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3 posts from January 2013


Announcing Regional Directors of Operations

In order to better meet the needs of its constituents and provide more consistent management of its Study Centers, CIEE is transitioning to a new overseas management structure. 

Newly appointed, field-based, Regional Directors of Operations (RDOs), will oversee a subset of regional Study Centers. RDOs based in Europe and Latin American will report to Senior Program Director Catharine Scruggs, while those based in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East will report to Senior Program Dirctor Adam Rubin.

CIEE intends to have six Regional Directors of Operations, initially, and currently has five in place:

Clara Rodes
Clara Rodes, RDO, Southern Europe, holds an M.B.A from DePaul University and has extensive business management and academic experience. She has worked in the business consulting and education sectors in Spain, the US, and Argentina, for over 20 years. 

Prior to her appointment as RDO, Clara was the Center Director for the Barcelona CIEE study center.  In that capacity she was responsible for the successful delivery of 7 different programs, and oversaw a team of aprox 15 full time people .  Before joining CIEE, Clara worked for over eight years at the European campus of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where she held the positions of Director of Administration and Academic Advisor.  As Director of Adminsitration, she was responsible for the human resources, financial reporting and operations of the Europe campus.  In addition to her experience in leadership roles, she has relevant teaching experience, having taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for the last 15 years. Based in Barcelona, she currently teaches at the Business and Economics Department at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. 

Clara is also actively involved with the autism community, as the President and founding member of the Autism Foundation for Early Intervention, based in Barcelona. She has organized multiple international training workshops on autism and works closely with families who have members diagnosed on the autism spectrum. 

Caroline at Schloss Schoenbrunn
Caroline Maas, RDO, Northern Europe, brings two decades of experience in international education to her role overseeing study center operations in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Originally from Boston, Carolina has spent, altogether, a decade in Europe and currently resides in Berlin.

Caroline’s interest in international education was sparked by her own study abroad experience as an undergraduate at Boston University, where she participated in BU’s study abroad program in Grenoble, France. Caroline returned to France upon graduation to work for two years, afterward joining the Massachusetts-based international education company EF Education First. During her 15-year tenure with EF, Caroline assumed roles in marketing, communications, and operations for EF, working in the U.S., Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

In 2008 Caroline earned an MBA from the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business, after which she joined the staff of Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA, where she managed press and marketing for this prominent international arts event.

Returning to Europe in 2011, Caroline worked as a consultant for the University of South Carolina, managing recruitment, alumni communications, and institutional relations in Europe, until joining CIEE in December 2012. 

In her spare time, Caroline enjoys taking advantage of Berlin’s sensational cultural offerings, heading to the mountains for snow sports, traveling in Europe and beyond, and reading biographies. 

  Max Savishinsky

Max Savishinsky (MPA, MAIS, Ed.D), – RDO, Latin America and the Caribbean, oversees operations for CIEE’s study abroad programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Netherlands Antilles, and Peru.

Prior to joining CIEE, Max directed the University of Washington’s Exploration Seminar study abroad program: 40 short-term faculty-led programs in 25 countries on 6 continents. He also served as the University of Washington’s Assistant Director for Latin American Studies and as Resident Director for numerous undergraduate and high school programs to Latin America focused on immigration, the coffee industry, social movements and service learning. His undergraduate teaching experience includes courses in International Studies, Public Policy, Education, and Latin American Studies. In addition to his higher education and education abroad background, Max has worked in program and project management and consulting in the international development, non-profit and technology sectors. 

Max received his Master of Public Administration, Master of International Studies, and Doctor of Higher Education Leadership and Policy degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle. Max’s own study abroad experiences include semesters in London, England; Granada, Spain, Guadalajara, Mexico, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Semester at Sea. Max will be based in Brazil.

Janine el talJanine El Tal, RDO, Middle East and Northern Africa, has over thirty years of experience in leadership roles in the field of international education in the Middle East.  This includes 25 years as the Country Director for the Jordan office of America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST).  In this role, Janine established numerous programs that enabled the Jordanian community to have access to higher education opportunities in the U.S. and coordinated various professional development training and career enhancement projects.  During her tenure with AMIDEAST, she served as the Vice-Chair of the Jordanian-American Fulbright Commission and Vice-Chair of the Jordanian-American Business Association.

She was also instrumental in the development of the CIEE Amman Study Center and served as a consultant in the development of the CIEE Sharjah Study Center in the UAE.  Since relocating from Jordan to the UAE, Janine has worked with the Foundation for International Education (FIE), the Government of Dubai, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.  Her recent work has focused on student scholarships, building human capital in the Arab world, and quality assurance and capacity building in national educational systems. Janine’s personal background is multinational in itself, with an Egyptian mother and an American father she was born in Egypt and grew up in California where her father was a professor of Middle Eastern History at Stanford University.  Janine subsequently returned to the Middle East to learn Arabic where she met and married a Jordanian and settled there.

In her role as RDO for Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA), Janine will oversee study center operations in Jordan, Turkey, Morocco, UAE, and Israel.  Janine will be based in the UAE.

Penny AlexanderPenny Alexander – RDO, Africa

 Penny Alexander has worked in various leadership roles in Africa and the U.S. over the past 10+ years, primarily in the areas of relief, development, and cross-cultural education.  While working for Habitat for Humanity, she helped lead the development and launch of a new program in Nigeria and helped support operations for the simple, decent, and affordable housing in Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

During her tenure as Regional Programs Officer for Jesuit Refugee Service, Penny supported the care of refugees, asylum seekers and other forcibly-displaced persons and managed human resources projects for country programs in Southern Africa, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. 

Penny designed and directed an innovative international internship program for the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College and worked with a wide range of top international development agencies to help create opportunities for U.S. students in various parts of the world.  Penny earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania and has a BA in Counseling and Psychology from Lesley College.  When not exploring the world, Penny can be found volunteering with the American Red Cross and other community-based organizations. 

In her role as RDO for Africa, Penny will oversee study center operations in Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.  Penny will be based in Cape Town, South Africa.  



A Semester in Bonaire


Watch a presentation by Oregon State University student Alex Gulick about her experience on the CIEE Tropical Marine Biology and Conservation program in Bonaire!


Inside the 41esimo Parallelo Film Festival

Naples student Tony Mastroianni takes us inside New York’s 41esimo Parallelo Film Festival and confesses his love for Napoli in an ode to the city written in the vernacular. 


The 41st parallel is an imaginary line that circles our little world, connecting Naples, Italy to New York, New York. Some would call it latitude, whatever. The 41st parallel lent its name to a couple clever gentlemen who started New York’s exclusive little version of the Napoli Film Fest.

About a year ago I interviewed one of those clever gentlemen–curator Antonio Monda about the who, what, where, when, why of the fest. What I got was more interesting. Mr. Monda told me more or less about all the other intangible parallels (ndr ride) between the two cities, “…the melting pots, the harbors, the parallel, but they are both cities that welcome whoever comes to them. They are made for foreigners, everyone feels at home after one minute in both cities.” He further explained that, “New York is the city of today, while Naples is one of the eternal cities, [that] the idea is to bring Neapolitan culture or something related to the Mediterranean to New York City.”

This year’s festival was no exception to years past. I, personally, only caught one film: a collection of 24 three minute long shorts reflecting Naples. Directed by 24 Neapolitan directors, including the likes of Paolo Sorrentino, it was very appropriately titled -Napoli 24. You see 24 completely different takes on a city as diverse as each featured vignette. Any one of them could have stood on their own as accurate representations of their city. From elegant scripted fiction to three minutes focused on a pig roaming the side of a metropolitan street eating refuse. One man’s garbage is another pig’s treasure.

In a city that’s cultural diversity is represented in such a prominent way that it became the face of the city itself, the ever-apparent flavor of Naples is but a freckle New York’s massive phiz. Of course, there’s always a little New York spin on things. Greeks make great diner food, Chinese food tastes like Chinese food and then there is always New York abeetz. Once a year, whether it be at the grand Fordham Lincoln Center or NYU’s Casa Italiana, the 41esimo Parallelo brings a refreshing dose of Naples across that invisible line and more importantly, outside the realm of O’ Sole Mio and those red checkered table clothes.



Tutte hanno scritto 'e Napule canzone appassiunate,

tutte 'e bellezze 'e Napule sò state decantate:

da Bovio a Tagliaferri, Di Giacomo a Valente;

in prosa, vierze e musica: ma chi po ddi cchiù niente?

Chi tene 'o curaggio 'e di' quaccosa

doppo ca sti puete gruosse assaie

d'accordo songo state a ddi una cosa:

ca stu paese nun se scorda maie.

Sta Napule, riggina d' 'e ssirene,

ca cchiù 'a guardammo e cchiù 'a vulimmo bbene.

'A tengo sana sana dinto 'e vvene,

'a porto dinto 'o core, ch' aggia fà?

Napule, si comme 'o zucchero,

terra d'ammore - che rarità!

Zuoccole, tammorre e femmene,

è 'o core 'e Napule ca vò cantà.

Napule, tu si adorabile,

siente stu core che te vò di:

"Zuoccole, tammorre e femmene,

chi è nato a Napule nce vo murì".