Skip to main content

About Us



Interim Director

Dr. Ingrid Bego is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of International Studies Program at Western Carolina University. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree triple majoring in Political Science, German, and Spanish from Washburn University. She then went on to earn an MA and PhD in Political science from Washington State University. Her research focuses on issues of democratization, gender and politics, global governance and public policy. . Her book, “Gender Equality Policy in the European Union,” was published by Palgrave in 2015 and she is currently working on finishing her second book project with Routledge examining the role of gender on executive appointments in post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe.


ONIA Council Members help identify candidates and, as needed, mentor candidates for national and international awards. Typically, ONIA Council Members: 

  • Direct potential candidates to meet with the ONIA Director.
  • Forward information from ONIA to potential awards candidates.
  • As needed, review draft application materials for revision / improvement.
  • As needed, help in mock interviews.
  • Regularly meet to provide direction for ONIA.

For more information on ONIA Council Members or to become one, please contact Dr. Ingrid Bego.

ONIA Council Members, 2021-2022


Risto Atanasov

Department Head and Associate Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science


Christopher Cooper

Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor, Political Science


Mary Fischer

Associate Director, Advising Center


Wes Milner

Director, International Programs and Services


Dana Murray Patterson

Director, Intercultural Affairs


Theresa Cruz Paul

Director, Center for Career and Professional Development


Brian Railsback

Professor, English


Ben Steere

Director, Cherokee Studies, and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology


April Tallant

Associate Dean, Brinson Honors College


John Whitmire

Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religion

Office of Web Services