Meet the Panelists
Bethany Runsten, Pronouns (they/them/theirs) or (she/her/hers)
Bethany is a multiracial queer femme, and is very excited to be serving as the Graduate Assistant for the LGBT Resource Center. She is starting her second year as a graduate student with the Educational Leadership and Policy department with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Bethany earned their B.A. in Global Studies from University of the Pacific in California in 2017, and studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea for the Spring 2016 semester. She enjoys embracing different cultural identities, reading everything from student affairs research to fantasy novels, and celebrating the narratives of people’s lives.
Franci Taylor, (Choctaw) is the Director of the University of Utah’s American Indian Resource Center. She has over twenty-five years of research and lecture experience in American Indian education and contemporary issues. She has served on various State and national level education boards and committees and has lectured at the local, state, national and international levels. She taught at the university level in both the United States and Europe, where she also participated as a member or the Indigenous People’s Permanent Forum for the United Nations.
Giulia graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Business Administration and Latin American Studies from the University of Utah, then pursued a Master’s Degree in International Educational Development at UPenn. During her undergrad she conducted a study abroad in France and Germany, as well as in Peru. Passionate about providing equitable education in Latin America, she enjoyed doing her internship in Peru and Honduras. As first generation student she is very grateful to have received the Gilman International Scholarship and funding opportunities from her grad program that allowed her to complete a study abroad.
Guille graduated from the U in 2016 with majors in International Studies and Urban Ecology. As an immigrant to the US and the daughter of teachers, she always had a connection to international learning. Travel has been a way for her to connect to her family roots and better understand the diverse American culture that raised her. Traveling with her knowledge of Urban Ecology also allowed her to see these connections in environmental and economic ways. Guille now works as a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program Assistant in the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development.
Karla Motta, is the Academic Advising Coordinator for the Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE) within the College of Education. She embraces the idea of living every moment with intention. She seeks to create a space where people feel heard, validated, and valued. Through this practice, Karla, provides academic advising, strategic planning, and professional development as well as community and campus engagement opportunities to teacher education scholars. She firmly believes that education can be a conduit for raising critical consciousness about issues that impact the world around us. Karla participated in a study abroad through TRiO programs at the University of Liverpool, England, where she focused on the transatlantic slave trade and educational systems of Europe.
Portia Saulabiu is the Retention Coordinator, Advisor in the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs. She is passionate about traveling to different places, and is fortunate to have gained various different experiences that placed her in community with others while pursuing her studies in college. Portia is an advocate for social justice, and believes that traveling contributed so much to raising her critical consciousness when thinking about inclusion and oppression across the world.
Rudy Medina is the First Year Experience and Chicanx/Latinx Program Coordinator at the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA). Through his position, Rudy works with the Diversity Scholars Program and advises el Movmimento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan where he offers academic advising, culturally sustaining programing, professional development opportunities, regular interactions with faculty/staff of diverse backgrounds, mentoring relationships, community and campus engagement opportunities among other services. Rudy earned his Bachelors of Arts from California State University, Monterey Bay where he participated in a yearlong study abroad program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.