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Scholar Award Cohort: Fall 2017

Kiko Pavanelo

Kiko Pavanelo is from Londrina, Brazil. With over 12 years of experience in the medical devices and diagnostic industry, he is passionate about helping others and improving people’s lives.  Working with various levels of leaders both inside and outside of his home country, he has managed teams of nearly 50 people in various locations while managing multi-million dollar accounts. Kiko is an expert in the Latin-American market and has reported directly to the Vice President in U.S. headquarters.


In July 2017, Kiko was admitted to the prestigious business school, Thunderbird School of Global Management to train as a global leader. After graduation, he plans to grow the presence and access of healthcare products in global markets.

Li Zeng

Coming from China, Li Zeng heard about Thunderbird at an information session and also had a chance to attend the Scottsdale Alumni Chapter event. Charles Shillingburg’74, the chapter leader in Scottsdale, nominated her for the TIAA Scholars Program.  After graduation from Southeast University (Nanjing, China) with a bachelor degree of Economics, Li executively worked in two different industries, international trading and consulting for seven years. This unique experience built her a solid foundation of analytical skill and problem solving ability. During her tenure in T.L. Investment and Consulting Co. Ltd., Li focused on the strategy work of regional economy development programs and successfully managed several big projects.


Like most T-birds, Li likes travel. Traveling helps open her mind to other ways of doing things and increases her awareness that flexibility and sensitivity are absolutely necessary to get along with others.  In the future, Li is looking for an opportunity to advance a senior level position in multinational organization dealing with international investment strategy, which will fulfill her strength as well as her personal interest in working in a country and culture other than her own.

Nathan Christiansen

Nathan began his studies in the Master in Global Affairs and Management program at Thunderbird in the fall of 2017. He has his bachelor's degree in International Studies from BYU-Idaho where he also studied Spanish and Business. Nathan became fluent in the Spanish language while serving a mission for his church in New York City. While on a study abroad at the Universidad de Viña del Mar in Chile, he met his wife and now they have a beautiful daughter. Nathan has had the opportunity to gain work experience in countries such as Chile, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, and Myanmar. It was his first experience in a developing country that really solidified his desire to work in international development. 


Like the majority of Thunderbird students, Nathan has a strong desire to learn about the intricate details behind the different cultures of the world. Just before arriving at Thunderbird Nathan worked for two years in the ports and logistics group of an international development consulting firm called Nathan Associates Inc. where he got his first real taste of working on international projects in developing economies. Nathan’s goals include learning the ins and outs of designing the best initiatives to help people come out of poverty. Currently his interests reside primarily in the Human Centered Design approach to solving social issues as well as carrying out randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in order to create strong evidence based programs.

Parker Andrus

Born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, Parker Andrus showed a strong interest in International Business and Management from a young age. With a father who frequently traveled to Asia on business, Parker decided he wanted to follow suit and pursue an international career when he was in middle school. Around the same time, he was introduced to Thunderbird by a friend's father who had graduated from the school and immediately set a goal to receive a Thunderbird Education.  Before receiving a degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University, Parker served as a volunteer missionary for two in years in Japan, increasing his love and interest in International business and relations.


Parker has followed his career goals by working on the international teams of two companies. Most recently, he worked for a major blender manufacturing company in Utah. Starting as an International Sales Trainer, he was quickly promoted to an International Development and Sales Manager for Asia Pacific. During his four years with the company, he was able to live as an expatriate in Tokyo Japan for just under two years, developing and increasing brand awareness and company revenue in his assigned area of business. Upon graduating from Thunderbird, Parker hopes to continue and strengthen his ties to Asia by further pursuing a career in International Business Development.


LinkedIn Update as of January 2018: Congratulations to Parker for securing a Summer 2018 internship with Telenet America in Irvine California!

Tyler Stringham

Tyler's passion for languages, cultures and countries began at age 16 when he did a study abroad to Italy and Greece. This passion was only solidified further when he served a Portuguese speaking mission for his church in São Paulo, Brazil at age 19. Soon after returning home from Brazil he yearned to go abroad again so he moved to Beijing, China were he would spend the next 4 years working and studying Mandarin at Beijing Language and Culture University. He later graduated from BYUI with a degree in international relations with an emphasis in East Asian studies and linguistics. 


Tyler has been fascinated by how a business thrives with its online presence by focusing on E-Commerce, web design, video production, social media marketing and SEO. While working at the tech company Godaddy, Tyler furthered his technical abilities in this area. While studying a Masters in Global Management at Thunderbird, he hopes to bolster his tech, business, sales, marketing and language abilities further. After graduating from Thunderbird, Tyler plans to strengthen his ties to Latin America and Asia further by pursuing a career in the foreign service or business development. 


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