Meet The Board


Pam Umlauf-Brown

Pam Umlauf-Brown's 47 year career as an Registered Nurse, inspired her to raise awareness to the importance of international dialogue, especially concerning equitable healthcare which ultimately lead her to service on the UNA board. 

Vice President

No Vice President currently.


Phil Eberle

Phillip Eberle and his wife, Michiko, have lived in Carbondale since 1983 when he joined the Agribusiness Economics Department at SIU Carbondale. Phillip Eberle has been a member of UNA Southern Illinois Chapter since 2006.  He believes that international institutions formed at the end of World War II such as the UN, IMF and GATT (now WTO) despite their imperfections have been positive influences in the World and remain relevant.  He is a strong supporter of the UN’s primary objectives of peace and security, human rights, and economic development and humanitarian assistance.


John M. Roosevelt

John Roosevelt is a 1969 graduate of Southern Illinois University and a Vietnam veteran.  For years he was a member/treasurer of a local farmers' market.  He provided library services and vocational instruction in state correctional and mental health maximum security facilities for over 20 years. After he retired, he worked part time as a classroom aide at a small, parent-owned, private elementary school, where he was frequently a member and treasurer of the school's board.  

Nilanjana Bardhan

Communications Chair

Nilanjana Bardhan immigrated to the U.S. from New Delhi, India, in 1992, and has lived in southern Illinois since 1998.  A professor of Communications Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she specializes in intercultural communication and public relations. She is in involved in projects that promote intercultural understanding and global peace. She serves as the diversity and inclusion co-chair for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, an organization that links industry and academia in the areas of leadership, research and mentorship in the field of public relations.

Sarah Heyer

Sarah Heyer joined the board in 2001, thinking UNA was a good fit for her.  She has taught courses in Russian language and cross-cultural orientation at SIUC as well as   taught English as a Second Language in China, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan and in the US.  Always an environmentalist, she has found an outlet for her love of nature as executive director of Keep Carbondale Beautiful.  She is a life member of UNA.

Elaine Jurkowski

Membership Chair

Cindy G. Buys

Cindy Buys is a Professor of Law and Director of International Law Programs at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  She has served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for the Southern Illinois UNA Chapter, has been the chapter secretary, and currently serves as the chapter president.

Ella Lacey

Ella Lacey is a retired faculty of SIU School of Medicine. She began her retirement with volunteer service in Peace Corps - Malawi and followed that with being a volunteer polio surveillance officer for UNICEF and WHO in Africa (4 countries) and India (3 times), as well as giving service to water/sanitation/hygiene projects in Malawi and Kenya.  At home, she continues to give regular service to an afterschool reading enhancement program for children. She has 11 grandchildren and 4 "greats" for whom she instills the appreciation of being global citizens.

Heidi Ramos

LGBT Issues Chair

Nathan Stucky

Nathan Stucky became interested in the United Nations at age ten when his family visited the UN Headquarters in New York. The sight of so many flags and the busy General Assembly with its buzz of translators and people from so many nations captured his imagination. In college he participated in a Model United Nations that extended his interest. He currently teaches in the Department of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University.

Olga Weidner

Advocacy Chair

Melinda Yeomans

Education Chair

Melinda Yeomans is the Associate Director of the University Honors Program at SIU, as well as a University Honors Teaching Fellow.  As an interdisciplinary scholar, Fulbright Fellowship recipient, and board member of the UNA, her work on global citizenry and intercultural communication are the foundation of her courses and scholarship.  With 15+ years of university teaching experience, she has developed and taught courses for several programs and departments on campus.  Most recently, she has developed and led a course for the UHP Global Seminar series entitled "Global Citizenry & the New Cuba".