The CGEP Advisory Board is composed of appointed representatives of educational institutions as identified in California Senate Bill 612. Advisory Board members set guidelines for project sites, review and recommend site proposals for funding, and monitor project activities to ensure that they adequately reflect the priorities of CGEP and the California Subject Matter Projects, and that CGEP complies with legislated requirements. 

University of California

Dr. Christena Turner, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of California, San Diego (Board Chair)

As a graduate student in East Asian Studies I joined fellow students in an effort to volunteer in local Bay Area K-12 schools to improve knowledge of China, Japan, and the East Asian region. We wanted the second half of the 20th century to see less …

As a graduate student in East Asian Studies I joined fellow students in an effort to volunteer in local Bay Area K-12 schools to improve knowledge of China, Japan, and the East Asian region. We wanted the second half of the 20th century to see less hostility and misunderstanding between the US and East Asia. Over the years as I have taught at UCSD I have watched what we once thought of as “international studies” come home. The naturalness with which we now access information, interact with people who have roots in other nations, and anticipate social, economic, and political ties to distant others requires reflection on culture, meaning, and human nature. I work with CISP because it is California’s flagship effort to take us toward a future where our now unprecedented access to the international might be enriched by deeper understanding across differences in histories, identities, and fundamental senses of meaning that enrich local lived cultures.

Christena is an Anthropologist and Associate Professor of Sociology at UC San Diego. She has an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University with special interest in Chinese religion and cultural values and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University with a focus on contemporary Japanese culture and social activism. She has been Director of the UCSD Program in Japanese Studies for several years, has served on university committees for International Education, and is an advocate for international studies at all levels of education. Her teaching focuses on Japanese society and culture, ethnographic and field methods in social science, and transnational cultural production of visual and narrative arts.  Her research includes work on inequality and culture in Japanese labor protest, construction of meaning in Japanese workplaces, cultural influences on healthcare practices in the U.S. and Japan. She is currently working on narratives of inequality, empathy and social justice in Japanese popular culture.


California State University

Dr. Kristine Dennehy, Professor, History, California State University Fullerton 

Going to Japan for two months in high school, at the recommendation of my Social Studies teacher, had a profound influence on my personal and intellectual development in the field of Asian Studies. I want to be a part of fostering these kinds of opp…

Going to Japan for two months in high school, at the recommendation of my Social Studies teacher, had a profound influence on my personal and intellectual development in the field of Asian Studies. I want to be a part of fostering these kinds of opportunities for the next generation through my involvement with CGEP.

As an undergraduate at Georgetown University, Kristine majored in Japanese language and minored in Asian Studies. This interdisciplinary training has influenced her work as a historian of postwar Japan, especially her research on the ethnic Korean minority. Kristine's M.A. from Sophia University in Tokyo focused on disputes over Japanese history textbooks and spurred an ongoing interest in historical debates about modern imperialism around the world. As a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA she forged strong networks with academics in Asia and elsewhere who are committed to using history as a tool for social justice, particularly related to issues of ethnic minorities whose voices are often silenced or marginalized. At CSUF, Kristine regularly teaches classes in world history and historical methodology where she tries to foster an appreciation for various historical perspectives and provide students with tools to develop their own interpretations of world events and problems.


Commission of Teacher Credentialing

Dr. Jeff Hittenberger, Chief Academic Officer, Orange County Department of Education

I was teaching history and English at Valley High School in Santa Ana in 1990 when I met Connie DeCapite and learned of the outstanding work going on at the California International Studies Project. Connie helped us establish the Global Business Aca…

I was teaching history and English at Valley High School in Santa Ana in 1990 when I met Connie DeCapite and learned of the outstanding work going on at the California International Studies Project. Connie helped us establish the Global Business Academy and I had the opportunity to participate in CISP (now CGEP) professional development opportunities, eventually serving as a presenter for the FIRST Center at CSU, Fullerton. California teachers and students need the kind of international understanding and global engagement that CISP offers if they are to thrive in the 21st century and help make the world a better place. Glad to be involved!

Jeff serves as Chief Academic Officer for the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE).  He earned a PhD in educational policy, planning, and administration from the University of Southern California, with a focus on international education.  He has served in multiple positions in both K-12 and higher education during 30+ years as a professional educator. Jeff served as a teacher and co-founder of the Global Business Academy in the Santa Ana Unified School District and as a curriculum administrator at the Monterey County Office of Education. He also served as a professor of education, Dean of the School of Education, and Provost at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. Jeff grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  He studied at Mohamed the Fifth University in Rabat, Morocco, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.  He has worked on international education projects and done research or consulting in Cameroon, Mali, Togo, South Africa, Israel, and Haiti, and was involved in an education exchange program in China.  In his current role, Jeff oversees multiple county-wide initiatives, including OCDE’s California Career Pathways Trust Grant (OC Pathways), and serves on the state advisory council for the California Partnership Academies.


Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Rod Septka, Teacher and Global Education Coordinator/Coach, Mill Valley School District

I have always believed that my role as an educator is to help students learn the skills they need to become agents for change in the world. Teaching for global competence empowers students to take action based on thoughtful investigation and reflect…

I have always believed that my role as an educator is to help students learn the skills they need to become agents for change in the world. Teaching for global competence empowers students to take action based on thoughtful investigation and reflection. California Global Education Project provides teachers with the knowledge and support they need to develop as global educators. As CGEP continues to evolve to meet new educational challenges facing teachers and students, it’s a true honor to serve on the advisory board.

Rod Septka is an educator with 28 years of experience teaching grades three through eight. He has a passion for both literacy and global education and has developed programs in his district to support both. Currently, Rod is the Global Studies Coordinator/Coach for Mill Valley School District where he helped develop the district’s global studies initiative, supports teachers, and leads workshops in developing global competence. He has been a teacher consultant for the Bay Area Writing Project since 1990 and developed and taught a writing program in Seoul, South Korea. He earned the Global Competency Certificate from World Savvy and Columbia University, which included a service-learning project in Ecuador. Rod has an MFA in creative writing from Mills College and was Marin County Teacher of the year in 2004.


Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities

As an educator, researcher and global citizen I am dedicated to the highest standards of academic excellence for all students. It is important to the economic stability of our region and country that we develop robust pathways toward global understa…

As an educator, researcher and global citizen I am dedicated to the highest standards of academic excellence for all students. It is important to the economic stability of our region and country that we develop robust pathways toward global understanding and competency. I am dedicated to preparing students towards becoming outstanding leaders in a highly diverse and globalized workforce.

I am a proud parent of two daughters who thrive in dual immersion Mandarin schools. As someone who has lived and worked on multiple parts of the world, I have a clear understanding of the rigor and global competence of youth in other countries. I am particularly interested in serving on this advisory board because I firmly believe that access to global curriculum and experiences should not be limited to a few privileged individuals. The foundation of global understanding is linked to sustainability, the environment, peace building, homeland security, innovation, as well as intercultural communications and expression.

Dr. Aaron Bruce, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, ArtCenter College of Design

Dr. Aaron Bruce, serves as the Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President at ArtCenter College of Design where he focuses on campus-wide multicultural understanding, social justice, and strategies related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Dr. Bruce helps strengthen the college’s connection to diverse local and global communities and organizations. His leadership in inclusive experiential design, advertising and marketing provides him with the creative energy to promote diversity, equity and inclusion across campus. Prior to joining ArtCenter, Dr. Bruce served as the CDO at San Diego State University for over a decade. He helped the university earn the ranking as one of the nation’s top 5 campuses for study abroad. His strategic leadership efforts helped SDSU to significantly close the achievement gap for historically underrepresented students.

Dr. Bruce has worked in Latin America and Africa. His passion for global understanding has afforded him with opportunities to conduct research on management strategies, public health and education in Cuba, Mexico, and Kenya. As an advocate for inclusive curriculum design, Dr. Bruce created an annual faculty led study abroad course in the Dominican Republic that made global education accessible to numerous first generation college students. He is an International Multicultural Institute certified diversity trainer and consultant who has facilitated numerous professional development seminars in the U.S. and abroad. He lives by the motto “Awaken the sleep, protect the weak, and guide the strong.”


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Community College System

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Governor’s Office

Kimberly Plummer, ELD Specialist


State Board of Education: Vacant

Professional Organization: Vacant

Business Sector: Vacant