News

Remembering the Legacy of Dr. Tonya S. Muro

Tonya Muro Bw

We honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Tonya S. Muro, iEARN’s Executive Director, from January 1, 2016 until March 5, 2018. 

As Executive Director of iEARN-USA, Tonya led with her heart forward, dedicating her life to the advancement of global citizenship. After high school she spent a year of service in Colombia and Costa Rica. She received her B.A. in primary education and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and then went on to earn an Ed.D. and M.A. in International Educational Development from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she was a U.S. Fulbright scholar in Tanzania. She received a Brokow Scholarship that helped her complete her Masters and Ph.D. Tonya spent more than 15 years working in the field of global education as a practitioner and educator. Prior to working at iEARN-USA, Tonya served as the Director of School Outreach and Educational Partnerships for AFS-USA, an intercultural learning organization, and before that, she was the Program Director for Global Nomads Group, an NGO that fosters dialogue and mutual understanding amongst the world's youth.

Tonya Muro Leadership Award

In 2018, five awards will be presented to iEARN educators or students who exemplify Tonya’s leadership abilities, passion for learning and global citizenship, to attend the 2018 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit in Winchester, Virginia, U.S.A. 

In future years, donations to the Tonya Muro Memorial Fund will be utilized to provide one or more award to iEARN educators and youth to support learning or professional development opportunities, including conferences, courses, and workshops, which allow them to excel as leaders and global citizens. 

In Memory of Tonya Muro

Memories from the Community

Messages of mourning and love were shared by Tonya's colleagues, friends, and family around the world directly with iEARN-USA and through social media. Below we share just a handful of these messages which highlight Tonya's personal impact through her work in global education.

"As iEARN mourns the untimely and tragic passing of our Executive Director, Dr. Tonya, Muro, we rededicate ourselves to our mission: empowering students, teachers and their communities to work together across borders to create a more interconnected and peaceful world.  Tonya was a passionate champion for iEARN and we will do our best to live up to her memory. My conversations with Tonya further transformed me as a person. And her spirit lives on in all of us."
Hady Amr, Chair, Board of Directors.

"I join the world in mourning the loss of Tonya Muro. Because of her, I gained a new perspective of the importance of education in making the world better."
- Fay Stump, iEARN-USA Educator Global Education Ambassador, and Project Facilitator

"We will miss a Great woman...She was a universal person, a peace lover and very humanly kind person."
- Noureddine Laoui, MEARN (iEARN Morocco)

"I've known and worked with her for over 15 years, including the day she was hired as Executive Director of iEARN-USA. I will miss her terribly and think daily of her beautiful daughters. The world will miss her smile and commitment to global education."
-Ed Gragert, iEARN-USA Executive Director Emeritus

"Tonya inspired so many of us with her passion for social justice as an integral part of global learning." 
-Dave Potter, Participate

"An extraordinary spirit, colleague and friend who shall be deeply missed. Huge loss for our field and beyond."
-Waidehi Gokale, Soliya

"She lived by “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” The love and unity surrounding her from all the #globaled community feels palpable."
-Sabet Tavangar, Growing Up Global

"I will always remember the day that I met Tonya, the warmth and outreach that she extended to me that morning in her iEARN office. By title, she was iEARN-USA's Executive Director, but by spirit, heart and mind, she was iEARN itself. She will be greatly missed."
-Mary Brownell, iEARN-USA Educator and Global Education Ambassador and Project Facilitator "Finding Solutions to Hunger"

"Tonya was love and light and compassion and optimism- everything good in this world. I will always admire how she brought her whole heart- her whole self- to everything she endeavored to do. Her Facebook profile had her self proclaimed identity listed as: “Mother. Educator. Optimist. In that order”. And with each of those dimensions of her incredible life, she led with love and fierce determination to leave the world and those in it a little better off than before."
-Dana Mortenson, World Savvy

Memorial video created by Tonya's Family