Dr. Erika Frydenlund

Erika is a research faculty member at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center. Her research centers on forced migration and refugee studies. She has conducted fieldwork in Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, and Haiti. She is also Head of Projects for the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues (ESPMI) network and was formerly on the local refugee resettlement community board in Newport News, Virginia. She will serve as the team leader for the Migration modeling team during the Lesvos research trip.

Dr. Jose Padilla

Jose is a research faculty member at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center. His research centers on simulation environments that adapt how we learn from and build simulations. He leads the Simulation Environments lab at VMASC and has projects that range from engaging students in STEM learning to modeling massive refugee movements. He will serve as the advisor for developing a simulation of forced migration during the trip to Lesvos.

Dr. LeRon Shults


LeRon is a professor at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway, and a senior fellow at the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion in Boston, USA. He is a principal investigator on the Modeling Religion in Norway (MODRN) Project that is leading and organizing the modeling event in Lesvos. He is also a co-principal investigator on the Simulating Religion Project, a collaborative university project that brings together modeling & simulation experts with sociologists and religion scholars to simulate theories of religion in realistic settings.

Bnar Mustafa

Bnar is a graduate student in the Old Dominion University Institute for the Humanities. Her own experience as a Kurdish asylum seeker from Iraq has motivated her exploration of refugee resettlement through her master’s thesis. She currently volunteers with the refugee resettlement agency in Newport News, Virginia and conducts qualitative fieldwork among Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She will serve as an advisory consultant on the documentary production.

Thomas Trask

Thomas is an award winning filmmaker with a background in academic, nonprofit, and social activism projects. Founder of Scenic Route Media, he has been lauded for his ability to present complex social issues with compelling visuals and masterful storytelling.

Our Team