Andrea Anders
​Vocational Career Academy

Traveled to Europe to study the trends and impact of empathy education.

Andrea Anders is a National Board Certified educator at Chicago Vocational Career Academy where she has taught for the past 18 years. She currently serves as the school’s STEM specialist. She is passionate about igniting creativity, critical thinking, and compassion in students to ensure that they are best equipped to thrive in an evolving world. She looks forward to studying the link between empathy and academic achievement and using global learning models to transform mindsets of teachers and students alike.


Brian McDowell
​The Chicago High School of Agricultural Science

Traveled to Thailand to study the socioeconomic and environmental impact of the Green Revolution

Brian McDowell is a world studies and AP geography teacher at the Chicago High School of Agricultural Science. He has also taught history for 25 years. He obtained a bachelor of arts from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a master of arts from St. Xavier University, and a master of arts from Concordia University. He is the 10th grade teacher lead and program coordinator of Facing History and Ourselves at the Chicago High School of Agricultural Science. In addition, Brian is the head coach of the boys and girls varsity soccer teams as well as the assistant coach for the girls basketball team.


Diniah Dean
De La Salle Institute

Traveled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to study technology education.

Diniah Dean is a technology teacher and a technology center manager at De La Salle Institute. She also teaches AP computer science, web design, iPad innovation, and app development. In addition to teaching, she is the moderator for Girls Who Code and a mentor for several young women with aspirations in computer science. She is passionate about getting more girls involved in computer science. Dean studied computer science at Robert Morris University. She later interned in a high school where she discovered her true passion for teaching. In her 15 years of experience as a teacher, she has been fortunate to have a career that combines both of her passions: technology and education. When Diniah is not glued to her computer screen, she spends her time traveling, researching places to travel, and planning her next adventure.


Emily Browne
Mansueto High School

Traveled to Copenhagen , Denmark, and Stockholm, Sweden to study the perceptions of gender equality.

Emily Browne is a history teacher at Mansueto High School in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago, where she also teaches AP human geography and world. She currently serves as one of Mansueto’s student council advisors. She earned a BA and an MA from Marquette University. As a Teach For America corps member, Browne taught high school Spanish in Milwaukee. She served as director of college counseling & alumni relations for a Milwaukee high school and a recruiter for a national education nonprofit. In addition to teaching, Browne enjoys concerts, the YMCA, Lake Michigan, starting book clubs, and petting other people’s dogs.


Alicia González
Walter Payton College Prep

Traveled to Senegal to study authors and storytellers of Senegal.

A proud native Chicagoan, Alicia González has taught French since 1992 at the college, middle school, and high school level. She is currently chair of the World Language Department at Walter Payton College Prep. González earned a BA in French from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as an MA in French literature, spending three years of that time at the Université de Paris at La Sorbonne. With the objective of opening student doors to the world through world language and global competency, González has worked on the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy Task Force, the Illinois Global Scholars Task Force, and the Chicago Public Schools World Language Task Force. She also serves as director of global connections, with the mission of offering all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, the opportunity to participate in national and international travel as part of their high school experience.