The Fulbright Commission in Portugal will present a series of training webinars throughout the year of 2022, funded by USA Study Abroad and aiming to support the internationalization of Portuguese Higher Education Institutions (HEI) towards the US and attract increasingly higher numbers of US students and researchers to Portugal. The events are part of the USA-Portugal Campus initiative (Agência Nacional Erasmus+, FLAD – Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, and Comissão Fulbright).

Each webinar will count on the participation of invited speakers whose profile and experience will provide expertise on the specific theme for that session. The sessions will be open to the entire community of Portuguese HEI – officers, administrators, researchers and any other attendees who wish to register and participate in the learning process.

The sessions will begin with generic information about the US higher education system, focusing gradually over time on different specificities of academic life in the US and its internationalization processes in particular. The expectation for these webinars is that the topics covered will help Portuguese HEI better prepare for meaningful and productive interaction with their counterparts in the US.


Past webinars:

January 7th, 2022 – Overview of U.S. Higher Education System

  • Distinctive characteristics of U.S. Higher Education System – types of institutions; different curricular models
  • University Administration & Services
  • Curriculum and Degrees
  • Accreditation and Quality Assurance
  • Current issues and challenges


Woody Pelton, Senior International Officer (retired)

Woody Pelton served as the Senior International Officer at three universities from 1992 until 2021.  His most recent position was Dean of Global Education at Elon University in North Carolina, a position he held from 2009 until 2021, when he retired. Prior to these positions he was an attorney in Washington, DC, a volunteer for UNHCR in a refugee camp in Malaysia, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. He received a BA & MA from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a JD from George Washington University.  In retirement Woody serves on the Boards of CIEE and Preservation Burlington and as a Special Advisor for Strategy and Partnerships for Accademia Europa di Firenze.

David Mihalyi, Asst. Director, International, AACRAO

David Mihalyi has been a professional evaluator of international educational credentials since July 1987.  He currently serves as Assistant Director – International for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). He is a member of TAICEP (The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals), has contributed to various publications published by AACRAO and NAFSA, and is co-author of the ECE Presents series volume, The Educational System of Spain.


Ana Ribeiro Costa, PhD / Assistant Professor / Lawyer – Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto); Study of the US Institutes Alumna (2021)

Ana Ribeiro Costa is an Assistant Professor at Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Oporto Law School, as well as a lawyer at private practice. She holds a PhD in Law and she’s interested in researching on Labor Law, occupational health and safety, worklife balance, wellbeing of workers and the future of work.



The second session took place on February 4th, 2022.

  • Internationalization of Higher Education
  • Student Mobility Patterns to the U.S.
  • Student Service Delivery models in U.S. Universities
  • Study Abroad Trends
  • Current issues and challenges for U.S. students wanting to study abroad (DEI; Service Learning in mobility programs)


Clare Overmann – Head of Higher Education Initiatives and Director of the Center for International Partnerships, Institute of International Education

Clare Overmann is the Head of Higher Education Initiatives at the Institute of International Education (IIE). In this role, she oversees many of IIE’s external-facing initiatives, such as the IIENetwork Membership, and directs IIE’s Center for International Partnerships, which administers programs and trainings that foster sustainable and strategic linkages. She is the inaugural Executive Director of the National Academy for International Education and is the editor of several IIE publications, including the bi-annual IIENetworker Magazine and Global Perspectives on Strategic International Partnerships: A Guide to Building Sustainable Academic Linkages. Clare has a BA in Spanish from Georgetown University and an MA in International Education from New York University.

John E. Fowler – Senior Program Specialist – Programs and Global Initiatives, American Council on Education

Fowler has 20+ years of wide-ranging experience in American, British and German higher education. His career focuses on the intersection of pedagogy, academic technology, and international education. A key area driving force in Fowler’s work is increasing diversity, equity and access to educational opportunities for all students through faculty and institutional innovation. In his current role as a Senior Program Specialist at the American Council on Education (ACE), he partners with higher education institutions and organizations to develop technology-driven internationalization strategies, including through Virtual Exchange (VE) and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). This includes helping lead ACE’s Rapid Response VE/COIL Transformation Labs which develops partnerships between the USA and countries around the world. Fowler holds a European Master in Higher Education, with a minor in Intercultural Communications, through an Erasmus Mundus joint degree fellowship from the Universities of Oslo (Norway), Tampere (Finland) and Aveiro (Portugal).

Veronica Onorevole – Associate Director of Programs and Global Initiatives, American Council on Education

Onorevole is a leader in cultivating and managing international relationships for U.S. and foreign governments, foundations and industry partners, institutions of higher education, subject-matter experts, and international scholarly associations. At ACE she is primarily responsible for supporting emerging technologies and global learning innovation initiatives in U.S. and global higher education. Prior to joining ACE, Onorevole worked at the Institute of International Education overseeing the administration of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in the East Asia Pacific region on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Onorevole’ s earlier experiences include working with the American Society of International Law and the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a master of international affairs degree from the School of International Service, American University. Onorevole also received honorable discharge from the U.S. Naval Academy.


The third webinar will took place on:

  • Internationalization of Higher Education – other countries’ strategies
  • Student Mobility Patterns and Study Abroad Trends
  • Building a community of international education professionals
  • Current issues and challenges for HEI to host U.S. students and researchers


Jakub Tesař has been working in the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS) since 2018. Currently, he leads the unit focusing on the supporting internationalisation of Czech higher education institutions. He is currently also a member of the Administrative Council of Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). Jakub also participated in the development of the Czech national strategy for internationalisation of higher education or a concept of European Universities. Before obtaining his position at DZS, Jakub contributed to the work of the Czech Fulbright Commission for 18 years. He received his Master’s degree at Prague University of Economics and Business in 1998.

Mónica Pérez-Bedmar was born and raised in Madrid in a Spanish-American family. She went to Florida Tech University, in the USA,  for her BS in Oceanography, and her M.Sc. in Coastal Zone Management in the same institution, with a research assistantship, while working on several environmental assessment programs.  While in the USA she worked for the Marine Resources Council of Central Florida as Project Coordinator where she was offered a position as Environmental Project Coordinator in the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Protection Department in West Palm Beach.

She returned to Spain in 2000 and joined the Association of North-American University Programs in Spain (APUNE) as Coordinator 15 years and Executive Director for the past 5.  APUNE’s main goals include assisting the member programs, partner institutions, sponsors and honorary members with bureaucracy, medical and housing issues  while promoting academic and cultural exchange between Spain and the United States.  As the Executive Director, Mónica is in charge of executing decisions made in assembly meetings and proposed by the Executive Committee, coordinating and assigning collaborative tasks of the Executive Committee, and supervising employees and/or interns in the office. She also oversees resource management and coordination of institutional relations. She organizes and coordinates evaluations of university programs, document reviews, the design, development, and organization of meeting content, the design of reports and surveys, and the evaluation and quality control of APUNE sponsors.  She has participated in several international conferences giving talks about International Higher Education, and has participated in multiple tasks forces in the Study Abroad sector.

In addition, she is a professor of oceanography and environmental science in several US study abroad programs in Madrid. During the past three years, she has directed a travelling seminar on Marine Ecology.  At present, she is working on her doctorate in the Ecology Department at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, her thesis focusing on how experiential learning increases environmental education and awareness.

Michael Baum, PhD currently serves on the Executive Board of the Luso – American Development Foundation (FLAD), where he oversees the education portfolio. He also previously served on the FLAD Executive Board from 2014–19. During his first mandate he created Flad’s flagship study abroad program for US students in Portugal— the Study in Portugal Network (SiPN), which since it’s inception in 2014 has accounted for more than 1000 US students in Portugal.

Since 2019 Baum has been a full professor at the Catholic University of Portugal where he co-directs the University’s new undergraduate program in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE). Prior to his appointment at Catolica, he served as an invited professor in ISCTE’s PhD program in public policy and full professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Baum is a two-time Fulbrighter to Portugal and presently serves on the board of the Fulbright Alumni Association Portugal. His research on political participation and civil society in Portugal has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes.


April 7th, 2022 – US-Portugal Internationalization – Institutional Framework and support

  • Developing Strategic Partnerships in Internationalization
  • The U.S. Point of view (Faculty engagement, learning outcomes, credit system)
  • Formation, structure, funding and management of agreements and partnerships
  • Support and resources available to Portuguese HEI to Attract Students from the U.S.


MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

David Di Maria – Ed.D., Senior International Officer & Associate Vice Provost for International Education at University of Maryland Baltimore County

David L. Di Maria is Senior International Officer & Associate Vice Provost for International Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he leads institutional strategy for global engagement. He also oversees UMBC’s education abroad programs, English Language Institute, campus Fulbright program, international travel security program and support services for international students and scholars. Di Maria regularly presents, publishes and consults on critical issues facing international higher education. His latest book is Achieving More with LessLean Management in the International Student Office. Di Maria earned a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, where his studies focused on internationalization from a P-16 perspective.

Ana Cristina Miranda Perdigão -Director of Portuguese Erasmus+ National Agency (Education and Training).

She is currently responsible for the management of Erasmus+ Program 2021-2027, support for internationalization of education and training and implementation of national higher education housing program.

Previous, she was a Coordinating Professor at Lisbon Polytechnic — IPL, served as Vice-President between 2012 and 2020, where she assumed responsibility for internationalization, academic affairs, quality, and accreditation areas.

As Vice-President of IPL, she was in charge for defining the implementation strategy of the Erasmus+ Programme and further international mobility and cooperation activities.

Between 2009 and 2012 was Vice-President of ISCAL – Lisbon Accounting and Business School, a branch of IPL, where she has been associated since 1991, responsible for lectures units of European Union Law, European Competition Law, and Civil Procedural Law.

Ana Perdigão holds a law degree from the Lisbon School of Law – Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Master in European Studies – Legal Dominant, by the Institute of European Studies from the same University.


Ana Val-do-Rio – International Officer, University of Coimbra

Currently in charge of staff mobility (teaching and non-teaching) at the oldest university in Portugal, she spent a decade managing international cooperation agreements and dealing with communication matters at the International Relations Unit. A strong advocate for academic cooperation, she regularly participated in international conferences such as NAFSA and the US-Portugal Higher Education Forum and organized mobility fairs as well as training events. One of her most fulfilling projects was coordinating a radio broadcast by and for international students for several years.


May 6th, 2022 – Attracting U.S. Students to Portugal

  • Motivation and Decision-Making of U.S. Students and their families.
  • Access to study abroad. Diversity and Inclusion
  • Maximizing the attractiveness and value of Education Abroad Programs
  • Branding and marketing strategies (Recruiting fairs/NAFSA. Feeder schools/partner institutions. Working with providers.  Informational events. Alumni involvement. Social media, web content, recruiting portals)
  • Management of expectations – students, families, hosts
  • Best practices in providing support for US students on site


Dr. Kyle Rausch is an experienced education abroad professional whose work has focused on the oversight of faculty-directed education abroad programs, including the development of program leader training and institutional risk management policies and protocols. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the Study Abroad Office at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Kyle’s experience includes helping institutions build capacity for education abroad, specifically for institutions that serve high numbers of underrepresented students.

During his tenure with Arizona State University, Kyle led the faculty-directed programs team to scale programming responsibly, helping move the institution into the top 10 sending institutions as reported by the Institute of International Education. Kyle has also developed institutional risk management policies for international travel, managed the response to emergencies affecting institutional travelers abroad, and taught and led student groups on-site in Europe.

Kyle earned a Doctor of Education from ASU with his research focusing on supporting first-generation college students in education abroad. He earned a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in French and International Affairs from Florida State University. Kyle currently serves on the Council for the Forum on Education Abroad, as an affiliate with Gateway International Group, and volunteers by serving on advisory boards for various education abroad organizations.


Genesis Garcia is a 2017-2018 Fulbright Alum to Portugal and currently works as the Program Specialist at the Study in Portugal Network, powered by the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) in Lisbon. Having worked in international education for the last 8 years, her passion for the field has focused mainly on developing intercultural competency among study abroad students and finding the intersection between diversity, equity, and inclusion and sustainable tourism within the realm of international education. She is honored to share her own experiences as a product of multiple foreign exchange programs in Spain and Portugal, as well as moderate this very important webinar connecting Portugal to US Higher Education Institutions.