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CEA CAPA French Alps/Grenoble, France Directory

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French Alps/Grenoble, France Advisory Board

Martha McGivern, Ph.D. - Chair
Director of Study Abroad - DePaul University
Dr. Martha McGivern is the Director of Study Abroad at DePaul University and is responsible for directing the strategy and implementation of study abroad programs across DePaul’s 10 colleges and schools. She oversees crisis and emergency responses for 80 annual programs. Her current priorities are program assessment, term-long program development strategies, and team leadership.

Prior to DePaul University, Dr. McGivern managed faculty-led study abroad programs at New York University and center- and hybrid-based programs at IES Abroad. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Education from New York University, with research focusing on issues of gender and cultural learning in study abroad, particularly as it plays out in cross-national relationships among peers. She regularly teaches a course on international partnership, project management, and proposal writing in the Master’s of Global Health program at Northwestern University.

Dr. McGivern’s international experience is strongest in Latin America, including doctoral research in Mexico, volunteer teaching in Ecuador, and undergraduate study abroad in Argentina.
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Opal Leeman Bartzis, Ed.D.
Executive Director of Education Abroad; Interim Director, Global Youth Advancement Network - Michigan State University

As Executive Director of Education Abroad at Michigan State University, Opal provides leadership for the Office for Education Abroad, including the American Semester Program (ASP) for short-term inbound international students, the innovative Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN), and administrative oversight of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a consortium of Michigan’s public institutions. She chairs the university’s Advisory Council on Education Abroad and the Faculty Learning Community for International Student Success, is a member of the Risk and Security Assessment Committee and the campus COIL coordinator. Prior to MSU, she held various positions over her 20 years at the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University, most recently as Vice President for Academic Affairs and including three years as Resident Director in Ireland. She has served NAFSA in variety of capacities, including Region VI Chair, Indiana State Representative, NAFSA Academy Coach, and Co-Chair of the Peace, Justice & Citizen Diplomacy MIG, and is active in the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, and AACRAO, for which she is chair of the national Study Abroad Committee. She is a frequent presenter and workshop trainer at international education conferences, including the organizations mentioned as well as the AAC&U, SIETAR, and NSEE.

Opal earned her doctorate in adult, higher and community education at Ball State University with her dissertation on the development of culturally sensitive instructional practices through student teaching abroad. She also earned a doctoral certificate in college and university teaching and community college leadership. She holds an MA in history and an Honors BA in German from Butler University. Her research and publication areas are inclusive pedagogy, global teacher education, academic ethics across cultures, and appreciative advising. She studied abroad in Switzerland, Russia, and Lithuania, and spends as much time as possible with family in Greece.

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Patrick Morgan
Chief International Safety Officer, University of Michigan
Patrick provides guidance to all U-M units concerning travel abroad health insurance, the International Travel Policy, and unit-specific policies. As the chair of the International Travel Oversight Committee, Patrick stewards the Travel Warning and Restriction destination list and is the point-person for Safety Plan inquiries. Patrick is available to facilitate unit-specific program leader workshops; consult on health, safety, and security for individual travel and managed education abroad programs; and create common travel resources for M-Compass and Global Michigan. He serves as the primary international emergency responder for all U-M travelers overseas, actively monitors international events, and coordinates communications with U-M travelers and their U-M units in times of crisis.
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David L. Mothersbaugh, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Programs, University of Alabama
Dr. Mothersbaugh is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Programs at University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. Prior to that he served as the Department Chair for Marketing. In addition to these leadership roles, David co-founded the UA Sales Program, was founding director of the UA Services Marketing Program, and served as acting director of the International Business Program. In his current role, he served on the ACE Internationalization Lab Executive Committee tasked with developing and implementing a strategic plan for internationalizing the University of Alabama. David is an award-winning researcher and teacher as well as co-author of the text Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy. In 2018, he was awarded the John S. Bickley Innovation and Creativity Award for his programmatic work on student engagement.
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Miranda Roberts
Director of International Programs in Engineering

Miranda Roberts has been in the field of international education for eighteen years. As the Director of International Programs in Engineering (IPE) at the University of Michigan, she leads the study abroad initiatives and intercultural programming for the College of Engineering. The IPE team consists of eight professionals, three international program advisor/coordinators, one marketing and outreach coordinator, an administrative coordinator, an assistant director and a faculty advisor. Together, the IPE team provides intercultural education opportunities to over 900 students annually (pre-pandemic) which equates to 1 in 3 students having had an international experience at time of graduation. Ms. Roberts leads the team to provide outbound programs and advising support for students, inbound exchange student support as well as the academic and programmatic support for the international minor for engineers, a 15 credit academic minor for CoE students.  

Ms. Roberts excels in ideation, advocacy and collaboration and has expertise in STEM program development, partner collaboration, comprehensive program management, marketing and promotion, study abroad advising, and co-curricular support. Miranda believes in the transformative experience of education abroad and actively works to ensure these experiences are equitable and inclusive for all students.

Ms. Roberts received her bachelor’s degree in German and International Studies from Augustana University and her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Dakota. As a student, she studied abroad on exchange at the University of Potsdam in Germany.

 
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French Alps/Grenoble, France Leadership

Maggie Fitzgerald
Center Director
Maggie earned a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) and an MBA degree with a double specialization in Marketing and Operational Management from Universidad de Palermo (UP). She has worked for fifteen years in the hospitality industry in Argentina, Uruguay and The Netherlands, gaining extensive experience in luxury services, intercultural relations and teams management. In addition to her corporate experience, Maggie has always had a special interest for education. She has been a professor since 2007 in different Universities and Institutions for undergraduate and graduate students. In 2016, Maggie started up her own Marketing and Communication business, working with companies from diverse industries, helping them achieve their goals, grow and increase their performance.
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Chris DeRusha
Senior Vice President of Information Technology
Chris DeRusha joins CEA CAPA with over 16 years of IT management experience. His career path in IT started at a young age while helping a neighborhood computer shop build new PCs. This led to his desire to pursue his bachelor's degree in computer science. Since then, Chris has worked for manufacturing, engineering, and medical organizations. He now has extensive experience designing and leading in the implementation of robust corporate networks with the security and redundancy required to maintain business stability. Maximizing interdepartmental collaboration, efficiencies, and productivity through thoughtful and smart use of IT resources is his passion. Chris recognized early on in his career that IT was not just a service, but a provider of tools and ideas to help company departments work better, together.
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Ricardo Valencia
Chief Global Inclusion & Impact Officer

Ricardo Lopez Valencia has honed his corporate and executive acumen over twenty-five years and knows that exemplary executive teams are robust, effective social systems. He is known for developing a virtuous cycle of respect, trust, and candor to create well-functioning, successful teams who have chemistry that cannot be quantified; where one superior quality builds on another.

Ricardo is an experienced executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit whose professional success has been achieved through a commitment to people, equitable access, social betterment, and bottom-line results. He blends inspiration in teams with strategic skills rooted in the following disciplines: collaborative leadership, multiple team coordination, market insight and research, disciplined communication and public relations, cultural literacy, development of comprehensive distribution platforms, and brand development resulting in successful and executable business strategies. Following his principles, he has done well for himself and his family. As a leader, Ricardo continues to achieve for his family, the company he works for, and for those he cares about.   

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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Caroline Walsh
Senior Vice President of Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA CAPA’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 CAPA 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 CAPA, 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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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Maggie Banchs
Program Director, San Jose

As a program director of the CEA CAPA program in SJO, Maggie overseas all aspects of the program. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in February 2006, Maggie developed skills working in the Communications Department of the Escuela de Administración de Empresas in Spain, and as a manager at the Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Nicaragua. After studying abroad herself, she returned to San José to work with foreign students at Veritas University. Maggie holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Escuela de Administración de Empresas (EAE) in BCN, and a bachelor’s degree in photography and Artistic Direction from the Universidad Centeroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Nicaragua. She has also studied photography at Veritas University and has taught several photography courses at Universidad Creativa in Costa Rica. She believes that studying abroad can change the way to see and experience the world, it opens new opportunities in self-awareness where students learn valuable skills for life and for their career paths. She invites students to come and explore Costa Rica, which is a beautiful small country, and has a lot to offer, especially their friendly people, great sceneries, and warm weather.

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Darren Kelly, PhD
Academic Director, Career & Internship Programs

A Dublin native, Dr. Darren Kelly holds a BA in English and Geography and a PhD in Cultural Geography from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He developed and currently lectures on the Postgraduate Diploma in Further Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to lecturing, Darren worked in a range of community development and educational organizations in Dublin and travelled extensively. His interest in study abroad began at age 17 when he spent a high school year abroad in Oxford, Ohio. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in 2007-2008 at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years, Darren has increasingly focused his work (teaching, consulting, and publishing) in the area of linking academic theory and field studies in international education and study abroad. During his time with CEA CAPA, he has developed a research interest in the area of intercultural intelligence and self-reflection as related to students’ personal and professional development.

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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Shawna Parker
Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement

Shawna has worked in international education and related fields for more than 20 years. As the Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement for CEA CAPA, she oversees all aspects of CEA CAPA’s communications and partner marketing. She has previously served as the Director of Marketing for World Learning, an international education and nongovernmental institution that is the umbrella organization for the School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate programs), and The Experiment in International Living. She is the co-chair of the NAFSA Rainbow SIG. She holds a degree in Political Science from Smith College. In addition to her work in international education, Shawna has experience in sales and marketing consulting and as a book editor, designer, and publisher.

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Matthew Gold
Chief Executive Officer

Matthew Gold is the CEO of CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Throughout his career, Matthew has used technology, partnerships, and innovative strategies to help companies grow. He began his career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and has held innovation focused leadership positions at several global companies, including Google, cars.com, and RedCAT Systems. He has worked internationally, primarily in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. 

He is passionate about education and is excited to help CEA CAPA to continue to positively impact the lives of thousands of students each year. Matthew has experience as a professor at the Hult International Business School’s San Francisco campus, where he designed and taught business analytics courses to a primarily international student body.  

Matthew holds a B.A. from Princeton University and MBA and Doctor of Law (JD) degrees from Northwestern University. He has held several board positions and is the former Treasurer and current Member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton ReachOut, a nonprofit that helps Princeton students and alumni make a difference in the world around them. In addition to spending time with his family, Matthew enjoys cooking, reading, and photography. 

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Ella Kefi
Program Director

Originally from Antibes, France, Ella graduated with two master's degrees in finance and management from the University of Nice. After her studies, she worked in the U.S. and in Belgium. First she spent two years in NYC working as an art advisor in an art gallery. Then she moved to Belgium and worked as an art advisor specialized in investment in contemporary art. After these two experiences, she returned to France and brought her professional expertise to students where she taught economics, laws, and management courses in business schools. That led her to pursue a career in education and she became a campus manager.

Ella finds it rewarding to help students develop self-confidence and independence while boosting their education and career goals. She firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences abroad showed her how enriching speaking and learning other languages and connecting to other cultures is. She believes she'd be a different person today if she didn't live and learn abroad.

In her spare time, Ella loves sailing on the Mediterranean Sea, visiting museums and art galleries, and attending live jazz concerts.

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Martha Johnson, PhD
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Martha Johnson, PhD, has worked in education abroad since 1991, including onsite at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and as the Study Abroad Coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several U.S.-based educational organizations and consortia including Regent’s College in London and AustraLearn previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001.

From 2009-2022, Martha served the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversaw one of the largest education abroad offices in the U.S., sending over 4000 students abroad annually. She played a key leadership role in the highly successful and internationally recognized Curriculum Integration initiative, as well as developing the Career Integration project and subsequent conferences.

Martha holds a PhD in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Martha has presented and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and NAFSA guides and resources. She previously served in leadership roles and chaired multiple committees in NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the Global Leadership League, and the Fund for Education Abroad. She is currently serving a term as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Forum.

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Peyton Rudolph
Vice President, Marketing

Based in our Phoenix office, Peyton oversees the CEA CAPA Marketing Department creating strategy behind partner and student engagement through digital and print channels. Peyton combines her passion for customer-centric marketing with her love for travel and continuing education to share compelling stories that inspire.

With 10 years of experience in the creative, digital, and sales space, Peyton specializes in digital and print strategy, campaign management, visual storytelling, and lead and revenue-generation for omnichannel marketing. Before joining CEA CAPA, Peyton led the fashion marketing team for an industry leader in the scholastic space, where she drove initiatives to elevate the student experience and grow partnerships with schools and universities around the globe.

Outside of work, Peyton enjoys filling her world map with pins, solo travel, snuggling with her maltipoo Milo, being on the water, and attempting to keep her houseplants alive.

Peyton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was a D1 cheerleader for four years.

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Daniel Cunningham
Center Director, Sydney
Since 2008, Daniel has focused his skills and expertise around student services, activity programming, accommodations, procurement and staff management, sales and marketing, client relations, and health and safety. Holding roles such as the Duty Manager and Academic Coordinator at Corrib Village, a large student accommodation facility in Galway, Ireland, and at the Griffith College housing facilities in Dublin, where he provided exceptional service to the CEA CAPA Dublin team and our students, has allowed Daniel to understand and meet the range of needs that students have to complete a successful program abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accountancy (Honors) degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Higher Diploma in Project Management from Griffith College, Dublin.
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Isabelle Kazan
Program Director

Growing up in a multicultural family in the south of France, Isabelle developed a passion for international experiences. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations & Intercultural Communication from Sciences Po Aix, and decided to pursue a career beyond French borders after completing an exchange program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Isabelle has worked in international higher education for over ten years. She has served on the admissions team for a study abroad provider based in Vermont, and on the onsite staff for the Paris campus of St John's University. She has also led multiple short-term programs to Tanzania and Morocco.

Isabelle finds it particularly rewarding to help students develop resourcefulness and confidence that accelerate their education and career. In her leadership position, she endeavors to provide students with a meaningful experience abroad by challenging them beyond what they think they can do, connecting them to the world beyond their familiar bubble, and building a community in which they care about each other and about others, fostering empathy and curiosity.

In her spare time, Isabelle can be found teaching yoga classes, training in a boxing ring, and cooking with a great deal of spices.

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Eryn Kudzinski
Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceastudyabroad.com.

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Károly Kopasz
Program Director, Budapest

Károly Kopasz is the Program Director for CEA CAPA Budapest. His mission is to provide CEA CAPA students with an opportunity to experience the real culture of Hungary and make their stay a life-changing experience. Károly is responsible for all on-site operations and services. With over 15 years of experience in international education, Károly has had a career filled with exciting challenges and diverse roles at distinguished institutions and organizations such as Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Balassi Institute, CIEE Budapest, Budapest Metropolitan University, and Budapest Business School. He holds two MSc. degrees from Pázmány Péter Catholic University in History and Communication and Media Studies. In his free time, Károly enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, reading, and gardening. He has traveled extensively both as a student and as a higher ed professional. His furthest North is Tromsø, Norway and furthest South is Queenstown, New Zealand.

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Frans van den Bliek
Program Director - Amsterdam

As the Program Director for Amsterdam, Frans van den Bliek is responsible for the day-to-day management of the onsite program experience, including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program logistics, health and safety, and program administration. Frans also advises students on issues related to academics, housing, cultural adaptation, wellness, and navigating the city, and assists with university site visitors and custom programs. 

Frans brings several years of professional experience to CEA CAPA, including a wide-ranging background in the commercial education field. He was a Graduate Recruiter at his alma mater Webster University, focusing on master's programs in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and a Country Product Manager at the company Education First, responsible for sales, marketing, strategy, and operations of EF language courses in the Dutch market.  

He holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce, with a concentration in Sports, Economics, and Communications; an MSc in Marketing Management from Tilburg University; and an MBA from Webster University.  

Born in a small Dutch town, Frans has lived in Amsterdam for ten years and loves hanging out in the city. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his son, Tom, and traveling. He’s seen 47 countries in person and plans to visit more. He also likes to hike, cycle, and run.   

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Kristin Kerr
Program Director

Kristin's role is the day-to-day management of CEA's French Riviera and Berlin programs, including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, student evaluations, health and safety, and office administration.

Kristin earned a master's degree in German language and Literature from the University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis, France, and is fluent in English, German, and French. Prior joining CEA, she worked as a Program Planner in London for a U.S. organization specializing in educational tours of Europe for high school students, as well as a Program Director for a study abroad organization in Paris, Cannes, and Krakow, Poland.

A native of Leipzig, Germany, Kristin has lived and worked in France, Germany, England, Poland, and Canada. Kristin loves the great outdoors and would love to run a marathon in Alaska one day.

The best piece of advice Kristin would give to students going overseas is, "Make the most of every minute of this experience. It will be with you for the rest of your life."

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Justine Mons
Program Director, French Alps/Grenoble

As Program Director at CEA CAPA Grenoble, Justine’s role is to oversee and coordinate all aspects of the program, including logistics and operations, crisis management, health & safety protocols, and services, student advising, cultural engagement programming, student housing, and advising on custom program development, team management. Prior to joining CEA and CAPA, Justine worked as an assistant director in a residence hall with international students and also worked in the food service industry & logistics. Justine holds a B.A. in Languages, Litterature & Foreign Civilizations from Université Grenoble Alpes University in Grenoble. She is a native speaker of French, speaks fluent English, and can hold a conversation in Spanish. She lived abroad in New Zealand and Australia which is why she strongly believes in the importance of living abroad when it comes to personal growth and how it can impact and change a life forever.

 

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Richard Stock, Ph.D.
Center Director

As Center Director, Rick oversees all CEA Prague operations and manages the CEA team in Prague. Rick leads the development of CEA Prague programs, which includes setting strategy and standards, managing change, and facilitating communication across the organization.

Originally from the Chicago area, Rick has lived in or near Prague since 1998 with his partner and three daughters. Rick has been with CEA since 2016. He’s taught in study abroad programs in Prague and served as Academic Director at CIEE Prague. He also directed the creation of a new M.A. program at CERGE-EI for European students. Rick holds a Ph.D. from Charles University in Prague, an M.A. in Literature and Theory from the University of Illinois, and an M.A. in the TEFL from the University of Reading in the UK. His teaching and research at the university level focuses on American Literature and Literary Theory. Rick is a visiting professor at the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. He also teaches a course on the Prague writer Franz Kafka aimed at American study-abroad students. Rick studied Teacher Education as an undergraduate and is deeply interested in teaching, education, and learning.

Rick enjoys spending time with his family and participates in sports as often as possible. He is passionate about literature, especially experimental literary novels.

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Tim Boubek
Vice President, Institutional Relations - West

Tim Boubek is the Vice President, Institutional Relations - West. CEA CAPA established its Institutional Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA CAPA West Regional Directors to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA CAPA 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 CAPA. 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
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Jayna Winn
Director, Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Jayna Winn leads the Custom Programs team, partnering with U.S. institutional staff and faculty to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that support specific learning outcomes and student populations. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s onsite staff and in collaboration with the academic, program development, and university relations teams.

Jayna’s passion lies in fostering transformative educational experiences through intercultural communication and education abroad. In particular, she sees custom and faculty-led programs as a valuable tool in the effort to increase access to study abroad. Often, these customized experiences offer more flexibility in timing, price, and curriculum, thus breaking down barriers for underrepresented student groups. Additionally, custom programs can be intentionally designed for particular identity groups, ensuring that the specific interests and needs of these students are championed and supported.

Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. In addition to her work at CEA, she served as an adjunct faculty member at MIIS, co-teaching a January 2022 intensive course on Education Abroad Management. She also co-authored the Facilitator’s Guide to The International Education Handbook, published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators in May 2019. Prior to working in international education, Jayna spent five years managing international teams and partnerships within digital marketing, where she developed an intercultural training program.

Jayna has spent time working and/or studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. An avid traveler, she has also had the opportunity to explore Australia and Israel, as well as several countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

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Alvaro Sánchez
Program Director

As the Program Director for Alicante, Alvaro Sánchez is responsible for day-to-day management including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, academic program development, and student evaluations. Alvaro advises students on issues related to academics, housing, cross-cultural information, health and safety; assists in management of city finances; and hires and trains other staff (and faculty).

Alvaro, a native of Alicante, has experience in both the U.S. and Spain. His experience with U.S. students includes working with a late youth program at a local TV station, travelling through Central America as a U.S. program supervisor, and coaching NCAA 1st division college tennis. He has also written two documentaries and continues to enjoy work in the field of media arts.

Alvaro earned his undergraduate degree in Media Arts from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock. He is fluent in Spanish and English.

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Silvia Martínez
Program Director, Madrid

Silvia Martínez ensures that all CEA CAPA standards are maintained in Madrid. Silvia oversees all educational programs, including short- and long-term program planning, products, and services, and maintains the financial plan for Madrid. She also manages student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program improvements, and staff.

Silvia was born in Cádiz, South of Spain, but has always had close contact with the American culture and the English language. She lived in a U.S. Naval Base for two years and has many relatives in the U.S. Silvia has studied and worked in Spain, England, and Canada in the fields of administration, tourism, and study abroad. She interned at an Irish Building Society in London and worked in a Canadian study abroad company leading groups of Spanish students in Toronto.

Before joining CEA CAPA in 2002, Silvia worked at the North American Universities and Institutions Centre at the University of Alcalá de Henares for two years.

She holds a degree in Tourism Management from the Univeristy of Alcalá. Silvia speaks Spanish and English fluently and has studied French and German for several years.

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Emily Schiavone
Center Director

With CEA since 2008, Emily Schiavone is responsible for the management and development of the Florence Study Center and all study abroad programs that it hosts. Since 2014, Emily has provided leadership and direct oversight to the Student Services team, and works closely with the Academic Director on academic matters regarding the Florence Center and partner institutions. 
 
Emily hails from northeast Ohio, and holds a BA in Art History from Carleton College and an MA in Italian Renaissance Art from Syracuse University. Two study abroad experiences in Florence prompted Emily to remain after her third stint abroad, and she has called Florence her permanent home since 2004. Before joining CEA, Emily worked at an American university in Florence, where she helped to create an archive and database of digital images for teaching purposes and travelled to towns in central Italy to teach students art and architectural history on-site.  
 

Emily’s life would not be the same had she not come to Florence as a university student.  She hopes that students embark their own journey with an open mind, preparedness for unpredictable situations, and confidence; attributes that allow students to discover new things about the world and about themselves. 

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Begoña Correa-Flores
Program Director, Granada

As the Director of CEA CAPA Granada, Begoña provides leadership to her team and is responsible for the successful day-to-day management of the Granada program, and for identifying and implementing opportunities for program development & enhancement, including internships & faculty-led programs, with a strong focus on finance & operations, academics, host institution & local vendor relations, student services, crisis management, health & safety of participants, and site visits.

Begoña holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation & Interpreting, a postgraduate certificate in Education from the University of Granada, and a specialization in Foundations of Management from the IESE Business School. She is a certificated coach, and a sworn translator authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She worked as a teacher and congress coordinator before joining CEA CAPA in 1999. Begoña also spent an academic year at Shorewood High School in Wisconsin; as an undergraduate student, she was awarded merit-based scholarships to study at Dublin City University, the University of California San Diego, and Palacky University of Olomouc (Czechia). Begoña is passionate about international education. She works enthusiastically to provide meaningful programs that allow students to experience authentic growth in their time abroad and prepare them to tackle real-world challenges and develop solutions.

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Anna Felberbaum
Senior Director of Regional Programs

As Center Director for Rome, Anna Felberbaum is responsible for office administration and the day-to-day management including staffing, student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, and student evaluations. Anna advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information and health and safety.

Anna was born in London, England, but has lived most of her life in Rome with brief periods in the UK and the U.S. for both study and work. Anna has over 11 years of experience in all aspects of study abroad. Before joining CEA, she worked for John Cabot University for four years as the Coordinator of Student Services. Previously, she managed Rome's main English bookshop.

Anna has a BA in English Literature from John Cabot University and is fluent in both written and spoken Italian.

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Victor Gonzalez
Center Director, Seville

As Center Director, Victor's role is to lead and oversee a team of dedicated professionals in all aspects of program planning and delivery at the CEA CAPA Seville Center. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Victor served as the Director of an Opportunity Program at a private, liberal arts college in Upstate New York (1997-2002) and later led a study abroad center in Madrid, Spain (2002-2014). He has twice served on the board of the Association of North American University Programs in Spain (APUNE). Victor is a proud member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa and holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Skidmore College; he is also a candidate for an MBA at EAE Business School in Madrid. A native of Havana, Cuba, Victor immigrated with his family to the United States of America at a young age and was the first in his family to attend and graduate university. His love of learning has and continues to guide his life. He has studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and is an avid global trotter, having journeyed through 58 countries in four different continents.

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Enric Figueras
Vice President of Regional Programs

As Vice President, Spain, Mr. Figueras establishes a country strategy to ensure consistency among all sites, and to lead and support all program development initiatives geared toward enhancing quality. Mr. Figueras also monitors the academic standards of our programs and ensures that CEA CAPA policies are in place to serve the CEA CAPA community and deliver study abroad programs of quality and rigor.

Mr. Figueras has over 10 years of experience in the field of academia. Before joining CEA CAPA, he taught at Boise State University (Idaho), where he created an online language teaching program, developed Spanish course curriculum in the fields of Spanish Linguistics and Spanish for Heritage Learners, coordinated the Spanish Language Program, and served as the Director of the Undergraduate Spanish Program. Mr. Figueras also contributed to the development of a variety of teaching tools for various U.S. publishing companies, including two published workbook manuals for U.S. college students.

Mr. Figueras sees study abroad as a magnificent opportunity for personal growth and development, alongside academic advancement. Exploring new horizons not only opens doors to new ideas and views, but also helps you calibrate your potential and abilities in a new environment. This experience supports the development of a lifelong set of skills highly transferable to the personal and professional arenas.

Mr. Figueras holds an Executive MBA from La Salle (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain), a master's in Spanish from Middlebury College (Vt.), and a bachelor's in Communications/Journalism from Boise State University (Idaho). He is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Catalan, has extensive knowledge of Portuguese, and working knowledge of French.

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Thomas Fisher
Program Director
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thomas has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2008, his passion for Irish history and culture led him to Galway, where he earned a master's degree in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland – Galway (NUIG). Since 2010, Thomas has worked with international students studying abroad in Galway on both semester and summer programs. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Irish Studies at NUIG.
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Alexandra Mitchell
Senior Director of Regional Programs - France & the Netherlands

As the Senior Director of Regional Programs, and Center Director for the CEA CAPA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA CAPA sites in France and in the Netherlands, maintaining CEA CAPA standards across all educational programs. Alexandra provides strategic leadership in areas including long and short-term Program Development, managing Finance and Human Resources, overseeing Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and working with students in and out of the classroom.

Alexandra earned a DEA after earning a Master of Arts, both in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). Before her graduate studies in France, Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). As a student, Alexandra was drawn to study abroad straight away. A high school travel program in Western Europe inspired her to complete study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Caen, France as an undergraduate.

Alexandra started her career in International Education as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris in 1999, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. She began a position as Program Director at CEA Study Abroad in 2004 before moving into her current role at CEA CAPA. Through experience and professional development, Alexandra has taken a particular interest in questions of health & safety abroad, and how meaningful integration can help students better understand their host environment and, consequently, stay safer while studying and travelling abroad.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Alexandra also lived in the U.S. for many years, as well as France, Italy, and Greece. She often tells students that, "studying abroad is not easy, but when home starts to feel foreign and your host country starts to feel like home, you know that you have been profoundly marked by your experience."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France
    • President: since 2021
    • President: 2013
    • Executive Board Member 2008-2013
  • Washington University in St. Louis APAP (Alumni organization)
  • OSAC France: Active member of OSAC Steering Committee, U.S. Embassy in Paris (Overseas Security Advisory Council)

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • “Representing the European Voice, Onsite Perspectives to Key Issues in Education Abroad”, panelist, Forum European Institute, Strasbourg, France, November 2023
  • “Facing the New Normal in Safety Abroad”, co-presenter, AACUPI Workshop, Rome, Italy, October 2019
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Education Abroad & the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Webinar, January 2016
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Working with Students Facing the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Post-Conference Workshop Athens, Greece, October 2016
  • “Post-Paris: Study Abroad in the New Normal”, co-presenter, AASAP Workshop, London, England, March 2017
  • “Status Report on Gender Studies in France : Resources for Accommodating LGBT Students in France”, APUAF Annual Meeting of US Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • “Homestay and Apartment Living Arrangements”, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • Participation at Resident Director's Fireside Dialogue, Forum European Conference – Dublin, Ireland, December 2012

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Kellie Sullivan
Custom Program Developer Manager

Kellie has worked in education abroad for over 25 years, successfully leading teams in Institutional Relations and Custom Learning. She is passionate about tailoring curricula and courses to meet the unique academic needs of institutions, ensuring a transformational education experience for students. She comes to CEA CAPA from the Roux Institute at Northeastern University where she and her team developed customized workforce learning experiences in essential areas like AI, data analytics, and project management. From 2006-2018 she worked at the study abroad provider CIEE, where she successfully launched and directed the Faculty-Led and Custom Programs department.

Kellie’s global perspective was shaped early in her career when she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa and an English teacher in Amakusa, Japan with the JET Program. While earning her BA in English Literature at the College of the Holy Cross, she spent her junior year abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Outside of professional pursuits, Kellie is an avid world traveler and when home in Maine she enjoys taking her dog on outdoor adventures, trying to beat her Goodreads Reading Challenge, and attending live music events. 

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Julia Miller, PhD
Academic Director, Sydney

Dr. Julia Miller is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Sydney Center. Dr. Miller leads the academic delivery of our programming and ensures the classroom experience is designed to support the health and safety of the students through the hiring of trusted faculty and supporting CAPA’s strong, inclusive, academic policies.

Julia has been teaching in the Australian tertiary education sector for more than a decade. She gained her doctorate in Modern History from Macquarie University for her research in climate history. For CEA CAPA, Julia teaches Analyzing and Exploring the Global City, Australian History, and People, Place, and Culture: Environmental Debates in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. The latter course reflects Julia’s deep concern about our environmental future. At CEA CAPA, Julia has put in place the Sustainable Sydney initiative to build environmental awareness and encourage behavioral change. Julia lives in Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches—an area known for its coastline, waterways, and healthy lifestyle.

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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player. Learn more about Craig's leadership and the Global Internship Program in this overview video.
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Talal Nizameddin, PhD
Academic Director, London
Dr. Talal Nizameddin is the Director of Academic Affairs at the CAPA London Center. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, and Lebanon where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for 12 years at the acclaimed American University of Beirut. Talal has taught history and international relations courses for much of his career, with dual emphasis on Russia and the Middle East. He has a background in history and Russian foreign policy. He holds a BA from Sussex University and a PhD from the University College of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has written and published two books that are considered fundamental works on the making and transition of Russian foreign policy and its linkage with internal political dynamics in the post-Soviet era as well as peer-reviewed articles. Talal hopes to be able to utilize his long academic and administrative experience to enhance the strategic direction of the academic programs to continuously challenge and enrich the CAPA student learning experience. As a global citizen, Talal’s travel interests have not waned, but he also enjoys simpler pastimes including playing tennis and good food.

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Alicia de la Peña Portero
Academic Director, Madrid

Dr. Alicia de la Peña is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Madrid Center. She is responsible for the administration and supervision of all academic aspects of Madrid programs including curriculum development, academic policies compliance, faculty training and students’ guidance. Alicia has worked in higher education for over 25 years, both as a professor and in different managing positions such as Director of Professional and International Projection and Director of Modern Languages Institute for Nebrija Univerity (Madrid) or Resident Program Coordinator for CIEE Madrid. She gained her doctorate in Education from Autónoma de Madrid University for her research on academic literacy, collaborative writing, and formative evaluation. Alicia’s educational background also includes two M.A. from Nebrija University, one in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language and another in Applied Linguistics, and a B.A. in English Philology from Autónoma de Madrid University. She was 10 years old when she had her first life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland; then Canada and US followed. Alicia strongly believes that experiencing different places and cultures is essential to gain global perspective, improve self-knowledge and foster personal and professional development.

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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Teresa Bellono
Senior Global Operations Manager
Teresa oversees and coordinates continuous process improvements for the global team, optimizes systems, develops training resources, and liaises between departments. Her international travels have been tied to a variety of roles throughout her life—including choral singer, WWOOFer, and heritage seeker. Her academic year in Aix-en-Provence crystalized her lifelong love of language learning and her unshakeable belief in the transformative potential of study abroad. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and international studies from Indiana University and a master’s degree in international training and education from American University. With over 14 years of international higher education experience, Teresa has held roles in institutional partnerships, alumni relations, custom programs, program development, and academic affairs. While serving as Director of Program Operations at IFSA, she developed a passion for data stewardship and collaborated with onsite staff to build impactful, behind-the-scenes efficiencies. Some of her most rewarding projects have focused on promoting non-traditional study abroad destinations and designing work-integrated global learning experiences. 
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Benjamin Scribner, PhD
Academic Director, Rome
Ben received his doctoral degree in communications in 2013 at La Sapienza University of Rome. His thesis concerned the construction of national space in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He came to Rome with an MA in Sociology from the University of Oregon (1998) where his areas of focus were Political Economy, Social Inequality and the Sociology of Gender. He lectured at John Cabot University from 2014 to 2023, teaching courses in Intercultural Communication, Gender Studies and Sociology.  He previously taught at Southwestern College in Chula Vista and San Ysidro, CA, Emerson College in Boston, and worked as a teaching assistant in Psychology and Human Sexuality at Harvard University.  Ben enjoys cycling to work and photographing Rome with 35-millimeter film cameras. 
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Eryn Kudzinski
Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceacapa.com.

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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Marilena De Chiara, PhD
Academic Director, Barcelona

Dr. Marilena De Chiara is the Director of Academic Affairs at CEA CAPA Barcelona. Born in Naples, Italy, she completed her BA in Communication and Performance Studies in Rome and Edinburgh, then moved to Barcelona, where she earned her Master of Research in Humanities, an MA in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in Literary Theatre and Practice, from Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Dr. De Chiara has been Visiting Scholar at Yale University, where she researched and taught for two years, and she currently lectures at the MA in Literary Creation at UPF and at the Barcelona Creative Writing School. With a strong background in Intercultural Learning and Development processes, she has been working in the field of International Education, mentoring undergraduate students, designing, and delivering Storytelling and Intercultural Communication courses, and training faculty on Teaching and Learning innovation, for the past 15 years. Dr. De Chiara is also a literary translator, her translations include the complete short stories by Nobel Prize awarded author Luigi Pirandello and works by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. Dr. De Chiara firmly believes in the transformative power of experiential learning to bridging languages and cultures, through the city of Barcelona as classroom.

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Darin Smith-Gaddis
Vice President of Academic Inclusion Strategies
Darin leads global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging policy development and implementation, ensuring that CEA CAPA delivers measurable growth in student access, and drives increased value for institutional partners across our portfolio of programs. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Darin developed study abroad programs funded by the US Department of State and built nationwide partnerships to provide scalable enrollment solutions for minority students at AFS Intercultural Programs USA. Darin holds an M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership from California State University, Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University. A Diversity Abroad Rising Star Finalist in 2019, Darin authored the NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad 5th Edition Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Education Abroad Office chapter, has served on the Global Inclusion Conference Global Student Leadership Summit planning committee, and is a frequent presenter on the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and education abroad policy. He serves as a board member for the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles California, and participated in study abroad programs to Brazil, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
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Paul Hopkinson
Vice President, Institutional Relations - Central

A native of Massachusetts, Paul is based in Austin, Texas, having joined CEA CAPA in 2018. He oversees a talented team of Regional Directors working with institutional partners in the central US. Paul has focused his career working with students and administrators in higher education. Prior to CEA CAPA, Paul served as a Bilingual Admission Counselor and Academic Advisor at St. Edward’s University, Director of Internships and Service-Learning at International Studies Abroad, and Director of Institutional Relations with EF College Study Tours. Paul also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and has led service-learning projects to Peru. He holds a dual B.A. in Spanish and Communication from Stonehill College and earned his MA in Spanish from Texas State University. When he's not on an airplane visiting institutional partners, Paul enjoys eating brisket at barbecue spots around Texas, walking his Boxer, and rocking out at live music venues with his wife and daughter.

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Carolyn Becker
Director of Student Affairs
Carolyn Becker joins the Health, Safety, and Student Affairs team as CEA CAPA’s Director of Student Affairs. Carolyn’s nearly 15-year career in higher education includes work in both student life and academic affairs. As an education abroad administrator, she has worked directly with unique and diverse student populations along with faculty and institutional administrators to provide advocacy and support related to global learning opportunities. Carolyn is the recipient of the 2018 NAFSA Rising Star Young Leader national award, has completed the Professional Certification in Education Abroad from The Forum on Education Abroad (FEA), and is currently a facilitator with the FEA. She has served as a reviewer for multiple national scholarships, has been appointed to several external education abroad task forces and committees, and is a regular presenter at international education conferences. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Winona State University and a Master of Science in Education in College Development and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
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Martha Johnson, PhD
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Martha Johnson, PhD, has worked in education abroad since 1991, including onsite at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and as the Study Abroad Coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several U.S.-based educational organizations and consortia including Regent’s College in London and AustraLearn previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001.

From 2009-2022, Martha served the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversaw one of the largest education abroad offices in the U.S., sending over 4000 students abroad annually. She played a key leadership role in the highly successful and internationally recognized Curriculum Integration initiative, as well as developing the Career Integration project and subsequent conferences.

Martha holds a PhD in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Martha has presented and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and NAFSA guides and resources. She previously served in leadership roles and chaired multiple committees in NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the Global Leadership League, and the Fund for Education Abroad. She is currently serving a term as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Forum.

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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Laura Salvadó
Senior Director of Global Operations

Laura's role is to provide leadership to the Student Support team at CEA CAPA Barcelona. She is responsible for management of staffing, financial logistics, student services, students accommodation, and Health & Safety issues.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Laura coordinated European Language Exchange Programs in both Barcelona and London, working to offer accommodation and cultural activities to language students. Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Middlesex in London and has over 15 years of experience in the study abroad field, with extensive expertise in the planning, execution, and delivery of student services.

Originally from Barcelona, Laura has extensively travelled around Spain, Europe and the U.S. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English. Laura firmly believes that traveling and study abroad are the best ways to expand and invigorate one's mind. She loves the fact that her job contributes to students' personal growth and to a better global cultural understanding.

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Enric Figueras
Vice President of Regional Programs

As Vice President, Spain, Mr. Figueras establishes a country strategy to ensure consistency among all sites, and to lead and support all program development initiatives geared toward enhancing quality. Mr. Figueras also monitors the academic standards of our programs and ensures that CEA CAPA policies are in place to serve the CEA CAPA community and deliver study abroad programs of quality and rigor.

Mr. Figueras has over 10 years of experience in the field of academia. Before joining CEA CAPA, he taught at Boise State University (Idaho), where he created an online language teaching program, developed Spanish course curriculum in the fields of Spanish Linguistics and Spanish for Heritage Learners, coordinated the Spanish Language Program, and served as the Director of the Undergraduate Spanish Program. Mr. Figueras also contributed to the development of a variety of teaching tools for various U.S. publishing companies, including two published workbook manuals for U.S. college students.

Mr. Figueras sees study abroad as a magnificent opportunity for personal growth and development, alongside academic advancement. Exploring new horizons not only opens doors to new ideas and views, but also helps you calibrate your potential and abilities in a new environment. This experience supports the development of a lifelong set of skills highly transferable to the personal and professional arenas.

Mr. Figueras holds an Executive MBA from La Salle (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain), a master's in Spanish from Middlebury College (Vt.), and a bachelor's in Communications/Journalism from Boise State University (Idaho). He is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Catalan, has extensive knowledge of Portuguese, and working knowledge of French.

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Louis Berends, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic Partnerships

Dr. Louis “Lou” Berends comes to CEA from Syracuse University where he most recently held positions as Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, and Director of Academic Programs under the Provost’s Office. Under Lou's leadership, Syracuse Abroad increased study abroad participation and is ranked highly as a national leader in study abroad. Lou has worked extensively in international education at U.S. universities and providers of global education since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in cultural and educational policy studies with a concentration in comparative and international education.

Additionally, Lou studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, UK), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), as well as in Rome, Italy, and has visited and conducted research in numerous countries. Lou is a first-generation college student and also comes from a low-income background and as a result is a strong advocate for increasing access to global learning for all under-represented students. Furthermore, Lou has presented many papers in various settings including Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the Forum on Education Abroad, and NAFSA (among others). Lou’s most recent publication, co-edited with Dr. Kate Patch, SIO at Grinnell College, is a book on high-impact educational practices entitled, Undergraduate Research Abroad: Approaches, Models and Challenges (2020). Lou currently serves a Chair of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Research Advisory Group.

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Monica Francioso
Academic Director, Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA CAPA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath, and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.


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Mary Alice Soriero
Academic Director

As Academic Director of CEA CAPA Seville, Mary Alice’s role is to oversee the many facets to the smooth running of academics at the CEA CAPA in Seville – including program elaboration, syllabi development, and coordination of CEA CAPA faculty. Prior to administering CEA CAPA academics in Seville, she held a number of international work experiences. She was a USIA Fellow in Peru, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and has taught English to speakers of other languages in Japan, Taiwan, and the US. Currently she is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University – Andalucia.

Mary Alice holds a MS. Ed in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Pennsylvania State University in East Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Japan and participated in short-term educational projects in Ecuador & Morocco. Through these global experiences she discovered the importance of engaging across cultures to meaningfully connect with the human experience in a global context. These gave her insights to revel in the the unknown and uncomfortable to not only build resilience, but also advocate for justice to promote equity amongst a wide span of global neighbors.

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.
Academic Director

As CEA Prague Academic Director, Lenka provides leadership, oversight, and quality control for all academic matters and serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding academics. At the CEA Prague Study Center, Lenka is responsible for faculty management, curriculum development, student academic advising, and for safeguarding the high academic quality of the program and adherence to academic policies. She is also responsible for maintaining strong ties with our partner institution, Anglo-American University, to ensure that program content and delivery meet the needs of U.S. universities and students.

Lenka spent a significant portion of her life studying in the U.S. and has worked in study abroad for over fifteen years. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, a master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and German Studies from Lewis & Clark College. Her academic interests include democratization, Central European politics, and EU studies.

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Christopher Edwards
Academic Director

Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

* Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

* Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Guido Reverdito, PhD
Academic Director, Florence
After a BA in Classics and a Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Guido received his PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Padua. He worked as a visiting professor in Classics at the University of Kansas in 1989 and for 16 years, he was a Lecturer in Italian Language and Literature on behalf of the Italian Government in Istanbul, Madrid, Budapest, and Canterbury. From 2009 to present, he has been the Director of Academics at CAPA, where he teaches courses in social history of Italy and contemporary Italian cinema. He edited and translated several classic Latin authors, and wrote a History of Latin Literature in four volumes. Since 1989, he has been a film critic. His latest work is research on early years and production of celebrated Italian crime novelist Giorgio Scerbanenco (Giorgio Scerbanenco and the heart of darkness of Italian crime novel, Aracne, 2014).
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Whitney Sherman, EdD
Academic Affairs Manager

Dr. Whitney Sherman joins CEA CAPA after directing intercultural learning for CIEE and overseeing international programs at the University of Southern California. A scholar-practitioner of global learning and intercultural exchange, Whitney regularly engages in academic research and recently served as an intercultural development consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, specializing in cultural awareness training for its Africa Bureau. She began her education abroad career coordinating internships onsite for Boston University in Los Angeles in 2008, after managing education projects for a local NGO in Niger and teaching English in France, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Whitney earned an EdD in Educational Leadership (Educational Psychology) from USC where she completed her dissertation, The role of the fieldbook: a pedagogical tool for intercultural learning. Whitney regularly presents at global education conferences and serves as the Chair of the Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Knowledge Community for the Michigan Association of International Educators. She also holds a MEd in International Educational Development from Boston University and a BA in Theatre from The College of Wooster.

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Alessandra Nania
Director of Program and Student Services, Dublin
Alessandra has a degree in Tourism Management from Technology University Dublin, and served as the Operations Director for Rianta. She previously worked as the Incoming Programs Coordinator for USIT Travel for eight years, organizing tailor-made academic, cultural, and educational programs in Ireland with US colleges and universities. She also teaches Italian.
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Morgan Martinez
Program Director, Paris

Morgan is a project manager specializing in international, educational, and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) project management. Her career has allowed her to gain experience in a variety of different contexts (including in multiple education institutions, a start-up in the social and solidarity economy, and a major French corporation in the video game sector), as well as to work with clients and colleagues in France, Jordan, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Spain, Belgium, and Romania. She is excited to build upon these experiences and put her acquired skills to use in her role as Program Director in Paris, France.

Originally from North Carolina, Morgan first fell in love with France during an exchange program during her first year of high school. Since then, her love affair with the country has only grown stronger. After spending a year in Montpellier during her undergraduate years, she permanently moved to France in 2016. During this time, she has been fortunate enough to expand her worldview in ways she once thought impossible and now very much considers herself a global citizen.

On a more personal level, Morgan enjoys learning new languages (including Spanish and German!), traveling to new countries, reading (historical fiction is her favorite genre), and taking long walks in the forest with her partner and dog.

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Andrea Custodi, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives

As Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives, Andrea Custodi, PhD, oversees evaluation and assessment, teaching and learning, and faculty engagement and development at CEA CAPA. She also serves as academic point on program development and direct enroll relationships with overseas institutional partners, and supports CEA CAPA's thought leadership in the field through publications, presentations, and work with our Advisory Board. Andrea comes to CEA CAPA with over 20 years of experience in senior leadership at education abroad organizations: from a small liberal arts consortium operating in South India, to Arcadia and IFSA's Alliance for Global Education, and most recently as Senior Director of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at CET Academic Programs. She also brings an extensive record of service to the field. Andrea most recently served on AIEA's Publications & Resources and Conference Committees; she has chaired The Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Committee, Standards Committee, and Outcomes Assessment Committee, and served as a member of the Forum Council, the Ethics Committee, and the Trained Facilitator Corps. Andrea holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from The George Washington University, with an academic background spanning South Asian religious studies, feminist, psychoanalytic, and critical theory, and international politics. She is fluent in French and Italian, and has lived, worked, or studied abroad in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Nepal.

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Stacy McKay Benander
Vice President, Institutional Relations - East

Based in the Naples, Florida, Stacy is a veteran of the international education field. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she served for 15 years as the Founder and President of Athena Study Abroad. She received the Enlightened Employer Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin, Germany, has been named twice to the Forty Under 40 list for business professionals (in both Columbus, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania), and was named the recipient of NAFSA Region VI's esteemed Leo Dowling Award of Excellence. Stacy served as a Founding Executive Team Member of the women's leadership and advocacy group the Global Leadership League, has served on NAFSA's Trainer Corps, and was a founding member of the Global Learning Collective. She has also served as the Director of the International Office at Ohio Dominican University and was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at The Ohio State University. Stacy earned her MA degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (Social and Cultural Foundations) from The Ohio State University, and her BA degree as a double-major in Spanish and Communications/Public Relations from John Carroll University.

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Andrea Knappich
Chief Financial Officer

Andrea Knappich is a senior finance executive with 25+ years of experience in high-growth organizations, including private equity held, public, and private companies. She has a demonstrated record of driving business transformation, growth, and operational performance, and enjoys collaborating across all areas of an organization. She has served as a key strategic finance partner to senior business and operational leaders across various business units and functional areas (technology, strategy, product development, marketing, client revenue, and human resources), and has significant experience leading due diligence and integration activities, as well as with mergers and acquisitions.

She has experience working in the US, Canada, and France, as well as extensive experience leading virtual, global finance teams. Her past roles include 20 years with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a global leader specialized in business travel, and most recently as CFO for Celerity Consulting Group, a provider of information management and litigation support solutions. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and also studied at a Consortium of International Business Schools (University of St. Gallen, Cranfield University, Esade, Bocconi, EM Lyon).

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Heather Gregg Reed
Director, Student Engagement

As Director of Student Engagement, Heather oversees student engagement initiatives for all study and intern abroad alumni, including CEA CAPA’s Alumni Ambassador Program. By creating opportunities for post-study abroad reflection, professional development, and community engagement, CEA CAPA aims to help alumni continue the learning cycle long after they’ve returned home, and Heather is thrilled to have a hand in shaping these goals. Having spent more than a decade in the international education field, Heather has served in roles across institutional relations, alumni outreach, student engagement, and marketing. She has a particular passion for Digital Storytelling and has leveraged the medium to help students, educators, and everyday people build community and connection. Heather holds a BFA in Education and Theatre from Shenandoah University. She is a serial hobbyist who enjoys making films, directing theatre, renovating old houses, and visiting U.S. National Parks with her husband, children, and pups.

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Stina Dufour, Ed.D.
Dean of Global Programs and Academic Administration
Stina Dufour, Ed.D, is the Dean of Global Programs & Academic Administration for CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Dr. Dufour oversees CEA CAPA's study center-delivered academics to ensure alignment with U.S. higher education academic policies and procedures. She also manages the School of Record relationship, including quality assurance protocols, curricular approvals, and academic records fulfillment. Before joining CEA CAPA in April 2021, Stina served in increasingly responsible roles at the Office of Global Affairs at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. For more than ten years, she was the Office's lead contact with the University Registrar and worked closely with faculty from every Steinhardt department to co-create curricula at NYU's study centers and with other international partners. Stina holds an EdD in Higher Education Administration and an MA in International Education from NYU and a BA (magna cum laude) in Sociology and Scandinavian Studies from North Park University, Chicago. Stina entered the field of education abroad in 2009 and after living for several formative years in Scandinavia, and studying abroad in Jönköping, Sweden. She regularly volunteers her time with the Forum as a peer reviewer for Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad and authored a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators, 5th Edition (2022).
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Alexandra Mitchell
Senior Director of Regional Programs - France & the Netherlands

As the Senior Director of Regional Programs, and Center Director for the CEA CAPA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA CAPA sites in France and in the Netherlands, maintaining CEA CAPA standards across all educational programs. Alexandra provides strategic leadership in areas including long and short-term Program Development, managing Finance and Human Resources, overseeing Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and working with students in and out of the classroom.

Alexandra earned a DEA after earning a Master of Arts, both in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). Before her graduate studies in France, Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). As a student, Alexandra was drawn to study abroad straight away. A high school travel program in Western Europe inspired her to complete study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Caen, France as an undergraduate.

Alexandra started her career in International Education as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris in 1999, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. She began a position as Program Director at CEA Study Abroad in 2004 before moving into her current role at CEA CAPA. Through experience and professional development, Alexandra has taken a particular interest in questions of health & safety abroad, and how meaningful integration can help students better understand their host environment and, consequently, stay safer while studying and travelling abroad.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Alexandra also lived in the U.S. for many years, as well as France, Italy, and Greece. She often tells students that, "studying abroad is not easy, but when home starts to feel foreign and your host country starts to feel like home, you know that you have been profoundly marked by your experience."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France
    • President: since 2021
    • President: 2013
    • Executive Board Member 2008-2013
  • Washington University in St. Louis APAP (Alumni organization)
  • OSAC France: Active member of OSAC Steering Committee, U.S. Embassy in Paris (Overseas Security Advisory Council)

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • “Representing the European Voice, Onsite Perspectives to Key Issues in Education Abroad”, panelist, Forum European Institute, Strasbourg, France, November 2023
  • “Facing the New Normal in Safety Abroad”, co-presenter, AACUPI Workshop, Rome, Italy, October 2019
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Education Abroad & the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Webinar, January 2016
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Working with Students Facing the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Post-Conference Workshop Athens, Greece, October 2016
  • “Post-Paris: Study Abroad in the New Normal”, co-presenter, AASAP Workshop, London, England, March 2017
  • “Status Report on Gender Studies in France : Resources for Accommodating LGBT Students in France”, APUAF Annual Meeting of US Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • “Homestay and Apartment Living Arrangements”, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • Participation at Resident Director's Fireside Dialogue, Forum European Conference – Dublin, Ireland, December 2012
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Ana Martínez, PhD
Academic Director

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA CAPA Barcelona programs. She reviews the curriculum and coordinates the development of new courses, reviews and maintains consistency of academic policies and practices, oversees the resolution of all important student academic issues, and provides support to faculty to guarantee academic excellence.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ana worked with another study abroad organization as a resident coordinator and faculty member. She's also held several university positions: Assistant Director of the Advanced Spanish Language Program at Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), Teaching Associate at Georgetown University and Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Spain), and Teaching Assistant and Director of the Spanish House at Middlebury College (Vt.). Ana earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University, which also conferred to her a Master of Science in Linguistics. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Antonio de Nebrija and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Philology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

Ana first travelled to Dublin, Ireland in high school and subsequently studied in London for four months. She also spent her senior year of college studying in Pisa, Italy and completed her graduate studies in Washington, D.C. She loves traveling and believes that understanding the world from different perspectives is the one of the most enriching lessons that students can learn while living abroad.

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Lorenzo Ciccarelli
Center Director for Legacy CAPA Florence
As Center Director of Palazzo Galli Tassi at CEACAPA Florence, Lorenzo oversees and coordinates all aspects of the legacy CAPA programs. This includes logistics and operations, crisis management, health & safety protocols and services, student advising, student housing, advising on custom program development and staff managing. Lorenzo acts as legal representative for CAPA in Florence, is in charge of Accounting and Finance and maintains the relationships with legacy CAPA providers in Florence. Lorenzo has been working for CAPA for more than 20 years contributing constantly and with passion to the growth of the program in Florence. A native Florentine, Lorenzo holds a degree in Hotel Management from the SHL (Schweizerische Hotelfachschule) in Luzern (Switzerland) . Prior to joining CAPA, Lorenzo worked in the Hotel Business in several countries in Europe and South America. Though his mother tongue is Italian, Lorenzo is fluent in German and English and has varying levels of Spanish and French. He has travelled extensively since childhood and firmly believes in the importance of cultural exchange and as a mean to become more conscious citizens of the world.
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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Michael Woolf, PhD
Deputy President for Strategic Development

Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad.

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Alexis Trono
Director, Creative & Brand

Alexis supports CEA CAPA’s departments by overseeing marketing product launches from start to finish. This process includes determining the scope of a project, managing communication, setting timelines with stakeholders, and overseeing the completion and implementation of projects and initiatives. Using her background in graphic design, she also provides art and creative direction ensuring the project’s alignment to the organization's goals, vision, and branding.

Alexis started with CEA CAPA in 2014 as a Graphic Designer and transitioned to the Marketing Project Manager role in 2019. Alexis received her BFA in Art with an emphasis in Design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A travel enthusiast, she has visited over 20 countries and spent part of her childhood living abroad in the Philippines and Japan.

Outside of work, Alexis is a big Arizona Cardinals fan, enjoys traveling all over the globe, dabbles in crochet, and takes long walks with her Dachshund-Yorkie pup Ollie. Her goal is to visit Antarctica—the one continent she has never set foot on—which she'll check off her list in December 2023.

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Anna Felberbaum
Senior Director of Regional Programs

As Center Director for Rome, Anna Felberbaum is responsible for office administration and the day-to-day management including staffing, student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, and student evaluations. Anna advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information and health and safety.

Anna was born in London, England, but has lived most of her life in Rome with brief periods in the UK and the U.S. for both study and work. Anna has over 11 years of experience in all aspects of study abroad. Before joining CEA, she worked for John Cabot University for four years as the Coordinator of Student Services. Previously, she managed Rome's main English bookshop.

Anna has a BA in English Literature from John Cabot University and is fluent in both written and spoken Italian.

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Aaron Yerkes
Vice President of Partnership Development

Aaron joins the CEA CAPA team after spending 19 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). He served the organization through a variety of roles, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Engagement, where he managed their nationwide recruitment team and custom program division. Prior to serving as the AVP for Institutional Engagement, Aaron served as the Field Director, Great Lakes Region and Enrollment Manager, where he was responsible for increasing program participation, growing the number of affiliated programs, as well as expanding the base of sending institutions across a 9-state region. He also served as the Senior Program Advisor for programs in the U.K. and New Zealand, where he actively engaged with students, parents, and advisors to educate them on programs that fit students’ academic needs, as well as exploring ways to remove barriers to make students’ dreams of studying abroad a reality.

Aaron is a graduate of Butler University and holds a BS degree in Finance. During his undergraduate experience, Aaron studied abroad in London, England at Birkbeck, University of London. His time abroad was so transformative for him that he wanted to devote his professional career to promoting life changing, international experiences to other students.

When Aaron is not advocating for students to learn abroad, he can be found planning his next travel adventure and spending time with his family. He is an avid hiker, skier, and golfer, and enjoys seeing live music and collecting vinyl records. Aaron is also very active in his community, engaging and volunteering with a number of organizations throughout his community, specifically with the Indiana Humane Society, Second Helpings, and Newfields.

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Caterina Marino
Program Director, Rome

Caterina is a native of Rome. Passionate about Italian culture and the arts, she pursued her studies in classics. After university studies in law school, she completed her education by getting her license as a coach and as a counselor.

Caterina's curious mind brought her to England, where she worked as a tourist assistant. In this role, she organized and administered language courses and cultural activities all over Europe. Fond of anthropology and different cultures, she travels extensively, thus far visiting Europe, the U.S., and Africa.

Caterina has significant experience in office management and communication and media relations. She loves teamwork and contributes with enthusiasm and creativity, motivating colleagues to achieve their goals.

In her free time, Cate works as a literary consultant and freelance proof-reader, and enjoys music and swimming. She is sensitive to social cultural issues and she is an active member of voluntary groups.

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Laura Salvadó
Senior Director of Global Operations

As Program Director, Laura's role is to provide leadership to the Student Support team at CEA CAPA Barcelona. She is responsible for management of staffing, financial logistics, student services, students accommodation, and Health & Safety issues.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Laura coordinated European Language Exchange Programs in both Barcelona and London, working to offer accommodation and cultural activities to language students. Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Middlesex in London and has over 15 years of experience in the study abroad field, with extensive expertise in the planning, execution, and delivery of student services.

Originally from Barcelona, Laura has extensively travelled around Spain, Europe and the U.S. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English. Laura firmly believes that traveling and study abroad are the best ways to expand and invigorate one's mind. She loves the fact that her job contributes to students' personal growth and to a better global cultural understanding.

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Santi Alias
Program Director, Barcelona
Santi began his professional career combining his studies in Translation and Interpreting and Educational Sciences at UAB with organizing programs abroad for Spanish students. Later, he worked as director of UAB Languages Barcelona. He developed his professional career as director of these programs for over 10 years. During the many challenges faced during this stage, he learned how to recognize the relevance of the intercultural competences of students who travel to Spain to carry out study abroad programs.
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Ricardo Valencia
Chief Global Inclusion & Impact Officer

Ricardo Lopez Valencia has honed his corporate and executive acumen over twenty-five years and knows that exemplary executive teams are robust, effective social systems. He is known for developing a virtuous cycle of respect, trust, and candor to create well-functioning, successful teams who have chemistry that cannot be quantified; where one superior quality builds on another.

Ricardo is an experienced executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit whose professional success has been achieved through a commitment to people, equitable access, social betterment, and bottom-line results. He blends inspiration in teams with strategic skills rooted in the following disciplines: collaborative leadership, multiple team coordination, market insight and research, disciplined communication and public relations, cultural literacy, development of comprehensive distribution platforms, and brand development resulting in successful and executable business strategies. Following his principles, he has done well for himself and his family. As a leader, Ricardo continues to achieve for his family, the company he works for, and for those he cares about.   

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Mike Punter, PhD
Global Director of Theater Education
Mike Punter is the Director of Theater Education for CAPA, based in London. He teaches a number of courses in London including Theatre in the City, Witchcraft and Magical Performance, Writing a Play, and Theatricality for BFA Actors. He has also written the courses Utopia: Extraordinary Places and Where to Find Them and Communicate. Mike is a produced and published dramatist whose work has been staged and toured by a range of theatres, including Hampstead Theatre in London, the UK's National Theatre, Paines Plough theatre company and the BBC. He’s presently developing a new project for British television. Mike has a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies, an MA in Renaissance Literature and Drama and a PhD with a focus on magic on the stage.

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Katie Lander
Director of Global Career & Internship Programs
Katie has had the pleasure of working across the higher education sector within the UK for the last 10 years, covering careers and employability for UK students and internships for international students as part of both graduate employability and study abroad. Having spent a large part of her career working with US institutions and students in London she can’t wait to join the team at this exciting time and jump fully back into international education. In her spare time you will find her reading a good (or bad!) book, going to theatre shows, hiking in the Chilterns, or surfing in North Cornwall! 
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Daniel Cunningham
Center Director, Sydney
Since 2008, Daniel has focused his skills and expertise around student services, activity programming, accommodations, procurement and staff management, sales and marketing, client relations, and health and safety. Holding roles such as the Duty Manager and Academic Coordinator at Corrib Village, a large student accommodation facility in Galway, Ireland, and at the Griffith College housing facilities in Dublin, where he provided exceptional service to the CEA CAPA Dublin team and our students, has allowed Daniel to understand and meet the range of needs that students have to complete a successful program abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accountancy (Honors) degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Higher Diploma in Project Management from Griffith College, Dublin.
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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Ben Werth
Executive Vice President, Institutional Partnerships and Marketing

Ben Werth brings over a decade of experience leading strategic and operational transformation for growth and spent the past six years within the private equity ecosystem. He joins CEA CAPA from LogicMonitor, where he served as Vice President of GTM Operations and Growth Strategy and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout his tenure, Ben held several senior leadership positions at LogicMonitor, across pre- and post-sales, helping scale global operations from 250 employees to 1,100-plus. Prior to LogicMonitor, Ben delivered consulting and strategy services with Vista Equity Partners in VCG, and at Deloitte Consulting.

Ben graduated from the University of Washington and earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. Instrumental as a founding team member of a Bellevue Washington area non-profit, Rainier Athletes, Ben focused on creating equitable opportunities through mentorship for youth, in and out of the classroom. For over eight years, Ben worked to grow the organization to now serve 100-plus students annually, across 12 schools, supported by a team of 70 mentors.

As a business leader and community member, Ben is passionate about personal development, and creating equitable opportunities for those around him to reach their full potential.

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Nikki Bruckmann
Director of Global Operations

Nikki Bruckmann is the Director of Global Operations, working closely with CEA’s Program Directors, Enrollment, Academic, Program Development, and Custom Teams aligning processes, enhancing systems, and the student experience.  

Nikki has over 12 years of experience in higher education. After conducting her own research abroad, Nikki taught Cultural Anthropology at the university level for many years and co-founded a local non-profit in the Indianapolis area serving after-school programming for middle and high school students around social justice issues. Thereafter, she spent over 9 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) in Enrollment, leaving her role as Director of Student Engagement overseeing admissions, pre-arrival, alumni, and specific strategic initiatives. At IFSA she developed a passion for curating the student experience. Her professional work experience focuses on building academic enrichment, intercultural learning, and inclusive excellence.  

Nikki was recently published in the Forum for Education Abroad’s new book, “A House Where All Belong: Redesigning Education Abroad for Inclusive Excellence,” a chapter focusing on inclusive advising practices.  

Nikki is an avid gardener, hiker, traveler, and social justice advocate. 

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Anthony Gristwood, PhD
Faculty Chair, London & Global Faculty Advisory Council Chair
Anthony Gristwood is the London Faculty Chair and Chair of the Global Faculty Advisory Council. He has been teaching in higher education since 1994 and has specialized in the field of education abroad for the last 20 years at CAPA, the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Connecticut in London. He holds an MA, PGCE, and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His current research and teaching interests include globalization, global cities, and modern London; politics, identity, and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; and the use of digital mapping in globally-networked teaching and learning. Publications include “Engaging with Self, Others, Space, and Place: Leveraging the Geographic Imagination in Education Abroad” (with Darren Kelly), in Brewer & Ogden, eds., Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: Critical Perspectives and Approaches to Integration with Student Learning and Development (Stylus, May 2019). Anthony is also a regular contributor to, and editor of the CEA CAPA Ocassional Publications series.

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Chris DeRusha
Senior Vice President of Information Technology
Chris DeRusha joins CEA CAPA with over 16 years of IT management experience. His career path in IT started at a young age while helping a neighborhood computer shop build new PCs. This led to his desire to pursue his bachelor's degree in computer science. Since then, Chris has worked for manufacturing, engineering, and medical organizations. He now has extensive experience designing and leading in the implementation of robust corporate networks with the security and redundancy required to maintain business stability. Maximizing interdepartmental collaboration, efficiencies, and productivity through thoughtful and smart use of IT resources is his passion. Chris recognized early on in his career that IT was not just a service, but a provider of tools and ideas to help company departments work better, together.
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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player.
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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Caroline Walsh
Senior Vice President of Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA CAPA’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 CAPA 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 CAPA, 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, Institutional Relations - West

Tim Boubek is the Vice President, Institutional Relations - West. CEA CAPA established its Institutional Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA CAPA West Regional Directors to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA CAPA 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 CAPA. 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
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Paul Hopkinson
Vice President, Institutional Relations - Central

A native of Massachusetts, Paul is based in Austin, Texas, having joined CEA CAPA in 2018. He oversees a talented team of Regional Directors working with institutional partners in the central US. Paul has focused his career working with students and administrators in higher education. Prior to CEA CAPA, Paul served as a Bilingual Admission Counselor and Academic Advisor at St. Edward’s University, Director of Internships and Service-Learning at International Studies Abroad, and Director of Institutional Relations with EF College Study Tours. Paul also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and has led service-learning projects to Peru. He holds a dual B.A. in Spanish and Communication from Stonehill College and earned his MA in Spanish from Texas State University. When he's not on an airplane visiting institutional partners, Paul enjoys eating brisket at barbecue spots around Texas, walking his Boxer, and rocking out at live music venues with his wife and daughter.

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Stacy McKay Benander
Vice President, Institutional Relations - East

Based in the Naples, Florida, Stacy is a veteran of the international education field. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she served for 15 years as the Founder and President of Athena Study Abroad. She received the Enlightened Employer Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin, Germany, has been named twice to the Forty Under 40 list for business professionals (in both Columbus, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania), and was named the recipient of NAFSA Region VI's esteemed Leo Dowling Award of Excellence. Stacy served as a Founding Executive Team Member of the women's leadership and advocacy group the Global Leadership League, has served on NAFSA's Trainer Corps, and was a founding member of the Global Learning Collective. She has also served as the Director of the International Office at Ohio Dominican University and was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at The Ohio State University. Stacy earned her MA degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (Social and Cultural Foundations) from The Ohio State University, and her BA degree as a double-major in Spanish and Communications/Public Relations from John Carroll University.

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Addie Rhee
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
Sports industry and its affect on European identity because I learned so much about soccer and even got to visit the Real Madrid Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I met local students at my university during speed chats! I talked to 10 local students in Spanish and English over the period of an hour and a half. It was an incredible opportunity and I learned so much!

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Alexis Pena
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
I think everyone should know how much CEA CAPA helps before you leave. All of the pre-departure meetings were very helpful and they really made the experience as smooth as possible.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could pick another CEA CAPA program, I'd love to go to London, England. I've always wanted to visit and since I have some family from there, it'd be amazing to see them and have them show me around. I didn't get the chance to visit there during my time abroad and I'd love to visit it some time.

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Ally Koeppel
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I was constantly walking around, exploring, trying new foods, and finding my favorite places to frequent! I'm a big fan of art and literature, so Florence had an excess of locales that I was interested in. I loved talking to people and hearing what they were passionate about and what they loved about Florence.

WHAT'S ONE STORY YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people how amazing it was constantly being surrounded by history and art. Coming back to the U.S., it really makes you realize just how deep the European roots go, especially in Florence! I noticed something new, yet old, every day, and there were endless stories told by everything and everyone around me.

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Alyssa Tsing
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class abroad would have to be Tropical Botany. In this course, I learned about the different plants in Costa Rica and their practical uses. We had a herbalism workshop, which aligns with my knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
While studying abroad I attended a local church that spoke Mandarin and Spanish. There I met locals that took me out to see beautiful sights around and in San José.

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Amelia Kaftan
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local community when I studied abroad in various ways. I attended many festivals and events going on throughout the city. This was a very fun way to meet local people and to be immersed more in the culture. I also struck up conversation with many different people while waiting in line places or going out to eat. I really enjoyed interacting with the local community in Barcelona.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class that I took while studying abroad was Spanish Civilization and Culture. I didn't really enjoy learning about history until I went abroad. Taking this course was really cool as everything I learned I saw first hand while walking down the street or looking at a historical monument. Ultimately, it was very interesting learning about the city and country I studied in.

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Anthony Rotolo
CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: Santa Monica College
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Bailey Kulesza
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite class abroad was actually the hardest class that Seville, Spain had to offer: Architecture and Painting in Sevilla. This class was needless to say, a difficult one coming from a Communication Studies major. However, this course pushed me to study and actually retain knowledge about the area that surrounded me everyday. It unfortunately ended earlier than all of my other classes but, we never stopped grinding and so there was never room to slack, or else it would catch up to you real quick.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One of the biggest things that I tell individuals looking to go study abroad is how much it builds your sense of self and independence from all of our comfortabilities. I was able to be immersed into a different country with different cultures, communication patterns, and values. This allowed me to find new communication patterns that worked better, refine my own value set, as well as gather cultural knowledge on how I want to live my life. Even if I did start to get homesick, I was always able to see a positive aspect to what seemingly was a negative emotion.

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Bronwyn Geddes
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local Sevilla community by attending flamenco dance lessons and city events such as Noche en Blanco and the Navidad season. The flamenco classes were especially engaging because I practiced my dancing while using my Spanish language and connecting with other students.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class abroad was Spanish for Business (Spanish Instruction). I loved this class because it was designed to help improve my Spanish language skills especially for business subjects. However, it ended up providing me with far more information regarding cultural phrases and customs specifically in Sevilla and Andalucia. The professor was engaging and always happy to answer student questions.

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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez
CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Seville, Spain
Home University: Humboldt State
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Camila Cramer
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?

Studying abroad is a fascinating experience that'll take you out of your comfort zone. You're going to meet people from all over the world who will have a different vision of the world. This expands your horizons, positively influence your way of thinking and it'll help you grow.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
During my time in London, I interned abroad. This helped me really immerse in the culture and get to know a lot of people from London.

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Ceci Logan
Alumni Ambassador
HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?

One really easy way to feel like you're engaging with the local community abroad is to find a few establishments (cafes, restaurants, bars, etc.) that you like, and try to frequent them. The employees will get to know you if you go in at similar times or days, and you'll get to know them, too. You'll get recommendations and find out more about the area once you get to know some locals! Another great way to engage in the local community is by going to local libraries: you'll see many other students and get to fit in, studying abroad alongside the locals!

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
Make the most of your time! I think it's really important to surround yourself with people who share your goals and interests. If you want to make sure you get to see lots of sights, museums, shows, and more, find people with similar interests and you can do all you want and more! BUT-- do not be afraid to do the things you want to do alone. You'll get to push your comfort zone and have a lot of really cool experiences while seeing world-class sights!

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Claire O'Neill
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?

One thing I always mention about my time abroad is how much fun all the little things were in Madrid. Walking around beautiful parks, riding the city bikes, trying new cafes and restaurants, riding the metro with friends, discovering my favorite neighborhoods, and everything in between. The city itself is so beautiful and so I just wanted to soak up as much of it as possible, whether it was the simple or more extravagant things. Almost everyday of my semester abroad was sunny and beautiful weather, so I got really lucky in that regard as well. All of these activities I mentioned contain some of my favorite memories from my host city that I will cherish forever.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
While abroad, I made it my mission to explore as much as my home country as I could because I knew Spain had so much to offer. Of course I couldn't make it to every place, but I visited and spent time in 8 Spanish cities. While in all these places, my friends and I would always want to try the local cuisine and traditions from there, and it just helped us feel connected and understand more about the culture of the place, people, and of course their food. It created these small learning experiences that were really unique and special to help us remember the city. Everyday, I also did my best to speak Spanish with all the shop and cafe owners and all the local people I encountered on the day-to-day. It really helped me to adjust and feel more a part of the country I was studying in.

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Claudia Luco
Program Director

Claudia Luco was born and raised in Viña del Mar—in her opinion, “the most beautiful city in Chile.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and minored in English language and literature from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). After college, she traveled to the U.S. through a foreign exchange program for teachers and taught Spanish, Chilean History, and Social Sciences to students in different schools across Iowa for almost a year. 

For several years, she worked as a volunteer for Experiment Chile, another study and work abroad program. During her time volunteering there, she enrolled students in Chilean high schools and institutions in programs to study and work abroad in countries all over the world. She interviewed them to check their English language proficiency and assisted them in filling out application forms. 

 From 2007 to 2008, she worked as a Resident Director for IFSA-BUTLER in Valparaíso, where she gained experience organizing academic and social activities for American University students, finding accommodations with Chilean families, and attended international annual meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

In 2019, she joined CEA as the Interim Program Director—and is now back in 2022 as the Program Director for Valparaíso.  

She loves taking dancing lessons, traveling, and learning languages. She has a certification in A2 level of Mandarin Chinese according to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). In 2014, she received a scholarship to study language and Chinese culture in a Summer camp for foreign exchange students at Anhui University in Hefei, Anhui province. 

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Eliza Jason
CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: Point Loma Nazarene University
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Elle Segrest
Alumni Ambassador
IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
This is so difficult since there are so many beautiful areas, but I'd probably say anywhere in Italy. I spent a week there with my Dad when he came to visit me and it was so beautiful! There's so much history in Rome and throughout Italy and I'd love to explore that more.

 

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
It mad such a huge difference with CEA CAPA handling room & board! I had some friends who studied through my university, and they had to find roommates and a place to live all by themselves which was very, very difficult. It was such a weight off of our shoulders by 1. giving us roommates so that we made friends a lot easier, and 2. not having to worry about rent/utilities/etc., and having our initial payment cover that.

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Emily Gates
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
The Wine in Spain class was the best experience. The professor (Jose Carlos Saquete) was extremely knowledgeable about wine and food in Spain, and gave me the best restaurant recommendations when I asked for some. He made the class so much fun and I truly enjoy wine so much more, understanding how to taste and drink it.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I say that I ate the best I've ever eaten in my life. The restaurant scene in Seville was so much fun to explore, as they hosted a variety of different cuisines. There were no shortages of wonderful traditional Spanish restaurants, the freshest seafood, but also some really fun more modern options.

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Emily Sturgeon
CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France
Home University: University of Alabama
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Eve Palmer
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite study abroad class was Media in a Democracy and Democracy in the Czech Republic.

 

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
About my experience finding a ceramic studio outside of the program and how important it was for my personal growth and how much the program helped with this process.

 

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Gabriella Gebo
CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Vanguard University
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Gracie Darland
CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid, Spain
Home University: University of Mississippi
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Hannah Kersey
CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France 
Home University: Belmont University
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Hayley Camponescki
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class while I studied abroad was beginners watercolor. My enjoyment of this class surprised me because I often get frustrated with my lack of artistic ability. But my lack of talent was compensated by my desire to portray my trips through art. Our assignments that involved painting "postcards" of some of our favorite sights while abroad. A lot of my paintings (though I didn't find good at all) were great keepsakes and a wonderful way to look at my time in Florence through a different lens. My teacher for this course, Jamie, was easily one of my favorite teachers I have had in my life. My classmates and I were able to connect with her through social media and I hope to one day go back and visit her. She always encouraged me to embrace the mistakes I made in my work, and look at the piece as a whole and not for its faults.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
My apartment was located about a 20-30 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the city. Though it was incredibly easy to get to places like the Duomo by foot, being further away from all of the tourists was something I learned to love. Almost every morning my roommates and I went to Cafe Orcagna located on our street and enjoyed a cappuccino and pastry. The workers knew us so well that they had our orders memorized and one morning when I didn't have my wallet, they prepared my food while I quickly ran back to my apartment to retrieve it. It was here that we tested our knowledge of the language, work on our homework, and show our families when they came to visit.

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Ivy Bartlett
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
My CEA CAPA Barcelona study abroad program was the right fit for me because Barcelona has so much to experience and it has a large airport so that I could get the most out of my traveling. The classroom setting was also small so I enjoyed getting to know my classmates and professors.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would pick to go to Sydney, Australia. I've never visited Australia and I think that it'd be a really interesting place to explore and expand my global perspective.

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JJ Koumaglo
Content Creator - Blogger
Jessica Juliette (JJ) Koumaglo (she/her) is a Marketing major at the University of Colorado Boulder who is studying abroad in Florence, Italy this spring 2023. She is excited about exploring a new city and learning about its culture and history through art and food. While in Italy, JJ hopes to learn how to cook, paint, and connect with the history of Italy by going to museums. Stay tuned and discover Italy through her blogs!
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Julia Benjamin
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I immersed myself in the Italian culture by having meals with my professors to learn their customs and traditions. I also explored art and music through museums in Florence and entered new neighborhoods to learn how communities compare with one another.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people to say yes to everything and try new things! It's important to go out of your comfort zone and explore all that your host country offers.

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Julia Dixon
CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: University of Michigan
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Kelsey Bardach
CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home University: Indiana University
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Kendra Roberson
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite class was Beginning Italian. It was so helpful to learn the language of the country that I was studying abroad in so I communicated with locals, understood signs and products in the grocery stores, and learned more about the culture. Although I didn't become fluent, I gained a great foundation of basics in Italian, and held entire conversations in Italian by the end of my program.

 

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
My favorite memory from abroad that I share with people about is travelling to two countries for a week with just my backpack and one friend. We went to Spain and Portugal, stayed in hostels, hiked through the forests, went to a concert, and made new friends along the way. I always wanted to "backpack," and even though I wasn't hiking and sleeping in the forest, it felt so freeing and awarding to travel with such little items. I really experienced each country and wish I could've stayed for even longer.

 

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Kyle Spencer
CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Cedarville University
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Lillian Huckabee
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: University of Georgia
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Lily Moen
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local community in many ways. Living with a host family gave me a great insight to what daily life can look life. I also had the opportunity to volunteer in a classroom, so I interacted with students and got to know them during my time there.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
I really enjoyed the class "Diversity of Spanish in the World." The class took a deep dive on different dialects and characteristics of the Spanish language in different regions in Spain as well as in North/South America. I thought it was very interesting to listen to Spanish speakers from different areas of the same country and see how their way of speaking slightly changed.

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Mackenzie Brady
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
The study abroad experience has changed me in some of the best and most unexpected ways. I remember waiting in the Chicago airport and getting so sick because of nerves and asking my mom to come pick me up. However, what felt like days later I was calling my mom crying that my experience was ending early. The study abroad experience has shaped me into the most independent I have ever been. I learned responsibility, independence, and fearlessness through the adversity going on through the coronavirus and all the challenges with finding flights and etc. I no longer needed friends to go with me places, I began to enjoy doing things on my own. I never would have seen myself going to get coffee with someone I had spoke to for two hours a few days before and enjoying myself and feeling comfortable. I absolutely feel changed and my life has bettered from studying abroad.

2. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
My experience inside Granada was phenomenal. My host family was so warm and friendly, I spent a lot of time in the house and on the street with them, learning the cultural norms, where the best bakeries are, and the best restaurant for a tapa. At least once a week I participated in an 'intercambio' a language exchange program in which I spoke in Spanish with native speakers for an hour and then we switched and the native speaker practiced their English. I adored this experience and frequently would make friendships with locals and spend time with individuals outside of the program. Finally, I loved experiencing the culture on my own. After class I would take a long walk home, sit in the park, buy some goodies from the bakery, and interact with locals to ask for directions or recommendations. This was one of my favorite parts because I began to become like a local to some businesses and saw the same people in the park on my walks home.
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Maya LePique
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people that I fell in love! During my time studying abroad, I made lots of valuable friendships, and all of my roommates were great. But what was most special to me was developing a relationship with a person, falling in love with them, and experiencing all of this wonderful city with them. We both moved back to the U.S. after our semester, and next year we're moving in together.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
A few of my classes were cultural, which enabled me to engage with the community through them. I learned about Czech authors, painters, and politicians. Many of the classes we had involved trips, during which we walked around Prague and learned about its history. CEA CAPA also provided us with a couple of excursions during which we visited nearby cities and learned about their history. On my own time, I walked around a lot, and tried to use my Czech language class to interact with shipowners. I became a local at my favorite cafe's and restaurants, and tried to be as outgoing as possible so that I could meet new people.

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Meghan Leslie
CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain
Check my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Dayton
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Michael Woolf
Content Creator - Blogger
Michael Woolf is the Deputy President for Strategic Engagement at CEA CAPA Education Abroad. He serves on a number of boards and was a member of the Board of Directors of The Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012. He was also the recipient of the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award (2020) from the Forum on Education Abroad. 'Thoughts on Education Abroad' is a monthly column of short essays sharing his thoughts and expertise on the subject. All views and opinions in his articles are his own and may not reflect the views of other staff of CEA CAPA or the organization as a whole.
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Molly Hulsey
CEA MOJO Blogger in Galway, Ireland
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Galway, Ireland
Home University: Covenant College
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Olivia Stanton Moretzsohn
Alumni Ambassador

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS), WHICH WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could pick another CEA CAPA program, I'd definitely pick Seville, Spain, because when I was originally deciding between programs, I was torn between that one and Grenoble, France (which I ended up choosing and LOVED). I love the options of courses offered in the Seville program because they are very unique to the area, such as Spanish Cinema, Food and Culture in Spain, and Seville: the Expression of a City through its Art.

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
Take advantage of the activities and trips that CEA CAPA plans, because I saw so many cool places that would've never crossed my mind to visit, and I tried a lot of new food as well as new activities. CEA CAPA is there to help make everyone's study abroad experience the best that it can be, and saying yes to any opportunity to try something new always ends up paying off.

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Riley Doerge
CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Washington State University
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Ritika Thope
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?

CEA CAPA has incredible professors and staff that are all very engaging, supportive and knowledgeable in the field. Throughout my four months abroad, I constantly felt supported and knew that I could reach out with any concerns at any point.

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
CEA CAPA allowed me to choose courses that were very well aligned with my health sciences major and gave me various different housing options to be able to find the right program for all my needs.

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Rylee Camp
Alumni Ambassador
IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I'd choose the CEA CAPA program in Madrid! Although Madrid is the capital of Spain, I didn't end up visiting it so I'd love to explore more of that city!

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
They have resources for LITERALLY everything! Information on the best restaurants, pharmacies, stores, gyms, dance clubs, etc.!

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Samara Rosenthal
CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: University of Arizona
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Sara Cabral-Manterola
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite study abroad class was my "Arte en el Museo del Prado" class. We were allowed to visit el Museo del Prado three times during the semester. The best was learning about Spanish culture and history through the eyes of amazing Spanish painters like El Greco, Goya, and Velazquez.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
The life-balance lifestyle Spanish live is a great experience to learn from to apply in your life. In Spanish, social interactions are as important, or maybe more important, than endless homework deadlines. It makes students see a different framework to learn about the world.

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Summer Selden
CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home University: University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
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Teresa Bellono
Senior Global Operations Manager
Teresa oversees and coordinates continuous process improvements for the global team, optimizes systems, develops training resources, and liaises between departments. Her international travels have been tied to a variety of roles throughout her life—including choral singer, WWOOFer, and heritage seeker. Her academic year in Aix-en-Provence crystalized her lifelong love of language learning and her unshakeable belief in the transformative potential of study abroad. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and international studies from Indiana University and a master’s degree in international training and education from American University. With over 14 years of international higher education experience, Teresa has held roles in institutional partnerships, alumni relations, custom programs, program development, and academic affairs. While serving as Director of Program Operations at IFSA, she developed a passion for data stewardship and collaborated with onsite staff to build impactful, behind-the-scenes efficiencies. Some of her most rewarding projects have focused on promoting non-traditional study abroad destinations and designing work-integrated global learning experiences. 
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Vonnai Phair
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
The decision to study abroad in France comes from a combination of my family history, my love for traveling, and the time I have dedicated to taking French courses throughout my education. Having the opportunity to study in a historically rich and beautiful country culturally separate from mine is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I couldn’t pass it up!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have always thought French was a beautiful language, and I have now been studying it for more than eight years. I have also traveled to Paris twice throughout my education, and I have fallen in love with literally everything about the city. Deciding to study in Paris was a no-brainer for me, and it’s just a bonus that I get to wrap up my French language education while I’m there -- finally!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most looking forward to completely immersing myself in French culture, from mastering the language to eating my way through the culinary world and everything else in between. I also can’t wait to visit my friends who are only a short flight away in Florence and Barcelona.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I’m a Ravenclaw. And I have the biggest sweet tooth ever, so catch me chasing every meal with Parisian dessert!


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French Alps/Grenoble, France Team

Chiara Mazzarelli
Program Coordinator
Chiara is originally from Italy but grew up in the French side of Switzerland. Living in Amsterdam for over three years now, she fell in love with the Dutch capital and wishes to build her life there long term. Having always had a passion for learning about different cultures and traveling abroad, she did her first exchange year in Japan when she was 16. This was a pivotal moment in her life and made her the positive and sociable person she is today. Now, she hopes to provide the same transformative experiences to the students of CEA CAPA so that they can then return home with a broader perspective on the world and themselves. 
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Marra Finkelstein
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I choose to study abroad to explore new cultures and have new experiences.

what is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I am hoping to get better at speaking Spanish while in Seville.
                        
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My photography and film classes.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about film and photography. I am hoping to decide whether I want to continue this as a career.

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Sam Cohen
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted a change of pace; I was tired of sitting in a classroom and doing the same thing every day after school.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination? what is one new expereince you're hoping to have abroad?
I want to learn more about different cultures. I was born and raised in New York, so I don't know what outside life is like. I hope to explore Australian culture and embrace any and all cultural shocks.
                        
What CLASS ARE YOU TAKING while ABROAD?
I took two classes focusing on wellness and wellbeing. These classes have been the best classes I have ever taken in my education; our homework assignments are to explore what Australia has to offer and write about what we did.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Physical fitness and hands-on activities. I enjoy things that engage and pique my interests. I like learning about things I am not knowledgeable about and being able to truly interact with the material. Hobbies of mine are pickleball, volleyball, working out, meditation, yoga, poetry, visiting art and history museums, and - last but not least - I am kind of a foodie.

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Piper Salmon
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always known that I was going to study abroad, so the real question was really where do I want to go?

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
 I chose Sydney, Australia because it is a goal of mine to feel like I have lived in every continent. I want to really plant my feet and experience different parts of the world, and studying abroad in Sydney will help get me closer to my goal.
                       
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking an international marketing class that I am really looking forward to.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about seeing the world and meeting new people. I think traveling and doing things independently is the only way to really expand your perspective, and I am excited to learn more about myself and others.

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Jake Kalinowski
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to study abroad since I was in elementary school. Both of my parents studied abroad in Germany and have traveled the world together. Their experiences abroad have inspired me to also go abroad. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I specifically chose Australia because I have heard such wonderful things about the people and culture. It's also so far away and is probably the only opportunity I'll have to visit such a fascinating continent.
                      
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am really looking forward to my Studies in Film course because I love film and am excited to learn more about it. I am also excited for my Sport in Australian Society course since I don't know anything about it and I think it would be beneficial for me to learn more about Australian society. I am passionate about the environment and to learn more about Australian's perspective on environmental issues in the Environment and Society course.          

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am really excited to meet new people and learn more about Australian culture. I would love to learn more about all the fun activities Australians do. I can't wait to see all the beaches and animals as well.

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Marie Volkmuth
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad, to experience a new perspective, and to become more culturally diverse.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I wanted to go somewhere where I already knew the language, and visiting Australia and its wildlife has been a lifelong dream of mine.
                            
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about exercise and proper nutrition for the human body. I am excited to try new food and explore the city through running!

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Nora Ford
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always loved traveling and I've never been to Europe.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose Seville, Spain because Spanish is one of my majors so I could actually apply what I have been learning in class.
                     
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My photography class and my flamenco class.
         
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about running. I'm excited to run in new places.

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Kyle Oberreit
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I think it is a wonderful opportunity to try something new and have an incredible character-building experience. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Costa Rica to be fully immersed in somewhere brand new and to get away from the cold.
                    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Tropical Birds of Costa Rica.
        
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Taking care of the ocean and being so close to it.

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Ebony Owens-Kennedy
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I've always wanted to travel and experience different environments, scenery, and culture. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
San José was the top destination for my program and it looked very beautiful and inviting.
                    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Cultural Photography because I want to improve my creative skills behind a camera. Medical Spanish which would be very important and helpful for my career in medicine.
       
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about art (drawing, painting, clay making) and reading, listening to music, going to concerts, working out and staying active, movies, and TV shows.

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Alexa Lambert
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I believe studying abroad is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I could not pass it up!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
When I found out that the University of Miami was introducing a new program to Costa Rica, I knew I had to apply! It has been a dream destination of mine, as I love tropical environments, hence my decision to go to school in Miami.
                   
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking two Spanish classes, and I am really hoping to improve my understanding of the language. Going to school in Miami, I hear it all of the time, but I can never understand or communicate back. I hope with my classes and immersion in the culture that I can gain a better understanding of the language and use it even after my program ends.
      
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about being active and outdoors. Costa Rica is the best place for that! I am actually a certified yoga instructor, so I hope to find some cool classes in Costa Rica when I need to take a step back and relax.

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Anna Keller
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad to gain cultural experiences and travel to new and exciting places.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose to study abroad in Rome to explore Italian culture and food.
                  
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Food and Culture.
     
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I enjoy listening to music, playing soccer, baking, going for walks, watching the sunset, and going to the beach.

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Megan White
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted the opportunity to travel and explore new countries and cultures, while also receiving college credit.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Prague because it seemed like a beautiful city with rich history and culture, and also because it is well known for its film scene.
                 
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am really excited for my Documentary Film Class!
    
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am really passionate about filmmaking. I am majoring in film at U of M and I love to be behind the camera.

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Marianna Novak
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I am excited to explore a new culture and cultivate my own sense of independence and belonging.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose to study abroad in Prague because I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Italy last January and fell in love with traveling!
                
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking a video storytelling course, and I am very excited!
   
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love listening to music, doodling, and writing stories. I consider myself an environmentalist and am very passionate about limiting my waste consumption.

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Itati Serrano
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I choose to study and intern abroad because I am a first generation student. I've always had big dreams and this is one of them and I cannot believe it's coming true. I want to make a difference in the world and I think this will allow me to do so.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose Prague because of its rich history and diversity. I am certain it will allow me to gain the global competency I wish to gain.
               
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to Diversity and Ethnicity in the Czech Republic, I cannot wait!
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited about sightseeing and food, my two favorite things!

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Cameryn Conlon
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I always knew I wanted to study abroad because I love to travel and have new experiences.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I decided to study in Prague because I have heard such amazing things about the city and I also felt it aligned well with what I wanted out of study abroad.
              
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most excited for my Czech Culture, Food and Brewing Tradition course.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love going to movie theaters, its my new favorite activity. Hopefully I have the chance to go to the movies and see some cool films!

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Kristina Dillon
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to study abroad since I was a young kid because I am a huge fan of traveling and adventure! 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Since I had never been to Europe and had always dreamt of going to Paris, I thought it was the perfect selection!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I can't wait to take Travel Writing and Food and Culture in France!

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am a broadcast journalist, so I'm super passionate about getting out into the community and helping people tell their stories in a visual way.

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Ella Madrak
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Paris, France because I've been taking French since middle school and wanted the chance to explore the city, learn more about Parisian life, practice my French, and gain experience in the French workplace!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm looking forward to taking French while abroad, although I've taken many French classes, after arriving and getting acclimated I've realized that my skills could definitely use some improvement. But, I've enjoyed being able to practice with friends and professors, as well as simple things like ordering a coffee!
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm passionate about fashion and marketing, and so far being in Paris during fashion week has been amazing and I've loved the chance to observe some of the business aspects of fashion week.

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Yasmine Bari
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Spain because I've always loved Spanish art and culture, and wanted to explore more in the country!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Film Narrative.
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm really passionate about telling people's stories and exploring wherever I am!

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Bianca Blanding
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to learn more about a culture that wasn't mine or one that I am not around much and know much about. I also wanted a change in my life from my everyday norms and wanted to experience something different that could help me grow as a person.
              
WHAT IS ONE NEW EXPERIENCE YOU'RE HOPING TO HAVE WHILE ABROAD?
I hope to become more comfortable with meeting new people and getting pushed out of my comfort zone. I am not used to much change so I want to become a person that can adapt to new situations.
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love to watch TV shows and movies a lot. I also love hanging out and doing events with my pre-law fraternity at school.

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Anand Wetzel
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I love new experiences and meeting new people, so studying abroad seemed like a no-brainer. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Madrid specifically since I want to learn more Spanish and I love the culture.
            
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm looking forward to taking a class in art while abroad to broaden my perspective.
             
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love food, so I can't wait to see how the food in different cultures and areas changes and has evolved. Food can tell you a lot, and I want to experience as much of it as possible.

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Emma Chung
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I felt it was the perfect opportunity to live in a different country, but with the structure and the help of experts.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London because I love the city, they speak English, and it is close to so many other amazing countries that I would love to explore. I am looking forward to immersing myself into the culture and city!
           
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Ethics in the Media class. This class directly correlates to my major, and I think it will be interesting to learn about different examples of when the media has been unethical.
            
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Something that I love to do is explore different coffee shops and restaurants. I am looking forward to all the new ones that I will be able to go to in London, and the other countries that I visit!

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Carleigh Smith
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Studying abroad has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I have always wanted to work and live in a big city and I knew studying abroad would give me the opportunity to try it out.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I love to travel, and London easily became my favorite city because of its various cultures and endless amount of things to do and places to see.
          
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to taking International Marketing because I think I will get a more hands-on and deeper understanding of the material.
           
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about all things fashion and apparel related and plan to work in that industry once I graduate. I am so excited to live among locals in another country and experience how trends and everyday apparel is different.

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Sophia Kunkel
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I want to experience what life outside the United States is like. I want to immerse myself in other cultures and meet people.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London specifically because some of my literary heroes are from England, and I am interested in exploring their world.
         
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to a writing class called Writing the City. However, I am equally excited about the LGBTQ Studies in London course!
          
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited about all the bookstores in London! There are so many unique shops with different histories. I will definitely bring back a few books with me.

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Giselle Magana
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study/intern abroad because I love to travel, and I decided why not do it while going to school! I want to learn more about who I am, and go out of my comfort zone for new experiences.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London because I love the culture, and I have been wanting to go there since I was little!
        
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my strategic communications and social media classes. I find that kind of stuff fascinating and I cannot wait to learn more about it.
         
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
My favorite thing ever is concerts! I am a huge concert person and I am hoping to go to a couple while I am abroad. I also love farmers markets and walking around the city.

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Payton Arbuthnot
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Experiencing a new culture can provide depths of knowledge that cannot otherwise be taught in a classroom. There is deep wealth in the diversity of knowledge, thought, and experience. I chose to study abroad to experience diverse perspectives in my area of study, political science. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
As a native of mountain-riddled Colorado, I am elated to encounter the beautiful mountains surrounding Grenoble, France! With French as my minor, I applied to study in Grenoble to improve my French listening, reading, and speaking skills as I submerse myself in the culture!
       
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
As a political science student, I am eager to take a class on International Policy. After reading the syllabus, I believe that the class will challenge me and enhance my political analysis skills. The class allows me to work with other students in the class, allowing me to learn international politics from new perspectives.
        
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Athletics and competition drive me. When I exercise or compete, I feel most at home. I enjoy competing in basketball but thoroughly enjoy running and weight training as stress relievers.

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Danielle Costello
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to learn more about myself and create new experiences in a different culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I am studying in Galway, Ireland for this spring semester. I have family an hour away from campus which has been making my adjustment to a new country more relaxing and welcoming.
      
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
While in Galway I am most looking forward to the course I am taking called Supporting Children with Diverse Needs. This course consists of leaning a new mindset to be able to support children and students with diverse needs. I find it interesting because there are not one-way answers to be a help towards the varieties of diverse needs. This class will test my critical thinking on how to approach children with diverse needs to support but not enable their full potentials.
       
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about all types of art and the complexity of the human mind. I learn psychology in New York so I am interested in comparing the classes from my home school to the ones I'll be taking in Ireland, while using the information in my everyday life. A goal of mine is to continue creating the habit of making art daily as in the future I am going to be an art therapist. This also will guide me to self reflect through my new experiences through the subconscious.

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Michael Cherkasky
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to delve deeper into a foreign part of the world. I heard that the study abroad experience is unlike any other and I wanted to have that experience for myself.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study in the French Riviera because it seemed like a relatively central location that also had a lot of outdoor activities which I love to partake in.
     
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited to take Civilization II: Renaissance through Modern because I want to see how the curriculum is taught compared to history courses taught in the US. I am interested if there are discrepancies in the material that is focused on and what topics are most important.
      
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate to explore the nature around me and document my experiences for others to see! I love hiking to beautiful views and recording the journey along the way so that I can show others what it is like to get outdoors. In addition, I am a big fan of sports and hope to catch a Nice football match before I leave.

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Kara Barnes
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted the educational experience and the memories that you create while abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I picked the French Riviera because it is a beautiful location and very peaceful.
    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
One class that I am looking forward to taking while abroad is International Business. I am looking forward to taking this class because it will give me such a different experience than if I were taking it in the US.
     
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Something that I am passionate about is photography, I really like photography because it provides insight into people's lives and shows a snapshot of memories and helps them last forever.

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Tyler Long
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I knew I wanted to study abroad when when I was encouraged by my school and had the opportunity to with my schedule.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Florence offers unparalleled art and history, along with such a vibrant community. Florence's central location in Europe also allows for easy exploration of neighboring countries.
    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I look forward to learning more about wine marketing, with my CEA CAPA course "Viticulture and Wine Marketing." I feel that this experience will teach me all the basics when it comes to this field, with exciting excursions and activities along the way!
    
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited to witness firsthand the Italian fashion trends. This is an interest outside of my academic field and I hope to discover similarities and differences throughout my time abroad.

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Jamilette Pineda
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
My family - I'm the first to go to college right after high school and to a four year institution.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Florence because of my major and because of the classes I was willing to take, and of course because it's beautiful!
   
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Italian Contemporary Cinema.
   
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Learning about some of the history in Italy and how it's affected the citizens here. 

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Daisy Robertson
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
College is one of the only times in your life when you have the ability to without the ties of work or another person!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I am eager to explore the culture, food, and history of Florence during my time abroad.
  
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
History of Italian Mafia.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about fitness and health. Exercise has become not just an escape or therapeutic outlet but rather a life asset: fueling me each day with love, inspiration, confidence, power, and light. I believe health and fitness are key to a happy and healthy life!

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Lydia Stueber
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to travel and have an experience like study abroad since I was a little kid!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Italy because of the art, history, and culture, especially as an art major.
 
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Sketchbook Studies in Florence class because walking around drawing Italy for class is literally a dream.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about drawing, photography, painting, thrifting, exploring, hiking, swimming, and being outside! I also love animals, history, and the environment.

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Ava Shelton
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love traveling and I want to learn more about cultures outside of my own. I am super excited to explore more of Italy, as I have already explored Rome and I loved it.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I  chose Florence because of the program that is offered, the food, the shopping, and I have heard many amazing things about the city and the opportunities that are offered there.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Food and Culture in Italy class as those are two things I am most passionate about.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
One of my favorite things to do is travel, and be adventurous. I am a super spontaneous person and love doing things outside of my comfort zone which is part of the reason I decided to study abroad. I also love eating good food and trying food I have never had. One of my greatest passions is being embedded into new cultures. I love learning about other people's traditions, celebrations, and everyday lives.

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Jennifer Krulisz-Hossain
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad, and why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Dublin because of the country's rich history. I am excited to learn about it while there and to be immersed in the Irish culture through my direct enrollment at University College Dublin.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited to take all my classes: Digital Marketing, Consulting with NGOs, Global Marketing, Wellbeing in the Workplace, and International Human Resources.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate/excited about videography/photography, history (visiting museums and cultural monuments), and being a foodie (trying new cultural dishes).

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Julianna Bruemmer
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I've always wanted to travel the world and explore different cultures and to do that while I'm still young seemed like a no brainer.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study in Ireland because I have always loved the culture and CEA CAPA offers a wonderful program that allows me to travel and learn in such a beautiful country.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm really looking forward to taking Performance in the Irish Context. 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love to read and do theater mostly, but I also love to play games and watch shows with my friends.

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Michael Pugliese
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I always find I learn most in uncomfortable scenarios. I wanted to study abroad to push me out of my comfort zone.  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Argentina is not the most popular place for students to travel so I wanted to be a trailblazer and make my own story.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
International Business. 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Boxing, exploring nature, literature, art.

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Kailey Reyes
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad, and why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Buenos Aires, Argentina because as a future immigration attorney, I thought it was important to broaden my exposure to other cultures. All I have been exposed to is the Mexican culture, and I would like to explore other Latino cultures.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to my political science classes. I am looking forward to them because in my home school, there is no classes that seem similar or that discusses the same topics.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love traveling and meeting new people. In Argentina, I can't wait to travel to different parts of the country and see new sceneries.

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Argentina Mosso
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Once I got into college, one of my main goals was to take every opportunity I could. Studying abroad will be an incredible, and at the same time, challenging experience. I will discover a new part of myself and the world.

WhAT'S ONE NEW EXPERIENCE YOU'RE HOPING TO HAVE WHILE ABROAD?
I would love to have the opportunity of volunteering at the Hungarian F1 racetrack. One of my goals is to work for F1 and volunteering there will allow me to network with people.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I will be taking four classes while studying abroad: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management, and Finance.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU'RE PASSIONATE AND EXCITED ABOUT?
I have been riding horses since I was seven. I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to do it in Budapest, but is something I would be very happy to do.

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Sarah Mullah
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because it has been always been a dream of mine to live life abroad. This is my little test run to see if I would want to actually live in Europe as my future home.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Barcelona because I love Spanish culture, and it was a place where all my degree requirements could be met.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to my Writing the City class. I love reading and writing, and I am hoping this class will give me the creative outlet to express the wonderful experience that I am witnessing on paper. Additionally, I am hoping that we get to explore the city, and learn about the things that make Barcelona what it is! 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about the art and architecture. I've loved painting and drawing since I was little, especially the works of Salvador Dali. Additionally, I can't wait to learn about the different foods, cafes, and of course shopping!

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Ella Zimmerman
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to travel and experience new cultures.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I have extended family that lives in Barcelona and I wanted to get to know them more by living in the same city for a few months.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My Sports and Culture class. I look forward to learning about the impact sports have had on Barcelona and more about some of the famous athletes from Spain.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Reading, cooking, trying new foods, and traveling.

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Kalea McClain
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because although I haven't had many opportunities to travel outside my home country, I have always had a strong desire to experience cultures and lifestyles different from my own. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose my destination of Barcelona, Spain because I want to improve my Spanish-speaking abilities and because of how much I love the busy, yet peaceful city environment that Barcelona encapsulates.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to taking Architecture and Painting in Barcelona as it will give me the chance to better understand Barcelona's rich history and origins through art. I am also looking forward to improving my Spanish in my Conversational Spanish class.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm passionate about exploring the city and I love to go hiking! I am looking forward to taking advantage of Barcelona's diverse landscape - especially through hiking the mountains and walking through the streets!

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Michaela Smith
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad to have experiences that no other person in my family has had, as I am a first-generation student.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Barcelona is a culture so unique and beautiful that offered courses I was extremely passionate about, so I selected Spain as my destination.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
The Analyzing the City of Barcelona and Travel Writing courses seem very fascinating! The food studies course offered in Barcelona would also be a unique experience that I know would stick with me for life.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about the first-generation college student experience, disability rights, and my minor in Women's and Gender Studies! I love thrifting, Taylor Swift, & anything crafty! 

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Mary Thomas
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always known that I would want to study abroad in college since I was little! I believe that immersing yourself entirely in a new culture can be extremely valuable in many areas, whether that be personally, academically, or professionally - I hope that my experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands will provide all three.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
 I chose Amsterdam because I have visited before in the past, and fell in love with the history, art, and culture of the Netherlands.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
One class I am looking forward to taking while abroad is my Digital Marketing and Metrics class. As a digital marketing major, I think it will be interesting to hear the different perspectives from students all over the world on topics relating to digital marketing, and hopefully broaden my own perspective.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite hobbies is to travel! I'm hoping to pursue this interest and take advantage of my time in Europe by exploring as many countries and cities as possible.

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Zhwa Ellis
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
The choice to study abroad stems from my desire to learn multiple languages and immerse myself within various cultures. As an aspiring physician, I believe that appreciating another's background and experiences contribute to the bridging of health gaps existent in several communities.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Having learned the Spanish language, I knew that studying in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area would be the most beneficial. The city of Alicante is relatively small and promises and intimate glimpse of local customs and traditions.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am fortunate enough to have a semester that focuses strictly on Spanish! I look forward to improving my understanding and appreciation of the language in its entirety.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love singing! I am very active in worship leadership at my local church and enjoy writing music with my friends during my free time.

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Siah Potts
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to familiarize myself with French culture and primarily to learn the French language.  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I specifically chose the south of France for the lovely weather and its positioning on the Mediterranean sea.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to taking a French cooking class because I enjoy cooking but certainly have a lot to learn about it.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am so excited to swim in the beautiful waters and beaches around the Mediterranean. I love to read and hope to find some lovely series abroad and visit every library possible. I am also thrilled to explore on foot and through public transport.

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Shayna Polsky
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad as this kind of opportunity only comes once in a lifetime. I love to travel and try new things, although change can be daunting for me. I wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Alicante, Spain due to the beautiful weather, the culture, language, and location relative to the rest of Europe.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm most excited to take Educational Psychology and Cellular Biology. As a Biology major and Psychology minor, these are two classes that are not offered at my home institution so I'm excited to learn new things.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about soccer and hope to be able to join a club/league abroad. I think this is a great way to play the sport I love, stay active, and meet new people!

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Mason Lee
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and study at a foreign university for an extended period. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Alicante has a very authentic Spanish culture and is less traveled to by tourists than other major cities in Spain, not to mention it is located in the South of Spain by the sea and mountains!

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to Research in Tourism. As a Hospitality and Tourism major I have already studied Charleston's tourism culture and I am excited to study and learn about Alicante's!

what's something you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about learning new cultures and meeting new people. I also love fashion, thrifting, and spending quality time with the people I love!

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Brianna Diaz
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I have never had the chance to travel outside of the country and it is something I have wanted to do for years. Learning Spanish has been of high interest to me as well since I have many friends and family who speak both Spanish and English, which led me to look into studying abroad in Spain to take Spanish classes!  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Alicante was perfect for me since it is near the ocean, has lots of nature to explore, and is not one of the main tourist cities - to help have as authentic of an experience as possible.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited about all of my Spanish courses. Taking language classes and meeting people with similar intentions is something I have been looking forward to. It is a great way to meet people of different backgrounds and make friends!

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I am excited about getting to experience Spanish culture. My dad's side of the family is from Puerto Rico and all speak Spanish, but I was not taught it as a child, and so it is something I have always wanted to learn. I am eager to be immersed in the language. Getting to try different foods and things I would never have thought about trying before is very exciting as well!

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Maya Heredia
Content Creator - Photographer

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY OR INTERN ABROAD?
I choose to study abroad to get out of the bubble in NJ/NY because I know there is so much more to what the world has to offer, and I love to travel. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR STUDY/INTERN DESTINATION?

I chose Sevilla, Spain because I wanted to practice my Spanish more and immerse in the Spanish culture, as well as travel to other countries.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Probably my Photography class.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I am passionate about photography, videography, editing, making playlist/listening to music and cooking

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Seán Harrington, PhD
Assistant Director of Academics
Dr. Seán Harrington is an Irish academic and has been working in study abroad for over eight years. He has held positions with ISA, EUSA Academic Internships, and most recently with Boston University as the Academic Director of their Dublin Programs. Prior to that, Seán lectured in film studies, critical theory, and psychoanalysis for just over 11 years in Irish and British universities. His research areas have been similarly interdisciplinary and diverse, covering topics from the animation of the Walt Disney Company to the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. Having joined CEA CAPA, he is excited to be contributing to the Dublin program and sharing in the organization's ambitions and success! 
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Shawn Coover
Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Shawn Coover is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, he oversees the development and implementations of policies, processes, and best practices to ensure CEA CAPA continues to be a great place to work. This includes consultation on strategic business initiatives, employee relations, staffing plans and recruitment, compensation and benefits, communications, training and development, and legal compliance. Most importantly, Shawn and his team work diligently to make sure that everything we do is true to the organization’s Core Values, Mission, and Vision.

Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA from Northern Arizona University. He joined CEA CAPA in 2018 and brought with him 19 years of international leadership experience, including eight years in Human Resources. His professional background also includes leadership experience in operations, project management, development, customer service, and purchasing with Honeywell, AT&T, and Belden Wire and Cable. 

An avid traveler, Shawn has traveled to over 30 countries.

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Cierra Wilson
Student Support Services Manager

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, Cierra craved a change of scenery and decided to head to the desert to attend Arizona State University. While she enjoyed every minute of life as a Sun Devil, she felt an urge to see more of the world and set her sights on studying abroad her senior year. She made her way to Galway, Ireland, and it was the best semester (and time) of her life. She was able to visit Scotland and England during this semester, but her fondest memories are certainly the time in Ireland. 

Cierra knew she would want to continue to be a part of international education in some way, and a few months after returning to the states, she had the opportunity to intern with CEA CAPA twice. A few years later, she found her way back as a full-time employee and now supports our Enrollment Department. Her work includes accepting students into CEA CAPA programs, serving on the Scholarship Committee, and assist with the student visa process.

Cierra enjoy nothing more than being a part of the process to assist students in embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. One day, she hopes to live in Europe full-time, but for now, she is enjoying Arizona’s sunshine.

In her free time, Cierra is enjoy playing Pokemon Go and disc golf, going to indie & alternative rock shows, spending time with family, and, of course, traveling!

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Maxwell Chappuis
Custom Program Developer

Max joined CEA CAPA in 2022 as a Custom Program Developer—a  role that allows him to build creative and accessible opportunities for all kinds of students and institutions, while collaborating with colleagues around the world. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Max was a Program Coordinator with Michigan State University Education Abroad, working at first on UK and Ireland-based programs, and later with language, arts, and humanities programs in various locations. In addition to program management, he assisted with program design across the university and developed expertise in program budgeting practices. He started out in the field as a Program Assistant at the Florida State University London Study Center. He has served in professional volunteer positions as a UK Consular Affairs Liaison and Country Coordinator with the NAFSA IssueNet team and as Chair, Webmaster, and Education Abroad Knowledge Community Chair with the Michigan Association of International Educators (MAIE). Max holds an M.A. in Strategic Communication with a certificate in Organizational Communication for Leadership from Michigan State University, and a B.S. in Economics and Political Science from Florida State University. He is based in Lansing, Michigan.


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Aija Bruvere
Internship Coordinator
Aija is a Careers, Coaching, and Positive Psychology specialist, and has worked in the student careers and internships space on two different continents. Aija comes from Latvia but has been calling Australia her home for 11 years. She has a master’s degree in social sciences and a graduate diploma in coaching psychology from the University of Sydney. Aija is passionate about travel and speaks five languages, including Italian and French. 

 
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Lucila Batlle
Regional Administration and Operations Manager - UK & Ireland

Lucila Batlle is the Regional Administration and Operations Manager - UK & Ireland.


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Aoife Higgins
Program Advisor
Aoife ("E-fa") is from the south of Ireland, has been living in Spain for over eight years, and  now calls beautiful, sunny Seville her home. Her passion for international education began in 2014 when she studied abroad in Alicante. As a former psychology undergraduate, she has a keen interest in mental health and student wellbeing. Aoife hopes to combine her personal firsthand experience with her studies to best help and serve students during their time in Seville. She truly values witnessing the transformative impact studying abroad has on each student and feels very lucky to be able to work in this sector.
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Miguel Barreiro
Student Services Assistant

Miguel Barreiro is the Student Services Assistant at CEA CAPA Madrid. Miguel coordinates activities such as cooking classes, museums and official buildings visits, soccer games, flamenco shows and more, including trips to major cultural cities such as Sevilla or Toledo to ensure that students have a rich experience while in Madrid. Miguel is native to Madrid but worked and studied abroad in the United States for 8 years. In those years he obtained a B.A. in International Relations and Sociology/Anthropology and studied abroad in Chile and Central America. During this time he learned the great impact studying abroad has for a students personal growth and development. His experiences abroad have motivated him to help others to have the possible experience abroad through.

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Mark Chakoian, PhD
Director of Program Development Initiatives
Mark (he/him) has a background in developing a wide variety of programs across several institutions of higher education, including academic outreach and professional development programs for Montana State University, graduate degree, non-degree and undergraduate mobility programs at Northeastern University’s bay area campuses, and faculty-led international programs with Columbia College Chicago.  He also brings experience as a faculty member with Gonzaga University’s department of philosophy, having earned his PhD in that subject from Loyola University Chicago.  Mark is an advocate for the immense value of higher education and a firm believer in the crucial roles that intercultural education and the inclusion of a diversity of perspectives play in challenging our assumptions and broadening our worldviews. 
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Anne-Marie Howlett
Program and Student Services Coordinator, Internship Lead

Anne-Marie Howlett serves as the Program and Student Services Coordinator, Internship Lead for CEA CAPA Dublin.


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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player. Learn more about Craig's leadership and the Global Internship Program in this overview video.
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Katherine Alvidrez
Admissions Counselor

Katherine graduated from the University of Kansas with dual degrees in Strategic Communications and Global and International Studies. In 2019, she spent a summer interning in Hong Kong and enjoyed the wide array of food, beaches, and shopping. She also is a CEA CAPA alum and virtually interned in Sydney in 2021. She enjoys helping students achieve their academic and professional goals as they travel and experience the world.

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Jodi Melichar
Vice President of Enrollment & Advising

Jodi Melichar serves as Vice President of Enrollment and Advising at CEA CAPA.

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Sabrina Vidal
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I'm hoping to experience many different forms of music and dance in such a culturally rich city as Granada. I really want to learn to dance flamenco!!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Granada, Spain to gain professional and academic experience in the Spanish language and to immerse myself in the Andalusian culture.

hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about creative writing, language learning, vintage shopping, music, and fashion.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most excited about my Spanish and English translation class!

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Lily Gould
Content Creator - Blogger

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While living in Spain's capital city of Madrid and attending a local university, I hope to make connections with other international students who can enlighten me about interesting cultural differences and provide me with unique perspectives. I've never had a close relationship with someone originating from outside of the U.S., a fact I hope to change while studying abroad. This new experience would be quite exciting!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I couldn't stay away from Spain's relaxed attitude, beautiful winding streets, and mouth-watering tapas. As a second-timer with CEA CAPA, having previously studied in Sevilla for a semester, I'm looking to gain professional experience in the metropolis Madrid. I also chose to return to Spain to seal the deal on my Spanish fluency, as I've studied the language for years but still lack complete conversational confidence!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love to bake. In fact, this passion influenced my choice of pursuing a business major, in hopes that one day I can combine professional knowledge with my cake-making skills in the opening of a bakery. While I won't be spending much time in the kitchen while abroad, I'm certainly excited to try the local desserts, peruse windows of the pastelerías, and gain a deeper understanding of the culture's cuisine.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Art can teach us so much about the history, people, and perspectives of a city. Due to these endless insights, I'm looking forward to a course titled "The Art of the Prado," which focuses on a few prominent Spanish artists whose works are featured at the well-known Prado Museum. I'm sure to gain impactful knowledge about the artists and their city while broadening my Spanish language abilities through in-class communications.

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Stefanie Fernandes
Content Creator - Photographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I hope to learn and experience more about the culture of Barcelona while I'm studying abroad. I want to fully immerse myself!

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm passionate about many things including sports, writing, and photography! I can't wait to pursue my interest in photography in Barcelona.

Why did you choose to study abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona to gain new experiences and expand my global knowledge. Barcelona is somewhere I've been eager to travel to and I'm so happy I have the opportunity to live here! The bustling city life, amazing tapas, beaches, art and culture, and various attractions made my decision quite simple.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to taking the Catalan and Culture class to understand more about the language in the city!

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Christopher Olusayo (Sayo) Adeniji
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
While I took Spanish courses over the past few years, this is my first time studying the language in Spain. I'm taking a course called ‘’Advanced Spanish.’’ The course provides the ideal environment for language immersion and also involves excursions which I'm sure will provide enjoyable and educational experiences.

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I've always felt passionate about soccer, so I'm aiming to play with others while in Barcelona, a city that is home to one of the best clubs in the world. Recently, I signed up for the Barcelona Soccer League and am excited to play alongside other study abroad students!

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I'm hoping to engage with locals in Spanish as this will really help me hone my speaking skills. While learning in the classroom is extremely useful, I believe putting concepts into practice will help me become more comfortable with the language.

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
Cultural exchange and learning languages are extremely important to me. As a child I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a French school. I fell in love with the multicultural environment, and since then, have sought opportunities to learn about different cultures and languages. When I found out about the opportunity to study in Barcelona, I knew I had to take it. Because not only will I get the opportunity to develop my Spanish skills, but I'll also learn more about the city’s fascinating culture.

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Luke Hefner
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?  
I'm most looking forward to taking a course in International Finance or Global Business Strategy while studying abroad with CEA CAPA. It aligns with my passion for entrepreneurship and my desire to understand the intricacies of global financial markets and international business operations.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While studying abroad in Sydney, I'm particularly excited about the prospect of networking with international entrepreneurs and potentially collaborating on a startup project, as it would offer a unique and valuable experience that I might not easily find back home in Texas.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Sydney, Australia, to gain a global perspective and enhance my entrepreneurship skills while immersing myself in a vibrant and culturally diverse environment. Sydney's strong economy, top-tier universities, and quality of life were key factors in my decision.

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about outdoor adventure sports and can't wait to explore Australia's wilderness and coastline for adrenaline-pumping experiences. I'm also excited about socializing and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds to broaden my horizons and build lasting friendships during my time abroad.

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Lia Barth
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
On the fun side, I'm hoping to experience a European soccer game and a bull fight! I took a year of Spanish studying bullfighting, so I'm really looking forward to watching it in action. On the more professional side, I'm looking forward to learning the differences and benefits of European work culture.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to the people that I meet and the individual growth that'll emerge from this "lone-traveler" era. I don't know anyone going on this trip, but I'm confident that I'll leave this experience with new friends and colleagues I can stay in touch with past the program end date. At the same time, I know in my four months away from home, I'll learn a lot about myself and others considering how much alone time I'll probably have commuting to work and in between hanging out with friends.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I've always wanted to study abroad, but I took the first step of applying to CEA CAPA when I heard my friend would study abroad. This was one of the few affordable options offered by my university, but I chose this specific program because I took Spanish in high school and wanted to intern abroad. I remember being unsure if I wanted to commit to a semester abroad for a while, but when I realized I'd have more fun in Spain than my home university and I'd regret not going abroad, I knew the choice was clear!

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
Simply put, I'm passionate about helping others. I want everyone to feel like they have a seat at the table, and share the truth of Jesus Christ. I love to play music on my guitar and ukulele, and I enjoy getting competitive in sports ranging from pickleball to basketball. Also, if you love SpongeBob, The Office, or Hot Rod, we could be best friends.

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Alyssa Tsing
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm looking forward to meeting other study abroad students and natives. I love meeting new people and hanging out, so making friends in a different country excites me the most.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking Spanish classes while abroad. My Spanish is very bad, even after multiple attempts at learning. However, by being in an immersive environment abroad, I believe I'll learn Spanish in San José quickly and efficiently.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I'm eager to experience Costa Rica's food, culture, and music. I'm also intrigued by Costa Rica's "pura vida" lifestyle. Pura vida is about living a simple life, opposite of the U.S's hurried lifestyle. 

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
Costa Rica was the only option for students in my program. However, even with this limited option, this study abroad opportunity is what led me to decide on my university. I love the tropical climate and am thrilled to study in an immersive environment.

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Joseph (Joe) Bell
Content Creator - Photographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about making something out of nothing. It's in our DNA to create not only for ourselves but for others as well.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to all my courses but I'm mainly excited about my Environmental Sustainability course. I hope to learn about international ways of sustainability.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
It seems simple but grocery shopping is something that I'm looking forward to. I'm excited to shop in markets that I don't see often in the U.S. It'll not only be rare to have access to a vehicle but also not having access to a large Kroger or Walmart. 

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I wanted an experience that'd take me to a different part of the world and challenge me to adjust to a different way of life.

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Rin Tanaka
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love everything matcha. I also love baking, traveling, trying new foods, and shopping. I love to be outside whether it’s traveling, walking, or relaxing on the beach. I’m also very passionate about environmental protection and causes.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
French! And also finishing up my math class.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I’ve always wanted to go to Europe specifically Paris, and I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity and timing if I could do it while I’m in school!

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
Experiencing the culture there and exploring! Getting to know people and having fun with them. :)

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Marcela Aguirre
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I was ready to start moving further away from my comfort zone and I chose Madrid because it is the perfect city to experience new things in a safe way.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to meeting Spaniards while at school and learning their lifestyle.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very excited to walk and run everywhere in the city while also taking in all my new surroundings.

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
While studying abroad, I hope to enjoy as many cultures as possible.

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Fiorella O'Connor
Content Creator - Photographer

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm excited for any classes I'll get excursions for. My best friend is studying abroad in Granada so it'd be awesome to see her too.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I've always wanted to travel to Spain ever since I was little. My goal is to build my fluency in Spanish and that's exactly what this program will do. My mom also lived in Spain for three months and for sure pushed me to do the same one day.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm super excited to experience the arts and dance in Spain such as flamenco. I'm also super excited to go to some soccer games.

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
I'm hoping to travel to other destinations in Europe while I'm studying abroad in Spain because it'll be my first time everywhere. I can't wait to experience a variety of cultures and lifestyles while I study abroad.

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Sophie DeWorken
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While studying abroad is already out of my comfort zone, I hope to keep pushing myself to further explore within London, the UK, and hopefully other parts of Europe.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I felt like I couldn't pass up. As someone who has rarely traveled internationally, I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to study abroad with CEA CAPA. Once I realized that Hollins University not only gave me the option to study abroad, but would help me along the way, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I chose to study abroad in London for a couple reasons, primarily its extensive history and diverse culture. I'm excited for the challenge that studying abroad in London will present, but even more excited for how these experiences will impact my perspective afterwards.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm extremely passionate about film, as it's my major, and am so excited that the Content Creator position will allow me to further integrate this passion into my time abroad. I'm excited to document my experiences, and the experiences of others and to have a network of people to collaborate and share with.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to Contemporary British Film!

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Mercedes Wilson
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, Interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about the arts, specifically writing. So I'm excited for the inspiration London will provide.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
My mom studied abroad in London when she was in college and she told me all these stories from then. So, growing up I've always wanted to study abroad in London because of her. I also think it's such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
One new experience I'm hoping to have while studying abroad with CEA CAPA is immersing myself in London's culture. Additionally, I'm hoping to take walks through the neighborhoods, with the hope of uncovering hidden gems along the way.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm excited for 'Detective Fiction' and 'Writing in the City', but all my classes seem really interesting!

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Ellie Glende
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I'm very interested in traveling and experiencing different cultures and cities. My hometown is pretty small so I'm excited to experience what a big city offers. I love challenging my comfort zone and learning new things. I chose to intern abroad because I'm intrigued in other countries healthcare systems. I specifically chose London as my destination due to their Universal Healthcare system.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about Healthcare and helping others. I'm also very passionate about volunteering and giving to others in need. I love spending time outside, hiking, biking, and running. I'm also very into art, and in my free time I draw and paint. But I also love trying and learning new things!

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I hope I meet many new people and make new connections, along with learning more about London and the UK.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to the Writing the City course.

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Julia Caterino
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to my Feminist London Activism in the City class. I'm a Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies minor at the University of Pittsburgh, so this was one of my most anticipated classes. I was thrilled when I saw it on my schedule!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in London because I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. The London study abroad program was such a great fit for my major. All the classes that I'll take abroad will count towards my major. Beyond academics, I wanted to push myself socially. I'm a pretty big introvert, so studying abroad was always very intimidating. I'm ready to put myself out there and meet new people!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about reading, writing, and creating! I'm so excited to be a content creator for CEA CAPA. I love taking photos when I travel, so this was the perfect opportunity. Another one of my passions is food. I cannot wait to experience the food culture in such a diverse city like London.

what is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
One new experience I'm hoping to have while abroad is making friends with local Londoners! Earlier this summer I studied abroad for three weeks in Florence, Italy, however I only made friends with girls from my program that also go to my school. I hope that, since I'm doing a full semester in London, I'll meet locals and become friends!

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Lucero Diaz Acevedo
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad? 
My ultimate goal while studying abroad with CEA CAPA is to develop independent skills that can help me mature in my personal life and open myself up to new people to make long lasting connections as friends as well as networking. However a more fun adventure I hope to make on this journey is visit an opera house and watch the ballet or enjoy a classical music concert.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I love learning new cultures, history, and obsess over European history especially. In high school I took French as my language because my goal is to learn as many Latin-based languages as possible. My family and I are immigrants from a small ranch in Mexico, so to be able to travel to another country, I know little me and my parents would be proud of my accomplishments. I also want to feel more independent since this'll be a big step towards my career path and personal goals.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most excited for my communications class this fall because I've always been a very quiet person but I hope this class will help me step out of my shell with public speaking. I consider myself both an extrovert and an introvert, this depends on the type of environment but I hope communications helps me feel confident in my speech and improve my English speech skills when I get nervous so I don't end up stuttering.

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
My main passions are most of the arts like fashion design, painting, and music. I love to play the guitar and bass but I love concerts because being a fangirl is such a fun hobby to have no matter how expensive it gets, the long lasting memories I make when I watch artists preform their craft is amazing. I love to create and add my unique style to my clothes, for example I love painting my own designs and characters or take inspiration from anime characters and put them on things such as jackets but recently I started painting my tote bags because why leave it plain and boring.

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McKenna Yates
Content Creator - Photographer

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad? 
I'm very excited to be taking both "Contemporary Italian Cinema" and "Food, Culture, & Lifestyle Under the Tuscan Sky." Both of these classes will allow me to be immersed in Florentine culture while still getting credit for my majors back home. I look forward to all that I'll take away from these courses! Plus, I'll get to expand my palate (for both films and food!).

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad? 
I hope that I'll ride so many trains while I'm studying abroad in Florence! I'm a huge fan of them and can't wait to travel by train in Europe.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love taking photos, watching movies, reading thrillers and romance novels, and seeing trains/building model railroads. I'm excited to do all of things when I'm in Florence! I can't wait to seek out local theaters and watch films in new countries.

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to Florence study abroad because I think I'll push myself to grow more, try new things, and experience the rich culture that Florence offers. Studying abroad in Italy will allow me to be very independent while getting to explore places I couldn't otherwise.

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Alexa Doyle
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Florence with CEA CAPA because I'm an Art History major and I really wanted to learn more about Art History in such an important city. In addition, I wanted to expand my knowledge and become more of a global thinker, using my time studying abroad to understand and appreciate different cultures and customs that I may never access at an American university.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I'm hoping to go hiking in the Dolomites. I love to hike but this would definitely be the most demanding and unique hike I will embark on, and I'm super excited to try and make it there this semester abroad!

What is something you're excited and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about art and love exploring new artists as well as appreciating art in museums. I enjoy going to various galleries and museums along with art markets and conventions!

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking the Great Masters Class.

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Maya Nissenbaum
Content Creator - Blogger

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I want to make good friends with some of the locals there. I've never done this while traveling internationally as it was always for such a short period and I was with either family or friends, so I never pushed myself to. Yet, I think this is the perfect opportunity to finally do so, and what better way to learn about a culture than from the locals!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona because I have a love for travel. In Spain there's a vast amount of things to experience. I also want to practice my Spanish speaking skills and meet new people!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I've always loved writing about the human experience, so the opportunity to do so throughout this study abroad program is so exciting. As far as general hobbies, I'm a dancer and have been my whole life (most of the time competitively), I love fashion and makeup and hope to work in a magazine doing something with it one day, and I'm SUCH a foodie (hence Italy).

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Definitely my food culture and lifestyle class, it sounds like so much fun.

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Lilly McCarthy
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? why did you choose your destination?
I chose to intern abroad because I was looking to do something totally out of my comfort zone. I want to find new experiences and do things I wouldn't usually do at home. The reason I chose Buenos Aires is because I want to improve my Spanish language skills, and Buenos Aires is a perfect place for me to really immerse myself in the Spanish language and better my language skills.

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
Something I'm passionate about is music. I love to play bass and ukulele, sing, write music, and listen to music.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
One new experience I'm looking forward to while I study abroad is being immersed in a different work culture and a new way of living while having the opportunity to learn new rituals and values.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
The classes I'm most looking forward to are my internship class and gender & body politics in Latin America.

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Paige Bily
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I've had the desire to travel the world since a young age. I'm also deeply interested in working with a variety of cultures in my professional life post-graduation. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Alicante, Spain, because I took four years of Spanish classes in high school, so I know a little bit of the Spanish language.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking exercise physiology because I think it'll be different than the U.S. perspective.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm super passionate about photography. I currently run my own business and work full-time doing that during the summers and part-time while I'm going to school, so I plan continue that overseas.

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Elsa Ferguson
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA to expand my understanding of the world and all the ways of life that exist outside of American culture. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence because of its relaxed seaside environment and I'm eager to become fluent in French.

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I can't wait to take Opera; Women and Politics. As a women gender studies major and a music lover, this course will engage the culture of European opera while examining gender dynamics of the time.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm excited to practice yoga in a new environment and go on many picturesque walks, capturing the impeccable present moments.

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Alissa Mendes-Cashman
Health and Safety Manager

Alissa is the Health and Safety Manager on the Health, Safety & Student Affairs team at CEA CAPA. She works closely with students, staff, and partner institutions to coordinate predeparture and onsite student health and safety practices, while supporting U.S. based and onsite teams in the areas of student services, accommodation support, and incident management. Over the past decade, Alissa has worked in various capacities of higher education including academic and study abroad advising in both community college and large university settings. Alissa earned a Bachelor's degree in Communication from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University. During her undergraduate studies, Alissa studied abroad in Florence, Italy, then later returned to Macerata, Italy during her graduate program. Alissa enjoys working across teams to provide resources and support to students, aiding in their ability to experience high-impact and transformative experiences abroad.

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Matthew Borlik
Regional Director - Southeast
Growing up in a small town in NC, Matthew had his first taste of study abroad on a short term trip to China with his community college. He then attended University of North Carolina at Wilmington and did a 3-year study abroad with them through Universitat de Valencia. After graduating Matthew worked at Wake Forest University then moved to Arizona to work at CEA CAPA. Due to the pandemic Matthew left the field of international education to work at Square. There, Matthew worked as an account manager, helping small businesses grow to empower local communities. While he enjoyed the work, he missed international education and wanted to help provide opportunities to students who were like himself and did not know study abroad was possible. Matthew is based in Greensboro, NC, and works with partners in North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio.
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Alexis Andreopoulos
Marketing Automation & Engagement Specialist

As the Automation & Engagement Specialist at CEA CAPA Education Abroad, Alexis is responsible for developing and executing B2C external messaging. In her role, she manages the scope of B2C external automated email and SMS efforts, spearheading promotional campaigns and facilitating student outreach. 

Alexis works collaboratively and cross-functionally with Marketing, Institutional Relations, Enrollment, Career and Internship Programs, and Program Development. By aligning external messaging with the overall marketing strategy and organizational goals, she ensures a cohesive and impactful brand presence in CEA CAPA’s external messaging. Her foundation in journalism, complemented by her experience at Times Media Group, where she reported on business and local culture and devised digital content strategies for College Times Magazine, brings a unique perspective to her work. 

Although Alexis didn't have the opportunity to study abroad, her strong connection to her Greek heritage through her father has instilled in her the importance of being a global citizen. She firmly believes in the transformative power of cross-cultural experiences and leverages that insight to create meaningful connections for students. 

Alexis holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, specializing in digital strategy and strategic communication, from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.  

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Elle Bowman, M.Ed.
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Elle uses an appreciative advising style to support students through the internship placement process and career development. Her approach to student success revolves around empowerment, resource navigation, and meaningful relationship building. Elle aims to support growth toward new perspectives, intercultural competence, and the responsibility of global citizenship. Elle is a first-generation graduate, receiving her Master’s Degree in Higher Education from Grand Valley State University. Her experience advising in the world of student affairs included career services, admissions, financial services, and housing and residence life. She received her BS degree from GVSU in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Elle’s own study abroad immersed her in 11 different countries and cultures across four continents. This experience was so impactful that it inspired her to pursue a career path in promoting equitable pathways to educational and professional abroad experiences. Elle is originally from Michigan, calling both Sturgis and Grand Rapids home, and is now based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elle is passionate about serving her communities, specifically engaging with Kids Food Basket and Dekpor School Development Organization. As an avid hiker, she can often be found on Phoenix's many mountains! She enjoys staying active through yoga, running, tennis, and exploring new fitness classes.


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Florencia Ferrari
Student & Academic Coordinator

Florencia studied social anthropology at Buenos Aires University (UBA, Argentina) and is currently finishing her Ph.D in anthropology after winning a doctoral scholarship in 2016. Her research, which focuses on public policies around unemployment and their impact on workers’ organizations, was conducted in the province of Jujuy, in northern Argentina, where she used to travel and live for a couple of months each year. As part of her academic training, she moved to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for a few months and attended the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She also worked as a teacher and tutor in different public universities in Buenos Aires. 

Growing up, Florencia considered herself to be a bit of a nerd – she loved reading literature and theater plays, listening to music and going to concerts, and watching films. Her hometown was a small city in the Buenos Aires province, so some films were difficult to obtain. Hence, she really looked forward to moving to Buenos Aires and enjoying all the cultural activities the city has to offer. In her free time, Florencia likes to take long strolls through different neighborhoods and explore Buenos Aires architecture and culinary circuits.

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Tricia Andrews
Events Manager

As CEA CAPA’s Events Manager, Tricia oversees and coordinates the logistics and operations around organizational conferences and events. In her role, she works alongside the leadership to organize and facilitate intentional internal and external facing events. Tricia is responsible for coordinating logistics behind organizational conference membership and attendance, partner Familiarization and Advisor Workshops, internal sales trainings, and campus events. During her time at CEA CAPA, she has worked closely with the Marketing, Institutional Relations, and Academics teams to provide top-tier experiences for our partners and staff. Tricia has spent time living internationally in both Australia and Spain for education and work respectively. Working in international education has only continued to fuel her love and desire to travel the world and experience cultures different than her own. Tricia has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Concordia University Irvine where she was a scholar-athlete competing on the Women’s Swim Team.

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Josh Coldagelli
Senior Academic Coordinator

Josh joined CEA CAPA in the summer of 2022. Coming from a background in college admissions and athletics, he was looking to expand his passion for learning. Josh's key duties are academic records management, syllabi development, and managing academic accommodation requests. Josh has a passion for seeing student growth and developing opportunities for students' academic passions to grow while they are abroad. Josh holds an M.A. in Sport Administration and Leadership from Central Michigan University and a B.A. in Communication Arts from Trinity Christian College in suburban Chicago. Although he was never able to study abroad, a formative experience that impassions Josh to the mission of CEA CAPA is a shared family meal with extended family in the village of Coldagello, Italy, where his great grandpa emigrated from. He hopes all students can "find their table" while abroad with CEA CAPA.

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Aisling Cronin
Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator in Aix-en-Provence, Aisling develops and facilitates rewarding and lifechanging study abroad experiences for students during their time in Aix-en-Provence. This includes providing services to students throughout the semester, developing a housing and volunteering network in Aix and, organizing, planning and executing cultural activities and excursions for students to enable them to get the most out of their time in Aix and the South of France. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Aisling worked in the international education sector helping French students find study and work abroad opportunities in the USA, Australia, and the UK, as well as teaching English to students of all ages in Spain. She strongly believes in the transformational power of international education and spending time living abroad and encourages students to explore their grown zone while studying abroad. Aisling holds a masters in Intercultural Management from Aix-Marseille University and a bachelors degree in applied languages from Dublin City University.

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Tim Ramsay
Senior Custom Program Manager

Tim Ramsay works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA CAPA’s Institutional Relations Team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both institutional and student needs.

Tim holds a Master of Management degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before joining the CEA CAPA family, Tim worked in the field as a Director of Study Abroad and Student Activities for 10+ years specializing in program development and assessment. Tim has facilitated several faculty/staff training and workshops on risk management and overall student development across the state of Michigan.

Tim has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America. He is also passionate about the importance of service and has led many mission trips to the Caribbean and Latin America.

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Anna Wojciechowski
Partner Student Advisor

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, my first taste of the world was through cruises with my family! My brother has played travel hockey for 13+ years so I also had plenty of long car rides across the country in my childhood. I knew I wanted to go to France in the fourth grade, started studying French in High School, and went to Paris for a semester with CEA CAPA in Fall 2019!

I stayed close to home, attending Northern Illinois University (NIU), where I obtained my Bachelor’s in World Languages & Cultures with an Emphasis in French and Francophone Studies. During my time at NIU, I also spent a month in Aix-en-Provence living with a host family.

When I am not traveling or working, I enjoy listening to podcasts and trying new restaurants!

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Gina Mahfood
Senior Director of Enrollment

As the Director of Enrollment, Gina delivers continuous support and guidance across the entire enrollment team. Knowing that our CEA students and staff come first, Gina brings talent and drive to provide superior assistance and leadership within this organization. Gina has been working in education for over 15 years, with experience in admissions and enrollment, learning and educational development, and industrial and organizational improvements. Gina also took her passion for education a step further by co-authoring and designing a college textbook, which is used at colleges across the United States.

Gina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College in 2003 and began her admissions and enrollment career in 2006 back in Pittsburgh, PA. Since then, Gina relocated to Phoenix, AZ, earned a Master of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. She remains a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society.

Gina recognizes the value of higher education and encourages all potential students she meets to pursue their educational goals and dreams!

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Elizabeth Kather
Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs

Spending a year abroad in Australia changed forever how this introverted, first generation student saw herself and understood what she could succeed when given an opportunity. After attending college and graduate school in the Southwest, and living in several states, it is the dry climate of Phoenix that reminds her most of Australia. With 15 years of student affairs/residential life experience gained at small, mid-size, and large universities along the way, Elizabeth is dedicated to impacting the student experience "outside the classroom". Helping students and their families navigate challenges, succeed in new environments, and understand their responsibility as global citizens is her motivation.

As CEA's Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing student life issues worldwide. In this role, Elizabeth establishes policies and coordinates protocols regarding health, wellness, student emergencies and crisis response. Elizabeth serves as a point of contact for escalated parent concerns and issues; oversees all web and print materials related to health & safety; advises Center and Program Directors on student disciplinary procedures; develops training for staff around the world on student development; and leads cross-functional working groups to review trends and implement best practices that reflect the organization's values and mission.

When not actively working to enhance the quality of student life for CEA students, Elizabeth enjoys hiking with her two dogs, Marketa and Mateo, reading and travel. If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA programs and services that promote student well-being, please contact her directly: ekather@ceastudyabroad.com.

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Jorge Garay Cañamero
Senior Student Life Advisor

As Senior Student Life Advisor, Jorge’s role is to be the primary contact for students regarding academics in Granada. He coordinates the student registration process and monitors students’ academic progress. Jorge is in charge of organizing students’ arrival, activities, and excursions, as well as Custom Programs organization. Jorge holds a B.A. in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada, a master’s degree in Foreign Trade and Quality Management from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and two post-graduate degrees: on Immigration Laws from the University of Granada, and on Quality Management from the UNED. He is fluent in both English and French and studied abroad for one academic year in Tours (France).

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Jorge worked as a freelance sworn translator and interpreter for three years and at the Universidad de Granada, CEA CAPA’s students host institution, for 3.5 years. Jorge’s travels have taken him around the world to more than 40 countries and he advises study abroad students to “make every effort to get immersed into the Spanish culture and way of life. Meet locals and talk to them as much as you can. You will learn from them much more than from any book.”

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Radka Semerakova
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Radka is responsible for the Prague Custom and Faculty-Led Programs agenda and Housing agenda.

In cooperation with the CEA CAPA Custom Programs and University Relations Teams, Radka works on developing program proposals. She is responsible for the planning, implementing, and coordinating of Prague Custom Programs. During the pre-arrival planning phase, Radka serves as a main onsite contact for universities and is responsible for aligning of the cultural activities and the student experience with the university's academic part of the program.

Radka is also responsible for Prague Housing agenda. This includes development of the Prague housing portfolio for Semester and Summer programs as well as Custom Programs and coordinating all housing details and issues with housing providers during the planning process, but also once students are onsite. Radka also serves as a main Housing contact and support for students during the whole program.

Radka likes to spend her free time with her family by travelling, hiking, cycling or at her cabin. When time allows, Radka also loves cultural events, going to cinemas, theaters, and art exhibitions.

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Elisa Dordevic
Academic Coordinator

As Academic Coordinator, Elisa liaises with local academic institutions in Paris, including the Université de Paris IV - Sorbonne, the Institut Catholique, and the Novancia Business School. She also manages registration, course and co-curricular scheduling, and student advising for all CEA CAPA Paris academic programs.

Elisa supports the Academic Dean, faculty, and students at the CEA CAPA Paris Center, and acts as the main contact for Custom Program visiting faculty. In this capacity, she often finds herself working with faculty to integrate the city of Paris into their curriculum and bring the course to life.

Elisa earned an Associate Degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the Lycée de Tourisme du Val de Loire, after which she spent two years studying at Westminster College in London. Elisa has 15 years of experience in academic administration for Study Abroad programs; prior to joining CEA CAPA, she held administrative positions in the hotel and tourism industry, taught English to children in Cambodia, worked as a Tea Lady in London, and as an extra on a film set in Hong Kong.

Elisa spent several years traveling and living throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the West Indies, and would love for her travels to take her to the North Pole or Northern Scandinavia to see an Aurora Borealis. Elisa's motto and advice for students is: "Wherever you are, go with the flow!"

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LeeAnn Baranski
Senior Director, Human Resources
LeeAnn Baranski is the Senior Director, Human Resources and has been with CEA CAPA since December 2019. She is an accomplished human resources professional with extensive experience in talent management, organizational development, employee relations, performance management, compensation, benefits and payroll. She focuses on developing and implementing innovative HR programs that drive employee engagement, retention, and productivity. LeeAnn brings over 15 years of Human Resource experience and an MBA from Davenport University. As the Senior HR Director, LeeAnn is committed to developing and implementing HR strategies that align with the company’s vision and goals while promoting a positive work environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the company’s success. Working as a Business Partner for CEA CAPA’s Academic, IT and Finance and Accounting teams, she strives every day to keep the “Human” in “Human Resources.” In her spare time, LeeAnn enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and attempting various Pinterest projects and other crafts.
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Ramil X Collier
Student Support Specialist
Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ramil was the Student Life Coordinator Team Lead for Verto Education. After working with students on-site in Ireland and Italy (and Hawaii), Ramil moved back to the states to work as an Student Support Specialist with CEA CAPA. Ramil holds a B.S. in Business Administration, B.A. in Applied Language in German as well as Vocal performance. He studied abroad in Germany, which is why he is an avid supporter of living abroad as a means of gaining personal growth. These experiences and more give him insight into the challenges that come with studying abroad, and how to overcome problems and build awareness.
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Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira, PhD
Academic Coordinator

Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira, PhD is the Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA Sydney.

 
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Stewart Clegg
Assistant Director, Program and Student Services

Stewart Clegg is the Assistant Director, Program and Student Services for CEA CAPA London.


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Jazmin Chavarin
Admissions Counselor
Jazmin hopes to help empower our students with her many years of customer solutions experience. Most recently, she worked alongside many agricultural cultivations to help them increase their harvests. With this experience, she aims to serve students as their first point of contact to ensure they are successful in their journey ahead. An avid gardener, Jazmin has also always felt an interest in higher education and world travel. She hopes to help students not only gain life experience but to also explore the world. Outside of gardening, Jazmin loves roller skating and baking and is fascinated by other cultures and loves learning new languages.  
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Arlene Hairston
Registrar

Arlene is responsible for maintaining the accuracy, integrity, privacy, and security of academic records, as well as for applying academic polices and following necessary procedures related to compliance. She manages all aspects relating to grades and transcripts and provides transcript support to CEA CAPA students and partnering study abroad administrators who send groups of students on CEA CAPA programs. Arlene works closely with CEA CAPA school of record institutions as well as program managers and academic directors who provide direct advising support to CEA CAPA students. Arlene has worked in higher education for 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management degree, and she is a member of AACRAO, American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

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Daniela A. Collazos Galindo
Program Assistant

Daniela Collazos is the Program Assitant in the CEA CAPA Madrid Center. Daniela performs all duties related to office services and provides informative documentation to guide and assist students to adapt and enjoy the city and the culture. She also assists in all aspects involved in the execution of students’ arrival, excursions, questions related to health matters, and cultural activities. Daniela gained her Master's degree in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. Before moving to Spain, she spent her last 9 years living in Albuquerque, New Mexico as an international student, where 5 of those 9 years she worked at the UNM Global Education Office designing and implementing short-term programs for international students with multiple backgrounds, including indigenous students from Mexico and Fulbright Fellows from Argentina & Colombia.

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Shaelyn Ellershaw
Contract Administrator
Shaelyn has lived in the US and UK and was drawn to this position due to her love for travel and culture as well as her commitment to diversity. Study abroad initiatives hold a dear place in her heart—her parents met while her mother was participating in an exchange program in England. In high school, she volunteered for a study abroad organization and values the connections that developed during that time. She graduated with her BFA from the University of Arizona in 2019. Since then, her professional experience has spanned professional bridal tailoring to working under attorneys in contested litigation matters. Shaelyn is also an avid seamstress and horsewoman. She has worked in costuming for productions both stateside and in England and loves pursuing her creative passions. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and menagerie of pets.
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Katie Lander
Director of Global Career & Internship Programs
Katie has had the pleasure of working across the higher education sector within the UK for the last 10 years, covering careers and employability for UK students and internships for international students as part of both graduate employability and study abroad. Having spent a large part of her career working with US institutions and students in London she can’t wait to join the team at this exciting time and jump fully back into international education. In her spare time you will find her reading a good (or bad!) book, going to theatre shows, hiking in the Chilterns, or surfing in North Cornwall! 
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Margot Kavanagh
Program and Student Services Coordinator, Academic Lead
Margot joins the CEA CAPA team as a former international student from the U.S. who has made Dublin her second home for more than five years. She completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Trinity College Dublin where she recently earned an M.Phil in Digital Humanities. Before moving to Ireland, she grew up on the Maine seacoast with a curiosity for travel, art, and culture. Today, she is eager to share what she has learned from her own experiences by working with students who are just as eager to learn and grow from an international education and intercultural encounters in Ireland and beyond. 

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Katya Goncalves
Program Coordinator

Born in San Jose, California, Katya received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, with a concentration in Literature, Writing, and Modern Languages. Daughter to an American mother and a Portuguese father, she was encouraged to travel and learn languages from a young age. This led to the acquisition of four languages and counting, several formative trips, participation in study abroad programs, and living in two foreign countries. After graduation, Katya moved to Portugal for six and a half years, spending most of her time in the countryside close to the Spanish border. There she set up a youth hostel and private guesthouse, performing renovations and managing every aspect of the guest experience, curating a “home away from home” for people visiting from all over the world. At the same time, she continued her lifelong pursuit of learning through copious reading, writing, translating, piano playing, and the acquisition of skills like farming and construction abilities. She started freelancing as a language teacher for English and Portuguese and discovered she loved guiding students along the joyous ride of discovering and acquiring a foreign language. She thoroughly enjoys music (listening to, playing, and composing it) and recently joined a band. Katya believes anyone with whom you cross paths can teach you something, big or small. You just have to be open to learning it.

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Maria Castello
Communications Specialist

Maria primarily works to oversee student Content Creators as they share their experiences abroad through blogs, vlogs, and photographs. She also collaborates on in-house content creation, internal communications, social media, and directory updates.

Maria received both a B.A. in English Writing and an MEd in Higher Education Management from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to her current role, she worked with graduate engineering students and interned with international student services and career development offices (among others) during her graduate program. As an undergraduate, Maria studied and interned in London for a semester through CEA CAPA and has desired to help others study abroad ever since. She loves combining her passions for writing, storytelling, and international education in her work.

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Federico Steuernagel
Student Services Coordinator
Federico pursued his studies in communication science at Buenos Aires University and journalism at Taller Escuela Agencia. Over the course of his professional career, he has worked alongside Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, collaborated with Amnesty International, and discovered his passion for working with television, events, and hospitality while expanding his expertise in photography and film. He is a fervent advocate for holistic growth, and always wants to share his love for reading, sports, and movies. These interests have not only made his life more exciting but have shown him the power of diverse perspectives and storytelling. Born in Buenos Aires, Federico is a true Porteño at heart. He's all about soaking in the local vibe and enjoying the countless activities this city has to offer. 
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Tom Durigan
Regional Director - East

Based in Providence, RI, Tom Durigan is an experienced professional and native New Englander who joined CEA CAPA in June 2023 to reenter the study abroad field and work closely with institutions throughout the Northeast. 

Tom began his career in international education as a Student Advisor for Athena Study Abroad where his passion for international travel and love of honest conversation combined together to create a role that helped guide undergraduate students to choose an overseas program that would best complement their career aspirations. 

Most recently, Tom served as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission and Transfer Coordinator at Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, RI. During his six years with RWU, Tom worked with students and families from across the country and world with recruitment events being hosted in over 10 states, 7 countries, and 4 continents.  

Tom holds a degree in both Sociology & Spanish from Duquesne University where he spent part of his junior studying at the Universidad de Salamanca, in Salamanca, Spain.  

When he is not behind his laptop or traveling to partner institutions, Tom stays active playing in both soccer and beach volleyball leagues while always finding time to disconnect and enjoy time on the shores of Rhode Island with friends and family. 

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Yazmin Cruz
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT CEA CAPA EDUCATION ABROAD?
I appreciate the onsite staff at CEA CAPA. During my semester abroad in Seville I felt safe knowing I had several supporters. There were constant check ins with our monthly blogs along with conversations at the CEA CAPA Study Center.

How has study abroad shaped you?
My study abroad experience has personally opened my perspective in the ways I view my life and opportunities. One of my professors from the University of Sevilla encouraged me to participate at a local school teaching English as a full time job while obtaining my master's degree. I plan to pursue this opportunity post graduation to continue my studies and grow professionally in a city that helped me demonstrate and discover what I am capable of. I move forward from this experience knowing the world is meant to be seen by you, as it is filled with adventures, lessons, and love.


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Victoria Sandoval
Student Services and Housing Coordinator

As the Student Services and Housing Coordinator in Alicante, Victoria supports students in every aspect of their time abroad. From arrival and orientation to housing and cultural enrichment programs, she works closely with students to help them navigate their international experience with great success.

Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Alicante team, Victoria worked in the Career Development Center at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) as the Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships and Outreach, and most recently was the Director of Parent Engagement and Philanthropy at the University of Hartford.

Victoria was raised in a bilingual and bicultural household in Maryland and spent her summers visiting extended family in Mexico. This is how her love of travel and cultures emerged. She spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Alicante while pursuing her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and later earned a master’s in management from the University of Saint Joseph. She was also a part of Stanford University’s first Life Design Studio training for design thinking. Victoria has visited 10 countries and looks forward to sharing her love of travel and cultural diversity with her two daughters.

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Yeison Carvajal
Student Services Coordinator

As a Student Life Advisor, Yeison acts as a liaison for student services in San José, providing support for planning and coordinating of housing, excursions, trips, and volunteering.

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Layla Franco
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Layla works to help students grow both professionally and personally while supporting them through the placement process. Layla’s coaching style is a combination of a holistic and “big picture” approach. She encourages her students to explore all of their past experiences with their current passions to think creatively about the possibilities of their internship abroad. This approach ensures that students feel empowered to explore different areas of interest and broaden their idea of a career post-graduation. Being a Phoenix native, Layla attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.S. in Tourism Development and Management and Event Planning. After college, she had the incredible opportunity to work with musicians and students; planning their concerts and events all over the world which sparked her love of working with students in all areas of education. When Layla is not working or traveling, she loves to explore Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes attending local Phoenix events, hiking amazing trails, and going on walks with her two dogs - Emmy and Moose.

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Duncan Keeley
Student Advisor

I have a passion for travel, higher education, and immersion in culture. I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. I graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor of Arts in History & Religion. I obtained my Masters of Letters in Medieval History from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.

My time in higher education led me across the globe, studying abroad in New Zealand and taking me to Scotland to pursue my passion for History. Also, during my time at Hampden-Sydney, I supported the Global Education and Study Abroad Department as an assistant and ambassador for the department. I want to use my experiences abroad, and in life, to help people travel the world and experience everything it has to offer. I want to use my passion for traveling to help people find the best place that will help them expand their horizons and make memories that will last a lifetime. I also have a passion for helping people achieve their goals and what works best for them.

Outside of work, I enjoy various activities and sports including Soccer, Motor Racing, and more. I am a passionate scuba diver and free diver. I also have a love for travel which has taken me across the world to New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, and many other fabulous countries.

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Hannah Sutton
Manager of Health and Safety

As Manager of Health & Safety, Hannah Sutton works across the organization to coordinate global health and safety practices, assist in emergency management, and provide pre-departure guidance and support to students preparing to participate on a CEA CAPA program. Hannah joined CEA CAPA in September 2021 and holds membership in OSAC and PULSE. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she spent seven years in the study abroad provider world in roles focused on pre-departure support and advising. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hannah holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Spanish from Butler University. As an undergrad, she spent a semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland, an experience which introduced her to the value of engaging with different cultures and the personal growth that can happen when you challenge your comfort zone. Hannah has spent time travelling in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and outside of work, she enjoys reading, baking, and collecting houseplants.

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Alexis Jones
Director of Program Development Initiatives

As Director of Program Development Initiatives, Alexis helps to support CEA’s university partners’ internationalization efforts through the identification of program and course needs and the implementation of new program opportunities both by academic discipline and geographic location.

Prior to joining CEA, she was with the University of Kansas for nearly fifteen years, where she served as the Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Retention for the KU School of Engineering and Associate Director for the KU Office of Study Abroad. As Associate Director, she led a campus-wide study abroad curriculum integration initiative where she worked closely with deans, faculty, and academic advisors in over 40 academic units. The initiative identified major-specific study abroad opportunities, produced advising materials and resources, and developed targeted strategies promoting study abroad engagement.

Through her own experiences as a study abroad student in Florence, Italy, and as an English teacher in Monterrey, Mexico, she has seen firsthand the value of international engagement and the positive impact it can have on an individual.  As a result, she has worked throughout her career to educate students and faculty about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that can enhance their academic and professional growth.

EDUCATION:

  • MA, Teaching and Leadership – English as a Second Language (Univ. of Kansas)
  • BA, Psychology (University of Kansas)
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Sharon Wohl
Custom Program Manager

Sharon works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA CAPA 's Institutional Relations team and in country Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both institutional and student needs. Sharon holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and is passionate about child advocacy. In her free time, she volunteers with children in foster care and group homes in the Phoenix community.

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Martin Brokeš
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Martin develops and maintains a network of host sites where CEA CAPA students can complete internships. He counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. He also provides mentoring and guidance to internship students onsite. In cooperation with CEA CAPA global staff, he contributes to the development of the CEA CAPA Internship Program.

Martin holds a master’s degree in International Human Resource Management from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. During his studies, Martin completed two internships in Russia and Taiwan, where he facilitated cross-cultural intelligence workshops. He taught himself Spanish while backpacking in South America. Martin has held various HR positions in the corporate sector. His work assignments were in the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He has been involved in various NGOs and worked as a camp counselor at summer camps in the UK and Czech Republic.

Martin is passionate about social sciences and philosophy, community development, and life-long education. He is a curious learner, reader, and swimmer.

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Jason Schultz
Senior Financial Services Specialist
A few years ago, I was on the same flight across the country as Flavor Flav (a famous TV personality for those who are not familiar). Sometime during the course of our flight, Flavor Flav decided to become a flight attendant for the day and started to hand out pretzels, drinks, and even spoke on the intercom! Random and unique events like these definitely intensify my passion for travel.

Besides Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and several cities in Canada, I’d have to say the picturesque beaches of Hawaii rank at the top of my favorite places to travel list. But that’s only until I make my way to England next—I’ve never been, but the country’s culture and personality really interests me.

As a CEA Student Accounts Advisor, I try to tie in my love of travelling into day-to-day tasks and interactions with students. I’m responsible for assisting students through the funding process of their study abroad, including aspects such as scholarships and financial aid. When I’m not working, I enjoy swimming, playing tennis, and watching movies.

Did you know? I was a professional on-air radio personality for 13 years before starting a new career in 2010!
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Michelle Esche
Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Michelle works across teams to support the daily operations of the custom program life cycle. With an eye to continuous improvement, she evaluates gaps and finds solutions to challenges, contributing to successful program delivery that consistently meets the needs of students and institutions. Michelle holds a Master of Arts in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from DePaul University. Before transitioning to her current role, Michelle was a Custom Program Manager. In this role, she worked closely with institution staff and faculty, alongside CEA CAPA’s Institutional Relations team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs to support both institution and student needs. As an undergraduate, Michelle studied abroad through DePaul University’s Madrid faculty-led custom program; she attended La Universidad Complutense de Madrid to complete her Spanish minor. While studying abroad, Michelle took the opportunity to travel throughout Spain and Europe, where she visited destinations including Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Lisbon.

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Esther Morante
Senior Housing Coordinator

As Senior Housing coordinator at CEA CAPA Seville, Esther is responsible for managing all aspects of Center housing, including selecting and maintaining a network of relationships with local constituents to offer a variety of housing options that provide the best housing experience for all program participants. She works to ensure housing quality and host families' engagement. Esther advises students on issues related to housing, the adaptation process, and making the most out of their study abroad experience. She also supports the Student Services department.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Esther taught English as a foreign language and worked in the tourism and hospitality industry. Esther holds a B.A. in English Language and a Master’s Degree in Teaching in Secondary Schools, Vocational Training and Language Centers from Universidad de Sevilla. She is a native speaker of Spanish, speaks fluent English, and has also studied French and German. Esther studied abroad in France and Northern Ireland, a life-changing experience that increased her interest in other cultures. Esther feels that studying abroad influences students' career paths, worldview, and self-confidence, all while helping them better understand their own cultural values and biases.

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Amy O'Rourke
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Amy is from Ireland and graduated from the University of Galway with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2018. Since then, she has worked in several different sectors, from working with the elderly as an activity coordinator during the COVID-19 pandemic, to more recently working in business administration. Amy is a keen traveler and has been fortunate enough to travel and work abroad in Canada, Finland, and now Australia, gaining valuable cultural experiences and meeting people from all over the world. In Canada, she worked as a program and activity coordinator at a children's camp, and in Finland she worked in tourism. Amy is so excited to be a part of the CEA CAPA team and looks forward to the adventures ahead and welcoming lots of new students to Sydney. 
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Kate Aja
Corporate Recruiter
As the Corporate Recruiter for CEA CAPA, Kate develops and executes talent management strategies to bring top talent to our workforce. By partnering with stakeholders across the organization, she is able to identify the gaps and find creative solutions. Managing the full lifecycle of recruiting, she puts an emphasis on diversity based recruiting strategies at every step of the process. Kate graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelors in Sociology, with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's studies, and her prior experience in HR and recruiting have allowed her to build a focus on employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee retention. As a member of the JEDI Committee leadership team, she is continually working to create a sense of belonging in the workspace. When she's not talking about talent acquisition, you can find her exploring her way through Arizona.
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Reyna Cruz
Student Support Specialist
As an Student Support Specialist, Reyna's role is to help facilitate student enrollment. She aids in verifying and organizing student documents required for acceptances, grants flight credits, enrolls students into their pre-departure orientations, and assists in creating and processing the necessary documents for student visas. Born and raised in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, Reyna is a local native of the Valley and a proud first-generation Mexican American. She graduated from Arizona State University and holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in International Studies. While in college, she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and is very passionate about traveling and immersing herself into different cultures to embrace and appreciate the differences that connects us with others worldwide. Outside of work, Reyna enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and exploring new places to eat!
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Hannah Parten
Custom Program Developer
Hannah is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia (B.A. World Religions/B.S. Psychology) and Clemson University (M.Ed. Higher Education Student Affairs). She has worked with inbound and outbound students at Yale University’s Office of International Students & Scholars, Yale Summer Session, and Wesleyan University’s Office of Study Abroad. In Summer 2022, Hannah and her family moved to Savannah, Georgia, where she worked remotely as a Client Success Manager for a top advertising technology company. Hannah is an avid learner and her current obsessions are gardening, learning to play the piano, and exploring Georgia's coastal marshlands via kayak. 

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Robynn Patterson
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Robynn was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and moved to Oxford, Mississippi, to study business at the University of Mississippi. She began her immigration to Australia as a study abroad student in 2020 when she came to Sydney to study toward her B.B.A in Marketing at the University of Sydney. After facing a whirlwind first semester there due to the pandemic, she decided to extend her time there so that she could pursue the experiences she sought post-pandemic. A few years later, she's still here and here to stay! 

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Fiona Pearson
Assistant Director of Program & Student Services
Prior to her role at CEA CAPA, Fiona spent 14 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), serving in a variety of roles, most recently as the Director of Australian Programs to IFSA's largest cohort. Fiona is passionate about working with and making a difference for students in the best city in the world (Sydney). She piloted a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives at IFSA which saw her speak at the Diversity Abroad conference in 2020. When not at work, Fiona can be found chasing after her toddler on the beach, singing at events and festivals, or watching true crime documentaries. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Communications (Theatre & Media) from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.   

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Cristina Serrano-Baixauli
Student Life Advisor

Cristina provides support in the planning and coordination of housing, activities, and trips, including the coordination of volunteering & internship placements, and she acts as a liaison regarding other aspects of student services onsite. Cristina is from Valencia, and she holds a degree in Translation & Interpreting from the University of Granada. She describes herself as a language enthusiast and has extensive experience studying and working abroad. She studied for two semesters at Wilhelms-Wesfälische University in Münster, Germany. After graduation, Cristina worked two years as Spanish language assistant in Saarland, Germany, and for one year as a Spanish teacher in Warsaw, Poland. She has also worked as translator of scientific articles into English for peer-reviewed journals. She always encourages students to get involved with the community and to explore Granada as much as possible.

In her free time, she loves reading, belly dancing, and traveling. Cristina uses her experience and her passion for meeting people from different cultures to provide students with the most supportive, enriching, and successful time possible in Granada.

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LillyAnn Burke
Internships Coordinator

LillyAnn Burke is an Internships Coordinator for CEA CAPA London.


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Christian Merino Rubio
Academic Coordinator

Born in El Salvador but raised in Maryland, identity and intercultural education have played an important role in Christian's academic and professional interests. Christian earned a B.A. in Political Science from Dickinson College in 2020, where they also studied abroad in Bologna, Italy through the European Studies program. This experience led them to seek out a career in International Education so they can support the same types of experiences for other students.  

Christian previously assisted the coffee program at a local Maryland specialty coffee chain, where they were head roaster and managed day-to-day operations of the roastery. They also have an extensive background supporting students in early-childhood Montessori settings. They are excited to begin their work as Academic Coordinator to support student success and satisfaction at CEA CAPA programs.  

In their spare time, Christian enjoys cooking, fostering a mindfulness practice and spending time with their nephew. They continue to learn about coffee trends and strives for the elusive “perfect shot” of espresso.

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Erik Fabian
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Erik is responsible for Student Services and Student Affairs. He not only acts as a first resource for students but also oversees pre-arrival planning phase and manages student activities and excursions. In terms of the Student Affairs Department, Erik provides support in dealing with health and emergency issues.

Erik has spent his professional life in the field of education, both private and public, and has got significant experience in working in the sector of special education. He holds a master's degree in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures from the Charles University in Prague. Erik's academic interests include wider socio-cultural issues, interculturalism, postmodernism and theory of art.

In his free time, Erik enjoys walking around the city and discovering its charms, admiring modern and postmodern architecture, and watching interesting movies. He is passionate about learning foreign languages, meeting interesting people and finding ways how to enjoy life.  

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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Caleb Mosty
Alumni Ambassador

What's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
I wish to share with others the compassion and joy of the onsite staff. The staff members themselves have studied abroad and understand the emotions, excitement, fears, and questions you'll have in a new country. The staff is an excellent resource that fosters an incredible experience while studying abroad!

Why was your cea capa program the right fit for you?
As a Spanish minor, I've studied the culture and language of Spain throughout my time in college. Accordingly, Madrid offered an unsurpassed opportunity to continue my studies in a cosmopolitan hub of the world.

 


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Charissa Winston
Financial Services Specialist

Charissa Winston has been in the education arena for 20 years. As a financial aid advisor, her passion is for helping people and finding solutions with paying for school.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, singing with her sisters, and tending to her extensive garden. Charissa also enjoys teaching gardening principles, helping the homeless, and working in Women's Ministry with her church.

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Angi Díaz Pérez
Housing Assistant

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Angi worked in the tourism sector in different cities and countries, where she gained experience in the fields of housing and customer service. Angi holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism from the Universidad de Cádiz (Spain). She spent the last year of the degree studying in Portugal with the Erasmus Program. She also lived in Scotland for 4 years, where she learned English and had the chance to discover and learn from people from all over the world. She is a kind, friendly, and responsible person that loves travelling, nature, and outdoor sports.

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Sara Fulmer
Regional Director - South

As a Regional Director based in South Carolina, Sara works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions in the South to support student growth through study and internship opportunities. Sara also coordinates with CEA CAPA’s campus partners to develop custom, faculty-led programs. Prior to joining the Institutional Relations team at CEA CAPA, Sara worked in international admissions for a total of 6 years at the University of South Carolina Aiken and Clemson University. Sara holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University and a B.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from Clemson University. Sara participated in 2 short-term study abroad programs in Russia and Cyprus. Through these experiences, she realized her passion for working in international education, wanting to provide these same experiences to other students. She feels incredibly fortunate to work alongside so many dedicated and passionate professionals who are committed to making life-changing international opportunities accessible to every student.

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Irene Torrecillas-Domínguez
Student Life Advisor

Irene acts as a liaison regarding student’s accommodation while also providing support in other aspects of student services. Irene is from Granada and holds a degree in Translation & Interpreting from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. To experience what is it to live abroad she started participating in several exchange programs in high school and, later, studied for four months at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Irene's understanding of the coordination of leisure and cultural activities is extensive, and she is a qualified youth leader for non-formal education by the Escuela Insignia de Madera. She volunteers at a local Scout Association, and she loves practicing sports, especially rugby and skiing. She takes every opportunity to learn something new; by doing so, she has learned social media management, Montessori English teaching, and a bit of Arabic! Her professional path has been consistently focused on helping other people, including as a local facilitator in the Red Guadalinfo—a project created to provide an internet connection and ICT resources to rural or deprived areas of Andalucía. Irene uses her experience and enthusiasm to provide students with the most supportive, enriching, and successful time possible in Granada.

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Keona Gardner
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Keona works towards ensuring that students are heard, supported by meeting them where they are, and empowered as they work on their career readiness journey. Keona is originally from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a first-generation college student, she had the pleasure of leading service learning experiences in various states and was granted the opportunity to study abroad in South Africa. That experience is what changed Keona’s trajectory — passion-wise — to make it a point to continue to immerse herself in various cultures respectfully and serve historically marginalized communities — connecting them to more significant opportunities. Shortly after receiving her undergraduate degree, Keona served as a Community and Youth Development Specialist in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She has also worked in the mental health field, educational non-profits, and workforce development to help strengthen partnerships for overall sustainable programming. Keona enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, cooking, learning, picking up various creative projects, practicing and teaching yoga as a Registered Yoga Teacher, watching psychological thrillers, and overall being in intentional community.

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Sabrina Khellaf
Program Coordinator

Sabrina joined CEA CAPA in 2021 as a Program Coordinator dedicated to sourcing and coordinating CEA CAPA Internships. She also contributes to all areas of program coordination, including assisting with Student Housing, Orientation sessions, activities and excursions.

Sabrina is bi-national (Franco-Algerian) and tri-lingual (French, Arabic and English). She graduated from EHEC in Algeria, before moving to Paris to complete her master’s degree at Ecole Supérieur de Gestion et Communication (ESGCI). Upon graduation, Sabrina moved back to Algiers where she worked as an Account Manager for Mc CANN Algiers, an advertising agency where she had the opportunity to work on several key accounts such as Nestlé, BNP Paribas, and Johnson&Johnson! Sabrina then moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue graduate business studies. After earning her degree, she worked in Toronto as a Student Services Advisor for international students at her university. Back in Paris after an amazing experience in Toronto, Sabrina loves to share her enthusiasm for international studies and professional experiences with CEA CAPA students!

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Megan Randall
Director of US Career Development and Internship Programs

As the Director of US Career Development and Internship Programs, Megan manages and supports the team of US-based Career Coaches and leads the pre-departure career coaching and placement processes for students participating in any Global Internship, Business Consulting, Community-Based Global Learning, or Research Placement program. Additionally, Megan draws on her extensive career coaching background to design and integrate innovative career readiness programming and curricula into all stages of a student’s program (before, during, and after) across all CEA CAPA program types. Megan applies a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) lens and employs career development trends and best practices to inform her work, with the goal of making CEA CAPA the preferred provider for the career development of students within the field of education abroad. Megan has studied, interned, researched, and volunteered abroad in Africa and Central America, and has 12+ years’ experience advising and coaching students on their personal, professional, academic, intercultural, and career development. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Skidmore College. She is a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, and is in the process of becoming an ICF-accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC).


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Margit Pugh
Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Margit serves as a leader on data management initiatives for the Program Development department, managing the integrity of program data for internal and external stakeholders, as well as serving as the Department’s primary liaison on large-scale organizational data initiatives. This collaborative position regularly engages international staff to ensure the accuracy of program data, and requires Margit to work with staff across the organization to identify and implement process improvements in the areas of program data collection. In addition, Margit plays a valuable role in the development of new programs, from research to launch, and provides strategic support to other Program Development team members with data-related tasks such as research, database entry, marketing tasks, and training. Margit interacts heavily with CEA international staff and consistently works to enhance connectivity with our international colleagues. 

Margit is originally from Slovenia and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Margit started traveling abroad at an early age and has since checked more than 20 different countries off her long ‘must visit’ list. During her undergraduate education, she participated in two study abroad exchanges—at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, and at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona—which gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in the American education system and culture. Prior to joining CEA, she worked for the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington D.C. as a Consular Advisor. Margit speaks 3 languages: English, Slovenian, and Italian.

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Letizia Ialini
Assistant Director

With CEA since 2009, Assistant Director Letizia Ialini oversees the Student Services team in Florence and supports students with particular difficulties during their time abroad. As well, Letizia liaises with local housing providers to ensure quality accommodation and services to students and visiting professors. Lastly, she collaborates to design and implement Custom and Faculty-Led programs. Her wide-ranging experience in administration makes Letizia a strong asset to the Florence team.

Letizia studied Economics at the University of Florence. As a student, she moved to Bournemouth, England where she worked as a trainee in the financial department of an industrial company. This first experience abroad sparked her interest in traveling and learning, inspiring her to study for a year in Melbourne, Australia. There she perfected her English, travelled often and made friends from all around the world.  Prior to joining CEA, Letizia managed the technical office of Prato Trade, a branch of the Industrial Union of Prato, where she organized expositions for national and international trade fairs. She also worked for a Florentine cooking school.  

In her spare time, Letizia enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She loves to help students connect with Italian culture, and believes that overcoming the challenge of culture shock results in growth and flexibility that can help students in their professional and personal lives.

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Chiara Ortolani
Internship Programs Manager

A native of Rome, Chiara has many years of experience working for American multinational companies such as Microsoft, Hertz, and Merck Sharp & Dohme. She earned her MA in Marketing and Product Management from Il Sole 24 Ore Business School in Rome, and holds a BA in Business Studies from Staffordshire University (UK). In addition to her native Italian, she also speaks English, Spanish and French.

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Aranoa Roldan
Student Services Coordinator

As Student Services Coordinator, Aranoa is responsible for the organization of students’ arrival, orientation, immersion activities, and excursions, along with every aspect of daily life in Seville that helps students immerse in Spanish culture. She also coordinates the communication processes, resources, and health and safety services that CEA CAPA Seville provides for students.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Aranoa worked for the Convention Center in Seville, as well as creating traveling initiatives and leading groups for different companies in the tourism industry. Aranoa obtained a degree in Tourism at EUSA and completed her education with a postgraduate course in Entrepreneur Initiatives from the Confederación de Empresarios Andaluces.

Aranoa has also studied abroad in England and lived in the US. For this reason, she is grateful to have the opportunity to help students grow when they are challenged by cultural differences during their study abroad experience. It is always rewarding for her to lead students into a better global citizen version of themselves.

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Amanda Chadwick
HR Coordinator
Amanda is an HR Coordinator at CEA CAPA based remotely in Miami, Florida. Amanda graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Spanish. Upon graduating high school, Amanda's father advised her to take a gap year and travel before resuming her academic studies. She decided to accept a communications internship position at The American University of Armenia in Yerevan, which was a life-altering experience that motivated her to pursue a career path in international education. Amanda subsequently pursued a year of study abroad in Madrid, Spain, during her sophomore year of college, where she interned at a small consulting firm, and developed a strong interest in learning about other cultures and their impact on businesses. Amanda enjoys going to the beach, traveling, spending time with her dog Stella, and watching Harry Potter movies. Amanda is enthusiastic about her career with CEA CAPA and eager to help bring communities together while making a positive impact.
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Brynn Trevizo
Student Support Specialist
Brynn Trevizo is the Student Support Specialist located at CEA CAPA's headquarters in Phoenix, AZ. She supports the Enrollment team by owning and managing specific projects such as visa processing, document collection, and the acceptance and confirmation process. Before joining CEA CAPA Brynn was living in New Zealand for 3 years and worked at the New Zealand Tertiary College as a Student Support Coordinator. Brynn holds a B.S. in Psychology from Salisbury University located in Maryland. She studied abroad in London and Paris during her junior year of college. She also lived in Northern Italy the summer before her senior year of college working as an English language tutor. From these experiences she grew a passion for supporting other young adults in going abroad to gain their own valuable life experiences, unique memories, and personal growth.
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Emily Resnevic
Senior Custom Program Developer

Emily joined CEA CAPA in 2019 as a Program Manager and is now a Senior Custom Program Developer based in Providence, Rhode Island. In her role, Emily works with CEA CAPA's institutional partners and international teams on the development of faculty-led and custom programs. Emily is committed to bringing CEA CAPA's values of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging to custom program design. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Emily worked with international students in Boston and San Francisco as a teacher, higher education advisor, university partnerships manager, and Assistant Director of Studies. She has also led study abroad programs for veterinary students in Thailand and worked as a local journalist in Boston for several years. She holds a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and earned her TEFL certificate in Prague, Czech Republic, where she taught ESL to adults for one year. When she's not working on custom programs, she can be found at a rock concert, road-tripping to an art museum, or curling up with a book and her (adorable!) cat, Blue.

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Lucie Chaton
Internships Coordinator
Originally from Montpellier, France, Lucie Chaton now resides in London. She completed an MSc in International Development Practice from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She also has a BA in International Business Administration from the Montpellier Business School, France, and a BA in Business Administration from Coventry University, UK. Lucie previously worked for CEA CAPA as a Marketing Assistant in the Boston office in the summer of 2019. She loves dogs, the beach, and meeting new people.

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Dana Nutter
Student Services Assistant
Dana is a California-born Madrid resident of 18 years, and having gotten to know Madrid for the first time through a CEA CAPA program, is in a unique position to provide the best experience for students while sharing real-life tips on what it’s like to get adjusted to life in Spain. As a former language teacher and lifelong language learner, Dana hopes to motivate students to not be afraid to challenge themselves while they are studying abroad. Dana is married with two children and loves to cycle and travel. 

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François Mahé
Program Coordinator - Housing

Originally from Saint-Malo, France, François’s first international experience was in the US when he traveled to Long Island, N.Y., several times during his undergraduate studies. He then graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English with teaching specialty from the Catholic University of Rennes. After graduation, he was selected to become a French language assistant in Bristol, UK, where he taught in various grades in two high schools. After this experience, he decided to return to France to complete a French as a Foreign Language teaching Master’s degree at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University. During this two-year diploma, François completed internships teaching international students and took the role of apprentice in his second year of his Master’s. In this role, he joined the French institution France Education International in an administrative position where he was project manager assistant on an international French teachers training program, BELC.

Passionate about the diversity of languages and foreign cultures, François has experienced student life abroad through his multiple travels in the US, the UK, Ireland, and Spain. He is dedicated to creating the best experience possible for study abroad students, using his personal knowledge of the Parisian area and its vibrant culture. In his free time, François enjoys seeing friends and family, and enjoying live music, art, and cultural programs in Paris.

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Nicole Giannini
Admissions Counselor

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Nicole was the Director of Global Recruitment for UBIS in Geneva, Switzerland. Working with international students from over 40 countries, her passion for study abroad opportunities was born. As an Business Development Representative, Nicole loves assisting our students in choosing the right program abroad that will meet their education and professional goals. Nicole completed her Bachelor of Science in Economics and Sociology and also holds a Masters of Public Administration, which she completed in 2020. She is active in local charities and volunteering with animal shelters in the Phoenix area.

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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Katie Claggett
Student Engagement Coordinator
As a Student Engagement Coordinator, Katie (she/her) supports CEA CAPA’s Alumni Ambassadors on their re-entry and study abroad promotion journeys. Primarily working in the East region, Katie calls Maryland home, and lives by the phrase “Act Local, Think Global.” While obtaining her bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Guilford College, Katie spent two semesters abroad, in Morocco and Chile. While her own experience as a global exchange participant is vast, she most recently worked in international enrollment management, supporting international students through the college admissions process. In her free time, Katie is a competitive ultimate frisbee player and an avid gardener. She resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband and stepson. 

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Ashley Hiers Ganes
Regional Director - Southeast

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ashley worked for the Consortium for Global Education, a faith-based, international education organization based in Atlanta. From 2013-2015, she lived in Nigeria doing logistics work for a missions organization, an experience that greatly contributes to her passion for international education. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Ashley has had the joy of working with institutions in the Southeast United States as Regional Director with CEA CAPA since 2017. Ashley holds a degree in Business Management from Southeastern University and an MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University. In her non-working time, she can often be found road-tripping to visit family or friends, hiking, or eating the world’s most delicious food, pizza.

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Abbie Pierce
Alumni Ambassador

What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
I got to meet Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) during my time abroad. He was so nice and meeting him was the highlight of that week! I also love talking about my visit to the Warner Brothers Studio where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.


What was your favorite study abroad class and why?
I loved both classes I took, but my favorite was the Jack the Ripper course. I learned about London history and how the legend of Jack the Ripper started. One day we took a walking tour around the city and visited iconic spots in London history that had correlations to Jack the Ripper too!

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José Balza
Internship Operations Manager

José Balza is responsible for providing oversight of the operational and delivery components of CEA CAPA internships globally, with a focus on constant process improvements and optimizations. He plays a vital role in continuously improving the quality of the student experience, as well as identifying gaps and efficiencies in each component of the CEA CAPA internship program experience: application process, career coaching and placement process, internship delivery, and assessment and reporting. José has a BA in Communication from Arturo Michelena University in his home country Venezuela and is a TEFL certified instructor from the Hunter College of the City University of New York. Before joining CEA CAPA, José held different manager and coordinator positions in the Communications and Live Theater industries. José has worked in education for 10+ years, as Adjunct Professor for Broadcast Production & Operations at his alma mater, and as an EFL teacher for varying institutions. For 4 years, he lived in Argentina and was part of the in-country CEA CAPA Buenos Aires team, where he developed a substantial network of internship partners, coached students through their study & internship abroad journey, and coordinated experiential learning activities integral to the academic curricula of the Study Center. He also supported course development initiatives and program operations. José is an avid concertgoer and coffee drinker; he enjoys traveling and connecting with people from different backgrounds.

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Victoria Learman
Admissions Counselor

Victoria is originally from West Michigan studied abroad in Granada, Spain for a year. She is eager to help create more life-changing experiences for students across the country. Victoria enjoys yoga and hiking and would love to get a corgi someday.

 

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Maria Victoria Sepulveda
Student Advisor
As Student Advisor, Maria Victoria (Vicky) is responsible for maintaining close contact with the students and is usually the first person students see as they enter our Study Center. Vicky accompanies students during their immersion activities and excursions and is a great resource of information about our city’s heritage and traditions. Born and raised in Seville, Vicky has also lived in Gran Canaria, Canary Island, and Madrid. Her passion for languages and other cultures led her to seek a degree in Tourism. She is very accustomed to working with all types of individuals thanks, in part, to her experience in the hospitality industry.
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Daniele Bini
Internship & Student Services Coordinator

As Internship & Student Services Coordinator, Daniele Bini helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. Daniele manages the Internship program in Florence, finding local host institutions and interviewing incoming students—while working to find matches that will benefit both hosts and interns. Together, with the internship seminar instructor, Daniele follows Interns’ experiences until the end of the program. He also organizes excursions that help introduce students to Italian locations beyond Florence.

Daniele holds a degree in Languages from the University of Florence, where he studied English, Japanese, and Portuguese. To complete his studies, Daniele fulfilled a 150-hour internship with CEA. But before joining the Florence team as a staff member in 2014, Daniele worked at a hotel in Chianti and assisted CEA with student arrivals and language exchanges.

Daniele loves to travel but did not study abroad as a student, and travels often in his free time. These personal travel adventures have made him an expert on the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. One of his goals is to spend an extended period of time in the U.S., and one day live in San Francisco

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Catherine Powers
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in France because I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone in order to experience a new culture. I love traveling and studying abroad aligns well with that passion. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to do so.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in the French Riviera because of its picturesque proximity to both the beach and mountains. I also love how the location is close to many other big European cities and small villages that I can explore while I am there. 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am most looking forward to spending my weekends traveling to other European countries and French cities. I want to see and experience as much as I can while also taking in the French culture and meeting new people!

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a barista and am a big coffee lover! I spend a lot of time trying as many coffee shops as I can.

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Josephine Borriello
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Josephine is the Program and Student Services Coordinator in Florence!
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Vittoria Chesi
Senior Academic Coordinator
Vittoria is a Senior Academic Coordinator in Florence!
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Abby Kidder
Director of Internal Operations
Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Abby was the President and Executive Director for the World Ocean School, an organization she founded in 2001. After building the company to a sustainable level, she handed it over to a new management team and moved into private philanthropic consulting for a couple of years. While she still does consulting for nonprofits and individuals in her spare time, she took on a full-time role in the Office of the President for CEA CAPA in 2018. As the Director of Internal Operations, Abby works across departments and sites to support and guide the structure and function of daily operations. Identifying gaps, finding solutions to challenges, and actively managing change, she engages with all staff to maintain a strong foundation from which the company’s mission can be accomplished. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a master’s in Environmental Ethics and is still active on nonprofit Boards and within the Philanthropy community.
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Sofia Hidalgo
Student Support Specialist
Sofia is from Arizona and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communication and a minor in French. During her time at ASU, she served as the Human Rights Coordinator of the Sustainable Business Association and was president of the French Club. Sofia believes open communication is vital to improving relationships and the communities you serve. She has a passion for traveling, which led her to study abroad in Paris and Seoul and to visit eleven countries, where she has made some of her best friends to date. After graduation and before joining CEA CAPA, Sofia became a health care provider for individuals with disabilities. She enjoys being a lifelong student and maintains her French and Korean through literature and talking with friends. In her free time, she likes to read and listen to audiobooks (often finishing a series in a week), skate, go to the movies with family, and take care of her numerous plants. Through her travels she also developed a love of food, and she is always open to trying new cuisines to expand her palate and knowledge of other cultures. 
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Ashton Troxel
Custom Program Developer

As a member of the Custom Programs Team, Ashton Troxel, works closely with Institutional Relations and CEA CAPA’s International Teams to develop custom programming that meets the needs of partners and students. Ashton earned an MA in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. During her undergraduate years, Ashton studied abroad in Orléans, France and double majored in International Studies and French. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ashton spent four years in an education abroad office at the University of Michigan where she collaborated with faculty on international programs and advised students. Ashton is committed to making international education a more diverse and accessible space. As such, she challenges practitioners to think critically about program models, application procedures, and intent when developing programs. In 2020, Ashton joined the NAFSA Region V team as the conference planner and is currently the Chair of Region V. On the weekend, you’ll find Ashton walking her dogs, reading, and trying new recipes. Outside of Europe, Ashton has spent time traveling in India.

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Maya Fraga
Housing Coordinator
Maya (she/her) holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins University and is a certified EFL/ESL teacher. She found her passion for facilitating intercultural communication while serving as an au pair in Spain. Maya then worked for her university’s Office of Study Abroad, beginning as an administrative assistant and later, after studying abroad herself at King’s College London, took on the role of Visiting International Students Program Coordinator. In addition to her focus on language acquisition, Maya specialized in sinology, including as a research assistant at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. After graduation, Maya served as an English language assistant in France, and in her spare time could be found plein air painting around Paris.

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Marta Pacho Ásgeirsdóttir
Housing Coordinator

Marta’s role is to give housing accommodation to students, intermediate between providers and students, improve housing options, and follow up on students' housing experiences. Additionally, the Housing Department organizes activities within Madrid's neighborhoods to improve students' experiences, helping them to know more about the city and the culture. They also help other departments in carrying out cultural activities.

Marta has a degree in Art History from Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Her fields of interest are museums, cultural heritage, and architecture, fields in which she has specialized through various courses. She studied abroad two semesters, one in Denmark and one at Wesleyan University, where she performed the role of Teaching Assistant for a Spanish course. She also collaborated with study abroad programs from Dartmouth College. Born in Reykjavik and raised in Madrid, her identity is a mix of the two cultures: Spanish and Icelandic. She loves travelling, visiting museums, exploring cultural heritage and gastronomy, and practicing different sports, such as running.

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Marilena De Chiara, PhD
Academic Director, Barcelona

Dr. Marilena De Chiara is the Director of Academic Affairs at CEA CAPA Barcelona. Born in Naples, Italy, she completed her BA in Communication and Performance Studies in Rome and Edinburgh, then moved to Barcelona, where she earned her Master of Research in Humanities, an MA in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in Literary Theatre and Practice, from Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Dr. De Chiara has been Visiting Scholar at Yale University, where she researched and taught for two years, and she currently lectures at the MA in Literary Creation at UPF and at the Barcelona Creative Writing School. With a strong background in Intercultural Learning and Development processes, she has been working in the field of International Education, mentoring undergraduate students, designing, and delivering Storytelling and Intercultural Communication courses, and training faculty on Teaching and Learning innovation, for the past 15 years. Dr. De Chiara is also a literary translator, her translations include the complete short stories by Nobel Prize awarded author Luigi Pirandello and works by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. Dr. De Chiara firmly believes in the transformative power of experiential learning to bridging languages and cultures, through the city of Barcelona as classroom.

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Olivia Jackman
Senior Revenue Operations Analyst
Olivia was born and raised in Chandler, Arizona, before graduating from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, with degrees in Supply Chain Management and Business Healthcare, as well as a certificate in Data Analytics. Thus far in her career, Olivia has worked in the semiconductor industry as a supply chain manager and senior financial data and reporting analyst. In her free time, Olivia enjoys sailing and spending time with her dog, Skipper. She also enjoys traveling, with the Cayman Islands, Norway, and Barcelona being her favorite spots so far. 
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Donyale Young
Alumni Ambassador

tell us about your internship experience abroad.
I interned abroad and my company focused on helping people with disabilities live the life that they want to live. My co-workers and supervisor were very nice and easy to talk to, plus they're really big on work-life balance.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community by doing different activities and excursions with them. We went to different Irish cities nearby and learned about the culture there. We also had conversations with different locals when going out to eat.

 


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Matthew Sinanis
Alumni Ambassador

why was your CEA CAPA program the right fit for you?
My study abroad program in Paris was the right fit for me because I'm studying the French language and could practice my skills and learn more about the culture. Paris was an amazing city to explore the different regions and serve as a good central location to travel to different countries.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community by going to different cafés, restaurants, shops, and street sellers and did my best to communicate with them in French. Furthermore, I traveled as much as possible while abroad and interacted with different people from each location to learn about them and the location itself. I also went into these interactions with an open mind and tried many new foods that were regional delicacies even if I was unsure if I'd like them. An example of this was in Marseille, France where my friends and I tried raw sardines which were a local delicacy that were recommended to us.

 


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Adrien Allen
Alumni Ambassador

if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?
I'd pick an internship abroad program, as I heard from internship students that it was a wonderful experience and a different way to connect with the local culture.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
Aside from spending time with my host family, I got involved with events in my neighborhood and met local students. I formed a friend group that was a perfect mix of CEA CAPA students, other international people, and locals. We got many opportunities to share and compare each others cultures.

 


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Kya Crocker
Partner Student Advisor

Kya is originally from Wichita, Kansas but has lived in multiple cities across the U.S., Italy, and Taiwan. She recently graduated from Kansas State University, and is excited to start her masters in Global Education at Arizona State. She has a strong passion for international education and its lifelong impact on students across the globe.

Kya enjoys baking, reading, discovering new music, and trying new foods.

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Emiliano Silveira
Student Services Advisor

As the student services advisor in the Rome student services office, Emiliano works with students, providing the best possible experience when it comes to their housing assignments. As a part of the Rome team, he also participates in orientation activities, collaborates with students upon their arrival, joins CEA-organized student events, and helps them with anything and everything else they might need during their study abroad program.  

Born in Uruguay, Emiliano holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master’s degree in human rights, peace, and sustainable development from the University of Valencia. Emiliano’s previous experience is varied, as he has worked in different areas such as finance, tourism, NGOs, and more.  

During his time studying abroad, he enjoyed interacting with people from many countries and cultures, which grew his interest in traveling and meeting people with different backgrounds and stories. So far, he has visited several European countries and his next travel goal is to explore some African countries and to visit every country in South America. 

Emiliano is a big fan of sports, mainly football, and he is a great supporter of the Uruguay national team. He also enjoys long walks with the typical Uruguayan “mate” and bike rides in different Roman parks like Villa Pamphili, Villa Borghese, and the Appia Antica.

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Courtney Cornelius
Manager, Digital Marketing
Courtney is responsible for developing and executing social media campaigns, managing the CEA CAPA influencer program, and analyzing performance metrics to optimize campaigns for maximum ROI. Courtney manages the entire scope of B2C and B2B social media efforts, including paid and organic promotion, across Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. In her role, Courtney collaborates closely with cross-functional teams; Marketing, Institutional Relations, Enrollment, and Internships; to ensure social media initiatives align with overall marketing strategies and organizational goals. Courtney studied abroad in Stirling, Scotland where she first developed a passion for education abroad. She believes that overcoming challenges, exploring new cultures, and pursuing a new lens on academics is powerful for personal and professional growth. She is passionate about leveraging social media to create meaningful connections between CEA CAPA and students, families, partners, and beyond.
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Kevin Francis Whalen
Internship Coordinator

Kevin Francis Whalen, a New York City native, is the Internship Coordinator in Seville, Spain. He holds a B.S. in Communications, a Master's in Secondary Education, as well as a Master's in Business and is also an entrepreneur and investor. Kevin has a wealth of experience in developing new internship opportunities in Seville and maintaining relationships with a diverse range of companies and organizations across various sectors. His passion is matching students with the best possible internship that aligns with their interests, skills, and career goals. Throughout the internship process, Kevin provides unwavering support to the students, guiding them through the application process, preparing them for interviews, and providing career advice. Kevin is a firm believer in the power of international internships to provide valuable learning experiences and prepare students for the workforce.

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Shawn Coover
Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Shawn Coover is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, he oversees the development and implementations of policies, processes, and best practices to ensure CEA CAPA continues to be a great place to work. This includes consultation on strategic business initiatives, employee relations, staffing plans and recruitment, compensation and benefits, communications, training and development, and legal compliance. Most importantly, Shawn and his team work diligently to make sure that everything we do is true to the organization’s Core Values, Mission, and Vision.

Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA from Northern Arizona University. He joined CEA CAPA in 2018 and brought with him 19 years of international leadership experience, including eight years in Human Resources. His professional background also includes leadership experience in operations, project management, development, customer service, and purchasing with Honeywell, AT&T, and Belden Wire and Cable. 

An avid traveler, Shawn has traveled to over 30 countries.

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Tristin Collins
Partner Student Advising and Retention Manager

Tristin's main duties include supervision of the Admissions Counselors team and internal review of all incoming applications and processes. In this role, she also has the pleasure of training new staff members, identifying any gaps in enrollment, finding new or creative solutions to challenges, and regularly working with colleagues on cross-departmental projects to get our students abroad as smoothly as possible.

Tristin obtained her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Psychology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Go Bobcats! She did not study abroad herself, which is why she strongly believes in the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity when it comes to personal growth. Traveling is slowly becoming one of her leading passions in life because of this. Fun Fact: Her first plane ride (and vacation) was to Costa Rica in 2016 to visit two friends who were on an internship abroad program!

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Andrea Masini
Academic Affairs Manager

Andrea graduated from the Department of Literature and Philosophy at the Università di Pisa with a degree in the History of the Church. He subsequently earned a master's degree in Human Resources. Soon after graduation, Andrea worked as a social worker, focusing his attention on adolescents and the needy. He then moved on to the field of Human Resources in managerial development and hiring for a multinational company.

His many cultural interests (cinema, theater, art, music, and travel) and his varied work experiences have enabled Andrea to develop unique dexterity in communication, a strong sense of responsibility, and strong organizational skills. These qualities allow Andrea to cultivate and maintain strong social, working, and personal rapports.

In 2009, Andrea conceded himself a important "life experience": he left his native Italy to spend 18 months in Australia, where he traveled, worked in the hospitality sector, and took an intensive course in English. His experience abroad strengthened his mastery of the English language and offered him the opportunity to work in a multicultural and dynamic environment. Upon his return to Italy, Andrea found a place for himself in Rome.

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Eleonora Marasca
Office Assistant
As Office Assistant at CEA CAPA Boston, Eleonora performs clerical and administrative tasks to support daily operations in the office setting. She maintains a positive, welcoming, and productive environment while keeping the office supplied and organized. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Eleonora worked in sales for private companies in various sectors. She then decided to continue her professional career specializing in Education and teaching Italian to English native speakers, which she still does in her spare time. She holds a Master's degree in Modern Languages for Communication and International Cooperation. She participated in a study abroad program in Europe during which she lived and studied in Germany. This allowed her to understand the importance of cultural exchanges that she now wants to work with. She is a native speaker of Italian, she speaks fluent English and German, and has different levels of French and Spanish.
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Jillian Meyer
Custom Program Manager

As a Custom Program Manger, Jillian oversees the pre-departure lifecycle of faculty-led programs. She collaborates with various stakeholders to manage the logistics of these programs to ensure successful launch once they are one the ground. Jillian has been working in the field of International Education since 2018 and prior to working at CEA CAPA she held roles such as Student Services Advisor and International Relations Coordinator. Her love for study abroad was sparked when she studied in Seville in 2014, so much so that she moved back to Spain and lived in Madrid for five years! While there, she taught English and was a food/wine tour guide!

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Patrick Gorman
Manager, London Internships

Patrick Gorman is the Manager, London Internships at CEA CAPA.

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Victoria Pope
Internship & Academic Advisor
Victoria is a native of Athens, GA, and a graduate of the University of Georgia, from which she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Her spark for an abroad experience was lit in primary school when a student teacher taught her class French. From there, Victoria hoped to pursue a life that was outside of her hometown. In high school, she embarked on a study abroad adventure with her history class and served as a volunteer abroad in Cardiff, Wales, for two summers. After finishing her studies at UGA, Victoria taught English in South Korea for three years and learned some survival Korean. Later she moved to Madrid, a city she has called home away from home for the last five years. Through her international work she became interested in promoting global engagement at home as well as abroad with an overall hope of making global experiences more accessible for diverse populations. During her free time, Victoria can be found relaxing in a park and enjoying the company of friends she has come to call family in her new home. 
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Danielle Hale
Student Advisor

Danielle is from Phoenix, Arizona, but spent her college years studying in Flagstaff, Arizona and Quito, Ecuador. She is passionate about empowering herself and those around her to pursue personal and professional development, but her time studying abroad ignited a new passion for growth through international experiences. Danielle is excited to help students pursue life-changing experiences abroad! 

In her free time, Danielle loves baking, country dancing, sharing a meal with friends and family, and traveling with her dog.

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Jakub Svec
Junior Program Coordinator

As Junior Program Coordinator, Jakub Svec helps the onsite Prague team with various tasks in the Housing Department. Apart from helping to secure safe and pleasant housing experiences for students, he also helps with CEA Center agendas. 

Jakub is a lifelong student. He plans on teaching philosophy courses in the future. Apart from studying he also enjoys helping others discover their true passions and talents in the academic field. He has additional experience with hosting academic conferences at the Charles University, organizing various workshops and creating a welcoming environment for students.

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Michaela Yisrael
Academic and Internship Coordinator

As CEA CAPA Seville’s Academic and Internship Coordinator, Michaela manages the partner institution matriculation processes, guides students through their study abroad experience, and ensures international internship students have a fulfilling professional and academic experience. She is committed to helping students achieve their educational and career goals while also experiencing the cultural richness of Seville. Originally from New York City, Michaela has resided in Spain for over a decade. She holds a master’s degree in teaching from La Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Madrid and a bachelor’s degree in political science from The City University of New York (CUNY) at Baruch College. After studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain, she became fond of Spain. Since then, Michaela has gained extensive experience in education program development and international student recruitment in various Spanish, American, and international firms. Outside of work with CEA CAPA, Michaela enjoys exploring diverse cultures and traditions, including gastronomy, folklore, and music. She has a keen interest in travel and is excited to share her love of exploring new places with her and her husband’s son Malik, who was born in January 2022. She also embraces her entrepreneurial spirit by working for her family’s security firm.

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Taylor Coulson
Copywriter and Content Coordinator

As Copywriter + Content Coordinator at CEA CAPA, Taylor's main focus is to optimize website and digital marketing materials for SEO. In her role, Taylor supports the Alumni and Communications Team within the Marketing Department by writing targeted internal and external messaging for SMS and email campaigns, and crafts compelling stories on our student and academic blogs. Taylor connects with cross-functional teams like Marketing, Career and Internships, Enrollment, Institutional Relations, and Program Development. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Taylor wrote digital and print editorials and advertorials for travel agents, hotel brands, tourism boards, wine enthusiasts, and European bicyclists.

Taylor earned a B.A. in Communication and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. During undergrad, Taylor studied and interned abroad (with CEA CAPA) in Barcelona where she started believing that the best way to gain global insight and perspective is to travel. She loves pursuing her passion for people, words, and travel every day in her work.

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Ana Martínez, PhD
Academic Director, Barcelona

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA CAPA Barcelona programs. She reviews the curriculum and coordinates the development of new courses, reviews and maintains consistency of academic policies and practices, oversees the resolution of all important student academic issues, and provides support to faculty to guarantee academic excellence.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ana worked with another study abroad organization as a resident coordinator and faculty member. She's also held several university positions: Assistant Director of the Advanced Spanish Language Program at Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), Teaching Associate at Georgetown University and Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Spain), and Teaching Assistant and Director of the Spanish House at Middlebury College (Vt.). Ana earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University, which also conferred to her a Master of Science in Linguistics. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Antonio de Nebrija and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Philology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

Ana first travelled to Dublin, Ireland in high school and subsequently studied in London for four months. She also spent her senior year of college studying in Pisa, Italy and completed her graduate studies in Washington, D.C. She loves traveling and believes that understanding the world from different perspectives is the one of the most enriching lessons that students can learn while living abroad.

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Kayla McGuire
Student Advising & Retention Manager

It has been years and Kayla is still just as in love with Sevilla as the day she stood across the river overlooking the city on her first day.  Her yearlong experience as a student through CEA CAPA transformed my life—now, working for the Enrollment department, she comes to work each day prepared and excited to aid her students in making their experience abroad the best it can be. 

Kayla grew up close to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned her bachelor’s degree in Languages and Cultures with a Spanish concentration from West Chester University. While in college, she got the opportunity to study at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain through CEA CAPA’s program! She was incredibly lucky to get to visit most of Spain while abroad, as well as Italy, France, Portugal, Africa, and Greece. Travel has remained a constant passion of hers—she's been back to Sevilla every year since she's left, and she hope to explore South America very soon! 

Outside of work, Kayla likes to sing and listen to live music! She reads every day, and spends time with my friends and family as much as she can.

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Cecilia Benedetti
Student Services Advisor

As Student Services Advisor, Cecilia is the first point of contact for all students when entering the center. She supports them in their everyday requests, helping them make the most of their time abroad by assisting them on everyday questions and travel plans and even giving them tips on the Roman culture. She considers this job very important and values the interaction with students as a great opportunity for cultural and personal enrichment.

Cecilia worked at CEA Rome as a University intern while getting her Master’s degree in Linguistics and American literature. Before that, she travelled extensively throughout Brazil, where she taught English and Italian to local students. She is passionate about foreign cultures and arts, and in her free time, she enjoys writing and talking about music and movies.

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Rebecca James
Senior Regional Director - East
Originally from North Carolina, and now a long-time resident of New York City, Rebecca is the Senior Regional Director, East on CEA CAPA’s Institutional Relations team. She works closely with study abroad offices and university faculty at institutions of higher education in the Northeast to establish long-term partnerships that support and increase participation in study and internship abroad programs. Additionally, she serves on NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Committee (EARP) as the Consular Liaison at Large. Rebecca holds a BA in French, History, and International Studies from the University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina (UNC) and a MA in TESOL from New York University (NYU). Before joining CEA, Rebecca developed a study abroad program for Dublin Business School, where she established partner institution and third-party provider relationships that doubled the program's annual revenue. She is a passionate international educator and, when not planning her next trip abroad, she is perfectly content being at home, watching Hitchcock films and planning meals. She is an avid cook, whose palette and cooking have been heavily influenced by her travels.
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Sarah Everett
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Studying abroad in Spain during my time in college is a bucket list experience for me. With my interest in sociology, I am consistently curious as to why people are the way they are, while considering the influence external factors may have upon someone's identity and livelihood. I hope to become more aware of different perspectives and approaches to life while immersing myself in Spanish culture!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I selected CEA CAPA's Communication, Media Studies, and Tourism study abroad program in Seville, Spain because of the specific course offerings and my desire to develop more confidence in my daily Spanish communication. It was crucial for me to pick a program that allows me to earn upper division credit that transfers back to my degree. Further, after reviewing course syllabi, I was intrigued by courses such as, "Seville: Culture, Identity & Citizenship in the City" or hands-on volunteer work in, "international Service Learning: Society, Inequality & Social Exclusion," where I hope to become more connected to the community by learning through engagement. 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am eager to establish a new routine during my study abroad experience and encourage myself to strike a balance between planning and spontaneity. More specifically, the food, culture, and tapas scene in Seville excites me! I am also looking forward to participating in the various activities and holidays that are so important to the history and culture of Seville.

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love writing palindrome poems. Trying to make them coherent regardless of if you read the piece from beginning to end or end to beginning is a fun and challenging game for me!

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Benjamin Sidney
Academic and Student Services Coordinator
Ben was born and raised in Florence, Italy. He comes from a family of musicians, and in addition to playing guitar and other musical instruments, he is a professional photographer and filmmaker. Filmmaking led Ben to discover teaching and he finds great satisfaction in working with students. He also has an interest in history, which he studied at university. Ben enjoys traveling and getting to know other cultures.
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Rachael Pullman
Human Resource Business Partner
Working with the Go to Market departments as a Human Resource Business Partner, Rachael works closely with CEA CAPA staff on all levels to align and streamline processes, procedures, trainings, professional development and performance management. Her belief that people are the most important asset of every organization, and passion for creating workplaces where people can bring their whole self to work informs every aspect of her role. While Rachael did not study abroad herself, she values the experience that only travel can bring and loves supporting staff who facilitate and create educational study aboard programing for students. Rachael holds and M.S. in Human Resource Development and a certificate in Organizational Development from Villanova University. She is also a SHRM- Senior Certified Professional. She is an avid reader, violinist, wife and mother to four wonderful children.
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Maggie Ovian
Senior Custom Program Manager

Maggie’s passion for study abroad began when she spent her junior year of college studying in Sevilla, Spain. She since has held a variety of roles within education abroad that span outbound study abroad, international student recruitment, and on-site program management. Her role as a Senior Custom Program Manager allows her to collaborate with faculty, university staff, and on-site teams to execute dynamic experiential learning programs. She holds a Master's degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute and has worked in the US, Spain, Costa Rica, and Armenia.

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Timothy Humphrys
Program and Student Services Coordinator

Timothy Humphrys is a Program and Student Services Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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Darren Kelly, PhD
Academic Director, Career & Internship Programs

A Dublin native, Dr. Darren Kelly holds a BA in English and Geography and a PhD in Cultural Geography from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He developed and currently lectures on the Postgraduate Diploma in Further Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to lecturing, Darren worked in a range of community development and educational organizations in Dublin and travelled extensively. His interest in study abroad began at age 17 when he spent a high school year abroad in Oxford, Ohio. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in 2007-2008 at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years, Darren has increasingly focused his work (teaching, consulting, and publishing) in the area of linking academic theory and field studies in international education and study abroad. During his time with CEA CAPA, he has developed a research interest in the area of intercultural intelligence and self-reflection as related to students’ personal and professional development.

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Arianna Marchisio
Student Services and Housing Advisor
Arianna is originally from the North of Italy and moved to Rome in 2017. She has a background in education, especially with preschool-age children. She lived for a year in Chicago as an au pair and had the chance to travel a lot, both in the US and all over the world. After working for six years for an international au pair agency both in sales and customer care, she joined the CEA CAPA team in Rome. Arianna love cats, chocolate, and any kind of outdoor activity, and has a passion for photography. 
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Cierra Wilson
Student Support Services Manager

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, Cierra craved a change of scenery and decided to head to the desert to attend Arizona State University. While she enjoyed every minute of life as a Sun Devil, she felt an urge to see more of the world and set her sights on studying abroad her senior year. She made her way to Galway, Ireland, and it was the best semester (and time) of her life. She was able to visit Scotland and England during this semester, but her fondest memories are certainly the time in Ireland. 

Cierra knew she would want to continue to be a part of international education in some way, and a few months after returning to the states, she had the opportunity to intern with CEA CAPA twice. A few years later, she found her way back as a full-time employee and now supports our Enrollment Department. Her work includes accepting students into CEA CAPA programs, serving on the Scholarship Committee, and assist with the student visa process.

Cierra enjoy nothing more than being a part of the process to assist students in embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. One day, she hopes to live in Europe full-time, but for now, she is enjoying Arizona’s sunshine.

In her free time, Cierra is enjoy playing Pokemon Go and disc golf, going to indie & alternative rock shows, spending time with family, and, of course, traveling!

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Álvaro J. Sanjuán
Internship & Student Services Coordinator

Álvaro J. Sanjuán studied English Literature, History and Linguistics at University of Oviedo (Spain) and continued his studies on Applied Languages at Dublin City University (Ireland). After being an Art History professor in UNIPEC in Burgos (Spain) he worked as Web Manager and Community Manager until he began to collaborate for several years as a tour guide with CEA CAPA Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Advisor in 2016 and Internships Coordinator in 2022. Alongside his work, he has conducted research on the history of the LGTBQ+ community and authored a book titled "Grandes Maricas de la Historia," which was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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Matthew Janus
Senior Regional Director - West

Matt Janus' role at CEA CAPA is to oversee CEA CAPA's institutional relationships with schools in the Western United States. Matt and his team work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes, as well as to identify ways in which CEA CAPA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Matt worked as a Mortgage Consultant at Countrywide Loans and as a National Accounts Manager at Alansis Corporation. Matt obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz (Calif.). While there, he studied abroad in Morelia, Mexico and Barcelona, Spain. His next anticipated adventure will be a tour through Southeast Asia, with extended stays at each notable surf spot.

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Isabelle Morin
Program Adminstrator

As Program Administrator, Isabelle provides administrative support to the CEA Paris office and is responsible for human resources, legal, facilities, and financial administrative processes. Isabelle also assists the CEA Paris team with event planning and tasks that span all aspects of CEA programming.

Isabelle comes to CEA with extensive experience in business administration, having worked for over 20 years in human resources and general administration for international companies, mainly in the petrol industry. She has held different positions from Executive Assistant to Human Resources Specialist, and has a particular interest in law. She studied law at the Université de Paris XIII – Saint Denis, before spending two years in Montréal, Canada where she participated in the launch of a French grocery store. Isabelle is a born and raised Parisian and still lives in the city with her husband. She has two sons: one who is a chef at his restaurant in Paris and one who is studying psychology in Montréal, Canada.

As a parent, Isabelle believes that she had two precious things to give her children: roots and wings. She says “it is never easy when they go away from the roots, but if they use their wings to study abroad, it is fantastic!”

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Alessia Robucci
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Alessia is from Florence, Italy, and obtained her degree in foreign languages and intercultural studies. She has prior  experience is in both tourism and education. Alessia is passionate about studying languages and communicating through languages of the world. She enjoys accompanying students to discover the most authentic aspects of Florence's region and culture.
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Vee Moodley
Senior HR Business Partner
Vee is passionate about people and has spent the past two decades fine-tuning her HR skills across different industries, from the fast-paced world of FMCG to the rewarding realm of the charity sector. With a specialization in UK employment relations, Vee enjoys enabling leaders to create work environments where colleagues can prosper. She is so pleased to have joined CEA CAPA and is looking forward to supporting Global Operations in their exciting next chapter. 
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Tim Ramsay
Senior Custom Program Manager

Tim Ramsay works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA CAPA’s Institutional Relations Team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both institutional and student needs.

Tim holds a Master of Management degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before joining the CEA CAPA family, Tim worked in the field as a Director of Study Abroad and Student Activities for 10+ years specializing in program development and assessment. Tim has facilitated several faculty/staff training and workshops on risk management and overall student development across the state of Michigan.

Tim has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America. He is also passionate about the importance of service and has led many mission trips to the Caribbean and Latin America.

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Dele Jaiyesimi
Academic Coordinator

Dele Jaiyesimi is an Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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Alexa Porter
Alumni Ambassador

What was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class was my Spanish language intensive course. It gave me in-depth insight into vocabulary and grammar, and introduced several cultural concepts. I feel like I learned extremely applicable content that allowed to participate in day-to-day life around the city.

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
One story that I always tell people is about the time that our entire CEA CAPA group went with some of the local Spanish students to play soccer. I had so much fun spending quality time with people that I only recently met, and we all quickly became close friends. Seeing people outside of the classroom and finding activities that were enjoyable for all of us was so crucial to my overall study abroad experience.

 


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Tereza Štěpařová
Junior Program Coordinator

Tereza came to Prague to study journalism and now North American Studies at Charles University. Previously, she spent a semester in Athens, Greece, and enjoyed the adventure of the international student environment which inspired her enthusiasm to help other students have the best experience possible during their time studying abroad.

In her free time, Tereza is a passionate dancer and cat lover. She also enjoys traveling and hiking.

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Xi McWilliams
Alumni Ambassador

What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
As a person of color, we are constantly discouraged to virtue out to seek higher learning opportunities. Going abroad changed the narrative that people like me cannot afford these things or that we should not seek out these opportunities. CEA truly helped me realize that there are multiple ways I could afford to study abroad.

What was your favorite study abroad class and why?

My favorite study abroad class was Medical Health Spanish. My professor was highly hands-on and always had some type of fun activity waiting for us every morning. The class was engaging and I was encouraged to consistently try my best.


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Iliana Gonzalez
Admissions Manager
Iliana Gonzalez is an Admissions Manager on the CEA CAPA Enrollment team. Ms. Gonzalez has been an admissions counselor for over seven years in higher education, and she has been part of the CEA CAPA team since 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Arizona State University and studied abroad at Institut Catholique de Paris. Ms. Gonzalez is strong advocate for study abroad and inclusivity for Latino students. She strongly believes the opportunity to live abroad enhances personal growth and cultural appreciation.
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Monica Francioso, PhD
Academic Director, Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA CAPA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath, and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

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Jon Jorgenson
Senior Regional Director - Midwest

Based out of Wisconsin, Jon Jorgenson works with our university advisors, faculty and staff to support student exploration, advising, and registration processes, in addition to identifying ways CEA CAPA can help its university partners be more successful in internationalizing its curriculum. Prior to joining CEA CAPA Jon studied abroad in Spain and China plus worked at Expeditors International, PMT Corporation, RAM Center, and Red Wing Shoe Co. Jon's travels have taken to 27 different countries, and he is most looking forward to visiting Hungry next. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Spanish from Minnesota State University – Moorhead. Jon advises first time international travelers that: "Studying abroad is magical. Make the most of your time while abroad plus stay true to yourself and your goals. Your time abroad will fly by quickly and if you experience it to the fullest it will be most rewarding, challenging, exciting and fulfilling time of your life."

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    Lauren Thorburn
    Content Creator - Blogger

    Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
    One of my favorite things is traveling the world and exploring unfamiliar places. I grew up in Africa and spent much of my childhood discovering Southern African countries, so I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before. I believe that traveling and going outside of your comfort zone is the best way to learn and grow. This is why I knew before even starting college that studying abroad was something that I wanted to do. 

    Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
    I  chose to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, because I wanted to experience a country hugely different from any other place I've visited before. Additionally, I knew I wanted to be in Europe as it offers the opportunity to explore surrounding countries easily, thus allowing me to gain an even richer cultural experience. The Anglo-American University in Prague also offers diverse courses that align with my studies, so it really ended up being an extremely easy decision to choose Prague!

    What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
    I think I'm most looking forward to two of my classes: "Prague Art and Architecture" and "Documentary Photography." I think my Art and Architecture class will really help me learn about the history of the city and give me the opportunity to explore different buildings around Prague with my professor and peers. My Documentary Photography class will help me engage with the world around me, not only in the Czech Republic but also in other cities I'll visit around Europe.

    what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I spent a week and a half traveling alone in Scotland last year! It was such a rewarding experience, especially because it was my first adventure as a solo traveler (something I plan to continue doing throughout the rest of my life).

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    Paolo Monetti
    Housing Coordinator
    Before joining CEA CAPA, Paolo was a housing coordinator and facilities manager for a first-year study abroad program in Florence and managed a six-floor building in the historical city center for more than 200 students. He is originally from Trento, a little town in Northern Italy surrounded by mountains. Prior to working in study abroad, Paolo was a logistics and operations manager for a small artisan company on the hills of Florence called Malleus Martialis, which produced hand-made swords and historical replicas. He has a high school background in education and lived in Dublin for a four-month internship in a nonprofit company that helped disadvantaged children through sports, after-school clubs, and other activities.
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    Sharon Wohl
    Custom Program Manager

    Sharon works closely with institutional staff and faculty, alongside CEA CAPA 's Institutional Relations team and in- country Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both institutional and student needs. Sharon holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and is passionate about child advocacy. In her free time, she volunteers with children in foster care and group homes in the Phoenix community.

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    Julia Kitonis
    Program and Student Services Assistant

    Julia Kitonis is a Program and Student Services Assistant at CEA CAPA London.


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    Guido Reverdito, PhD
    Academic Director, Florence
    After a BA in Classics and a Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Guido received his PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Padua. He worked as a visiting professor in Classics at the University of Kansas in 1989 and for 16 years, he was a Lecturer in Italian Language and Literature on behalf of the Italian Government in Istanbul, Madrid, Budapest, and Canterbury. From 2009 to present, he has been the Director of Academics at CAPA, where he teaches courses in social history of Italy and contemporary Italian cinema. He edited and translated several classic Latin authors, and wrote a History of Latin Literature in four volumes. Since 1989, he has been a film critic. His latest work is research on early years and production of celebrated Italian crime novelist Giorgio Scerbanenco (Giorgio Scerbanenco and the heart of darkness of Italian crime novel, Aracne, 2014).
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    Rachel Long
    Senior Digital Experience and Communications Manager

    Rachel works closely with institutional partners to develop customized marketing strategies to support study abroad promotion and recruitment on-campus. She works closely across all departments at CEA CAPA to support the overall marketing strategy. Rachel also manages the marketing systems used by CEA CAPA. 

    Since joining CEA CAPA in 2017, she has held a variety of roles including Admissions Advisor, Program Manager, and CAPA Community Administrator. Rachel studied and interned abroad on the CEA CAPA London program, which led her to a career in international education. She also has experience working in higher education admissions from her time as an Admissions and Communications Specialist at Boston University School of Law. Rachel earned a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the State University of New York at Oswego. 

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    Amber Kettmann
    Regional Director - Rocky Mountains

    Amber has spent the last 15+ years in various roles within education abroad and was thrilled to join the team at CEA CAPA in 2021 in her role now as Regional Director, primarily in the Rocky Mountain states. Prior roles have ranged from student advising at two different institutions, as well as recruitment, faculty-led program development, institutional relations, and business development at international education organizations as well as student travel companies. She has been actively involved in NAFSA mentor programs, conference committees and presentations, and is a huge supporter of NAFSA’s annual Advocacy Day. Amber holds a BA in Clinical Counseling in Addictions from Keene State College in NH and a Masters of Leadership in Higher Education from North Central College in IL, where she was fortunate enough to spend some time in Brazil for work on her thesis on Cultural Immersion and Learning Outcomes in Short-Term Faculty-Led Programs. Originally from New England and a former part-time Alaskan, Amber now calls Colorado home with her husband and two fur babies and very much enjoys any opportunity to travel, specifically when it can involve a new brewery, the next culinary adventure, or any rooftop or mountain top anywhere at all.

     
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    Mary Hines
    Alumni Ambassador

    How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    Living right in the city was a great way to live like a local to me! We formed relationships with the shop owners and businesses around us and ended up hanging out with some of the locals. They told us about Czech traditions and made sure we always went to the fun cultural events around the city.

    what's one story or important aspect you always tell people about your time abroad?
    One aspect about my time abroad is that I went to a city I didn’t know not knowing a soul! I ended up however meeting some of the best friends of my life and we still talk daily. Don’t be scared to go study abroad without your friends! They may be waiting there!

     


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    Michelle Mannweiler
    Student Engagement Coordinator

    As Student Engagement Coordinator at CEA CAPA, Michelle Mannweiler works with Alumni Ambassadors and other alumni to improve outreach to different student populations about CEA CAPA and study abroad. She graduated from Butler University with degrees in Middle/Secondary Education and Spanish. Michelle has professional experience in various fields, mostly centered around education, project management, and customer service. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she served as Senior Program Advisor for over six years at IFSA and acted as Director of their Work-to-Study Grant program. Michelle also spent time leading data migration and database implementations. She brings her background as an educator and mentor, experience as a first-generation college student, her passion for travel and global connections, and her love of planning and creativity to this role. Outside of work, Michelle has been an actor for over 30 years (primarily on stage), currently serves on the board of a local nature conservancy, and enjoys spending time nurturing her connections around the world.

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    Marlon Loria
    Study Center Assistant

    Marlon has experience both being a student and working with students in previous higher educational institutions, with a focus on student relations, queries, and customer-facing roles. Marlon holds a Law LLB, graduating from the University of Kent in 2018 with a final year Philosophy of Law dissertation, alongside studying additional courses in Film Genre and Linguistics. Marlon is also a keen music lover, dedicating a lot of time (and unfortunately money!) collecting various vinyl records from a range of artists and genres. 


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    Michael Woolf, PhD
    Deputy President for Strategic Development

    Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

    He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

    Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad.

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    Alive Premeau
    Graphic Designer
    Alice is a graphic designer and illustrator. She was born and raised in Arizona, moved to California for school, then moved back because she missed her dog too much. In addition to her experience as a designer, she also worked as a cake decorator at Whole Foods for almost two years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and laughing at inappropriate moments in horror movies. She is passionate about dogs, Halloween, and classic rock. 
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    Randeep Kullar
    Partnership Director - Diversity Initiatives

    Randeep Kullar is a Partnership Director with a focus on Diversity Initiatives. In her current role, she develops new and expands on current institutional partnerships at CEA CAPA. Randeep spent the first part of her career developing global internship programs and supporting students on their professional and study abroad journeys at UC Berkeley. She transitioned to supporting international institutions in creating customized experiential learning programs with CIEE and then transitioned back to UC Berkeley, this time to support adult learners with their career journeys. She returned to international education in 2021 by joining CAPA: The Global Education Network. Randeep holds a M.S. in Counseling with a focus in Higher Education and Career Counseling from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in History with a minor in Education from University of California, Davis. During her professional career, Randeep has been committed to improving access to higher education and helping remove barriers faced by underrepresented populations. She has contributed to a variety of publications and served on committees with Diversity Abroad, NAFSA, and the Global Leadership League.

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    Dylan Richburg
    Alumni Ambassador

    WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
    They’re the Beyoncé of study abroad programs. The services they provide are absolutely unmatched and there’s no way you won’t love it!

    WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE STUDY ABROAD CLASS AND WHY?
    My favorite class while studying abroad was definitely the one on physical therapy. What made it stand out was the unique perspective it offered on therapy methods not commonly taught in the U.S. Exploring innovative Spanish therapeutic approaches and their developed technology was fascinating and provided valuable insights. Additionally, the hands-on experience of learning water therapy at the beach was an unforgettable bonus, making the class both educational and enjoyable.


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    Tarisha Lewin
    Senior Internships Coordinator

    Tarisha Lewin is a Senior Internships Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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    Talal Nizameddin, PhD
    Academic Director, London
    Dr. Talal Nizameddin is the Director of Academic Affairs at the CAPA London Center. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, and Lebanon where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for 12 years at the acclaimed American University of Beirut. Talal has taught history and international relations courses for much of his career, with dual emphasis on Russia and the Middle East. He has a background in history and Russian foreign policy. He holds a BA from Sussex University and a PhD from the University College of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has written and published two books that are considered fundamental works on the making and transition of Russian foreign policy and its linkage with internal political dynamics in the post-Soviet era as well as peer-reviewed articles. Talal hopes to be able to utilize his long academic and administrative experience to enhance the strategic direction of the academic programs to continuously challenge and enrich the CAPA student learning experience. As a global citizen, Talal’s travel interests have not waned, but he also enjoys simpler pastimes including playing tennis and good food.

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    Louis Berends, PhD
    Dean & Vice President of Academic Partnerships

    Dr. Louis “Lou” Berends comes to CEA CAPA from Syracuse University where he most recently held positions as Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, and Director of Academic Programs under the Provost’s Office. Under Lou's leadership, Syracuse Abroad increased study abroad participation and is ranked highly as a national leader in study abroad. Lou has worked extensively in international education at U.S. universities and providers of global education since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in cultural and educational policy studies with a concentration in comparative and international education.

    Additionally, Lou studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, UK), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), as well as in Rome, Italy, and has visited and conducted research in numerous countries. Lou is a first-generation college student and also comes from a low-income background and as a result is a strong advocate for increasing access to global learning for all under-represented students. Furthermore, Lou has presented many papers in various settings including Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the Forum on Education Abroad, and NAFSA (among others). Lou’s most recent publication, co-edited with Dr. Kate Patch, SIO at Grinnell College, is a book on high-impact educational practices entitled, Undergraduate Research Abroad: Approaches, Models and Challenges (2020). Lou currently serves a Chair of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Research Advisory Group.

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    Kylie Radz
    Student Engagement Coordinator

    Kylie received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology from Augustana College. Previously, she worked with the International Education Office at her school where she completed marketing projects and advised students who were going abroad for a semester. She is also a CEA CAPA Florence alum and served as a CEA CAPA Alumni Ambassador for Augustana. She attended the Forum on Education Abroad’s annual conference in Seattle in March 2023, where she became better acquainted with the field of international education, and this sparked her interest in helping other students study abroad.

    Kylie is very passionate about traveling to new places. She loves the motto "seeking discomfort," because that's where all her best memories have come from. Besides her interest in travel, she is an avid college basketball fan and her favorite time of year is March Madness.  

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    James LaRue
    Sales Operations Analyst

    James has been with CEA CAPA for over five years, starting out as an intern and now working as a Sales Operations Analyst. Outside of CEA CAPA, James volunteers as a Donation Coordinator for Alex Victory's Legacy and volunteers on archaeological excavations.


     
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    Avery Simpson
    Alumni Ambassador

    What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
    One story I always share about my time abroad is when my program took a weekend trip to Valencia. We explored a lesser-known part of Spain and connected with other students in the program!


    How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    I loved going to local cafes and getting to know people there!

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    Maggie Fitzgerald
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Center Director

    Maggie earned a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) and an MBA degree with a double specialization in Marketing and Operational Management from Universidad de Palermo (UP). She has worked for fifteen years in the hospitality industry in Argentina, Uruguay and The Netherlands, gaining extensive experience in luxury services, intercultural relations and teams management. In addition to her corporate experience, Maggie has always had a special interest for education. She has been a professor since 2007 in different Universities and Institutions for undergraduate and graduate students. In 2016, Maggie started up her own Marketing and Communication business, working with companies from diverse industries, helping them achieve their goals, grow and increase their performance.

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    Cole Untiedt
    Content Creator - Photographer

    Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
    I chose to study abroad in Italy to meet new friends and see the world. I have always wanted to live in Europe, and I felt now was the best time to do so.

    Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
    I chose a Rome study abroad program due to CEA CAPA's Business and Psychology program. I also decided to study abroad in Rome due to the rich culture and history here, not to mention the iconic pasta!

    What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
    I am most looking forward to traveling around Italy and seeing the rest of what Europe has to offer. I am also excited to explore my local neighborhood of Prati.

    what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I started my own photography company at age 16. Since then, I capture weddings and corporate events!

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    Rania Mustafa
    Regional Administration and Operations Coordinator
    Rania (she/her) brings a wealth of experience and dedication to CEA CAPA. With a background in project coordination, she has honed her skills in problem solving, communication, and adaptability for over two years in the field. Rania's professional journey has equipped her with a keen eye for operational efficiency. She excels in technology proficiency, analytics, and time management, ensuring seamless coordination and communication across departments. Outside of work, Rania channels her energy into swimming, badminton, and any game that is puzzle-related, finding balance and inspiration that positively influences her professional approach. She is proud to contribute her skills to the dynamic CEA CAPA team, fostering collaboration and driving success in our shared mission. 
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    Vee Moodley
    Senior HR Business Partner
    Vee is passionate about people and has spent the past two decades fine-tuning her HR skills across different industries, from the fast-paced world of FMCG to the rewarding realm of the charity sector. With a specialization in UK employment relations, Vee enjoys enabling leaders to create work environments where colleagues can prosper. She is so pleased to have joined CEA CAPA and is looking forward to supporting Global Operations in their exciting next chapter. 

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    Mike Punter, PhD
    Global Director of Theater Education
    Mike Punter is the Director of Theater Education for CAPA, based in London. He teaches a number of courses in London including Theatre in the City, Witchcraft and Magical Performance, Writing a Play, and Theatricality for BFA Actors. He has also written the courses Utopia: Extraordinary Places and Where to Find Them and Communicate. Mike is a produced and published dramatist whose work has been staged and toured by a range of theatres, including Hampstead Theatre in London, the UK's National Theatre, Paines Plough theatre company and the BBC. He’s presently developing a new project for British television. Mike has a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies, an MA in Renaissance Literature and Drama and a PhD with a focus on magic on the stage.

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    Brie Anne Dombrowski
    Program Coordinator

    Brie, originally from Maine in the US, has been living abroad since 2011. After obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Sociology she moved to Tokyo, where she taught English for 8 years and was very active in the international theater scene. In 2019 she moved to France, where she studied theater at the prestigious Cours Florent and intensively learned French. Brie has always been interested in creating connections and deeper understanding with and between the other members of our global community. In her free time she enjoys roller skating, creating art in various mediums, and spending time with her two cats.


     
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    Andrea Custodi, PhD
    Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives

    As Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives, Andrea Custodi, PhD, oversees evaluation and assessment, teaching and learning, and faculty engagement and development at CEA CAPA. She also serves as academic point on program development and direct enroll relationships with overseas institutional partners, and supports CEA CAPA's thought leadership in the field through publications, presentations, and work with our Advisory Board. Andrea comes to CEA CAPA with over 20 years of experience in senior leadership at education abroad organizations: from a small liberal arts consortium operating in South India, to Arcadia and IFSA's Alliance for Global Education, and most recently as Senior Director of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at CET Academic Programs. She also brings an extensive record of service to the field. Andrea most recently served on AIEA's Publications & Resources and Conference Committees; she has chaired The Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Committee, Standards Committee, and Outcomes Assessment Committee, and served as a member of the Forum Council, the Ethics Committee, and the Trained Facilitator Corps. Andrea holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from The George Washington University, with an academic background spanning South Asian religious studies, feminist, psychoanalytic, and critical theory, and international politics. She is fluent in French and Italian, and has lived, worked, or studied abroad in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Nepal.

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    Matthew Lawson
    Regional Director - Mid-Atlantic

    Matt joined CEA CAPA in 2019 as a Program Manager. Following promotions to both the Senior Program Manager and Team Lead—Program Management, CAPA Programs roles out of Boston, MA, Matt moved to Washington, D.C. to join the Strategic Engagement team in 2022. Matt now works as the Regional Director - Mid-Atlantic and supports college and university partnerships in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Matt's prior experience is heavily grounded in student-facing advising, with experience in academic, internship, and visa advising support. Matt received his BA in Political Science from Dickinson College, where he studied abroad and away in Bologna, Italy, and Washington, D.C.

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    Florencia Ferrari
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    STUDENT & ACADEMIC COORDINATOR

    Florencia studied social anthropology at Buenos Aires University (UBA, Argentina) and is currently finishing her Ph.D in anthropology after winning a doctoral scholarship in 2016. Her research, which focuses on public policies around unemployment and their impact on workers’ organizations, was conducted in the province of Jujuy, in northern Argentina, where she used to travel and live for a couple of months each year. As part of her academic training, she moved to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for a few months and attended the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She also worked as a teacher and tutor in different public universities in Buenos Aires.

    Growing up, Florencia considered herself to be a bit of a nerd – she loved reading literature and theater plays, listening to music and going to concerts, and watching films. Her hometown was a small city in the Buenos Aires province, so some films were difficult to obtain. Hence, she really looked forward to moving to Buenos Aires and enjoying all the cultural activities the city has to offer. In her free time, Florencia likes to take long strolls through different neighborhoods and explore Buenos Aires architecture and culinary circuits.

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    Alyson Rutherford
    Program and Student Services Assistant

    Alyson Rutherford is a Program and Student Services Assistant at CEA CAPA London.


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    Anthony Gristwood, PhD
    Faculty Chair, London & Global Faculty Advisory Council Chair
    Anthony Gristwood is the London Faculty Chair and Chair of the Global Faculty Advisory Council. He has been teaching in higher education since 1994 and has specialized in the field of education abroad for the last 20 years at CAPA, the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Connecticut in London. He holds an MA, PGCE, and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His current research and teaching interests include globalization, global cities, and modern London; politics, identity, and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; and the use of digital mapping in globally-networked teaching and learning. Publications include “Engaging with Self, Others, Space, and Place: Leveraging the Geographic Imagination in Education Abroad” (with Darren Kelly), in Brewer & Ogden, eds., Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: Critical Perspectives and Approaches to Integration with Student Learning and Development (Stylus, May 2019). Anthony is also a regular contributor to, and editor of the CEA CAPA Ocassional Publications series.

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    Stina Dufour, Ed.D.
    Dean of Global Programs and Academic Administration
    Stina Dufour, Ed.D, is the Dean of Global Programs & Academic Administration for CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Dr. Dufour oversees CEA CAPA's study center-delivered academics to ensure alignment with U.S. higher education academic policies and procedures. She also manages the School of Record relationship, including quality assurance protocols, curricular approvals, and academic records fulfillment. Before joining CEA CAPA in April 2021, Stina served in increasingly responsible roles at the Office of Global Affairs at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. For more than ten years, she was the Office's lead contact with the University Registrar and worked closely with faculty from every Steinhardt department to co-create curricula at NYU's study centers and with other international partners. Stina holds an EdD in Higher Education Administration and an MA in International Education from NYU and a BA (magna cum laude) in Sociology and Scandinavian Studies from North Park University, Chicago. Stina entered the field of education abroad in 2009 and after living for several formative years in Scandinavia, and studying abroad in Jönköping, Sweden. She regularly volunteers her time with the Forum as a peer reviewer for Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad and authored a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators, 5th Edition (2022).
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    Laura Madden
    Director of Strategic Initiatives & Enablement

    Based out of Los Angeles, Laura works closely with faculty and staff from CEA CAPA’s institutional partners and the Institutional Relations Team to help our partners achieve their internationalization goals.

    With 15+ years of diverse experience in international education, from international student support and teaching to study abroad management and business development, she has a holistic understanding of the field and is an enthusiastic champion for innovative programming to meet the unique needs of higher education institutions and their students.

    Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and Marketing from DePaul University and her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Laura studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Madrid, Spain during her undergraduate studies, and conducted field research in Havana, Cuba during her graduate studies. Laura taught and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which launched her career in international education and where she discovered how her study abroad opportunities had exponentially enriched her career, and her life.

    Laura is a passionate international educator and thoroughly enjoys the opportunities to create programming that builds globally competent graduates, an increasingly important endeavor for higher education. When she isn’t working or planning her next travel adventure, Laura thoroughly enjoys exploring the cultural, environmental, and culinary diversity of Los Angeles.

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    Emma Hahn
    Content Creator - Photographer

    Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
    I chose to study abroad in Spain for several reasons! First, I had recently changed majors and felt like I had lost my drive to pursue a new career. I couldn't think of a better way to gain back my purpose in college than by exploring an entirely new atmosphere. Another reason was that I have a love for travel and the opportunity to travel and complete credits for my major was an offer I could not pass up. 

    Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
    I’ve been studying Spanish and love learning about Spanish culture, so immersing myself in the heart of Spanish society and values would be a wonderful experience. Madrid study abroad programs checked all my boxes when exploring my destination options including fashion! 

    What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
    I am most excited to experience the famous Spanish food. In Spain, so many dishes are unfamiliar to me, and all the meals have a rich and flavorful story to go along with them. 

    what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I love to lift weights, practice yoga, dance, and raise awareness for mental health and wellness. 

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    Lucey Savino
    Content Creator - Blogger

    Lucey Savino, a Marketing major at Sacred Heart University, is excited to immerse herself in Italian culture and expand her global awareness during a summer in Florence! She loves Italy and hopes to travel to Lake Como, Puglia, and the country’s beautiful beaches during her time abroad. Outside of her time in the classroom and at her internship abroad, she hopes to spend time adventuring around the city, sharpening her photography skills, enjoying traditional Florentine cuisine, and connecting with other students and locals. Check out Lucey’s posts to learn more about her Italian summer! 

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    Veronica Gawin
    Content Creator - Blogger

    Veronica Gawin (she/her), a Strategic Communication major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, chose to spend a summer studying and interning in London to expand her cultural competence and life experience. She is excited to intern with The Manual London, an event production agency, and, as a self-proclaimed history buff, is looking forward to learning more about the U.K.’s history through her CEA CAPA coursework. While abroad, Veronica plans to explore London’s music scene, immerse herself in the local culture, find the city’s hidden gems, and keep a journal (in addition to her blog posts) to document all her experiences. Stay tuned as she shares about her time in London!  

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    Jason Bliss
    Content Creator - Blogger

    Jason Bliss is a Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at the University of Pittsburgh. He decided to study and intern abroad with CEA CAPA in Sydney for a summer to experience different cultures and gain professional experience abroad to broaden his options and explore his interests for future job opportunities. Jason looks forward to his Sports Marketing class and, through his internship, learning more about working in the sports industry abroad. Over the summer, he looks forward to visiting as much of Australia as he can, making new friends, exploring the food of the many different cultures throughout the country, and seeing a few kangaroos! Join him as he shares his thoughts on his summer in Sydney!  

     

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    Mariam Hassan
    Content Creator - Blogger

    Mariam Hassan (she/her) studies Biology, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and is studying abroad in London during Summer '23. She knew she wanted to study abroad before she even arrived at college and is excited to immerse herself in the culture of a new country during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Mariam is looking forward to her Comparative Health Care Systems class and learning about the differences between healthcare systems in the U.S. and the U.K., while also gaining an understanding of the U.K.’s workplace culture during her internship. While abroad with CEA CAPA, she also plans to tour the Harry Potter studios, travel solo, gain confidence, and explore the differences between London and Minneapolis. Stay tuned as she shares her journey! 

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    Abby Spangenberg
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Abby Spangenberg (she/her) is a Chemical Engineering major at The Ohio State University. She knew she wanted to study abroad and immerse herself in Spanish culture ever since she began studying Spanish in eighth grade. She's interning in Barcelona this summer, and is so excited to see where her first experience abroad takes her! While in Barcelona, she hopes to make friends from around the world, travel to other European cities, explore outside her comfort zone, and find success and learn new skills through her internship abroad. Be sure to check out her posts to learn more about what she’s been up to! 
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    Lisa Schappert
    Program Lead: Direct Enrollment and Special Programs

    Lisa Schappert is the Program Lead: Direct Enrollment and Special Programs at CEA CAPA London.


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    Sean McCarthy
    Regional Director - Midwest

    Based in Cleveland, OH, Sean works closely with institutions in the Midwest to support their education abroad efforts. Born in Ireland to an Irish father and American mother, Sean moved to the US at a young age and has had a passion for everything international since. Before joining CEA CAPA, Sean worked at the University of Dayton for seven years, working with students going abroad to China, international students coming to the US, and institutional partners. Most recently, Sean managed institutional partnerships in the US and Canada for an international student recruitment EdTech platform. Sean earned a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science as well as an M.S. Ed. in Higher Education Administration, both from the University of Dayton. During his undergraduate degree, Sean also studied abroad in Costa Rica. His personal and professional international travels have taken him to countries around the world, including China and the United Kingdom. Sean's passions include making international experiences accessible to all learners as well as discussing ways for students to connect their international experiences to their career goals. When not at work, you can find Sean spending time with his rescue dog, completing his latest home DIY project, or planning his next trip abroad.

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    Martin Brokeš
    Prague, Czech Republic

    Internship Program Manager

    As Internship Program Manager, Martin maintains a network of host sites where CEA students can complete internships. He counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. He also provides support and guidance to internship students on-site.

    He holds a master’s degree in International Human Resource Management from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. During his studies, Martin completed two internships in Russia and Taiwan, where he was facilitating cross-cultural intelligence workshops. He taught himself Spanish while backpacking in South America. Martin has held various HR positions in the corporate sector. His work assignments were in the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He has been involved in various NGOs and worked as a camp counselor at summer camps in the UK and Czech Republic.

    Martin is passionate about psychology and philosophy, community development, education and facilitation, languages, and foreign cultures. He is a curious learner, explorer, swimmer, hiker, and meditator. Martin is not an artistic soul but likes to sometimes play ukulele.


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    Christopher Edwards, M.A.
    Academic Director - Paris

    Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

    Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

    As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

    ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

    * Phi Beta Kappa

    * APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

    PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

    * Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

    * Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

    * Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

    Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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    Ivan Alexander
    Student Advisor

    Ivan is a Phoenix native that recently graduated from Arizona State University. Through his own experiences studying abroad, he is passionate about aiding others in their process. 

    Ivan enjoys writing, painting, and going to concerts in his free time. He also plays 3 instruments: the flute, saxophone, and drums.

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    Nataliia Vyspinksa
    Academic Coordinator

    Nataliia Vyspinksa is an Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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    Erin Pendle
    Regional Director - West

    Based in Seattle, Erin works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions in the West/Northwest to support student growth through international study and internship opportunities. Erin also coordinates with CEA CAPA’s campus partners to develop custom and faculty-led programs.

    Erin brings over 10 years of university-based study abroad experience to the Regional Director role. Prior to joining the Institutional Relations team at CEA CAPA, Erin was at Georgetown University where she managed undergraduate programs in Spain and Latin America and served as the NAFSA Consular Affairs Liaison to the Spanish consulate in Washington, D.C.

    Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Master in Teaching degree, both from the University of Washington in Seattle. After spending her junior year abroad in Granada, Spain, and later working as a teacher in London, Erin knew that her path as an educator would be centered in intercultural development. She feels incredibly fortunate to work alongside so many dedicated professionals who are committed to making transformative international opportunities accessible to every student.

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    Justine Mons
    Grenoble, France

    PROGRAM DIRECTOR

    Justine comes to CEA having worked at a student accommodation in the center of Grenoble. Through this work, with French and foreign students, she discovered her desire and passion for education. Prior to CEA, Justine studied English and foreign civilizations and cultures. She has previously worked as a buyer, a role requiring her to remotely coordinate with 50 other colleagues. These roles bring Justine into the Director position with prior experience in working with students, local stakeholders in Grenoble, and working remotely with teams to accomplish tasks.  

    Justine has lived abroad in Australia but was born in Grenoble, and is excited about our CEA commitment to deepening student learning and engagement in the local community.

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    Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D
    Academic Director - Prague

    As CEA Prague Academic Director, Lenka provides leadership, oversight, and quality control for all academic matters and serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding academics. At the CEA Prague Study Center, Lenka is responsible for faculty management, curriculum development, student academic advising, and for safeguarding the high academic quality of the program and adherence to academic policies. She is also responsible for maintaining strong ties with our partner institution, Anglo-American University, to ensure that program content and delivery meet the needs of U.S. universities and students.

    Lenka spent a significant portion of her life studying in the U.S. and has worked in study abroad for over fifteen years. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, a master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and German Studies from Lewis & Clark College. Her academic interests include democratization, Central European politics, and EU studies.

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    Sophie Moore
    Content Creator - Photographer

    Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
    I chose to study abroad in Spain because of the opportunity to be fully immersed in another culture. I always had the travel bug and studying abroad in Granada has given me the chance to travel and learn as much as I can in depth for a longer time. Understanding various places around the world and how people live is a life changing possibility that I couldn't pass up and I am so glad that I didn't! 

    Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
    I chose a Granada study abroad program because I wanted a smaller, coastal city vibe compared to popular Spanish places like Madrid and Barcelona. Granada offers great, grand things like free tapas and the breathtaking historic Alhambra and a close-knit city feeling with the beautiful Sierra Nevada range in the background. Every time I come back from a weekend trip, I am happy to return to my home place of Granada! 

    What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
    I am most looking forward to traveling on the weekends and longer breaks. I see how easy it is to travel between European countries and how effortless it is to navigate the train and bus systems. Experiencing different cultures in Europe is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so glad that I have the privilege of doing this! 

    what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I joined the Granada Ultimate Frisbee team! We meet on Mondays and Thursdays and have beach tournaments throughout the semester. Everyone on the team was super welcoming and it feels good to play frisbee with locals! 

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    Brendan Walsh
    IT Systems Administrator

    Brendan Walsh is an IT Systems Administrator at CEA CAPA London.


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    Eryn Kudzinski
    Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

    As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

    Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

    Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

    If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceacapa.com.

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    Kira Rysiewicz
    Partnership Director

    As a Partnership Director based in Indianapolis, Kira’s role is to work closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at CEA CAPA’s partner institutions to support student growth through study and internship opportunities, grow the number of affiliated programs, and coordinate with them to develop custom, faculty-led programs. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Kira spent 5 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), where she served in several university relations roles, most recently as the Field Director for the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Prior to entering the field of international education, she worked in Greek Life at her sorority’s national headquarters. Kira obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Journalism, and Leadership Studies from Bradley University and her experience studying abroad for a semester in Granada, Spain furthered her love of travel and language learning. Kira is passionate about equity and making sure study abroad is accessible to all students. Her advice to students considering study abroad is to not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, be endlessly curious, ask questions, and remember that cultural differences are what make our world a better place.

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    Christopher Edwards, M.A.
    Paris, France

    ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

    Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

    Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

    As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

    ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

    * Phi Beta Kappa

    * APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

    PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

    * Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

    * Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

    * Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

    Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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    Allison Woodhouse
    Program & Student Services Coordinator
    Allison is from Maryland. After finishing a degree in education, she moved to Berlin for two years, first as an au pair, and then as an English teacher. She studied abroad in London in 2014 and has always hoped to find her way back, and in 2018 she returned to complete a Master's in linguistics and education. After a brief stint as a primary school teacher in London, she joined the CEA CAPA team and enjoys helping students make the most of their study abroad experience.  

     
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    Derek Shepard
    Regional Director - Southwest

    As Regional Director for the Southwest region, Derek works closely with institutional partners in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas to support their internationalization efforts. He coordinates with CEA CAPA’s partners on international study abroad, internship programs, and the development of custom and faculty-led programs. Derek brings over 10 years of university-based study abroad and experiential education development experience to the Regional Director role. Prior to joining the University Relations team at CEA CAPA, Derek was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he advised students and developed faculty-led programs. Derek holds a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington State University. After studying abroad senior year in India, Derek served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ratchaburi, Thailand where he worked in the education and government sectors to support Thai educators and students. Derek is passionate about the transformational nature associated with studying and interning abroad and is excited to partner with CEA CAPA’s institutional partners to design, build, and implement new and innovative international programming.

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    Sabrina Khellaf
    Paris, France

    PROGRAM COORDINATOR

    Sabrina joined CEA in 2021 as a Program Coordinator dedicated to sourcing and coordinating CEA Internships. She also contributes to all areas of program coordination, including assisting with Student Housing, Orientation sessions, activities and excursions.

    Sabrina is bi-national (Franco-Algerian) and tri-lingual (French, Arabic and English). She graduated from EHEC in Algeria, before moving to Paris to complete her master’s degree at Ecole Supérieur de Gestion et Communication (ESGCI). Upon graduation, Sabrina moved back to Algiers where she worked as an Account Manager for Mc CANN Algiers, an advertising agency where she had the opportunity to work on several key accounts such as Nestlé, BNP Paribas, and Johnson&Johnson! Sabrina then moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue graduate business studies. After earning her degree, she worked in Toronto as a Student Services Advisor for international students at her university. Back in Paris after an amazing experience in Toronto, Sabrina loves to share her enthusiasm for international studies and professional experiences with CEA students!

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    Carlos Yeung
    Senior Program and Student Services Coordinator

    Carlos Yeung is a Senior Program and Student Services Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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    Richard Shu
    Senior Director of Revenue Operations
    Richard is a growth and analytics generalist who has worked in a variety of operating roles at consumer and B2B start-ups ranging from seed-stage to pre-IPO. Richard was most recently at LogicMonitor, where he led the Strategy team as Associate Director, Business Operations and Growth Strategy. Prior to that, he held growth-focused roles in the fintech space. After graduating from UCLA with an Economics degree, Richard began his career at a now-defunct investing app, working out of the founder’s living room. Although unsuccessful, that experience laid the foundation for his interest in building high-growth, transformative businesses. Richard specializes in building data-driven growth systems that scale. Whether it’s uncovering untapped opportunities, designing new processes, or diving into the data, Richard thrives most when working and learning with others. As a student, Richard also studied abroad at the University of Cape Town. His time in South Africa was a truly formative experience and he is excited to join CEA CAPA and help provide that same opportunity to others. 
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    Jodi Melichar
    Vice President of Enrollment & Advising

    Jodi Melichar serves as Vice President of Enrollment and Advising at CEA CAPA.

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    Mary Alice Soriero, M.S.Ed.
    Academic Director, Seville

    As Academic Director of CEA CAPA Seville, Mary Alice’s role is to oversee the many facets to the smooth running of academics at the CEA CAPA in Seville – including program elaboration, syllabi development, and coordination of CEA CAPA faculty. Prior to administering CEA CAPA academics in Seville, she held a number of international work experiences. She was a USIA Fellow in Peru, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and has taught English to speakers of other languages in Japan, Taiwan, and the US. Currently she is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University – Andalucia.

    Mary Alice holds a MS. Ed in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Pennsylvania State University in East Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Japan and participated in short-term educational projects in Ecuador & Morocco. Through these global experiences she discovered the importance of engaging across cultures to meaningfully connect with the human experience in a global context. These gave her insights to revel in the the unknown and uncomfortable to not only build resilience, but also advocate for justice to promote equity amongst a wide span of global neighbors.

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    Kate Theisen
    Revenue Operations Manager
    As a Operations Manager based out of Phoenix, AZ, Kate works closely with the rest of the Institutional Relations team to support the formation of new university partnerships and maintenance of established partnerships. She also works with her team to identify how CEA CAPA can help each of our institutional partners reach their internationalization goals.

    Prior to joining the university relations team, Kate worked as an admissions counselor in the Enrollment department, advising students from all over the country on CEA CAPA Programs. She helped students through the enrollment cycle and made sure they were confident and prepared to study abroad.

    Kate received her BS in Business Administration and Economics with a minor in German from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, where her passion for travel and international education grew. Kate then returned to help students at her home campus study abroad on a variety of faculty-led and exchange programs all over the world.  Kate believes that studying abroad is an impactful experience that pushes students outside their comfort zone and teaches them how to learn in a totally new environment. She believes study abroad programs lead young people to gain many skills they can use in their careers after college graduation, and she’s proud to be a part of the team that helps them participate in study abroad.
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    Julia Miller, PhD
    Academic Director, Sydney

    Dr. Julia Miller is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Sydney Center. Dr. Miller leads the academic delivery of our programming and ensures the classroom experience is designed to support the health and safety of the students through the hiring of trusted faculty and supporting CAPA’s strong, inclusive, academic policies.

    Julia has been teaching in the Australian tertiary education sector for more than a decade. She gained her doctorate in Modern History from Macquarie University for her research in climate history. For CEA CAPA, Julia teaches Analyzing and Exploring the Global City, Australian History, and People, Place, and Culture: Environmental Debates in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. The latter course reflects Julia’s deep concern about our environmental future. At CEA CAPA, Julia has put in place the Sustainable Sydney initiative to build environmental awareness and encourage behavioral change. Julia lives in Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches—an area known for its coastline, waterways, and healthy lifestyle.

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    Tasnim Zaman
    Internships Coordinator

    Tasnim Zaman is an Internships Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.


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    Shawna Parker
    Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement

    Shawna has worked in international education and related fields for more than 20 years. As the Vice President of Communications and Strategic Engagement for CEA CAPA, she oversees all aspects of CEA CAPA’s communications and partner marketing. She has previously served as the Director of Marketing for World Learning, an international education and nongovernmental institution that is the umbrella organization for the School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate programs), and The Experiment in International Living. She is the co-chair of the NAFSA Rainbow SIG. She holds a degree in Political Science from Smith College. In addition to her work in international education, Shawna has experience in sales and marketing consulting and as a book editor, designer, and publisher.

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    Karolína Havlíková
    Junior Program Coordinator
    Growing up, Karolína was interested in language studies and different cultures, which led her to Korean Studies at Charles University, where she's currently finishing her master's degree. During her studies, she had an opportunity to study in Seoul, South Korea, where she experienced how enriching studying abroad can be. Her experience sparked a desire to help foreign students study abroad – in her hometown of Prague. As a Junior Program Coordinator, Karolína works mainly in the Academics Department, where she assists with academic administrative tasks and is responsible for ensuring that students have the best academic experience possible.
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    Daniele Bini
    Florence, Italy

    INTERNSHIP & STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

    As Internship & Student Services Coordinator, Daniele Bini helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. Daniele manages the Internship program in Florence, finding local host institutions and interviewing incoming students—while working to find matches that will benefit both hosts and interns. Together, with the internship seminar instructor, Daniele follows Interns’ experiences until the end of the program. He also organizes excursions that help introduce students to Italian locations beyond Florence.

    Daniele holds a degree in Languages from the University of Florence, where he studied English, Japanese, and Portuguese. To complete his studies, Daniele fulfilled a 150-hour internship with CEA. But before joining the Florence team as a staff member in 2014, Daniele worked at a hotel in Chianti and assisted CEA with student arrivals and language exchanges.

    Daniele loves to travel but did not study abroad as a student, and travels often in his free time. These personal travel adventures have made him an expert on the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. One of his goals is to spend an extended period of time in the U.S., and one day live in San Francisco

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    Seth Weil
    Partnership Director

    Based in Philadelphia, Seth works closely with colleges and universities to identify ways in which CEA CAPA can support campus internationalization efforts. He is responsible for building new partnerships along with supporting efforts to expand existing institutional partnerships. Seth also serves as the chair of the CEA CAPA JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) committee. With 10+ years of experience in education abroad administration, Seth has worked in the areas of student advising, program development and management, and university relations. Seth graduated from Juniata College with a B.S in Biopsychology and spent a semester of his junior year studying in Newcastle, Australia. He also participated in two short-term programs in the Dominican Republic and Cordoba, Argentina. Through these experiences, he developed a passion for working in International Education, wanting to provide these same experiences to other students. Seth has traveled to over 20 countries and has been on every continent except Antarctica. His favorite experiences while traveling involve trying new cuisines and building a global network. When he is not working you can find Seth in the kitchen, working on his pottery, planning is next adventure or spending time on the water.

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    Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira, PhD
    Academic Coordinator
    Andréa is an Academic Coordinator for CEA CAPA.
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    Sean Williams
    Regional Director - New England

    Based in Boston, Sean conducts university relations with colleges and universities across New England and the Northeast. After a decade of corporate experience in law, finance, and technology at Goulston & Storrs, John Hancock, and Financial Times Interactive Data, Sean dedicated his career to the fields of international education, experiential learning, and global professional development in higher education. Over the past 20 years he has held several leadership roles in university relations, employer relations, global internship program management, and international student services at EUSA Academic Internship Experts, Intrax Cultural Exchange, and CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Before joining CEA CAPA, Sean was also an Assistant Director of Career Services for The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he counseled students pursuing opportunities in global affairs and international business around the world and lead the development and instruction of their Professional Development Program course. Sean has a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Connecticut College, spent his junior year abroad at New College, Oxford University, and pursued graduate studies in the Economic History of Africa, Asia, and Latin America at London School of Economics. Sean also has an Executive Education degree in Non-Profit Management from Columbia Business School. In his free time, Sean enjoys running, biking, listening to Jazz, and spending time with his family and friends on Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod during the summer months.

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    Peyton Rudolph
    Vice President, Marketing

    Based in our Phoenix office, Peyton oversees the CEA CAPA Marketing Department creating strategy behind partner and student engagement through digital and print channels. Peyton combines her passion for customer-centric marketing with her love for travel and continuing education to share compelling stories that inspire.

    With 10 years of experience in the creative, digital, and sales space, Peyton specializes in digital and print strategy, campaign management, visual storytelling, and lead and revenue-generation for omnichannel marketing. Before joining CEA CAPA, Peyton led the fashion marketing team for an industry leader in the scholastic space, where she drove initiatives to elevate the student experience and grow partnerships with schools and universities around the globe.

    Outside of work, Peyton enjoys filling her world map with pins, solo travel, snuggling with her maltipoo Milo, being on the water, and attempting to keep her houseplants alive.

    Peyton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was a D1 cheerleader for four years.

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    Chiara Ortolani
    Rome, Italy

    INTERNSHIP PROGRAM MANAGER

    As Academic Advisor for the CEA Rome Center, Chiara Ortolani serves as the primary contact for students and faculty regarding everyday academic issues. In addition, Chiara works with the Italy Assistant Academic Dean in all aspects of course registration, the coordination of class schedules, classroom use, and academic facilities management.

    Chiara is responsible for keeping the Italy Assistant Academic Dean informed on a regular basis of the progress of the academic program and any issues that need her attention. A native of Rome, Chiara has many years experience working for American multinational companies such as Microsoft, Hertz, and Merck Sharp & Dohme. She earned her MA in Marketing and Product Management from Il Sole 24 Ore Business School in Rome, and holds a BA in Business Studies from Staffordshire University (UK). In addition to her native Italian, she also speaks English, Spanish and French.

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    Karolína Havlíková
    Academic Coordinator
    Karolína is an Academic Coordinator at the CEA CAPA Prague Study Center, where she ensures students have the best possible academic experience. Her passion for language and culture led her to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Korean Studies at Charles University, where she is currently completing her Master's degree. During her studies, Karolína had the opportunity to study in Seoul, South Korea, which ignited her desire to help foreign students study abroad in Prague. As an Academic Coordinator, Karolína works closely with the Academic Director to provide faculty and students with the information they need to succeed in teaching and learning at the Prague Study Center. Her tasks include auditing and updating course information, maintaining the syllabus library, assisting with academic administrative tasks, monitoring course registrations and academic progress, and managing practical student services tasks connected to partner universities. Karolína's personal interests include exploring different cultures and languages, trying new foods, and reading.
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    Darin Smith-Gaddis
    Vice President of Academic Inclusion Strategies
    Darin leads global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging policy development and implementation, ensuring that CEA CAPA delivers measurable growth in student access, and drives increased value for institutional partners across our portfolio of programs. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Darin developed study abroad programs funded by the US Department of State and built nationwide partnerships to provide scalable enrollment solutions for minority students at AFS Intercultural Programs USA. Darin holds an M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership from California State University, Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University. A Diversity Abroad Rising Star Finalist in 2019, Darin authored the NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad 5th Edition Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Education Abroad Office chapter, has served on the Global Inclusion Conference Global Student Leadership Summit planning committee, and is a frequent presenter on the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and education abroad policy. He serves as a board member for the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles California, and participated in study abroad programs to Brazil, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
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    Nina Anđelković
    Junior Program Coordinator

    Nina is a Junior Program Coordinator. She helps in the Academics Department, and is part of the Health, Safety, & Student Affairs Department, ensuring the students' well-being and helping them have the best experience they can while studying in Prague.

    Nina is from Serbia, but she grew up in Prague. She's currently working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts and humanities at Charles University and she spent a semester in Norway, at University of Oslo, where she gained first-hand experience with study abroad. She speaks Czech, English, and Serbian. In her spare time, she loves to explore new countries, watch movies and TV shows, and learn about animals and their biology.

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    Aaron Yerkes
    Vice President of Partnership Development

    Aaron joins the CEA CAPA team after spending 19 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). He served the organization through a variety of roles, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Engagement, where he managed their nationwide recruitment team and custom program division. Prior to serving as the AVP for Institutional Engagement, Aaron served as the Field Director, Great Lakes Region and Enrollment Manager, where he was responsible for increasing program participation, growing the number of affiliated programs, as well as expanding the base of sending institutions across a 9-state region. He also served as the Senior Program Advisor for programs in the U.K. and New Zealand, where he actively engaged with students, parents, and advisors to educate them on programs that fit students’ academic needs, as well as exploring ways to remove barriers to make students’ dreams of studying abroad a reality.

    Aaron is a graduate of Butler University and holds a BS degree in Finance. During his undergraduate experience, Aaron studied abroad in London, England at Birkbeck, University of London. His time abroad was so transformative for him that he wanted to devote his professional career to promoting life changing, international experiences to other students.

    When Aaron is not advocating for students to learn abroad, he can be found planning his next travel adventure and spending time with his family. He is an avid hiker, skier, and golfer, and enjoys seeing live music and collecting vinyl records. Aaron is also very active in his community, engaging and volunteering with a number of organizations throughout his community, specifically with the Indiana Humane Society, Second Helpings, and Newfields.

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    Debora Enyeart
    Executive Assistant
    Debora Enyeart is the Executive Assistant at CEA CAPA Education Abroad.
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    Álvaro J. Sanjuán
    Madrid, Spain

    STUDENT SERVICES ADVISOR

    Álvaro J. Sanjuán studied English Literature, History and Linguistics at University of Oviedo (Spain) and continued his studies on Applied Languages at Dublin City University (Ireland). After being an Art History professor in UNIPEC in Burgos (Spain) he worked as Web Manager and Community Manager until he began to collaborate for several years as a tour guide with CEA Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Coordinator. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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    Mélanie Levast
    Program Coordinator

    Mélanie grew up in the French Riviera and holds a master's degree in Languages, Cultures and International affairs from La Rochelle University. As a program coordinator, she helps students with their everyday struggles, cultural concerns and gives them tips on how to enjoy the Riviera lifestyle like a local.

    She vividly remembers being 19 and feeling the itch to leave her small village to go on an adventure. Before joining CEA, she explored Southeast Asia, studied a year in China, and worked in India for a few months. If Melanie could have a quick word with any student about studying abroad, she would tell them: Embrace the unknown because whether you do it right or wrong, it will flip your world inside out!

    Mélanie’s favorite things: cats, spicy food, and adventure stories.

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    Abigail Haley
    CEA MOJO Blogger

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    For as long as I can remember, studying abroad has been a dream of mine. I have always been very independent and eager to learn, so leaving home in pursuit of a more worldly education was a no-brainer.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    As an art history minor, my study abroad city chose me. Paris, France is a global center for art and fashion, and I wanted to experience that both in the classroom and in person.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    I am most looking forward to quiet nights by the Seine with a baguette and a book! While I am excited to travel and study, my favorite part about going to new places is taking a step back and admiring the things that are easily missed by hurried tourists or distracted locals.

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I was only 3 years old the first time I travelled out of the country! It took me another 12 years to go abroad again, but since then, I haven't looked back. Before studying in Paris I will have visited 5 countries around the world -- I hope to hit double digits by the time I come home!


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    Abigail Heisler
    Alumni Ambassador

    What was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
    My favorite class abroad was Sports Psychology with Jose Carlos. Jose Carlos was the best professor I've ever had, and he truly cared about us. The content of the course was extremely interesting, and I can definitely apply it to my future career!

    How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    While I was abroad, I engaged with the local community through many different ways. I frequented the local cafes and markets, which allowed me to interact with people in a genuine way. Also, I attended sports games within the area, which allowed me to experience the true magic of a community coming together to root for a specific team! These experiences were amazing, and I am so glad that I was able to connect with the locals in Sevilla.

     


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    Adele Bey-Smith
    Alumni Ambassador

    WhAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE STUDY ABROAD CLASS, AND WHY?
    One I loved negotiations. The professor was great and enthusiastic. I also loved how interactive it was and it was a class I was excited to go to.

    HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?

    I tried my best to eat at local restaurants and go to local shops.


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    Aditi Sridhar
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Aditi Sridhar studies Film Production at the University of Pittsburgh and will be studying abroad in the CAPA London Film Program this semester. Aside from studying British cinema & film production as well as documenting the London landscape, she’ll be trying out food at as many restaurants as possible and finding places to shop. She’s excited to be more than a tourist in London and show you the wonderful opportunities and adventures that London has to offer!
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    Adriana Kelley
    Alumni Ambassador

    what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
    I'll always tell people about the weekend trip to Loire Valley and all of the beautiful castles that we toured.

    how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    I went to many museums to learn the history of the city and I enjoyed spending time outside walking the streets and seeing how people went about their days.

     


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    Adriana Santos
    CEA MOJO Photographer

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    I've always loved to travel and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad gives me the opportunity to do both of those things while also taking classes and gaining a more global education.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    I chose Spain, because being from Puerto Rico, I knew I would still get to experience a totally new culture but I wouldn't have a huge language barrier. Barcelona seemed like the most interesting city because of its art, architecture, beaches, and overall lifestyle.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    I'm looking forward to learning more about the culture in Spain and seeing all that Barcelona has to offer. Along with that, I'm excited about meeting new people and other study abroad students.

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    Other than photography, I love painting. I actually got more into photography when I decided I wanted to start painting my own pictures.


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    Agustina Balacco
    Assistant Program Administrator
    Agustina Balacco serves as the Assistant Program Administrator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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    Aileen Curley
    CEA MOJO Photographer
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    Alba Segovia
    Career & Internship Coordinator

    Alba Segovia is a Career & Internship Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.

     
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    Albert Martí
    Infrastructure Manager

    Albert Martí is the Infrastructure Manager.

     
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    Alexa Van Os
    CEA Content Creator

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    I wanted to meet new people and explore Europe while also building my resume! I thought the abroad internship was the perfect opportunity for me to grow personally and professionally.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    Prague is full of history and is a centrally located in Europe to make travel easy. It is beautiful, and also a relative small area that I will be able to fully explore as a local in just two short months!

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    I am most excited to learn about the culture in Prague! I have never been in another country for more than a week so I am excited to live there!

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I'm vegan!

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    Alexandra Harbour
    CEA MOJO Photographer
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    Alexandra Isabell
    Alumni Ambassador

    How has study abroad experience shaped you? 

    My study abroad experience has personally and professionally enriched me because it changed the way I interact with others and even the manner of my self talk. Going abroad allows one connect with themselves closer by observing their identity in a new environment. I learned how to engage with people different from myself, sometimes without sharing a common language! I learned how to respect others' space even when the definition of respect changes between cultures. There is so much I learned abroad that I carry with me each day. Most importantly, it is curiosity, compassion, and a love for people and art that reminds me of my time abroad.

     

    Why Alumni Ambassador?

    Honestly, because I can't stop thinking of Paris. I traveled from CEA in the Marais to Paris and home to the U.S. on May 11th, 2018. Years later and I still cannot be more grateful for my experience with CEA. I miss my professors and the material they taught with intention and passion. I miss doing something new every single day. Since my time abroad, I find myself speaking about the experiences and the cultural value I pull from them constantly.

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    Alexi Ringler
    Alumni Ambassador

    What's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
    Your host family really becomes your family. My host mom (and her two cats) made me feel completely comfortable and at home in Buenos Aires. She suggested what I could do after school to explore the city and ways to adventure both within and outside of Argentina. She helped me hone my Spanish tremendously and was so patient with me. I'm thankful for her beyond words. We're still in contact to this day and often exchanges messages of well wishes and share study abroad stories!

    if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?I'd love to study abroad in Costa Rica with CEA CAPA! I'm eager to become fluent in Spanish and Costa Rica would allow me to connect deeper with the language and broaden my knowledge of different Spanish accents and dialects.

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    Alexis Di Stefano
    Alumni Ambassador

    if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?
    I'd choose Cape Town, South Africa. I traveled to 12 European countries in the semester I studied abroad in Spain, and I'd love to explore the African continent, experiencing the different cultures that encompass it.

    what's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
    CEA CAPA bridges the outside world to traditional learning environments, recognizing that learning is best done both inside and outside of the classroom. They give us as students many opportunities to go on study abroad excursions and travel on the weekends with less coursework than most people expect. Their courses exemplify the learning goals by doing strategy, ideal for Cal Poly students.

     


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    Alexis Miller
    Content Creator -Blogger
    Alexis Miller is a marketing major from Ursinus College and will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy this fall. She is ready to explore the culture and history that Italy has to offer. Alexis is most excited to see all the different parts of Italy and find some hidden gems! Join Alexis on her journey as she travels through Italy to find the best food and travel spots!
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    Alexis Thomas
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Alexis Thomas is a Neuroscience and English Writing double major from the University of Pittsburgh. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to study abroad in London, England and is ready to learn more about what everyday life is like in this global city. Look forward to her blogs about the highlights of her adventures, classes, and more!
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    Alexis Yvonne Prather
    CEA Content Creator

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    To improve my language skills and to see another part of the world.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    I am in the process of learning French, and I love the city of Paris.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    Getting better at speaking French!

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I love to read, travel, eat, and meet new people.


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    Alice Corcoran
    CEA MOJO Blogger
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    Alicia de la Peña Portero
    Academic Director, Madrid

    Dr. Alicia de la Peña is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Madrid Center. She is responsible for the administration and supervision of all academic aspects of Madrid programs including curriculum development, academic policies compliance, faculty training and students’ guidance. Alicia has worked in higher education for over 25 years, both as a professor and in different managing positions such as Director of Professional and International Projection and Director of Modern Languages Institute for Nebrija Univerity (Madrid) or Resident Program Coordinator for CIEE Madrid. She gained her doctorate in Education from Autónoma de Madrid University for her research on academic literacy, collaborative writing, and formative evaluation. Alicia’s educational background also includes two M.A. from Nebrija University, one in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language and another in Applied Linguistics, and a B.A. in English Philology from Autónoma de Madrid University. She was 10 years old when she had her first life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland; then Canada and US followed. Alicia strongly believes that experiencing different places and cultures is essential to gain global perspective, improve self-knowledge and foster personal and professional development.

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    Alison Haskell
    Alumni Ambassador

    what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
    One important aspect of my time abroad was embracing the newness of everything and approaching every day as a new adventure. Whether it was going to a different location for class, visiting a new museum, or finding a new cafè to study in, each day holds a new adventure. Although it can be a lot of transition at once, accepting the newness and even seeking further to find new opportunities fueled the excitement throughout my time abroad.

    how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    One of my favorite ways to engage with local community while abroad was going to a local cafe around the corner from my apartment. The cafe owner became a good friend to my roommates and I, and he helped us to discover many things that Rome had to offer that we never would've known without the help of a local! Going to the cafè for coffee in the morning, or for an aperitif in the evening was the best way to meet Roman locals, engage in Italian culture, try new foods, and make friends!

     


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    Alison Heywood
    CEA Content Creator
    Read my Blog!
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    Allison Capasso
    Student Advisor
    Allie (she/her) was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, New York and graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication. While in college, she studied abroad in Oviedo, Spain on a Spanish language immersion program. Allie fell in love with Spain and travel and spent her senior year working as a Peer Advisor at Temple’s Education Abroad Office. She worked as a community organizer on political campaigns upon graduating, but moved back to Spain in 2021, where she taught English to preschoolers in Madrid and received her Master of Arts in Global Higher Education from the Franklin Institute at Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Allie wants to dedicate her career to helping students form life-changing international experiences. In her free time, she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, traveling, learning languages, and going to concerts. 
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    Allyson Barnes
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Content Creator for CEA CAPA Education Abroad
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    Alyse Applegate
    Alumni Ambassador

    Why was your cea capa program the right fit for you?
    My Prague study abroad program was the right fit for me because it was in central Europe, allowing me to travel to many different countries! It was also affordable allowing me to fund my explorations. It was a beautiful city with so much to do.

    What was your favorite class while Abroad, and why? 
    My favorite class abroad was The Golden City of Prague: Past & Present. This class took us all around Prague to explore all the museums. I learned so much by seeing everything in person, and I walked away knowing more about Prague than I ever imagined. Also, my teacher was so kind and took us out to lunch on the last day of class!

     


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    Alyssa Pascoe
    Alumni Ambassador

    WhAT was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
    I took a class called "The Golden City of Prague," which was essentially an art history class. This was my favorite class because not only was the content interesting, but we also went out to visit sites we learned about in lecture. We went on field trips to museums, churches, synagogues, and other architecturally important buildings. I learned a lot and had a blast at the same time.

    HOW did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    I went to local restaurants away from touristy areas as well as a couple national events. One of those was Jan Hus Day, where everyone went to the Old Town Square and left a wreath on the statue of Jan Hus. I also went on some of the excursions offered by CEA CAPA to other small towns in the Czech Republic.

     


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    Amalia Nichols
    Alumni Ambassador

    how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
    I engaged with the local community through my internship abroad. I really got to know my coworkers and got to see Madrid through their eyes and experience. Additionally, I tried to engage with the people I encountered during my day-to-day. I'd try to make small-talk at shops, just to immerse myself in the community.


    what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
    I loved Sports and Culture in Contemporary Spain. I've always loved soccer, and played it growing up, so it was interesting to see how sports, especially soccer for Spain, could shape politics and culture. The field trips to Civitas Metropolitano, Santiago Bernabeu, and Plaza del Toro were so cool, and I probably wouldn't experience them otherwise. I'd love to take it again now with how the Spanish women's team is doing in the World Cup.

     


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    Amanda Platt
    CEA MOJO Blogger
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    Amanda Vecchio
    CEA MOJO Blogger
    Read my Blog!
    CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
    CEA Study Abroad Location: San José 
    Home University: Philadelphia University
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    Anastasia Hernandez
    Alumni Ambassador

    what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
    My favorite class was Differential Equations, I liked this class because the local culture and history was taught during this class.

    what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
    Go abroad with no expectations!! By going in with an open mind, you can find new experiences and enjoy your time abroad.

     


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    Anastasia Kingsley
    CEA MOJO Blogger
    Read my Blog!
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    Andrea Arias
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Andrea (Andy) Arias is a theatre major with concentrations in theatre education as well as performance. She will be interning at Synergy in London this fall. She is excited to immerse herself into the beauty of London’s culture and make long-lasting connections that manifest into friendships. While finding the balance between studying, interning, and writing CAPA blogs, she hopes to explore and familiarize herself with the city. Keep an eye out for her posts, and she'll give you a close look of what London has to offer!
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    Andrea Vazquez
    CEA MOJO Blogger

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    I have spent my life living between two countries. I loved being able to travel within and across each country, Mexico and the U.S., because I was able to visit new places, experience different cultures, and develop a special bond with each country. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to continue exploring and learning from everyone I meet wherever I go. I will have the amazing opportunity of immersing myself in another beautiful country with new sounds, smells, and sights to fall in love with.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    I chose Aix-en-Provence because it’s a city full of history and rich in culture. It is full of museums, festivals, and theaters. I am very excited about my days after school at the City du Livre.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    I look forward to getting lost in new places and through this process, discovering new things and meeting new people. I look forward to immersing myself in French culture and language and making new friends. I also look forward to writing about my experiences!

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I have danced folklorico, traditional Mexican folk dancing, for ten years. I am also currently part of my university’s salsa group. I love writing, creating new playlists on Spotify (I can make you a playlist for any genre or mood!), and as can probably be noted, I love dancing.


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    Andrew Mantone
    CEA MOJO Blogger
    Read my Blog!
    CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
    CEA Study Abroad Location: San Jose
    Home University: Philadelphia University
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    Andrew McKenzie
    Content Creator - Blogger
    Andrew McKenzie is a Marketing major from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to study and intern abroad in Barcelona, Spain. When he’s not studying, he hopes to be exploring the city, absorbing the local culture, and enjoying all that Spain has to offer.
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    Angel Valdes
    CEA MOJO Blogger

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    An international internship typically challenges you with new material as well as a new environment. Despite it being a remote position, as I'll be interning during the pandemic, I'll still be afforded the opportunity to explore my career interests through a unique lens by learning from professionals operating globally.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    While I was open to placement anywhere that matched my career interests, I definitely had an interest in interning with Latin American companies. As a first generation Mexican American, I appreciate any opportunity to make connections with those cultures and make it necessary to deepen/expand my awareness of them. It would also be beneficial for me to become familiar with the workplace dynamics there. Having a genuine interest in the interpersonal culture of the country I'd be interning in is an important criteria for me to diversify the takeaways from my experience.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    The experience will be my first internship in a position entirely new to me... I'm excited to learn from the professionals! I'm in the explorative phase of my career development and am really looking forward to gaining insight that will build my confidence with the decisions I'll make moving forward after graduation.

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    When I'm not blogging or doing the life and work things, I'm reading, drinking tea, and lazily moving a laser pointer around for my cats. Fun Fact: I love karaoke but sweat at the idea of public speaking, go figure!


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    Angela Passalacqua
    Alumni Ambassador

    what was your favorite class while abroad and why?
    International Criminal Justice. Since I studied abroad in Amsterdam, I visited The International Criminal Court which is impossible to do if I was anywhere else.


    what's one story or important aspect you always tell people from your time abroad?
    I truly met my best friends when I studied abroad with CEA CAPA. We still talk all the time and I'm so thankful that my study abroad program led me to them. We're all from different states and have different backgrounds but I truly felt like I met my soulmates in best friend form!

     


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    Angela Richard
    Alumni Ambassador
    1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
    My abroad experiences have shaped me into the college student and young professional I am today in more ways than one. My study abroad experience in Granada was the best time of my life. For seven weeks, I was able to step way outside of my comfort zone in an environment that, although new, was one of the most inviting places I've ever been to. I felt at home in Granada, and this feeling I experienced from the beginning enabled me to have an immersive, enjoyable study abroad adventure. I was able to gain experience working abroad in the field I am passionate about, and I was also able to make lifelong connections that have blossomed into enriching friendships. When I virtually interned abroad with an organization in Seville, I not only adopted a global mindset and realized the inherent differences between the American workplace and the Spanish one, but I also realized exactly what I wanted out of a position centered around business practices. I gained valuable experience and developed my skills in intercultural communication, professionalism, time management, and leadership. My study abroad and intern abroad experiences were both wholly unique and different, but they have both shaped me into the person and professional I am today.

    2. Why should a student go abroad?
    Going to Granada presented itself with a bunch of opportunities, all thanks to CEA. At home in Vermont, I'm used to taking six classes and working three jobs on the side. I'm also used to intramural basketball games and field hockey games, as well as being a club leader and participating in group activities that I love. I was worried about not feeling busy while I was abroad, which may sound a bit odd. But, being busy is what I'm used to and what keeps me motivated, so I knew I had to find ways to feel fulfilled while in Granada. CEA met all of my expectations and more when I discovered all of the opportunities I could undertake while studying abroad. On top of my five classes, I volunteered at two elementary schools. At these schools, I helped the students foster their English language speaking, reading, and writing skills through a plethora of activities, such as creating games to remember vocabulary and practicing speaking in a comfortable setting. I also volunteered for an organization called T-Oigo, which helps young children with cochlear implants and hearing loss learn English. I was fortunate enough to work with a wonderful, bright 7-year-old girl, and her family treated me like one of their own after just one meeting. These volunteer opportunities wouldn't have been available to me had it not been for CEA's commitment to providing students with enriching, fulfilling experiences in their host city. I'm so glad I decided to take part in them!
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    Angela Richard
    CEA MOJO Blogger

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    I chose to study and to (virtually) intern abroad because I knew I would receive an incredible opportunity that would be unmatchable to anything else close to my home university and traditional work experiences. Studying abroad was something I always dreamed of being able to do, and interning abroad fell into place afterward. CEA's Granada program seemed to have chosen me after some searching for the perfect location to buckle down on improving my Spanish skills, and it only felt right to stay in Spain (Seville) for my virtual internship.

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    I chose Granada because it's a small city in the beautiful region of Andalucía, Spain, a region that's often not as recognized as other areas of the country. Granada is absolutely charming and surprisingly affordable, and it offers great opportunities for authentic Spanish immersion, making it the perfect city for me to study abroad in. I chose Seville, Spain, for my virtual internship because I wanted to continue my abroad experience in Spain, especially in the southern region, which I found to be the area of Spain where I felt especially comfortable, confident, and eager to step out of my comfort zone.

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    I am most looking forward to making lifelong connections, immersing myself in the Spanish language and culture, and partaking in things I've never done before. As a first-generation college student, study abroad seemed a distant, unachievable dream as I was making my way through the first two years of my university education. However, once study abroad became an option for me during the spring of my third year of college, I couldn't wait to go to Spain by myself and truly test the person I had become in a country I had never been to before.

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    I'm a vegan, basketball-playing, field hockey-mastering, hiking-aficionado who loves to read, cook, and learn about anything and everything. The semester before I went abroad, I started to learn French, and I'll let you imagine how that helped me once I arrived in Spain... I'm also the first student from Champlain College, my home institution, to study abroad in Granada!


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    Anna Aman
    Alumni Ambassador

    WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
    Most of our classes were based on experiences like climbing over 300 stairs in the Duomo or going to Pisa and Lucca to explore the cities. One class I took that was super fun was the wine class. We learned about all types of wine and where they are from. We also learned how to pair food with different wines and how to properly taste wine like an Italian.

    HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
    While abroad we immersed ourselves into the Tuscan culture by going to wineries, olive groves, restaurants, and tourist attractions. We spent most of our days out and about and speaking to the people of Florence. Some of my favorite parts were going to a gelateria and learning how they make their delicious gelato and making a traditional Italian dish in a cooking class.

     


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    Anna Featherston
    CEA Content Creator

    Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
    Inspired by the ladies of The Cheetah Girls 2 in Barcelona, I have wanted to study abroad in Spain for as long as I can remember. It was always something I wanted to do but was a little scared to actually sign up for. As a senior, I finally decided to go for it, and I can’t wait to see how it goes!

    Why did you choose your study/intern city?
    I picked Granada, Spain for study abroad because it is unlike anywhere I have ever been before. I found the mountains and Arabic culture very intriguing, and I am very excited to see what it’s really like in person!

    What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
    During my abroad experience I am very excited to see and learn new things. I plan to do some weekend traveling when I don’t have class and hope to explore the surrounding areas of Spain!

    Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
    Fun fact: I’ve been taking Spanish classes since 7th grade, but my time in Granada will be my first time actually pursuing it!

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    Anna Galindo
    Alumni Ambassador
    1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

    While I was studying in Dublin I had several opportunities to experience and dive into the local culture. One of my favorite things to do during my time in Ireland was to go to all the small local pubs and hear all the live music and in some cases even go out on the floor and learn some of the Irish dancing. Through this experience I got to connect with a lot of locals and really learn about the importance of their music and coming together as a community. Another way I got to experience the culture was whenever I would talk to locals I would always ask them what they recommended seeing or doing around Ireland which lead me to some of my favorite times abroad. There was one weekend my friends and I took a trip to the very south of Ireland to a little village called Kinsale and we hiked up to an old 1600's fort that was right on the water and were able to learn the history behind it and the significance of it to the village of Kinsale. Another conversation with a local in Galway ended with me learning the story and importance of the Claddagh ring and how huge the tradition is to the Irish people.

    2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

    Overall I would say that my study abroad experience has made me more confident in myself and my abilities. Before going abroad I tended to be more shy and hesitant in participating in different activities around campus. But since being back I have spoken on several study abroad panels to try and encourage others to go abroad, before going abroad I would have never thought about doing any public speaking voluntarily. I also have been able to make more international friends because I am more confident in my communication skills with international students because of all the practice I got while studying abroad.

    Studying abroad also opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available abroad and how much there is to see in the world. Without going abroad I would not be looking into Master programs over seas and would not be as interested in International Business and Marketing as I am today.



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    Anna Labay
    Housing Advisor

    Anna assists in all aspects of students’ lodging: housing search, maintenance issues, custom service and student support. She also leads and accompanies students during Academic and Cultural Activities and excursions.

    Anna was born in Barcelona, earned a degree in tourism through the University of Girona, and speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English.

    Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Anna was the operations manager in a company that manages different lines of business as touristic apartments, a hotel boutique and residences for students and digital nomads located in Barcelona and Pamplona, on some occasions, Anna stayed in the residence of Pamplona working from there and sharing time with students from around the world and the study abroad experience with them.

    She has also worked as a group leader for language students in Ireland and England and it was there where she discovered her passion for study abroad.