Visiting Scholar Profiles

Global Education Center welcomes International Visiting Scholars to Montclair State University. A few of these scholars are profiled below.


Alicia Candiani

Alicia Candiani was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1953 where she lives and works. Her international artistic practice consists of expanded print and digital media work, architectural interventions and collaborative art projects as well as curated exhibitions. She is the founder and current director of Proyecto’ace, a 10 years old artist in residence international program focused on expanded field contemporary printmaking practices and its interfaces with photography, design and digital media, which is located in her home city.

She has been appointed Visitor Professor at the Art and Design Institute in Shanghai, China from 2015 to 2018. Candiani’s work has been shown in over 300 shows and one-person exhibitions since 1977 and has been the recipient of mayor international awards, being the Jesús Nuñez Award in Printmaking in Spain (2014), the 1st Prize in Prints without Borders in Oldenburg, Germany (2010) and the Excellence in Fine Arts Award, Turner Museum, USA (2009) the more recent of them. She has been selected by the Argentine National Academy of Fine Arts as one in ten best printmakers in her country in 1998, 2000 and 2004. In 2010 she was the artist who represented officially Argentina in the International Art Biennial in Beijing, China.

Art Forum is a series of lectures and presentations by artists, critics, museum directors, art historians, and curators. Through exposing students to the experiences of international artists and members of the global arts community, this course intends to introduce students to the creative process, different philosophies of art, and the role of art in private and public life.

For further information please also see


Leonor Lopehandia

                                               Leonor Lopehandia with freshman September 2015


MSU Theater students participated in an intensive voice workshop in September 2015with visiting scholar and artist Prof. Leonor Lopehandía, of the School of Theater at the Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile.   The workshop’s three days of activities taught the students how to deconstruct a text and explore it with both voice and body, building on applying all their acting skills.

In addition to the workshops for students, Lopehandía’sstay at Montclair State also involvedmeetings with MSU faculty members in preparation for the spring 2016 faculty-led study abroad program in Chile. Under the direction of Theater and Dance Department faculty Heather Benton and Debbie Saivetz, approximately 10 Montclair State University students are expected to visit Chile for one week in March 2016. While there, studentswill work with Universidad Mayor students and facultyon a play by the Catalan writer SergiBelbel entitled Caricias (Caresses). MSU’s Prof.Debbie Saivetzis also collaborating Leonor Lopehandiaon DeaLoher's play Land Without Words, which will be presented at Universidad Mayor in March.

Over the past four years, Montclair State and Universidad Mayor have collaborated in several academic areas, with both faculty and student exchanges.

In theater, Debbie Saivetzhas directed staged readingsof the playsArabian Nightand The Golden Dragon with students, faculty and alumni from the Universidad Mayor's School of Theater.  In May 2015, Heather Benton, program coordinator of MSU's BFA Acting program, conducted movement workshops for the Universidad Mayor Theater students.

In the sciences, we developed bilateral programs in 2014 and 2015 between students and professors in the area of biotechnology, which led to collaborative student research projects and exchanges, thanks in part to coordination work done by the Global Education Center and the Department of International Relations of the Universidad Mayor. This scienceexchange program began with the support of President Obama’s "100,000Strong in STEM"funding.

In November 2015, a delegation of six MSU representatives from the Global Education Center and the Biology, Spanish, and Education departments will visit Santiago. The delegation will plan programs that will expand the multi-level relationship between the universities into other common academic disciplines including Education, Spanish Language programs and Media.


For further informationsee Universidad Mayor’s own press release:


Julio Travieso Serrano



Julio Travieso Serrano is a novelist, translator and teacher in Havana, Cuba. He originally studied Law at the University of Havana and received his Ph.D. at the Latin American Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has taught in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Havana, Autonomous Universities of Sinaloa and Ciudad Jurez in Mexico, at Moscow State University in Russia, and at Hofstra University in New York. He is the author of numerous books of short stories, essays and novels, including The Book of Pegaso (2012), I am the Messenger (2010), and Dust and Gold (1994). His works have been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, English, Bulgarian, Czech, Georgian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian. He is the recipient of several literary awards, including the prestigious Mexican Mazatlán Prize for Literature for his novel Dust and Gold, and was short listed, among others, for the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize for Cuban literary criticism. He has translated several works from Russian into Spanish, including The Master and Margarita and The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov .
Professor Travieso was a Visiting Professor in the Spanish/Italian Department for the Fall 2014 semester, where he taught a graduate course on Cuban literature.

Olga Meshcheryakova

 Olga Mescheryakova

Olga Meshcheryakova is Director of the Institute of International Cooperation at Penza State University. In this role she oversees organization of admission, registration, accommodation, educational process and progression pathways for foreign students. In addition, her responsibilities include promoting and encouraging international scientific and educational cooperation, academic and student mobility, and the university’s participation in international projects and initiatives. Ms. Meshcheryakova is also an active member of a special work group on Penza region internationalization.

She joined Penza State University in 2000 as an English teacher. In 2005 she became Director of the Information Resource Center, and assumed her current role in 2011. Ms. Meshcheryakova is a Fulbright Russian International Education Administrators Program participant. Initiated by the US State Department in 2007 and managed by the Institute of International Education, the program provides a 3-month intensive U.S. professional training program to 8 international education administration specialists from Russian universities. 

Jumana Jaber

Jumana Jaber


In July 2013, Jumana Jaber arrived in Montclair, ready to take up her position as a visiting assistant professor of Art and Design at Montclair State University. But Jaber is not a typical new faculty member: she is a protected visiting scholar, who, along with her husband and son, has been displaced by the Syrian civil war.

“We left because our lives were in danger,” Jaber says. “The violence in the country was only intensifying and we needed to leave.”

Jaber came to the attention of Marina Cunningham, the Global Education Center’s executive director of international affairs, when the IIE, or Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) sent her a list of scholars needing placements.


Marina Kunshchikova


Marina Kunshchikova

Marina Kunshchikova is a postgraduate student at the Ural Federal University and an instructor of English in the German philology department. A Fall 2013 Fulbright visiting researcher at Montclair State University, her research interests are second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, bilingualism and language creativity as well as corpus linguistics.

She received her BA in Language Studies from the Romanic and Germanic Philology Department, and her MA in Language Studies from the Department of Comparative Linguistics. While at Montclair State University, she is working under Dr. Longxing Wei in the Linguistics Department.  Her research focuses on classroom bilingualism and the study of how two linguistic worlds correlate to the state of being bilingual.

She gave a presentation to the Linguistics Department October 25 on “Classroom Bilingualism and Second Language Wordplay”.


Maureen Robinson 


Dr. Robinson

Maureen Robinson was a visiting Fulbright scholar from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa during the Fall 2013 semester.  Her interest in visiting MSU stems from her interest in school/university partnerships for educational renewal.  

Prior to her position at the University of Stellenbosch, she was Dean of the Faculty of Education at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a member of the Faculty of Education at University of the Western Cape. Maureen Robinson received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cape Town and her Masters from the University of Leiden, Netherlands. Her Doctoral Degree from the University of the Western Cape focused on mentoring and teacher development. She is the author of numerous publications and research on teacher development, teaching practice schools and policy development in South Africa.  Working with the Center of Pedagogy, she has visited schools and observed graduate level classes, and gave a presentation on South Africa’s issues and challenges for building an education system for a new democracy.


Daniel Lancaric 

Daniel Lancaric

Daniel Lancaric was a visiting scholar from Comenius University in Slovakia, where he is a professor and chair of Linguistics in the Faculty of Education. He was previously a professor at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia. He received his Ph.D. in French Language and Literature from Prešovská Universzita v Prešove in Slovakia. His area of specialization is comparative Linguistics and particularly e-language alphanumeronyms of email and text message communications.  He is working with Prof. Eileen Fitzpatrick while in residence at Montclair State University, and giving presentations on both linguistics and his experience regarding Slovakia’s struggle for integration into the European Union.

Vadim Monastyrski

Vadim Monastyrski

Pianist Vadim Monastyrski, a Professor of Piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, is a visiting artist at Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music for the Fall 2013 semester. He is teaching Piano Master Classes, Piano Accompanying Classes, and coaching chamber music groups during his time here.

He received his musical education from the Moscow Gnessin Institute under the guidance of Theodor Gutman (pupil of the legendary Henrich Neihaus). Monastyrski was a Bronze Medalist of Liszt - Bartok International Piano Competition in Budapest, Hungary in 1976, and a winner of a Gold medal at the Haendel International Festival in Halle, Germany in 1979.

Monastyrski’s engagements with orchestras include performances with such symphony orchestras as Budapest Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, Leningrad Symphony, Lugano Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Jerusalem Symphony, Tel-Aviv Philharmonic, Johannesburg National Symphony, and Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of such renowned conductors as Jan Ferencik, Veronika Dudarova, Sergei Provatorov, Dmitri Serov, Dudu Shalon, Jose Serebrier, and Isaac Karabtchevsky.



Leonor Lopehandia Montecino


Leonor Lopehandía Montecino

Visiting scholar and artist Leonor Lopehandía returned to Montclair in September 2013 to conduct a series of intensive voice and speech workshops for MSU's Theatre and Dance Department students. Lopehandía also joined the student cast of the New Play Festival reading of Carlos Murillo's  Dark Play or Stories for Boys, directed by MSU theatre faculty member Debbie Saivetz.

Leonor Lopehandía Montecino
completed her studies at the "Theatre Club" School in 1995 and received her graduate degree in acting at the Catholic University of Chile. As a professional actress she has appeared in numerous independent theater and media productions, beginning her career in 1994 at the Siré Augustine Theater of the University of Chile. 

In 1998, she founded "La Borja" Theatre Company with Mauricio Moro and Sebastian Leon with whom she worked both as an actress and producer in Santiago and Temuco. She received a FONDART award in 2000 for Seven Mirages of a Fragmented History, a CUMBIA award in 2006 for Uncertain Celebrations in 2006 and a LIRA award in 2006 for Five Stories About Poor Poets. With renowned Chilean actor Héctor Noguera, she co-founded the Universidad Mayor's School of Theater in the city of Temuco, serving as professor of Voice and Speech and theater faculty coordinator.  Since 2007, she has been a Professor of Voice and Coordinator of General Training at the Universidad Mayor's School of Theatre in Santiago.

Emil Numminen

Emil Numminen

Dr. Emil Numminen, from MSU’s partner institution Kristianstad University in Sweden was a visiting scholar March 2-9, 2013. During his stay, he gave a presentation “On the Economic Return of a Software Investment” and met with faculty in the School of Business.

Dr. Numminen's received his Ph.D. in 2010 in Industrial Economics and Management from Blekinge Institute of Technology. He currently serves as assistant professor at the University of Kristianstad and Blekinge Institute of Technology. His research is primarily in applied corporate finance, and recent research projects have focused on risk management in the software industry and the video game industry using portfolio theory and option theory. The research has been presented at international conferences and journals. Dr. Numminen teaches corporate courses at the bachelor and masters level and supervises bachelor thesis´ and master thesis´ in finance. 



Philip Kwesiga

Philip Kwesiga


Dr. Philip Kwesiga is a visiting scholar at Montclair State University for the Spring 2013 semester. He came to Montclair State from the Makerere University in Uganda under the auspices of the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). This competitively awarded fellowship allows mid and senior level university administrators to spend approximately eight weeks collaborating with counterparts at U.S. public universities. Dr. Ksesiga serves as Chair of the Department of Visual Communication Design and Multimedia within the School of Industrial and Fine Arts, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology at Makerere University, and teaches ceramics. Dr. Kwesiga received his Ph.D. from Middlesex University in England, and has had solo and joint exhibitions of his art work in London, England, Brussels, Belgium, Hague, Netherlands, Havana, Cuba, Rohovot, Israel and Kampala, Uganda. During his stay in Montclair, Dr. Kwesiga is based within the Dean’s Office of the College of the Arts, working with Dr. Ron Sharps as his mentor, and will be observing and researching the management of art departments and schools.

Javier Cercas

Javier Cercas headshot

Javier Cercas was a visiting scholar at Montclair State University in November 2012. He is one of the most talented writers of contemporary Spain. Novelist, short-story writer, essayist and journalist, he is the author of the internationally acclaimed novel, Soldados de Salamina (2001; Soldiers of Salamis, 2003) which has been translated into more than twenty languages, made into a film and was the recipient of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2004) as well as the Premio de la Critica de Chile and the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona. He is also the author of the novel La velocidad de la luz (2005; The Speed of Light, 2006), which was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Among his other works in English are El M?vil (1987), El Inquilino (1989) (The Tenant and the Motive, 2005) El vientre de la ballena (1987) and his fascinating account of the attempted military coup of 1981 in Spain, which combines fiction and essay. Anatomia de un instante (2009, The Anatomy of a Moment, 2011). The latter work won the Premio Nacional de Narrative in Spain in 2010. Javier Cercas has won two prizes for the body of his writing: the International Prize of the Turin Book Fair (2011) and the Prix Ulysse (2012).

group with Javier Cercas

During his stay in Montclair, Cercas gave several presentations in both Spanish and English-- Anatomi de Espana Hoy, Soldados de Salamina: De Novela a Pelicula; The Speed of Light: Writing, Loss and the Vietnam War; and La Escritur y El Proceso Creador.

‌Cristina Frosini and Massimiliano Baggio

Visiting scholars Cristina Frosini and Massimiliano Baggio performed four-hand piano music at the Van Vleck House and gave masterclasses for John J. Cali School of Music students during their October 2012 stay in Montclair. The concerts represent a new community collaboration by Van Vleck House and Gardens and the Cali School of Music. It inaugurates a new series of performances at Van Vleck featuring faculty and student musicians associated with the Cali School.

Ms. Frosini and Mr. Baggio are a world-class piano duo are on the faculty of Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, Italy, a partner institution of Monclair State University's Cali School of Music. They have played as a piano duo since 1975. Together they have appeared in hundreds of concerts, including orchestral appearances, recitals, and radio and television recordings, and they have released recordings on Sarx Records. They are the only Italian artists to perform the complete works of Franz Schubert for piano four-hands. They have won many international awards, including the Gian Battista Viotti International Music Competition 1982 in Vercelli and the 1986 International Competition Concorso Sergio Lorenzi in Trieste. In 1996, they made their debut at Milan's renowned Teatro alla Scala. In 2000, the musical magazine "Amadeus" published a CD on which they played music by Franz Schubert for piano duo.
An Afternoon of Duo Piano Music

Augustus Kwaw Brew

Augustus Kwaw Brew was a visiting scholar at Montclair State University for the Fall 2012 semester. He came to Montclair State from the University of Education in Winneba, Ghana under the auspices of the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). This competitively awarded fellowship allows mid and senior level university administrators to spend approximately eight weeks collaborating with counterparts at U.S. public universities. Mr. Brew serves as Senior Assistant Registrar in the Admissions office of his home university in Ghana. During his stay in Montclair, he was based within Enrollment and Student Academic Services offices, observing and researching the admissions process.

Gyorgy Cspeli

Gyorgy Cspeli giving a talk

Gyorgy Csepeli was a visiting scholar at Montclair State University for the Fall 2012 semester. He came to Montclair State University from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, where he is the Chair of the interdisciplinary Social Research doctoral program. He has served in the Ministry of Communications and Informatics and as Director of Public Policy, Public Policy Director in the Prime Minister's Office and in the Ministry of Economy and Transport. Csepeli received a PhD from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Social Psychology of Hungarian National Identity, and has been a visiting scholar at Yale University, University of Michigan, Oregon State University, and a Fulbright Scholar at UCLA. During his stay at Montclair State, he was hosted by the History Department and the Honors Program, where he taught two courses.
"New Authoritarianism in Hungary" Talk

Helena Chacon Lopez

Chacon Lopez by the Montclair State University entrance sign

Helena Chacon Lopez, a PhD candidate at the University of Granada in Spain, participates in a national program to train University Professors conducted by the Education Ministry of Spain. Her main area of interest is in the study or Retinitis Pigmentosa, its emotional consequences and psychosocial contributions to its treatment. Professor Chacon Lopez will be working with Joe Donnelly (Health Professions, CEHS) in aspects of her research as well as visiting and developing contacts with different centers dealing with visual impairment in the country. She also volunteers her time in our Student with Disability Center working under the supervision of Ms. Linda Smith.