FYI in Prague – About the Program Directors

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We invite you to contact the Faculty Directors and Coordinator for more information!

Dr. Debbie Acker | Instructor for SLC 250 | debbie_acker@ncsu.edu

Dr. Debbie Acker currently serves as the Associate Director for Operations and Academic Programs for the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at North Carolina State University. She joined the Shelton Leadership Center in May 2003, following her work at NC State within the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences on a Sustainability Project and College of Education with the National Initiative for Leadership & Institutional Effectiveness as Assistant Director of Research.

Dr. Debbie Acker has worked with a multigenerational clientele to deliver professional development on experiential and collaborative learning modules on topics such as effective leadership practices, ethical decision-making, vision into action, integrity as a leader, leadership styles & situations, leading with diversity in mind, group empowerment, and finding your strengths as a leader. She also teaches an undergraduate interdisciplinary course on critical and creative decision-making and oversees the cross-disciplinary perspectives leadership minor for the Center.

Dr. Acker’s dissertation explored the process of civic engagement and how to enhance the likelihood of meaningful experiences within group decision-making. She is passionate about her work with the Shelton Leadership team continuing to enhance the development of the program model incorporating a research-based critical reflection model that is integrated into the leadership training delivered through the Shelton Leadership Center. This model is a foundational component of all our values-based leadership training development.

Debbie holds a Masters in Counseling from Syracuse University and her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. Exciting places she has had the opportunity to travel are Honduras; Guinea, West Africa; India; Dominican Republic; and Alaska.

Dr. Seth Murray | Instructor for IS 200 | seth_murray@ncsu.edu

Dr. Seth Murray is a Teaching Associate Professor and Director of the Program in International Studies, as well as Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He is also the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Co-Director of the Alexander Hamilton Scholars program, a dual degree honors program for students double-majoring in the Poole College of Management and International Studies at NC State.

Seth has conducted research in various sites of western Europe since 1999. As a member of a larger interdisciplinary research team in Burgundy, France, he investigates the intergenerational changes in environmental and agricultural risk-perception and risk-mitigation strategies among Charolais beef cattle farmers, particularly as they relate to historical and contemporary water management practices. He has also examined the relationship between microclimatology and the socio-ecological vulnerability of farmers, and most recently, he conducted an ethnohistorical investigation of 20th-century viticulture.

In the Basque region of southwestern France and northern Spain, Seth has conducted ethnographic, oral history, and extensive archival research examining the management and use of common-pool resources by sheep farmers over the past two centuries, most recently as relates to the expansion of non-agricultural activities into rural mountain areas. He also investigated the impact of European Union agricultural and environmental policies on the local Basque economy, and the social mobilization prompted by the intervention of these external forces.

He was born in south Louisiana and is a native of Tours, in the Central Loire Valley of France. He also lived for six years on the French island of Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean. He was a Visiting Researcher at the Center for the Study of Basque Literature and Language (IKER) in Bayonne, France from 2002-2005.

Anna Hayes | FYI Prague Coordinator | anna_hayes@ncsu.edu

Anna Hayes is an Assistant Director in the Study Abroad Office. She joined the Study Abroad Office in January 2009 as the GPC Coordinator. She then worked for several years as the Office Manager/General Advisor and as a Regional Coordinator before transitioning to Assistant Director. Anna manages semester programs in the Czech Republic and faculty-led programs in Humanities and Social Sciences and Textiles. In addition, she manages student health and safety for the office.

Anna received a Masters of International Studies from NC State University, with a concentration in European Studies, as well as a degree in political science from UNC Greensboro. She studied abroad in the Czech Republic and Spain, and her experiences abroad led to an interest in international education. She’s led student groups in the United Kingdom and Australia, and, in addition, she’s traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, and Jamaica. Anna is excited to work with NC State students and share in their study abroad experiences.