

Maedeh Pourrabi
2019 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching, University of Jyväskylä
Alexandria, Virginia

John Self
2014 Fulbright Haaga-Helia Scholar Award
San Rafael, California 

Bin Yang
2018 Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair
Richland, Washington

Members for the Term Ending in May 2021

Casie Hermansson
2014 Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award
2016 Friends of Fulbright Finland Enrichment Award, Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku
Pittsburg, Kansas

Edwin (Mike) Loovis
2010 Fulbright Scholar Program, University of Jyväskylä
Special Project Adviser for the Rediscover Suomi Journey
Cleveland, Ohio

Barbara Mossberg
1982, 1990 Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki
Eugene, Oregon


Former Council Members

Members for the Term May 2018 - May 2020:

Yvonne Allen
2014 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, University of Jyväskylä
Campbell, New York

Phil Alperson
2012 Scholar Grantee to University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Doug Maynard
2006 Scholar Grantee to University of Helsinki
Madison, Wisconsin

Members for the Term May 2017 - May 2019:

Hank Bullamore
2000 Scholar Grantee to University of Turku
Frostburg, Maryland

Joan Kluwe
1999 Graduate Student to Metsäntutkimuslaitos, Rovaniemi
Anchorage, Alaska


Members for the Term May 2016 - May 2018:

Nancy Commins
2011 Fulbright-University of Turku Scholar Award
Louisville, Colorado                              

Karen Martin 
2013 Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching to Jyväskylä University
Healy, Alaska

Ben Zeller
2012 Scholar Grantee to Åbo Akademi
Lake Forest, Illinois


Members for the term May 2015 - May 2017:

Bradley Boehringer
2014 Fulbright-Cimo student grantee to Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Portland, Maine

John Helling
2011 MCPD grantee to Helsinki City Library
Bloomington, Indiana

Kenneth Kolson
2006 Scholar grantee to Oulu University
Alexandria, Virginia

Suzanne Louis
2001 MCPD grantee to Aalto University
Charlottesville, Virginia

Paul Majkut
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.