Faculty and Staff

Main page content

IIGE & Global Honors Staff

Divya McMillin, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Global Engagement Professor of Global Media Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Divya McMillin (Ph.D. 1998, Indiana University Bloomington) is Professor of Global Media Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and founding Associate Vice Chancellor of the Institute for Innovation and Global Engagement at UW Tacoma. McMillin’s pivotal work on the impact of satellite television on audiences and the television format industry across the world, have led to three critically acclaimed books, International Media Studies (Blackwell 2007), Mediated Identities: Youth, Agency, and Globalization (Peter Lang, 2009), and the anthology Place, Power, Media (Peter Lang, 2018).

Her participatory and grassroots, human centered methodologies in development communication and her analyses of global cities, soft power, and the social impact of convergence technologies, are widely published in top tiered journals and anthologies, meriting her Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association, and marking her as a postcolonial scholar who has shaped the field of International Cultural Studies.

McMillin is recipient of the UW Distinguished Research Award (2012) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (2017). She serves on various international journal editorial and book publishing review boards, as well as the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Charles Wright Academy Board of Trustees.

Joanne Clarke Dillman, PhD

Associate Director | Associate Teaching Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

As Associate Director, Joanne Clarke Dillman will support the Associate Vice Chancellor, faculty, staff, and students in the development and execution of several Program initiatives, including Integrated Global Honors and the annual Global Engagement Conference.

Dr. Clarke Dillman is an Associate Teaching Professor in the UW Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. Her degrees include a bachelors from Brown University, MFA in Film from Columbia University, and PhD from George Mason University, with areas of specialization in Visual Culture and Feminist Media Studies. Dr. Clarke Dillman's PhD work is on the intersection of issues of gender, class and power in American visual culture, with an emphasis on film. Her book, "Women and Death in Film, Television and News: Dead But Not Gone," was published in November 2014.

Dr. Clarke Dillman teaches a variety of film classes, from Introduction to Film Studies, to Feminist Perspectives, Media Genres and Film Theory and Aesthetics, among others. She also teaches an Introduction to Screenwriting class. She has taught in both the Core Program and continues to teach in Global Honors. Her focus and home program is in Arts, Media, and Culture.

Sally Murphy, MA

Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Sally Murphy oversees operations for the IIGE and serves as the principle student advisor for the Global Honors program. Sally supports the Associate Vice Chancellor, staff and students by developing and implementing an inclusive structure within the Global Honors program that integrates globally focused coursework with academic majors across campus.

Sally obtained her BA in Sociology from the University of California, Davis and later her MA in International Education from New York University where her research focused on global education, international development and education, peace and conflict and cross cultural exchange. Sally’s professional background has been focused in student services, alumni engagement, global parternships, international education, and faculty collaborations.

She is passionate about international education, serving students and traveling around the world as often as possible.

Krissy Kimura, MA

Program Administrator (GID)

Krissy Kimura is the Global Innovation and Design Lab Program Administrator. Previously based in Washington, DC, she was a contractor for the federal government under the General Services Administration on the Code.gov team and at the Department of Energy, where she worked as a User Experience Designer. Prior to that she worked in international public health for several years, including two years as a Health Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. She has a Master’s degree in Social and Public Policy from Duquesne University and an undergraduate degree in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lan Allison, BA

Administrative Specialist (GID)

Lan Allison is the Global Innovation and Design Lab Administrative Specialist. She is also a Project Manager for United Way of Pierce County. She holds a bachelor's degree in Technical Communication and is earning a Master's degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington.

Alexis Wheeler, JD

Program Coordinator

Photograph of Alexis WheelerAlexis Wheeler is the Program Coordinator for the IIGE and Global Honors Program. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Alexis studied History and Political Science as an Honors student at the University of Washington, before earning a JD at Harvard Law School and an MSc at the University of Westminster (London, UK). Funding her UW education through merit and need-based aid, Alexis learned early to seek out educational opportunities, from summer research fellowships at Princeton and the University of Illinois to study abroad programs in Italy and South Africa. These experiences inspired a lasting commitment to global learning and exploration.

During law school, Alexis gained international legal experience as a summer associate at White & Case's London office and as a Harvard Asia Law delegate to South Korea.  Returning to Seattle in 2010, she counseled international clients as an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and served as Secretary of Hostelling International’s Washington State Council, organizing and delivering talks on educational travel. Seeking additional international experience, Alexis went abroad in 2012 to backpack across Europe and pursue further studies in London. She returned eager to build a globally-focused career in education.


The Global Honors Program draws the expertise of faculty from different disciplines and academic programs throughout UW Tacoma. Find out more about our past and present instructors on the affiliated faculty page.

Faculty who currently teach Global Honors courses include:

2020-21 Faculty

Ji-Hyun Ahn, PhD

Associate Professor, Photograph of Joanne Clarke Dillman Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences  

Specialty: Media Globalization, Korean Popular Culture (K-Pop), and Racial Reconfiguration (East Asia)

Ji-Hyun Ahn, PhD joined the faculty of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science at UW Tacoma in 2013. She has a Bachelor's of English Literature and a Master's in Visual Communication from South Koreak universities and a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ahn specializes in media globalization, Korean television and popular culture, Asian multiculturalism and critical mixed-race studies. She is particularly interested in how media practices have facilitated re-imagination of national identity from a global media perspective. Her ultimate goal is to understand how racial projects in what once were racially homogenous countries in Asia, including South Korea, are differently structured and articulated through the televisual media in comparison to the West.

Orlando Baiocchi, PhD

Endowed Professor, Engineering & Technology

Specialty: Electromagnetics, Wireless Sensor Networks, Energy Harvesting, Technology and Society, and Cyber Ethics

Divya McMillin photoOrlando Baiocchi, PhD is the UW Tacoma Endowed Professor in Engineering Systems. He has bachelor and master of science degrees in Electrical and Civil Engineering from Brazilian universities and a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University College London, UK. Dr. Baiocchi has extensive experience in academic administration, international cooperation, teaching and research. His areas of expertise and current interest include Electromagnetics, Wireless Sensor Networks, Energy Harvesting, Technology and Society, and Cyber Ethics. He and his wife, Iris, live in the city of University Place, WA.

Joanne Clarke Dillman, PhD

Associate Teaching ProfessorPhotograph of Joanne Clarke Dillman, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences   
Associate Director, Institute for Innovation & Global Engagement and Global Honors Program

Specialty: Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Gender, Class and Power in Popular Culture

Joanne Clarke Dillman, PhD's work is on the intersection of issues of gender, class, and power in American visual culture, with an emphasis on film. Her book, Women and Death in Film, Television and News: Dead But Not Gone, was published in November 2014. 

Dr. Clarke Dillman teaches a variety of film classes, from Introduction to Film Studies, to Feminist Perspectives, Media Genres and Film Theory and Aesthetics, among others. She also teaches an Introduction to Screenwriting class. She has taught in both the Core Program and continues to teach  in Global Honors. Her focus and home program is in Arts, Media, and Culture.

Janeil Engelstad, MFA

Community Partner in ResidencePhotograph of Joanne Clarke Dillman  

Janeil Engelstad, MFA’s work is guided by the following question: How does my work make a generative and positive contribution to people and the planet? Intentional, creative action grounded in Spirit, Gratitude, Love and Purpose underpins her work. Her process for this work, which can be as valuable as the outcome, includes research, deep listening, and building interdisciplinary, collaborations between people and organizations. In addition to producing her own projects, Engelstad is the Founding Director of Make Art with Purpose (MAP), an organization that produces art and design projects that address social and environmental concerns throughout the world.

Margaret Griesse, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences 

Specialty: International Education, Social Movements, Violence Against Women in Latin America (especially Brazil)

Margaret Griesse, PhD is Senior Lecturer at the UW Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. Her main areas of research include social movements in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil; transversal and transnational studies on gender; and social responsibility within emerging nations. During the summer, she takes students on a Brazil study abroad program.

Marian Harris, PhD

Professor,Photograph of Marian Harris Social Work & Criminal Justice  

Specialty: Child Welfare System

Marian Harris, PhD, ACSW, LICSW is a Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, Social Work and Criminal Justice Program and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Washington, School of Social Work, Seattle. Dr. Harris's research focuses on the child welfare system, including substance abuse problem severity, attachment typology, parental stress, child maltreatment, extended family support, race and family structure, and the disproportionate representation of children of color in the child welfare system, especially African-American children. She is a former Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Dr. Harris was awarded an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship and completed a two year postdoctoral training program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work. She received her Ph.D. from the Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, MA.

Tom Koontz, PhD

Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences Photograph of Tomas Koontz

Specialty: Public Policy, Environmental Policy, Community-Based Natural Resources Management, Integration of Social and Environmental Sciences

Tom Koontz, PhD grew up in Kitsap county and completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Puget Sound, before heading east to pursue graduate work at Indiana University in Public Policy. His interdisciplinary graduate studies focused on environmental policy as it relates to human systems including institutions, stakeholder participation and community-based natural resource management, as well as natural systems such as forests, watersheds and the global climate. As a research assistant with the International Forestry Resources and Institutions program, he collaborated with international scholars examining the ecological and sociopolitical aspects of community-based natural resource management and coupled human and natural systems.

In 1998 Dr. Koontz joined the faculty at Ohio State University in the interdisciplinary School of Environment and Natural Resources. Working with colleagues and students, he conducted research on collaborative environmental management, forest policy, watershed management and related environmental and natural resources policy topics. As one of the few social scientists in an environmental science program, he enjoyed helping students to integrate across disciplines and see the critical role of social science in solving environmental challenges.

In 2011 Dr. Koontz spent a half-year sabbatical at Leuphana University in Germany, where he taught and researched in the sustainability program. This provided an opportunity to compare collaboration and water policy between the European Union and the U.S. In 2014 he returned to his home state of Washington to join UW Tacoma in its environmental science, environmental studies, and sustainability efforts.

Ben Meiches, PhD

Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Specialty: Political Science, International Law, Armed Conflict and Genocide, Rhetorical Strategy

Benjamin Meiches, PhD's research and teaching focus on global politics. He is particularly interested in armed conflict, genocide, and the development of international law. He teach classes about political violence, human rights, and international theory.

Dr. Meiches' research focuses on armed conflict, genocide, and international law. I am particularly interested in how the categories, concepts and practices of contemporary violence evolved and developed over time. I am also invested in debates about contemporary political theory. I am currently working on a history of the emergence of international law and political discourse surrounding genocide.

IIGE Faculty Council

Our faculty, staff and student council includes representatives from academic and other programs across campus. Find out more here.

Honors Executive Committee

The Honors Executive Committee is the designee of the representative IIGE Faculty Council to collaborate with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Global Engagement in the development and oversight of Major Honors and Major Integrated Honors pathways. Find out more here.