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 different 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 and boogie boards and surfs wherever there are waves. Lee and his wife Jessica are the parents of Zachary and Amelia, both of whom traveled 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.
Assistant Director - University and Alumni RelationsMary@academicstudies.com
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.
Alaina is a Programs Advisor at ASA and a graduate of Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Alaina studied abroad through ASA during her fall 2016 semester in Florence, Italy and is now thrilled to help students find the right program for them. Studying abroad is where Alaina developed her love for traveling and exploring the world. While abroad Alaina was able to visit Spain, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, and England. She hopes that her passion for international education will help encourage students to study abroad like she did. In her spare time, Alaina enjoys going to the beach, spending time at her family’s New Hampshire home, boating, snowboarding, and reading.
Katia is a Programs Advisor for ASA and works in the Durham, NH office. She grew up in California with a family that loved to travel and host international exchange students – she definitely caught the travel bug at an early age! She received her B.A. from University of California, Davis in International Relations and Russian. Katia studied abroad in Russia the summer and fall of her senior year and eventually was able to pass off as Russian and get the ‘locals’ price into the museums – not an easy feat! She traveled the world for a few years before earning her M.S. in Environmental Education in Oregon. Katia now lives in New Hampshire and enjoys surfing, skiing, kayaking, hiking, diving, and traveling with her husband, Derek, and two sons, Kai and Will. The part she loves most about her job is helping students get started on one of the most memorable experiences of their lives – study abroad.4
Lena is the Alumni Coordinator for ASA. Lena's passion for international education comes from her own experience studying abroad in Italy during her junior year of college. After graduating from college, Lena returned to Italy where a career in international education found her. For Lena, the most rewarding part of working with study abroad students has always been watching them grow and be transformed by their study abroad experiences. Lena enjoys helping students learn to articulate their experiences and providing them with a platform to share those experiences with other students upon their return. She is a member of NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History and American Studies from Fordham University, and has a master’s degree in International Education from New York University. Lena lives in Boston with her husband Brent and their daughter Isabella.
Florence, Italy Site DirectorChiara@academicstudies.com
Originally from Naples, in southern Italy, Chiara lived in Australia, Syria, and Spain, before settling down in Florence, where she has been for ten years. Needless to say, Chiara loves to travel and seek out new adventures! During her 10 years in Florence she has worked with study abroad students to make them feel comfortable and welcome. Chiara is also a licensed tour guide in Florence, so has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Italian and Florentine history. When she isn’t working with the ASA students, Chiara loves to run, swim, cook, and spend time with her children, Elena and Matteo, as well as her husband, Cesare.
Buenos Aires Site DirectorGabriela@academicstudies.com
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.
Florence, Italy Assistant Site Directorfederica@academicstudies.com
Federica is originally from the town of Camposanpiero, which is near Padova, in the north of Italy. She originally came to Florence to study Art History at the University of Florence, but loved it so much she decided to stay. She loves living in Florence because she can walk everywhere, but is “surrounded by the signs of a long and meaningful past”. She is a licensed tour guide in Florence and also teaches a class on Renaissance Art.
Barcelona Site DirectorRichard@academicstudies.com
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.
Marta Nieves Gomez
European Operations ManagerMarta@academicstudies.com
Marta is a native of Barcelona and speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and French fluently. She holds a Masters degree in Cultural Management from the University of Barcelona. She loves showing students her city, history, and culture, since she is a licensed Catalonia Tourism Official Guide.
Dublin Site DirectorOlwyn@academicstudies.com
Olwyn is a walking encyclopedia 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.
Madrid, Spain Site DirectorElena@academicstudies.com
Elena has lived in both New York and Boston, studying at NYU and BU respectively, so she understands the needs of American students living in Spain. She says she is, "Totally in love with both American culture, and my own Spanish culture, and I'm delighted to help students enrich their lives living in the fabulous city of Madrid!" Elena has a degree in Economics and teaches Economics classes to students in their last 2 years of high school. She lives in Madrid with her husband, son, and daughter.
London Site DirectorVickie@academicstudies.com
When Vickie was an undergraduate student at Northeastern University she studied abroad with ASA in Buenos Aires. Upon her return, she was an intern at ASA and when she graduated from Northeastern she returned to work at ASA. Vickie eventually decided to go to grad school and chose a program at a university in London. She has lived there ever since and loves everything about life in London.
Oxford, England Site DirectorHannah@academicstudies.com
Hannah was born in Wales and has lived in Oxford for 17 years - she loves it and has seen no reason to leave! With a professional career that spans HR, Recruitment and a bit of Midwifery thrown in, Hannah has most recently been bringing up her 4 young children. Whilst long haul travel hasn't featured in the last few years, she has previously enjoyed trips to the US, New Zealand and many parts of Europe. Hannah looks forward to welcoming students to the city of 'dreaming spires' and helping them settled into English life.
Sevilla Site DirectorNicole@academicstudies.com
Nicole was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but grew up outside Chicago. She has a degree in Spanish and Business from Indiana University, as well as a certificate in Russian language. As a junior, she studied abroad in Seville and decided to make it her home. “Learning a language and culture, as well as meeting new people, made my study abroad experience amazing and it changed my life. I love working with students to help them get the most out of their time abroad,” she said. Nicole has been working in the field of international education for 5 years.
Dr. Jorge Nowalski
San José, Costa Rica Site DirectorJorge@academicstudies.com
Jorge is the President and Academic Director of the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), and also chairs the Foundation for Sustainability and Equity (ALIARSE), organizations based in San José, Costa Rica and involved in the fostering of international education and of public-private partnerships for development, respectively. Dr. Nowalski holds a Ph.D. in Labor Issues and Social Security from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as well as a Masters degree in Social Planning in Developing Countries and a Masters degree in Industrial Relations, both from LSE. Besides directing ICDS and ALIARSE, Dr. Nowalski has also been a consultant for international organizations such as, ILO, UNDP, OAS, Inter-American Development Bank, as well as author and coauthor of books and articles on topics such as trade and poverty, labor issues, social security, trade unions, and human development. At ICDS Dr. Nowalski oversees all international academic programs with the cooperation of the program academic coordinators.
Viña del Mar Site DirectorKathleen@academicstudies.com
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Kathleen has her degree in Social Work from Franciscan University, and has lived in Chile for over three years. She fell in love with the culture and life “a la Chilena” while she studied Spanish there during her junior year of college. After working in Santiago for a year, she decided she needed to be closer to the ocean, and moved to Viña del Mar. She loves helping students understand Chilean culture, and is always willing to grab a café to talk about homesickness, help with travel plans, or help a student with their Spanish. Kathleen likes to kayak, hike, read, and spend her time finding the hidden secrets of Chile that you can’t find in a travel guide.
Paris Site DirectorAliya@academicstudies.com
Aliya is originally from England, but has lived in France for many years. In college, she studied at the Sorbonne and her experience was so incredible that she decided to stay in Paris. Aliya has travelled all over the world, including many parts of Europe, South America, Africa, and Australia, but nothing compared to Paris for her. She loves the many cultural events constantly going on and is always looking for new areas of the city to discover. Aliya’s favorite part of her job is showing her students the wonderful city of Paris and sharing her passion for French Culture and French Language with them. She finds it amazing to see the progress that students make in speaking French and how they adapt to life in such a bustling city. She also loves to see the positive changes they make not only in dealing with life in France, but in their own personality and personal growth.
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