Juan Carlos Ruiz Coll



Juan Carlos is originally from Venezuela, moved to the United States, and has been living in Italy since 2010. During his studies at The Ohio State University, he studied abroad at Siena Italian Studies in the summer of 2009. 

As the SIS Program Coordinator, he manages program operations, relations with local service agencies, as well as course scheduling, academic credit transfers, student advising, and serving as the primary liaison between SIS and the students’ home institutions.

Juan Carlos is also the editor of  TheStudyAbroadGuru.com; a personal project to advise students and help them get ready for an experience abroad by creating a community where people can share their knowledge and experiences that others could ultimately take as words of wisdom.

Nevin Brown


University of Virginia, M.A. in American Southern History, University of California Santa Barbara B.A . in History. Nevin Brown has built an extensive career with educational organizations in the Washington D.C area such as the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), The Education Trust, and District of Columbia Public Schools. He has most recently worked as Dean of Academic Programs and President of the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, and as Senior Fellow in Postsecondary Initiatives at Achieve. Nevin has published numerous articles regarding higher education, global civic engagement and service-learning. At the IC he acts as a Senior Fellow, contributing to the development of IC initiatives regarding intercultural exchange. 



Chris graduated from Montana State University with a degree in photography. After graduation he moved to Siena Italy, where he had studied abroad as an undergrad, to work with Siena Italian Studies. After four years in Siena he has moved to Chicago. Chris is currently working with Siena Italian Studies recruiting students through SIS ambassadors program. Along side his continuing work with SIS he is developing a study abroad program in Ecuador that is a partner of Siena Italian Studies. 

Julia Sokolohorsky

Julia, born and raised in New York, thrives on random acts of kindness, traveling the world and Sunday morning brunch. Julia graduated from Siena College in 2012 with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Italian. While attending Siena College she fell in love with another Siena, Siena, Italy. She had the opportunity to study abroad in 2011 and has since called Siena her second home.

She now works for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a Regional Development Representative, specializing in fundraising, marketing and event planning to help raise funds for the life-saving mission of St. Jude. She is thrilled by the opportunity to be a member of the board of the Fund for Intercultural Exchange to lend her knowledge and leverage her experience in the non-profit industry to hopefully help other students experience the magic of international study and of Service-Learning abroad. 


Christina has a M.A. in Italian Studies from The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate she spent an academic year studying in Siena with Siena Italian Studies, where she fell in love with the Italian language, culture and most importantly her host city, Siena. Christina has been living and working in Siena for four years as a resident director for CET Academic Programs, promoting linguistic and cultural exchange for American students. 

Antonio Giorgi

Università degli Studi di Siena: M.A. in Law with specialization in Bankruptcy Law. Antonio spent many years working with Sienese Agricultural Commission and then for the Studio Notarile Coppini, where he specialized in inheritance law.

In recent years, Antonio has played an integral role in the administration of study abroad and service-learning activities, including acting as a financial and legal consultant. Antonio currently acts as an administrative consultant for various International Education structures and is also a founding member and Treasurer for the Associazione Culturale Ulisse, Sienese Cultural Association that promotes local volunteer service activities. 

Johnny Gonzalez

With degrees in Architecture and a Master in Management of Teaching English as a Second Language, Johnny has been passionate about education and language acquisition for decades. He has served as a foreign language teacher at the American Language School, Copei, and as Director of International Programs, specializing in student exchange and Service-Learning at various universities. Johnny has also been passionate about non-profit initiatives, acting as Director of Community Service Programs in handling external relations with a series of NGOs, such as: Fundación Crecer, Hospital León Becerra, Junta de Beneficencia, Children International, Escuelas fiscales, Fundación VIHDA, Solca, among others.

In his current role as Director General at the USA – Ecuador Bi National Center, Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano de Guayaquil, he pursues the mission to promote the union of American and Ecuadorian cultures through cultural promotion and teaching.

Lavinia Bracci


School of Translation and Interpreting (SSIT), Rome: Specialized degree in Translation and Simultaneous Interpreting in German and Russian. Università degli Studi di Siena, four year course in Portuguese Language. Università per Stranieri di Siena, Specialization in Glotto-technologies and Glotto-didactics.

Lavinia has most recently co-authored a text on the FICCS (Full-Immersion: Culture Content and Service) instructional approach that she has developed with the core team of instructors at SIS for the development of reflective intercultural competence entitled L’educazione riflessiva interculturale: L’approccio FICCS allo studio della lingua e cultura italiana. She has also published several articles on language learning, as well as an Italian language text called Dimmi Tutto!.

She co-founded and co-directed the StudyinSiena Program, and is founder and director of Siena Italian Studies and the International Center for Intercultural Exchange.



Mount Holyoke College: B.A. in Art History, Master from the Università degli Studi di Siena in Oenogastronimic Toursim and Marketing. Eliza, along with Roni Kennison and Mike Manchester, is a founding partner of Nove Culturae Ventures LLC, based in Avon New York, which collaborates with the International Center for Intercultural Exchange as well as Siena Italian Studies to organize study experiences in Siena.

She worked as a student affairs coordinator for six years with the University of California’s Education Abroad Program in Siena. At the International Center for Intercultural Exchange she currently serves as a Intercultural Development Coordinator and works on the development and implementation of future study programs. Eliza is also a founding member of the Associazione Culturale Ulisse.