CEA Directory

Justin Schaefer

Director – University Relations

Justin Schaefer is CEA’s National Director of University Relations. He coordinates and oversees the University Relations Regional Directors as they work with colleges and universities to provide study abroad and international internship opportunities to students.

During Justin’s 20+ years in higher education, he has had the privilege of experiencing the industry from a variety of perspectives. He worked for a number of educational content providers helping professors, chairs, deans and curriculum specialists implement the highest quality educational content into their courses. Prior to joining CEA, Justin represented a Bay Area startup during a period of rapid growth and development in the higher education enrollment management space.

Justin firmly believes that study abroad and international internships can shape the lives of students and interns, broadening their global understanding and communication skills. He has visited 23 countries so far, bicycled across the US, and backpacked in Alaska. He is always planning his next international adventure.

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Lilian Trigo

Program Director
Lilian attends to student issues including academics, housing, excursions, and social activities with our partner universities. Before joining CEA, Lilian taught for more than 20 years at various levels of elementary school, high school, and higher education. She has also participated in international programs for students from Germany and the U.S., including student exchange programs and volunteer work in Chile.

Lilian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in ESOL from Pontifical Catholic University – Valparaiso. She is a Teacher of English as a Second Language and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Lilian has traveled to the U.S. and across England as a group leader of a Teen Summer Program, aimed to provide insight into British culture. During the exchange program, the group took part in cultural visits, spent time at Woking & Brooklands College, and stayed with host families in Addlestone, Southport, and Worcester.

Lilian would love to visit Italy’s historic and artistic monuments and views. But she would love to travel with all of her family, because any place is much better when traveling with the people you love the most. Her best advice for study abroad students is to take full advantage of the program, to immerse in the culture as quickly as possible, to get in touch with a lot of local people, to “forget” about home for a while, and to participate in all the activities available.
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Elizabeth Kather

Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs

Elizabeth grew up in the Midwest and traveled to Australia on a one-year study exchange in high school, an experience that changed her perspective on what she could accomplish. Elizabeth attended college and graduate school in the Southwest, gaining 12 years of student affairs/residential life professional experience at small, mid-size, and large universities along the way. She's passionate about impacting the student experience "outside the classroom" and helping students realize their role as responsible global citizens.

As CEA's Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing student life issues worldwide and acts as the lead Student Affairs professional in the home office. In this role, Elizabeth establishes and coordinates protocols regarding CEA responses to student emergencies; 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; reviews student medical information and provides pre-departure assistance to students with health concerns; leads the Health & Safety Team; stays abreast of industry research and organizes training opportunities for staff around the world; and leads cross-functional working groups to review policies and best practices.

Overall, Elizabeth is responsible for enhancing the quality of student life through the development and coordination of programs and services that promote student well-being and reflect the organization's values and mission.

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Richard Stock, Ph.D.

Center Director
Rick manages the entire Prague staff, represents the CEA Prague Center, and ensures and continually increases the quality of our programs and partnerships.

Originally from the Chicago area, Rick has lived in or near Prague since 1998 with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys sports, researching American literature and literary theory, teaching, and spending time with his family.

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 Teaching of English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in the UK. He has served as Academic Director at CIEE in Prague and Program Director of the MAE program as well as Academic Director at CERGE-EI in Prague. He has also been Assistant Professor at the University of South Bohemia.
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Sara Troy

Director of Program Development

Sara Troy leads and manages the program development team. Her primary focus lies in creating programs that facilitate students’ ability to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Sara holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Miami University (Ohio) and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to joining CEA, Sara worked with another study abroad organization with a focus in student recruitment and university relations. She's also been a Scholastic Standards Advisor at the University of Northern Colorado, Program Coordinator for the Border Studies Program at Earlham College, and Residence Hall Director at the University of North Carolina.

Sara serves in NAFSA's Trainer Corps, which delivers NAFSA Core Education Program Workshops throughout the year. She has delivered the CEP workshops for Campus and Community Programming and the Expanded Roles of the Education Abroad Advisor. Additionally, she has presented at many state and regional conferences for NAFSA and NACADA.

Sara first travelled to Paris after high school and subsequently spent her junior year of college studying in Rennes, France. Other travels have led her to Dublin; Belfast; Cuidad Juarez, Mexico; Rome; Florence; San Jose, Costa Rica; and all over France, from Normandy to the Loire Valley to the gorgeous Cote d'Azur. Sara would love for her next personal adventure to take her to Scotland where she’ll explore the Moors, the Highlands, and the castles while wearing warm, Scottish sweaters.

Sara believes students shouldn't let fear guide their lives: "Try to look at each new possibility, regardless of how scary it might be as an opportunity to learn, grow, and do something different. Be open to new experiences. Cast judgment aside and be willing to learn about a new culture, different ways of life and living."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA)
  • National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
  • Forum on Education Abroad
PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS
  • Best Practices in Faculty-Led Programming, NAFSA, May 2014
  • Connecting Study Abroad Students to the Local Community, Arizona International Educators Conference, March, 2013
  • Creating Meaningful Online Communities for Study Abroad Students, Poster Session, NAFSA, May 2012
  • Becoming Mainstream: Using Technology from Pre-Departure to Re-Entry, Region VI NAFSA, November 2009
  • Retention and Outreach: The Fartlek's of Advising, CO/WY NACADA, March 2008
  • Current Issues in Study Abroad, Indiana State NAFSA, April 2007
  • Experiential Education in Study Abroad, Region VI NAFSA, November 2006
  • Quarterlife Crisis, Senior Disorientation, Earlham College, January 2005
  • Setting the Lines: Transition from Graduate Student to New Professional, SEAHO, February 2004
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Jacqueline Martinez, Ed.D.

Director of Academic Affairs

As CEA’s Director for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jacqueline Martinez brings over 16 years of experience in higher education. Jacqueline’s unique background is an asset to CEA, as she has experience with university operations in the areas of admissions, student services, student affairs, financial aid, student government, judicial affairs, academic affairs, operational strategic planning & assessment, self-studies & site visits, preparing for accreditation approvals (initial and renewal), international operations including F-1 & J-1 student status, and managing campus operations.

Dr. Martinez is also a university professor; she teaches first-year experience courses and master’s level courses in field of Industrial Organizational Psychology. Jacqueline is passionate about student retention, the student experience, assessment, academic operations, and understanding generational behaviors in higher education. Jacqueline holds a BS in Business Administration, MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership -- Higher and Postsecondary Education. Her dissertation was titled Creating the DNA for Organizational Longevity: Understanding Generational Behaviors in Higher Education.

  • EdD, Argosy University (AZ)
  • MA, Argosy University (AZ)
  • BS, Argosy University (AZ)

 

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Brian J. Boubek

CEO & Chairman

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

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

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

HONORS/AWARDS

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

Student Accounts Manager

Angela Cota's role at CEA is to monitor and supervise the student account receivables process, including financial aid paperwork. Supervising the Student Accounts Team, she works to ensure the continued flow from student accounts receivables to CEA.

Prior to coming to CEA, Angela worked for Education Management Corporation, Universal Technical Institute, High Tech Corporate, Mitchell Sweet & Associates, and North American Technical College. She holds an Associate of Arts in Health and Nutrition from Paradise Valley Community College (Ariz.), and a Bachelor of Arts of Business Management and Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA)
  • Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA)
  • Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ASFAA)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certified Financial Aid Administrator
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April Arrowood

Senior Admissions Counselor and Enrollment Team Lead
What’s my favorite travel memory? That’s easy – the first time I saw Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Having learned about it in high school, I remember marveling at the architecture first-hand and thinking that its first impression did not disappoint!

When I was a student at the University of Arizona (go Wildcats!), I studied abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain near Madrid. I’ve also visited Portugal, Italy, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. While it’s hard to choose a favorite location, I consider Spain my second home.

As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I help students choose the study abroad program that is the best fit for them, and use my own passion for study abroad to assist them throughout the entire enrollment process. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends, hiking, backpacking, playing tennis, reading, baking, and when given the chance, traveling!

Did you know? I was a colorguard member on the Pride of Arizona Marching Band for three years in college and performed at pre-game and half-time shows in front of thousands of football fans!
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Jayna Winn

Manager - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
As Custom & Faculty-Led Program Coordinator, Jayna Winn works closely with university staff and faculty to develop and coordinate custom programs that meet their specific needs. Drawing upon her experience in intercultural education, she helps ensure that each program provides students with exceptional academic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities.

Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. Before joining CEA, she served as Program Coordinator for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Additionally, she managed international teams and partnerships for a digital marketing company and coordinated custom vacation packages for a travel agency. Jayna is a member of NAFSA and has presented and facilitated at regional conferences.

Jayna spent time working and studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. She has found the following to be key to her success internationally: “Find the wonder and humor in every intercultural interaction. If you begin to feel frustration creeping up, try to simply embrace the differences instead. Only then can you begin to learn from them. And when in doubt, find a way to laugh together!”
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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

Silvia Martínez ensures that all CEA 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 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
Employed by CEA Florence since 2008, Emily is responsible for the management and development of the Florence Study Center and all study abroad programs that it hosts. Emily provides leadership and direct oversight to the Student Services and Student Life sectors of programs, and works in tandem with the Academic Director on academic matters regarding the Florence Center and partner institutions.

Emily hails from northeast Ohio. She 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. She has traveled throughout Italy (but says that she has still not seen enough), in addition to Spain, France, England, Ireland, Greece, Malta, and Albania. Many more locations—especially around the Mediterranean—are on her to-see list.

Before joining CEA, Emily worked at an American university in Florence, helping to create an archive and database of digital images for teaching purposes and traveling to towns in central Italy to teach students art and architectural history on-site. She has also worked on small projects as a freelance graphic designer. In her free time she likes to curl up with a good book.

Emily's advice to incoming study abroad students is to embark on your journey with an open mind, preparedness for unpredictable situations, confident self-reliance, and a willingness to break out of your comfort zone. These traits will allow you to discover new things about the world, about yourself, and about what you can handle. Push yourselves to discover all that you can!
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Lilian Trigo

Program Director
Lilian attends to student issues including academics, housing, excursions, and social activities with our partner universities. Before joining CEA, Lilian taught for more than 20 years at various levels of elementary school, high school, and higher education. She has also participated in international programs for students from Germany and the U.S., including student exchange programs and volunteer work in Chile.

Lilian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in ESOL from Pontifical Catholic University – Valparaiso. She is a Teacher of English as a Second Language and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Lilian has traveled to the U.S. and across England as a group leader of a Teen Summer Program, aimed to provide insight into British culture. During the exchange program, the group took part in cultural visits, spent time at Woking & Brooklands College, and stayed with host families in Addlestone, Southport, and Worcester.

Lilian would love to visit Italy’s historic and artistic monuments and views. But she would love to travel with all of her family, because any place is much better when traveling with the people you love the most. Her best advice for study abroad students is to take full advantage of the program, to immerse in the culture as quickly as possible, to get in touch with a lot of local people, to “forget” about home for a while, and to participate in all the activities available.
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Begoña Correa-Flores

Program Director
As the Director of CEA Granada, Begoña is responsible for the successful day-to-day management of the Granada program, including on-site student services, host institution and local vendor relations, program academics, participant health and safety, and student evaluations. She also identifies and implements opportunities for program improvements, makes development recommendations, and designs faculty-led and custom programs. She provides leadership to her team, as they support her in creating a superior student experience.

Begoña pioneered CEA's internship program in Granada, as well as the Arabic Cultural Studies program at our partner institution in Granada.

Begoña holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Granada. She has completed an online Specialization in Foundations of Management at the IESE Business School. Begoña is also a certified coach with the International School of Coaching, and a sworn translator authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Begoña worked as a teacher and congress coordinator before joining CEA in 1999.

Begoña first studied abroad in high school, when she spent an academic year at Wisconsin’s Shorewood High School. As an undergraduate student, she was awarded scholarships to study at Dublin City University (Ireland), the University of California San Diego (U.S.), and Palacky University of Olomouc (Czechia).

Begoña is passionate about international education. She works enthusiastically to provide meaningful study abroad programs that allow students to experience authentic growth and prepare them to tackle real-world challenges by developing solutions.
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Anna Felberbaum

Center Director

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

A native of Havana, Cuba, Victor holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and History from Skidmore College, where he graduated Cum Laude and was elected to the prestigious national honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Victor is currently completing his MBA at Escuela de Administracion de Empresas (EAE).

Victor brings more than 15 years of experience in undergraduate education to his position at CEA, first as Director of a College Access and Opportunity Program in Saratoga Springs, New York, and recently as Director of a study abroad center in Madrid, Spain, a position he held for more than a decade. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Association of North American Programs in Spain.

An avid global traveler, Victor has traveled across Asia, North Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. Victor’s other passion is tennis; he holds several titles in both singles and doubles in amateur international tournaments and competitions. Victor’s advice to incoming study abroad students is to embrace each day with a heightened sense of adventure and to focus on the journey, with the certainty that an open mind and the courage to face unpredictable situations will offer life-long skills and transform life in unimaginable ways.

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Maggie Banchs

Program Director

Maggie's role is to oversee all student services and housing including orientation, excursions, and cultural activities. She advises students on issues related to cross-cultural information, health, and safety, and is responsible for responding to student inquiries and concerns. Maggie serves as a resource to students as they transition into Costa Rican culture, and functions as their primary point of contact.

Maggie holds a master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Escuela de Administración de Empresas (EAE) in Barcelona, and a bachelor's degree in Photography and Artistic Direction from the Universidad Centeroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Managua, Nicaragua. She also studied photography at Veritas University in San José, Costa Rica, and taught several photography courses at Universidad Creativa in San Pedro, Costa Rica.

Prior to joining CEA, Maggie developed skills working in the Communications Department of the Escuela de Administración de Empresas in Barcelona, and as a manager at the Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Managua, Nicaragua. After studying abroad, she returned to San José to work with foreign students at Veritas University.

Maggie truly believes that studying abroad changes your life in many different ways, so she encourages the students to set their fear of new experiences and cultures to the side, and to come to a new country with an open mind and positive attitude. Maggie invites students to come and explore Costa Rica's beautiful scenery, friendly people, and warm weather.

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Enric Figueras

Vice President, Spain

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 policies are in place to serve the CEA 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, 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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Yan Liang

Program Director
As Program Director for Shanghai, Yan oversees all student services including orientation, excursions, and cultural activities. She advises students on issues related to cross-cultural information, health, and safety, and is responsible for responding to student inquiries and concerns. Yan serves as a resource to students as they transition into Chinese culture, and functions as their primary point of contact.

Originally from Shanghai, Yan lived and worked in the U.S. for seven years, where she ran a travel company specializing in business travel from China to the U.S. Yan also worked as a Senior Consultant in a leading Chinese trading company where she helped hundreds of organizations build successful teams and train powerful leaders, and as an Area Manager at a multinational fast food company.

Yan holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of International Business and Economics in China, and a bachelor's degree in International Economics and Trade from Shanghai University.
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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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Patrick Foley

Program Director

Patrick's role at CEA includes the day-to-day management of student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, and student evaluations. He also oversees office administration, advises students on issues related to academics, health, and safety, assists in management of city finances, hires and trains staff and faculty, and works closely with colleagues across France to design and deliver quality programming for CEA students.

Before joining CEA, Patrick worked as an English teacher at Polytech Grenoble (France), an engineering school, where he taught scientific English. He also taught at Lycee International (Mich.) where he met his French wife Catherine, an art teacher. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Center for Creative Studies (Mich.)

Patrick has traveled to Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales, and looks forward to seeing Australia and Indonesia one day. Patrick's advice for students travelling abroad is: "Don't be afraid – dive into your new language and culture. Be cautious about attributing stereotypes. Don't compare life in your host country to life in the U.S., but also, don't expect everyone to believe that the U.S. is the greatest place on the planet."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

LinkedIn Study Abroad Advisors

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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

Director of International Programs – France

As the Director of International Programs for France and Director for the CEA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA sites in France, maintaining CEA standards across all educational programs. There's a lot to keep her busy on-site, 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 Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) and completed a DEA after earning a Master of Arts in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). 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.

Before joining CEA, Alexandra started her career as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. 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, 2013 and 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

  • “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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Vivienne Hamill

Program Director

As the Program Director for Aix-en-Provence, Vivienne Hamill is responsible for day-to-day management including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, and student evaluations. Vivienne also advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information, and health and wellness, assists in management of city finances, and hires and trains staff.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Vivienne has dual British/French nationality and has lived and worked in Aix-en-Provence for over 35 years. She’s worked in a variety of fields: accountancy, the documentary film world, organization of jazz concerts with international artists throughout France, and real estate in Ibiza, Spain to mention a few. She also ran her own international mail order company from Aix-en-Provence selling Provençal products. Vivienne specializes in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and taught in various institutions in Aix before discovering the world of study abroad. She has been running the Aix-en-Provence program with CEA since 2001 and thoroughly enjoys interacting with students and helping them through this life-changing experience.

Vivienne received a BA Hons in French Studies specializing in Translation and Marketing from the University of Portsmouth in England, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Ulster at Coleraine. Vivienne speaks French fluently and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

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Francis Kelly

Center Director

Francis's role is to manage the CEA Dublin Center including facilities, staff, activities, housing, excursions, and pastoral support. Francis is also the Founder and Director of the International School of Business, Dublin, CEA's partner institution in Dublin.

Francis has worked in international education for the past 25 years in both the private and public sectors. He has lectured in both France and Ireland and created two business schools. Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Irish and French Language and Literature from University College Cork, a Master of Arts in Irish Studies from the Université de Lille III, France, a Master's in Business Studies in International Marketing from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business (University College Dublin). He speaks Irish and French fluently and has a good working knowledge of Spanish and Italian.

Francis has traveled widely across five continents, including a volunteer placement in Ghana, West Africa, eight years living and working in France, multiple trips to the U.S., Canada, and across Europe. He is passionate about cultures and believes that the real richness of study abroad comes from experiencing cultural differences first-hand.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* European Association of Institutes of Education (EAIE)

* BUSINET

* ASAPI (American Study Abroad Providers Ireland)

* QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)

* The Marketing Institute of Ireland

Irish Council for Overseas Students

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Meliné Koruk

Center Director
Buenos Aires Center Director Meliné Koruk received her bachelor’s degree in Public and Institutional Relations from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), a master's degree in Sociology and Cultural Analysis from Universidad Nacional de San Martín, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Policy and Management of Higher Education at Universidad Tres de Febrero.

Before joining CEA, Meliné lived in Turkey for more than seven years, where she was the International Relations Manager at Koç University in Istanbul and the Deputy Director of the International Office at Yasar University in Izmir. Prior to moving to Turkey, Meliné worked at UADE as an Incoming Student Advisor.

After gaining extensive experience in supporting international students, and building sustainable relations with university partners and institutions from all over the world, Meliné decided to come back to her hometown of Buenos Aires, bringing with her the global experience gained over her 12 years of professional life. Witnessing different cultures while traveling and working in Latin America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia allows Meliné to provide an amazing experience for CEA students in Buenos Aires.
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Natalia Cascante

Student Life Advisor

As a Student Life Advisor, Natalia acts as a liaison for student services onsite. She provides support for the planning and coordinating of housing, excursions, trips, and volunteering.

Born in Costa Rica, Natalia studied abroad as a 16-year-old for a full semester in West Palm Beach, Florida. Currently, she is completing a Product Design degree from Veritas University, where she has also studied Photography. In addition, she is certified in Hatha Yoga.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys spending time with her daughter, Luciana; they both enjoy playing at the park, doing yoga together, listening to music, and traveling around Costa Rica. She describes herself as someone who really enjoys learning from new cultures and meeting new people.

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Álvaro J. Sanjuán

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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Gina Mahfood

Assistant Director of Enrollment
As the Assistant 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 a talent and drive to provide superior assistance and leadership within this organization. Gina has been working in education and leadership for 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 Industrial and Organizational Psychology emphasis from Grand Canyon University, and 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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Cynthia Engel, MA

Director of Internships Abroad

Cynthia Engel oversees and manages CEA’s internship abroad programs. Her primary focus is ensuring that students are able to engage in an academically rigorous and quality pre-professional experience that will inform their professional pathways upon graduation. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s academic team and CEA Study Center staff to cultivate internship placements and academic programming that support students’ integration in their field-based experiences abroad. She also works closely with CEA’s enrollment, university relations, and marketing teams to build awareness of CEA’s internship programs, obtain university approvals, and align CEA’s internship model with student and university needs.

Cynthia comes to CEA with 18+ years in international education, including eight years directly related to internship program management and development in Europe, Central Asia, and Oceania. After completing a master’s degree in Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) from the University of Minnesota in 2000, Cynthia was fortunate to be a part of a team tasked with building the student development and international programs components of a new branch campus of a major research university. From there, she turned her focus to developing academically rigorous international internships as part of a university consortium in the Western U.S. After 16 years in the field, she chose to take a break from higher education to gain some experience in the dynamic and fast-paced world of start-ups as a strategic communication and program development consultant. Cynthia’s passion for the remarkable learning and growth that can come from well-facilitated international experiences brought her back to international education and to CEA.

Cynthia worked and studied for several years in France and worked for a year in Japan, as well as throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has travelled extensively throughout SE Asia, West Africa, Western Europe, and South America, and she speaks French at a non-native level of fluency. Cynthia’s passion for travel and the field of international education is born from a belief that if we continually seek to understand and honor others, we are better able to understand ourselves and then recognize the interconnectedness of each of us in the process. She believes creating opportunities to experience the world in new ways is one of the best pathways to truly internalizing a respect for the diversity of lenses through which we all perceive and interact with each other.

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C. Thomas Whitehouse

International Director of Risk Management

As International Director of Risk Management, C. Thomas Whitehouse serves as a resource in the handling of routine incidents and case management involving student health and safety issues. He works with CEA staff as well as Resident Directors, students, parents, CEA's emergency assistance company, medical providers, legal advisors and others to monitor important developments and acts as an advisor to the CEA Leadership Team.

Mr. Whitehouse brings more than 40 years of overall business experience to CEA, with 15 years as a senior executive and risk manager for the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), a large educational/cultural travel company. In 1992, he established Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), one of the largest and most respected student/cultural travel insurers. He gained his extensive casualty/property insurance knowledge in a series of positions with increasing responsibility at CIGNA Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company. In 2005, Mr. Whitehouse established RLC Advisors, a risk management and insurance consulting firm that primarily focused on international travel programs.

Mr. Whitehouse holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a MBA. He is actively involved in community service as Vice President on the Board of Directors of Kiwanis Club of Stamford, Conn. He is an active member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

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Matthew Janus

Regional Director - West

Matt Janus' role at CEA is to oversee CEA'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 can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining CEA, 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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Deborah Keeley

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

Enrollment Operations Project Associate
I was born and raised in Chicago, and moved to Arizona in 2007 to finish high school and attend Arizona State University. During my time as a Sun Devil, I participated in a study abroad program in Florence, Italy. Florence will always have my heart; it's an incredibly beautiful city and became a second home for me.

Cinque Terre would be next on my list. It's actually five small villages on the coast of the Italian Riviera, all linked together by the “walk of love,” an incredible day hike through all five villages, even for those (like me) who would rather avoid exercise. During my time in Florence, I was able to explore Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Verona, Capri, Milan, and many other small towns across Tuscany.

I have fond memories of my time in Florence, and I love to share my passion for exploring the world with my students. One of my favorite memories is of one of my last nights in Florence when all six of my roommates and I hiked to Piazza Michelangelo, a famous viewpoint of the city. We spent the night listening to a street musician and reminiscing over our semester together, before watching the sun come up over the city. My next big travel adventure is Prague—I am drawn to the historic art and architecture the city is famous for.

As a CEA Enrollment Operations Project Associate, my job is to coordinate the CEA scholarship program while working closely with the Academic Affairs and Enrollment Teams. Outside of work I like to spend time with friends, volunteer at an art studio, and watch way too much Netflix.

Did you know? Penguins were my favorite animal as a kid, and I would beg my parents to get me one as a pet. One Christmas I got my wish; my parents adopted/sponsored a penguin family for me!
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Marquisa Regnier

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
Custom and Faculty-Led Program Coordinator Marquisa Regnier works with our University Relations team, faculty and staff at U.S. universities, and with our overseas Program Directors to develop and coordinate custom programs for students studying in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, England and Ireland.

Marquisa brings years of international education experience to her role at CEA. Prior to joining the CEA team, Marquisa worked with another study abroad organization where she helped students travel to Spain, Thailand, and the Czech Republic. After studying abroad and taking classes strictly in Spanish during semesters in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain, Marquisa graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a dual degree in International Studies and Spanish Language.

Marquisa has visited Mexico, Spain, Italy, Morocco, and France in her journeys, and would like to visit Brazil and Thailand. Her advice to students going abroad is this: “Leap outside of your comfort zone! You’ll find that when you’re abroad, that zone is very small in comparison to the giant world we have to explore, so go where the locals go, eat WHEN and where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop, and adapt to their way of life as much as you can! You’ll have ups and downs, but when looking back on it later, you’ll realize these were some of the most amazing and important times of your life. Enjoy!”
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Monica Francioso

Academic Director

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA Florence team in 2015. She 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, which she is currently editing for publication, 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 has 13 years of experience living abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Prior to joining the CEA 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 and she 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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Cassandra Peacock

Program Director

Cassandra Peacock's role as Program Director at CEA encompasses both administrative and operational duties. She helps students understand that their experience is not only about attending school, but about how much potential they have in their particular circumstances. Cassandra ensures students experience smooth arrivals, a ride from the airport, proper housing, and advice on what to eat, where to go, and things to see around London.

Prior to working for CEA, Cassandra was an English teacher and worked for Royal Caribbean International as a 2nd Guest Relations Purser, traveling all around the world. Cassandra graduated with honors in both her bachelor's degree in Tourism Administration, and master's degree in International Business from Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (Mexico).

Cassandra has lived and travelled around the globe, including the U.S., Germany, Finland, Panama, the Caribbean, Russia, Egypt, Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, and the U.K. She hopes her travels will soon take her to South Africa or Kenya. She enjoys reassuring students they've made a wonderful decision by choosing to leave the U.S. and embark on a study abroad adventure. "It's like seeing a small seed grow, becoming independent and secure."

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Jorge Garay

Student Life Advisor

As Student Life Advisor, Jorge serves as the primary contact for students in Granada. He coordinates the student registration process and monitors students’ academic progress, helping them achieve higher language attainment through courses and internship placements. Jorge also executes students´ arrival and excursions, and addresses student questions or concerns.

Before joining CEA, Jorge worked as an administrator, quality manager, and study abroad program coordinator at the Universidad de Granada for 3.5 years. He was appointed as a French-Spanish sworn translator by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, worked as a freelance sworn translator and interpreter for some translation agencies in Andalucía, and volunteered for the Immigrants Bureau at the Red Cross in Granada. Jorge holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting and Immigration Laws from the University of Granada and a master’s degree in Foreign Trade and Quality Management from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Jorge’s travels have taken him around the world to the U.S., France, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, England, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Monaco, Malta, and Austria; he’ll soon travel to Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore. Jorge 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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Mary Alice Soriero

Academic Director

As Academic Director, Mary Alice ensures that CEA Sevilla’s academic operations seamlessly develop and implement programs of academic excellence; reviews and maintains academic policies and practices; oversees the coordination and resolution of student academic issues; and supports faculty to ensure academic quality.

Originally from the U.S., Mary Alice brings over 25 years of international work and volunteer experience to her position at CEA. She’s lived in various cultures all over the world and uses her acquired knowledge to both inform her thinking and enable others to understand culture.

Mary Alice earned a Master's of Science in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

Upon arriving in Spain in 1998, she worked as a cultural advisor for newly arrived U.S. military personnel and U.S. university students and spent more than 10 years with TCU coordinating their Sevilla program. These experiences allow Mary Alice to help students arriving in Sevilla quickly transform from excited traveler to awed and informed long-term visitor.

Mary Alice's love of foreign cultures and her knowledge of English, Spanish, Japanese, and Thai have taken her all over the world, including Peru, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Spain, and the U.S. Her work as a Peace Corp volunteer, a language teacher, and a public speaker on cultural values, combined with her travel and language experiences, have provided Mary Alice with a knowledge of extreme cultural differences and supplied her with a series of personal anecdotes that help her empower students to analyze and investigate cultural values and differences.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Teaching English of Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.

Academic Director
Lenka serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding all academic issues, including academic process management and student academic advising. She is also charged with strengthening and developing the unique relationship we have with Anglo-American University, our partner institution in Prague.

A native of Slovakia, Lenka spent a significant portion of her life living and studying in the U.S. Other travels have led her to explore much of Central and Western Europe, and she would love for her next personal adventure to take her to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Lenka 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. Lenka has worked as an assistant director and academic coordinator for a U.S. study abroad program in Munich, and as an academic director for international students in Prague.
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Ana Martínez

Academic Director

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA 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, 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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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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Nancy Walden Lemaire

Program Advisor

Nancy organizes immersion activities for students—including language exchange meetings, volunteering placements, and sports activities—addresses student questions, coordinates medical appointments, and helps processes health insurance claim forms. Nancy serves as students’ primary contact for housing; she identifies housing providers, carries out student placements, and follows up on housing issues. She also provides program support for arrival, orientation, and excursions.

Originally from England, Nancy first moved to France in 1995 where, as part of her university degree, she worked as an English Language Assistant in a French high school in the Pyrenees, before working in Paris for six years. She moved to Aix-en-Provence in 2003. Nancy has experience working in areas including tailor-made luxury travel, organizing British ministerial visits to France, PR, communications, and teaching English as a foreign language. Prior to joining CEA in 2014, Nancy provided concierge services to U.S. and British visitors throughout Provence.

Nancy received a B.A. Hons in Modern European Studies from Nottingham Trent University and speaks French fluently.

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Darragh O Briain

Academic Director

As Academic Director for CEA Dublin Center, Mr. Darragh O Briain manages faculty relationships and appointments, schedules courses, manages student and faculty grievances, assists in recommending curriculum updates, provides academic advising, and oversees the day-to-day academic activities of the CEA Dublin Center.

Mr. O Briain has vast lecturing experience in Market Research, Event Management, Marketing Communications, Sales Management and Entrepreneurship with the American College Dublin, Griffith College and the European Business School. In 2005, he was elevated to the position of Academic Director of the European Business School, where he was responsible for overseeing faculty and academia for visiting U.S. and European semester students. Mr. O Briain is the Academic Dean of The International School of Business, where is responsible for faculty, students, curriculum development, assessments and course validation. Mr. O Briain has also sat on the Academic Executive Board of Dublin Business School and been involved with an expert panel for degree course validation on behalf of HETAC (Irish State Higher Education Accreditation Committee).

Mr. O Briain holds an MA from Trinity College, where he focused his thesis studies on advertising, communication and media. He also has an Advanced Diploma in Marketing techniques and a BS in Marketing, jointly awarded by Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* HETAC (Irish Government Accreditation Agency) Expert Panel for Programme Validation

* Sat on Dublin Business School's Executive Committee

HONORS/AWARDS

* Diploma in Advanced Marketing Techniques - Dublin Institute of Technology

* Certificate in Applied Merchandising and Display - Dublin Institute of Technology

* London Chamber of Commerce Certificate in Advanced Business German

* 2007 Acknowledged for "Outstanding Contribution to Youth Work" by Dublin City Vocational Education Committee

* 2008 Honoured by the President for 10 years of quality adult service to Gaisce/The President's Award (The Presidents Citizenship scheme for young people)

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Alexandra Massini

Academic Director
Alexandra supports educational development and has taught History of Art at the CEA Rome Center since 2008. She holds her Ph.D. from the University of Warwick, a Diploma with Distinction from the Study Centre for the History of the Fine and Decorative Arts at Victoria & Albert Museum, and an MA with Double Distinction from London’s Courtauld Institute. Dr. Massini is an accomplished art history speaker and consultant, art collection collaborator, and Rome guidebook author.
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Jami Jaimes

Health and Wellness Advisor

Born in Texas. Jami Jaimes moved to the great state of Arizona when she was a child. She loves calling Arizona home and being a desert dweller in the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

A licensed clinician with the state of Arizona who works with individuals, families, and companies to aid in their areas of need, Jami has vast experience providing clinical assessments, brief interventions, crisis interventions, program development, and management. She has worked for many years evaluating the adult and children’s behavioral health systems in Arizona. She provides consultation, coaching, and training to corporations wanting to improve and enhance their work. Jamie is also a private counselor for individuals, all of which she finds exciting and rewarding.

She finds all of her different work exciting and rewarding. Jami believes the best way to help people on any level is to listen to their needs and understand what is important to them, either on an individual or professional level. For her, engagement is key in getting to the root of problems and that starts with listening and getting to know people. As a sign of her commitment giving back to the community Jamie sits on a Maricopa County Foster Care Review Board, serving children and families in the child welfare system.

Jami is a Masters-level clinician with the state of Arizona. She received her Bachelors’ degree from Arizona State University, her Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate for the Doctorate of Behavioral Health program at Arizona State University.

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Damien Kelly

Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Damien manages various American and European student programs, organizes cultural visits such as trips to Galway, Belfast, and Glendalough, is responsible for the management and promotion of the social media platforms and is responsible for day-to-day duties such as scheduling, student well-being and academic activities.

Damien took on the role of Digital Marketing Manager for The Irish Teaching and Learning Festival in 2010 before leaving Ireland to travel for two years. Damien travelled across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He worked as Sales Team Leader for Appco Australia in Perth for a year and came back to Ireland in 2013 to work in Finance as a Relationship Manager. He spent 3 years working in Ireland’s premier bank, Allied Irish Bank, where he managed relationships with some of Ireland’s most successful corporations and SMEs. Damien took on the role of Head of Communications & Development at CEA Dublin Center in January 2016. Having enjoyed several summers teaching Gaelic in Connemara, Damien now lectures in International Marketing, Marketing Communications and Digital Media for ISB and CEA programs.

Damien holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Irish from Maynooth University and a Masters in Business Management from Dublin City University. Damien’s passion in life is discovering and exploring new cultures and experiences abroad and as a member of the CEA Dublin Centre team he yearns to promote the same passion amongst the students each semester.

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Jose Balza

Student and Academic Advisor

Jose 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 relocating to Buenos Aires, Jose spent eight years working as an English professor for private institutes and universities, gaining experience in teaching and supporting students from all ages and with different language needs. He also has a professional background as a cultural events producer, handling logistics and social media presence and in management assistance for a health-related organization.

Having travelled through the USA and visited different Latin American countries, Jose is passionate about working in an international environment and using his communication, teaching oriented and social skills to bring cultures together and provide a great academic experience and support for CEA students in Buenos Aires.

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Margit Pugh

Senior Program Coordinator

As Senior Program Coordinator, Margit manages CEA’s internal systems and program data updates, and maintains critical program information such as dates, prices, and course offerings on the website and student web portal. In addition, she provides specialized administrative and logistical support for program development and global operation initiatives, develops training modules, and assists in the documentation of program policies and procedures. In this role, 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 20 different countries off her (long) ‘must visit’ list. During her studies, 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, culture, and customs. 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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Rebecca James

Regional Director - East

Rebecca's role at CEA is to cultivate and maintain relationships with study abroad offices, faculty and staff at U.S. colleges and universities to help support their education abroad goals. Based in New York City, she works primarily with schools in NAFSA Regions X and XI.

Rebecca serves as NAFSA’s France Country Coordinator through service on NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee (CAL). She has been on the CAL Subcommittee since 2010, and enjoys helping study abroad advisors and students navigate the French visa process.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in French, History and International Studies from University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina (UNC) and a Master of Arts from NYU in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for adult learners. Before joining CEA, Rebecca developed a study abroad program for Dublin Business School. She established partner institution and third party provider relationships that doubled the program's annual revenue and was solely responsible for admissions and overall program management and administration.

Rebecca first traveled abroad at 14, to England, and was keen to learn French from an early age. She participated in a French immersion program in Chicoutimi, Quebec and spent a year in Paris as an au pair after graduating from UNC.

Rebecca traveled to Hong Kong in May 2016, took a cruise up the Norwegian coast in 2017, and she is currently looking forward to (another) trip to France in 2018. Future travel suggestions are welcome, she says.

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Alex Henderson, M.Ed.

Associate Academic Coordinator

Alex Henderson is CEA’s Associate Academic Coordinator. In addition to supporting the Academic Team in day-to-day operations, Alex is responsible for the organization and logistics of all CEA transcripts. Alex previously worked as a CEA Admissions Counselor before moving to the Academic Team.

Alex is an alumni of the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he earned a B.A. in History. He is currently candidate for a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Alex lived in Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. For future travel destinations, Morocco and Argentina top the list!

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José B. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President - Academic Affairs & Initiatives

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

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

— Books

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

— Articles

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

PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED

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

Student Accounts Advisor
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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Brittni Weimer

Site Specialist Manager
I have always loved to travel. Growing up, I moved around a few times, and I believe that’s what opened my eyes to the possibility of exploring and traveling abroad. I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in International Affairs and Political Science; while in college, I studied abroad three times.

My junior year, I studied abroad for a semester in Alicante, Spain, and my love for Spain grew unconditionally. I still stay in touch with my host family from Alicante! My second study abroad experience was in London, and my third took me to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. While studying abroad, I had the chance to explore 11 different countries: my favorites include Iceland, Turkey, and Morocco. In my next travel opportunity, I would like to explore Asia.

I now live in Phoenix, AZ, and I love it! My entire family lives here, and it’s great to be around them all the time. When I’m not working with study abroad students at CEA, I have a huge passion for cooking and discovering hidden gem restaurants around town. I also like to go hiking with my friends and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the summer heat takes over.

As a Site Specialist Manager, I want to help answer any questions you have and give you all the knowledge I can about living abroad. I also want to get you very excited for your upcoming semester abroad! My biggest advice for future students is to not forget about exploring your host city. Many students go abroad and plan a trip every weekend to another country and forget to enjoy what is around them.
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Michelle Esche

Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
Custom Program Advisor Michelle Esche helps faculty and students prepare for their overseas experience. She provides support and advice on topics including housing, flights, medical insurance, visas, cell phone, and packing—all with the goal of ensuring that students and faculty have the information they need for a successful experience abroad.

Michelle brings a background in international education to her role at CEA. A graduate of DePaul University, Michelle earned her degree in Communication Studies with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. Before joining the Custom Programs Team, Michelle was a CEA Site Specialist; in this role, she advised hundreds of students through the pre-departure process on topics such as course registration, visas, and housing selection, and collaborated with international team members to align student messaging.

As an undergraduate, Michelle studied abroad through the DePaul University’s Madrid 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. When she’s working with study abroad students, Michelle often offers the following advice: “If you have the opportunity to study abroad, don’t think twice—just go! Studying abroad requires a lot of planning and preparation, but in the end it is more than worth it. Learning about a new culture and studying in a different country involves navigating new and unfamiliar situations, but that’s the beauty of studying abroad! Keep an open mind and you will be surprised with how much you learn about your host country and yourself.”
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Letizia Ialini

Acting Center Director

Letizia Ialini is responsible for coordinating aspects of student life from housing to volunteering to internships. She liaises with local housing providers to ensure quality accommodation and services to all CEA Florence students, and serves as a resource for students for all housing issues.

Letizia's experience allows her to provide expert support to colleagues in creating the student event calendar and in identifying fruitful opportunities for students, both as volunteers through the CEA C'È initiative, or as interns as requested by Florence's returning Faculty-Led programs.

Letizia studied Economics at the University of Florence. During her university career, 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, leading her to continue her studies for an academic year in Australia. Letizia greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn a new language, travel, and make friends around the world.

Prior to joining CEA in 2009, Letizia gained employment experience managing the technical office of PratoTrade, a branch of the Industrial Union of Prato, organizing expositions for national and international trade fairs. She also worked for a Florentine cooking school, and has worked with American students in study abroad schools in Florence for over three years. In her spare time, Letizia enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.

Letizia loves to help students connect with Italian culture. She thinks that overcoming the challenge of being immersed in a new and different culture and learning diverse ways of living results in personal growth and enhanced flexibility that will help students in their professional and personal lives.

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Chiara Ortolani

Academic and Internship Coordinator

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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Jessica Hankiewicz

Associate Director of Student Affairs
Jessica is primarily responsible for health, safety, and wellness—three responsibilities that CEA purposefully interconnects. She also oversees disciplinary procedures and communications.

Originally from Virginia, Jessica has spent much of her life in Europe since studying abroad as a teenager. She has lived in England, Germany, Peru, and the Czech Republic. Jessica is fluent in Czech; she enjoys learning new languages, creative writing, and exploring the Czech Republic’s amazing forests.

Jessica earned her B.A. degree from Nottingham Trent University in England. In the past, Jessica worked as a Program Manager for a study abroad program in Prague. Before that, she held a position as a Media Relations assistant for a large firm in the U.S. In Prague, she became a TEFL-qualified English teacher and taught for a large language school before becoming their TEFL Course Coordinator.
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Carolina Cisneros

Academic Advisor

As Academic Advisor, Carolina serves as liaison between students and faculty. She performs academic administrative tasks, works to improves curriculum development, and provides support to faculty in order to bring academic credit.

A native of Sevilla, Spain, Caro earned her BA in English from Universidad de Sevilla; she also holds a BA in Teaching Spanish and other Modern Languages as a Second Language. Prior to joining CEA, Caro worked with another study abroad organization as a Resident Director and faculty member. She has participated in several professional development exchanges with Pennsylvania State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Caro loves spending time with her friends and family, as well as sports and outdoor activities. She has traveled several times to the U.S. and United Kingdom, among other places, but her dream is to travel around the world. She empathizes with and understands study abroad students’ feelings, and is excited to help them during their cultural experience in Seville.

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Laura Salvadó

Program Director

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

Prior to joining CEA, 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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Devon Derousseau

Director of Student Affairs

Devon oversees the Student Life department at CEA Paris, working closely with the Student Life Advisor and Student Housing Advisor. She is responsible for program logistics, including orientation, excursions, social activities, student well-being, housing, and program budgeting. Devon also manages social media at the CEA Paris Center.

Devon holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Geopolitics from l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Toulouse, a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining CEA, Devon taught English at Lycée Saint-Sernin (Toulouse, France), while assisting the Education Abroad Program through the Toulouse-based University of California study center. A position in event management then brought her to the French Riviera in 2007.

A big part of Devon's experience abroad has been what she calls "life learning." Managing the day-to-day ups and downs that come with life in a foreign country, like figuring out the French grocery store, getting the broken sink fixed by the Toulousain plumber, mastering the red tape at the Préfecture, and trying to find humor along the way. Devon believes that "if you can find the funny, you can get through any situation, wherever your adventures may take you. You may even find inspiration for a great blog post while you're at it!"

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

Presentation: "L'Animation culturelle et sa promotion", APUAF workshop, November 2013

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Colin Hogan

Assistant Director

Colin’s role is to assist with managing the CEA Dublin center. His responsibilities include overseeing various custom programs for CEA and the International School of Business, as well as managing CEA’s international internship program. Colin also provides support in the areas of student welfare, accommodation, events and excursions, and immigration.

Colin began working in international education in 2009, when he came to Dublin as a postgraduate student and coordinated custom programs on a part-time basis. Having also worked for FIE, IES Abroad and Groupe IGS, Colin has extensive experience in study abroad for both North American and European students. As well as working for CEA Dublin, he also looks after a few Dublin-based programs for Groupe IGS, a consortium of private business schools in France. Colin lectures at both institutions, teaching courses in marketing and communications. Prior to relocating to Dublin, he was based in Chicago, Illinois and worked in sales and marketing.

Colin has a master’s in Marketing from Dublin Business School and a bachelor’s in Communication Studies and Business Administration from The University of Iowa.

Studying abroad is something Colin experienced later than most but he’s very grateful he didn’t miss out on the opportunity altogether. It opened doors for him on both personal and professional levels and allowed him to discover his greatest passion – traveling. His wanderlust has taken him to more than 45 countries across 6 continents.
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Jon Jorgenson

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 can help its university partners be more successful in internationalizing its curriculum.

Prior to joining CEA, Jon worked Expeditors International, PMT Corporation, RAM Center, and Red Wing Shoe Co. Jon's travels have taken him to 24 different countries, and he is most looking forward to visiting the Czech Republic 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."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators
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Caroline Walsh

Senior Vice President - Program Development

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

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

HONORS/AWARDS

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

Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
I grew up in Utah and started traveling internationally at age 18. My first experience outside of the U.S. was in Madrid, Spain, and I will never forget arriving there and realizing what a different world I had entered. I loved every minute of that travel experience and I haven’t stopped since!

I studied International Studies and German at the University of Utah and studied abroad for a year at the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany. One of my favorite memories of my study abroad experience was attending Volksfest—a local version of Oktoberfest in Stuttgart—and participating in an event that’s saturated in German music, food, and tradition.

One of my favorite benefits of my study abroad experience was the additional travel I was able to fit in; along with travelling all over Germany during my year abroad, I also visited Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and Sweden. Studying in Germany was a life-changing experience that has inspired me to help others to study abroad themselves. After graduating with my bachelor's degree, I moved to Mexico for almost two years, where I learned a new language and experienced a fascinating new culture. I travelled extensively in Mexico, and now consider it a second home.

As a Site Specialist with CEA, I get to tell students about one of the most rewarding things that they will ever do and to help them find the right program and destination. Outside of work, I love to study languages, hang out with friends and family, and to travel every chance that I get.

Did you know? I played the viola with my university’s orchestra while studying abroad and loved every minute of it!
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Olivia Del Viscio

Program Development Coordinator
Throughout my childhood, I always loved traveling with my family. However, it was not until I studied abroad in Rome, Italy that I was bitten by the “travel bug.” My time abroad changed my perspective on so many aspects of life–culture, history, humanity–and I found myself feeling incredibly humbled to walk the same streets the ancient Romans trekked so very long ago. As an English major and Film and Media Studies minor at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small liberal arts college in southern Minnesota, I was obsessed with the stories my beautiful Italian home held.

My current “been to” list includes Spain, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, and many cities across Italy. Before studying abroad, I believed the world was far too large to ever visit the same place twice. However, I found that there is so much richness and joy in travel and cannot imagine never exploring my Italian home again.

Outside of CEA, I love traveling whenever possible, trying new restaurants, enjoying good books and television, and going on “adventures” to new and exciting places with friends.
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Caroline Elo

Academic Coordinator

Caroline Elo joined the CEA Florence team in 2014. As Academic Coordinator, she is responsible for academic advising, coordinating course-related visits and field trips, and helping manage and monitor CEA’s online academic records program. Caroline also maintains and organizes the CEA Florence Center Resource Room, oversees textbook orders, and provides support, training, and troubleshooting for faculty and students on CEA’s academic and learning support systems.

Caroline graduated from Cornell University (New York) where she majored in German Studies and completed coursework in psychology, photography, and film studies. She was born in Budapest, Hungary and has always loved photography and learning languages. She speaks Hungarian, started learning German on trips to Salzburg as a child, and continued studying the German language throughout college and during a year spent studying abroad in Hamburg, Germany.

Caroline moved to Italy in 2006 with her family and began working in the field of study abroad in Florence. While in the U.S., she taught and worked as program coordinator for adult education programs at a community college.

She strongly believes that learning abroad goes well beyond the classroom and sees CEA’s focus on experiential education as crucial to the quality of its academic programs. She also feels that studying abroad is only the beginning of a lifelong passion for travel and exploring a larger world -- and thereby one’s own self.

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Caterina Marino

Student Services Coordinator

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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Esther Morante

Housing Advisor

As CEA Seville’s Housing Advisor, Esther advises students on issues related to housing, the adaptation process, and making the most out of their study abroad experience. She also joins students and staff at social events, immersion activities, and daytrips.

Born and raised in Seville, Esther holds a bachelor's degree in English Language and a postgraduate certificate in education from the Universidad de Sevilla. As an undergraduate student, Esther had the opportunity to study abroad in France. After graduation, Esther moved to the Canary Islands where she worked in the tourism sector and learned German. She also had the opportunity to spend a year in Ireland, a life-changing experience that increased Esther's interest in other cultures.

Prior to joining CEA, Esther worked in the education field with international students. Esther loves traveling and being in touch with other cultures. She has travelled to several European countries, including Portugal, Italy, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Esther feels that studying abroad influences students' career path, world-view, and self-confidence, all while helping them better understand their own cultural values and biases.

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Sonia Priego

Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor

As a Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor, Sonia manages the Spanish language courses to ensure high academic standards and course quality, as well as students’ registration in Spanish courses at CEA and our partner universities. She also manages the tutoring program, and organizes and supervises cultural activities designed to enhance language acquisition. In addition, Sonia teaches several Spanish language courses.

Sonia was born and raised in Alcoy, Alicante, and graduated from the University of Alicante with a degree in Hispanic Philology. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and some French. After graduation, Sonia accepted a job teaching Spanish at a small high school in Massachusetts, an unforgettable experience for her. After two years in the U.S., Sonia returned to Spain in 2002 to begin an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as Second Language at the University of Barcelona, which is how she ended up in Barcelona. She has taught Spanish for various study abroad programs in Barcelona, as well as at ESADE Business School. In her free time, Sonia enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and traveling.

Sonia became involved in study abroad because her two years abroad showed her what an incredible experience it is to live in a different country. The time she spent in the U.S. helped her to understand the world—and herself—a bit better, and this is why she encourages her students to make the most of the wonderful opportunity they have to live and study abroad.

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Julieta Matilde Cecere

Program Advisor

Julieta earned a degree in Journalism from Salvador University and studied abroad in Bethesda, Maryland, where she completed an Advanced Intensive English Program.

Before joining CEA, Julieta spent six years in the IT, non-profit, and events industries, developing her communications and presentation skills. As CEA Buenos Aires' Program Advisor, she is responsible for planning, budgeting, and executing trips, excursions, and social events, as well as supporting students with their needs on-site.

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Sarah Becker

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Sarah Becker, in her role as the Custom & Faculty-Led Program Coordinator, works closely with professors and administrators at colleges and universities to create and execute short-term custom or faculty-led study abroad programs in Argentina, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, and Spain. With extensive experience in the field of international education, Sarah works to develop motivating programs that challenge students to learn through experience.

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Global Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish, and has participated and administered various study, teach, and service learning programs in Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Thailand, and the United States. Immediately prior to joining CEA, Sarah worked as the on-site Program Director of an English teaching program in Colombia, and uses her field experience directly to the development of her programs.

Sarah’s advice to students who want to live abroad is to “forget any expectations you may have going into your experience. Don’t compare this experience to others you may have had elsewhere, and keep your mind open to trying new things!”

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Veronika Gregorová

Senior Housing Advisor
Veronika manages the Housing Department and is responsible for leading staff in responding to concerns about apartments and in preparing apartments before arrival and after departure. Veronika handles the network of relationships with local landlords to get the best housing available along with the best service. She is therefore also responsible for financial issues as well as placing students in apartments.

Veronika has had the opportunity to visit many countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, Costa Rica, Oman, U.A.E., South Africa and others. Apart from travelling and exploring, she likes running, cycling, and alpine skiing.

Veronika gained her professional experience in the travel industry, having worked for international airline companies and travel agents within the sales, marketing, and customer care fields. She has also developed her hospitality skills while running a small hotel in Prague. Veronika also participated in the Work & Travel program in the U.S. and lived in London for two years.
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Lee Sutherlin

Senior Vice President - University Relations & Marketing

Lee Sutherlin is CEA’s Senior Vice President of University Relations and Marketing. As SVP, Lee leads all aspects of revenue generation within the University Relations, Enrollment and Marketing departments and partners with colleges and universities to provide high quality international education opportunities to their students.

Lee brings strong sales and marketing leadership cultivated during her 31 years at Cengage Learning, the education content provider. Most recently, in the position of Vice President of Sales, West Region, she led a sales team of 150 people and was responsible for over $285 million in revenue.

Over her career, Lee’s passion for education, coupled with her intellectual curiosity, has driven her to coaching and mentoring successful professionals. She enjoys working alongside her team on university campuses and has visited more than 2,000 higher education institutions and met with countless professors, department chairs, deans, and other university officials.

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Carrie Myrick

Program Manager

As Program Manager at CEA, Carrie Myrick oversees program management initiatives for Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Ireland, and South Africa. Her primary focus is collaborating across domestic and international departments to ensure consistency in the program experience and performance, while continuously working with international staff to improve quality and enhance efficiency.

As the primary liaison, Carrie assists international staff in program operations, domestic communications, and standardizing on-site practices that will contribute to overall student satisfaction.

Inspired by an amazing study abroad experience in Sweden during her undergraduate program, Carrie decided to pursue a career in international education. She has since worked as an International Exchange & Study Abroad Coordinator at the Center for International Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and at the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also obtained her MBA in Vienna, Austria, worked abroad in Germany and Austria, and has traveled to more than 25 countries.

Education:

  • MBA, Webster University – Vienna, Austria
  • BJ, Journalism, Emphasis in Advertising, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Semester Abroad, Scandinavian Studies, Lund University – Lund, Sweden
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Tim Boubek

Vice President - Strategic University Partnerships

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

EDUCATION

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

Internship Specialist
I grew up on Whidbey Island in Washington and attended college at Central Washington University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing Management. I studied abroad in Seville, Spain, completing a minor in Spanish Language and Literature. While living in Seville, I had the opportunity to be an English-language tour guide — showing off my new city and all of the exciting things I learned.

In addition to travelling all over Spain, I’ve also been to Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Argentina. One of my favorite places is Sintra, Portugal, a small city just outside of Lisbon. It has some beautiful castles to explore and the language is mesmerizing.

All of these experiences played a part in leading me to Arizona! As an Internship Specialist with CEA, I am responsible for interviewing and advising all prospective internship students while coaching students to create goals and prepare holistically for their time abroad. I also coordinate with our international Placement Coordinators to seek personalized placements for each student. My goal is to make the process as exciting and seamless as possible.

When I’m not at CEA, I love to play sports (volleyball, in particular), hike, read, craft, refinish old furniture, and try new food. And I’m not done exploring the world! Next on my list would have to be Ireland to wander the beautiful countryside. Beyond that, I would love to explore the UK, Australia, Thailand and Brazil. Where don’t I want to go?

Did you know? I was chased by an elephant in the Okavango Delta in Botswana—I’ve never run so quickly!
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Ahmad Refky

Director of Custom & Faculty Led Programs
Ahmad is originally from Cairo, Egypt, where he lived for 22 years. His first foray into study abroad came when he lived in the U.S. as an exchange student during his senior year of high school. That experience inspired him to work in international education, where he has built his career over the past decade. After graduating with a BA in International Relations from the American University in Cairo, Ahmad immigrated to the U.S. in 2001, where he pursued his graduate studies at DePaul University and studied abroad in The Netherlands as part of the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture, and Society.

Ahmad’s first position in the study abroad field was as a Group Study Exchange Coordinator at The Rotary Foundation, where he worked on short-term exchange programs for young professionals interested in learning how their vocations are practiced internationally. Next, as a Training and Development Manager at the Center for Cultural Interchange, Ahmad trained field staff on J-1 visa regulations and worked with vendors to develop an online application and monitoring system for exchange students. He was also the Illinois Regional Director, responsible for recruiting field staff and placing students with qualified host families during their academic year in the U.S. Finally, Ahmad served as a College Relations Manager for Customized Programs at IES Abroad. During his four-year tenure, he oversaw the development of short-term, quarter, and semester-long programs for schools in 17 states, and represented the organization in regional, national, and international conferences.

An avid traveler, Ahmad has traveled to Lebanon, Indonesia, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. He looks forward to traveling to Italy, Spain, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, and maybe one day Antarctica.
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Daniele Bini

Student Services Advisor

As Student Services Advisor, Daniele Bini helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. While encouraging them to learn as much as possible about Florentine history, life, and culture through weekly activities, Daniele also organizes all student excursions. He considers his job extremely challenging and humbling as students' interactions with him represent some of their first interactions with Florentines and Italians.

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. Before joining the Florence team 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. While he did not study abroad as a student, he travels often for pleasure. These personal travel adventures have made him an expert traveler of the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. One of his goals is to spend an extended period of time in the U.S., and his dream is to live in San Francisco.

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Andrea Masini

Housing and Student Services Coordinator

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.

Andrea was born in Viareggio, Tuscany, a beach city famous for its vibrant and cheerful Carnival celebrations. Sun, water, colors, and cheer: Andrea's personality traits reflect these qualities in his positive attitude, his welcoming respectfulness towards those of different culture, ethnicities, faiths, and identities. Everyone is different, and diversity is a treasure!

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Aranoa Roldan

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 the Spanish culture. She also coordinates the communication processes, resources, and health and safety services that CEA Seville provides for students.

Prior to joining CEA, Aranoa organized international congresses and conventions for the Convention Center in Seville, as well as creating traveling initiatives and leading groups both national and internally for different companies in the tourism industry. Aranoa obtained a degree in Tourism at EUSA and completed her education with a post graduate course in Entrepreneur Initiatives from the Confederación de Empresarios Andaluces.

Aranoa was born in Pamplona, although has lived most of her life in Seville, a city she adores. She became fluent in English in England and lived in Boston for a year. She has travelled extensively around the U.S., Canada, and Argentina and enjoys discovering Europe, especially Italy, England, and the beautiful south of Portugal. Her favorite city in the world is San Francisco and she cannot wait to explore Brazil or Mexico.

Aranoa 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.

She dares students to take the chance, dismantle all of their previous conceptions, and really immerse in the culture.

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Blanca Alvarez

Senior Academic Advisor

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Blanca works across different fields at CEA, including academic administration, teaching Spanish, and coordinating cultural activities. The combination of these three things allows Blanca to explore and develop her main passions: culture, arts, and languages.

Blanca was born in Salamanca, Spain, where she graduated from the University of Salamanca in English Philology and Art History. After finishing her degrees, she decided to pursue her education in Barcelona, where she earned a master’s degree in Art and New Media Curatorship at ESDI (Barcelona), qualification issued by Ramon Llull University.

Before Blanca joined CEA, she worked freelance in the cultural world for institutions such as Arts Santa Monica (Barcelona) and in the studio of the international artist Antoni Muntadas. She also taught Spanish to foreigners and designed cultural activities to connect them to the Spanish culture.

Her main interests lie in all the expressions of the artistic and cultural world, reading, cinema, and travelling around the world, when she has the chance. She also likes to design and curate art exhibitions, a hobby she combines with her present job.

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Anne-Cécile Couderc

Student Life Advisor and Instructor of French

Anne-Cécile's role at CEA is to accompany students through their time abroad, helping them adjust and adapt to their new Parisian lives and host culture. She organizes orientations, excursions, and social activities throughout the program, and is an excellent resource for things to do in France.

As a professor of French as a Foreign Language, Anne-Cécile also teaches at the CEA Paris Center.

Anne-Cécile holds a Master of Arts in French as a Foreign Language from the Université de Paris X–Nanterre. Prior to joining CEA, Anne-Cécile coordinated the cultural programming for Northwestern University (Ill.) students at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

After receiving her M.A., Anne-Cécile moved to Amsterdam for six months; however, her experience lasted four years. Even though she stayed in Europe, Anne-Cécile encountered many cultural differences which she overcame with patience and an open mind. Her fondness of travel and discovering new cultures took her to Romania, Croatia, Uzbekistan, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Canada, and the U.S. Her next dream destination is Iceland, with its magical landscapes, self-empowered people, and delightful traditions.

Anne-Cécile also taught French as a foreign language in France, UK, Hungary, and the Netherlands. In addition to her teaching and administrative positions, Anne-Cécile has been a contributing author for several French Language textbooks, developed and published by Clé International. Her dedication to humanitarian work has also led her to positions teaching literacy as a volunteer for non-profit organizations throughout her career.

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Pixel 2 – Guide pédagogique with Stéphanie Callet / Clé International

* Pixel 2 – Cahier d'exercice with Stéphanie Callet / Clé international

* Pixel 4 – cahier d'exercices / Clé International

* écho Junior 1, 2, 3 – Guide Pédagogique – with Jacky Girardet / Clé International

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Christopher Adams

Internship Specialist

Through interview coaching, resume and cover letter reviewing, and goal-setting, Christopher Adams holistically prepares prospective internship students for their experience abroad. He collaborates with the onsite Placement Coordinators to align students’ internship placements with their goals and interests. He strives to make this process as comprehensive and seamless as possible.

Before joining the team at CEA, Christopher worked as a language educator in the K-12 environment, opting for language immersion experiences, especially those abroad, whenever he could. In addition to teaching Spanish courses in public and private schools and Summer immersion programs, he directed the AATSP-GA Spanish Immersion Camp Weekend and the Barcelona Summer Immersion Program for Abbey Road Programs. After five years as a language educator, Christopher returned to graduate school and completed an experiential Master of Arts in International Education Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. During his coursework, he completed graduate partnership projects with Diversity Abroad, the University of California—Santa Cruz, and Middlebury Schools Abroad in Spain.

Christopher has worked, interned, studied, and traveled extensively throughout Spain. He has also traveled in Western Europe, the Middle East, and North, Central, and South America. He has a near-native level of Spanish proficiency and dabbles in learning any other language he encounters. Christopher’s passion for language education and intercultural competency development has led him to the field of international education. He believes that we can better understand each other through the change in perspective and self-reflection that often accompanies crossing cultures.

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Cecilia Benedetti

Student Services Assistant

As Student Services Assistant, 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, travel plans and even 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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Tommaso Bonaiuti

Student Services Assistant

Tommaso joined the CEA Florence team in December 2015 as Student Services Assistant. He does his best to make the student experience abroad as smooth and pleasant as possible. As housing coordinator, he acts as the students’ main reference point for housing issues and helps the director liaise with local housing providers. Additionally, he is also responsible for identifying volunteer opportunities for CEA students.

Tommaso has a degree in translation and interpreting from the SSML Carlo Bo University in Florence, where he also studied English, Spanish, and Russian. He continued his studies in Turin, Northern Italy, where he got a Master’s degree in technical and scientific translation. Thanks to his academic background, he had the chance to work with translation agencies for a brief period before joining CEA.

While he did not study abroad during university, Tommaso has travelled all over the world and is always ready to jump on an airplane. Since travel is his greatest passion, Tommaso dreams of traveling as much as possible and spending a considerable amount of time abroad, maybe in Spain, before returning to Florence where he would like to spend his life.

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Cali Orr

Program Manager

Cali Orr serves as one of CEA’s Program Managers, working across departments and locations to ensure memorable study abroad experiences. As a Program Manager, Cali focuses on consistency, standardization, and efficiency of on-site practices.

Prior to CEA, Cali has worked in international education and operations for the past five years with a focus on streamlining interdepartmental operations. Her work has allowed her the opportunity to work on-site, collaborate with both domestic and international staff, and leverage her background in research, tourism, and logistics.

Cali’s love of travel and international education stems from her semester abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile. After this experience and receiving dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Spanish from Denison University, she returned to northern Chile to teach English. Later, she returned to the U.S. as a Host Family Coordinator and obtained her MBA at American University in Washington, D.C., while working as a Program Manager for domestic programs. Cali has traveled to 15 countries and strongly believes in the transformative power of study abroad.

Education:

  • MBA, American University- Washington, D.C.
  • BA, Psychology and Spanish, Denison University- Granville, Ohio
  • Semester Abroad- Viña del Mar, Chile
  • English Teacher Abroad- Arica, Chile
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Kelly Wilkinson

Regional Director - Southwest

Kelly's role is to 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 can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.

Kelly obtained his Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. and his Bachelor's Degree in History from Principia College in Elsah, Ill. He credits his high school study abroad experience in Germany with sparking his interest in obtaining a career in international education.

Kelly has traveled to over 35 countries after first getting a taste of travel through a high school exchange to Germany. After graduating from college, he spent a year each teaching in both Chile and Honduras. Leading high school groups to Mexico kickstarted his professional career in Study Abroad. And since then he has traveled throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia including some of his favorite locations: Iceland, South Africa, Spain, and The Maldives. Kelly would love for his next personal adventure to take him to Lithuania – where he can do some heritage seeking, explore the Trakai Castle, trace the ancient Amber Road, and see a statue and museum in Vilnius dedicated to one of his ancestors.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
  • NAFSA Member
  • NAFSA Region III Team and Texas State Representative
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Denisa Matsche

Internship Program Coordinator
Denisa maintains a network of host sites where CEA students can complete internships. She counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. She also provides support and guidance to student interns on site.

Intrigued by foreign cultures and fascinated by people and human behavior, Denisa is interested in cultural theories and personality psychology. She is a passionate hiker and traveler that never wastes the opportunity to explore the world. What she cannot capture in photos, she expresses in her music, dance, and drawings.

Denisa holds a master’s degree in English Language and Literature from Masaryk University in Brno and a master’s degree in American Studies from Charles University in Prague. During her studies, Denisa spent a semester abroad at the University of Copenhagen. Denisa worked at our partner university, AAU, in the past as well as various non-profit organizations. She also has experience in the hospitality, sports industries, and film production, where she served as a production assistant/coordinator.
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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 Paris academic programs.

Elisa supports the Academic Dean, faculty, and students at the CEA 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, 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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Alice Pagano

Student Services Assistant

As Student Services Assistant, Alice helps CEA students feel at home while in Florence. She supports them in their everyday requests and helps them make the most of their time abroad by giving tips on life in Florence. She considers this job very important and values the interaction with students as a great opportunity for cultural and personal enrichment.

Alice holds a degree in foreign languages from the University of Florence, where she studied English, Spanish, and French. As part of her studies, Alice completed an internship with an American university in Florence, and after graduating, she worked in the fashion industry for Florentine designer Salvatore Ferragamo. She joined the CEA Florence team in December 2017.

Alice has had a passion for learning languages since she was a child, and she plans on becoming a certified teacher of Italian as a foreign and second language. She understands the benefits and challenges of living abroad, as she herself had a study experience in Portsmouth, UK when she was 19. She strongly believes in the importance of studying abroad, as it can help students overcome their limitations and learn to embrace different cultures.

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Yoann Buidin

Student Housing Advisor and Instructor of French

Yoann coordinates student and faculty housing, from sourcing new facilities to working with students on logistics and adaptation. In addition to his administrative position, you can also find Yoann in the classroom where teaches French at the CEA Paris Center.

Yoann holds a Master of Arts in International Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the l'Université de Lille III. Before joining CEA, Yoann taught French at West Virginia University and worked as a Graduate Student Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. He has lived in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, and has travelled extensively in North America, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, England, Turkey, and Germany. Yoann is the creator of Ma Vie Aux Etats-Unis, a YouTube channel based on his life in the U.S.

Yoann believes that studying abroad is a life changing experience – maybe even a once-in-a-lifetime experience! He understands how scary the new and foreign can be, which is why he loves being able to help students through this exciting transition into their new Parisian lives!

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Eric Canny, Ed.D.

Vice President - Program Management
Eric has managed the reorganization and expansion of international operations at four higher educational institutions. His work focuses on creating effective enhancements that meet diverse internal and external client needs in a continually changing international education landscape, improving organizational systems and structures for clarity, and streamlining communication and data-flow processes.

Eric has 23 years of experience in educational policy and programming, academic curriculum development and accreditation, admissions, risk assessment and crisis management, student and staff development, and non-profit event management. He’s currently focused on developing cutting-edge assessment models, both in and outside of the classroom setting, that track student learning outcomes longitudinally and multi-dimensionally.

Eric has authored articles on various international education issues, including a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad, Fourth Edition. He recently published a chapter on "Study Abroad Retention and Student Success" in "Critical Assessment and Strategies for Increased Student Retention" (IGI Global.) He presents globally on topics relating to international education and diversity; risk assessment and mitigation; and the deployment of technology in global operations of higher educational institutions, with a particular focus on the specific needs of global processes while integrating with other systems.

He is a faculty member at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, in the doctoral program for organizational leaders, where he combines theory with real-life application. Eric serves on the Board of Directors for various international foundations focused on sustainable change and innovation in a wide range of policy areas including: education, environment, health, diversity, religion, gender, and economic equality. He is also co-founder of a documentary film company focusing on these issues.

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

Eric received his BFA and MA from New York University and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.
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Carissa Williams

Regional Director - Southeast

Based in Atlanta, GA, Carissa's role is to 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 can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization. Before joining CEA in January 2012, Carissa worked at the University of Wisconsin-Stout as the Study Abroad and National Student Exchange Coordinator. She was named 'Advisor of the Year,' an award voted on by students.

Carissa obtained her Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Carissa is also a graduate of the NAFSA Academy (Class 10).

Carissa credits her love for travel and curiosity of other countries and cultures to her parents who encouraged her to participate in a German exchange program in high school. Carissa's travels have taken her to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Scotland, Taiwan, Japan, England/Wales, Turkey, India, Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic. She one day hopes to visit Russia, South Africa and Fiji (to name a few). When traveling abroad, Carissa reminds students to go with an open mind and positive attitude; the experience is what you make of it!

Currently, Carissa is the Chair for the Lessons from Abroad Conference in Georgia and is active in the Georgia Association of International Educators (GAIE). Carissa has also presented at GAIE, TAIE, and NAFSA Regional conferences.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

EDUCATION

  • MA, International Education – SIT Graduate Institute (VT)
  • BA, Business Administration – University of Wisconsin – River Falls (WI)
  • NAFSA Academy Graduate (Class 10)
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Radka Semerakova

Senior Student Services Advisor
Radka manages the Student Services Department and Custom Programs. The Student Services Department runs all the activities and excursions, organizes visa advising, arrivals, and orientation, and continually responds to students’ questions and concerns. Custom Programs organizes academic programs in Prague for U.S. universities that are run by the U.S. university faculty. This includes providing activities, site visits, accommodations, and other support.

Radka lived and studied in Canada for four years. She loves travelling, getting to know new cultures and people, hiking, and cycling.

In the past, Radka worked for various travel agencies and was a tour guide in Spain. She also has experience as an assistant in the HR department at PwC.
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Sandra Tomás

Senior Student Services Advisor

Sandra is the primary contact for students in all issues related to student services. She keeps the Director informed and responds to student concerns in a timely manner. Sandra provides support to housing and academic coordinators and is responsible for assisting in planning and implementation. She also provides students with weekly email bulletins and supports students in their transition into the local environment.

Sandra was born in Brussels to Spanish parents. Thanks to her origins, she has always experienced the Spanish culture. After finishing her studies in 2001, she moved to the Catalan capital where she started her career in the tourism industry, working mainly for incoming travel agencies. She was also involved in projects for a European business women's association, financed by the European Commission.

Sandra earned a degree in Tourism at the Superior University School ISALT in Brussels and did a four-month internship in Barcelona during her last academic year. Sandra speaks Spanish, French, English, and Catalan.

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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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Petra Mesiková

Student Services Advisor
As Student Services Advisor, Petra is responsible for the coordination and organization of activities and excursions and handling visa, arrivals, and orientation. She also acts as a primary contact at the Center for student questions or concerns.

Petra likes traveling, yoga, hiking, and everything connected with culture and the arts.

She holds a B.A. degree in English Language and Literature and an M.A. degree in Culture Management, both from Masaryk University in Brno. During her studies, she participated in an exchange study program in Spain and an internship program in Germany. She also had the chance to take part in a summer course in New York City and later returned to the US for a Work and Travel experience.
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Eric Schueller

Regional Director - Great Lakes

As University Partnership Development Manager, Eric oversees all the organization’s university-facing marketing, communications, and relationship development strategies. Eric’s mission is to enhance CEA’s visibility and brand recognition amongst its university partners.

Before coming to CEA, he worked for St. Ambrose University and Vactor Manufacturing. Eric's travels have taken him to 13 different countries and lists Croatia as his next international destination. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Marketing from St. Ambrose University (Iowa).

Eric likes to give prospective international travelers this advice: "Dare to get lost or explore without using a map. You might stumble upon a local treasure like a hidden restaurant or plaza. When you are abroad allow yourself the chance to take it all in; the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. Push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • NAFSA e-Learning – Introduction to Education Abroad
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Mónica Rodriguez

Senior Program Administrator

As part of the Student Support Team, Mónica's role is to oversee and coordinate all logistics related to Student Services. She focuses on health and safety issues, acts as procedures and Health Services liaison, contributes to the organization and operation of student arrival and orientation, and to the execution and continuous improvement of the Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program. By creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Mónica works to ensure CEA students receive the quality assistance and guidance they need to make the most of their experience abroad.

Born in Barcelona, Mónica has spent time in England, France, and Morocco. While still in school, Mónica spent some months as a hotel trainee in Paris and rural England. It was here she discovered her love of travel and meeting people from different places. After finishing her studies, she worked in London's hotel industry. As a result of her interest in other cultures, she lived for a while in Fès (Morocco) doing volunteer work and learning about the Moroccan culture, language, and way of life. When she came back to Barcelona, Mónica worked as a group organizer and tour leader for incoming travel agencies.

Mónica earned a Tourism Degree at the University of Girona. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and French.

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Natalie Hadwigerová

Housing Advisor
Natalie provides direct assistance to students and local landlords to resolve housing issues in a timely manner. Natalie also is integral to preparing apartments before arrival and after departure. She assists the Senior Housing Advisor as needed.

As a humanities graduate, she loves to learn about new cultures and enjoys art of any sort. Natalie often visits galleries and multifunctional cultural spaces with a special interest in modern and abstract art.

Natalie earned her B.A. degree in Humanities, Society, and Culture at Anglo-American University in Prague, where she is now continuing in the M.A. program. As a member of the Student Council, she has been actively involved in the development of a lively multi-cultural environment. Her primary responsibility is the management of various social and cultural events. Along with her studies, she worked as a PR Assistant and Social Media Manager.
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Giustina Pelosi

Regional Director - Northwest

As a Regional Director based out of Portland, OR., Giustina Pelosi works 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 can assist in the success of the campus’ agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining the University Relations Team at CEA, Giustina worked as the Faculty-Led Programs and International Internships Advisor for Portland State University. Giustina has held several positions across the field of international education including work with IE3 Global Internships, the Academy for Global Exploration, and the Hillsboro School District’s Migrant Education Program. Furthermore, she has been very active in developing and leading re-entry programming including serving as Co-Chair for the NW Returnee Conference on Education Abroad as well as developing peer advisor programs to serve as ambassadors on several campus’ throughout the Northwest. Giustina has studied abroad both in Spain and Italy, worked as a volunteer English Teacher in Ecuador, led students through Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and enjoyed travel to many more countries.

Giustina decided on a career in international education after returning from a study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain during her undergraduate studies. Giustina has continued to explore different countries across the globe and enjoys how each experience continues to open her eyes to undiscovered truths about herself and the world around her. She believes studying abroad is a privilege to which all students should have access and encourages students to make an educated decision when choosing an overseas program. “Your options are limitless when exploring abroad opportunities, the key to a successful abroad experience is in articulating your goals - personal, professional, and academic - and selecting the experience that best complements those goals while providing an environment that is both supportive and challenging.”

Currently, Giustina is a member of the founding leadership team for PDX Abroad, an association for education abroad professionals in the Portland area, and serves on the NAFSA’s Financial Aid Subcommittee for Education Abroad Rules & Policies (EARP).

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
EDUCATION:
  • MS, College Student Service Administration - Intercultural Relations (OR)
  • BS, International Studies - Spanish Language & Culture (WA)
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Beatriz Rovira

Housing Advisor

Bea is responsible for creating the best experience for CEA students while in Barcelona. As part of the Student Support Team, she focuses on student accommodation, ensuring the commitment and enthusiasm of our host families as well as the quality and suitability of our apartments and residencias. Bea provides students with the assistance and guidance they need to become familiar with their new surroundings and adapt to life within a new community. Creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Bea also participates in the onsite Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program.

Bea earned a degree in tourism through the University of Barcelona. She has worked in a holiday apartment company and participated in internships in the hotel industry in Barcelona and in the Costa Brava in Girona, and as the coordinator for summer programs for international students in Barcelona. She has also organized academic year programs and summer camps abroad for Catalan students, mainly in the U.S., England, and Ireland.

After her positive experience abroad in a boarding school in Ireland, Bea recommends students be open to a different culture and gain the most of the each unique moment.

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Lenka Kadeřábková

Internship and Custom Programs Advisor

Lenka Kadeřábková serves as the CEA Prague Internship and Custom Programs Advisor. In this role, Lenka works directly with students and host organizations to make effective individualized internship placements. She also helps with custom programs, especially those that include an internship component. Lenka served as Project Manager for Startupjobs. Throughout her university study, she was involved with the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, most recently as the National Exchange Coordinator. Lenka has a Master’s degree in Microbiology and completed internships herself in Jordan and Vietnam.

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Larry Hogan

Regional Director - Mid Atlantic

As a Regional Director based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Larry cultivates and maintains relationships with U.S. colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region, supporting their study abroad goals by keeping them abreast of CEA program offerings and opportunities. He works closely with university advisors, faculty, and staff to support the student exploration, advising, and registration processes, and to identify how CEA can promote campus’ internationalization agendas.

Before joining CEA, Larry worked for University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in positions including Academic Advisor and Assistant Director of Third Party Operations. In these roles, Larry worked closely with students to identify international and domestic opportunities that fit into their degree plans. He also maintained relationships with other universities to define course articulations that standardized transfer credit opportunities. Beyond his academic advising duties, Larry coordinated with third party agencies, private business entities, and international universities to increase opportunities for students by building partnerships that provided tuition discounts or tuition deferral options.

Larry obtained his BA in Psychology from Goucher College, the first college in the nation to require all of its undergraduate students to study abroad. He decided on a career in international education after returning from a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain during his time at Goucher. As a part of this program, Larry also had the opportunity to spend time in London, Madrid, and Amsterdam. He believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad, as it’s truly a transformative experience that allows students to explore different ways of communicating, working, learning, and living.

Larry went on to complete his MS in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Global & International Education at Drexel University. Larry completed his thesis on the impact study abroad has on a student’s career choices five to 10 years after graduation. He is a member of NAFSA.

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Karolína Kašparová

Senior Program Administrator

Karolína Kašparová serves as the Senior Program Administrator for CEA Prague. This role is an important part of the CEA Prague team. She will support the CEA Prague Center by providing HR, finance, and facilities support. Before coming to CEA Prague, Karolína served as Operations Manager at a co-working facility in Prague, where she handled HR, finance, operations, and communications. She studied Education at Charles University in Prague and sings in an a cappella group.

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Alexis Jones

Regional Director – Central States

As a Regional Director based in Kansas City, Alexis works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions in KS, MO, AR, IL, IN, OK, and TN. The goals of this collaborative relationship are increasing study abroad participation and achieving the institutions’ broader vision of internationalization. Alexis cooperates with campus partners to develop custom, faculty-led programs and to advise students about CEA's study abroad and internship programs.

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.

One of her primary goals throughout her career has been to educate students about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that enhance their academic and professional growth. She looks forward to connecting with students throughout the Central States to share CEA’s study and internship opportunities with them.

EDUCATION:

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

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Maria Mateu

Experiential Learning Coordinator

As CEA Barcelona’s Experiential Learning Coordinator, Maria's role is to ensure the good process of daily operations related to experiential learning programs, including volunteering, international service learning, and career mentoring. Maria teaches Cross Cultural Management and Career Development courses at the CEA Barcelona Center. Along with her work at CEA, Maria delivers intercultural training workshops to individuals and groups, helping them develop and enhance their intercultural competence so they can work and live effectively across cultures.

Prior to joining CEA, Maria worked as an intercultural trainer and diversity management consultant for a wide range of organizations in the social, private, and public sectors. Originally from Catalonia, she has lived and worked in Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. She holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and Relations from Lesley University (Massachusetts), an MA in International

Development, and a bachelor’s in Communication/Journalism, both from Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain). She speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, French, and basic Kiswahili.

She is currently a member of the Board of SIETAR Spain (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research), the Spanish branch of an international organization that seeks common understanding and cooperation among people from different cultural backgrounds. Maria is passionate about cultural diversity and strongly believes that studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to broaden perspectives and develop the skills needed in a complex, changing, and interdependent global world.

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Sean Williams

Regional Director – New England

Prior to entering the field of international education, Sean worked in corporate law and international finance for a decade. Since his career change, Sean has held a variety of leadership positions in global internship program management, career development, employer relations, study abroad, and university relations. He is the former Site Director for EUSA and the Academic Internship Council in Boston, the former Director of Internship Programs & Client Relations at Intrax in New York City, and was most recently the Director of Institutional Relations for Dream Careers.

Sean is a graduate of Connecticut College and studied abroad at Oxford University, New College during his junior year. He also completed a year of graduate studies in the Economic History of Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the London School of Economics. He’s a graduate of the Senior Leadership Executive Education Program in Non-Profit Management at Columbia Business School.

Sean lives in the Boston area.

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Laura Madden

Regional Director - California

Based out of Los Angeles, Laura works closely with university faculty and staff to support student growth through study and internship abroad opportunities. She identifies ways CEA can assist its university partners achieve their internationalization goals.

Laura obtained her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business & Marketing from DePaul University and her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations & Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has 11 years of professional international education experience. Her most recent position was at DePaul University working within the Global Engagement Office.

Laura studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain during her undergraduate studies, discovering how study abroad can exponentially enrich your career and your life. Shortly after graduating, Laura worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an experience that launched her career in international education. Laura has a deep passion for international education and works tirelessly to enable as many students as possible to study and work abroad.

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Steven Paschal

University Partnership Coordinator
As the University Partnership Coordinator based out of Phoenix, AZ, Steven Paschal works closely with the Regional Directors and University Advisors to support the student exploration, advising, and registration processes. He also helps them identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus’ agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining the University Relations Team, Steven worked as a Team Lead for the Admissions Counselors at CEA. In this position, he managed a group of Admissions Counselors while also providing advising and guidance to prospective students. Steven brings over two years of experience as a CEA Admissions Counselor to this position, giving him a unique understanding of CEA’s programs and the student process.

Steven obtained his BA in Anthropology from the College of Charleston, where he developed a passion for other cultures and expanding his world view. He decided on a career in international education after his undergraduate study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina and continues to explore new cultures every day. Steven believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad, as it’s a life changing experience that provides them with a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
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Keziah Diaz

Director of Operations - University Relations

Keziah Diaz provides operational support to the University Relations team. She helps create streamlined and efficient processes, refines assessment measures such as reporting and conference management, and supports the University Relations team to provide excellent service to University Partners. Keziah also oversees the CEA Alumni Ambassador Program.

Prior to joining CEA, Keziah worked for the University of Advancing Technology as Manager of Student Affairs, where she was responsible for student life, student government, student tutors, and transfer credits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia and a Master of Science in Technology Leadership from the University of Advancing Technology (Ariz.).

Keziah's travels have taken her to eight countries and she looks forward to traveling throughout Italy. Her advice for first time travelers is to "always take the scenic route."

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Ashley Bohac

Senior University Relations Coordinator

As Senior University Relations Coordinator, Ashley Bohac provides support for the University Relations team, prepares for study abroad fairs, and coordinates events. Originally from Nebraska, Ashley attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. While obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, she completed a study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria. After graduation, she gained additional international experience through participation in a volunteer program in Vietnam and South Korea.

Ashley joined CEA in 2013 as a Site Specialist, where she advised students as they prepared for study abroad programs in Berlin, London, and Prague. Ashley enjoys using her own study abroad and travel experiences to help students as they embark on their own adventures; she would most like to travel to St. Petersburg and hone her Russian language skills.

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Laura Higgs

Manager of Alumni Relations
As Alumni Relations Manager, Laura oversees the Alumni Ambassador program and engages CEA alumni through re-entry programming. Laura’s mission is to provide leadership opportunities to returning students so they can begin to utilize their study abroad experience to their advantage in their future careers.

Before coming to CEA, Laura worked for Rotary International, Trinity University, and iE-USA. Laura completed a Rotary Youth Exchange to Argentina during high school that inspired her to study abroad in both Spain and Argentina while in college. She has continued to expand her travels to other parts of Europe and India.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College and a Master of Science in Global and International Education from Drexel University.

Laura speaks Spanish fluently and hopes to travel to Brazil and Thailand in the future.
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Shayla Auer

Alumni Relations Associate
As the Alumni Relations Associate at CEA, Shayla Auer continues to build a strong Alumni Ambassador team that promotes study abroad on U.S. college campuses. Shayla enjoys helping CEA alumni translate their study abroad experiences into life and career skills and further share their international experiences on their home campuses.

Originally from Arizona, Shayla attended University of Colorado in Boulder. While earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she completed a study abroad program in Seville, Spain. After graduation, Shayla moved back to southern Spain to teach and work in the field of study abroad. Since 2012, Shayla has worked within various departments at the CEA Headquarters in Phoenix and on-site at the CEA Seville Center.

Living in Spain for five years, Shayla learned to speak Spanish and continued her world travels. A few of her favorite locations are Portugal, Costa Rica, and Australia! Working and studying abroad has had a powerful impact on her life and career path. Her international experiences inspired her to pursue a career in international education and to share her experiences with others considering a study abroad experience. Next on her travel list – Buenos Aires, Argentina!
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Adrian Beaulieu, Ed.S.

Dean of International Studies - Providence College
Adrian Beaulieu oversees education abroad as Providence College’s first-appointed dean of international studies. For 25 years, Dean Beaulieu has served on many program advisory boards and has presented at many national and regional conferences with a focus on study abroad issues particular to private liberal arts colleges.

He serves as a member of the Forum on Education Abroad, as a certified reviewer for the Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) peer-review process, and as a certified assessor for the Forum’s professional certification program. His areas of interest and expertise include quality assurance, program and curriculum development, and student engagement.

Before joining Providence College, he held study abroad director positions at George Washington University and Smith College. Dean Beaulieu holds an Ed.S. degree in higher education administration from George Washington University and a S.T.L degree in theology and Christian ritual from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. He is a proud charter member of Red Sox Nation.
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Aileen Curley

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexandra Harbour

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexis Gilbert

Alumni Ambassador

1. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

When traveling abroad, remember: Have a travel companion, find a respectable hostel, map out the area around, exchange currency, and inform your parents, program advisors, and roommates of planned whereabouts.

Because many students abroad do not have international service and use Wi-Fi for their means of communication, it is important to locate coffee shops where you can check in with your family and plan the directions for your day. Always know the exchange rate, have your currency needs taken care of before you leave, and bring a few bills of your host country’s current to avoid mishaps when traveling between the two cities. Always be aware of your surroundings when traveling between countries and be courteous and adaptable to the social norms. Last, but not least, take pictures and enjoy yourself within the new cities that you will be exploring. Make sure to pick up a small souvenir, like a postcard, from each place that you travel to so that you can always have those memories with you.

2. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My study abroad experience has taught me that there is more to the world than I am accustomed to. I travel frequently within the United States, but always knew that there was something much greater outside of my country’s borders. Not knowing much about the city of Prague, I was intrigued and excited to be exploring this country and the areas around it. I have traveled to many places over the months, and the most important things that I have learned is to take risks, show compassion, and work hard to achieve my goals. I have always reminded myself to have faith in my aspirations/dreams, but these ideas have become more prevalent since I began traveling outside of the Czech Republic. I have learned humility when encountering foreign travelers because we have been in their shoes while exploring new cities, trying to navigate and find a common language within the barriers with those who we might encounter.

This entire experience has opened my eyes to opportunities and revealed how similar we all are, no matter where we are in the world. I was accepted by others, and realized that we all share more similarities than differences within cultures. We each want to achieve success and live our passions. My experience abroad has helped me mature emotionally, culturally, and intellectually.

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Alexis Pagel

Assistant Academic Coordinator
As CEA’s Assistant Academic Coordinator, Alexis Pagel supports the Academic Team through organizing all CEA transcripts and working with course syllabi. She is a University of Arizona alumni with a B.S. in Public Management and Policy, as well as a CEA alumni of the Prague, Czech Republic program. She is currently a master’s degree candidate in Arizona State University’s Public Administration program.
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Alice Corcoran

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alivia Lee

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?  

My study abroad experience has given me more drive than I ever thought possible. While I was abroad I was constantly looking at the cultures I was immersed in and thinking to myself, “Wow, I’ve never been so inspired.” Being in Europe really showed me what I want to do with my life. I am an international Business major so I have always been interested with working internationally, but, after studying abroad, my passion has grown immensely. I saw what my potential life could be. I pictured myself working for International companies such as Zara and Adidas. On my plane ride home I reflected on my trip and I promised myself to work harder and longer so that I could make this life I experienced for 5 weeks my future life. Seeing the world taught me to dream big and I am forever thankful for that.

2. What were your favorite spots in the city?

I visited Barcelona for 5 weeks this past summer, and everything in sight was nothing short of amazing. This question is particularly hard because it’s Barcelona! How can I narrow it down in 200 words? There was one site we visited that completely took our breath away. My roommates and I were simply looking for a little hike on a Thursday night, completely unaware of the magic we were about to see. The place we went was called Bunker Hill, or Bunker del Carmel. We took a taxi to the point where the taxi was no longer able to go past and we walked the rest of the way up. We soon were surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere. Everywhere around us was full of people, conversations, music, and food. From the top of Bunker Hill we could look out and see all of Barcelona. This wonderful atmosphere continued and only got better as the sun set. The sky then turned into millions of sparkling lights from the city lights to the stars. It was a simple spot full of beautiful views and good people.
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Allie Goodman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alyssa Jackson

Site Specialist

Although I grew up in Wisconsin, I was introduced to the wonders of travel early, as my family took yearly road trips around the U.S. This led to a fascination with international travel as well, so, in high school, I traveled to Costa Rica with my high school. This was just the beginning. As an undergrad, I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand, which was an amazing experience. After graduating from college, I was unsure of what I wanted to do, so I worked in the hospitality field and traveled when I could. When I discovered I could work in study abroad, I chose to pursue my Master’s in International Education Management with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which gave me the understanding of the international education field that I wanted before launching my career with CEA.

I have been lucky enough to travel to a large variety of countries, including Haiti, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Fiji, Denmark, and Italy, and more. Of course, I hope to continue exploring the rest of the world as well as all of the beautiful spots within the U.S. When I’m not having adventures abroad, I entertain myself by playing volleyball, exploring nature, going to trivia nights, reading good books, and watching movies in the theater.

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Alyssa Wolk

Assistant Academic Coordinator
Culture, food, and traditions always inspire me. In high school, when the opportunity arose to travel to Europe, a spark inside me ignited. My study of Anthropology and Earth Science at University of California, Irvine fanned that flame! While at UCI, I studied abroad in two magnificent and very different destinations: Be'er Sheva, Israel, and the Waikato region of Aotearoa New Zealand for a total of 15 months. While completely immersed in these two amazing, fabulously diverse cultures and environments, I met many inspiring people from all around this beautiful world that continue to teach and humble me to this day.

I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, France, Germany, England, Israel, Jordan, and Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as many wonderful places in the States. However, my list of where I’d like to travel is much longer! As much as I wish to travel to many new destinations, I made my two study abroad destinations my "homes," and would love to go back and spend time reconnecting with my friends, "family," and the beautiful environments there.

Outside of CEA, I enjoy hiking, reading, painting, do it yourself (DIY) crafting, baking, playing with animals (especially cats), watching Netflix, going to museums, and—of course—travelling!

Did you know? I was in marching band and color guard in high school and I enjoy dancing!
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Amanda Moline

Site Specialist

Some of my very first and fondest memories are the ones that I made while living in Japan with my family from ages five to seven. I don’t remember much, but the little I do remember—things such as images of cherry blossoms, the refrains of traditional songs, and the energy at local festivals—instilled a life-long passion for Japanese language and culture and languages and cultures in general.

After moving back to Arizona, I studied Japanese, German, and Russian at Northern Arizona University, where I majored in modern languages. I studied abroad in Fukuoka, Japan for a semester and volunteered to teach English to Japanese elementary school students. This experience inspired me to work abroad as an assistant language teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program for over three years in Fukushima, Japan. I also spent an additional two years working as an English teacher and international exchange program coordinator for a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.

As someone whose life was changed by studying and living abroad, I feel privileged to help CEA students with their own life-changing experiences. I want to help equip students with the knowledge they need to feel confident and excited about their upcoming international adventures. When I’m not at CEA, I enjoy watching Netflix, besting my friends at Mario Kart, playing with my dogs, and brushing up on my language skills for my next trip!

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Amanda Vecchio

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San José 
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Amy Conger, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost and Director of Global Engagement - University of Michigan
Amy Conger is the Associate Vice Provost and Director of Global Engagement at the University of Michigan (U-M). In this role, she supports international platforms for multidisciplinary research, student programs (currently China, Ethiopia, and India), institutional partnerships, and legal agreements for student mobility. As a former Director of International Engineering Programs, she has extensive experience in program development for STEM education abroad, internships, and co-curricular design/service learning projects. Dr. Conger continues to teach ENGR 260: Engineering Across Cultures and co-leads research in the development of culturally informed design skills and the integration of ethnographic methods in engineering education. She also manages a large-scale assessment project for Engaged Learning at Michigan.

In terms of operations, Dr. Conger manages the U-M Global Engagement Team, a central service and consulting group for all academic units offering international programs. She co-develops and implements campus-wide policies for education abroad (academic credit and co-curricular experiences) and manages campus-wide infrastructure for education abroad and domestic engaged learning (on-line application management system, university travel registry, Global Michigan website, and internal and external reporting).

She earned her Ph.D. in higher education from the U-M, concentrating in comparative higher education and public policy. She earned her M.A. and B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her prior experience includes serving as an Advisor to the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange in Belgium, conducting fieldwork in the Republic of South Africa, and teaching English in the U.S. and Mexico. She represents the U-M as an elected member of the Global Engineering Educational Exchange (GE3) Executive Committee and as a member of the Fulbright National Screening Committee and the Boren Scholarship Panel.
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Andrew Mantone

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San Jose
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Annalise Pownall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Anthony Rotolo

Alumni Insider
*Ask me about Internships!
1. What are your best language tips? 
I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and never once felt confident conversing in the language. After one semester studying Italian in Florence, Italy, I am very confident in my Italian language skills and am comfortable walking into a conversation in Italian! Learning a language in a place where that language is the primary spoken language is 10x easier than learning it in a classroom in the States. Every day after walking out of class you can practice what you learned with locals. You need to learn how to read signs and store names in Italian to get by. Your mind is not only thinking about the language while you are in class, it is thinking about it everywhere you go every day. I also practiced Italian at my internship abroad and with my family in Southern Italy who spoke no English! By the end of the semester I was so comfortable in Italian that during my travels after I met Italians and carried conversations solely in Italian! I am amazed by how well I learned Italian while abroad and now I plan to continue with more classes at my home institution!

2. What would you say if you had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad?
Study abroad! Just do it! There are certain times in your life when you can do something huge that can have a lasting impact on your life, and this is one of those times. There is a saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I have heard this in a different context that I prefer more: “When you are young you have the time and desire to do things, but you don't have the money. When you enter the real world, you have the money and desire to do things but you don't have the time. When you are old you have the money and the time, but you don't have the desire to do them anymore.” Looking at the world we live in, I see this to be true in many cases. If you are fortunate enough to have the financial ability to study abroad, you need to take advantage of the opportunity. Before you know it, you will be working a full-time job and your time might be completely consumed. This experience will open your mind to the different possibilities of life in this world! This experience taught me that the saying I mentioned before, about youth being wasted on the young, is not true in all cultures. It opened my mind to the possibility of a different lifestyle. It sprouted new career ideas in my mind that I had never thought of before and helped me to abandon many skewed views I had on the world! When else in your life are you going to have the opportunity to live in another country for months at a time! Some people might have that opportunity later in life, but for most of us this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is a difference between traveling among foreign countries and living in one! Study abroad, it will change your life!
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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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Ashley Cooper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Betsy Kaplan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Arizona
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Brooke Begich

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Seville, Spain
Home University: Humboldt State
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Caitlyn Bilow

CEA MOJO Blogger in London, England
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London, England
Home University: DePaul University
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Cara Appleton

Admissions Counselor
As a native of Phoenix, Arizona, from a very young age, I would hear my friends speaking Spanish and knew that learning Spanish was something I must do. I first studied abroad during high school in Santa Fe, Argentina, and continued to work on my Spanish language skills while attending Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. During my junior year, I studied abroad again, this time in northern Spain. While in Spain, my host family was the best. When I would mess up a word or get confused, they were so helpful, and their corrections often provided amusing stories I would later share with my friends. During my time in Spain, I traveled to Italy over Easter Break. Italy was amazing and gave me the chance to eat gelato and see the Colosseum in all its gladiator glory.

After returning, I spent a summer interning in San Jose, Costa Rica. The “Ticos,” as those from Costa Rica call themselves, are warm and inviting, and their Spanish is very easy to understand. There were many late nights I spent talking with my Tico friends, listening to the tree frogs sing, accompanied by a massive plate of roasted chicken, rice and beans, and more fresh, tropical juice than you can shake a stick at!

Are you dreaming of studying abroad? As an Admissions Counselor with CEA, I can guide you through the process to make that dream a reality. I am excited to get you started in selecting a program that fits your personal, academic, and financial needs. When not counseling students on study abroad, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with my cuddly dog, and exploring the Arizona desert.
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Cari Vanderkar, Ph.D.

Director, International Center - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
As the Senior International Officer for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Dr. Vanderkar serves as a strategic partner in leading university global initiatives. She is engaged with faculty and the campus community on enhancing international partnerships and with initiatives involving international student retention and success, curriculum internationalization, and diversity and inclusivity. Dr. Vanderkar has extensive experience managing study abroad, exchange, and faculty-led programming; health, safety, and risk management; program development and administration; and consortium leadership.

Dr. Vanderkar earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of Oregon, where she researched post-socialist transition in Eastern Europe and conducted an ethnography on Moravian village life in the Czech Republic. She has been in the international education field for over 20 years and has managed study abroad efforts for thirteen years.
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Celia Skvaril

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Chandler Stroh

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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Charlotte Mabry

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Chloe Jacobs

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

It will change you in the best way possible. Around every corner there is a learning opportunity that exists outside the classroom. There is a difference between vacationing somewhere and traveling there on your own. Staying in hostels, going to grocery stores, and finding local hang outs are all a part of learning about the world in YOUR OWN WAY. There is no right or wrong way to do it. I remember that, when I arrived in Prague, I had no idea what to expect. When we got there and stood on the beautiful Charles Bridge, however, I felt so happy and full of life. I couldn’t wait to walk around Prague Square, attempt to talk to locals, and eat the food. Every place you go becomes a part of you. It will be the best adventure of your life. You will broaden your world, your culture, and discover things about yourself you would didn’t know because you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class was definitely Spanish, because my teacher made it fun. We were constantly speaking with each other and to her, and she really enjoyed her job and teaching Spanish. Another reason I loved the class so much was because it was filled with international students from all over the world. I made friends from Canada, Kazakhstan, and Romania, and got to know more about their home country through the class and discussions.
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Christina Barnes

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

The best advice I could ever give someone about learning a new language is practice fearlessly. During my time abroad, I limited my own improvement because I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing. I would always get stuck on vocab or conjugations and halt the whole conversation just trying to figure out the past imperfect of “vivir.” This was totally counterproductive and eventually the person I was speaking to would give up and try to guess what I was saying or worse, speak to me in English. Learning my language fearlessly would have been holding longer conversations with my host mom. Engaging fearlessly would have been going to more places where there were more locals than Americans. Persisting fearlessly would be skipping over a word and powering through the conversation. Even if the syntax is horrible, locals understand what you are saying 99% of the time. However, if they don’t, you can try your hand at explaining yourself a different way. The scary thing was choosing to go abroad in the first place. If you can commit to living your life abroad, then being fearless in learning that language is more than possible.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

-Never pay for taxis. A lot of the smaller cities are incredibly walkable and the ones that aren’t have really extensive and inexpensive public transportation systems. Learn how to navigate them.
-Pay the extra money for the places you are staying. The last thing you want after a long day of being on your feet is to walk 40 minutes to your Airbnb because it was the cheaper choice. It’s better for your overall experience if you’re staying closer to the action, even if it means spending a few more bucks.
-Look for places that have a kitchen. Yes, you’ll want to eat out, but, after a few $15 meals, your wallet won’t let you. In moments like those, a kitchen will save you since you can just swing by the local grocery store and DIY with some pasta and tomato sauce.
-Pay for tours. You’ll really appreciate having somebody else organize your day of tourism for you, and oftentimes you get access to skip the line passes which are much appreciated.

 

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Christine Weiler

Site Specialist
From a very young age, I have had the privilege of traveling to see family and friends that lived in Morocco and Spain. When I was 12 years old my family uprooted and moved to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (West Africa). Boy, was that a life-changing experience! Through this experience, I was able to gain a deep appreciation for everything this great big world has to offer.

I completed my study abroad while attending the College of Charleston (Charleston, SC) and spent the spring semester of 2013 in Meknes, Morocco. This was definitely one of the most rewarding and exciting times of my life!

In all, I have been fortunate enough to travel to Morocco, Spain, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Dominican Republic, England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Grand Cayman. I don’t have a favorite destination, but Thailand, Chile, and South Africa are on my to-go list.

As an Admissions Counselor, I'm the first contact for students who are interested in studying abroad with CEA. I provide thorough instruction and advice on choosing the perfect program for each individual student based on their wants and needs. When I’m not at CEA, I love to cook, travel, have Netflix binges, read, and play with my puppy, Leila!

Did you know? About 10 years ago I visited Kakum National Park, an undisturbed rainforest park in Ghana. I went up the Canopy Walkway and, after seven terrifying bridges, I finally made it to the rainforest canopy, where I saw a few monkeys and even heard an elephant!
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Cindy Price, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs - Seattle Pacific University
Dr. Cindy Price is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Seattle Pacific University and has served in this role since 2014. Under Cindy’s leadership, the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs oversees General Education, Institutional Accreditation, Institutional Research, Global Engagement, Student Academic Services, and Study Abroad Initiatives. She is also involved in areas of academic planning, academic policies, strategic planning, parent programs, and faculty development.

Dr. Price earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University. Prior to her role at Seattle Pacific University, Cindy was an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Washington.
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Daniel J. May, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs - University of New Haven
Daniel J. May was named Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Haven in 2013. As the chief academic officer, he oversees the academic colleges and programs, library and information technology services, and staff members supporting high impact experiential education opportunities, including study abroad.  He also oversees academic affiliation and articulation agreements, including the School-of-Record agreement with CEA.

Provost May has overseen the establishment of satellite locations at the Orange, CT and Prato, Italy campuses; the acquisition of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts; and the development of the joint master’s degree program in data science with Galvanize, Inc. in San Francisco. He has guided the campus-wide review and prioritization process of its academic programs and administrative units, and fostered the use of information technology in instruction, evaluation, and assessment.

Provost May earned his bachelor’s degree in geology at Stanford University and a Ph.D. in geology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He served on the faculty at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand from 1986 to 1989, at Bowling Green State University in 1990-91, and at the University of Findlay in Ohio from 1991-2003. Dr. May chaired programs in environmental, safety, and occupational health management prior to becoming dean of Findlay’s College of Sciences in 2003. He served there as vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2013, overseeing the addition of innovative undergraduate majors, online offerings, professional graduate programs, and a variety of continuing education and consulting services.
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Danny Pasternak

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Darby Hennessey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Dayyana Ibragimova

Alumni Insider

1. How has this study abroad experience shaped you?
Studying abroad has shaped me in so many ways! First and foremost, it helped me be more open-minded. Seeing and experiencing different cultures made me realize that there is a lot more to life than the little bubble I lived in. Cultural differences are not weird or irrelevant; they shape who we are. Just because someone else acts or talks differently than me does not make them strange, and that is so cool.

During the CEA trip to Morocco, I saw a completely different culture for the first time in my life. I saw women wearing hijabs, ate delicious lunch at a local family’s house, and rode camels. Those are experiences I had only because I studied abroad.

I learned how to plan trips and be more independent, which are important life-skills I can implement in my life beyond this semester!

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
I studied Spanish while abroad, so I tried to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. I went to salsa classes, intercambios (where you get to meet Spaniards in spots like the LemonRock Café and practice Spanish, while they practice English), watched movies and TV shows in Spanish with Spanish subtitles on Netflix, and listened to Latin American music!

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Dominique Cornacchia

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires
Home University: Champlain College
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Eberechi Ogbuaku

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence
Home University: University of Michigan
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Egan Osaki

CEA MOJO Photographer
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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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Elizabeth Colwell

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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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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Erica Collins, M.Ed.

Admissions Counselor
Although I was raised in the sunny, beach city of Los Angeles, California, I spent my summers with my aunt and uncle in beautiful Prescott, Arizona. My education consists of a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education—Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Administration from Northern Arizona University. “Go Lumberjacks!”

I realized how much I loved to travel during my time as a competitive gymnast from age 9-15, as I traveled throughout our beautiful country. My additional moment of travel excitement was when I traveled throughout Europe visiting France, Spain, and London to name a few incredibly alluring travel destinations. I had been officially bitten by the travel bug. I recently had the opportunity to vacation in Cancun and absolutely loved every moment of the food, beach, culture, and the people.

I look forward to continue to travel as time allows. In the meantime, I have been blessed to have the opportunity as a CEA Admissions Counselor to share my love and excitement of traveling with our CEA Study Abroad students and help guide them successfully and correctly towards their educational and career goals as they study abroad. When I am not at CEA, I enjoy watching and learning from HGTV, reading, hiking, listening to music, taking care of my pets, and spending time with my family.

Did you know? During my time as a competitive gymnast, I was training towards the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain when my path changed due to an injury. I ended up coaching elite-level gymnasts for 6 years instead.
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Erin Cain

Site Specialist
I grew up in O’Fallon, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, but after high school I decided to become a southerner and go to college at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) There, I studied International Studies and Economics along with a minor in Spanish and, of course, spent plenty of time cheering on the Tide at football games.

In my International Studies major, I chose to focus on Latin America and my love for studying the world only grew from there! My interest in this region led me to study abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile, so I could experience firsthand some of what I had been studying in the classroom. I had the most amazing time living with a host family and exploring the incredible variety of Chilean life, and though I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do much more travelling, I can’t wait to go back!

As a Site Specialist, I’m excited to help students identify what they want out of a study abroad experience and work with them to find the perfect program. I’m here for support, guidance, and enthusiasm in helping students achieve their goals! When I’m not at CEA, I love to spend time outdoors, bake, read, take naps, and spend time with friends.

Did you know? Before I moved to Illinois, I was born in a pink hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. My dad grew up on Oahu, and my parents have moved back since retiring, so I am lucky to get to visit about once a year.
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Esther Yoo

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada
Home University: Virginia Commonwealth University
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Frances Mylod-Vargas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Gabriella Gebo

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: Vanguard University
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Grace Economou

Alumni Ambassador

1. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:      

Travel as much as possible! During the six short weeks I lived in Granada, Spain, a small group of friends and I had traveled to eight different cities. We watched the sunrise as we hiked the Sierra Nevada mountains, we ate gazpacho and tapas from the top of an old Moorish fortress, we watched the sunset on the Mediterranean Sea from the sandy shore of Mallorca, and so much in between. 

Travel like a local! I assumed trains were the best mode of transportation, but my host family said “que tonta” and told me to take the bus. And I am grateful I listened because they knew best. The bus system was high quality, very affordable, and went everywhere I wanted to go. 

Traveling does not have to mean hours away! To “travel” can be as close as one bus stop outside the city limits. In countries where the history dates back thousands of years, a couple miles can make the world of a difference in food, language, and culture. 

And, of course, pack light! Waiting at baggage check for over an hour for a backpack of clothes that were never worn is a mistake I made only once.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?  

I am a computer science major minoring in business. Since high school, I have been STEM-focused. I took the bare minimum amount of course credits for English, Spanish and History. I taught myself Java so I could take a higher-level programming class. In study hall, I was almost always tutoring students in math. Then in college, the worst case scenario occurred: I needed to take two semesters of Spanish. 

The Spanish 230 in Granada, Spain program was perfect for me. It satisfied both semesters of Spanish, my most dreaded graduation requirement, and I fulfilled my lifelong dream of studying abroad. I was elated when I found out that I would be traveling to Spain for the spring semester. But I was also excited to know that I would never have to take a Spanish class again.

Studying abroad with the purpose of learning Spanish was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was not stressed from trying to juggle four courses at once; I was able to focus on Spanish and commit my time to learning and studying the language. Because it was an enjoyable experience, this rigorous course instilled in me a love for Spanish—which I would not have gotten from a traditional Spanish course. I am going to carry that with me moving forward. I now jump at any opportunity to speak Spanish, and my desire to travel has only grown. In the fall, I am going to join a Spanish Conversation club; it meets weekly with the sole purpose of starting Spanish discussions. I am also going to take a Spanish culture class next Winter term, not because it is a requirement, but because I want to. And I am already planning my study abroad adventure through Asia next summer.

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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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Haley Moore

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

If you’re trying to learn a foreign language while you’re studying abroad, don’t be afraid to immerse yourself completely in the language! It may seem overwhelming at first, but it WILL get easier and this is the best way to learn. My CEA site and university offered “intercambios,” where you are paired with a local student. This is a great way to make local friends AND learn the language. I had a Spanish friend who I would make every attempt to speak to in Spanish, and if I made a mistake or ever had any questions I knew I could ask her for clarification. Another way I found that really helped me to improve my comprehension was to listen to reggaetón music! They speak really fast and (full disclosure) are not speaking the prim and proper way that you were probably taught. It’s a fun way to better understand colloquial Spanish. If you aren’t looking to learn Spanish, keep an ear out for what the locals listen to!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Anyone who has lived in Spain will tell you the Spanish people live and breathe their favorite phrase: “No pasa nada” (“Don’t worry about it”). For me, as someone who makes a catastrophe of everything, this was, at first, an infuriating mindset to be living amongst. I would feel guilty for hours over forgetting to tell my host mom that I wasn’t eating dinner, but she was never upset. I would anxiously sprint to class if I was just a few minutes behind, but my professors often were usually ten minutes behind me. I would worry that the wait staff wanted us to leave if my friends and I took too long to eat, but the Spanish tend to extend meals to as long as two hours. 

After sometime around the Spanish, however, I learned that perhaps life is better if you savor it. You should never be in such a rush that you can’t stop for a café con leche. You should never be afraid of getting tapas alone (sometimes that’s the best way to do it!). Most importantly: You should never take anything too seriously. 
I used to despise eating alone, and now it’s something I enjoy. That might seem silly to some, but to me, that was huge. No, my anxiety isn’t cured, but studying abroad helped me to see that some of the daily things that I illogically worry about aren’t worth my energy. Eating alone? No pasa nada.


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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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Helena Kaufman, Ph.D.

Director of Off-Campus Studies - Carleton College
Dr. Helena Kaufman has over 25 years in the field of higher education and is currently the Director of Off-Campus Studies at Carleton College, where she has served in this role since 2000. Helena oversees all education abroad programs led by Carleton faculty and sponsored by academic departments. Dr. Kaufman also advises students on program options, works closely with Carleton faculty on the development of education abroad seminars and curriculum, conducts program and site evaluations, and ensures the academic integrity of Carleton’s education abroad programs.

Dr. Kaufman interests and ongoing research in student learning outcomes, culture identity, cross-cultural studies, world literature and student assessment align with her active board memberships, which include: the Outcomes Assessment and Research Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad , the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), Minnesota Study Abroad Professionals, the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), and Carleton College’s Global Engagement Initiative Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Carleton College, Helena was an Assistant Professor of Portuguese at Ohio State University. Originally from Poland, she received her bachelor’s degree in Iberia Studies from the University of Warsaw and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Luso-Brazilian Studies.
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Iliana Gonzalez

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in a very small border town in Mexico. As a young kid, I nurtured an inquisitive curiosity for unfamiliar places and diverse cultures. I always dreamed about traveling around the world, so I set myself the goal to make this dream come true by studying abroad; however, living in a town with low economical resources, opportunities to study abroad were not accessible to students. Back then, my goals to go abroad seemed almost impossible to achieve.

After graduating High School, I had the fortune to move to the United States with my family. I applied to Arizona State University and was admitted into their Fine Arts program in 2006. It was while attending college that I discovered the wonderful opportunity to study abroad to earn credits towards my major in France.

I enrolled in a summer program to study Plein Air Painting and French language at the Institut Catholique de Paris. It’s every artist’s dream to study painting in one of the most artistic cities in the world, a place that has given birth to some of the most influential artists in history. I recall vividly the incredible joy I felt when I wandered the streets of Montmartre, carrying my paint and brushes and scouting for the best location to paint a landscape. I also remember my daily excursions to Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre seeking for inspiration from the impressionistic work of Claude Monet and the expressive Paul Cezanne. To this day, I still hold a painting of Notre Dame cathedral I executed “alla prima!” The opportunity to develop my academic skills in Paris changed my life, and it has greatly influenced my professional work in a way that sets me apart.

After graduating college, I ventured on my own to see the world and have traveled to some of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Southern Mexico, and Ireland.

As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I strive in helping students achieve their own dreams to see the world! I provide comprehensive counseling to assist my students find the best program that fits their career goals and I am always available to support them in all the different steps they take in their journey!

Did you know? I am trained in different dance forms from diverse cultural spectrums! My training ranges from Mexican Folklore, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Latin American styles, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Angolan (Kizomba), and Bollywood!
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Isabel Kinsolving

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Alps
Home University: Chapman University
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James Longenderfer

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: West Chester University of Pennsylvania
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Jeanette Burke

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
While in Prague, I took Elementary Czech which allowed me to become more involved in the culture. If you are able to, I would highly recommend taking a class in your host country’s language. It is one of the best decisions I made during my time abroad. My tips for learning another language is to listen to the locals who are speaking around you. Get to know how the language sounds and become comfortable with it. As time goes on, you’ll be able to pick out small parts of the conversation, which always feels good. When I am at a restaurant or at a store, I always try to speak in Czech for as long as I can. This method has helped me the most because while I might not understand exactly what the other person is saying, I am able to grasp the context of the conversation, which allows me to advance my Czech. Lastly, I use the self-checkout at Tesco so that I can practice my food vocabulary. Since you have to enter the name of what produce or bakery item you’re purchasing in Czech, it helps learn those words.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad?

Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

Always make an effort to speak the country’s language: even if it’s just knowing the basics, your knowledge can go a long way. When I traveled, I made sure I knew how to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you in the host country’s language. I could tell that the locals appreciated me taking part in their culture. 

Try to explore destinations that are more uncommon: not only will you gain amazing memories from your travels, you will also be able to save more money. I focused on staying in Central and Eastern Europe because it is my area of interest, and I had a great time. One of my favorite destinations was Kraków, Poland. 

Don’t be afraid to travel alone: there were times that I was nervous about doing a trip on my own, but I knew that I couldn’t let my fear get the best of me. Traveling on your own is one of the best experiences you can have, especially during your time abroad. Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings as always.

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Jennie Ricks

Sr. Visa Specialist

I grew up around the beautiful rocky mountains of Utah, and now I find myself in a desert landscape of saguaro cacti and the seemingly endless blue skies of Arizona. My bounteous list of traveling abroad consist of Mexico. But, the excitement from CEA staff and the students going abroad is spurring me on to visit England and Ireland this year. Go me!

As the senior visa specialist, I work to provide appropriate documentation for students so they can have successful consulate visits. I also work with specific Spanish consulates to provide group appointments for the students attending school in Spain. With ever-changing visa processes, I work to stay on track of student visa needs and the corresponding paperwork.

I received my undergrad from ASU and my graduate degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College, which leads me into what I do outside of CEA. I love to read and write, and my favorite things to read and write are horror and psychological thrillers. Of course, I love hanging out with my children, eating wonderful food, and hiking. Although, I still think it’s strange to be hiking among cacti.

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Jennifer Siegel

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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Jessica Walker

Admissions Counselor
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to travel. I would read about a faraway place and hope to go there someday. Growing up in Texas, my family only traveled short distances, but these trips solidified my love of travel. In college, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Paris for a semester, and it definitely changed my life. I made lifelong friends, immersed myself in the culture, practiced my French, and became more independent. I plan to go back there someday! It was my study abroad experience that led me to the position of Admissions Counselor at CEA.

I am grateful to have been able to travel to Spain, England, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Belize, Canada, and Honduras. And this list is just the beginning, I hope to travel to many more places!

As an admissions counselor, I help students discover the world of study abroad. I enjoy assisting students with finding the program and destination that fits their academic and personal goals. It was a dream of mine to study abroad and I love helping other students achieve the same dream. Outside of CEA, I enjoy reading, dancing, watching movies, spending time with friends, and exploring new places!

Did you know? During a museum trip in Paris, the actor Hugh Jackman was standing two feet in front of me, and I didn’t realize for the longest time. When I finally did, I told my friend “Look it’s Wolverine.”
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Joan Komolafe

CEA MOJO Photographer
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John Peters, Ph.D.

Dean of International Programs - Marist College
Dr. John Peters is the Dean of International Programs at Marist College. In this role, he supports Marist students studying abroad over six continents and divides most of his time between the Marist Poughkeepsie and Florence Campuses. Some of his interests and experience include curriculum development, community outreach, intercultural communication, and program development. John is passionate about developing and helping to connect students with innovative, empowering international and intercultural experiences.

Dean Peters received his bachelor’s in Economics and Japanese from California State University, Sacramento. He also holds a M.A. in International Studies from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Southern California.
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José B. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs & Initiatives - CEA Study Abroad

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

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

— Books

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

— Articles

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

PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Studying abroad not only gave me connections around the world, but it helped me connect with myself. I found the true "me" while abroad for 4 months and could not be happier with what I learned about myself. I got to experience a different culture hands on and was given so many opportunities to immerse myself into it. I think studying abroad will have a lifelong impact on me, because I will always remember walking down the streets of San Jose.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

When I was abroad, I found out that I wanted to help others a lot more than I once believed I did. In the future, I plan on going back to Costa Rica & Nicaragua to teach English to the youth. It was very interesting to me that in order to get a decent job, you had to have a certain English level. I noticed that a lot of those classes were very expensive or not accessible. Therefore, I made it a goal of mine to open a non-profit organization to teach English to the people of Central America. My experience impacted my academics in a way that cannot be put into words. It made me realize we take for granted the education we get at universities in the US.

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Julia Cory

Site Specialist
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio (Go Bengals!) and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a minor in Spanish with an emphasis on diversity. After graduating, I moved to Costa Rica for 6 months to pursue my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish. I served as an intern in the Study Abroad Office at Universidad Veritas, where I found my passion for international education.

After moving back to the United States, I packed up my bags, drove across the country, and landed in Phoenix, Arizona. I started as an intern here at CEA and moved my way up to Site Specialist. In this position, I have the pleasure of guiding students through the process of studying abroad and helping them achieve their international goals.

When I am not at CEA, I love reading, cooking, running, watching football, and listening to The Beatles. Traveling is my one true love, and my goal is to visit every country in Central/ South America.

Did you know? While living in Costa Rica, I volunteered at an animal rescue center where I hung out and made friends with sloths and monkeys for a week!
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Julia Dixon

CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: University of Michigan
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Julia Zarella

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My experience of studying abroad taught me that there WAS a rest of the world. I was lucky enough to experience more of the world than I have in my lifetime, visiting a total of nine countries and 22 different cities. Sometimes, I was forced out of my comfort zone; other times, I gladly broke out of my bubble. Through all of this, I was reminded that there was a world outside of my own, and it is a great one. Of course, I was always familiar with the concept of the world—that there are other people living their lives, differently but more or less the same as me, and that there are entire countries operating outside my own. I always knew that my life was not the same as others and that my world was not at the center of other people’s, but my study abroad experience made this concept real and concrete. While I would go to a water fountain or buy a bottled water at a store, Romans would be getting their water out of the city’s historic fountains. Small differences like this made the rest of the world real to me. Though I was essentially on an extended vacation, people lived in a world entirely separate from mine, and their experience was not a vacation—it was real. While we all may be familiar with this obvious-but-overwhelming concept, few get to live it.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

Traveling while abroad is no walk in the park. It’s a fast-pace hustle that is very far from lying in a beach chair, enjoying some R & R on an exotic beach somewhere—or maybe it is on Saturday, once you’ve already arrived at your destination. But when you’re trying to stay on a budget and see as much of a new city as you can between end-of-week classes on Thursday and the first day of classes on Monday, you need all the help you can get in making your travels a success. The most important tools you can rely on for smooth sailing? Google Flights, Pinterest, Lonely Planet, Airbnb, a reliable carry-on, and a shuttle system to and from the airport that you make yourself familiar with. Google Flights is the best way to search different combinations of round trip flights for the best price, allowing you to mess around with times and airport combinations. Pinterest and Lonely Planet are perfect tools to find unique ways to experience the culture of your travel destination, and Airbnb is often a better place for the same or cheaper prices than many hostels, especially if you’re traveling in groups. The Airbnb hosts are often the best resources for travel tips. I can tell an abroad student now, and they won’t listen (because I know I didn’t): Pack light. You have three days to travel, and you don’t want to be lugging a huge heavy bag around a new city. Checked bag fees are never worth it and are in place for a reason. Finally, assuming that most abroad students rely on public transportation, almost every airport offers a sort of shuttle service from a set destination to and from the airport. Get to know that service ASAP—our go-to was the Sit Bus Shuttle in Rome. Keep tabs on the schedule to ensure that you make your flights, and you’ll always have a reliable way to save money on your trips and make sure you get home.

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Karime Diaz

Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about Internships!

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

The way that my study abroad experience has shaped me today is that it has made more patient and curious about other cultures and people. This is also an experience that has helped me grow and gain full independence and confidence to pursue new things and to accomplish my life-long goals. I feel that if I did not take this opportunity, my view of the world and of myself would have stayed narrow. I am so much more adventurous and willing to try new things and to embrace people while still maintaining my values and perspectives.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

The best part about studying abroad are being immersed in a new culture and city and learning about the history and influence it has on the people. I recommend that you always go to the museums and landmarks to really learn about the city and culture. It is also nice that Spain is so close to neighboring countries like France, Italy and Morocco, so weekend trips are pretty cheap and easy to plan!

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Kasee Hurt

Admissions Counselor

As a Phoenix, Arizona native who has always dreamed of sliving outside of Arizona to experience what else this big world has to offer, I have always had a passion for design and travel. I fused the two to make my dream a reality.

After graduating from high school in Phoenix, I relocated to San Diego, California and settled in Los Angeles, where I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Visual Communication. Next, I left California to pursue my lifelong dream of moving to the beautiful Island of Oahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, where I began working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies. While at Manoa, I studied abroad in London, England, exploring multicultural relations and having the time of my life!

After my time in England, I returned home to Phoenix and began working at CEA to help others achieve their study abroad goals while also continuing to pursue my degree at U Hawaii Manoa.

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Katherine Tarlas

Alumni Ambassador

1. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?

For me, the best part about studying abroad was stepping out of my comfort zone. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to spend an entire semester away from home. My biggest fear was being homesick and away from everything that is familiar to me, but I decided to go, and it is an experience that will never be able to beat. I have not been homesick once, because this place has turned into my new home and I am constantly doing things to keep me busy. I feel so much comfort in Madrid because of how familiar everything is to me now. I took that huge step out of my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for that. I now have a whole different perspective on the new culture I am living in, and every experience/trip/person I have met has opened my eyes to the world in a completely different way. I have also met a ton of incredible people who I will continue to keep in touch with and who have made my abroad experience as great as it has been.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

You will never be able to do something like this again in your life. Once you graduate from college, you will join the real world and have to go to work, and you won't have the freedom that you do now. Study abroad in order to take that big step out of your comfort zone and not take the time you can have to travel all around the world for granted. You acquire so many new skills while living in another country. These skills could include learning a new language or a greater understanding of the world, which will stay with you for the rest of your life and be helpful in the workforce. Study abroad because every single person I have talked to who decided not to has said that they regret that decision.

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Kathryn Theisen

Admissions Counselor
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and braved harsh winters for 18 years, before moving east to Wisconsin, where I put up with 4 more snowy winters. Finally, I moved to Arizona to embrace the sunshine! Living in a rural community, I always felt like I was missing a huge part of the world and knew that when I went to college, I wanted to study abroad. Being a college athlete, I was limited in choices and resources for going abroad. But, thankfully, I had a great support system and ended up spending a whole summer away while still pursuing my athletic career.

My time abroad was based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I listened to bagpipes, dipped my face in the fairy pools, and learned to ceilidh dance. During my program, I checked out 12 other countries and became an expert on packing for budget airlines, running through airports, and figuring out public transportation. One of my most memorable experiences was getting to meet one of the direwolf “puppies” in Northern Ireland that were used in the first season of Game of Thrones! The travel bug bit me pretty hard during my time abroad, and I loved having so many memorable adventures. I cannot wait to cross the pond again!

When I’m not at CEA, I love going to movies, exploring my new home, playing with my foster kittens, and planning my next big adventure!

Did you know? I hold a basketball scoring record at my University.
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Katie Ann Insinga

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

While studying in Rome, I learned Italian. I am still learning, but it is definitely something that I have picked up in my classes here. Living in a place a where different language is spoken can be challenging at first, but I personally feel it adds to the trip because it gets you very out of your comfort zone and allows you to experience something completely different than you're used to. Also, learning is expedited because you are around the language and trying to use it all the time. I would suggest trying to learn a little beforehand. I did not practice Italian at all before I came to Rome, and I wish that I had at least a little knowledge of it in order to make things easier and learn more. But, if you are going to a place where you don't yet know the language, don't worry. Most people speak at least a little English, and you can always find someone who is willing to help, especially at CEA.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

The reason why you should study abroad is to get a once in a lifetime experience. There will never be another opportunity quite like this. You get to see new places, learn new things, and have experiences that will last a lifetime. The countless, breathtaking places I have been to are reason alone to study abroad. It has been so incredible to see places that you could only have dreamed about. This trip will make you grow as person and allow you to experience something unlike anything else. 

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Katie Fanning

Alumni Ambassador

1. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

Do a little research! Make sure to know each airline or bus luggage policy prior to traveling. Certain airlines are strict about the number or size of bags you can bring. If you plan on doing physical activities, pack appropriate clothing wear. Don't do as I did and brave a Norway mountain blizzard in jeans and cotton gloves.

Pay attention to cultural cues and be respectful, but do not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for transportation tips or day activities advice from locals is one of the best ways to learn how to spend your time. They know the best places to eat and visit besides hot spots on Google’s top tourist attractions.

Traveling to other countries is amazing, but don't overdo it. You may be disappointed if you end your studies having only spent one weekend in your host country.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

I can confidently say I am a different and better person for having studied abroad. I have never felt an emotional connection to my home university because I did not find effortless connections to most of my classmates. This experience abroad has shown me how many more people, places, and lessons the world has to offer me. Over these past months, I have not only made the sincerest friendships and seen the most breathtaking scenery, but learned who I am, how to adapt, and how to be more independent, confident, and happy.

Moving to a foreign country that I knew little about pushed me far beyond my comfort zone. I was forced to learn how to be open to new friendships with people unlike me, be flexible in my planning, and grow from other cultures. The biggest difference in Europe that has impacted me is the way people talk here. In America, a great deal of conversations are devoted to gossiping to our peers over materialistic things. Living in Europe, people are interested in my life in America, politics, and what I plan to do with my life. I have found that my words, and now thoughts, are centered on more valuable topics than petty judgments.

After four months here, I am more mature and independent. I no longer fear being unsure of my future, because I know there is so much to see outside of Rhode Island and Delaware.

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Kayla King

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris
Home University: Point Loma Nazarene University
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Kayla VonBurg

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

Besides listening to Spanish music, living with a host family, and watching telenovelas, my best advice for someone trying to learn the second language is to listen—on the metro, in the streets, in restaurants—just listen to what people are saying, how they interact with each other. There is so much value to listening to the native speakers around you. This not only expanded my grammatical skills, but it also helped me pick up dialectal phrases and words.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Before I got on the plane on January 31, 2017, I was the girl who was afraid of her own shadow. I was a doormat and afraid to do things on my own. I was generally fearful for my future. From day one of living in Madrid, I was pushed to do things that were beyond my comfort zone. Between being in a new city, the language barrier, and culture shock, I was forced to grow up in a matter of about a week. I remember calling my mom about a week after I had lived in Madrid, and she told me she had never heard me sound so grown-up. By the time April of my term rolled around, I decided to take a last minute solo trip to Palma de Mallorca and London. This was perhaps the moment that I began to understand how much I had grown from this experience. I realized that I was so capable of being on my own, conquering my fears alone, and being comfortable in my own solitude. Study abroad is not about “finding yourself” as many say. Study abroad is about showing you what you are capable of. I now realize that I can do so much more than I once believed, that I am so much more valuable as a human than I once believed, and, with that in mind, I cannot wait to take that perspective with me for my remaining time in college, for my career, and for the rest of my life.

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Kelsey Bardach

CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home University: Indiana University
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Kendall McKee

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kevin Mooney

CEA MOJO Blogger
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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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Laura Bastings

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Laura Claypool

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: Chapman 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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Lisa Chieffo, Ed.D.

Associate Director, Study Abroad - University of Delaware
For more than 20 years, Lisa Chieffo has been involved with international education at the University of Delaware (UD): first as Study Abroad Coordinator in UD’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, then in UD’s Institute for Global Studies. As Associate Director, Dr. Chieffo oversees over 100 study abroad programs and supervises program coordinators. She has led multiple research projects with a focus on student learning abroad, presented at international education conferences such as NAFSA and Forum, and published in professional journals.

Dr. Chieffo’s areas of expertise include short-term education abroad programs and faculty leadership; education abroad assessment, adjunct instruction in education abroad; and educational leadership. Dr. Chieffo is co-editor of NAFSA’s The Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad (3rd edition forthcoming in 2018). She earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, M.A. in German, and bachelor’s degree in Languages at UD. As a student, Dr. Chieffo studied abroad in Tübingen and Bayreuth, Germany and Vienna, Austria.
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Lois Charm

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Loreen Catubay

Alumni Ambassador

1. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?

The whole process and experience of studying abroad is like no other. I believe the best part about studying abroad is the element of uncertainty. In a country whose culture, norms, language, and environment is different from what I am accustomed to, I was constantly anticipating what adventure was coming next. Everything was a learning adventure, whether it was going to the local markets, going to a different town, or even simply going to the university's cafeteria. From every interaction or activity, I gained new insights into the daily lifestyles of Shanghai people, and was slowly able to make exchanges in only Mandarin. Every day was a fun mystery, for everyday offered something new. From simply being in a foreign country, I was able to gain more experience, insights, and skills that a textbook could not offer me.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be Cross-Cultural Communications with our professor. I thoroughly enjoyed this class because I gained a vast amount of knowledge and understanding and developed skills by communicating with people from all around the world. In addition to learning more about others, the class gave me insight into how and why I communicate, behave, and perceive the world differently than others. I believe since this class fosters understanding, it inevitably also led to closer connections with one another. From this class, I believe I gained a new understanding and appreciation for cultures and diversity.

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Macey Hallstedt

Site Specialist
I grew up in west Michigan and had a picture-perfect childhood. Literally, the movie American Pie is based on my hometown. It’s a great place to be from, but I have always known I wanted to travel. It’s a big world, and I want to understand as much of it as possible. My first step was studying abroad in Costa Rica with CEA. Long story short, it changed my life, and I learned that international education existed as a career path. But, to be a good advisor, I knew that first I had to travel.

So I did. Since graduating from the University of Michigan, I have worked at an ice cream shop in Sweden, as an English Teacher in rural Spain, a kayak guide on Lake Superior, and a logistics expert for outdoor adventures in the southwest before finally settling in Phoenix at CEA Study Abroad. During and between these gigs, I visited Costa Rica, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Portugal. Included on my travel to-do list: the rest of the world.

When I’m not at my desk helping send students abroad, you can find me at beach volleyball or tennis courts. Or on top of a mountain. Or in my kitchen cooking up a feast with my friends. Or in my hammock reading a good book. Or obsessively tracking flights….
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Mackenzie Phillips

Alumni Ambassador
1. I am super responsible and motivated, so I participated in an internship/volunteer program/service learning program while I was abroad. Here’s how I will use those career-building experiences:

I signed up for the International Internship Program, which allowed me to intern at a Primary International School in Prague. This opportunity opened many new skills and methods I could use and learn from when I enter the education field. The school I interned at used the United Kingdom education method, and it was very different from the United States’. The children at the school came from all parts of the world and they are able to gain cultural sensitivity at an early age. They are used to all types of religions, cultures and races surrounding them every day. In a lot of the American schools, race can be a primary issue since the students are not surrounded by it like international schools are. This is a key skill I would like my classroom or school to learn. I would like the learning of different cultures to be a part of the curriculum so that students in the US will gain cultural sensitivity at an earlier age.

2. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?

One thing that surprised me was that Prague was different than I imagined it. All the roads are nothing but cobblestone and the city is mainly still traditional. There are some modern things in Prague like malls, expensive shops, clubs, but there are also a lot of traditional areas as well. There is an area in Prague called Wenceslas Square that features lots of shopping and modern things (movie theaters, restaurants, etc.). Not far from it is also that oldest area that exists in Prague called Old Town Square. This whole aspect surprised me as a whole.
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Madeleine Collins

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence
Home University: University of South Carolina
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Madeline Inoyue

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Madeline Reiche

Alumni Ambassador

1. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! You should not miss them:

In terms of restaurants, there is a cozy gastropub called “The Oak” in the heart of Dublin conveniently just around the corner from CEA’s Study Center. The pork, potato pie, and beef sliders are to die for! It is a must-stop after class. If you’re looking for a coffee shop, Kaph has the best cup of coffee in Dublin (and for a great price!). However, if you are looking for a coffee shop to study in, I recommend Clement and Pekoe. They have plenty of seating with large enough spacing for laptops and books. On an off weekend, I highly recommend going to the quaint fish town, Howth. It is a short train ride a way and makes for a great day or even half-day trip. There, I recommend hiking the Cliff Path route for stunning views including the lighthouse. After, go to Crabby Jo’s for the best fish and chips!

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be Popular Culture in Ireland because of how much it complimented and enhanced my abroad experience. While living in Dublin alone gives its fair share of exposure to the vibrant Irish culture, studying the culture in the classroom adds much more meaning. Primarily, I learned Ireland’s deeply rooted history, which I came to learn had one of the greatest impacts on Irish culture and Ireland today. Additionally, I loved this class because we would learn the background and significance of aspects of the culture in the classroom and then go out on excursions to experience the culture.

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Madelyn Lorubbio

Site Specialist
As LeBron James once said, “I’m just a kid from Akron, Ohio!”

Growing up, my parents made it a priority to get us out of Ohio for at least one family vacation a year. By age 8, I had already visited several places on both coasts of the United States, as well as many other destinations in between. After graduating from Ohio University (OU-Oh Yeah!) in 2016, I decided to put my Spanish minor to good use and explore Costa Rica. The internship I had with Universidad Veritas in San Jose sparked my passion for the study abroad field. I fell in love with the culture, and I wanted others to be able to have a similar experience, as it was life-changing.

Upon returning to the USA after what seemed like a short six months, I could not seem to adjust to the below freezing temperatures of snowy Ohio. I set out for a warmer location, drove across the country with my best friends, and landed in the desert! Not long after arriving in Phoenix, I started my internship with CEA. The following month I was encouraged to apply full-time and moved up to become a Site Specialist. I found this position to be parallel to my career goals of getting students to have an international experience like mine.

While not at CEA, I enjoy travelling, scary movies, hanging out with friends, stargazing, and watching Game of Thrones.

Did you know? I met LeBron when he was a senior in high school, and he signed my shoe after my 2nd grade basketball scrimmage.
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Marisa Conway

Alumni Ambassador
1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 
Studying abroad is going to teach you so much about the rest of the world and it’s going to teach you a lot about yourself. There is something so extraordinary about seeing the world as other people see it. I truly believe you can’t fully live life without experiencing all it has to offer: the amazing people, cultures, and scenery. And in the midst of it all, we learn more about ourselves. We learn what we like and what we dislike, what inspires us and what scares us. We complete ourselves with the missing pieces that we might have not discovered if we stayed in our comfort zone without testing ourselves.

2. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! You should not miss them:

When traveling to Barcelona, it is very easy to get caught up in the beauty of EVERYTHING. So the important thing to do is to first check out the touristy spots. Start with The Sagrada Familia, by far the most beautiful church I've ever seen. The architecture and attention to detail is amazing: it’s said that the whole story of the New Testament is told on the outside of the church. Second, I would say go to Montserrat, home of the beautiful mountains of Barcelona. It is known for being a very magical and spiritual place due to its Catholic influence. Third, visit Park Guell, where you can view the artwork of the famous artist Gaudi: the whole place is like one big canvas. Everywhere you look, you’re surrounded by vivid colors and beautiful sculptures. After you go to all of those touristy places, Costa Brava is the perfect place to unwind, an oasis with beautiful beaches and Roman ruin castles. The perfect way to end the night after a day at Costa Brava is with a plate of paella.



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Martha McGivern, Ph.D.

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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Matthew Miklas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Shanghai
Home University: Cedarville University
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McKenzie McClanahan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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McKenzie Smith

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Megan Kruskie

Alumni Ambassador

1. One of the best parts about studying abroad?

Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

-Buy your tickets in advance. Otherwise, travel can get pretty expensive! 
-Do all you can do when you visit another city. You never know when you'll be back, and you've already made the trip there, so why not take advantage of everything you can? 
-If you're worried about cost, there are always plenty of local things to do or day trips to take. You don't have to spend a lot of money to travel! 
-Don't be scared to travel alone. If you want to go somewhere, go! Obviously be careful, but traveling alone can be fun and teach you a lot about yourself.

2. How has this study abroad experience shaped you?

My experience has really made me think a lot about who I am and what I want to do with my life. While abroad, I definitely questioned the career path I was on more than once, but in a good way. It really opened my eyes to what is important to me. I am definitely more eager to learn other languages and travel as much as I can because once you know what's out there, you can never get enough. There is just so much to learn about the world that you can only experience by traveling. Study abroad has also made me a more outgoing person. When you're alone in a foreign country, you have to put yourself out there to learn about the culture and meet new people. Speaking in a foreign language is not always the most comfortable thing to do, but you learn to work with what you have and always try because if you don't, you won't gain anything.

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Megan Styborski

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

When I first arrived in San José, I think I spoke maybe three words in Spanish. I had studied French in both high school and college, but never any Spanish. I have four big tips for learning a new language while you’re abroad. First, try to learn some before you depart, especially key phrases and vocabulary. Second, bring flashcards with you from home and use them as much as possible. Third, practice as much as you can! It’s easy to talk to friends in your program in English, but try practicing your language with them instead. It also helps a lot to make local friends and practice with them. At first, it’s a bit hard and awkward, but the improvement will blow you mind, and you’ll make life-long friends abroad in the process. Fourth, if you can, use Netflix. At my destination, I watched in English with Spanish subtitles, and it did wonders for me! If you think that you’re ready for it, you can also watch in a foreign language with English subtitles, or just watch in a foreign language alone! You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

The first thing I would say is that it’s one of the best ways to kick off a life full of travel. It’s so cost effective considering how long you’re there and how much you get out of it. And for those of you who say it’s too expensive or who think there aren’t many options for your major, don’t worry. I have the answers! First off, yes, studying abroad can be painfully expensive. But it doesn’t need to be! There are so many different destinations and program types, and those factors can have a big impact on the cost. I personally couldn’t afford most of the options in Europe, but I still found a way to go! I barely spent more money abroad then I would’ve at home, and some students save money by going abroad. For those of you who have difficult majors, there are work-arounds! My major was in the health sciences, and I had a lot of difficulty finding an option that was both affordable for me and useful for my major. So instead, I used my time abroad to work on my minor and my honors coursework. I ended up getting an affordable experience while also getting an academically valuable experience. It’s completely possible on both counts. In addition to all of that, studying abroad does so much for you as a person. You mature in so many ways, from traits like confidence and independence to being able to live off a backpack full of bare necessities. You develop a global awareness and understanding that is completely irreplaceable and highly valuable for the rest of your life.

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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 Mott

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite class abroad? 
My favorite class during my two months studying at the University of Granada Centro de Lenguas Modernas was “Diversidad del Español” (Diversity of Spanish). 

This was my favorite because it delved into the origins of the Spanish language and cultures in different areas of Spain. I was lucky to have an amazing professor who I would frequently speak to before and after class about what we learned. 

It was the most interesting class I took because it equipped me to understand Spanish culture by teaching me the history of the language and its connections to other areas in Europe and the world. We learned many colloquial phrases, which I was able to employ with the Spanish students in my dorm and people in the community. This class helped me understand Spanish culture more and made it easier to fully immerse myself into my program environment.

2. How has this study abroad experience shaped you?

I have told everyone (friends, family, college professors etc.) who asked about the two months I spent abroad in Spain that it had an immense impact on how I view the world. I have taken Spanish classes since I was in middle school, but wasn’t educated on Spanish society, culture and people until I actually stepped foot in Spain myself. 

Studying abroad was an absolutely beautiful and life-changing experience. It transformed my previously pessimistic view of the world and people into a perspective where I now appreciate humanity and the differences all of us have more than ever! Even before I arrived in Spain, waiting in the Stockholm airport for 4 hours, I had a chance to speak to people from places I had never heard of, who were as curious about my life and culture as I was about theirs. 

When I think about my study abroad experience now, it truly feels like a dream because of how it offered a new challenge, a new discovery, and a new learning experience every day. I believe that studying abroad has made me more mature as a man, and it solidified my own personal values. I had so many organic interactions with people from all over the world, and the kindness of strangers was a recurring theme throughout my travels. When I returned to the United States, I felt ready to face any difficulties I had in life because of my experiences abroad.

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Michelle McGhan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: Columbia College Chicago
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Mika Richards

Alumni Insider
1. What was the best part about studying abroad?
Studying abroad was, hands down, the best decision that I have made. The best part about studying abroad was discovering the similarities and differences between my home country and my study abroad country. Studying abroad can be daunting, to say the least. You are a complete foreigner. There are new modes of transportation, a new language, and even different cultural rules to follow, such as public behavior and dress codes. To make your experience the best possible, do research on the country, and when you arrive, you must dive in head first into the culture. Remind yourself that just because this new culture is different from your own, it doesn't mean that it is bad, but simply different. While it is easy to stay with people from your culture, such as other students you study abroad with, you should also explore (while taking safety precautions) the country as it really is. If you don't feel comfortable exploring your new city alone, you can take another student, but decide that it would be an opportunity to learn the language. For example, you could ask a passerby for directions or order food in the country's language. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life?
Studying abroad has assisted me in addressing personal battles. I have dealt with Generalized Anxiety Disorder since I was eight years old. In unfamiliar environments, I would have panic attacks, which prevented me from doing things that I desperately wanted to do, such as travelling. Studying abroad was a huge step for me, as I was travelling to an extremely unknown territory. For what I was able to prepare myself for, I did, and for what I couldn't, I told myself that I had a decision to make. Should I live my life based on my fears, or should I choose my own path? When I arrived, I chose to do what scared me the most. I made the choice to get completely lost in Paris, which is something that I never dared to do before. I was able to figure out how to navigate the metro and eventually made my way back to my apartment. After I exposed myself to this situation, I was able to trust myself, and I had gained a lot of confidence. To this day, I have yet to feel anxious, so I will forever be grateful for my study abroad experience. Travelling had always been something I aimed to accomplish, and thanks to the success I've experienced in France, I’m planning other trips to backpack around Europe. Studying abroad has sparked my interest in cultural and interpersonal differences, which is positive because it gave me more motivation to study and understand my major (Communications). Before studying abroad, I didn't especially have a plan after graduation, however, I decided that I would love to work for a study abroad organization. I want to help others experience diversity, in hopes of reducing Mean World Syndrome, or assuming the world and the unknown are always dangerous.
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Miranda Schimek

Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Since I have gone through the culture shock and reverse culture shock twice now, because I did a Rotary Youth Exchange in high school and then studied abroad in college, I have become extremely adaptable. This is convenient in the workplace, I can adapt to different jobs and tasks quickly. Since I began traveling my senior year of high school I haven’t stopped. I have met people from around the world who have shown me the importance of travel. It has made me a very accepting and welcoming person. I have met people from all diverse backgrounds and religions and I find we can learn a lot from everyone we meet.

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

I would recommend focusing on conjugation before arriving to your host country because that is more universal. While learning vocab is nice to have, each country differs a lot; I had to learn a lot of new words just between living in Colombia and then Costa Rica. When I arrived to Colombia on an exchange in high school, I didn’t speak Spanish at all and my host family didn’t speak English. My host sister knew a little written English and wrote a list of the main verbs they used and the slang. When trying to learn a language it is best to immerse yourself into it completely. This means listening to Spanish music, TV, and making friends who you can practice it with (locals who are native speakers of that language are always the best because then you can learn the language and the culture with it). I also found having a host family was very important to me because they taught me most of the Spanish I learned on exchange and were super patient with me.

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Molly Hulsey

CEA MOJO Blogger in Galway, Ireland
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Galway, Ireland
Home University: Covenant College
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Morgan McKenna

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Morgan Rector

Alumni Insider

What tips do you have for learning the local language?

While studying abroad in Barcelona, I had the pleasure of learning Spanish! I had some background with the language, but had never quite been able to reach the level of proficiency I had hoped to achieve in the US. While abroad, my language skills improved more in a few months than they had in years of Spanish classes. Of course, this is because I really tried to incorporate Spanish into my life abroad! In order to practice, I set a goal for myself to only talk to locals in Spanish (including CEA staff), even if they spoke English. I also spoke in Spanish to my friends outside of the classroom as often as possible! Additionally, during the holiday season, I listened to some of my favorite Christmas songs in Spanish. However, one of the most beneficial activities for my language skills was volunteering at a Pediatric Hospital in Spain, where nobody spoke English. This was a challenge, but in the best way. By being fully immersed in the language, I was able to learn very quickly. I was also able to create friendships with local people. I strongly encourage anyone who is studying abroad to take a language course, as it greatly increased my immersion into the culture and allowed me to feel more comfortable in my new city.

If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

If I had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad, the conversation would probably go something like this: you must study abroad. I can assure you that this will be the most incredible, eye-opening experience that you have ever had! By being immersed in another culture and pushed out of your comfort zone, you will grow in more ways than you had ever imagined possible. Before coming abroad, I did not know what to expect. I thought I would have a good time, meet new people, and discover a new part of the world. I never predicted how study abroad would give me an entirely renewed appreciation for the acquisition of knowledge. As I learned more about other cultures in my classes and through traveling, I found myself watching the news and reading articles for fun, something I never did in the US. Nowadays, the thought of learning something new is exciting and fun, rather than a chore that I accomplish to pass my classes in university. In addition to learning more about the world than I had ever imagined possible, I also have a deeper understanding of myself. I think there is something about being removed from your comfort zone that allows you to develop who you truly are. Through the fun times and the challenges, I have grown into a confident woman, ready to tackle the world. 

Studying abroad also gives you an opportunity to make friends in many different countries, which I absolutely loved. Talking to people from different cultures and backgrounds gives you the opportunity to hear new ideas and opinions. Who knows, maybe someone you meet will change your life! Studying abroad also helps you develop more patience in dealing with people who have different opinions than you and facing tough situations. You will emerge a more competent person because of these experiences. Lastly, you will have the time of your life!

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Nakia Edmond

Alumni Ambassador

What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class was my intensive Chinese because we could not speak in English at all except for a few words we didn’t know. Speaking Chinese for 2 months straight expanded my vocabulary extensively and helped me learn more than I ever did in a classroom on at my home campus. It gave me the confidence and drive to continue practicing my foreign language even after my program had long ended.

How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?  

My study abroad experience is more of a personal journey I share with others that helped me figure out what I was passionate about and what I was meant to do with my life. I came into college a criminal justice major with no real direction or passion for the major. However, after I returned from my study abroad program, I was determined to finish out my major and attend grad school for international studies with a concentration in East Asian Studies. I started my journey by interning for the education abroad office on my home campus my senior year and applied to grad schools with strong international backgrounds. Now I am a graduate student attending Texas State University, and I have CEA to thank for helping me find myself and my career path.

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Nam Nguyen

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

I firmly believe that studying abroad benefited me academically, professionally, and personally. Studying abroad broadened my knowledge and perspective in multiple ways. It has expanded my knowledge in my field of study and has helped me become the open-minded and flexible person that every employer is looking for. These experiences have helped me further develop my independence and be prepared to face whatever challenges come my way.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

Thanks to my study abroad experience, I can enter my professional career with a significant understanding of different cultures and people. After participating in many different study abroad programs, I am more aware of the cultural expectations and norms surrounding me. I have a proper understanding of what is expected of me and how to better “fit in” in the new environment. Finally, the sensitivity I have gained by studying abroad can help me succeed in many different cultures.

The insights I gained from living and studying abroad will assist me in future career opportunities. The instances in which I overcame cultural barriers and challenges will help me differentiate myself from other applicants quickly. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to marvel at the culture and history of many different countries up-close. By bridging the language barriers, I will have a chance to open plenty of doors to my future career. Whether I intend to work in a country where I studied or join an international company that maintains partnerships with those cultures, being able to speak their language and having knowledge of their culture will make me an attractive hire.

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Nate DeRidder

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Nathan Sweasey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Nicola Mayer

Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

The one lesson I’ve been taught time and time again while abroad is how quickly life passes by and to take advantage of my surroundings. I’m not talking about constantly exploring my environment—I need my down time just as much as anyone—but about being fully invested in the moment. When I was at the Colosseum, I made sure to take a second, get out from behind my camera, and really look at what was in front of me. When I was eating gnocchi in Florence, I slowed down to enjoy my food instead of scarfing it because it was so delicious. When I was at the thermal baths in Budapest, I took a deep breath and enjoyed the peace of the steam room, instead of being preoccupied by all the other pools I still wanted to go to.

Life passes so quickly, and it’s impossible to remember everything. My most vivid memories from abroad are when I’ve completely allowed myself to be consumed by the experience, when I devoted all my energy to the present. Forcing myself to slow down the constant race of daily life has given me so much happiness. I can use this valuable lesson I learned from my abroad program to change the way I approach my clubs, school work, and career search to have more memorable experiences.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Right now you’re younger than you’ll ever be in the future. That’s obvious. Realizing youth comes with flexibility, opportunity and marginally smaller consequences is less obvious. You’ll have the opportunity to travel later in life, but packing up and moving across the world for 4 months is a chance that will never be as easy to accomplish as it is now. There’s no denying it’s a huge leap and it can be terrifying. But there’s also no denying that going abroad will be the most you’ll ever grow. I’ve grown in ways I’ve never thought possible. I’ve learned the best way to grow is to be thrown into a situation you’re not comfortable with. When you’re not comfortable with the situation, you are forced to think differently and acknowledge that what has been done is not always the way things will be done.

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Nicole Nordman

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

I realize that there are not enough words to adequately describe my time abroad. I feel like I have become an entirely different person, a more real and whole me. The opportunities I had while abroad are numerous and extensive, but each had a significant impact on the person I am today. Before going to Spain, I felt confused and unsure of most things in my life, but after coming back, I am sure that my potential is endless and anything is possible if I am sure of myself and my capabilities. The most important things I have learned are that language doesn’t have to be a barrier; family is more important than I ever realized; studies don’t have to be the center of your life as long as you’re doing what you love; and food is a very important part of every culture! I will never forget my time living with my incredible host family in a country so different from my own. I was able to share so many things with them from the simple conversations about activities I did in class to something as complex as my mental health. In high school, I gave a speech to the whole school about my experience with mental disorders and it was one of the hardest things I had to do. I thought I would never do something like that again, but after seeing how understanding a person can be even when there is a language barrier, I’ve found that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Living in Granada with my host family truly was an ever-lasting experience that I will cherish forever.

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

I would have to say that the best way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it. Not everyone has this kind of opportunity, but if you are lucky to be able to, put in your best effort every day to speak to the natives. And, if you get the chance to live with a host family, talk to them about what you do every day. I also found it helpful to watch game shows with my family because they use a lot of every day vocabulary, and I could ask my host family about the words I didn’t know. The most helpful thing that I did before leaving for my host country was changing my phone to Spanish because it really forced me to learn vocabulary that’s prevalent today.

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Nina Baum

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in Maryland and spent many summer vacations traveling with my family. I earned a BA from Arizona State University in Business with a concentration in Tourism and an International Business Certificate. As an undergraduate, I did a summer internship in Sydney, Australia. It was a rewarding experience and I made some great friends; in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I became the campus ambassador for my program! 

After graduation, I worked at the Venetian in Las Vegas. While there, I met a professor from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln who runs a program that takes hospitality students abroad for conferences and to study. I took two trips with his program. One the first trip, I spent a week in Dubai and on the second trip we traveled to Manchester and London for a conference in Hospitality and Tourism. The Dubai trip is one of my most memorable study abroad experiences. I learned so much about students, traveling abroad, and networking. I was surprised at how different Dubai was from what people had told me. I felt so comfortable there and loved exploring U.A.E. 

I will complete my Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education at ASU in 2016. I plan to keep traveling and to keep helping students study abroad. As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I work with students to address their questions and concerns, and share their excitement to travel and explore the world! When I am not at CEA I love to travel, explore new places, hike, and go country dancing. 

Did you know?  I was a gymnast and cheerleader until I was 20. I even cheered on the ASU Club Competition squad for two years. 
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Ontaya Artis

Student Accounts

Prior to working for CEA, I was new to the study abroad world. Working here has opened my eyes to the major benefits of the studying and travelling abroad. I am definitely inspired and look forward to future ventures abroad.

My career in higher education started over 10 years ago. I held positions as an enrollment counselor, a financial aid counselor, and a financial aid processor before coming to CEA. The skills I acquired in this roles have equipped me to be successful in the student accounts role because I have the ability to counsel students from every angle in the college process. I enjoy making a positive impact and assisting with problem solving making this all possible one student at a time!

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Patrick Casey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California State University, Sacramento
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Riley Doerge

CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Washington State University
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Roxanna Reforme

Admissions Counselor

My passion for travel and education started from a young age. When I was thirteen years old, I went on a mission trip to Agua Prieta, Mexico to teach English at an orphanage/school. That summer before high school sparked my interest in volunteer work, which I ended up continuing throughout high school with organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Andre House, and others around my community in Phoenix, Arizona.

Once I reached college, I studied abroad in Kolkata, India, where I volunteered at one of Mother Theresa’s orphanage/schools while taking courses on Indian Language and Culture. When I returned to Scottsdale Community College, I was ready to apply to the College of Education at Northern Arizona University, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, specializing in English.

After graduation, I had the opportunity to teach abroad at a high school and college in Himeji, Japan, where I also obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Relations. I was able to travel to Nepal and throughout Japan. Even though I was terrified to travel and work in a foreign country, I fell in love with Japanese culture and food and met the most amazing, friendly people. Upon returning from Japan, I completed a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Studying and being abroad is something that has been so influential for me. There is so much beauty in other cultures and countries, so I love helping others to reach their goals of going abroad! When I’m not helping students, I am usually with family, hiking, biking, exploring locally, or really just doing anything that gets me outside!

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Roxanne Anthony

Admissions Counselor
Outside of work, you can probably find me outside. I’m an avid rock climber, hiker, camper, sleep-under-the-stars kind of a gal. My parents are total environmentalists who helped foster my love of the outdoors and adventure early on in life. I am an Arizona native and can never seem to get enough of what the state has to offer, but I like to keep a good balance of being here and being away. I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of in country travel, hitting about 50% of the states, and some out of country travel as well.

In college, I spent summers and spring breaks in Mexico and parts of ski season in Canada. My junior year, I traveled to Ireland with a group of my sorority sisters and had the time of my life! We romped around castles, kissed the Blarney Stone, held tons of baby sheep, and dressed head to toe in green for St. Patrick’s Day. I even won a contest to see who had the best Irish accent. As a speech and hearing sciences major, I had a bit of a leg up on the competition. My favorite memory was towards the end of our trip while on an excursion to the Aran Islands. These islands have very few beaches and mostly meet the ocean by way of towering cliffs. In true form, I decided that I needed to hang off the cliffs for a photo op. This horrified my sisters, but the picture was well worth it! My trip to Ireland brought me closer to the friends I went with, but I also left with new friends from around the U.S., Ireland, and a few other countries as well.

I believe there is a sort of raw vulnerability that experiencing the world brings out in people. It allows us to tap into a part of who we are that we may have never found otherwise. As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I'm the first point of contact for students who are interested in studying abroad. I provide instruction and advice to assist students in choosing the perfect program for them based on their wants and needs. And of course, I’m here to answer any questions my students may have!

Fun Fact: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Arizona State University (Go Devils!), and I am current pursuing my Master of Business Administration at Grand Canyon University!
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Samantha Potempa, M.A.

Assistant Director for Study Abroad, Office of International Studies & Programs - Illinois State University
Samantha Potempa is the Assistant Director for Study Abroad at Illinois State University. Ms. Potempa leads the Study Abroad Unit and serves as the External Communications Coordinator for the International Educators of Illinois. Some of her primary responsibilities involve study abroad risk management and program development. Previously, she worked as a Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she served on the Latin American Studies Committee. Samantha enjoys sharing knowledge with the education abroad community and presents at national, regional, and state conferences. She is particularly interested in providing training and professional development guidance to those new to the field.

Ms. Potempa received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and her master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Master Certificate in Human Resource Management from Cornell University.
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Samara Rosenthal

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

My life has changed a lot since being back from studying abroad. I feel as if I am a different person after this experience. Four months ago, I don’t know if I could have said that I was independent and confident. In addition, I have become more outgoing then I used to be and I am not afraid to meet new people and make new connections. I did learn a lot throughout my study abroad classes, although I think I learned even more by traveling and experiencing the world. Studying abroad has changed my perspective on the world and has also opened up many doors for after college that I did not think of before this experience. Living in another country is definitely something that I would do again. I made so many connections with others that I met through this program and just being abroad in general that will help me in the future.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. You get to travel the world, meet amazing people and go on new adventures while you are studying and learning things that will help you in your future. I never thought I would come back to America with 20 new best friends. The friendships that you make while abroad are unreal. You become so close with the others in your program in such a short amount of time. Who doesn’t want to travel to a different country every weekend? This is so easy to do when you are studying abroad. You will be able to check off those places you have always wanted to go to in no time. If I could relive any part of my life, it would hands-down be the four months that I lived in Italy. So, if you ever have the opportunity to study abroad, please do it!

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Samara Rosenthal

CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: University of Arizona
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Sarah Shearer

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

When you spend a long time building something up, it can be hard to tear down. This is true for perceptions, identities, and physical places, too. Having lived in the same house in the same city for eighteen years, I only knew one home. A singular point on the map. And while going to college had begun to shift that perspective in me, studying abroad is what really shook things up and threw out the “one home” absolute in my head once and for all. The first time I opened the door to my home stay in January, it felt like someone else’s house (it was), and I didn’t know how to picture myself coming back there day after day. But, somehow, I did. I made it a home for myself. Not only there, but I began to live in a state of constant “at home-ness” at the end of the day, no matter where I ended up: whether it was in bed at my home stay, in an Airbnb in Malta, sharing a room with strangers at a hostel in Munich, trying to get comfortable on a bus going through the Alps, or stretched out across a row of chairs in the Amsterdam airport. It wasn’t always easy or comfortable, but that’s a big part of how going abroad changed me (and most people, I’m willing to bet): you learn to accept it. Whatever “it” is. When you’re not in the place where you grew up, and people have different ways of life in different corners of the world, you have two choices: turn around, or buckle up and go forward. These were four months of going forward for me, and now I can never go back.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Imagine opening your eyes one morning and staring out at a place you’ve only seen before in pictures pasted to your ceiling and on cell phone commercials. But instead of just a vacation, you’re there to experience society in its purest form: Make friends from all over the world, buy broccoli at the market, go to school, develop personal cheese preferences, wave “hello” to locals, and become a regular at a café. These are the realities of studying abroad, and they are there and waiting for you to experience in any way that you will. Maybe the hardest part is making up your mind to go and then making the arrangements. I know that’s the case for some. Make the decisions anyway. Pull up a word document on your computer and get a hit list together. Pick up the phone and call your university’s study abroad department and ask for help. I hope you do it. You can make all the plans you want for the future, and it’s quite possible they’ll come true. It’s also possible they won’t and you’ll find yourself making it up as you go. The great thing about college is that it is NOW. These years are alive and they are yours in your hands. If international education and travel are on your “bucket list,” pull them into your reality and make it happen before life starts to shift around after college and gets formed and reformed by careers and families. Only you know what you really want, and if you let it pass you by, no one will be there to cry over lost opportunities with you. That will be your pill to swallow. So, if “traveling someday” is what you want, maybe think about changing it to “traveling next year.”

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Sarah Shearer

CEA MOJO Blogger in Aix-en-Provence, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
Home University: University of Pittsburgh
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Sarah Underwood

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid
Home University: Belmont University
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Shannon Appel

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

As I was going through the study abroad process, I was told over and over how this would change my life and I would come out of it a different person. I have heard this several times but never quite understood what they meant until I experienced it myself. I came into the program a little skeptical because I had never been out of the country before, I had literally no idea what to expect. All I have heard was stories from other students and my family telling me I needed to be careful and a few things about the city that I had read online. Being thrown into this new place was the best thing to ever happen to me. I have become a happier, more positive person, and I have acquired so many new skills while being abroad. I was very lucky because I had the most amazing group. The people in my group were from all over the U.S. I was able to become very close with each one and learn from them. These people were the biggest reasons I loved being abroad so much. You are able to build such close connections with everyone you meet because everyone is going through the same experience. Whenever I felt home-sick or nervous about something, having people that I could talk to and be with was so helpful. There were times we traveled to new countries and we would get lost or miss a train and have to figure out what we were going to do without help from our mom and dad. We had to learn how to problem solve and stay positive always and made me so much more of an independent and well-grounded person. One of the biggest things I learned was to appreciate everything around you and not to rush through everything. I truly feel as if I have grown so much as a person in just a few months. I have made the best memories and even better friends and I could not be more thankful for my time abroad.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

My favorite part about studying abroad in Spain (other than the siestas) was getting to experience the unique traditions and holidays celebrated throughout the city. One of my personal favorites was the holiday called Carnival. It was such a cool experience because the entire city came out all dressed up in costumes and we got to dance and enjoy the multiple concerts down La Rambla with all of the locals. They have so many different holidays and celebrations, my biggest tip would be to figure out what dates those are and plan to stay in your city those weekends. They really are a great way to get a feel for the culture and have a fun time and maybe even meet a few locals. Of course traveling to other countries was amazing as well. Sometimes your program will have their own activities that are super fun, so make sure you take advantage of those.

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Simran Heer

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera
Home University: University of Arizona
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Steven DelCegno

Admissions Counselor

The world is an amazing and wonderful place. Traveling exposes you to new cultures, customs, and opportunities. Family vacations as a child to Cancun, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and various U.S. locations set the stage for my zest to take in different environments, explore, and evolve my perspective on who I am and where my life could go.

After growing up in Connecticut, I traveled to both Ohio and Arizona. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Arizona State University.

Not only do I feel a strong connection to different places, but also I share this same passion for people. I am inspired by learning about others, and I love to use this inspiration to create positive and transformative experiences for them. I have spent my professional life working in youth sports, child welfare, and higher education. For CEA, my goal is to engage with students in order to ensure the facilitation of a meaningful and high-quality study abroad experience.

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Summer Selden

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: University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
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Taylor Farro

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Taylor Tewksbury

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Delaware
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Tracy Weber, M.A.

Associate Director, Study Abroad & PreCollegiate Programs - University of California, Berkeley
As Associate Director of Study Abroad and PreCollegiate Programs in the division of Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning at the University of California, Berkeley, Tracy Weber is responsible for new program development. She also oversees ongoing programs, including faculty-led programs abroad, global internships, and on-campus and overseas programs for newly admitted freshmen, transfer students, and high school students. Ms. Weber received Berkeley's Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award in 2016.

Before joining UC Berkeley in 2006, Ms. Weber was the Assistant Director of International Programs at The George Washington University. Here, she was involved in managing exchange agreements, creating a series of winter break opportunities abroad, and establishing the England Study Center. Other positions in the U.S. and overseas involve advising international students and scholars with the Embassy of Japan and the Fulbright Scholar program, and facilitating Sister City exchange.

Ms. Weber holds an MA in International Communication from American University's School of International Service, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Virginia. As a student, Ms. Weber participated in study abroad programs in Switzerland and Russia.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Tracy spent three years in Japan as a Language Teacher and Trainer for the Mie Prefecture Board of Education. There she developed a passion for traditional Japanese arts that she continues to pursue today, by practicing tea ceremony through the Omotosenke Society of Northern California.
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Tristin Collins

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised on my family farm in a small Ohio town. Staying close to home, I went to college 45 minutes away, where I obtained my Bachelor’s in Organizational Communication and a minor in Psychology from Ohio University in Athens. Go Bobcats! After graduating, I was the Manager of the Athens Country Club for two years. With an unshakeable urge to see more of the world, I packed up my bags, drove what fit in my car across the country, and here I am in Phoenix, Arizona.

I started as an intern here at CEA, helping the Enrollment team make various types of contact with new students. In two short weeks, I heard there was an Admissions Counselor position available and applied for it immediately. In this new role, I have the pleasure of advising students through the study abroad process and matching them with a program that is best for their personal and academic goals!

When I am not at CEA, I enjoy various activities with my Boston terrier, Penelope, hiking with friends, finding new breweries, and attending local concerts. Traveling is slowly becoming one of my leading passions in life, and my goal is to visit every country in South America (for starters)!

Did you know? My first vacation and plane ride were to Costa Rica in 2016 to visit my girlfriends who were studying abroad!
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Vannessa Kramer, M.Ed.

Assistant Dean, Global Programs - Eller College of Management, University of Arizona
Vannessa Kramer has been in the field of international education for 10 years. As the Assistant Dean of Global Programs for the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, she is responsible for designing and implementing study abroad opportunities and programs for Eller undergraduate students. She approaches her position in an entrepreneurial way, recognizing that business students seek out international experiences that enhance both personal and professional development. In addition to this businesslike approach, she has great respect for the student experience and strives to deliver a high-quality, memorable, well-coordinated international student experience.

Ms. Kramer manages a diverse portfolio of study abroad options including faculty-led programs, international internships, international service experiences, and study abroad partnerships. She advises for the Global Business Program, coordinates the annual Global Perspectives Conference, and is the club advisor for the Eller Global Business Association. She also teaches a Topics & Careers in the Global Environment course, in which she applies a critical global perspective pedagogy.

Her areas of expertise include program development, partner collaboration, faculty training and development, risk management, comprehensive program management, marketing and promotion, cross-cultural communication, co-curricular development, pre-departure and post-return programming, study abroad advising, and student development. Ms. Kramer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in sociocultural studies with an emphasis in global perspectives.
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Victoria Krug

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Dublin
Home University: University of Southern Indiana
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William Manson

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

My study abroad experience has shaped me in many ways. I learned a lot about who I am during the fifty total days I was abroad. I had never been away for home or from the United States that long during my entire life. It was like an incredible coming of age ceremony. I am twenty, nearly an adult by societal standards, but so far away from truly being one. The experiences I had during my summer in 2017 have left an incredible mark on who I am as a man and how I want to continue to attain that mark in the future. It stoked the embers of a burning desire to travel. I saw seven countries and fourteen cities. I saw people, places, and cultures that 99 percent of my age group has never seen before and maybe never will. But, as I sit here and reflect on the memories and all I saw and did, I cannot help to think....what else is out there? I want to travel more because of this experience. I want to go to Eastern Europe, not just Western Europe where I studied in Barcelona. I do not just want to see Europe, I want to see every continent. I want to see the world. There is so much to see and so much to learn. I want to work hard and achieve success in life so I have the ability to travel.

I also just learned so much that I become a much better-rounded person. I learned to cook while in Europe. I had never really cooked before and I almost had to learn or I wouldn't eat! But I took that skill back with me as some tangible evidence of my growth as a person. Studying abroad really did help shape who I am sitting here today, writing this. I am forever grateful for it.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?

I would say I made the choice to study abroad too. I had the debates in my head. Should I do this? I am scared, it may be expensive… whatever fear you had - I had it as well. Despite those concerns, I am sitting here right now imploring you to do this. It is the most incredible experience you will ever have in your life. You will learn so much about who you are, you will gain so many lifelong memories, and you will meet so many amazing people. This is not some study abroad person telling you to do it. I am a student. I am your peer. I am telling you right now that this experience is unparalleled. You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on your own life! Trust me, if you do it you will not regret it. The only thing you will regret is not taking a chance and studying abroad when you had it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Take it.

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Zoey Bloom

CEA MOJO Photographer
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