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This is a student social media site. Opinions expressed on this site and by speakers at the 2019 GIS are not necessarily the opinions of

Fort Bend ISD and shall not be attributed to Fort Bend ISD. 


Until GIS 2019

William B. Travis High School  | April 13, 2019


The Global Studies Academy is a high school program dedicated to promoting global citizenship by the means of focusing on languages, culture, and current events. As a part of that mission, the Academy hosts an annual student-run event called the Global Issues Summit (GIS) to spread awareness about a range of global concerns to students around the community as well as inform them about measures being taken to alleviate these issues in order to "Turn Awareness into Action." The Summit features speakers ranging from Presidential appointees to NGOs operating on a global level, with past participation from institutions such as UNICEF, the US State Department, the US Trade Representative's Office, the Pangea Network, A+ Challenge, Magic Bus, the Aga Khan Foundation, United Against Human Trafficking, and many others. 2019 will mark the seventh annual Global Issues Summit, and archives of past Summits can be viewed here. 

The past three Summits have focused on the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. Further, the SDGs seek to tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. The SDGs are grouped into the 5 Ps; People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership. This year, the Summit is organized around 2 of the P's: Planet and Prosperity.

Adapted from the United Nations Global Goals Platform 



Jennifer Faulkner is the Chief Administrative Officer and Comptroller at TexBel Farms Investments, LLC, and subsidiaries, “TexBel”.  Jennifer is charged with overseeing the company’s functions in accounting, reporting, budgeting, purchasing, shareholder relations, administration management, Human Resources, organizational development and environmental, social and governmental activities and compliance.


TexBel, through its subsidiaries, owns 4 farms with over 3,000 acres of coconut, citrus and lime and has built a modern processing and export facility in Belize.  In a few short years, TexBel has created a unique integrated farming and export platform, with easy access to ports and trucking routes that are only a few days away from the U.S. market. This is a breakthrough for the country of Belize, which historically has exported very little to developed markets. 


Jennifer Faulkner

Challenged with a future issue of generating approximately 18,000 metric tons of green coconut waste per year, at TexBel’s newly developed coconut water processing plant, Jennifer has ambitiously led a project focusing on solving the limitations of organic agriculture by developing techniques for innovative products which use coconut and citrus waste and which focus on top soil restoration, soil microflora management and ecological restoration solutions. 

Jennifer has served in various positions of service in the local community including educational services, youth groups and non-profit organizations. 

Jennifer and her husband, Adam, reside in Sugar Land, Texas, with their four children. 



FBISD Medical Science Academy

Natasha Paradeshi

Executive Director of The Landing

Rosanne Barone

Houston Program Director at Texas Campaign for the Environment

Mickey Ary

Pastor of Central Services

Sugar Creek Baptist Church

Tim Mock

Houston Climate Protection Alliance

Dana Dearmon

Project Manager - Living Water Trips, Living Water International

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U.S. Hitachi America, Ltd.

Bailey and Spencer Amaral

Directors of The Windrose Project 

Revati Puranik

Global CFO of Worldwide Oilfield Machine Group of Companies

Executive Director Puranik Foundation

Paige Powell

Director of Operations; Air Alliance Houston 

William Swann

Watt Tracker

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The Asian American Dance COmpany at Cookie Joe’s Dancin’ School

The Asian American Dance Company (A.A.D.C.) is our non-profit company committed to enlightening the community to the American Asian experience. Through dance and music, we strive to build bridges between the different ethnic and cultural communities.

The unique blend of Asian and American culture is evident in the way we use martial arts, folk dances, and the music of both East and West to complement the contemporary style for which we have become known.

Sonya Matoussova

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, cellist Sonya Matoussova now resides in Houston where she is actively involved in the city’s music scene as both performer and educator. She regularly plays in the cello section of the Mercury Chamber Orchestra and is the assistant principal cellist of the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Ms. Matoussova is also the Executive Director of the Aragats International Music Festival in Yerevan, Armenia.

Ms. Matoussova has won top prizes at several competitions, including the Schlern International Competition (Italy) and the Canadian Music Competition. Her passion for chamber music has taken her all over the world, with performances in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Italy, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands.In 2015, Ms. Matoussova was featured as a soloist with the Symphony of Southeast Texas, performing the Vivaldi Double Concerto alongside principal cellist Thomas Schroeder.

In 2008, Ms.Matoussova appeared with I Musici de Montreal as one of the soloists for the premiere of Paul Desenne's Dragoncello for six celli and string orchestra. In addition to maintaining an active private studio, Ms. Matoussova teaches at the International Music Academy, where she recently founded a chamber music program. Ms. Matoussova is a Mercury Teaching Artist, as well as a Lead Teacher for the Coda Program; a Houston Youth Symphony initiative inspired by “El Sistema”. Ms. Matoussova is an alumna of the Da Camera Young Artist Program. She holds degrees from the University of Montreal (class of Yuli Turovsky) and the University of Houston (class of Vagram Saradjian).

Maya Abraham

Maya Abraham is a cultural singer, showing her love for music through her cultural studies. From being a part of several regional choirs and been rewarded 1st in several singing competitions, she has continually demonstrated her passion for singing. Since Pre-Kindergarten, Maya has explored several singing techniques and improved her skill. Nevertheless, she has found her passion through several cultural songs.

Dana Fattouh

Dana Fattouh is a spoken word artist with pieces focusing on the injustices going on in the world. From speaking at state conferences in front of 5,000 people to competing nationally, she is passionate to make a change. She does her poetry to speak up for those who don’t get the opportunity to speak for themselves. She hopes to bring and spread awareness for causes in any way she can! 

Robert Yang, a student from Dulles High School’s Math and Science Academy, and Gabrielle Arce, one of our own Travis Tigers in the Global Studies Academy. Exactly a year ago, they first met at the Global Issues Summit and discovered that they shared a common interest in solving first world problems and have a passion for dancing. Having grown up in Beijing, China, where air pollution was significantly harmful to its residents, Robert has first-hand experience in how badly people have polluted the Earth. Robert and Gabrielle’s hope in today is that their emotional choreography will reveal how these types of issues are prevalent and are getting worse with each passing day.  

Robert Yang & Gabrielle Arce
Kickstart karate demo team

The Kickstart Karate Demo Team was founded by Grand Master Norris in 1992. This team is located at Fort Bend ISD Sartartia Middle School. The program teaches character through karate practice to empower the youth with core values. It helps students learn values as well as resilience for the individual, loyalty for team, and compassion for their fellow students. Under the direction of instructure 4th degree Instructor Ms. Rivera, this demo team has been around during all 3 years of the program being in place at Sartartia. The Kickstart Demo Team has places 1st and 3rd in the beginner division at district level. They even had the opportunity to perform in front of Grand Master Norris. This year, both demo teams placed 2nd in the beginner and intermediate divisions at the district level.

 School OF Rock House Band

School of Rock is a Performance based music school that teaches its students to play their instruments (guitar, bass, piano, drums and vocals) in a band and perform live on stage for real audiences in real live music venues. The school achieves great success with its methodology that includes education in music theory and comprehensive guidance with technique and how to conduct themselves with professionalism and preparedness. 

To date, the Sugar Land School of Rock has performed hundreds of shows, showcasing their talented student's hard work, and talent, to help provide a fun, safe and very educational experience to enrich the lives of young musicians, and in many cases get them ready for life long careers in music.

University of Houston WushU Group

Wushu (武术) is a form of contemporary Chinese martial arts that blends elements of performance and martial application. Wushu training emphasizes quickness, explosive power, and natural, relaxed movement. The wushu practitioner must combine flexibility with strength, speed with flawless technique, and fierce intent with effortless execution.

The Wushu Kungfu Club at the University of Houston trains every week to hone their skills. It is an organization that welcomes people of all backgrounds and levels, including people with no prior martial arts backgrounds. As a university student organization, it has multiple opportunities to perform for the wider campus community at a number of festivities year round. The Club also enters martial arts competitions around the country as fully backed representatives of The University of Houston at a national level.



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8:00 AM


9:00 AM

10:00 AM

11:40 AM


12:40 PM

3:30 PM 

Registration Ends at 8:55 AM

Keynote Speaker

Session I


Session II


Subject to change 



Lunch is no longer available for online pre-order.



April 13, 2019

William B. Travis High School | Auditorium  11111 Harlem Rd, Richmond, Texas 



11111 Harlem Rd, Richmond, Texas 

Tel: 281-634-2230

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