Spanish American Institute of International Education - SAIIE - Meet the SAIIE Team

Staff

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Stuart Chipres
Director

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Stuart Chipres was born and raised in Seville (Spain) with a huge international background (Dual-citizenship: American-British). He studied at the French School in Seville for 10 years, and then went on to study at Padres Blancos High School, a well-known private Catholic school in Seville. Once graduated from High School, he jumped into the American system going to the Spanish American Institute of International Education, to finish graduating as a student of the University of Wisconsin- Platteville with an International Studies degree.

In 1999 he began working for the Spanish-American Institute in the accounting department and since then, he has moved through all the departments working in the registrar department, student affairs and academic departments. In 2009 he became the Director of the Spanish-American Institute of International Education.

Fluent in three languages (Spanish, English and French), he loves travelling around the world and has been almost everywhere (US, Asia, Europe and Africa). However, his biggest passions are a clear representation of Andalusian culture: Soccer, Semana Santa, Bullfighting and the overall lifestyle.

"It's a pleasure to share my International experience, views on life and passion for Sevilla with American students from all over the US and different backgrounds. Their transformation is breathtaking and makes me prouder than anything else in my life."


 

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Sean Chipres
Planning and Development Director / Coordinator of Athletic Programs 
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Sean Chipres graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville with honors in an International Studies degree.

Prior to his studies in the US, he had received his entire education in Seville, Spain. He is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

He began to work for the Spanish-American Institute of International Education in 2001 as the Assistant Student Affairs department. In January 2005 he was promoted to Director Student Affairs.

In 2007 he become the Director of the  Planning & Development department.

Among his duties he's involved in all the marketing and recruiting for the SAIIE program, as well as public relations for SAIIE with other educational institutions. He is also the coordinator of all the athletic programs offered at SAIIE as well as the coordinator of all the faculty led programs we host.

Since 2010 he has been involved in the development of SAIIE cultural immersion program (internships, ONG's, and volunteer opportunities), along with the creation and design of SAIIE’s new website, catalogs, brochures and social media.

In 2012, Mr. Chipres developed a study abroad program for student athletes starting with the soccer program. The sports program for college athletes has been a huge success and now we offer rowing, volleyball, basketball, swimming,rugby and water polo programs for student athletes. 

His biggest passions include travelling and meeting new people from around the world.

“I love my job and international education. The most gratifying part of my job is to see how students evolved throughout their study abroad experience and how they turned into new people after their experience is over, and to know that we played a big part in it”.


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Jose Luis Sierra
Academic Director
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Jose Luis Sierra is the oldest member of the Spanish-American Institute of International Education. He began in 1988 with us as a teacher, and since 1992 he has had the responsibility of being the Academic Director of the program.

Mr. Sierra has a degree in Geography and History from the University of Seville in 1985 with a specialty in Contemporary Spanish History (19th and 20th centuries). Afterwards he broadened his studies related to the evolution of the European left wing parties.

At the same time he completed the classes of Pedagogical Adaptation that Spanish law requires to be able to teach. Professionally his first steps were not related with teaching.

Mr. Sierra began working for the autonomous administration conducting field studies about seasonal migration in Andalucía. He later participated in making a toponimic map of the Doñana National Park (Huelva), a study run by the Superior Council of Scientific Investigation.

In over these 20 years Mr. Sierra has taught different classes such as Geography of the Mediterranean Lands; Spanish Painters of the 16th-20th Centuries; Latin American History and 20th Century Spanish History.

"I love reading, music, cinema, and also enjoy travelling. My biggest reward is the much appreciation we get back from our students!"


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Elena García Fernández
Student Affairs Director
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Elena Garcia graduated from the University of Seville with a bachelor’s degree in History of Art. In the last year of her degree Elena studied at Sapienza University of Rome. After her studies she did an internship at the University of Seville for two years and then spent a year interning at the Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art. Since then she has worked in numerous art galleries and on exhibitions for the CajaSur foundation. Elena also worked as the Activities Coordinator for the study abroad program CIEE for two years.

Mrs. García Fernández role as head of Student Affairs and Housing involves looking after all student-related matters pre and post-departure, as well as throughout the duration of each SAIIE semester/ term. She interviews and screens all Spanish host families, accommodating students’ needs as much as possible and placing students in appropriate Spanish families. Alongside this, Elena also organizes and supervises day and weekend trips and cultural activities for the students, assuring everything runs smoothly. Mrs. García Fernández is the first point of contact within SAIIE for any student queries or worries.

“I love to travel and enjoy cinema, 19th century literature and fashion!”


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Richard Thompson
Registrar
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Richard Thompson began working at the Spanish American Institute of International Education in Seville in 1993 as the registrar, and has been conducting that duty ever since. He retired from the U. S. Navy after 20 years active naval service as a Navy Personnel man.

He received his BA degree from Southern Illinois University — Carbondale. He also has an MS degree from Rider College (now Rider University), and an MA Ed degree from Old Dominion University.

Mr. Thompson also runs the English academy for the Institute. SAIIE has been accepted as a Cambridge Preparation Centre. Mr. Thompson has spent most of his life in Spain now and like every other Spaniard, he loves "Futbol" and is a Seville fan. He also loves baseball and history.

"I enjoy answering all the questions students have when they arrive to Seville, seeing their faces astonished by all the beautiful architecture and history they are surrounded by because it reminds me of when I arrived in this beautiful city for the first time!"


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Regla Rojo
Secretary
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Regla Rojo began working with interns at expositions and fairs in PR while completing her studies as Administrator and Management Secretary. In 1990 she began working at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education working in Administration as assistant to the Registrar.

Little by little her work shifted to adapt to the changing needs of the growing program. During all these years she has witnessed many students passing through SAIIE.

"I like to see the evolution and changes that the students experience from arrival until the very end of the program. What I most enjoy is feeling useful and providing information to the students. Among my hobbies what stands out is listening to 80´s music, going to the movies, reading, and spending time with my family."