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Advisory Board

Dr. Davidson (BA, Russian and German, Kansas; Ph.D., Slavic Languages, Harvard University) is Senior Academic Advisor and President Emeritus of American Councils for International Education (Washington, D. C.) and Professor of Russian and Second Language Acquisition, Bryn Mawr College. He is author/editor of 44 books and 65 scholarly articles on Russian language, culture and international education. Davidson was named in 2015 to the Commission on Languages, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Russian Academy of Education, the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, Vice-President of the International Association of Teachers of Russian (MAPRIAL), and past chair of the College Board World Languages Advisory Committee, the Joint National Committee for Languages, and the Alliance for International Education Exchange.

Jacob U’Mofe Gordon, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas; served on the KU faculty, 1970-2004.  He is founder and first Chairman of the Department of African (now African and African American) Studies, 1970-1980; served as Executive Director, Center for Multicultural Leadership, 1982-2004.  He was Fulbright Senior Specialist to Ghana, and the Kwame Nkrumah Endowed Chair in African Studies, University of Ghana, 2012-2015. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Bullying Prevention Association and the National Alumni Association of Bethune-Cookman University; and Advisory Board of the African American Studies Program at University of Florida.  Dr. Gordon’s expertise includes African Studies and the African Diaspora.

The Honorable Victor Jackovich

The Honorable Victor Jackovich, first US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995) and Ambassador to Slovenia (1995–1998), focuses on relations of the SLLC with public and private sectors. He has expertise in Eastern Europe, Africa, and other world areas.

Roberta Johnson, Professor Emerita, received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of California, Davis and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She taught at K-State and the Claremont Colleges in California before joining the faculty at the University of Kansas in 1990. 

Betty J. Kagan received her BA in French and Spanish from KU, a maitrise de culture francaise from the Sorbonne, an MA in French Literature and Linguistics from UCSB and an MBA in Computer Applications & Information Systems plus International Business from NYU Stern School of Business.   Betty previously served on the CLAS Board as well as NYU's alumni board in NY and UK. Her expertise is in global human resource systems as well as financial systems.  Her focus on the board will be integrating international business and consulting needs with the SLLC curriculum and outreach activities.

Barbara Koval-Nelson

Barbara Koval-Nelson, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia in Kansas City, focuses on regional community engagement. Her area interests are Slovene language, Slovene studies, and Europe in general.

Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D., began his tenure as Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District on July 1, 2015. Previously, he served as Superintendent/President of Solano Community College District. Dr. Laguerre holds a Ph.D., in Educational Leadership for college and university administration, a Master’s of Science in Education in School Administration and a Master’s of Arts in French Literature from the University of Kansas, and a Certificate in Mathematics and Physics Education from l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti: Ecole Normale Supérieure, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Professor Moldavanova (Wayne State), Public Administration, focuses on the SLLC Board on institutional sustainability.

Advisory Board Chair

Rex Niswander, of Counsel with Morrison & Foerster, has worked as a corporate lawyer for more than 30 years. His areas of interest are Mandarin and East Asian languages, international law and international education. He is the Chair of the Board of the Global Language Project.

Viktoria Olskaia, President of the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation, an international entrepreneur and an expert in private-sector development in emerging market countries, focuses on SLLC relations to international partners. Her area expertise is in post-Soviet states, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Safadi, KU alumnus and President of the Delta Corporation of Kansas, supports the work of the school and focuses in particular on Arabic language, literature, and Islamic culture. 

Antonia Schleicher serves as the Executive Director of both the National Council of Less-Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the African Language Teachers Association (ALTA). She is a Board Member of JNCL (Joint National Committee for Languages). Professor Schleicher was awarded the United States President's Gold Level Volunteer Service Award for over 500-hours-a-year of devoted and unpaid service to the cause of promoting less-commonly taught languages and cultures in the U.S. She served on the ACTFL Board of Directors for three years.  She is on the Board of Trustees of Center for Applied Linguistics and is also the current President of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (NFMLTA).  

GTA, Chinese, Advisory Board Member, KU SLLC
Wescoe Hall, Room 2112

A physician, Dr. Vogelsang serves as the Consul for the Republic of Croatia in Kansas City. She is involved in many civic organization in the Kansas City area.



Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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