A Message from Our President
We live in a global world that requires understanding, goodwill, and peace among all of humanity, and it is an important goal that we must work toward. The social media, internet, and other communication tools provide many different ways of interacting with others. People from different geographies and cultures are now in constant communication. While engaging with others in far distances, we are neglecting to communicate with the people we live with in our same community. The concept of friendship and neighborhood has changed dramatically. Someone could make a friend from the other part of world and culture through social media while not seeking to ask the next door neighbor's name.
Atlantic Institute was founded to bridge the deep gap of social interaction, to promote respecting differences, and to commit to the common good in the State of South Carolina.
The volunteers and members of Atlantic Institute want to put "the American Dream" into practice as in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The American Dream, the dream of men of all races, creeds, national backgrounds, living together as brothers." Volunteers and members of Atlantic Institute pursue happiness in the happiness of others through volunteerism and philanthropy. Atlantic Institute members and volunteers have been working diligently to fulfill the above mentioned principles in the State of South Carolina.
We sincerely hope that you enjoy coming to our many events that we put together and continue to help us share in dialogue.
Dr. Akif Aydin, President
Dr. Aydin received his Master's degree from the FSU Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and PhD from Clemson University's Department of Economics. He is a businessman with several small businesses in Florida and South Carolina. Dr Aydin is married to his wife Ozge and together they have three children. As one of the Founders of Atlantic Institute, he is inspired by Fethullah Gulen's philosophy of dialogue and peaceful and constructive coexistence.
Greenville Office Director
Christina has lived in the Greenville area for 4 years now as a transplant from Florida. She is the Executive Assistant/Event Coordinator for Atlantic Institute Greenville office. She has been an Event Coordinator for most of her life as well as a Personal Assistant for Motivational Speakers, Pilots and Business Executives. She carries a passion for the work that Atlantic Institute accomplishes as she has invested thousands of dollars in herself over the years in Personal Growth courses. Bringing the community together to create Understanding between cultures is a dream that Christina created when she was 23, so she doesn't "come to work" she comes to "create her dream" for the community.
She has two biological children, a boy and a girl, and is also a foster parent and birth doula in the community. She was raised primarily in Tampa Fl and is the oldest of 7 children (5 of which are adopted from Foster Care) She loves exploring Greenville and Volunteering with her family in her spare time.
Ph: (843) 790-3708
Director of the Columbia branch of AI SC
Dr. Kursuncu is a scientist at the University of South Carolina, serving as the Columbia (Volunteer) Director of the Atlantic Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Georgia. Previously, he served as the president of the IDEA Society at the University of Georgia, in the pursuit of promoting diversity, mutual understanding and respect, and dialog in our society. His passion for humanity, society, and computers, is often reflected in his personal and professional life, with significant effort in addressing challenging problems in society, health, and education, including social, racial, and economic inequality.
Executive Assistant /Event CoordinatorPaula has lived in the West Columbia area since 2013. She was born and raised in Michigan but has lived all over the United States and even Panama. She is the Executive Assistant/Event Coordinator for Atlantic Institute Columbia office. She has been an Event Coordinator for most of her life as well as an Administrative Assistant at a Native American Tribe in Michigan.
She has two biological children, an adult boy and a 9 year old girl. She is and was very involved in her children’s lives. She was the treasurer and advancement coordinator for her son’s Boy Scout Troop as well as Pack leader for Cub Scouts. She is now on the PTO board as Fundraising VP for her daughter. She was raised primarily in Lansing, Michigan and is the oldest of 3 children. She loves exploring the Columbia area and Volunteering her time at her daughters school in her spare time.