Michelle Mazzeo, North Bay International Studies Project (NBISP) Director
After earning her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michelle worked on Lingira Island in Uganda's part of Lake Victoria. She learned about the community's approach to agricultural development, which led her to work for an agriculture and natural resource management organization that supported women’s cooperatives in agricultural communities around the world. Interested in serving her own community, Michelle became a teacher and worked with English Language Learners in Washington D.C. before moving to Costa Rica to create Outward Bound programs for young people from around the world. Michelle earned her Masters degree in Educational Leadership for Global Higher Education and worked for Ashoka, an organization focused on scaling social solutions for the greater good. She currently runs the North Bay site for the California International Studies Project and supports Pk-12 educators as they develop global competence and active citizenship in their students.

Christina Lunde, Elementary Teacher, Novato Unified School District, is an Education Consultant with NBISP. She has been involved with two Teaching American History grants as teacher-leader and Literacy Coordinator. For the last 16 years she has been in the classroom working with 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades while being a teacher-leader for multiple projects. For the last two years she has been working with districts to implement the Common Core State Standards with an emphasis on supporting teachers to use effective instructional practices.

Jonna Weidaw, is an Alternative Education teacher and graduate of Sonoma State University. She has worked with SSU NBISP programs as a Teacher Lead for the Teaching American History Projects and the Common Core Implementation and Professional Development Projects. She has been awarded a Digital Excellence Award from the State of CA for technology integration and instruction. Jonna is currently working for the Mendocino County Office of Education as a teacher on special assignment.  

Simmi Kher, Education Consultant for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation,  is associated with student/teacher training on Global competence Diversity and Leadership with several schools and districts around the nation.  Simmi has worked with Microsoft’s schools program ‘Partners in Learning, Education First's student leadership program  and Tony Blair faith Foundation's school program 'Face to Faith'. Simmi is a sought after speaker at conferences such as ISTE, NCSS, CCSS and many more. Before moving to Seattle, Simmi was based in New Delhi, India. Simmi has worked with and trained teachers globally to name a few countries India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Germany, UK, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand.  As a part of professional career Simmi founded the Anugrah Foundation a school for the slum children of New Delhi, was a Director/Principal at Indian Heights School in New Delhi, was involved with INTEL, UNESCO, and worked at the British Council where she earned the award for Outstanding School Partnership of 2012. Other awards include the Digital Learning Power School Award in 2007 in recognition of improving the quality of teaching and learning, and the Educational and Development Award in 2007 for outstanding contribution in the area of environmental education by Environment Research Society. As is clear from her work, Simmi is passionate about education, global leadership, intercultural programming, and technology. She enjoys listening to audio books, going for long walks, and spending time with her children. 

Daniel Soto, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies & Planning Department, SSU earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University. He also has an M.S. in Physics from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to his return to academia, Daniel worked as an engineer at two startup companies creating optical micromechanical devices for laser displays and optical communications. Daniel Soto comes to SSU from Columbia University, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Earth Institute working on solar micro-grids in Mali and Uganda. Daniel's teaching interests are in energy efficiency and energy generation. He enjoys teaching both large-scale issues involving energy and analysis of small-scale energy systems. The potential for energy efficient technologies and approaches to improve human wellbeing motivates his research. In the developing world, he investigates new approaches to lower economic barriers to energy access and how energy efficient appliances can lower the cost of energy access. Daniel is also interested in the use of computation and communication technologies to impact energy problems and disseminate information.


Ken Emery, Social Science Teacher, Santa Rosa City Schools, is a high school teacher who has spent most of 20+ years teaching in an integrated, interdisciplinary Global Perspective program.  He has participated in a number of programs offered through NBISP, most recently presenting at Teaching Global Issues and Connecting to Common Core Through the Face to Faith Program.  He has also participated in several teacher summer seminars abroad programs.  Ken is also a videoconference facilitator with the Face to Faith program, which is part of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.


Nancy Case-Rico, Adjunct Professor, School of Education, SSU is the Educational Specialist for NBISP. She has been involved in teaching history/social studies and teacher support for 18 years at all levels (primary-middle-high school-and college.) Ms. Case-Rico is the Professional Development Director on TAH Petaluma grant, working with teacher leaders and university staff. She has assisted several districts as a literacy/ELL specialist with training, coaching in best practices, and facilitation of instructional and curriculum improvements. Recently she supported the development of RTI (Response to Intervention) systems for the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD). She also provides coaching in effective ELL instruction, project-based learning, writing across the curriculum, and curriculum integration. One of her strengths is supporting the blend of effective instructional practices and meaningful content development. She has directly engaged over 250 North Bay teachers and administrators for six Teaching American History (TAH) Programs.

Michelle Jolly, Chair, History Department, SSU has been an academic specialist (US. history before 1900, women's history, and California history) on six Teaching American History grants. Professor Jolly oversees the academic content of the grants, developing and presenting academic content, aligning content to History Standards for 8th and 11th grades, identifying visiting specialists, and modeling best teaching practices. Her current area of Research is Gender and Politics in gold-rush San Francisco.

Steve Estes, Associate Professor, History Department, SSU has been an academic specialist (modern U.S. history, race relations, and southern history) on six Teaching American History grants. Professor Estes oversees the academic content of the grants i.e., developing and presenting academic content, aligning content to History Standards for 8th and 11th grades, identifying visiting specialists, and modeling best teaching practices. He is the author of I Am a Man!: Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights Movement (2005) and Ask & Tell: Gay & Lesbian Veterans Speak Out (2007).

Margaret Purser, Professor, Anthropology Department, SSU received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987. She has been at Sonoma State University since 1989, where she teaches historical archaeology, cultural landscape studies, and archaeological theory, and supervises thesis research design and implementation in the master's program in Cultural Resource Management. She has worked on 19th century era historical projects on Nevada ranching, Sierra Nevada goldmining, maritime cultural landscapes in the Sacramento River Delta, and coffee and sugar plantations in Pacific coastal Guatemala. Since 2000 her principal research project has been on the 19th century Pacific port town of Levuka, Fiji, where she is contributing to the nomination of the townsite and harbor to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Her broader research interests focus on comparative studies of 19th century colonial expansion in the greater Pacific region, maritime cultural landscape studies, and issues surrounding the development of community-based heritage programs in different regulatory contexts. She also serves as an associate editor for the professional journal, Historical Archaeology.