CEA Directory

academic affairs Leadership

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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Jacqueline Martinez, Ed.D.

Director of Academic Affairs

Dr. Martinez manages CEA’s day-to-day Academic Operations based at CEA’s Headquarters in Phoenix. Jacqueline works closely with all CEA departments to ensure CEA remains compliant with the University of New Haven (UNH), CEA’s School of Record for all faculty approvals, curriculum design, academic facility approvals, and course credit assignment. She also manages CEA’s annual Academic Performance Review (APR) process coordinating logistics between CEA & UNH, writing the self-study, and ensuring CEA remains compliant with recommendations made by the APR peer-review panel to enhance Study Center operations. In addition, she also oversees efforts for continuous improvement with enhancing student learning outcomes, student pre-departure, teaching methodology, student satisfaction, academic integrity, assessment initiatives and the overall student experience.


As CEA’s Director of Academic Affairs, Jacqueline Martinez has over 19 years of experience in higher education. Her 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 renewals), international operations (including F-1 & J-1 student status), and managing campus operations.


Jacqueline is also a university lecturer; she teaches first-year experience courses and master’s-level courses in the field of Industrial Organizational Psychology. She is passionate about student retention, the student experience, assessment, academic operations, and understanding generational behaviors in higher education. Jacqueline holds an M.A. 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.” Dr. Martinez specializes in assessing student learning outcomes and development. Throughout her tenure as an academic administrator, she has focused her research on understanding generational behaviors and the support structure students need for student development and retention.

Presentations:

  • Partnerships and the “Franchise Model” of Study Abroad Capacity Building. 2018 Institute of International Education, Generation Study Abroad Symposium

  • Exploring the Value and Impact of an Integrated Reflective Learning Component in Internships Abroad. 2018 Global Internship Conferenc

  • Enhancing Student Outcomes Through Reflective Learning. 2018 Faculty Development Series, Clemson University

  • Not All School of Record(s) are Created Equal. 2018 Regional NAFSA Conference, Region VII
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academic affairs Team

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 Curriculum Integrations and Educational Technology projects. Before moving to the Academic Team, Alex previously worked as a CEA Admissions Counselor.


Alex is an alumnus of the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he earned a B.A. in History. He is also an alumnus of Northern Arizona University where he earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership. 


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

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Alyssa Wolk

Assistant Academic Coordinator

Alyssa Wolk, as an Assistant Academic Coordinator, supports the Academic Affairs team with day-to-day operations. She plays a crucial role to the coordination of CEA’s Student Success model as well as serves as a point person for Academic Affairs projects and process improvements. Before moving to the Academic Affairs team, Alyssa was both an intern to the CEA Enrollment department and a CEA Admissions Counselor.


Alyssa has always been inspired by culture, food, and traditions. This encouraged her to study Anthropology and Earth Science at University of California, Irvine (UCI). While at UCI, she 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 immersed in these two amazing and diverse cultural environments, she met many inspiring people from around the world that continue to teach and humble her to this day.


Alyssa is also grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, France, Germany, England, and Jordan, as well as many wonderful places in the States. However, her list of where she’d like to travel is much longer (isn’t everyone’s?!). Outside of CEA, Alyssa enjoys 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? Alyssa met her husband studying abroad!
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Lauren Bates

Assistant Academic Coordinator

In her role as a CEA Assistant Academic Coordinator, Lauren Bates assists the Academic Affairs Team by organizing all CEA transcripts and supporting day-to-day operations. 

Lauren completed a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in History at Arizona State University. While earning her degree, she was fortunate enough to study abroad in the British Isles - traveling to London, Dublin, and Edinburgh during six amazing weeks. She also traveled to Japan with her high school language class. 

Lauren enjoys reading, ice skating, and learning languages in her free time, as well as traveling whenever possible. Her top three wish-list destinations are England (again!), Hokkaido (in Japan), and France.
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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.

Academic Director - Prague
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 - Barcelona

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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Alexandra Massini

Academic Director - Rome
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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Monica Francioso

Academic Director - Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. 

Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis, 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 lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. 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. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. 

Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

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Christopher Edwards

Academic Director - Paris

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

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

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

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

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

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Mary Alice Soriero

Academic Director - Seville

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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Darragh O Briain

Academic Director - Dublin

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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