Lee Frankel is the Director of Programs for ASA and oversees both the Boston office and all sites that ASA offers. Lee grew up in New York City and Amherst, Massachusetts and has long been exposed to study abroad. At the age of 6 he spent the summer in Mexico with his mother, who was finishing her PhD and wanted to learn Spanish. Since then he has spent time living, traveling, and learning about the cultures in over 20 countries. While at Ithaca College as an undergraduate, Lee spent a semester in Salamanca, Spain where he decided that studying abroad was the single most important part of his college experience. When he returned, he began recruiting other students to go abroad and managed to turn it into a career. Lee's favorite part of his job is watching each student grow and mature in such a short time while abroad. In between his constant travels around the world, Lee plays drums in a band in Boston and boogie boards and surfs wherever there are waves. Lee and his wife Jessica are the parents of Zachary and Amelia, both of whom travelled abroad before they could walk!.
Lee is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, serves as the Consular Liaison to the Consulate of Spain in Boston, and has been designated as a Warden for the U.S. Department of State's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).
Chelsea is the Assistant Director for ASA and works in our Boston office. She handles enrollment and pre-departure support for all ASA students. She grew up in Nebraska but moved to the East Coast to attend Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in Spanish. Chelsea spent her junior year abroad, living and studying in Madrid at the Universidad Complutense, where she learned Spanish language and culture first-hand. Chelsea is the main point of contact for ASA students, as she guides them through the application and pre-departure processes. She feels that it is extremely rewarding to get to know the students and to be a part of their study abroad experience. She frequently stays in contact with students after they have completed their study abroad. While residing in Roslindale, Massachusetts, Chelsea enjoys music, dancing, baseball, foreign films, and practicing Spanish whenever she can.
You can contact Chelsea about studying abroad in the following ASA programs locations: Buenos Aires, Argentina; London, England; Aix-en-Provence, France; Semester in Dublin, Ireland; Florence, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Summer in Madrid, Spain; and Seville, Spain.
Assistant Director - University and Alumni Relations
After earning her M.S. in Higher Education Administration at Florida State, Mary went to Germany for a year. She interned in the International Programs Office in Karlsruhe and taught in-company Business English. Besides traveling, she enjoys creative writing and photography. Her professional interest is in student development theory as related to international experiences. She has also worked in recruitment and career services and can tell you how studying and interning abroad will boost your resume ahead of others at job search time. (Ja, Si, Jo, Da, Oui!) Mary grew up in a military family, which she claims has fueled her desire to travel the world and explore new cultures. She tries to add a new country every year to her passport! Mary says, "Venturing out on my own to new places has been the best challenge I ever gave myself." As the Programs Advisor for ASA in the Southeast her area includes Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Caitlin Phillips is a Programs Manager and University Relations representative for the New England region. She is based in the ASA Boston office. Caitlin was born and raised in Geneva, New York and graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Health Studies. While at Siena, Caitlin spent a semester in Granada, Spain. During her semester abroad she explored much of Spain and Europe and was amazed at how travel opened her eyes to so many different cultures and ideas. She decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations at Lesley University. During her 2 years of graduate study, Caitlin co-lead short term study abroad programs to Mexico, researched Capoeira in Brazil, and interned with ASA in Argentina. Working in study abroad means that Caitlin gets to help students experience the world through a different lens, which is why she loves her job. In her spare time she enjoys travel, live music, sports, dog sitting and visiting the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.
You can contact Caitlin about studying abroad in the following ASA (partnered with AYA) semester and academic year program locations: Paris, France; Madrid, Spain.
Laura Beth Mours
Manager of Customized Programs
Laura Beth Mours is the Manager of Customized Programs and manages several of our ASA program locations. She works in our Boston office. Laura Beth is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Her first adventure abroad was a high school class trip to France and she’s been in love with travel and culture ever since. She was a French major at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA and spent the spring semester of her junior year studying abroad in Grenoble, a city in the French Alps. After receiving her BA, she returned to France to teach English to primary school children in a small town that prides itself on being the godmother of America, St. Dié des Vosges – the home of the cartographer to officially name the new world after Amerigo Vespucci. She worked for six years in the field of international purchasing before deciding to go back to school, and recently graduated from Lesley University with her Masters in Intercultural Relations. Studying and living abroad has been the shaping force in her life and she is excited to be working at ASA. In her free time she enjoys seeing French films, learning Italian, and exploring the Boston area.
You can contact Laura Beth about studying abroad in the following ASA program locations: Vina del Mar, Chile; San Jose, Costa Rica; Summer in Dublin, Ireland; Siena, Italy; Sorrento, Italy; Cuzco, Peru; Lima, Peru; and Edinburgh, Scotland.
Rudy Rodriguez was born and raised in a small Texas city on the border of Mexico. She moved to Alabama to pursue a degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and studied abroad in London during her junior year. While abroad, Rudy worked as an editor for the Regent College newspaper and fell In love with the city of London and world travel in general. She has a strong passion for study abroad and enjoys talking with students and faculty about how going abroad can enhance their college experience. In her free time, Rudy enjoys traveling across the US visiting the many friends she met while on her ASA program.
Email: Vickie (at) academicstudies.com
With a background in Communications and Business from Northeastern University, Vickie is our newest addition to ASA. Originally from Northern New Jersey, Vickie moved to Boston four years ago and has been a Red Sox fan ever since! She's currently working with ASA as a Programs Advisor and advises students on all of our programs. Having completed a five month semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina through ASA she was able to see first hand just how much students can learn and grow through other cultures. With ASA, she hopes to grant students the opportunity to step outside of their comfort level and try new things. Her overall goal is to promote a lifestyle of open-mindedness.
Our newest staff member, Moxie, a 5-month-old Corgi puppy, started in our Boston office on November 19th, 2012. Born in Pennsylvania, Moxie moved to Boston to be with her best friends Caitlin and Marcelo. Moxie brings a wealth of experience in running after sticks that are thrown, licking hands and faces, and cuddling on laps.
Buenos Aires Site Director
Gabriela has lived in Buenos Aires her whole life and loves showing students her city and culture. She received her degree in Tourism and when she isn't helping ASA students, she is giving private tours of the city that she loves. Gabriela has traveled throughout South America and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and English fluently. Her favorite part of the job is seeing what life is like in the U.S. without actually being there. She says that meeting students from other countries helps her learn about their culture.
Patricia Dongo Soria Champin
Lima Site Director
Patricia has spent many years living abroad in the U.S., Italy, Ecuador, and Holland, so she knows what it’s like to feel homesick. For the last 3 years she has been back in her native Peru and loves showing ASA students the country she loves.
Patricia has 3 children between 21-35 years old, so her understanding of both college students and living abroad makes her a fantastic site director.
In addition to Spanish and English Patricia also speaks Italian and French.
Barcelona Site Director for UB and UAB
Richard was born and raised in the U.S. and completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Oregon State University and his Ph.D at Tulane University. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Provincia del Tungurahua, Ecuador where he facilitated classes on agricultural methods, marketing, bookkeeping, mathematics, and worked with farmers on an individual basis. He then began his career first as a Professor of Spanish, then as Associate Director at the International Programs division of the University of Oregon. In 2006 Richard moved to Barcelona with his wife Elena, who is from Barcelona, and the rest, as they say, is history. Richard loves showing his students the city that he now calls home and helping them adjust to the Spanish way of life.
Patricia Gayle Witzig
Madrid Site Director
Gayle is originally from New York and received her degree in Spanish Language and Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Gayle did her graduate studies in Advertising at the EuropeanUniversity in Belgium. Gayle had planned a semester abroad at the Universidad de Sevilla, but by November knew she had to stay for the full year. It was a fortuitous decision as she met her, now, husband while dancing Sevillanas at the Feria de Abril. Gayle considers herself part advisor, part tour guide, part mother and is always available to conjugate a verb, suggest the best way to get to Granada, or commiserate over homesickness or allergies! She also knows what it feels like to be a parent of a child overseas, as both of her sons have been or are “study abroaders.” In her free time Gayle enjoys reading, studying languages and history, knitting, gardening, and jogging with her 3 Labrador retrievers.
Sevilla Site Director
Steven was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio but knew at an early age that his love for language, culture and travel would take him to other countries. Steven earned an M.B.A. and M.S.I.B. (Master of Science in International Business) at the University of Miami (FL) and has a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (MA). He is also a certified Myers Briggs practitioner. Over the past 15 years Steven has lived in Buenos Aires, Madrid, London, eventually settling in Seville where he has been working in the field of international education and study abroad for over 10 years. He is happily married to a Spaniard and has two wonderful daughters and hopes to help provide students with the same wonderful study abroad opportunities he had as an undergraduate student.
Sonia Sales Frisuelos
Sonia was born and raised in Sevilla, Spain. Since she was very young, she has always been interested in other cultures and languages. Fluent in Spanish, French and English, Sonia has completed exchange programs in Belgium and France, and she also spent a year in Ireland.
Sonia has a degree in Photography from the Instituto Néstor Almendros. In addition to individual exhibitions, she has completed work for the Flamenco dancer Victor Bravo, fashion designer Magdalena Brasa, as well as actors and ballet dancers. Currently, she is finishing a degree in Graphic Design.
Sonia is enthusiastic about working with American students and aims to offer a unique experience in her hometown of Sevilla!
María Alejandra Flores
Viña del Mar Site Director
María Alejandra was born in Chile but left the country together with her family when she was 12 years old. She lived in Brussels for five years and it was there that she had her first multicultural experience and learned the French language. When she came back to Chile, she studied English as a Foreign Language and Education at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. She loves languages and learning about different cultures. In addition, she has a special interest in historical, social, linguistics, and artistic issues. In her spare time, Alejandra loves traveling, practicing outdoor activities, watching movies, sharing with friends, dancing, listening to music, going to concerts and reading. She invites all students to visit Chile and learn about the Chilean cultural diversity and its heritage.
Dublin Site Director
Olwyn is a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to information related to both Dublin and Ireland. Having run her own company, Over The Top Tours, for the past 17 years, she always has great recommendations for things to do in Dublin and places to go in Ireland. She has an honours degree in History and Politics from University College Dublin (UCD) and a diploma in Law Studies from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Olwyn is married and has a daughter. She loves reading, travelling, sailing, culture, theatre, cinema and music.
London Site Director
It’s not every day that a young American pulls up her roots and moves half way across the world, but you should expect nothing less from the adventurous Emily Nunes. Emily's knowledge of both London and England will leave you wondering if her American accent is fake and if she has, in fact, lived in England her whole life. If there's something you fancy to do in London, just ask Emily and she will tell you where to go, how to get there, and who the right person to talk to is. Oh, and make sure to ask Emily what it's like to have a famous sister!
Emily continues to live by Mark Twain’s quote “Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Florence Site Director
Melissa was born and raised in California and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz. She first came to Italy as a study abroad student in the early 90s and with the exception of a few years back in the U.S., Florence has been her home ever since. She relishes in using her personal experiences as an ex-pat in Florence as a platform for assisting students in their study abroad experience.
Although she has been in Florence for almost 20 years, she still understands how it feels when you are suddenly struck by culture shock and is always available to assist in those moments of homesickness. With her extensive knowledge of Florence and of the Italian culture, she is always an immense help with anything, from helping to translate Italian to understanding the differences between cultures, or even just advising where to get the best gelato in your Florentine neighborhood!