Meet our BCA International Staff

BCA Study Abroad on-site directors are experienced international educators selected for academic training, management abilities, language skills and experience with issues and concerns of U.S. undergraduate students. Directors oversee the academic programs, which can include an orientation and language courses, internships and independent study projects, as well as arrange housing and educational excursions and other activities.

Alexis Phylactopoulos, BCA Athens Resident Director

Alexis Phylactopoulos is the president of the College Year in Athens (CYA) program. Born in Athens, he studied law at the University of Athens, International Relations and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, and International Law at the University of Cambridge.

His previous appointments include: Director of the Press & Information Service of the Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C., Press Counselor at the Greek Embassy in Mexico City, Director of Members and External Affairs of the Federation of Greek Industries. He has published articles in international law journals and has been the editor of promotional newsletters.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of College Year in Athens, member of the Board of Trustees of the Campion School, Secretary of the Association of American Colleges in Greece, member of the Board of Trustees of the Benakeion Children’s Foundation of Kifissia, member of the Corporation of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation, President of the Princeton Club of Greece, member of the Greek Committee of the United World Colleges, member of the Greek Archaeological Society.

Dr. Carmen (Maika) Barbosa-Torralbo, BCA Barcelona Resident Director

Dr. Carmen (Maika) Barbosa-Torralbo has been directing the BCA program in Barcelona since 1992. A native of Spain, she studied comparative literature at the University of Chicago, linguistics at the University of Iowa and art history at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

She has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Iowa, DePaul University and Roosevelt University. Before working for BCA, she was the director of the Lake Forest International Program in Lake Forest, Illinois and Madrid, Spain. She has published books and articles on Spanish poetry and narrative and periodically lectures on Spanish painting and architecture. She is interested in European and non-Western cinema and enjoys many different types of music.  She has participated in the organization of the blues and jazz festival in Barcelona. Dr.  Barbosa-Torralbo is fluent in Spanish, English, Catalan, and Italian.

Stephanie Gardner, BCA Brussels Resident Director

BCA’s resident director in Brussels, Stephanie Gardner, wears two hats as assistant professor of law at Vesalius College (BCA’s host institution) and director of the Brussels program.

A native of North Carolina, Stephanie holds dual U.S. and Belgian nationalities and has lived and worked in Brussels for over 20 years. An avid traveler, Stephanie combines her passion for teaching with meeting new people (especially students), both near and far. She is currently a guest lecturer at universities and higher education institutions located in Morocco, Serbia, Vietnam, France, and the Netherlands.

Stephanie holds a B.A. in American Studies and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska.  As former President of the Student Bar Association at Creighton, she received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Community Service and was featured in Creighton’s alumni magazine. Stephanie considers herself a “perpetual student” and has attended courses at Georgetown, Boston University and Harvard University.

Stephanie lives outside of Brussels with her husband and son. She enjoys Belgian & French cuisine, long walks along the North Sea and is also a member of a Brussels Book Group for expats and writes poetry.

Ian Sutton, BCA Cheltenham Resident Director

Born and raised in Cheltenham, Ian attended the University of Portsmouth graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature with Media Studies.Shortly after graduating, he moved to Japan and worked as an English Language Teacher in a secondary school, teaching 11-16 year olds as well as assisting with Study Abroad programs to countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. During that time he also studied the Japanese language achieving a good conversational standard as well as learning about Japanese culture and history. Learning about different cultures has become a life passion and Ian tries to visit different countries as much as possible.

After 5 years Ian returned to Cheltenham to work for INTO University of Gloucestershire, English Language, Study Abroad and University Pathways institution, looking after International student accommodation, social activities and playing an integral role in student welfare. He also acedt as a liaison between INTO and various University departments creating new opportunities and support networks for international students.

Away from work Ian’s hobbies are travelling, playing as much sport as possible and keeping up with new technological developments especially in self-sustainability and Energy.

Ian Hepworth, BCA Cheltenham Academic Advisor

In addition to acting as BCA’s Academic Advisor in Cheltenham, Ian Hepworth is the Academic Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Film Studies degree and a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Ian teaches modules across all levels of the Film Studies course and his areas of expertise are in genre, identity, sports movies, and gender studies, with a specific interest in the North American context.

He has a degree in Film Studies with English Studies, and an MA by Research for a thesis titled ‘Gender, Genre and Representation: “Masculinity” and the Body in the Female Boxing Film’. This research situates the female boxer in the context of the 1980s action hero, and examines the role that the muscular or ‘trained’ body plays in problematizing gender stereotypes.

He is currently undertaking a PhD alongside his Academic Course Leader role in which he is investigating “Post 9/11 America on Television: Exploring Americanness through Supernatural and Revolution”. The thesis examines the changing nature of the American hero since 9/11 and the notions of prosthetic memory in relation to Post-9/11 American culture. It also examines the influence of patriotism, nationhood and American cultural history on the notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ within television texts.

Anupama Pai, BCA Chennai Resident Director

Anupama (Anu) Pai, joined the BCA India program as Resident Director in April 2010. A native of India, she completed her master’s in Ecology at Pondicherry University, and went on to work with several research and development agencies. Before working with BCA, she helped establish the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL), and served as the Managing Director and co-ordinated several programs. Her work focused on areas of community based natural resource management with a special focus on gender and livelihood strategies. In addition, she designed and conducted environmental education and gender training programs for school children, village communities and other agencies. Involved with study abroad programs since 2005, she helped establish BCA’s program in India and has developed programs on a range of topics. She also teaches Gender and Development and Indian  Culture and Society to BCA students.

Xianghong Yao, BCA Dalian Resident Director

Xianghong Yao (Tina) joined BCA in 2013. An associate professor of English at Dalian University of Foreign Languages (DLUFL), Tina’s areas of expertise include linguistics and language teaching methodology and assessment. She spent a year studying at Manchester University (Indiana) and has been on the teaching staff of the English language department in DLUFL for 13 years. She has earned a number of distinguished awards including the Distinguished Lecturer Award and the Third Prize in Excellent Academic Thesis of Natural Science Award for the Liaoning Province.

Dr. Kieran Doyle, BCA Dublin Resident Director

In addition to working with BCA students as Resident Director, Dr. Kieran Doyle is Project Manager in the Edward M Kennedy Institute. He holds a PhD on Work Based Learning and Experiential Learning Systems.  Within this role Kieran has day to day responsibility for the development and management of the Institute and develops Institute connectivity with the wider community.

Previously he worked in Athlone Institute of Technology as a lecturer, and under the Strategic Innovation Fund, developing Institute capacity for Work Based Learning partnerships between education and the workplace. In 2008, Dr Doyle chaired a sector working group examining Employer – Learner Engagement with experiential learning systems.

Formerly a commissioned officer in the Irish Defence Forces, Dr Doyle served in the Military College and on various EU, NATO (PfP) and UN missions abroad.

He is a graduate of National University of Ireland Galway, University of Sheffield, Coventry University and L’École d’État-Major, Compiégne, France. His research interests include leadership development and ongoing post doctoral research drawing on Activity Theory to examine emergent tensions associated with work based learning.

Ashley Mountfort, BCA Dunedin Resident Director

Ashley Mountfort is BCA’s on-site director for the Dunedin program. Ashley knows first-hand what it’s like to study at Otago as an American student from her own experience there in 2011 when she was a Sports Medicine major from Alma College. “It was an unforgettable and wonderful experience,” she says. “Now living in Dunedin as a “Kiwi-in-training” I am very excited to be the site coordinator for the BCA students studying at Otago.” In her role as coordinator, Ashley provides on-site services such as orientation, educational excursions and foster opportunities to deepen student connections to New Zealand culture. “I want the students to connect to Kiwis as much as possible and experience the beautiful New Zealand landscape, as well as learn important aspects of New Zealand’s culture,” she says.

Kristopher Riggs, BCA Marburg and BCA Vienna Resident Director

Kristopher Riggs has been directing the BCA program in Marburg since 2001. Born and raised near Kansas City, Missouri, Kris studied German at William Jewell College and spent one of his four undergraduate years studying in Austria (Vienna and Graz). Bent on delving deeper into the language and culture, Kris returned to Austria for a year of graduate study in Salzburg.  Kris became involved professionally in international education after completing his M.A. in German. He has worked as a foreign credentials evaluator, an international education coordinator (study abroad and foreign student advising), and as a freelance translator.  Kris’s academic interests lie primarily in language acquisition, translation and cross-cultural communication, and he is also an avid (Kodak!) film photographer. Kris lives in Marburg with his wife and three daughters.

Dris El AATTAR, BCA Tetouan Resident Director

Since 2009, Dris has acted as the BCA RD and the faculty member for the BCA signature course Human Rights in Islam. He is also the Academic Director for Dar Loughat’s.  Dris has worked as an interpreter, translator, linguist, foreign languages teacher and social worker both in France and Morocco. He spent ten years of his life in Europe, mainly in France and England.

Juri Bottura, BCA Trentino Resident Director

Juri Bottura was born and raised in the historic district of Trento, the provincial capital of Trentino, surrounded by monuments and ancient constructions. His childhood home lies on the site of Trento’s early medieval south gate and during his childhood, his grandparents were an unfailing source of memories of World War 2 and the following reconstruction. His passion for history and the decision to make it the fulcrum of his professional career certainly had a lot to do with such a meaningful heritage. Juri spent half of his junior high school year in two Latin American countries, Honduras and Ecuador. Such a challenging but rewarding experience convinced him to couple a thorough training in the human sciences with a deeper knowledge of that fascinating area of the world, and to seek the best opportunities for doing so, regardless of national borders. As an undergraduate and graduate student, Juri took classes and did research in several institutions across Europe and the Americas. Meanwhile, as he gained experience lecturing on history, the humanities, and Italian in international settings, he discovered his vocation as a teacher and enjoyed the uniqueness of each group of students he had the good fortune to meet. He participated in the creation of Dolomit to bring out the immense potential of his beloved Trentino as a training ground for the global citizens of today and tomorrow. Juri’s ambition is to put his academic skills and international background at the service of whoever chooses to seize this special opportunity and join him in this distinctive Italian region.

Daniel Bryan, BCA Quito Resident Director

Daniel Bryan is BCA’s Resident Director for BCA Quito. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, Daniel developed educational initiatives in South Quito, home to the city’s most marginal neighborhoods. He founded Quito Eterno, an internationally renowned cultural educational program, and later developed the Mestizo Theatre of Quito with the Bolivar Theatre Foundation. Daniel specializes in Theatre for Social Change and Popular Education, teaching at the university level and conducting workshops in both the U.S. and Ecuador. Daniel also is a Fulbright scholar (lecture/research) in Quito, Ecuador. Also in Ecuador—Trainer/Instructor for Peace Corps Volunteers, and workshop facilitator for numerous international organizations.

Dr. Sergio Villa, BCA Valladolid Resident Director

Resident Director, Dr. Sergio Villa, is an associate professor with BCA’s host, Universitas Castellae, where he teaches courses in Spanish Phonetics. Sergio has lived in Valladolid for 15 years and earned his Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Valladolid. He enjoys working with students to advance their language skills and assists in their daily lives in Valladolid, both academic and cultural. He also coordinates educational excursions as well as internships and volunteer placements.

Devoney Eller, BCA Vienna Assistant Resident Director

Devoney Eller is BCA’s on-site director for the Vienna summer program and the assistant resident director for the Vienna semester program. While completing her undergraduate degree at Elizabethtown College, Devoney spent an academic year on the BCA Marburg program, which took her to Vienna, Austria and Marburg, Germany, so she understands the challenges and benefits of studying abroad in Europe. Devoney has been living and working in Vienna full-time since she graduated and is the perfect person to help students engage in the local culture and have a safe and rewarding experience in Vienna.

Dr. Robert Kruger, BCA Xalapa Resident Director

Dr. Robert Kruger is in his seventeenth year as Director of BCA Xalapa. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Rob studied anthropology and archaeology at the Universities of Illinois and Pittsburgh.  He specializes in the Olmec, one of the earliest Mesoamerican cultures, and was a Fulbright scholar to Mexico in 1992. Rob taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Guilford College in North Carolina, twice leading their Guadalajara program. He moved to Xalapa in 1995.  He occasionally teaches archaeology at the Universidad Veracruzana, and remains active in the archaeological community there. Rob’s interest in Mexican Archaeology has developed into a love for the country and people of Mexico. He loves to travel and explore, and delights in taking BCA students off the beaten track. Dr. Kruger has been working in Mexico since 1989, and has been living there since 1995. He has traveled through Europe, parts of North Africa and Israel, as well as parts of Central and South America.  He has conducted archaeological research in the United States, Colombia, and Mexico.

Extended Summer Applications Due April 1!