Founder, Bridging Borders
Dean, School of Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington EARTH

Rosemarie Hunter (Rosey)

The borders that separate people are often politically motivated.  In many contexts,  borders are used to control resources and wealth in ways that serve only a few. Borders are increasingly used to separate families and dismantle the connectedness of communities. Still, communities are alive, they forge pathways that flow across borders and that wash away these barriers. It is the power of loving relationships that serve to build the bridges that can redistribute resources and ultimately weave our human family together in the care of each other and our common home.  For me, the work of BB embodies that the there is no distinction from self and other…it is always we!


Community Mobilizer

Arua, Uganda

Michael Ambayo

Many people are marginalized and vulnerable.  It is difficult for them to cross from one end to another based on physical, financial and social barriers.  The only option to help by building strong relations or opening avenues so that those whom are unable are able with minimum force to access the required service and resume normal living in the community with little dependency or leaning of others.

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Distinguished Professor of Dance University of Utah, School of Dance  (USA)

Ellen Bromberg

Dancing Across Borders was a profound experience. Witnessing the role dance plays in the lives of the Karen as a means of cultural preservation was deeply moving. The embodiment of identity through dance underscores its importance, whether with the Karen youth of Salt Lake or the gracious elderly women in the Thai refugee camp, who communicate spiritual freedom while living in captivity.

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 Returned DREAMer/Feminist Activist Coahuila, Mexico

Brizia Ceja

I believe bridging borders is the only true way to build on the strengths we all have, and to be able to support the development of our communities. In many ways, I have always been a bridge builder. From translating for community members to facilitating conversations between different interest groups. 

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Assistant Research Professor

University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Kara Byrne

BB has taught me about the strength of connections across cultures and space.  Building these bridges pulls out the strengths of everyone involved and unites us in mutual recognition of these strengths.


Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine (USA)

Dr. Rober Kagabo

It has been said many times by many and in different ways that there is more that unites us than separate us as a people.  I agree with this statement and I am glad to be involved in bridging borders as we build on those things or issues that unite us, and continue to learn together. 

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Ph. D. Candidate

University of Utah (USA)

Dalat (Vietnam)

An Thi Ha

I strongly believe that we can make differences together. Bridging Borders is a place for everyone, communities, practitioners, researchers, educators, policy makers, etc. all come together to learn, share, contribute and make changes together.

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Dr. Teresa Molina

The world is one and borders needs to connect-we are all interconnected. We can learn from one another. Through BB I have gained a deeper under-standing of our interconnections and we have found ways to work together-where we can acknowledge each others humanity and build better understanding among people who speak different languages, have different cultures, and understand issues and solutions from different perspectives. 

Previous Director, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute of Higher Studies, Taunggyi, Myanmar & Malaysia

Father Paul

Coming Soon!


Karen  Pathways Leader

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Ser Eh Dah

I joined the BB program because I want to go back to the Thailand-Burma border and help the community over there with the resources I have here. I wanted to see how much the communities improved, want to know what kind of problems they’re still facing and learn what the new issue in the camp they’re facing.  Besides that I want to revisit the old place and meet my family again. Garroe encourages me to go into BB because he said it’s a very eye opening experiences  and comparing life here  vs. other there  will make me want to purse higher education and not to give up. 

 Addiction Psychiatrist & Assistant Professor

University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Lauren Prest

I am interested in being a BB partner because I believe in improving access to care and equity for all people. No matter where you are across the globe, improving access means building bridges over barriers, and creating relationships which empower communities for a stronger and more sustainable future. 

Community Mobilizer & Education Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Kimberly Schmit

I am involved with Bridging Borders because I believe in the power of people to make change in their own lives; given the opportunity.  Further, BB's emphasis on authentic relationships, a culture of possibility, and a steadfast commitment to doing what we can now makes it a dynamic and heart-warming space to work towards a more equitable world.


Community Volunteer & BB Cultural Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Garroe Wah

There are time that we are not aware of or do not have time to think about the other side of the world and what is going on over there. As we start to pay attention and try to reach out, we are positively impacting others lives because they realized that they are not alone and abandoned. In addition, during BB trip, I was able to share my life in United States to people back home and vice versa. 

Adult Psychiatry Residency Chief & Global mental Health Track Co-Founder

University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Brittnay McColgan

I was first exposed to the bridging borders team on a Global Mental Health trip to Uganda and Rhino camp during my third year of psychiatry residency. Since then, I have helped co-create an introduction to addictions course that will be offered internationally for the first time in Fall 2019. I look forward to future opportunities to build bridges!

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Dr. Aster Tecle

Interested in learning from and working with migrating peoples.


BB Website Designer

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) 

Kaden Seeley

I'm proud to be part of this bridge we’ve made into the wide web. Providing a place for many to connect and learn more about all that Bridging Borders has done, and so we can support each other in making bigger bridges to those in need.

Mae Sot, Thailand

Maung Maung Tinn

I want to do the most in my life is to help the people however I can, the reason of "Bridging Border, Utah University" is to help the people.

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Associate Professor, Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies and Department of English, University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Jay Jordan

I am involved in building bridges because many of the borders that have been drawn make little to no sense to the ways people live in so-called border areas. Building bridges often simply but profoundly means helping provide just enough infrastructure to encourage connections that should already exist.

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Social Worker and Mindfulness Teacher with Wellness and Integrative Health and the Resiliency Center, University of Utah  (USA)

Trinh Mai

I joined Bridging Borders because it is rooted in love, reciprocity, and social justice.  With all the amazing partners,  I have learned how to use these values to build and sustain global community partnerships for health, education and social development, partnerships that care for both individuals and communities across the globe.

Social Research Institute, College of Social Work, University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Mary Beth Vogel Ferguson

People matter – all people matter! It is much harder to act against others when we know their human story. Bridging Borders is about connecting people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to unite our world, one relationship at a time.  In building bridges we strengthen our human family!

Partnership Director, University Neighborhood Partners
Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Abdulkhaliq Mohamed

 We should build bridges because connection and collaboration is very important. We live in a world that loves to separate people, bridges bring people from all walks of life together. It gives us the opportunity to learn from one another and expand our knowledge acumen. It also gives us the opportunity to give back. Also, I believe bridges create equity and allows us to connect people, resources, and systems across spectrum.

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Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Dr. Patrick Panos

I am passionate about creating pathways for marginalized communities to access higher education. As I bridge builder I am creating relationships, sharing knowledge and eliminating barriers. There is a synergy created when we put our minds together in focus on this project. Things that seemed daunting and impossible are brought to fruition. 

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."

---- Charles Dickens

Karen Pathways Leader 
BB Photographer
Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Sayro Paw

I want to give all communities opportunities to share their voice and be heard. Bridging Borders is about everyone coming together to share ideas and give them opportunities to be heard especially those that were not given the chance to do so. In this way we can close the gap and eliminate barriers.

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Refugee Outreach

University Valley University (USA)

Dr. Angie Panos

I seek to create higher education and wellness pathways for refugees, as well as understand the barriers they face in their communities. We are all in this together, as we help each other, our lives are enriched as well. One person's time, attention and efforts can have a big impact on many.

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapies
University of Utah (USA)

Dr. Yda Smith

What a gift to be part of the bridge between Karen people living in Salt Lake City and some of those who remain behind in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border!  I have learned so much about resilience, the power of human connections, and the power of participation in cultural traditions.   


Founder, Stars Do Shine

Taunggyi, Shan State (Myanmar)

Yiyi San

Coming Soon!

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Global Research Support
University of Utah, College of Social Work (USA)

Dr. Yda Smith

Being involved with Bridging Boarders has been a wonderful experience.  The Program is helping refugees where they live and making such a difference in so many lives.s.   

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Lecturer in Economics 
University of Pittsburgh (USA)

Dr. Carey Traedo

Global resources are too scarce to waste--including human resources.  Bridging Borders connects people in ways that allow their talent, ideas, and energy to flourish and to contribute to a more sustainable future for us all. 

Thank you to our long-standing institutional partners!

©2019 by Bridging Borders, Spy Hop Productions, Kaden Seely & Kimberly Schmit. Logo drawings by John W Miller. Proudly created with