Project Members

Barbara Boettger – TU Graz

Barbara Boettger started her professional career as an advisor for student mobility at the University of Graz. This was when she began designing intercultural workshops for University of Graz exchange students to study with a colleague. Over the last 10 years, Barbara Boettger has designed and held many intercultural trainings for students and university staff at various institutions. Currently, she is working at Graz University of Technology where she is in charge of intercultural awareness trainings for both incoming and outgoing students, as well as specialized seminars for buddies. In 2015 she became a certified trainer for intercultural trainings. Aside from these intercultural trainings, Barbara Boettger is also responsible for the strategic partnerships the TU Graz holds with different international partners. She serves as the contact person for the Liaison Office in Shanghai.

Elisabeth Tomaselli – TU Graz

Elisabeth Tomaselli is an advisor at the International Office – Welcome Center and brings experience in the development of welcome services offered to international students and researchers at TU Graz. She is involved in the coordination of introduction programmes offered to international newcomers at the university including aspects of social integration and creating an inclusive international environment. Her work includes further the internal and external communication with regard to immigration law.
Elisabeth Tomaselli holds a degree in law with a focus on administrative law and political sciences.

Benedetta Gennaro – TU Darmstadt

Benedetta Gennaro, Ph.D., is head of the International Student Services and coordinator for refugee integration at TU Darmstadt. She received her B.A. in the Department of Sociology – Mass Communications at Università degli Studi “La Sapienza” in Rome, an M.A. in Mass Communications from Miami University (Oxford, OH) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University (Providence, RI). Her areas of research include gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies and visual methodologies, women and political violence, masculinity studies, and feminist methodologies. She was a researcher in the Institut für Soziologie at TU Darmstadt and served as acting professor of Sociology at Goethe Universität in Frankfurt.

alissa reinach – TU Darmstadt

Alissa Reinach, M.A. is the advisor for all international students at the International Student Services department of TU Darmstadt. Originally from New York, U.S.A, she received her B.A. in International Relations at Webster University in Leiden, The Netherlands and moved to Germany in 2014 where she received her M.A. in Social Sciences from Freiburg University in Freiburg, Germany. In 2017 she joined TU Darmstadt to assist other international students in easing their start into their studies. Her work involves integration, social inclusion, assistance with residence permits and visa inquiries as well as the coordination of orientation programs for new incoming international students.

Erik de Jong – Eindhoven University of Technology

Erik de Jong M.Sc. is the Community Manager at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

The main task of the Community Manager at TU/e is to make all students and staff feel welcome at the university and, more specifically, to make international students and guests part of the TU/e community. Working through the whole organization, the community manager is supported by a steering group and has an annual budget to support the activities. His work includes developing policies, improving procedures, organizing community events, providing support to activities and events, improving communication channels and connecting people.

As Community Manager, Erik de Jong is TU/e’s coordinator for the InComm project. He is able to collect knowledge and experience from the whole organization and then directly implement knowledge in the university’s infrastructure.

Nadia Hagen – Eindhoven University of Technology

Nadia Hagen is a project manager at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). In this project she supports her colleague Erik de Jong, Community manager at TU/e.

Her background is national and international student recruitment. She has several years of experience in this field. Therefore, the groups of incoming master’s students and eventually also Ph.D. candidates, their concerns and their needs are not new to her. Furthermore, when studying abroad she experienced the exciting time as a new student abroad herself.

Mirko Varano – KTH Royal Institute of Technology – Stockholm

Mirko Varano graduated with a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations and European Studies from the University of Turin, Italy. He has been active in the field of internationalization of higher education since 1992, when he started working as Erasmus Coordinator at the Technical University of Turin (Italy) where he held, over a period of 15 years, different positions including Head of the International Projects Unit within the department of International Affairs. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as Coordinator of the CLUSTER Network and in 2010 he started working as International Officer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology – Stockholm (Sweden), where he served in a number of positions related to internationalization strategies, university networks and external funding. Between 2013 and 2016 he has been a member of the International Strategy group created ad-hoc by the university management as a consulting unit for all the international cooperation strategic endeavors. As of 2016, he is a member of the Project Support group within the department of international affairs. He is currently a member of the EAIE leadership and serves as chair of the Network for Joint Programmes.

Rui Mendes – Técnico Lisboa

Rui Mendes is currently the Human Resources Director at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST|Universidade de Lisboa); He’s a member of the Cascais Municipal Parliament in Portugal (5th largest city) with the role of President of the Commission for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports; He’s also President of the Parents Association of a Private School and President of the Accounting Board of a Social Instituition –“O Companheiro”; During the last 5 years, was Head of International Affairs at Instituto Superior Técnico, member of advisory committee of T.I.M.E. Association (responsible for the Communication Task Force), member of the Follow-up committee of MAGALHAES Network (with several responsibilities as external funding manager), member of the Task Force in International Cooperation of the CESAER Network and local coordinator for several Erasmus Plus Projects (International Credit Mobility, Strategic Partnership and Capacity Building for Higher Education).

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He was also local coordinator for several European projects: REDEEM 2, INGDIVS, E4T (Strategic Partnership), BOOST, WELCOME, SILICE, SPHERA, NEXUS, ENPREENDIA AND WP@ELAB (Capacity Building, the last one acting as global coordinator). He is a former member of the school council of Instituto Superior Técnico (2007-2011), of the General Council of the University of Lisbon (2013-2017) and a representative of the same Institution at the Working Group of CRUP (Council of Deans/Rectors of the Portuguese Public Universities) regarding the Professional integration of HEIs Recent Graduates in Portugal (2015-16). Previously, was a coordinator of the IST Studies and Projects Unit (2011-2014) and the IST’s Graduate Employability Observatory (2008-2014). Rui holds a BsC degree in Sociology and a MSc degree in Statistics and Management of Information. During the last years, Rui has been involved in several communication and workshops in the largest European conferences for higher education (EAIE annual conference), in the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), in BMI International Fairs, in General Assemblies of different international networks (IAESTE, MAGALHAES, CESAER, CLUSTER, T.I.M.E.), in international staff weeks and other national conferences focused on international cooperation, joint programmes, employability, international mobility, gender balance, entrepreneurship, etc. Recently (2018), created a new group of experts in Portugal – IEHEP (International Experts For Higher Education In Portugal) – that promote the exchange of good practices in HEIs internationalization in Portugal. Rui is also an experienced trainer in SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and Survey Methodologies (How to build a good questionnaire; How to create reports with suitable tools; etc) within various public and private institutions.

Ágata Nicolau – Técnico Lisboa

Ágata Nicolau is the head of the Admissions Office at Técnico Lisboa, University of Lisbon. She graduated in Languages and International Relations from Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto and Technische Universität Chemnitz (Germany) and postgraduate in Foresight, Strategy and Innovation from the Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon. She has worked at the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France), at the Ministers’ Committee and at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. As part of Técnico Lisboa, Nicolau has worked with mobility students for almost 10 years and is responsible for programs involving students, staff and teaching staff such as: International Credit Mobility, InnoEnergy, Erasmus Mundus GroundwatCH, Vulcanus, IAESTE Portugal and IAESTE A.s.b.l in which she was the Strategic IAESTE Development Coordinator for 2 years.

Ágata has also been part of several international events organization, and also gave Portuguese classes to foreign students and workshops on Portuguese culture. Ágata has represented Técnico Lisboa and University of Lisbon internationally in several fairs, universities, high schools, consulates, embassies and other organizations. Ágata has been responsible for Técnico’s Lisboa Admissions Office structure and team since its beginning.

Olga Nikiforova – Tomsk Polytechnic University

Olga Nikiforova has been employed with Tomsk Polytechnic University since 1992. She is the Head of the Centre for Social Work. The focus of her work involves providing social support to students, ensuring their social adaptation to the university environment, and developing the system of extracurricular activities for students. She has been training students in Economics and Law, including EU studies in related fields, for more than 10 years. 

Evgeniya Sherina – Tomsk Polytechnic University

Evgeniya Sherina holds a PhD in philology, and is an Associate Professor and Head of the Russian Language Department of TPU. Since 2003, she has been working in the field of international education. She is the author of several articles devoted to the problems of intercultural communication and the integration of foreign students into the university and regional environment. She takes part in international educational fairs and organizes conferences and seminars for international students.

Marina Tayurskaya – Tomsk Polytechnic University

Marina Tayurskaya is a chief specialist of the TPU International Student Department. Since 2004, she works with academic mobility programs, joint degree programs, and recognition of foreign qualifications in the RF. As a member of TPU Scientific and Methodological Council, she is involved in the development and modernization of TPU educational programs in accordance with international standards. Marina Tayurskaya has participated in the implementation of European projects focused on the improvement of engineering education (Erasmus Mundus, TEMPUS, Erasmus+).

Dr. Vera Verkhoturova – Tomsk Polytechnic University

Dr. Vera V. Verkhoturova, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Director of international nuclear educational programmes, and is a TPU coordinator for collaboration with ROSATOM State Corporation in international nuclear education and training. She is in charge of the development of educational programmes for English-speaking international students, as well as social adaptation of non-resident students to local community with its traditions, culture and rules.