Cohort Selected for 2017 Global Student Leadership Summit in Vienna

Feb. 21, 2017

Cohort Selected for 2017 Global Student Leadership Summit in Vienna
Students representing six Webster campuses and 16 nationalities will participate in the next summit.

A cohort of 26 student leaders from Webster University campuses in St. Louis, Geneva, Vienna, Leiden, Cha-Am and Accra have been selected for the Webster University 2017 Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) to be held June 7-10, 2017 in Vienna.

The students form a diverse group representing 16 nationalities from Webster campuses in six countries and, as with the inaugural summit in 2015, include undergraduate and graduate students.

“Building a truly inclusive, thriving global community requires strong student leadership and engagement across our global campus network,” said President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “This global summit is a rare and wonderful opportunity for student leaders to gain insights and perspectives from one another and create positive impact within and across our campuses worldwide.”

The inaugural summit, held in 2015 at the St. Louis campus as part of the Centennial celebration, resulted in plans to repeat the program every two years and rotate its location around Webster’s international campuses, with respective campuses supporting the students they send to the summit. Twenty-nine students representing 20 nationalities from eight campuses came together to produce several student-centered initiatives. 

“The first Global Student Leadership Summit provided invaluable input from undergraduate and graduate student leaders across Webster campuses,” said Julian Schuster, Webster’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “The current global climate reaffirms the need to be true to our mission and develop a global citizenship mindset among the diverse, worldwide student community that makes Webster so unique.”

Students share notes at the 2015 summit
Participants in the 2015 summit called it a 
"spark" for student activities at campuses
across Webster.

A total of 65 applications worldwide were received by the Jan. 20 application deadline. Each participating campus conducted interviews to select the students to represent their campus. Each campus sending students to the Summit will cover the cost of the airfare, lodging and program. During the summit, participants live in Webster Vienna’s residence hall, Residence Am Augarten.

“We are delighted to host the 2017 Global Student Leadership Summit, and to work with our students from all across the network to further Webster’s commitment to a global, student-centered experience,” said Johannes Pollak, Webster Vienna interim director. “The Vienna students who attended the 2015 summit came back as global citizens motivated and prepared to effect change on our campus, and have made a significant and lasting contribution to our community. We look forward to more of the same from this year’s promising cohort.” 

“The GSLS Summit in St. Louis was the spark which really kicked off the SGA’s activities here in Vienna,” said Dennis Heumann, a 2015 participant from the Vienna campus. “Motivated by the Webster environment in St. Louis, the four Vienna participants got together even before heading back and developed a strategy on how to engage more with students and serve their interests better.”

"GSLS was essentially a hands-on crash course in effective leading and teamwork,” said Joy Corthesy, a 2015 participant from the Geneva campus. “We spent almost every waking hour with our group, putting time and effort in listening to each other, debating points about our initiatives, and most importantly, figuring out what each of our strengths and weaknesses were. Not only was it an introspective exercise, it also showed me how great it is when everyone in a group feels like they're contributing their best to a project.”

Summit Overview

Presentations at the 2015 Global Student Leadership Summit
Students present their proposals at the 2015 Global Student Leadership Summit in St. Louis.

By developing relationships with peers from throughout Webster’s global network, participants will gain a better understanding of the impact student involvement has on students and Webster University worldwide.

The Summit will include interactive sessions focused on leadership development, communication, intercultural competency, and social responsibility, plus an excursion in Vienna, and outstanding networking with fellow students from throughout the Webster global network.

Students will work in small groups with an assigned mentor to help achieve the learning outcomes. To prepare for the Summit, all participants will complete an online non-credit course from March-May 2017.

As a result of attending the 2017 Summit, student leaders will return to their home campus prepared to work collaboratively with their fellow students to increase the level of leadership involvement and enhance connections between students throughout the Webster global network. The Summit is a transformational experience that will further develop each student’s sense of mission and purpose.

2017 Summit Cohort

Students (with major, year) in the 2017 cohort represent six campuses and home countries that include Albania, Austria, Botswana, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Yemen:

Webster Groves / St. Louis

  • Lisa Camp, Media Communications, junior
  • Kathleen Fields, Kathleen, Management & Finance, junior
  • Jordan Hinchman, Film Production & Speech Communication, freshman
  • Scott Lunte, Political Science, Webster Groves, junior
  • Helio Qendro, Economics & Advertising/Marketing, junior
  • Joshua Tyler, Film Production, junior
  • Caitlyn Vanover, Legal Studies, junior


  • Ilayda Edali, Media Communications, sophomore
  • Samuil Pavlevchev, Psychology, freshman
  • Stephanie Buerger, Management, junior
  • Keaton Gallaher, International Relations, graduate student
  • Marie Theres Huber, Psychology & Business Administration, junior
  • Julia Schaubach, Management & Media Communications, sophomore
  • Darya Makshyna, Management, freshman


  • Anita Gashi, Business Administration, junior
  • Inês Silveira, Psychology, sophomore
  • Jose Weinberger, International Relations, junior
  • Marnix Francot, Business Administration & International Relations, junior
  • Catherine Schook, Psychology, graduate student


  • Grace Boateng, International Relations, freshman


    • Wai Pwint Wabo, Management, senior
  • Anaita Azizi, International Relations, senior
  • Etsehiwat Negash Kebret, International Relations & Comp Sci, sophomore
  • James Escandari, Management & Business Administration, junior
  • Nour Lashuel, Psychology & International Relations, sophomore
  • Tsotlhe Taupedi, Psychology, junior  

Coordinators and Planners

Students celebrate completing their presentations during the 2015 summit

GSLS Coordinating Group

  • Ted Hoef
  • Jen Stewart
  • Katie Knetzer
  • John Buck



GSLS Planning Committee

  • Ted Hoef, AVP for student affairs/dean of students
  • Jen Stewart, director of student engagement
  • John Buck, associate dean of students/director of housing and residential life
  • Katie Knetzer, director of the university center
  • Christine Benninger, student life (Leiden)
  • Phil Gwaltney, student life (Thailand)
  • Jesse Alexander, student life (Vienna)
  • Kristina Shimkus, student life (Geneva)
  • Nicole Roach, AVP for diversity and inclusion/director of community engagement
  • Phil Storm, university conduct officer/deputy Title IX coordinator
  • Billy Ratz, director of parent and student programs
  • Mary Preuss, associate professor
  • Sylvia Navia, associate professor
  • Tyann Cherry, manager of operations and faculty support, online learning center
  • Johany Glen, study abroad representative
  • Ethan Stohs, former participant
  • Jess Wright, former participant from Geneva campus
  • Mario Santander, alumni
  • Kacey Hampton, alumni
  • Ricardo Falla, alumni

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