CEA Directory

leadership

Brian J. Boubek

CEO & Chairman

Brian is an entrepreneur and leader in global education who has built his career helping today's student become globally competitive. In 1997, Brian founded CEA Study Abroad after a life-changing study abroad experience in Dijon, France. Brian felt that his time in France was so empowering and insightful that he wanted to provide the same opportunity to everyone.

"CEA's success is built on our ability to design and implement innovative, high-quality academic programs that meet the needs of today's university student. In the current higher education environment, global competency is no longer a luxury. CEA is meeting that challenge by providing the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the global economy."

Since its beginning as a study abroad provider, Brian has led CEA as the company grew to become one of the largest for-profit international education companies in the U.S with operations throughout the world and more-than 170 employees worldwide. In 2015, CEA enrolled over 4,000 U.S. university students in more than 100 academic programs.

Brian earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Commerce (BSC) degree in both Marketing and Finance from DePaul University (Ill.). He studied French language at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France and the Alliance Française in Paris. In addition, he is also a graduate of the "Birthing of Giants" Executive Education program hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum and Inc. Magazine.

A resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Brian is married with two children. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, worldwide travel, new business start-ups, and anything related to food and wine.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Young President's Organization (YPO)

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Excellence in International Business Award, Arizona District Export Council in cooperation with the Phoenix Council on Foreign Relations
  • Spirit of Enterprise Center, W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Global Impact Symposium Award Finalist, Eller College of Management
  • Two years on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation's fastest growing private companies
  • Arizona Corporate Excellence Award as the 13th fastest growing organization in Arizona
  • BizAZ Hot Growth Award as the Top 10 fastest growing company in Arizona
  • Small Business Association Exporter of the Year
  • Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Arizona Republic, BizAZ, Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Business Gazette, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education
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Deborah Keeley

Senior Vice President - Finance
Deborah Keeley joins CEA most recently as the Chief Accounting Officer for Mobile Mini Inc., a container leasing company with significant operations in the U.S. and United Kingdom. She spent 18 years at Mobile Mini, and in her time saw the company grow financially 20-fold. She completed 50 acquisitions for Mobile Mini, expanded from eight to 130 locations, and took the company international during her tenure. Deborah is a hands-on leader who seeks to make a difference.
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José B. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President - Academic Affairs & Initiatives

José B. Alvarez, Ph.D., serves as CEA’s senior academic leader and member of the CEA Executive Team. José sets CEA’s academic vision, ensuring the alignment of all academic offering and projects with CEA's School of Record and university partners. In addition, he is responsible for establishing and managing CEA’s external Advisory Board, in order to further innovate our curriculum and increase the diversity of our academic offerings. José also plays a strong collaborative role in CEA's U.S. university engagement initiatives to support the alignment of our messaging and training regarding CEA’s academic programs and expertise.

José holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to working with CEA, José was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia for 12 years, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. His research emphasis focused on the analysis of the cultural production of Latin America, more specifically the study of films and literary texts produced in Cuba from the inception of the Revolution until the early 1990's. He directed more than 25 master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.

While at UGA, he created and directed UGA en España, a comprehensive set of study abroad programs with four sites in Spain, which was later expanded to Cuba, Venezuela and Peru. Prior to his time teaching, José was an Academic Dean for Latin American, Caribbean, and Europe programs for SIT Study Abroad, where he was responsible for more than 30 programs in multiple locations on two continents.

José has lived in Switzerland, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain, and Italy, and has traveled extensively across the globe. He wants to tell students to explore, live, struggle, and ultimately conquer foreign culture to the point of making it their own: "Embracing differences will only make them stronger. It is not an easy task, as being in someone's comfort zone is the easiest path, however going beyond it will enrich the experience, promote growth, and equip them with language skills and intercultural understanding that will last a lifetime and influence their perspective forever."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Forum on Education Abroad (elected to the council 2012-2015)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Southeastern Council on Latin American Studies (SECOLAS)
  • Phi Lambda Beta Portuguese and Luso Brazilian Honor Society
  • Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

— Books

  • Contestatory Cuban Short Story of the Revolution. New York: University Press of America, 2002.

— Articles

  • A Revision of Censorship and Resistance in Cuban Arts" International Education and Global Justice: Rethinking the Politics of Sustainability. Eds. Said Graiouid and Taieb Belghazi. Rabat: University Mohammed V (forthcoming). 117-124.
  • "Cuba, Filmaking, Literatura, Havana." Routledge Internacional Enciclopedia of Queer Culture Ed. David Gerstner. New York: Routledge, 2006. 163- 165, 262.
  • "El cuento cubano de 1959 a 1990: un movimiento pendular." South Eastern Latin Americanist XLIII.3 (2000): 21-36.
  • "The Dialectics of Cuban Homoeroticism in Cuban Narrative." Chicano/Latino Homo-erotic Identities. Ed. David William Foster. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999 241-271.
  • "Nation, Cinema, and Women: Discourses, Realities, and Cuban Utopia." Global Development Studies 1.3-4 (1998-99): 91-99. Reprinted in: Cuban Transitions at the Millenium. Eds. Eloise Linger and John Cotman. Largo, Maryland: International Devel-opment Options, 2000. 115-122.
  • "Discursos de resistencia y contestatarios en los Novísimos." Romance Languages Annual 10 Tome 2 (1999): 426-431.
  • "El homoerotismo en la narrativa cubana del siglo XX." Antípodas: Journal of Hispanic Studies of Australia and New Zealand 11-12 (1999-2000): 25-48.
  • "(Re)escritura de la violencia: el individuo frente a la historia en la cuentística Novísima cubana." Chasqui 26.2 (1997): 84-93.
  • "La generación literaria sin trauma: mirada socio-histórica a los Novísimos narradores cubanos." La Chispa 97: Selected Proceedings. Ed. Claire J. Paolini. New Orleans: Tulane University, 1997. 17-27.
  • "Mujer transparente (1990): contrapunteo entre el viejo y el nuevo orden social cubano." Romance Languages Annual 8 (1996): 368-71.
  • "Miguel Otero Silva." Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Ed. Verity Smith. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. 608-09.
  • "José Kozer." Latin American Jewish Writers: A Critical Dictionary. Ed. Darrell B. Lockhart. New York: Garland Press, 1997. 321-25.
  • "La narrativa cubana de la revolución: el Quinque¬nio Gris y sus con¬secuencias." Mester 23.2 (1994): 129-56. [issue published in March, 1996].
  • "Un texto a favor de la libertad marxista: lec¬turas contestatarias de Retrato de Teresa y Plaff." Confluencia 10.2 (1995): 111-23.
  • "Ruptura en la narrativa social cubana: Novísimos y Novísimas." Torre de papel 4.4 (1995): 61-75.
  • "Literatura cubana de los 80: una visión sin censura." Torre de papel 3.3 (1993): 85-98.
  • * (et al)"Un motivo etnoliterario andino: la deslealtad." Escritos 8 (1992): 85-101.

PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED

  • 2012:"Standards for Programs Serving Pre-Health Students Experiences." Forum on Education Abroad. Denver, Colorado. March 20-23.
  • 2012:"Cinema, Memory and Human Rights in Argentina." Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging Past, Present, and Future. SIT and the Center for Conflict Management. Kigali, Rwanda. January 10-13.
  • 2011:"Cuba Study Abroad: New Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Challenges." Council on International Education Exchange. New Orleans, Louisiana. November 16-18.
  • 2009:"Utopia and Dystopia: Lunes and P.M. in the Outskirts of Revolutionary Culture." Invited Lecture at Occidental College, California. February 26.
  • 2008:"Comentario de investigación: Una mirada a la situación de la diversidad sexual en Managua." Primer seminario centroamericano: una mirada a la diversidad sexual. Centro de Estudios Internacionales. Managua, Nicaragua. December 9-11.
  • 2008:"Revolution, Images, Jean Paul Sartre and Cuban Identity." Identity, Multiculturalism and the Arts. University of Ghana-Legon. Institute of African Studies. August 7-10.
  • 2008:"To Fight and to Play: Music and Destiny in Venezuela." Invited Lecture at Phoenix College Latino Film Festival. March 29.
  • 2006:"Reel Cuba: Documenting the Island." Shoemaker Lecture. Westtown School. September 24.
  • 2006:"Storied Havana: from Euphoria to ‘Reel' Blues." Invited Lecture at University of North Carolina, Asheville. October 12.
  • 2006:"Havana Blues in Context." Invited Lecture at Furman University. May 9.
  • 2006:"PM, Lunes de revolución, and the ICAIC: The Revolution and its Conflicting Cultural Policies (1959-1961)." Cuba Politics and Culture. Cuban Research Institute, FIU. February 6-7.
  • 2005:"Cuba en 1960 en la mirada de Jean-Paul Sartre y Simone the Beauvoir." Evento internacional Sartre visita a Cuba: Huracán, surco, semillas. Casa de Altos Estudios Don Fernando Ortiz. Havana. November 22-26.
  • 2005:"‘Reel' Cuba: Dispelling the Utopia through Film." Spring 2005 Center for Humanities/Georgia Museum of Art Lecture. UGA. April 20.
  • 2005:"Reel Cuba: Castro, Utopia, Film and Censorship". Invited Lectured at Temple University's Dissent in America Teach in Lecture Series. September 23.
  • 2003:"Fidel Castro is Dead." Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. UGA. Oct. 8.
  • 2003:"Memorias del subdesarrollo: Paradise in 68?" Key Note Lecture at Georgia Southern University. Fourth International Film Festival. March 4-6.
  • 2003:"Cuban Film and Teaching Film." Invited Lecture. Georgia Southern University. March 6.
  • 2002:"Cuban Post-Revolutionary Culture: True or False" Honors Program Invited Lecture. Oct. 2002
  • 2001:"CHA Provocative Conversation: Promotion Standards in Literary Studies." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, September 26.
  • 2001:"Testimony in Documentary: The Case of 90 Miles." Invited panel participation on the film 90 Miles. Center for Latin American Studies. Arizona State University, September 10.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Revolutionary History Through Film." Invited Lecture for the Spring Focus Lecture Series. Valdosta State University. Valdosta, April 9.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Gender (Re)Presentation in Film." Lunch in Theory Series. UGA. February 14.
  • 2000:"Virtual Literature: Removing the Panic out of HisPanic Literature." American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Boston, November 16-19.
  • 2000:"Beyond Hollywood: The Beauty and Power of International Cinema." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, October 20.
  • 2000:"His-panic? U-SA Panic? Who is Moving to your Neighborhood?" Key Note Lecture at University of North Carolina at Asheville. Hispanic Heritage Month. October 9.
  • 2000:"Bitter Sugar: Reel Cuba from the Other Shore." Invited lecture at Berry College. April 17.
  • 2000:"Reel Cinema: Cuban Political and Social Crises through Film." Invited Lecture at Furman University. April 10.
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Caroline Walsh

Senior Vice President - Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA’s current product portfolio and expansion into new markets. She works closely with leadership within University Relations to identify university needs and trends and collaborates with Academic Affairs and CEA staff worldwide to design and deliver new programs and academic partnerships that are best suited to meet the needs of our U.S. university partners.

Prior to joining CEA, Caroline worked in the Public Information Office for the Santa Clara Water District, at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, and at the Office of International Student Scholars at UW-Madison. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from UW-Madison (Wisc.), a certificate of global leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management (Ariz.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Santa Clara University (Calif.).

While living for a year in Madrid, Spain, Caroline used her school breaks and weekends to travel throughout Spain and many other countries within Europe. She also lived in Bolivia and Brazil, and traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Caroline thinks it's OK for students to be uncomfortable when traveling abroad: "It is in these moments we learn about ourselves and the new culture we are visiting. When you leave your comfort zone, you grow. You'll feel awkward and out of place many times, but that's OK. Don't shy away from difficult moments or stay where you are comfortable, you may be surprised at how strong you are."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • "Planning Quality Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," Co-Presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II and III, Bi-Regional Conference 2005, Colorado Springs
  • "Crisis Management in Study Abroad," Co-Presented at Arizona International Educators Conference 2002, Tucson

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Recipient of a University Fellowship as well as the Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship from University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Recipient of an Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship (Portuguese)
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Tim Boubek

Vice President - University Relations

Tim Boubek is the Vice President of University Relations. CEA established its University Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA Regional Consultants to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA operations, from student recruitment, admissions, and planning through their time abroad and return to their U.S. campus.

Tim brings many years of study abroad experience to the position, having served previously in several operational capacities at CEA. A current member of NAFSA, he graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration. He earned a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

EDUCATION

  • BS, Law Enforcement – Criminal Justice, Western Illinois University
  • Minor, Business Administration, Western Illinois University
  • Certificate in Human Resources Management, University of Phoenix
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Becky Blair

Vice President - IT and Marketing
Rebecca (Becky) Blair is the Vice President of Information Technology and Marketing. Along with leading the IT and Marketing departments, Becky’s role is to mature and grow the departments through the replacement of legacy technology and implementation of efficient, agile processes. Her goal is to make IT and Marketing strategic partners to the business, allowing her teams to become enablers of growth. She is leading CEA through a transformative phase as the organization significantly improves its digital presence, as well as the backend systems that are the foundation of the organization. Once complete, this transformation will allow CEA Study Abroad to better serve all of its customers, including students, families, alumni and Universities.

Becky has a sign hanging over her desk that defines her life philosophy: “Believe there is good in the world; be the good.” As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in others.” Becky approaches her work with the same spirit and drive to make a positive difference in her staff, in CEA, and across everyone she touches. “CEA provides young people an opportunity to see the world, to become global citizens and to understand our corner of the world is but a small part of what is out there. Go find a way to make a difference, to change the world for the good, for that is truly living.”

Becky is an experienced leader and trusted partner, bringing 14 years of progressive IT leadership experience to CEA with the majority of those in higher education. She holds a BS in Kinesiology with a minor in Sports Management from Texas A&M University, and a MS in Leadership from the Ken Blanchard School of Business at Grand Canyon University.
 
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Eric Canny, Ed.D.

Vice President - Program Management

Eric has managed the reorganization and expansion of international operations at four higher educational institutions. His work focuses on effective and efficient enhancements that meet diverse internal and external client needs in a continually changing international education landscape, improve organizational systems and structures for clarity, and streamline communication and data-flow processes. He received his BFA and MA from New York University and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Eric has 21 years of experience in educational policy and programming, academic curriculum development and accreditation, admissions, risk assessment and crisis management, student and staff development, and non-profit event management. He’s currently focused on developing cutting-edge student learning outcomes assessment models, both in and outside of the classroom setting, that utilize databases linked to student assessment to track learning outcomes longitudinally and multi-dimensionally across an institution.

Eric has authored articles on various international education issues, including a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad, Fourth Edition. He presents globally on topics relating to international education and diversity; risk assessment and mitigation; and the deployment of technology in global operations of higher educational institutions, with a particular focus on the specific needs of global processes while integrating with other systems.

He is a faculty member at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, where he teaches on effectively leading organizational change, combining theory with real-life application, in USC’s doctoral program for education leaders. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors for various international foundations focused on sustainable change and innovation in a wide range of policy areas including: education, environment, health, diversity, religion, gender, and economic equality.

Previously, Eric served as the Director of Student Services for the world’s largest study abroad program, annually managing all aspects of student well-being and crisis management for 4,000 students in 10 countries. Eric was team-lead for opening U.S. higher educational institutions in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, France, Ghana, and the United Kingdom, and for expanding existing programs in Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Spain, Thailand, and other countries. Eric has traveled to more than 55 countries.

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