International Studies & Programs

Home > About > Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee

VIPP's advisory committee consists of MSU and community members as well as two representatives from VIPP participants on a rotating basis. It's goal is to provide broad, high-level guidance and advising to VIPP's operations, development, strategic directions, and best practices. It advocates for VIPP programs, services and activities across MSU departments, colleges and centers, as well as with the community and outside organizations.

James Dorsett

JD1.jpgDirector, Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS)

James Dorsett is the director at OISS. He has master's degrees in Soviet History and in Higher Education from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree in History from Baylor University. Before coming to MSU, James served as the director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Iowa State University, where he was also the interim dean of students for 2011-2012. Before Iowa State, James served as the director of the Office of International Students and Scholars at Wayne State University after working at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has held national leadership positions in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including chair of the Knowledge Community for International Student and Scholar Services, member of the Leadership Development Committee, dean of the Management Basics Professional Development Workshop, and lead writer for the F-1 Student Advising for Beginners Workshop. James has also served as chair and regulatory ombudsperson for NAFSA Region V. James' first international experience was as an exchange student to The Netherlands after high school. He went on later to work in Germany while in the U.S. Army. James' final extensive overseas experience was in Russia where he spent a year studying how a Russian university was adjusting following the fall of the Soviet Union. The best thing about his job is learning more about the lives of the MSU international students and scholars and how to help them.

Frank Fear

frankfear_side_by_side.jpgProfessor and Senior Associate Dean emeritus
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
MSU Senior Fellow in Outreach and Engagement 

Frank A. Fear is professor emeritus, Michigan State University, where he served as a faculty member for over thirty-five years and worked in various administrative positions including department chair, acting statewide associate director of MSU Extension, founding director of Bailey Scholars Program, and vice dean of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is Senior Fellow, MSU Outreach and Engagement, and received the Charles Glizzo Award for International Diplomacy awarded by MSU International Studies and Programs. Frank is primarily interested in how public and nonprofit institutions serve the public good. His blog, "For the Public Good," is on Tumblr. Frank is Managing Editor of The Sports Column (Baltimore, MD) where he writes a column on topics associated with sports and society. He writes regularly about social issues for Los Angeles-based, LA Progressive. He also works as a strategic planning consultant for the Dean's Office, MSU International Studies and Programs.  

Eric Freedman

EricFreedmanUpdated.jpgProfessor, School of Journalism
Former Associate Dean, International Studies and Programs

Eric Freedman is Professor of Journalism and former Associate Dean of International Studies and Programs. During his 20-year newspaper career, he covered public affairs, environmental issues and legal affairs for newspapers in New York and Michigan, winning a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a legislative corruption scandal. He teaches environmental journalism and serves as Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. He also teaches public affairs reporting, international journalism, feature writing and media law and serves as Director of the school’s Capital News Service, a professional-level internship program in which students cover state government for more than 25 newspapers and online news outlets across Michigan. Freedman earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University, his law degree from New York University and his master’s degree in resource development from MSU. Internationally, he has taught journalism as a Fulbright scholar in Lithuania and Uzbekistan, led workshops and seminars for professional journalists in Central Asia, and lectured to students in Singapore, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Japan and Kyrgyzstan.

He served for three years as an International Scholar in the Open Society Foundation’s Academic Fellowship Program, where he worked with faculty members in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan.

As a professional journalist and freelancer, Freedman has written for newspapers and magazines on such environmental issues as habitat protection, parks and public lands, toxic substances, extinction, ecotourism and government regulation. At MSU, he directed the Australia Media, Environment, Culture and Tourism study abroad program, the Reporting in the British Isles study abroad program, and a freshman seminar abroad on environment and media in Scotland.

Norman Graham

NormanGrahamUpdated.jpgDirector, European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies Center
Associate Dean, James Madison College

Norman A. Graham is professor of International Relations at MSU's James Madison College of Public Affairs. He also serves as the director of the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University.

Prof. Graham's long term research interests include international security and economic relations, international organization, Central and Southeastern Europe, and Central and South Asia. He has taught at Columbia University and led the Yale University Summer Seminar on International Business. He has also served as a Research Associate with the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the Futures Group. He served as Associate Dean of James Madison College from 1999-2011, and Acting Dean 1998-99 and 2006-7.

His teaching at MSU focuses on international economic relations and development, the European Union and related international organizations and the foreign policies of European and Eurasian countries. He directs the Center's summer overseas study program on "International Relations in Brussels" in conjunction with the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the European Union and NATO, alternating also as director of the summer program on “Environmental Science and Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin” in collaboration with several Greek and Turkish universities and research institutes

His current research focuses on industrial and technology development in the European Union; technology transfer and defense conversion in Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union, the future of Eurasian security, and the political economy of transition and environmental policy in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He was the recipient of an MSU Teacher-Scholar award in 1993. His published research includes eight books and numerous articles.

Graham earned his BA in European and Asian History from the University of Akron, his M. Phil. in International Relations and Political Economy from Columbia University, and his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.

Keith I. Bezant Niblett

keithniblett.jpgAssistant Director, International Relationships & Executive Development Programs
The Eli Broad College of Business

Keith Niblett is the Assistant Director of Executive Development Programs The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. In this role, focusing on Customized and International programs, he is working on whole program design, marketing and sales, teaching and support, continuous improvement and strategic geographic and portfolio development.

Keith also is Chairman of the Board of a fast growing US National Home Owners Association services company, and a senior Board member of a New York based international manufacturing and marketing company, which has over twenty manufacturing units in every major continent in the world. 

To learn more about Keith, check VIPP's blog


Colleen Pero

Deputy Director at Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Colleen Pero is Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Prior to her appointment, she was a partner in Pero Consulting, Inc., a public affairs consulting firm based in Laingsburg, Michigan, for the past decade.  During this time, the majority of her clients and projects have centered on legal and judicial issues and campaigns. In 2013, the Federalist Society of Michigan acknowledged her leadership in conservative legal circles by awarding her the Grano Award.

Colleen’s prior legal experience includes serving as General Counsel to the (Lamar) Alexander for President Campaign and as an attorney for Dickinson, Wright in Lansing, and Winstead McGuire, Sechrest & Minick in Houston.  She currently serves as a Michigan Supreme Court appointee to the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners (where she serves on the Public Policy Committee).  In 2014, she was one of 12 lawyers named by the Court to the Michigan Supreme Court Task Force charged with examining the role of the State Bar of Michigan, especially as it relates to First Amendment issues. Colleen also is a frequent presenter to U.S. State Department-sponsored international delegations on the rule of law and the Michigan judicial system.  She currently serves as a contract Special Assistant Attorney General for Attorney General Bill Schuette, working with senior staff on special projects, including human trafficking and school violence. 

Colleen earned her B.A. from Michigan State University, her M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and her J.D. from the University of Houston.  

Jiaguo Qi

JiaguoQi.jpgProfessor, Geography
Director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations

Dr. Jiaguo Qi is Director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and Professor in the Department of Geography at Michigan State University. He also serves as a Project Scientist in the NASA-MAIRS program. His research focuses on two areas: integrating biophysical and social processes and methods in understanding land use and land cover change; and transforming data into information and knowledge.

Through research projects funded by different agencies including NASA, NSF, USDA, USAID, he uses case studies in different parts of the world to understand the nature of the coupled natural-human systems that play into global change. The geographic area of his research includes projects in North America, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, East and West Africa, South America, and Australia. His recent research integrates environmental and social sciences to investigate the consequences of the socioeconomic reform on land degradation in China, and climate change impact on human systems in East Africa.

Won Song

drwonsong.jpgProfessor, Food Science and Human Nutrition 


Dr. Won Song, a professor of human nutrition in the Department of Food Science at Michigan State University (MSU), has been an active researcher and teacher since she joined the MSU faculty as an assistant professor. Her research training and interests reside in nutritional epidemiology; community nutrition; food consumption behaviors in relation to chronic diseases; dietary patterns and health risks at the national and international settings; biomarkers and predictors for nutritional status in large populations with emphasis on the subgroups at risk; national nutrition surveys and its application in research; nutrition education – theories and application of technology. She has recently been focusing her research activities on maternal child health especially in those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

She has received numerous recognitions for her research and teaching accomplishments, served on many university-wide, national and international committees for professional organizations and industry, and advised and mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and international visiting scholars extending her research expertise. She has published over 10 books and chapters and over 100 peer-reviewed articles and delivered over 250 presentations to the professionals.

Mary Anne Walker

Director, International Engineering Programs


Mary Anne Walker serves as the Director of the Global Engineering Office at Michigan State University. She has been working in the field of international development, research, education and training for more than 30 years. Her passion is in working with students on applied research and learning endeavors engaging global partners.  Mary Anne has taught and consulted on topics of community and economic development, financing public/private alliances through building extensive networks.

Joseph M. Cousins

joe cousins side-by-side.jpgInstructor
Senior Academic Specialist Emeritus
International Studies & Programs

Greetings to VIPP Participants!

I am a Senior Academic Specialist Emeritus in the Center for Global Connections (CGC) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Science. I have worked in the CGC for the past 17 years in various capacities.

I have also been a part-time Instructor for VIPP for the past 12 years and continued to do so after my retirement in 2012. I teach courses in American Culture: History, Family, Religions, Politics, Sports, and Education. I also provide lectures on Traditional Asian Medical Practices in the US for various short-term international delegations for VIPP.

I have been on campus since 1984, with much of that time spent as an Advisor in the Office for International Students and Scholars. My interest areas include coordinating cross-cultural training activities, advocating on issues affecting international students, Asian Pacific American students, students of color, and campus-wide diversity outreach.

I have published articles and presented at national and international conferences on issues related to cross-cultural communication and international education and ethnic diversity.

I was born and raised in Japan and have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia. My Undergraduate, Masters, and Ph. D degrees are from Kansas State University.

I have been a recipient of the Distinguished Academic Specialist Award and Excellence in Diversity: Lifetime Achievement Award, Asian Pacific American Student Organization's Advisor of the Year in recognition of my service to MSU.

I was the faculty advisor to the Hmong American Students Association (HASA) and Co- Chairs the Asian Pacific American Asian Faculty & Staff Association, (APAAFSA) until my retirement.

My hobbies include running marathons, and Asian cuisine. I am also a fan of MSU Sports including football and both men's and women's basketball teams.

Side-By-Side joe cousins class.jpgCourses

VIPP 451: American Culture

This course examines American culture from the perceptive of its own mainstream values. Such topics as current events, values, politics, racial assimilation, leisure time, and family will be discussed. The goal of this class is to familiarize you with various aspects of mainstream American culture. You will gain insights of culture that are often uniquely American, while at the same time, improving your abilities to read, comprehend, and express yourself in English.

Sung Lee



Dr. Sung Lee 


Dr. Lee is a retired physician specialized in Ob/Gyn. During his 40 years practice, he delivered about 5,000 babies in Lansing area. Following his retirement, he continues his medical professions by working in Malawi for around three months a year. He is currently serving as the Director of Okemos Ob/Gyn Associates and Women's Well-Being Clinic; Chairman of the Korea Committee; a member of the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission; and a member of the East Lansing Rotary Club.

Dr. Lee is passionate about international education and exchange for young people. He has been the driving force of a Korean-American high school exchange program for the last 10 years, where 15-20 Korean students visiting and studying at Holt High School for three weeks every February and the same number of American students study in Korea in July.