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SIS Co-Founders

Canan Arikan & Ruth Schowalter


Canan Arikan is an entrepreneur, women’s advocate, and certified InterPlayer leader. She has more than 16 years of volunteer work supporting and empowering women and youth. Since arriving in the United States six years ago, she has earned the Level-1 Certificate in Applied InterPlay and co-created 4 InterPlay workshops and one English-language 5-workshop series to support international women and her wider community. In 2018, asylee Canan and her collaborator Ruth Schowalter founded “Sustaining International Sisters” (SIS) to bring together asylum seekers, other international women, and U.S. citizens in the metro-Atlanta. In 2019, they launched online Global SIS: InterPlay to continue to connect with and support women who left Atlanta and returned their countries. Canan holds an MBA and completed graduate studies for a PhD in Management and Organization.


Ruth Schowalter is a certified leader in InterPlay, an improvisational system that fosters authentic communication by acknowledging the “whole” person (body, mind, heart and soul). In her interactive InterPlay workshops, Ruth integrates improvisation, physical movement, and other enlivening forms of expression, providing the right tools for her participants to make meaningful conversations and give memorable, effective presentations. Ruth specializes in American English fluency, with an emphasis on improving presentation skills appropriate for corporate, academic, and other professional settings. With her Master’s of Science in Applied Linguistics and ESL, she has taught more than twenty-five years at the Language Institute of Georgia Tech University applying her expertise to business, science, and creative communication. Co-founding SIS and Global SIS: InterPlay with Canan has been a meaningful way to merge her academic experience working with international people with InterPlay's active creative way to unlock the wisdom of the body.

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