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Michael Ambayo

Community Mobilizer

Arua, Uganda

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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Ellen Bromberg

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

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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Brizia Ceja

 Returned DREAMer/Feminist Activist Coahuila, Mexico

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. 


Paul Dass, S.J.

Former Director, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute of Higher Studies, Taunggyi, Shan State (Myanmar)

Bridging Borders is a friend.  Through friends we make friends.  Fleeting though the encounters may be, the moments shared are a genuine experience of love and concern, for others, on the other side of the border, which confirms our common humanity. Till' borders be no more, borders will be bridged.

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An Thi Ha

Social Work Faculty 
Dalat University (Vietnam)

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.


Rosemarie Hunter

Emeritus Faculty, University of Utah               
Former Dean, School of Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University,  (USA)              


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 there is no distinction from self and other…it is always we!

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Trinh Mai

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

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.

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Dr. Brittnay McColgan

Adult Psychiatry Residency Co-Chief  & Global Mental Health Track Chief

University of Utah (USA)

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!

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Dr. Patrick Panos

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

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

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Dr. Angie Panos

Refugee Outreach

University Valley University (USA)

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.

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Dr. Lauren Prest

 Addiction Psychiatrist & Assistant Professor

University of Utah (USA)

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. 


Yiyi San

Founder, Stars Do Shine

Taunggyi, Shan State (Myanmar)

Coming Soon!

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Pamela Seager

Global Research Support

University of Utah, College of Social Work (USA)

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


Dr. John Shavers

Director, Interethnic Health Alliance


Dr. Yda Smith

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapies

University of Utah (USA)

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.   


Maung Maung Tinn


Mae Sot, Thailand

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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Dr. Mary Beth Vogel Ferguson

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

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!


Abdulkhaliq Barbaar

Director of University of Utah Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 
Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

 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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Dr. Kara Byrne

Senior Research Associate 
Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute 
David Eccles School of Business
University of Utah (USA)

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.


Ser Eh Dah

Karen  Pathways Leader

Bridging Borders Cultural Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

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. 


Pietera Fraser

Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Teaching Associate
Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies and Department of English
University of Utah (USA)

I have a strong passion for working with composition curriculum internationally. The ability to effectively communicate through writing is an invaluable skill that must extend beyond the “borders” that have complicated this educational possibility, and Bridging Borders provides a beautiful opportunity to teach and learn from others in a way that dissolves these barriers.


Moo Eh Htoo

Bridging Borders Cultural Consultant
Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

I’m proud to be part of this Bridging Borders team. I want to give/help back to the communities as much as I can. “We can’t make sound with one hand but with two or more we will be able to make sound.” Everyone coming together and the power of humans will make the difference and change. 

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Dr. Jay Jordan

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

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.


Dr. Robert Kagabo

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

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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Dr. Teresa Molina

Associate Director
University Neighborhood Partners
University of Utah, (USA)

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. 


Jennifer Neal

Communications Director

Stars Do Shine

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

My joyful motto has always been about sharing your table and sharing your sandwiches.  We are all one family sharing this small planet.  It is so important to remember that we can lean on one another and embrace our differences to create real lasting bridges of understanding, learning and love.


Sayro Paw

Bridging Borders Photographer & Cultural Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

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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Julianne Rabb

Clinical Director, UNP Hartland Partnership Center

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

I am honored and grateful to connect with communities around the world… there is so much knowledge, passion, and creativity and these relationships truly enrich my life.    


Kimberly Schmit

Founder, Olive Branch Community Partnerships

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Bridging Borders is alive with relationships, honesty, industriousness, creativity, hope, learning and opportunity.  Together we are working to create a more just world where things make a little more sense and a network of support reveals and sustains us all in our individual and collective journeys.


Kaden Seeley

BB Website Designer

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) 

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.


Hay Soe

Bridging Borders Cultural Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

I am with Bridging Borders because I believe the small acts of service and kindness that we are able to do for others who are less fortunate create connections that bring us closer as human beings. We are able to overcome the borders of hate and ignorance when we are in the service of our fellow human beings. We are also able to learn from each other and see the oneness that exist. I am with Bridging Borders because small acts of service and compassion can change someone's world. Mine has been changed greatly because of the services of those around me. I want to be a part of that change for more service, kindness, change, and compassion. nterested in learning from and working with migrating peoples.


Aster Tecle

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Interested in learning from and working with migrating peoples.


Dr. Carey Traedo

Lecturer in Economics 

University of Pittsburgh (USA)

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. 


Garroe Wah

Community Volunteer & Bridging Borders Cultural Consultant

Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

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. 

Thank you to our long-standing institutional partners!

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