Executive Team

Education Coordinator

Hulya Kablan

Hulya was born and raised in Turkey.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology Education and a master’s degree in Secondary School Science and Math Education. Currently, she is working on her Ed.D in Instruction and Curriculum. She enjoyed being a science teacher at middle school, high school, and college levels for 16 years. She is currently working as an Instructional Coach at Canyons School District. She received Congressional recognition as a teacher. She is a registered artist with Utah Arts and Museums and presented the Turkish Art of water marbling in many workshops. She dedicated her life to education because she believes that education solves all the problems in the world. She is married and a mom of three boys, two parakeets, and a cat.

Interfaith Dialogue Coordinator

Nurgul Malik

Nurgul received her bachelor degree in marketing management. She dedicates herself to living in harmony. She can be reached at nurgul@emeraldhillsinstitute.org

Hakan Karipardu
Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

Hakan Kariparduc

Hakan Kariparduc has been in the states for 12 years and has gotten to know SLC pretty well in the meantime. He likes hiking, biking, working out, and running. He is currently working towards his Bachelors of Science in BioChem from the University of Utah. He works as an EMT with Steward Health and hopes to further in his medical pathway in the future. He can be reached at hakan@emeraldhillsinstitute.org.

Advisory Board Coordinator

Zeynep Kariparduc

Zeynep is a mother of 4, wife, lifelong educator, interfaith & community leader, and a working professional in finance. She has BA in Language and Literature and MS degree in Business Management and Leadership. She has lived in many countries throughout her life while she taught and learned different cultures. She came to US in 2011 along with her family where she appreciated diverse & inclusive culture and immediately became active member of the community. She has served as Outreach/Interfaith Director of Emerald Hills Institute almost 10 years. She has led and taught weekend school to diverse population. Conducted and led adult classes, art workshops, cooking classes, lectures, panels, exhibits, discussions, luncheons and more. She is immediate past chair/president of Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. She is a founder of awarded interfaith volunteer group “Talk in Action.” She received Utah Business Magazine Living Color Gala Diversity & Inclusion award in community engagement category due to her outstanding works bringing diverse population together to create love, harmony and understanding. She currently works at the Morgan Stanley as Site Engagement Manager/Director. As part of her volunteer commitments,  Zeynep serves as board member at the Emerald Hills Institute and leads  interfaith & dialog committee, board member at Telemachus Foundation and  Salt Lake City Police Foundation and advisory board member at Living Traditional Festival of the Salt Lake City Arts Council, One Kind act a Day Initiative by Semnani Foundation, Utah Valley University Interreligious Engagement Committee.

Intrafaith Dialogue Coordinator

Davron Mukhabbatov

Davron is a Business Data Analyst at Henry Schein One. He received his M.A. degree in International Relations from The City University of New York in 2011 and B.S. in Economics from Technological University of Tajikistan in 2006. He loves hiking, biking and meeting people from different cultures. He can be reached at davron@emeraldhillsinstitute.org

Advisory Board Member-Grant Writing Coordinator

Andrew Kosorok

Andrew Kosorok is a professional stained glass designer, consultant, and restoration specialist, and teaches sculpture, stained glass, and drawing. He is an ordained interfaith minister, has received degrees in sculpture from Brigham Young University, and has studied philosophy, comparative religions, hermeticism, alchemy, and the Western mystery traditions. His stained glass work is in numerous homes and churches, and his sculptural work has been in several state, national, and international art competitions. The study of art and art production is the means by which he explores his educational pursuits in the belief that through examining the act of creation, one’s relationship with the Divine can be strengthened. His style is a product of the fusion of his various interests, to build objects as records of the ongoing journey of learning, and to share the continuing process.

Betül Oğuz
Community Service Coordinator

Betül Oğuz

Betül is a student at the University of Utah majoring in Biomedical Engineering and aims to join the medical field in the near future. She is curious about the cultures of the world and loves learning new languages. In her free time, she reads novels, bakes for her family, and works on her craft projects

Board Members

Board President

Sergazy Nurbavliyev

Sergazy received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Utah.

Currently, He is a machine learning scientist at Overstock, and he has been using theoretical probabilistic mathematical knowledge to solve real-life problems and optimize algorithms to increase revenue for Overstock and other nonprofit organizations. His research interests are probability theory, stochastic processes and applications to statistical mechanics, machine learning models, and their applications to real-world problems.

The reader may think these facts and interests imply that he is a mathematician. The proof is left to the reader. He is also a board member at Gandhi Alliance for Peace.

Board Member

Jean Tokuda Irwin

Jean Tokuda Irwin, holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas (UTMB). Since 1991, she has served as the Arts Education Program Manager for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. She serves on NASAA/AE’s Diversity, Equity, Access & Inclusion Group & NEA/POL Accessibility Working Group, Spy Hop Advisory Board,. Past professional service includes - panelist for 11 National Endowment for the Arts panels, panels for Ohio, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Dakota state arts agencies, and reviewer 8 years on the President’s Committee for Arts and Humanities Education; reviewer for Institute of Museum & Library Services Museum Assessment Program; NASAA/AE Advisory Group & Leadership Taskforce, Coalition for Minorities Advisory Committee to the Utah State Board of Education; the Utah Indian Education Taskforce; National PTA Board of Directors (added dance & film to national Reflections Program); Cathedral of the Madeleine Festival Committee; adjunct faculty for Odessa College, Galveston College. Western Texas College and Director of Museums (History & Art); director of Lyon County Historical Society & Museum and Assoc. Dir. of Center for Transportation & Commerce Museum/Art & History. She was the recipient of the Ruby Chacon Award for Arts and Social Justice in 2018, in 2019, the Sorensen Legacy Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education and most recently, Utahns for Culture Special Honoree. Her mixed media work appeared in the 2002 Cultural Olympiad featuring 20 works by Utah women and the Year of the Rabbit exhibition and most recently a work in the Clay, Paper, Scissors Gallery in Laramie, WY. She is a lover of books, art museums, the outdoors she crafts visual journals in containers, assemblages and collages. She likes words such as panegyric, jentacular and winklepicker.

She is an independent world cinema addict, loves traveling, exploring foreign foods and squiggly ingredients. She abhors bottled water and plastics because of how they impact our planet. Don’t offer her any.

Board Member

Maddie Scott

She received her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Utah in 2000. She has taught the English language at universities in Turkey and in the United States, and is currently an adjunct instructor in Utah Valley University's English Language learning department. Maddie is a frequent fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, reading, movie watching, and spending time in nature.

Board Member

Nargis Tavallo

Nargis received her Bachelor’s in the economics of tourism in 2014 and after graduating her four years of bachelor’s study she entered the master’s program. In 2016 she successfully received her Master’s in accounting. She loves to study different courses to develop herself comprehensively. Currently, she is a bookkeeper at EHI. Also, one of her favorite things is talking and spending time with small kids.


Dr. Amir M. Arain

He is a professor and an epileptologist that focuses on treatment of refractory epilepsy. He graduated from Dow Medical College, Karachi and did his Neurology residency and Epilepsy fellowship at Vanderbilt University. There he served on the faculty of Department of Neurology as an epileptologist from 2000-2018. He joined University of Utah in July 2018 and currently serves as chief of Epilepsy division.

Dr. Arain has been involved in different research projects in epilepsy. He has done several antiepileptic drug trials including levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, pregabalin, lacosemide, retigabine, brivaracetam, carisbamate, eslicarbazepine and cenobamate. He has published several peer reviewed research articles and has presented data in different scientific meetings. He has trained more than 100 fellows in epilepsy over the years. His interest is in seizure semiology, SUDEP, disparity of care in epilepsy and Geriatric epilepsy.

Ermina Mustafic

She is a first generation college student studying Political Science at the University of Utah. Ermina and her family came to the U.S. as Bosnian Muslim refugees in 1998 and settled in Utah. Her passion for educating people on the misrepresentation of Islam stems from her families experiences in their home country. Ermina hopes to help build a bridge of unity by engaging in important conversations with others. In 2019 she served as a congressional intern for Congressman Andre Carson in Washington, DC and was awarded an intern scholarship by the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019. Ermina joined as an Ambassador in March of 2019 and was the first Emerald team member to get promoted to the Executive team. As of April 2020 Ermina serves Emerald Project as our Director of Sponsorships & Outreach.

Asma Hassan

She is glad to be back at the Bennion Center and grow its Utah Reads program. Previously, she worked at the Eccles School of Business, at Utah Campus Compact, a local chapter of AmeriCorps where she enrolled and exited members completing their AmeriCorps hours in educational, health, and environmental fields, serving vulnerable populations, and as a tutor for Utah Reads. Asma has a M.Ed. in Special Education and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah. In her free time, she enjoys tutoring students using engaging teaching methods, hanging out with her sisters, and eating Thai food.

Dr. Dania Al-Hamad

Her clinical interests include growth and puberty disorders, thyroid disorders, adrenal disorders, calcium and bone metabolism disorders, and type 1 diabetes. Her research experience has included childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome and assessing clinical practice guidelines in screening for Type 1 diabetes co-morbidities.

Elizabeth "Libby" Hunter

The Rev. Elizabeth "Libby" Hunter is a compassionate voice and advocate for Utah's most vulnerable. She serves at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark with a focus on outreach and pastoral care.

Linda Hilton

She is retired from a career in community outreach and advocacy for low-income and homeless Utahns. For years she has been interested in Utah history (especially the stories of famous Utah women), and has researched gravesites and monuments in the Salt Lake Cemetery, located in Salt Lake City's Avenues district. Her research resulted in the publication of an annotated map of the cemetery. She continues to share stories of the famous and infamous buried there.

Edith Mitko

Edie Mitko was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She graduated from the University of Utah. Worked at Salt Lake Community College for 26 years in various student support capacities. She was Director of Student Services and Minority Affairs for the Utah System of Higher Education (Board of Regents). She was appointed Director of Asian Affairs in the State Ethnic Offices in 2001. Edith has served on the Board of Directors for the S.L. JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), the Advisory Board for UOCA, the Asian Education Advisory Committee, the Governor’s Asian Advisory Council and various committees advocating for disadvantaged populations and people with disabilties. While Director of Asian Affairs she organized and hosted the first Asian Leaders Summit. The Asian Chamber of Commerce was one of the products of this meeting. She has served as President of the Utah Coalition for the Advancement of Minorities in Higher Education and was Vice President of the Community Action Programs Advisory Board. She also volunteered as a mediator with the Juvenile Court Mediation Program. She has received Cesar Chavez Community Involvement Award and the State Division of Rehabilitative Services’s Executive Director’s Award.
One of her most satisfying accomplishment has been directing the Projects With Industry program at the Skills Center, which provided computer and LAN training for people with severe disabilities. This training has been serving students since 1992 and was named the outstanding PWI project in the nation in 1998.
After retiring Edie went back to school, received her Special Education/ESL endorsements and taught 7th, 8th and 9th graders in reading, math and language arts. Teaching was, without a doubt, the most rewarding, enjoyable, most time-consuming and expensive position I have ever experienced!!! The students were fabulous!!!!!
She’s the mother of two terrific sons and their amazing wives, Grandmother of two incredible grandsons, 1 delightful grandaughter, and wife to a very tolerant, patient husband. They all enjoy her hobbies of fishing, travel, horseback riding, music and dance!

Flyod Mori

S. Floyd Mori was born and raised in Utah. He grew up on a farm and graduated from Jordan High School. After graduation, he served for six months on active duty at Fort Ord, California, with the United States Army Reserves and later was honorably discharged.

Mori entered college at the University of Southern California (USC). He interrupted his college studies to serve a two-year mission to Hawaii for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He then attended Brigham Young University (BYU) from which he received a Bachelors degree in Economics and Asian Studies. He received a Masters degree from BYU in Economics and Political Science. He taught Economics at Chabot College in Hayward, California, for ten years. He was on the Faculty Senate, taught religious education classes, was advisor to student clubs, and was a member of several professional organizations.

He was elected to the City Council of Pleasanton, California, in 1972 and later served as Mayor of Pleasanton. He was elected to the California State Assembly in March 1975 and served for six years in that capacity. He was later Director of the Office of International Trade for the State of California. He has been an International Business Consultant for over thirty years and has owned a golf business. Mori has held various local and national positions for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), including National President and Vice President. He joined the JACL staff in 2005 as the Director of Public Policy followed by service as the National Executive Director/CEO of the JACL. Upon retirement from the JACL in 2012, he received the title of National Executive Director Emeritus. He then became the President/CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, D.C., retiring in 2018.

He served on the Comcast NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council and on several boards, including for the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism, APIA Vote, and the Independent Voters Project. He has been on a board for the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and was on the Executive Council of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. He was chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). He has served with many political, civil rights, community, church, and ethnic advocacy groups. He has received various awards, including Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award from OCA National, Community Leadership Award from APAICS, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette Award from the Government of Japan, among others. He has held many church, civic, and political volunteer positions. He is an avid golfer and a sports fan.

He has spoken numerous times to various groups about the Japanese American and Asian American experience. He has published a book entitled, The Japanese American Story As Told Through a Collection of Speeches and Articles, along with several other books www.thejapaneseamericanstory.com

Domoina Kendell

She has been involved in community building and social change for over a decade. She works as a Deputy Director for Promise South Salt Lake. Domoina lives her passion every day by coordinating life-changing services for underrepresented youth. Her work with Promise includes developing programs for social and intellectual skills development and motivation and support toward success in higher education. Domoina holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from the University of Utah, where she studied Recreation Management. Originally from the Island of Madagascar, Domoina’s pursuit of higher education brought her to the United States. She has fallen in love with Utah, where she enjoys the mountains, hiking nearby canyons, and exploring her interests in the diversity of food, people and culture in the community.