Actress and Human Rights Activist Mira Sorvino and Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell to Headline 2016 CIEE Annual Conference

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We’re excited to announce Academy Award-winning actress and human rights activist Mira Sorvino and Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell as the featured speakers for the 2016 CIEE Annual Conference, November 16-19, in Los Angeles.

At the Loews Hollywood Hotel, Sorvino and Sorrell will offer inspiration to an audience of more than 500 scholars, thinkers, and leaders in international education who are working to expand global education in the 21st century.

Mira Sorvino
Academy Award-Winning Actress and Human Rights Activist Mira Sorvino

During the conference’s opening presentation on November 16, Sorvino will share her perspectives on study abroad as a critical influencer in students’ lives, including her own. Sorvino studied abroad with CIEE in Beijing, China, while a student at Harvard University, an experience that helped to influence the roles she has pursued in her acting career and her life-long activism around human and women’s rights.

Michael Sorrell
Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell

On November 18, during the conference’s Annual Luncheon, Sorrell will share his lessons in overcoming barriers and getting things done that others say can’t be done. In a few short years as president, Sorrell transformed the struggling Paul Quinn College – a historically black college in Dallas, Texas, on the brink of losing accreditation – into one of the most innovative small colleges in America that is rapidly becoming a model for urban higher education.

This year’s conference theme, Study Abroad 2016: Partnering with Faculty to Expand Global Education, is part of CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad pledge to break through the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to increase access to study abroad by all students. In support of this initiative, CIEE has committed to providing $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students, to sponsoring passports for 10,000 students, and to offering an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches to custom study abroad programs.

Mira Sorvino, Academy Award-Winning Actress and Human Rights Activist
Mira Sorvino is an actress best known for her commercial hits, “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” “Mimic,” “The Replacement Killers,” and “Summer of Sam.” Her breakthrough film was Woody Allen's “Mighty Aphrodite,” which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1996 among many other honors.

Sorvino is an ardent supporter of human and women’s rights causes, having spent much of her career pursuing roles that marry her love of acting with her social-activist concerns. Sorvino starred in the critically acclaimed Holocaust drama, “The Grey Zone”; the 2005 miniseries, “Human Trafficking,” which explored the lives of women and children who have been abducted and forced into slavery; and the 2012 play, “Trade in Innocents,” about a couple that joins the fight to end the trafficking of children after the loss of their own child.

Sorvino is the official ambassador for the worldwide human rights organization Amnesty International's "Stop Violence Against Women" program. Her work with Amnesty was recognized at the Artivist Film Festival, which acknowledges socially conscious filmmakers, activist celebrities, and charitable organizations. In March of 2006, she was honored with Amnesty International's Artist of Conscience Award, which is given to those who have displayed strong philanthropic and humanist efforts. Through her work with Amnesty, she has lobbied Congress on such topics as human trafficking and the atrocities in Darfur, Sudan. Additionally, as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Fight against Human Trafficking, in 2013 Sorvino traveled to Cambodia with the Freedom Project to develop an exposé on child sex trafficking, which resulted in “Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary.”

Michael Sorrell, Ed.D., President of Paul Quinn College
Michael J. Sorrell is the 34th president of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the school has been transformed into one of the most innovative small colleges in America and is rapidly becoming a model for urban higher education by focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship.

Sorrell is active in the community, serving as a trustee or director for Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, the College Board, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, Earth Day Texas, Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Foundation, and the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership for the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University. He is a sought-after writer and speaker, regularly contributing editorials featured in the “Dallas Morning News” and the “Huffington Post.” Additionally, his TEDx talk on the New Urban College Model is critically acclaimed.

The “Washington Monthly” recently named Sorrell one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents. Additionally, he has been awarded the 2012 HBCU Male President of the Year by “HBCU Digest”; the Excellence in Education Distinguished Alumni Award from his high school, St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; and the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from the Alumni Association of Duke University’s School of Law.

To learn more about the CIEE Annual Conference, visit

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