Meet the CIEE Prague Study Center Staff
Our staff are as diverse as the jobs they do. Read about what position they have at CIEE Prague, what makes their job unique, what they expect of students coming to Prague, and what their hobbies and interests are.
Communications, New Media, and Journalism Program and Summer Program Director, CIEE Prague
Amanda started working at CIEE Prague in 2009 as the Housing Coordinator. After three years of taking care of apartment, homestays, dorm, and Buddies, Amanda started in a new position, launching the then-new Communications, New Media, and Journalism Program. Along with the coordination of the CNMJ Program, Amanda is responsible for summer programs and internships for credit. In terms of her expectations of students, Amanda hopes that they would like to try new non-American things and get outside of their comfort zone.
Fun fact: Amanda traveled through Armenia in 2007 and is pretty sure that she hung out with the local mafia. They had lots of vodka and food and shiny cars.
Office Manager, CIEE Prague
Martina Břeňová has worked for CIEE since December 2013 as Office Manager. Her main responsibility is to handle inquiries at the front desk and help with the overall administration of the program. Also, she coordinates syllabi submission and is involved in intercultural training and workshops.
Prior to joining CIEE, Martina gained a lot of experience in customer service and staff management as a Hotel Manager. As part of her studies at University, she did her internship in Madrid, where she worked in local non-profit organization in the Department of International Cooperation and Department of Education & Integration. Martina hopes students will learn and explore things when studying abroad in Prague with the same passion that children have with spontaneous play – focused, involved, loving what they do and purely happy about the small things. However, she also hopes they will learn how to stay on their feet and be adults at the same time.
Fun fact: Martina is a proud book sniffer and will most certainly explore your library first before she takes her shoes off in your house. Martina likes diversity in her life and appreciates different cultures. She loves eating paella, but she avoids most seafood.
Student Services Assistant, CIEE Prague
Lucia has worked at the CIEE Study Center in Prague since June 2014 as Student Services Assistant. Previously, she was a Flat Buddy at CIEE Prague. She is responsible for study center official events planning, the organization and development of immersion opportunities, Guest Lectures, interest groups, tandems, the “Meet Czech Families” program, etc. She expects students to be willing to leave their comfort zone, to live the way the locals do, and to get as immersed as possible in the culture.
Lucia has a great passion for sport. She has been a competitive dancer for more than 10 years. She holds several national titles and the title of European Champion. She also enjoys running and wishes to run a marathon one day.
Housing Assistant, CIEE Prague
Lenka works at the CIEE Study Center in Prague as Housing Assistant. Her position comprises housing management and administration, student services, Buddy management, apartment check in and check out, monthly apartment cleanliness control, monthly apartment payments, updating Google accounts, etc. She expects students to experience the new culture's food and beverage specialties because it is one of the most dynamic aspects of traveling and learning more about different cultures. However, she counts on the fact that students will be responsible and tactful.
Lenka loves to keep old traditions, such as wearing traditional folklore costumes during celebrations and traditional dancing and singing. She is from South Moravia where the traditions are kept on a daily basis.
Program Assistant, CIEE Prague
Alicja started working at CIEE in January 2014 as Program Assistant. In her role she assists the Operations Manager in the overall management of the Central European Studies program, day-to-day operations of the CIEE Study Center, program support, Academic Trips, excursions, coordination of the volunteering and non-credit internship programs, as well as administrative and editorial support.
Alicja is originally from Poland, but moved to Czech Republic with her family when she was 4 years old. Prior to joining CIEE she lived in Scotland for 7 years, where she completed her degree in History of Art and Art and Business. Alicja had a number of rather peculiar jobs prior to working for CIEE; one of them was working for the Scottish prisons and courts as an interpreter.
As Alicja has spent many years living and working abroad, she has a good understanding of the apprehensions and also benefits of travelling overseas. She hopes students coming to Czech Republic will be open minded and will not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone in order to have real immersion into Czech culture.
Housing Manager, CIEE Prague
Veronika works for the CIEE Study Center in Prague as a Housing Manager and she is mainly responsible for housing management (dorm, apartments, homestay), solving student issues, student mental issues, and the Buddy Program. She also teaches the Intercultural Communication and Leadership course.
Veronika received her Master’s degree in English and American Studies and Spanish Philology at Charles University in Prague, with a specialization in American and Argentinean literature. During high school, she was an exchange student in Madison, Wisconsin for one year. She also studied at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain for a year. Her previous working experience includes teaching English and Spanish in different language schools and a high school in Prague. She also worked for a trade promotion agency and the Peruvian Embassy. She expects CIEE students to be willing to step outside their comfort zone when living in a new culture. She also hopes they will show the best of themselves and their culture to local people.
Veronika is originally from Eastern Slovakia. She loves (almost) everything related to Italy. Her dream is to one day read Dante in the original version and ride a Vespa. She has a love affair with Italian gelato.
Operations Manager, CIEE Prague
Eva has worked at the CIEE Study Center in Prague since July 2011 as Operations Manager. Her main responsibilities involve logistical coordination of the CES program including orientation, extracurricular programs, and Academic Trips. She also coordinates Custom and Faculty led programs and the Intercultural Comparative Experience during the summer. Eva expects that students will want to make the most of their experience in the Czech Republic by engaging with locals and learning about the local culture more than just on the surface level. Eva loves reading books, traveling, crocheting, and knitting. She also loves gluten free baking for her family and friends.
Film Studies Resident Director, CIEE Prague
Ivana Skenderija has been working for CIEE Prague since May 2008. As Film Studies program coordinator, she is the main liaison between CIEE and the Prague Film and Television School at the Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU). She assists and advises Film Studies students, works on program development and leads cultural workshops and academic excursions. Her responsibilities include site visit planning and CIEE course database testing and development.
Ivana has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities from Charles University and a background in drama, education, and film. In 2015, she will be finishing her master’s degree in general anthropology. Ivana appreciates involved, independent, self-driven, and open-minded students who are not afraid to explore. Ivana and her Bosnian husband Boris are raising their 2 year old daughter Johana and a dachshund named Sid Vicious. Aside from ethnographic field research and organizing conferences, Ivana has many other passions which include traveling, skiing, classical box, reading, cooking and eating spicy food. Her dream is to travel to Latin America and to Vietnam.
Academic Director, CIEE Prague
Rick started as Academic Director at CIEE Prague in January 2015. His responsibilities focus on the academic side of the program, setting up courses, managing curriculum, working with faculty, responding to student concerns, etc. At the same time he is the undercover Resident Director of the CES program, which gets him involved in other student issues not directly related to academics. His main field of teaching and research is contemporary American literature and literary theory, although he teaches a course on Franz Kafka at CIEE. Rick has an M.A. from the University of Illinois, another M.A. from the University of Reading, and a Ph.D. from Charles University.
Students coming to our program should realize that study abroad is a daunting, but surmountable, time-management challenge, according to Rick. In this way they can get the full academic and social/cultural experience. He also hopes that students realize that this is not the last chance they get in their lives to spend time in Prague or Europe: they can always come back to visit or even reside in Europe. But most likely they will not get the chance again to take courses like CIEE offers.
Rick is originally from Chicago and has a Czech wife and three bi-cultural daughters. He has lived in the Czech Republic since 1998. He lives in a village called Hrusice, which is famous among Czechs for being the birthplace of a famous Czech artist and writer from the early 20th century named Josef Lada. This painting is by Lada and depicts a pub just down the hill from Rick’s house:
Registrar and Global AD Program Coordinator, CIEE Prague
Petra Uvírová joined CIEE Study Center in Prague in January 2014 and works as Global AD Coordinator and Registrar. Her primary responsibility is coordinating the Global Architecture and Design program with the two other cities running the Global AD program – Barcelona and Berlin. Petra is also responsible for the entire center´s enrollment, visa processing, class scheduling, and course registration. She recently took over the summer program at CIEE Prague.
Petra studied at the Metropolitan University of Prague and graduated with a Masters degree in International Relations and European Studies. Petra brought her experience in international education from the U.S. where she lived for 5 years. Prior to joining CIEE, she gained knowledge and awareness of providing excellent customer service such as university counseling and introducing American culture to international students as International Student Advisor in Boston, Massachusetts.
Petra appreciates students who are independent, not afraid to get out of their comfort zone to confront and challenge themselves while studying abroad. She likes students with sense of humor, irony, and ability to self reflect. Petra likes the Czech countryside and certain aspects of Czech culture like great wine, camping anywhere you like, beer spa, cultural diversity of the main three regions (Moravia, Silesia, and Bohemia), and many others. She also loves living in a foreign country, especially by the ocean.
Fun fact: When Petra was a young child she used to catch hedgehogs and push them in a stroller.
Petr “Franky” Zak
Financial and Information Services Coordinator
Franky is responsible for IT/Communication innovations and IT support for staff, professors, students and other study centers in Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam). He also provides financial and accounting support. He was the project manager responsible for moving from the old CIEE Prague Study Center to the new one in summer 2013. Last year he implemented and now maintains the Moodle LMS to help professors and students create and participate in online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content and its continual evolution.
Franky appreciates independent students willing to do more than what is expected.
Prior to joining CIEE as a full-time employee, Franky worked in several IT companies (software development, CRM consulting) and financial companies (financial advisor for private clients). Franky received a B.A. in Economics from Charles University and previously worked with CIEE as a Flat Buddy to CIEE students. He now does a research in quantitative finance, especially predicting the exchange rate EUR/CZK. He plays the drums with two Czech bands.