PhD Students

Lucie is a Czech/Swede, working at Jönköping University in Sweden. She is a first-year student and her research topic is about supporting Swedish academic staff in their work with the internationalisation of the curriculum at home through continuing professional development programmes.


Marva is from Grenada, the Spice Isle of the Caribbean. She works at the Universidad de Guadalajara-Valley Campus in Jalisco, Mexico. In addition to being a tenured professor, she has been the Programme Director for the Bachelor of Education degree and the Head of Scholarship and Academic Exchange at the same institution.  She is a first-year student interested in Developing Students’ Glonacal Agency through Connecting Service Learning and the Internationalisation of Higher Education for Society. 

Francesco is Italian and works at the University of Bologna where he's working as UNIBO Senior Local Lead of the Una Europa Alliance. He is also adjunct professor at the Department of Education of UNIBO, teaching Master students how to write EU Projects. He's interested to research the “transformation” potential of the European Universities Initiative, and in particular how the participation of HEIs in this Initiative can move their internationalisation practices from exceptionalism to institutionalisation. He's a first-year student.

Grace is a first-year PhD student from the United States. She works at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and serves as assistant director of study abroad programs for business students. Her research explores programs that link virtual exchange and short-term study abroad. Her supervisors are Dr. Rosalind Raby and Dr. Adriana Perez-Encinas.

Antonio is Italian, currently serving as Executive Director of The Florence Academy of Art. He's a first-year PhD student interested in international students’ social and academic experiences. His research at CHEI explores agency trajectories of international students. Aim of this project is to expand current scientific knowledge on international students’ agency, hoping to inform practices to foster and support students’ agency at institutional level. His experience in international education started 15 years ago at New York University and includes 9 years as Academic Director at Accademia Europea di Firenze, Elon University Center in Italy. In July 2022 he started serving as Executive Director of The Florence Academy of Art. He’s currently contributing in the management committee of the European network on International Student Mobility: Connecting Research and Practice (ENIS) within the COST Action CA20115.

Agata is Italian, but was born in Switzerland and grown up in Germany, She is in charge of the management and promotion of national and international educational projects at the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Padua. With her research she'd like to explore how middle managers make sense of internationalisation when engaging stakeholders in the own institution as part of a European Universities Initiative alliance. Her research interest is mainly in sensemaking processes as a key to connect theory and practice in internationalisation.  
Agata's supervisors are Fiona Hunter and Catherine Montgomery.

John is the Senior International Office and Dean for the College of Extended Education and International Programs at California State University Monterey Bay, USA. 

His research is on intercultural learning through interactions among globally diverse students: internationalization at home and collaborative engagement.

John joined the doctoral programme in 2021 and he is undertaking his research under the supervision of Karen M. Lauridsen and John L. Dennis.

Marta works in the Department of International Academic Relations at the ESADE Foundation (holder of ESADE Business and Law Schools).

Her research topic is Assessment of International Capacity Building Projects in Higher Education: Value and Impact.

Marta joined the doctoral programme in 2021 and her supervisors are Chris Ziguras and Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans.



Albert is a Dutch internationalist, working at the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands.

His research topic is the strategic and transformational potential of International Institutional Networks, with a focus on European Universities Initiative alliances. 

Albert joined the PhD programme in 2021 and is undertaking his research under the supervision of Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans and Hans de Wit.

Fabio was born in Brazil, but his current home base is the US. His professional experience includes working as a bilingual teacher in the US, as well as teaching at schools, universities, and programs in Asia. These experiences have contributed to the development of his research interest in the topic of Internationalisation and Positioning of Higher Education in Indonesia. His supervisors are Stephen C. Dunnett and Hiroshi Ota. Fabio joined the PhD programme in 2020.


Cara is Head of Student Mobility and Exchange (acting) at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is American, with an MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia, and has been in Australia since 2015. 

Her research interest centres on the link between outbound student mobility targets and institutional culture, and the impact that scaling up student mobility has on an institution as a whole. Her supervisors are Fiona Hunter and Catherine Montgomery.

Maria-Elvira has been working in international higher education since 2009. She is currently the Project Manager of the Erasmus Mundus joint Master in Artificial Intelligence (EMAI) at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. 

Her research interest centres around the relationship between administrative and academic staff while developing Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs). Her main purpose is to better understand the types of collaboration operating among professionals working in these joint degrees, both within and across the institutions involved.

Maria-Elvira joined the PhD programme in 2020, and her supervisors are Fiona Hunter and Christof Van Mol.

Marina Casals Sala is Director of International Relations at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona (Spain). She joined the PhD programme in 2020 and is conducting research on the internationalisation of administrative staff at home through professional development and organisational change.

Her supervisors are Karen M. Lauridsen and Cinzia di Dio.