• General Information: Administration@spaineduprograms.es
  • High School Summer Programs: Chignett@spaineduprograms.es
  • Institutional Relations / Marketing and Communications: Fmaranon@spaineduprograms.es
  • University Programs / Higher Ed. Projects: Cgrasset@spaineduprograms.es

Altozano 9
Madrid 28023



CG Photo SEP Website 2014 SmallCRISTINA GRASSET

Cristina Grasset is the Director of Spain Education Programs. Before founding SEP Cristina was the Director of Enrollment and International Programs at Suffolk University Madrid, where she contributed to establishing and developing the campus. Prior to that she was the Marketing and Sales Director at a non-traded real estate investment trust, where she continues to hold a board seat. From 1986 to 1992 Cristina was the Director of Student Services at Saint Louis University (Madrid). She holds a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota, a Master in Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University, the degree of “Asesor de Inversion y Financiacion” from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University.




Kim Griffin PhotoKIM GRIFFIN

Kim Griffin is the Academic Director at Spain Education Programs, responsible for program design and development. Prior to this she was the Academic Director of the Comillas Foundation (Cantabria, Spain), where she built the institution’s organizational structure and designed its strategic plan. Kim combined these responsibilities with a position as Research Fellow in the International Campus of Excellence program at the University of Cantabria. From 1996 to 2011 she was Resident Director of the Middlebury College School in Spain, where she had also taught Spanish as a Second Language; and Theory and Methodology. Before joining Middlebury Kim was the Dean of the College of Translation/Interpretation and Director of Foreign Languages and Study Abroad at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. Kim holds a Ph. D. in Foreign Language Education from the Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education-Spanish from SUNY Oswego.



Fernando Maranon 2016


Fernando Maranon joined SEP in 2011 as Marketing and Communications Coordinator, acting as community manager, guiding partner-selection processes, leading site reviews of host institutions, and structuring data-gathering procedures. Fernando holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from ESIC Business and Marketing School (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain); and a “Titulo Superior en Marketing” from the same institution. In the past two years his expertise has focused on website maintenance through Oracle’s CMS, conducting external communication campaigns for our partner institutions, providing customer-facing materials for presentations and events, and generating brand-compliant collateral to support marketing activities.



C Hignett Foto


Cristina Hignett is a Program Adviser at SEP, where she helps design and incorporate language learning and co-curricular areas contributing to enhance students’ learning outcomes. Cristina has been a curricular developer for pre-school and first grade and is currently teaching at California Language School where she is also in the process of co-publishing a series of text books. Cristina was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and after completing a double Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics with a minor in European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she moved to Spain where she has been developing her career as a teacher, translator and consultant with SEP. She holds a Master’s degree from Universidad de Jaen in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language.



Sisa Sierra Graduation 2013


Sisa Sierra is the Internationalization at Home expert at SEP, helping expand`the impact of programs on host and home university communities. She currently teaches Intercultural Communication, Civic Humanism, and Human Rights at San Jorge University (Zaragoza, Spain), and works as a project-based consultant with SEP. She previously worked in international development (education and management) in Guatemala, El Salvador, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India. Maria Luisa holds a doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and a Teaching Certificate from Universidad de Zaragoza (Kingdom of Aragon, Spain). She is also a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).




Santi Alias has spent 25 years recruiting students from all over the globe. In his words, those years “have given me enough information about how to behave in every country with local Higher Education Systems, Consular Authorities, Recruitment Agencies, On line Recruitment and Marketing Platforms”. He is currently working as an International Student Recruitment Consultant employing his skills and knowledge to help universities become truly international, and collaborates in SEP projects as an internationalization, program design, and marketing specialist.

Over the course of the past 25 years, Santi has held the following positions: International Relations and Business Development Director, ELISAVA School of Design and Engineering; International Marketing Manager, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Study Abroad Director, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Overseas Courses Organizer, FIAC Language School. Santi holds degrees from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Translation and Interpretation, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and ESL.



Almendra Staffa-Healey was born in Granada, Spain to US American parents, and has lived extensively in both countries as a child and as an adult. She is a true Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK) -a term that’s applied to adults who have were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years-, and consequentially has pursued professional interests fitting with the global orientation of her upbringing. She is one of SEPs experts in topics

related to intercultural competence.

Over the past fifteen years she has worked in the field of international and intercultural education and business. In addition to serving as Resident Director for a number of US university programs in Madrid, she has taught studio art and Spanish as a foreign language at a Public High School in New York City. Almendra combines her work in building intercultural competencies and understanding in education and business as Director of Intercultural Understanding, with her role as Madrid Director for EUSA Academic Internship Programs. She has prepared US students extensively for working in Spain and Spanish employers for hosting US interns.



Mary joined SEP in April 2018, to act as a coordinator for Immersion Programs and a Specialist in Intercultural Competencies Training, She defines herself as a highly motivated, multilingual graduate with ten years of work, study and travel experience in Latin America and Southern Europe, who is passionate about developing exchange programs focused on improving intercultural communication and language competences of students.

Mary is currently a doctoral student at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and has previously completed degrees at: Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Madrid, Spain (Masters in International Education); at the University of Udine, Italy/University of Deusto, Spain (Master Erasmus Mundus in Euroculture); and at Syracuse University (bachelor with double major in International Relations and Spanish). She has lived in the US, Argentina, Italy and Spain (Bilbao and Madrid).




Patricia was born in Pamplona, Navarra, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in pedagogy and pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education at Universidad de Navarra. She moved to Madrid in 2017 to complete a second Bachelor’s degree in elementary school education, at Universidad Camilo Jose Cela. In addition Patricia has a strong background in music, and has attained level II accreditation both in piano and musical language at Escuela de Música del Valle de Egüés.

In the past four years she has worked at different schools in Spain, combining practical experience with her studies. She has also collaborated in the organization and customer care areas of large corporate events. She joined SEP in May of 2018 as a member of the new Immersion Programs Team, to help develop and implement projects for SEP clients both in Spain and the US.



Natalia was born in Aranjuez, a town in the southern part of the Autonomous Region of Madrid. She completed a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (CES Don Bosco). She then completed an additional degree in Elementary Education at Universidad Camilo Jose Cela. Natalia has attained the Spanish Ministry of Education’s certificate to teach in English (Mencion en Ingles), and has two years of teaching experience.

She joined SEP in May of 2018 as a member of the new Immersion Programs Team, to help develop and implement projects for SEP clients both in Spain and the US.



Angela was born in Toledo, in the Autonomous Region of Castilla La Mancha. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Universidad de Castilla La Mancha. She later moved to Madrid where she will graduate (May 2018) from Universidad Camilo Jose Cela with an additional degree in Pedagogy and Elementary Education. Angela has ample teaching experience in various capacities, both in the private school setting and as a volunteer with non-profit organizations for children from economically-challenged families.

She has also completed courses and training in areas such as: extra-curricular activities, physical education, preventing bullying, educational coaching, emotional intelligence, and motivating students. Angela has joined SEP  as part of the new Immersion Programs Team, to help develop and implement projects for SEP clients both in Spain and the US.



Cristina was born in Madrid. She has a double bachelor degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Universidad Camilo Jose Cela. During her years at university she combined studies with work at several prestigious schools in Madrid, and volunteered at residences for the elderly with disabilities and very low or null income. She has also played an active role at the UCJC, where she has represented the institution at recruitment events.

Cristina is accreditted as a Spanish as a Second Language teacher and spent a year studying at Univerza v Mariboru, Maribor (in Eslovenia)  through an ERASMUS exchange program. She has joined SEP  as part of the new Immersion Programs Team, to help develop and implement projects for SEP clients both in Spain and the US.



Javier is from Madrid, where he has spent most of his life. He completed two years of studies in Computer Science Engineering at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. He then discovered his passion for teaching and transferred to Universidad Camilo Jose Cela, where he has recently completed a double bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary School Education. He is accredited and has experience working as a basketball coach (from 2012 to present), a cycling coach (volunteered in 2014), and a summer camp supervisor. He studied abroad in Sweden, where he worked as a physical education teacher at the Kvarngärdesskolan International School in Uppsala.

Javier combines very strong backgrounds in computer science, programming, software, graphic design, hardware and social media; with a strong interest and lots of experience in sports in education. He has joined SEP  as part of the new Immersion Programs Team, to help develop and implement projects for SEP clients both in Spain and the US.