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Opening Ceremony

Barry Morris, PhD

Barry J. Morris, PhD, is chief global strategist and senior international officer at the University of Central Florida. He also serves as internationalization consultant for Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU). At BJTU, he was the founding vice dean for strategic planning and internationalization at the Hanergy School of Renewable Energy, professor of international relations, and founding secretary general of BJTU’s international advisory board. An institutional strategy and international education consultant, Morris also serves as instructor for the NAFSA/AASCU (American Association for State Colleges and Universities) Senior International Officer Institute in Washington, D.C., and the AASCU/CEAIE (Chinese Education Association for International Exchange) Senior International Officer Institute in Beijing, China. Morris serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Council of International Visitors.


He is the former vice provost for global engagement and strategic initiatives at Kennesaw State University (KSU)—University System of Georgia, where he was responsible for leading KSU's global engagement mission and a variety of campus-wide strategic initiatives. During his tenure at KSU, KSU won NAFSA’s prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Morris has served as a founding dean of American University of Nigeria and as a lecturer at Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University. He has management experience in global banking and finance, and consulting experience in international finance, economics, and business. Morris earned a BA in Russian and political science with a specialization in international relations from Tulane University, and an MA and PhD in international relations and international political economy from Emory University. He studied Russian at Moscow State University's Lumumba Institute and studied Chinese at Tsinghua University. Morris holds a certificate in global strategic management from Harvard Business School and has completed advanced studies in intercultural communication competency at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon, and the Intercultural Development Research Institute in Milan, Italy. In 2016, the Chinese State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs designated Morris as a National Distinguished Expert of the Chinese Recruitment Program of Global Experts (1000 Talent Plan).

Closing Ceremony

State Representative Amy Mercado

Representative Amy Mercado is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, repre-senting House District 48 since 2016.

Representative Mercado is of Puerto Rican descent and was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.

She attended the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula, an all girls college preparatory school in the Bronx, where she graduated in 1991; she then then pursued higher education as a non-traditional student, earning her Bachelor’s degree with Cum Laude Honors in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University in 2004; and completed an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in September 2017.

The Representative has a blended professional back-ground; and she has successfully leveraged her ex-perience in healthcare, legal services, and agriculture to serve her community. For the last eleven years she has worked at the National Mango Board, and for the last seven years she has been the board’s Director of Operations.

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