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Synergies Team

Athan Vouzianas


Synergies Project Founder, Partner, and Team Leader;

Renaissance Engineers Founder and Adviser;

Universal University Deviser


My mission – To "create for good" in our community by solving problems with my knowledge and skills. And to enable myself and the people I interact with to become disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful, and ethical citizens using transformative teaching and learning.

What I Do – Help institutions realize their mission by enabling entire organization work as One Team to deliver top-notch performance. Build solutions that enable integration of organization’s People-Process-Technology. Orchestrate solution success through alignment of efforts and management of organizational change … by … analysis & design and teaching, of course.

My experience – includes (but not limited to) teaching, organizational leadership, corporate training, business and technology consulting in the marketplace, engineering service in the industry, and service in the Army. I teach mathematics, engineering, and physics in higher education institutions with a passion for liberal arts and social responsibility. My research interests are in engineering education, student success, and leadership development.

My academic background – pursuing a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Includes a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and many-many more years in other schools.

My job – Synergies Project Founder, Partner, and Team Leader; and Student (at large) of the World.

I keep reminding myself – not all things I know I learned in school; the world was built on imagination, inquiry, and creativity – not on data and statistical analyses; then came data, which (sometimes) enables imagination, inquiry, and creativity.

My motto – if you want to be successful, tie what you do with something bigger.

Dwan Vanderpool Robinson is an Associate Professor in Educational Administration/Leadership, and Department Chair for the Department of Educational Studies at Ohio University. She holds a B.A. in Government/Political Science from Oberlin College, a M. A. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from The Ohio State University. Her professional trajectory encompasses a passion for issues related to increasing diversity, equity and social justice in education. Her research focuses on: 1) the cultivation of robust school and community partnerships; 2) life trajectories of women in leadership; 3) advocacy and influence of educational policy and politics 4) the educational, social and emotional experiences of underrepresented and marginalized populations and 5) opportunities for educational leaders to serve as catalysts for student educational and social advancement. She teaches courses in educational leadership, educational policy and politics, and school and community relations and is the program director for the development and implementation of an online Education Public Policy Leadership Certificate focused on increasing policy literacy.

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Dwan Robinson

Synergies Project Partner;

Department Chair, Educational Studies

Associate Professor, Educational Administration/Leadership, Patton College of Education, Ohio University


Mary Nally is a native of Southeast Ohio, and has a personal interest in contributing to the sustainability of the region by developing strong community resiliency. Mary holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work from Ohio University. Social justice issues have been the driving force for her career; for ten years she worked with the homeless, and persons with chemical dependency and brain disorders, before returning to Ohio to focus on community health policy and food justice issues. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Community Food Initiatives from 2012-2018. Mary serves on the Athens County Healthy Community Coalition, and is a board chair at the Athens Metropolitan Housing Authority and at Athens Hocking Perry Community Action.

Mary Nally

Synergies Project Associate;

Director of Center for Campus and Community Engagement, Ohio University


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I’m an Associate Professor of Instruction. I have been working at Ohio University since 2015. Prior to coming to OU I taught at the University of Rio Grande, where I was the program coordinator and system administrator for the computer science program. I also worked as a consultant (software engineer) for a local company. I currently teach a variety of undergraduate computer science courses including the computer science senior design class.

Nasseef Abukamail


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Associate Professor of Instruction,
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University


Emilia Alonso-Marks/Alonso-Sameño is professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at Ohio University, USA, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Spanish linguistics. She is affiliated faculty in the Latin American Studies (LAS) Program. She advises a number of undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Modern Languages, the LAS Program and the College of Education. In addition, she is the academic advisor of the Graduate Exchange Program with the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, and coordinates the Cultural Ambassadors Program thorough the Ministry of Education and Innovation, Government of Spain. Since April 2013, she serves as Director of the Institute for the Empirical Study of Language (IESL). Her current research interests include bilingualism and heritage speakers, intercultural competence, pragmatics and language use, foreign language pedagogy, and dialectology and sociolinguistics. She received her PhD in applied linguistics from the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, after doing graduate work in linguistics and applied linguistics at Harvard University and the University of Oregon. Dr. Alonso-Marks has given talks at both national and international professional meetings including international teacher-training workshops at universities in the USA, Spain, Malaysia and India. Dr. Alonso-Marks’ recent publications include articles in international journals (Borealis 2014, Spanish in Context 2014, Porta Linguarum 2018) and chapters in collective volumes (Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica. Volume 2, Routledge, 2016; Languages at the Crossroads: Training, Accreditation and Context of Use. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Jaén. 2018).

Emilia Alonso-Marks/Alonso-Sameño

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Synergies Project Affiliate;

Professor of Spanish,
Department of Modern Languages, Ohio University


Jim Andrews

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Synergies Project Affiliate;

Associate Professor,
Department of Classics & World Religions, Ohio University


My name is Maria and I was born and raised in Munich, Germany. Nowadays I study veterinary medicine at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. I am also a member of the International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) Greece, Thessaloniki. I heard about Synergies Project and Renaissance Engineers from a dear friend who is also a member and I was immediately intrigued by their work. I believe "create for good" can make a great impact in our society, therefore, I joined Athan's Synergies Project and Renaissance Engineers so I can contribute to their mission.

Maria Avramidou

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Renaissance Engineers Member


Francois-Xavier Brajot


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Assistant Professor,
Communication Sciences & Disorders, 

Ohio University


My name is Kiki and I study Physiotherapy at the International Hellenic University in Thessaloniki, Greece. My dream and passion in life has always been to help others in any way I can. When I found out about Athan's Synergies Project and Renaissance Engineers, I immediately wanted to be a part of it. I have faith in this project and I believe it can positively influence and assist a lot of people to "Create for Good", for a brighter future!

Kiki Dimitriadou


Renaissance Engineers Member


Jessica L. Hollis is currently an independent scholar whose research and teaching focuses on global approaches to literature and culture, particularly that of the eighteenth century. As an Assistant Professor at Ohio University she was a member of that institution’s inaugural COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) cohort.

Jessica Hollis

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Synergies Project Affiliate


My name is Thanasis. I was born in Kozani and raised in Krokos, Greece. After I graduated from  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Philosophy and Pedagogy, I got accepted into Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam for a Master's degree, as I wished to further my studies, where I'm currently studying Philosophy in a Humanities Research Master's program. I first heard about the Synergies Project and Renaissance Engineers from dear ones, also members of the Project, who introduced me to Athan. After listening to Athan in person, explaining his goals and vision to me, I was quickly inspired by this noble cause of his, making me want to join and contribute to that effort in any way possible, implementing what I've learned up until now the best way I can. Having completed my internship in secondary Greek schools, several times cooperated and successfully carried out various tasks with fellow university students from different disciplines, I'm optimistic that I can work adequately with others to "create for good", resulting in some actual change around us, and willing to learn new things throughout the process.

Thanasis Katselas

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Renaissance Engineers Member


Danai Kotzatisoglou

My name is Danai (Tha na ee) and I studied political science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Although my first degree was pretty interesting, I always wanted a people-oriented career. That was the reason I chose my master's degree to be in Business Administration, with specialization in Human Resources. I believe that people are the determinative factor for every organization to succeed in its short- and long-term business goals. My dream job is to work as an HR officer and pump up the confidence of my associates, in order to set and accomplish many challenging goals together.

I found out about Synergies and Renaissance Engineers from Athan, a dear friend of mine. I was immediately captivated by his dream to create for good by bringing together people from different professional fields to solve problems by combining knowledge and skills. I am driven to share my experiences and knowledge and to motivate our team to pursue everybody's dreams and achieve our personal goals while participating in something bigger than ourselves - creating for good in our community.

I am responsible for the Organizational Development and Infrastructure of Renaissance Engineers. In this capacity I work to implement the organization's vision, mission, strategy, and tactical plans with my focus on developing and maintaining an effective team. I also work to ensure every Renaissance Engineer is assigned to the right project based on their knowledge, skills, and interests. Finally, I oversee tasks that range from the promotion of our Organization to being compliant and securing our financial existence.

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Renaissance Engineers Member

Master of Business Administration Student, University of Macedonia Email:

Iovi Kotzatisoglou

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My name is Iovi (Ee o vee) and I study veterinary medicine at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. I am also a member of the board of International Veterinary Students' Association (IVSA) Thessaloniki and IVSA Greece. Athan is a dear family friend and when he told me about his Synergies Project, Renaissance Engineers, and his vision to "create for good" I was immediately intrigued. I decided to join and contribute to the project in any way I can. I find it pretty interesting to solving problems by working, communicating, and exchanging knowledge with people from different disciplines. Currently, I work to recruit students and professors in Greece, and to design projects we can implement to "create for good" in our community by solving problems with our knowledge and skills.

Renaissance Engineers Member

Veterinary Medicine Student, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Danae Kotopoulou


My name is Danae (ðaˈna.i/ Tha-na-ee) and I study Biology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. My other passion is music. I am a professional pianist and music tutor. I participated in Youth Orchestra of Thessaloniki, various competitions, and numerous concerts.


One of my first steps in science communication was Bioauthority, a project that I cofounded with a friend of mine. The project’s main goals are to share knowledge from biology in a way that is easily communicated to everyone and to unite scientists from all over the world to do the same about their respective disciplines.


I was introduced to Synergies Project and Renaissance Engineers by my dear friend  Iovi. "Create for Good" was all the motivation I needed to join the project and try to contribute in any way I can. I am a member of Education Outreach pillar and work to promote “create for good” to children in our community with STEM activities.

Renaissance Engineers Member;

Biology Student, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


I found out about Renaissance Engineers at a Learning Community Leader banquet, three years ago, in Jan 2018. I was sitting with Courtney and Athan at the event, and Athan talked to us about Renaissance Engineers and invited us to attend the next meeting. Courtney and I became interested, so we decided to go to the meeting. At the meeting we met other Renaissance Engineers and found out about the projects they were working on. We were ready to get involved. I worked in Education Outreach organizing and implementing STEM activities for kids at library events. The goal is to not only teach children about STEM, but also show them how the arts and social responsibility are essential in "creating for good" in our community. The events were fun and the kids could take home the project they worked on to play with and show it to others. In 2019 I run for Office and became Vice President and Director of Education Outreach. I plan and run the organizational meetings, fill in when the President needs me, plan and implement education outreach, organize fundraising activities, and keep inventory of supplies for the activities.

Jacqueline Krim

Renaissance Engineers Vice President;

Member of STEM on Thursdays project;

Civil Engineer, Ohio University '20


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Nicholas Mezitis


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Associate Clinical Professor,
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, 

Ohio University


Pittaya (Fon), is the Associate Lecturer of Thai and currently serves as the World Languages Coordinator for the Center for International Studies (CIS). She oversees the African and Asian Languages programs offered by CIS including Akan, Hindi, Khmer, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, and Wolof. She also advises students with questions related to language courses, and provides information on opportunities for scholarships to study languages, study abroad programs, and a wide range of other opportunities.

Fon is working towards her Ph.D. in the Individual Interdisciplinary Program at Ohio University. Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary study on Southeast Asian language programs in U.S. universities. She earned her M.Ed. in Cultural Studies from OHIO's Patton College of Education and earned her BA in Languages from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Fon taught Thai and interdisciplinary courses during the summer from 2016 to 2018 at Centre College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also participated in the series of workshops organized by the Council of Teachers of Southeast Asian Languages. She is one of the founding members and currently serves as the Vice President of the Council of the Advancement of Thai Language Instruction (2019-2021).

Fon has been working at Ohio University since 2006 and enjoys assisting students in different capacities. As a member of the Synergies in Teaching and Learning Team and a COIL global educator, she has been collaborating with other faculty at OU and at the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand.

Pittaya Paladroi-Shane 


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Associate Lecturer of Thai
World Languages Coordinator, Center for International Studies, Ohio University


Timothy Pike


Renaissance Engineers Member and Director of Technical Projects;

Project Manager and Designer, Good Works Bridge and Serenity Grove Hand Rail projects;

Civil Engineering student, Ohio University


Rajiv Saxena is a Professor at Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & Latin American Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and former Chairperson of the Centre. He was Fulbright Senior Scholar at University of California and Harvard University, USA. Currently, he is Project Director of first Spanish MOOC courses of Government of India and was also principal investigator of first online post graduate courses “Spanish e-PG-Pathshala” under the national mission on education through ICT of Ministry of Education, India. He has more than 140 publications which comprise of 11 books and several research papers in national & international journals. He has presented papers in several conferences in India and abroad.

Rajiv Saxena


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Professor at Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & Latin American Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University


Brendan Sheehan

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Renaissance Engineers Member;

Member of Good Works Bridge project;

Civil Engineer, Ohio University '20


Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, I graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Certificate in Construction Management. I came to know Renaissance Engineers  in my 2nd year at Ohio University, when I was a Learning Community Leader. I met Athan at the 2018 Annual Learning Community Awards event and found out about his vision for the Renaissance Engineers and the projects he wanted to achieve. I was immediately intrigued and joined Renaissance Engineers. As I attended meetings I became more and more involved with the organization. I joined the Education Outreach pilar to promote "create for good" to elementary and middle school students, by doing STEM activities. I worked with the Director of Education Outreach to plan and deliver STEM events to students at public libraries around Athens, Ohio. I researched and organized STEM activities, and every Thursday we drove to a public library to implement an event. I also worked to plan, organize, and deliver the Annual Engineering and Technology Days at Ohio University. In 2019 I became President of the organization and Director of Organizational Development. In this capacity I oversee the organization and work closely with Athan and the directors of the four pillars to plan our work. In addition, I research ways to develop our professional capabilities and create activities for our organization to get to know the industry, academia, and community. Finally, I work in recruiting and to ensure Renaissance Engineers are motivated and busy working on projects.

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Courtney Susan

Renaissance Engineers President;

Member of Good Works Bridge and STEM on Thursdays projects;

Civil Engineer, Ohio University '20


Thomas (Thom) Stevenson MA, CHIE, CHIA, FSM., is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Human and Consumer Sciences at Ohio University in The Gladys W. & David H. Patton College of Education. Thom recently completed an Educational Policy Certificate from the Ohio University Patton College. He is working on his Ph. D. in Philosophy-Leadership and Change from Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change. His area of focus revolves around support for the NSLP and policy changes within, as well as using foodways knowledge to create work and job force training and opportunities for those who “sit in the margins”. He is a 30-year practitioner in the hospitality industry.

Thomas Stevenson

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Synergies Project Affiliate;

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Restaurant, Hotel and Tourism

Coordinator of Food and Beverage Operations, Department of Human and Consumer Sciences, Patton College of Education, Ohio University


I was born in Greece but was raised in the United States. I found out about the Renaissance Engineers from my father, when I was in 4th Grade. The Renaissance Engineers came to my school for a science project. I became a member in 2018. I was interested in helping out with different projects such as the Good Works Bridge, STEM on Thursdays, teaching kids to use flight simulators, and setting up Engineering and Technology Days. The Renaissance Engineers is an organization created to actively participate and help in the community. By exposing members of the community to STEM activities, we want to encourage people to “Create for Good”. I wish to promote Renaissance Engineers to my classmates so we can have more members to work on projects.

Nikolaos Vouzianas-Roilos

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Renaissance Engineers Member;

Member of STEM on Thursdays, Annual Engineering and Technology Days, Good Works Bridge, and Airplane Cockpit projects;

High School Student, Pinewood American International School


Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Keith moved to Athens, Ohio to attend Ohio University. In 1981 he had a vision to reach out to those who experience homelessness in southeast Ohio and brought that vision into reality with his senior year project. For the project Keith remodeled the basement of his home into a two-bedroom apartment to assist those he then called “displaced persons” and founded Good Works, Inc ( Good Works' mission is "to connect people from all walks of life with people struggling with poverty so that the kingdom of God may be experienced.” Today, Good Works serves people from all over Athens County and provides shelter to people without homes in eight Appalachian Ohio counties. Good Works employs a staff of 16 and provides opportunities for service to over 1100 volunteers each year. Keith is a public speaker at over 50 events per year at community groups, churches, and colleges. He is a graduate of Ohio University with degrees in General Studies and Mental Health, attended Asbury Theological Seminary, and received an honorary doctorate degree in May 2012. Keith lives with his wide Darlene on the west side of Athens, Ohio and have a son, Timothy.

Keith Wasserman


Synergies Project Affiliate;

Renaissance Engineers Member;

Founder and Executive Director, Good Works, Inc.


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