Syracuse Madrid Staff


Dieter Roberto Kuehl, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish literature and cinema
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3212)

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 3204)

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 returned to Madrid,  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 taught several history and political science courses for Syracuse Madrid, I have also participated in almost all of Syracuse Madrid’s Signature Seminars. As of 2018, I direct the Azahar Signature Seminar. Teaching is my passion; it allows me to remain in 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 both my professional and personal lives 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 3203)

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 Universidad de 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 – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain
Licenciatura. Spanish philology – Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Ángela Roquero

Registrar and academic assistant
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3334)

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 de 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 de 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 M. Ferro Bajuelo, Ph.D.

Director, Student Life 
Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3209)

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. My areas of interest are Spanish and English languages in contact in the United States, co-curricular and safety programing, interculturality, and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be living the next 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  – UNED, Spain
Máster. Teaching English as a foreign language – Universidad de Alcalá, Spai
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 – Student Engagement
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3200)

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 in progress. Intercultural education– UNED, Spain
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 – Communications & Design
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3222)

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

Assistant, Student Life – Wellness
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3210)

I was born and raised in Madrid. My introduction to Syracuse University was in 1990 when my family hosted Syracuse Madrid students at our home. At a very young age, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Ireland, and I fell in love with the world of study abroad.

During my senior year of university, I began to collaborate with Syracuse Madrid in different capacities before taking on my current responsibilities in the office of Student Life. I started working in Housing which provided me with a unique perspective into students’ experiences abroad and allowed me to develop personally and professionally in the field.

Since 2018, I have been in charge of Wellness, where I strive to ensure students’ well-being is supported throughout their semester.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Diplomatura. Tourism management – UNED, Spain

Susana Sacristán Fouz

Assistant, Student Life – Housing
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3206)

I was born and raised in Madrid where I earned my degree in modern languages at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I’ve wanted to live abroad for as long as I can remember, so I applied for and earned a scholarship to Scotland where I worked as a Spanish language assistant for two years. I had the most amazing experience of my life there which helped guide me to a career working in study abroad.

As soon as I returned to Spain in 1995, I began working with Syracuse Madrid where I’ve been developing my professional and personal skills. My current area of focus is housing; as such, my main priority is to encourage you to fully experience Spain while living with a Spanish host family or with other international students in the residence hall.

I use she/her/ella pronouns.

Licenciatura. English philology – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain


Elena González Martínez

Director, Business and Administration 
Office Number: 913.199.942 (Ext 3333)

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 3211)

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.