Faculty and Staff
Emilio Vargas Mena (Halftime), Faculty Advisor and Coordinator of the Global Environmental Issues in Latin America (Fall) and Contemporary Indigenous Peoples in Latin America Seminar (Spring). He is an Environmental Sociologist, with expertise in teaching, research and outreach on historical, social, cultural and political dimensions of conservation and management of ecosystems and wildlife in Latin America. Emilio has an MSc in Sociology from the University of Costa Rica.
Jacobo Schifter (Halftime), Faculty Advisor and Coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Seminar (fall) and Introduction to Global Studies (spring).Jacobo Schifter has a PhD in History from Columbia University. He has written on US-Costa Rican relations, the Jewish Community in Costa Rica, The Costa Rican Civil War, and on Democracy in Costa Rica. He later continued his research on sexual minorities, HIV and prisons in Latin America, with several books published in Latin America and in the US by Routledge. In recent years, he has worked and published books on Genocide, the Holocaust and the History of Sexuality. He was director of the Latin American Studies Department at Universidad Nacional, the PhD Program in Philosophy and is currently teaching courses on gender, sexuality and peace at UPEACE. He has taught in the States at MaryMount Manhattan College, Emory University. He works as a consultant to Cid Gallup where he contributes to the surveys in different subjects and is also a Senior Editor of a free online academic publishing company in Spanish espanol.free-ebooks.net
Jessica Clark, Adjunct Faculty, (Part time) Co-Coordinator of the Writing, Research and Documentation Seminar and Faculty Advisor. She holds a M.S. in English Literature from the University of Costa Rica and has worked as an advertiser, script writer and speech writer. She's also a published fiction writer.
Juan Carlos Rodríguez Briceño, Adjunct faculty and coordinator of the Electronic Portfolio Construction Seminar. He has conducted his undergraduate and graduate studies in the field of visual arts and graphic design. He currently works as a graphic designer and art professor at both public and private universities. He’s been working in the field of multimedia for more than 6 years developing freelance projects for renowned companies such as Pfizer, Jetix and LG.
Lorna Baez, Senior Independent Study Coordinator and Faculty, Coordinator of Latin American Studies Seminar (Fall) and Introduction to Field Work Methods Seminar (Spring). She also advises senior students, teaches the online Senior Independent Study Seminar (fall) and the online Junior Research Seminar (spring). She has a PhD in Latin American Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Her research interest revolves around issues of gender, sexuality and migration in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, she is exploring issues on street art and popular culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mia Valdes, Adjunct Faculty (Halftime), Faculty advisor and co-coordinator of the Writing, Research and Documentation Seminar (Fall) and Coordinator of the Writing the College Essay and Globalization in Contemporary World Fiction Seminars (Spring). She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University and has worked as a reporter and editor in Costa Rica where she has lived for over 20 years.
Sarah Moran, Center Director and Faculty Advisor. Sarah holds a M.S. in Adult Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She has worked with the Costa Rica Center of LIU Global for over 11 years. Prior to that, she worked for 8 years as Training Director for Peace Corps Costa Rica. In Chicago, she worked in adult education with institutions of higher education, Chicago City Colleges and Northeastern Illinois University) as well as with community organizations and the union representing the adult educators of City Colleges. Originally from Evanston, IL, she has lived and worked in Costa Rica for over 20 years.
Shanti Vidya, (Halftime) Faculty Advisor and Coordinator of two seminars: Holistic Health and Culture Seminar (fall) and the Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar (spring). Shanti is a specialist in Social and Economic Planning and has had experience working with rural populations in Costa Rica and Africa. She is primarily interested in alternative forms of medicine, peace education, rural development and community work, and completed her PhD coursework in Peace and Communication at the University for Peace. Outside of LIU Global Shanti is active in yoga, dancing, sports, tai chi and meditation.
Spanish Language Instructors:
Yobeth Cabalceta: (Halftime) Spanish Program Coordinator. Yobeth is a philologist with many years of teaching experience who has a special interest in Latin American literature and Costa Rican folklore and traditions. She has a graduate degree in literature and linguistics (Spanish) from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma (UNA) de Costa Rica. She is a member of the professional organization of philologists of Costa Rica.
Temporary Spanish Professors: The Costa Rica Center has a team of professional Spanish teachers who have extensive experience in teaching Spanish as a second language to U.S. university students.
Andrea Bustos, Receptionist and Bilingual Secretary. Since high school, Andrea has studied English and Business Administration and is currently studying human resources. She has a lot of experience working with international companies in call centers and as administrative assistant.
Efrain Masis and Juan Carlos Fernandez, Guards
Gilberth Granados, Messenger and Maintenance. He is part of the administrative team at the Costa Rica Center where he collaborates with daily logistical tasks. He also provides important support for technical needs, such as with the computers, etc.
Ileana Castro, Field Trip Coordinator. Ileana has vast experience in Central American and Latin American culture and people. Ileana has many years of experience in the logistics and safety of national and international trips.
Laura Moya, Coordinator of Freshman Enrollment. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, but identifies with two different cultures since her mother is from the States and her father is Costa Rican. She attended Lincoln School in San José, Costa Rica for 14 years. She graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in May 2010, where she majored in French and minored in English Expository Writing. While at Skidmore, she studied abroad for a semester in Paris, a city she fell in love with. Upon returning to Costa Rica, she worked in translation prior to LIU Global. She has a strong interest in translation, non-fiction writing, art, and film.
Maria Sandberg, Student Services Coordinator & Field Trip Assistant. Maria was born and raised in Sweden. She holds a B.A in International Relations from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and a M.A in Human Rights and Peace Education from La Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Some of her passions includes mediating and photography.
Odali Lara, Responsible for cleaning the center as well as staffs the center on Saturdays. Some of her hobbies include: music, gardening and medicinal plants.
Oscar Ugalde, Administrative Coordinator. Oscar has his PhD in Economics and Business from Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) in Costa Rica, his MA in Development Economics from the Institute of Social Studies Netherlands, and his MBA in Commerce from ULACIT, Costa Rica.