Academic Leadership

Dr. Andrea Custodi

Andrea Custodi

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Andrea comes to CAPA with 20 years of experience in senior leadership at education abroad organizations: from a small liberal arts consortium operating in South India, to Arcadia and IFSA's Alliance for Global Education, and most recently as Senior Director of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at CET Academic Programs. She also brings an extensive record of service to the field. Andrea currently serves on AIEA's Publications & Resources Committee; she has chaired The Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Committee, Standards Committee, and Outcomes Assessment Committee, and served as a member of the Forum Council, the Ethics Committee, and the Trained Facilitator Corps. Andrea holds an interdisciplinary PhD from The George Washington University and her academic background spans South Asian religious studies, critical theory, history, and international politics. In her role at CAPA: The Global Education Network, Andrea oversees and upholds CAPA's commitment to academic excellence, seeking to foster innovation in pedagogy and curriculum design, and ensuring the smooth administration of academic policies and processes.

Dr. Whitney Sherman

Whitney Sherman Headshot

Academic Affairs Manager

Dr. Whitney Sherman joins CAPA after directing intercultural learning for CIEE and overseeing international programs at the University of Southern California. A scholar-practitioner of global learning and intercultural exchange, Whitney regularly engages in academic research and recently served as an intercultural development consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, specializing in cultural awareness training for its Africa Bureau. She began her education abroad career coordinating internships onsite for Boston University Study Abroad in 2008, after managing education projects for a local NGO in Niger and teaching English in France, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Whitney earned an EdD in Educational Leadership (Educational Psychology) from USC where she completed her dissertation, The role of the fieldbook: a pedagogical tool for intercultural learning. Whitney regularly presents at global education conferences and serves as the Chair of the Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Knowledge Community for the Michigan Association of International Educators. She also holds a MEd in International Educational Development from Boston University and a BA in Theatre from The College of Wooster. 

Barcelona, Dr. Marilena De Chiara

Marilena HeadshotDirector of Academic Affairs in Barcelona

Dr. Marilena De Chiara is the Director of Academic Affairs at CAPA Barcelona. Born in Naples, Italy, she completed her BA in Communication and Performance Studies in Rome and Edinburgh, then moved to Barcelona, where she earned her Master of Research in Humanities, an MA in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in Literary Theatre and Practice, from Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Dr. De Chiara has been Visiting Scholar at Yale University, where she researched and taught for two years, and she currently lectures at the MA in Literary Creation at UPF and at the Barcelona Creative Writing School. With a strong background in Intercultural Learning and Development processes, she has been working in the field of International Education, mentoring undergraduate students, designing, and delivering Storytelling and Intercultural Communication courses, and training faculty on Teaching and Learning innovation, for the past 15 years. Dr. De Chiara is also a literary translator, her translations include the complete short stories by Nobel Prize awarded author Luigi Pirandello and works by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. Dr. De Chiara firmly believes in the transformative power of experiential learning to bridging languages and cultures, through the city of Barcelona as classroom.

Dublin, Dr. Darren Kelly

Darren Kelly

Director of Academic Affairs in Dublin

A Dublin native, Dr. Darren Kelly holds a BA in English and Geography and a PhD in Cultural Geography from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He developed and currently lectures on the Postgraduate Diploma in Further Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to lecturing, Darren worked in a range of community development and educational organizations in Dublin and travelled extensively. His interest in study abroad began at age 17 when he spent a high school year abroad in Oxford, Ohio. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in 2007-2008 at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years, Darren has increasingly focused his work (teaching, consulting, and publishing) in the area of linking academic theory and field studies in international education and study abroad. As coordinator of CAPA’s Global Internship Program, he has developed a research interest in the area of intercultural intelligence and self-reflection as related to students’ personal and professional development.

Florence, Dr. Guido Reverdito

Guido Reverdito

Director of Academic Affairs in Florence

After a BA in Classics and a Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Guido received his PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Padua. He worked as a visiting professor in Classics at the University of Kansas in 1989 and for 16 years, he was a Lecturer in Italian Language and Literature on behalf of the Italian Government in Istanbul, Madrid, Budapest, and Canterbury. From 2009 to present, he has been the Director of Academics at CAPA, where he teaches courses in social history of Italy and contemporary Italian cinema. He edited and translated several classic Latin authors, and wrote a History of Latin Literature in four volumes. Since 1989, he has been a film critic. His latest work is research on early years and production of celebrated Italian crime novelist Giorgio Scerbanenco (Giorgio Scerbanenco and the heart of darkness of Italian crime novel, Aracne, 2014).

London, Dr. Michael Woolf

 Michael WoolfDeputy President for Strategic Development

Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad. You can read a sample of Michael’s short essays in his monthly blog column Thoughts on Education Abroad

London, Dr. Talal Nizameddin

Talal Headshot cropDirector of Academic Affairs in London

Dr. Talal Nizameddin is the Director of Academic Affairs at the CAPA London Center. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, and Lebanon where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for 12 years at the acclaimed American University of Beirut. Talal has taught history and international relations courses for much of his career, with dual emphasis on Russia and the Middle East. He has a background in history and Russian foreign policy. He holds a BA from Sussex University and a PhD from the University College of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has written and published two books that are considered fundamental works on the making and transition of Russian foreign policy and its linkage with internal political dynamics in the post-Soviet era as well as peer-reviewed articles. Talal hopes to be able to utilize his long academic and administrative experience to enhance the strategic direction of the academic programs to continuously challenge and enrich the CAPA student learning experience. As a global citizen, Talal’s travel interests have not waned, but he also enjoys simpler pastimes including playing tennis and good food.

London, Dr. Anthony Gristwood

d picFaculty Chair and Principal Lecturer, London 

Anthony Gristwood is Faculty Chair and Principal Lecturer at CAPA's London Center. He has been teaching in higher education since 1994 and has specialized in the field of education abroad for the last 20 years at CAPA, the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Connecticut in London. He holds an MA, PGCE, and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His current research and teaching interests include globalization, global cities, and modern London; politics, identity, and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; and the use of digital mapping in globally-networked teaching and learning. Publications include “Engaging with Self, Others, Space, and Place: Leveraging the Geographic Imagination in Education Abroad” (with Darren Kelly), in Brewer & Ogden, eds., Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: Critical Perspectives and Approaches to Integration with Student Learning and Development (Stylus, May 2019). Anthony is also a regular contributor to, and editor of the CAPA Occasional Publications series.

London, Dr. Mike Punter

mike-punterDirector of Theater Education in London

Mike Punter is the Director of Theatre Education for CAPA, based in London. He teaches a number of courses in London including Theatre in the City, Witchcraft and Magical Performance, Writing a Play, and Theatricality for BFA Actors. He has also written the courses Utopia: Extraordinary Places and Where to Find Them and Communicate. Mike is a produced and published dramatist whose work has been staged and toured by a range of theatres, including Hampstead Theatre in London, the UK's National Theatre, Paines Plough theatre company and the BBC. He’s presently developing a new project for British television. Mike has a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies, an MA in Renaissance Literature and Drama and a PhD with a focus on magic on the stage.

Sydney, Dr. Julia Miller

CAPA_Julia Miller HeadshotDirector of Academic Affairs in Sydney

Dr. Julia Miller is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CAPA Sydney Center. Dr. Miller leads the academic delivery of our programming and ensures the classroom experience is designed to support the health and safety of the students through the hiring of trusted faculty and supporting CAPA’s strong, inclusive, academic policies.

Julia has been teaching in the Australian tertiary education sector for more than a decade. She gained her doctorate in Modern History from Macquarie University for her research in climate history. For CAPA, Julia teaches Analyzing and Exploring the Global City, Australian History, and People, Place, and Culture: Environmental Debates in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. The latter course reflects Julia’s deep concern about our environmental future. At CAPA, Julia has put in place the Sustainable Sydney initiative to build environmental awareness and encourage behavioral change. Julia lives in Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches—an area known for its coastline, waterways, and healthy lifestyle.