Walter Chikwendu IHEJIRIKA – visiting scholar – A Catholic priest (Ahiara Mbaise Diocese, Nigeria) and Professor of Development Communication and Media Studies in the Faculty of Humanities (Arts), University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Sociology of Communication from the Pontifical Gregorian University (2003) and Masters in Pedagogy & Communication from the Salesian University (2014) both in Rome. In 2003, he was a member of the team of communication experts which set up the Centre for the Study of African Culture and Communication (CESACC) at the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt. He was Acting Head of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt (2011-2013) He is an Associate Fellow – Centre for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University, Chicago, USA. He is a member of the International Board of SIGNIS – the World Catholic Association for Communication and the President of SIGNIS-Africa. He has participated as a member of the jury for SIGNIS prizes at major international film festivals including Zanzibar (2013), Venice (2013) FESPACO (2015) and Locarno (2016). He is the Founder and Admin of the Facebook group – FaceGod. He has extensive publications in communication and media in both local and international journals and has presented papers in over 60 academic conferences and workshops locally and internationally. His major research interest is in the area of media, religion and culture; communication and development, communication and environment, ICT in religious praxis and youth culture. Apart from his mother tongue, Igbo, he speaks English and Italian fluently, and has sufficient research knowledge of French.

Email: walter.ihejirika@usi.ch; wihejirika@yahoo.com  and walter.ihejirika@uniport.edu.ng

Dr. Maria Garbelli visited the Chair from September 2013 to September 2014 holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and Management, and is specialized in global inter-firm networks and performance. She is Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Management at Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca (Milan, Italy), and director of the Summer School ICTs to Promote Sustainable Tourism: Tangible and Intangible Heritage between Cultural, Leisure and Gastronomic Tourism (August-September 2015). She spent a year as visiting Post-Doctoral Researcher at the UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites based at USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland) and at webatelier.net Lab of the same University.

Dr. Rayviscic Mutinda Ndivo visited the Chair from September 2014 to September 2015. He holds a Ph.D in Tourism and Hospitality Management specializing in Tourism Management and Destination Competitiveness. He is a Lecturer in the department of Tourism Management at Kenyatta University, Kenya and currently a visiting Post-Doctoral Researcher in the UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites based in the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Switzerland. Dr. Mutinda has previously served as a member of the Committee of Experts in the formulation of the IGAD regional Tourism Master Plan and currently appointed by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as the National Tourism Consultant in the formulation of the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for Ethiopia. In addition, he is also serving as the Tourism Advisor to the Government of the Makueni County, Kenya, in the mapping of the county tourism resources and services.

Dr. Mi Tian – joined the Chair in September 2017 as a visiting fellow. She holds a doctoral degree in agriculture heritage tourism research from Chinese Academy of Sciences. She previously joined the research projects about conservation of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) between 2013 and 2016. Email:mitn86@gmail.com Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mi_Tian6