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Program Steering Committee

Mark Bartels

In 2003, Mark and his wife Abby moved to Uganda Christian University to help start the Uganda Studies Program and spent the next 10+ years developing and leading the program. In 2014, they moved back to the US and Mark became Executive Director of Uganda Christian University Partners, a US nonprofit whose mission is to raise funds and develop academic partnerships for UCU. One of the current priorities for UCU Partners is developing partnerships with Christian universities in the US that are interested in joint faculty and research projects.


Ken Bussema

Dr. Bussema (Ed.D., Counseling, Northern Arizona University) has been involved in Christian Higher Education for over 40 years as both a professor and administrator. As Professor of Psychology at Dordt College (Sioux Center, Iowa) he gained extensive experience and expertise in pedagogy, curriculum development, experience-based learning strategies, and student learning assessment. Dr. Bussema has also had extensive cross-cultural experience  and in his last five years at Dordt College was responsible for developing and managing their cross-cultural programs. In 2005, he joined the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities as Vice President for Student Programs where he served until retiring in 2015. In his role at the CCCU he was responsible for oversight and management of 12 study abroad programs, including finances, staff, curriculum, student behavior and crisis management. Dr. Bussema has been acquainted with Uganda Christian University and Uganda Studies Program since 2004, and has visited several times. He has served on the UCUPartners Board since 2017.

Dr. Charity Alinda

Dr. Alinda (Public Administration, West Chester University of Pennsylvania) has been involved with higher education and students studying abroad since 2013. Currently the Acting Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, he has expertise in international student services and global education as well as public administration and management. He is also skilled in developing new initiatives, building partnerships and supporting established programs. Dr. Alinda is a Uganda Christian University alum. 


Gwyneth Jones Preu

Gwyneth worked for the Uganda Studies Program from 2008-2012 and started the Social Work Emphasis for the program. Gwyneth has her Master's in Social Work from the University of Denver, and studied social work during her undergraduate degree at Gordon College. Gwyneth has also worked with people who are homeless and food insecure, and especially enjoys mentoring students in the field. Gwyneth currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children, and has served on the UCU Partners Board since 2015.  

Kyle Royer

Kyle, the principal of Royer Group, LLC since 2015, has significant experience managing non-proift operations in a variety of cross-cultural, international, and domestic environments. Kyle served as the Vice President for Finance & Administration at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) for twenty-four years. During his tenure at the CCCU, he played a key role in corporate strategic planning, created and managed four departments, and oversaw the expansion of program operations to eight international locations.  Kyle also worked for the Center for Shared Services (CSS) as Director of Financial Reporting (2013 – 2014) and Client Financial Director (2014 – 2015). He also has extensive experience on non-profit boards, and is currently the Treasurer of Uganda Christian University Partners, Secretary/Treasurer of Development Effectiveness Ministries, and on the Board of Directors at Word2Act.


Kimberly has worked in higher education for 23 years with a variety of U.S. and international institutions including Taylor University, Texas Christian University, Harvard University, Christian Heritage College, Excelsia College, and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. During her tenure with the CCCU, Kimberly served as the Director of Student Programs (she was involved in the initial set up of the Uganda Studies Program) and then as the Director of the Australia Studies Centre. Kimberly has expertise designing, implementing, and assessing curriculum and program operations for international and U.S. off-campus programs. As a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, she’s a skilled curator of immersive experiences in intercultural formation and passionate about mentoring students to adapt across difference. Most recently, Kimberly managed health, safety, and operations for the Center for International Studies at Texas Christian University. She now works 3 days a week as Director of University Partnerships for UCU Partners, and is pursuing a PhD in literature & theology.
Uganda Studies Program at Uganda Christian University