CEA Directory

florence Leadership

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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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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florence Team

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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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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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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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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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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