Syracuse Madrid Staff


Dieter Roberto Kuehl, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish literature and cinema
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 212)

I was born and raised in Guatemala City, Central America, by a Guatemalan mother and a German father. I earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College and worked for over ten years for an American shipping company in my home country. In my early thirties, I decided to go back to school to study literature, and I earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Spanish literature from Harvard University.

While I was working on my dissertation, I came to Madrid to do research, and I fell in love with the country. Soon after, in 2001, I started working for Syracuse Madrid as a part-time professor, teaching a vast array of courses in Spanish literature and film. Eventually, in 2012, I became the director of the Syracuse Madrid program.

I use he/his/él pronouns.

Ph.D. Spanish literature – Harvard University
M.A. Spanish literature – Harvard University
B.S. Business administration – Babson College


Amalia Yrizar

Assistant director
Professor of history
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 204)

I was born and raised in Madrid, where I went to school and university. During my high school years, I studied abroad in Ireland, which was an amazing experience for me. When I came back I decided to study History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where I specialized in Spanish and European Early Modern and Modern history. Since 2003, I’ve been teaching several History and Political Science courses for Syracuse Madrid, I have also participated in almost all of Syracuse Madrid Signature seminars and since 2018 I am directing Azahar Signature Seminar. Teaching is my passion, it allows me to be in constant touch with students and I can see how they learn from their Study Abroad experience. Since 2005, I have overseen the academic aspects of the Syracuse Madrid program and in 2011 I was promoted to Assistant Director of the program.  A significant part of my life, both professional and personal, has been related to study abroad, and…I simply love it.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Ph.D. History – in progress – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Licenciatura. Library and information science – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Licenciatura. Early modern and modern history – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain


Maite Viñuelas

Supervisor, Spanish language section; Internships and Service Learning
Professor of Spanish language
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 203)

I am originally from a little town northeast of Madrid but my professional life has mostly taken place in Madrid. I studied Spanish (Filología hispánica) at the University of Alcalá, one of the oldest universities in Spain (dating from the late 15th century), which is where I first came in contact with study abroad. When I finished my B.A., I started my doctoral studies with a focus on Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. I’ve taught all different levels of Spanish for many years, and I love teaching Spanish to U.S. students because of how rewarding it is to see students improve their Spanish on a daily basis. One of my goals is that students understand what’s going on around them in a foreign language. Since 2005, I’ve been the supervisor of the Spanish department and Internship program at Syracuse Madrid, and I’m available for any question or concern that you may have about these two issues.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Máster. Teaching Spanish as a foreign language –in progress- Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
Licenciatura. Spanish philology – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Ángela Roquero

Registrar and academic assistant
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 2215)

I was born in Madrid, studied in the British Council School since I was 5 years old, and grew up with a British education. I earned a degree in Law in Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, and one of the best years of my life was the year I spent studying abroad at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam. After graduating, I earned a masters degree in European Union law at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. My professional life has developed in law firms and advertising agencies; however I finally decided to make a career change by focusing my international experience in the academic department of Syracuse Madrid. I love to work in this area, because I can bring together all my international, professional, and personal experience to students. Therefore, if you need any advice concerning academic issues I will be very happy to assist you.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Máster. Law of the European Union – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Licenciatura. Law – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.



Ariadne Ferro, PhD

Ariadne M. Ferro Bajuelo, Ph.D.

Director, Student Life 
Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 209)

I’m originally from Hialeah, FL (Miami) and was raised in an amazing Cuban community. Once I left home, study abroad became a big part of my life. During my university and grad school years I had the privilege of studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro once and Madrid twice. These experiences taught me that there are many places I can call home because a piece of me remained in each one of them.

In 2002, I decided to pursue higher education in Spain, and in 2005 I became a dual Spanish-U.S. citizen. I feel incredibly fortunate to be living the second phase of my study abroad adventure – accompanying students like you on your journey of finding homes away from home.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Ph.D. Modern languages – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
Máster. Intercultural education – in progress – UNED, Spain
Máster. Teaching English as a foreign language – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
Máster. Spanish language and culture – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
M.A. Spanish – University of Florida
B.A. Spanish – University of Central Florida

Horacio Cortés Medina

Assistant, Student Life
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 200)

I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA to Mexican immigrant parents. I studied Spanish and political science at the University of California, Irvine (2010-2014). I first ventured out to Spain in 2012 when I studied abroad in Barcelona for my 3rd year of college. After returning from Spain in 2013, I decided to finish my senior year and then move back to Spain, but this time to Madrid through the North American Cultural Ambassadors Program (Auxiliares de Conversación, 2014-2018). Ever since then, traveling has been a big part of my life and living in a different country has become part of who I am. As a result, I have lived most of my adult life abroad.

In 2017, I earned a master’s degree from the Universidad de Alcalá in Aprendizaje y Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera.

Even though I am bilingual in Spanish and English, Spain was a complete culture shock. I understand what it feels like to move to a different country as a Mexican-American not knowing the culture, the bureaucracy or at times the regional language variety. I joined the Syracuse team in fall 2018, and I look forward helping in any way possible to make your study abroad experience amazing, as it is an unforgettable part of your academic and personal life.

I use he/his/él pronouns.

Máster. Teaching Spanish as a foreign language – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
B.A. Spanish – University of California, Irvine
B.A. Political science – University of California, Irvine

Pilar Ana Díaz de la Rubia

Assistant, Student Life
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 213)

I was born and raised in the California Bay Area. My dad is Spanish, from the north of Spain, and my mother is from there U.S., therefore, I was fortunate to have grown up surrounded by the two cultures.  My passion for Spain developed over the years, and in 2011 I decided to study abroad in Granada.  Studying in Spain made my love for the country and culture grow exponentially, and I left my year abroad knowing that one day I would make it back.  I followed this dream and returned after graduating in 2013 to work as an English teacher in Madrid for three years, during which I also completed a Máster in Bilingual and Multicultural Education.

In 2016, I went back to California to pursue a degree in International Education Management to be able to best support students such as yourself through your own unique study abroad journeys. Through this degree I was able to return to Madrid again, joining the Syracuse Madrid team in the fall of 2018.  I hope to inspire and encourage you to explore, discover, and immerse yourself in Madrid and all that the unique Spanish culture has to offer.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

M.A. International education management – Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Máster. Bilingual and multicultural education – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
B.A. Language studies with Spanish concentration – University of California, Santa Cruz

Raquel Perea Arenas

Raquel Perea Arenas

Assistant, Student Life
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 210)

I’ve been working with Syracuse Madrid program in different capacities for over fifteen years. While I’m originally from Madrid, I understand the study abroad student experience because I studied and lived with a host family in Ireland. Furthermore, when I was younger, my mother hosted Syracuse Madrid students. This background gives me a unique perspective into the study abroad experience.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Diplomatura. Tourism management – UNED, Spain

Alejandro Romero

Resident assistant

My name is Alejandro Romero and I was born and raised in Madrid although I`m living in a town near Madrid where I went to the high school. I studied Economics Sciences at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and started working at Syracuse University at the age of eighteen , dealing with both tasks. Before finishing my degree, I decided to specialize in mathematical Analysis in my last college year. Once I finished my stay at the college, I moved to United Kingdom where I was living there for a year and a half and that was one of the best experiences that I have ever had in my entire life. Thanks to had been working at Syracuse University and living in UK, my english got better considerably. After a year and a half being learning and working, I decided to go back to my city, Madrid, where I kept studying Mathematics and Accounting, especializing in those areas and also Macroeconomics. On my spare time, I do CrossFit which I love it and I belong to a CrossFit club. I love sports and after a years trying to find mine, I found out this one, which makes me be out of my confort zone. As a part of the Syracuse University, I really love to be in contact with the students and try to help them out in everything they need. Therefore, if you need any kind of help don´t hesitate to come and ask.

I use he/his/él pronouns.

Licenciatura. Economics Sciences – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Susana Sacristán Fouz

Susana Sacristán Fouz

Assistant, Student Life
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 206)

I was born and raised in Madrid and earned my degree in modern languages at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Afterwards, I moved to Scotland where I worked as a Spanish language assistant. After returning to Spain, I joined Syracuse Madrid where I’ve been working since 1995. My goal is to help you explore and experience Madrid to the fullest.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Licenciatura. English philology – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Stephanie Ramin

Graduate intern
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 207)

Hola!  My name is Stephanie, and I was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  My undergraduate studies were in Psychology and Spanish at Bethel University.  During my time as an undergraduate, I participated in two study abroad experiences –  a semester-long program in Cyprus, and a J-term program focused around the history of psychology in Europe with travel to England, France, Germany, and Austria.  I couldn’t get enough when it came to living and traveling abroad, so after I graduated from Bethel, I decided to go abroad again: I ended up teaching English to adult learners in Seoul, South Korea for a year and a half.
Upon returning to the US, I did some soul-searching and realized I wanted to find a way to combine my passion for all things international and my love of education.  I decided to pursue a master’s degree in international education management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), which I am currently finishing.  My end goal is to work in study abroad in some capacity.  I’m excited to find myself living abroad for a third time, and to discover Madrid alongside you!  I’ve been in your shoes before, so please let me know if there is any way that I can help you.  I’m excited to get to know you and assist you in any way you need!
I use she/her/ella pronouns.
M.A. International education management – in progress – Middlebury Institute of International Studies
B.A. Psychology – Bethel University


Elena González Martínez

Director, Business and Administration 
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 208)

I was born and raised in Madrid. I earned a degree in contemporary history from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. However, from the start, my professional career went towards the world of business and management in national and multinational companies, so I decided to pursue a graduate degree in finance, marketing, and sales management.

I’ve been working for Syracuse Madrid since 1995 and have grown both professionally and personally with the program. Here, I manage the financial and material resources of the program to ensure that they’re used in the most effective manner for both students and personnel. The world of international education has allowed me to add a humanistic element to my training in and my vocation for numbers as well as for people.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Máster. Marketing and sales management – E.S.I.C. (School of Business & Marketing), Spain
Licenciatura. Contemporary history – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

José Luis Ballesteros

Assistant, Business and Administration 
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 211)

I was born and raised in Getafe, a small city close to Madrid, and I earned my degree in political science at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a graduate degree in fundamental rights at the Universidad Carlos III. Afterwards, I moved to England where I lived for more than two years, which afforded me the perspective of living abroad.

My professional life has developed in in finance and accounting departments in different companies. I joined SU Madrid in 2012 where I’ve enjoyed the great experience of working with students.

I use he/his/él pronouns.

Máster. Fundamental rights – Universitdad Carlos III, Spain
Licenciatura. Political science – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain



Spanish degrees

Máster – One to two-year postgraduate degree.
Licenciatura – Five-year undergraduate degree.
Diplomatura – Three-year undergraduate degree.