South Sudanese Enrichment for Families
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Saturday Bridges - Presenter Bios

Whole-family programming & community connections

Saturday Bridges - Presenters


History of Sudan
Michael La Rue

Dr. LaRue grew up in Michigan, attended the University of Michigan, and had a Junior Year abroad at the Univeristé d’Aix-en-Provence. After graduation, He joined the Peace Corps, and taught English in Gafsa, Tunisia for two years. He is a trained Africanist, with a Ph.D in African history from Boston University. He did field work in Dar Fur, Sudan on the social and economic history of the Dar Fur Sultanate, 1785-1875. Dar Fur developed a system of land tenure based on sultanic land grants, which overlaid earlier patterns based on kinship and ethnicity. Dar Fur also was a major source of slaves for Egypt, and he conducted several hundred interviews with former slaves, their descendants, and the descendants of former slave traders and trans-Saharan caravan leaders.

Dr. LaRue has taught African history at several universities, including Boston University, Wellesley College, Brown University, the University of North Carolina (Greensboro), El Collegio de Mexico, and Clarion University of Pennsylvania (where he spent the bulk of his career). Recently, he has been following the lives of enslaved Sudanese (in the nineteenth century) into Egypt and beyond. This has led most recently to research in Paris at the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Saint-Simonian Archives, and the Church Missionary Archive at the University of Birmingham (England).

Storytelling and the African Diaspora
Hugo Kamya

Dr. Kamya is a professor of social work at Simmons College School of Social Work. He teaches courses in clinical practice, trauma and narrative therapies at both the masters and doctoral levels. His professional identity weaves together several backgrounds and narratives. Originally from Uganda, he came to the United States over twenty years ago. He studied at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, and began a career in the interrelated practices and trainings of social work, psychology, and theology.

Dr. Kamya has integrated several realms of teaching, research, clinical, and social justice work. He has practiced in community mental health settings with a variety of populations. His teaching, research, clinical work and larger systems interventions greatly enrich each other. In 1995, he participated in a network assembly for the Children's AIDS Project at Boston Medical Center. This work helped him begin to combine social network and community work with consulting for organizations working with children affected by HIV. His commitment to providing collaborative family services to children living in HIV-affected families has been very rewarding, particularly in Uganda, where he brings students and colleagues to interact and work with people in HIV/AIDS clinics, and where he continues to do research on child and granny headed families, and children of war. His work in Uganda has culminated in serving on the Makula Fund for Children, an organization which provides tuition, medical attention and breakfast to children living with HIV. In 2004, Dr. Kamya received a U.S. State Department Grant to conduct service learning Citizens Exchange project between U.S. and Uganda citizens. As a member of CSWE, he serves on the Global Education Commission, and has chaired the track for International Issues.

Parenting and Stress Management
Jessica Bethany
Jessica Bethney, a professor at Bunker Hill Community College, has two master’s degrees--one in Intellectual History from Brandeis University and the other from Tufts University in Cross-cultural Counseling. During her tenure at Bunker Hill, she designed and developed the English as a Second Language Program, served as assistant to the president in International Education, and taught both English as a Second Language and American Culture.

Currently, Bethany is teaching the honor’s seminar entitled “Wired for Culture” and a seminar in American Culture for visiting university students from Poland. She has also done a workshop in East/West culture for the honor’s program.

She has been certified as an intercultural trainer by the Interchange Institute in Brookline and has done a number of cross-cultural workshops at M.I.T, Wellesley College and Parenting in America at several Chinese language schools, as well as the communities of Brookline and Lexington.

Parenting and Stress Management
Margaret Hosmer Martens
Margaret is a seasoned senior leadership coach with over 30 years of international experience in consulting and training in human development and organizational change. Her professional life has always been global and she brings the breadth of this experience to her coaching. She has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and, more recently, the United States, and her experience has long been across sectors, industries and cultures.

Margaret regularly serves as a leadership coach to the public and non-profit sector working with such groups as the UN Secretariat, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the International Rescue Committee.

For over 20 years, Margaret was an Adjunct of the Center for Creative Leadership, coaching for both their Brussels and Greensboro, NC campuses.   She recently left to focus her coaching on humanitarian agencies and to return to school for an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This is to help her new focus, helping refugees to recover from trauma and adjust to life in the United States.  She is also engaged in building leadership skills in grassroots organizations, particularly refugee associations.

Margaret has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Goddard College (USA), a master’s degree in French from the University of Dakar (Senegal) and a master’s degree in public sector management from the University of Maryland (USA). Margaret is originally from the United States and recently returned after 35 years abroad. She has been certified as an intercultural trainer by the Interchange Institute in Brookline, MA.  She is a dual citizen of both the USA and Belgium, and is bi-lingual in French and English.

Living in Two Worlds
Anna Ornstein, M.D.

Anna Ornstein, M.D. is a Professor Emerita of Child Psychology at the University of Cincinnati and a Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is a Holocaust survivor, and has written a memoire titled, "My Mother's Eyes," along with a collection of psychoanalytic articles. In her articles, she examines psychoanalytic psychotherapy, child psychotherapy, and the process of post-Holocaust recovery.

Boston Basics: What Young Children Need and Want
Ronald Ferguson

Ronald F. Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist who focuses social science research on economic, social, and educational challenges.  He has been on the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983, after full time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and faculty director of the university-wide Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI).