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CEA CAPA Florence, Italy Directory

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Florence, Italy Leadership

Emily Schiavone
Center Director

With CEA CAPA 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 CAPA, 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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Lorenzo Ciccarelli
Program Director
Lorenzo oversees and coordinates all aspects of 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 CEA CAPA in Florence, is in charge of Accounting and Finance and maintains the relationships with legacy CEA CAPA providers in Florence. Lorenzo has been working for CEA 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 CEA 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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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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Guido Reverdito, PhD
Director of Strategic Initiatives
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 worked for CEA 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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Florence, Italy Team

Alessia Robucci
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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Benjamin Sidney
Career & Internship Programs 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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Chiara Meneguzzi
Senior Career & Internship Programs Coordinator

Chiara began her career as an archaeologist and researcher, delving into Roman sites across Cambridge and London. Transitioning into museum and fashion management, she discovered a passion for sustainability and the environment. Driven by her commitment to sustainability, Chiara has delved into the world of sustainable fashion, particularly vintage and upcycled clothing. Her journey has taken her from the halls of academia to the forefront of projects encompassing TED events, climate finance, and climate action. 

Passionate about education and adept at networking, at CEA CAPA Chiara channels her energy into expanding work experience opportunities, empowering students to strengthen their profiles and make meaningful contributions to society. 

Alongside her professional endeavors, Chiara finds solace in exploring museums and immersing herself in history. 

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Elisa Venticinque
Student Services Assistant
Elisa (she/her) has studied translation and interpreting in English and Spanish throughout her academic career. Her greatest academic achievement was finishing her second master's degree in literary translation, during which time she interned for an Italian publishing house and translated her first book. Elisa works as a freelance translator, interpreter, and linguistic mediator and has also worked as a librarian. She considers herself a bookworm and is always curious to know more about Italian publishing houses and authors. Her interests and hobbies include reading, traveling, going to concerts – the more, the better – and spending time with her friends. 
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Hiba Qassar, PhD
Academic Assistant

Hiba holds a PhD. in museum studies from Florence University in collaboration with University College of London in Qatar, and a BA in archaeology from the University of Aleppo. Her thesis argued the potential of engaging local communities in cultural activities and archaeological knowledge to protect cultural heritage in the time of war. 

Previously, Hiba was responsible for an audience development project in Musei del Bargello, Florence, and developed a training courses for various museum operators in Florence related to the perception of heritage and museums for non-European audiences. Before joining our academic team at CEA CAPA, she was the associate director of educational programs at the International Institute of Mesopotamian Area Studies where she worked mainly on designing and developing educational programs dedicated to promoting international dialogue through cultural heritage among the young generation. She also worked as a researcher for the European University Institute in Florence and her research interests include the social role of cultural heritage, diversity and education development. She has also written and published various articles.

As a global citizen, Hiba hopes to use her life experience, in addition to her academic and administrative experience, to enhance the academic life of CEA CAPA students in Florence. 

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Josephine Borriello
Program and Student Services Coordinator

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Josephine worked in various fields, and what has always united each job is a passion for working with diverse people from all over the world.

Although a native of Florence, Josephine is bilingual (Italian and English) and has spent time in various parts of the United States ever since she was a small child. She has also traveled extensively in Europe and studied abroad in Japan.

At CEA CAPA she organizes extra-curricular activities, day trips, and volunteering projects. Josephine is always happy to offer her help and support to students, faculties and colleagues.

In her free time she likes to travel, watch movies, and, most of all, spend time with her children.

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Letizia Ialini
Custom Program & Housing Director

With CEA CAPA since 2009, Custom Program & Housing Director Letizia liaises with local housing providers to ensure quality accommodation and services to students and visiting professors. She also 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 CAPA, 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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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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Samantha Giunti
Student Services Assistant
Samantha (she/her) loves traveling, getting to know new cultures, and speaking different languages. These passions have always oriented her career choices, and she studied translation and interpreting in English, Spanish, and German in Bologna, during which time she spent one year studying abroad in Córdoba, Spain. In Spain, Samantha completed an internship in a travel agency, which allowed her to organize events, copywrite and translate, and work as a tour leader and visit the whole South of Spain with international students. Additionally, she lived and worked as an educator in Berlin, organizing activities for local teenagers and getting to know their culture and language on a deeper level. Samantha has also previously worked as a Front Desk Agent in a small luxury hotel, managing high-profile international clients and ensuring their satisfaction. 
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Vittoria Chesi
Academic & Custom Program Manager

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Vittoria worked in the hospitality industry for many years. She gained her master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Florence with a dissertation on Mexican American contemporary novelists. During her university years, she spent a semester at the University of Arizona in Tucson doing research for her final dissertation, attending courses, and tutoring Italian Language students.

At CEA CAPA, Vittoria is involved in academic services, including student advising referral, course and adjunct faculty administration, and class schedules. She is also involved in the development and delivery of customized programs and assists visiting faculties while on site.

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