The OIPS Team
Any of the OIPS staff can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As well as serving as director, Dr. John R. Pottenger is professor of Political Science at UAH. As a university professor, Dr. Pottenger has spent over 20 years teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in classical, medieval, and modern political philosophy; American political thought; contemporary social theory; and political ethics and public policy. His published research includes two books and numerous articles dealing with problems in classical philosophy, modern political theory, contemporary Christian and Islamic political theology, science, technology, and society, and civil society. Dr. Pottenger has given numerous community lectures on contemporary social issues, including presentations on the importance of civil society to visiting delegations from the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; he has also conducted workshops on civil society in Bukhara and Termez, Uzbekistan. Dr. Pottenger also has extensive and varied experience in international activities and projects, including living in Brazil for two years. Since 1989, when he was invited to inspect space facilities of the Soviet Union as an official representative of UAH, Dr. Pottenger has made numerous visits to the Soviet Union and later some of the newly independent states (Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan).
Ms. Julie Chamberlain serves as assistant director of OIPS, and she is excited to be working with such a talented team. Julie is a native of Madison, Alabama, where her beloved family still resides. Julie completed her bachelor’s degree at Auburn University, where she double majored in Spanish and Philosophy. After having the opportunity to study abroad in Granada, Spain, as well as volunteer abroad in Ecuador and Honduras, she knew that international studies and travel would be a life-long passion.
Extending that same curiosity to the U.S., Julie received her MA in religious studies from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, where she concentrated in American religion. There, she conducted a yearlong ethnographic project that explored the intersection of progressive American evangelicalism and race. This study culminated in her thesis, titled “New Monasticism, Racial Reconciliation, and the Search for Legitimation.” She has presented this research at various national and international conferences, including the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR). During this time, she also served as a teaching assistant for global Christianity and as a head tutor for America Reads/America Counts, an educational program for students at primarily disadvantaged public schools.
Ms. Anita L. Rathz, OIPS senior program assistant, has been with the office since 1998 and manages the coordination and oversight of UAH/OIPS international student sponsored programs. Current and past programs include Global UGRAD, UGRAD, FORECAST, Muskie, PLUS, BUDP, YLF, and P4L programs. She has been involved with the implementation of numerous educational programs in conjunction with state, national, and international agencies, including the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, American Councils for International Education, the Alabama State Department of Education, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. These programs involve working with teachers, students, and business people from all over the world, especially from Eurasia and Central Asia. Her area of interest and experience includes working with other units on campus to assist and provide support services as needed for all international students.
Ms. Kathleen Sobai is a program assistant in the OIPS. Her background is in political science and international relations, and her international experience includes studying at Morocco's Al Akhawayn University and working briefly for the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange in Rabat. Kathleen has been with the OIPS since early 2008 and has worked on multiple international adult and youth programs including: Open World, Community Connections, Study of the U.S. Institute, Teaching Excellence and Achievement, Serbian Youth Leadership Program, Central American Youth Ambassadors Program, and the International Leaders in Education Program.
Ms. Tammy Thornton is the budget analyst for OIPS. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy. After, she attended graduate school at Iowa State University, where she earned a Master of Business Administration. Since that time, she has worked in the fields of accounting and human resources. Tammy joined the OIPS staff in May of 2010. She is excited to be a part of the OIPS and to have the opportunity to interact with international students and visitors.