Michelangelo, as the Director of the Florence Study Center, is responsible for the management and administration of all ACCENT Florence programs. He takes care of what is behind the scenes, developing programs before their arrival, leading the Florence team, and ensuring the smooth running of programs. If needed, Michelangelo is more that happy to be “on stage” interacting with students, helping them with all sort of matters and making sure that students have a wonderful experience. Michelangelo was born in Southern Italy but as soon as he got the chance he moved north. First to the University of Bologna (branch in Rimini on the Adriatic coast), then to Sweden on a study abroad year-long program at the University of Uppsala, near Stockholm. Having discovered the charm of studying abroad, Michelangelo applied for an exchange program at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill. This was his first experience in the United States, which was followed by a summer internship in Florida and one in Dublin, Ireland. Not yet satisfied, Michelangelo worked for a year at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT in the Romance Languages department before returning to Italy.
Senior Programs Coordinator
Francesca is a Senior Programs Coordinator that supports students while they are living in Florence as well as assists visiting faculty prior to arrival in Italy. She is also in contact with partner universities for program planning, oversees the daily operations at the ACCENT Study Center and ensures that life within the Center runs smoothly. Born in a tiny seaside town located in Southern Tuscany, she moved to Florence to study at University. She holds a B.A. in Political Science (curriculum in “International Studies”) and a M.A. in International Relations and European Studies. Her experiences abroad include a one-year Erasmus program in Brussels (Belgium) and an internship in Plymouth (UK). She has worked at the University of Florence as a student tutor and has collaborated with them as an external researcher. She continues to publish and present her work at international conferences.
Programs Coordinator/Housing Coordinator
As Housing Coordinator, Daniela is responsible for the housing search and assignments for all ACCENT Florence students. As a native Florentine, Daniela has a wealth of knowledge of the city. She also has over 15 years of experience working with study abroad students from all over the world. Once a study abroad student herself, in England, she understands the experience of living and studying abroad.
As Academic Coordinator at the Florence Study Center, Mariarosa is in charge of all the academic aspects of the University of California and University of Minnesota programs. She plans classes, coordinates faculty, and advises students on all matters related to their academic curriculum and performance. She also serves as liaison with the home institutions, providing support on course registration, grades, and academic requirements. Mariarosa has experience with both international academic exchange and study abroad programs. After graduating from the University of Verona in Foreign Languages and Literatures, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue her graduate studies at the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis she earned an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, as well as taught courses in Comparative Literature and the Humanities. Mariarosa then returned to Italy where she taught Italian language, culture, and literature at the University of California Study Center in Padova and at Boston University International Programs in Padova, furthering her experience with American universities and study abroad programs. Her research focuses on European and American women writers from the late 18th to the early 20th century and on gender studies, and she has written on American writer and traveller Margaret Fuller and on Italian novelist Neera.
As Programs Coordinator, Lilia works with students, visiting faculty and organizes many of our Study Center activities. She is Mexican-American and grew up in California. Lilia originally came to Florence as a student while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Art from California State University, Long Beach, then returned to the US to complete a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in Exhibition Design and Museum Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She has a passion for cultural and artistic promotion in all its forms, and has worked in the non-profit sector in addition to being a curator of contemporary art. Her past projects include the Florence Biennale (2011-2015), MetaDataPhile: Collapse of Visual Information, Begovich Gallery, CalState, Fullerton, CA (2010). She is also a member and curator of SixPack Projects in Southern California (since 2009).
As Programs Coordinator, Emily works with students, organizes extracurricular activities and language exchanges, and manages the ACCENT Florence Study Center’s social media accounts. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Kenyon College, where she studied social and economic development in South Asia, leading her to spend a semester abroad in Jaipur, India. Both at Kenyon and during her time abroad, she studied microfinance initiatives and internal migration trends in northern India. Emily was born in Florence but grew up in Chicago in an Italian-speaking household, and she decided to return to Florence after graduating from college.
Eleonora Sanni (part-time)
Assistant Programs Coordinator
Born and raised in a small town just outside Florence, Eleonora is enrolled in Communication Strategies Master Degree at the University of Florence. She has been studying English from a young age and she has been practicing her conversation skills with exchange students from the U.S. since her early years in university.
Eleonora helps with the implementation of the programs and is a point of reference for the students, who can find her at the front desk. She is also in charge of social media accounts and organizes extra-curricular activities to facilitate the students’ integration into the city.
Kristina Truja was born in Vlore, a small coastal city in Albania. When she was 18, she moved to Florence to study Languages, Literature and International Studies at the University of Florence. Naturally, coming from a place where Italian music and culture is very popular helped her a lot in the learning process of Italian language. Kristina is currently studying English and Spanish, and beyond languages her passions involve music, animals and traveling. As an intern, Kristina offers support to students as well as practical information about everyday life in Florence. She also assists with the social media accounts, the library and organizes extra-curricular activities to promote Italian language learning.