Meet the faculty and staff of our Spanish Academy abroad in Granada, Spain.
Jose M. Ruiz (Chema), Program Director
Chema is a graduate of the Universidad de Málaga, Spain. With a Master's degree in Spanish as a Second Language and a thesis focusing on learning styles, he has taught Spanish as a Second Language to students from ages to 10 to 65. In December 2000, he started working as a teacher trainer in a mentoring program organized by the International House in Seville. He has lectured in Málaga, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, teaching how to use metaphors and mind maps in the classroom. In 2002, he published an activity book called Activa2 and has had activities published by Instituto Cervantes. In 2003, he came to the United States to work as a Spanish teacher and became the Head of the World Languages Department at Peddie School, an independent boarding high school in Hightstown, NJ. Chema started with the Academy as an Assistant Language Director at Green Mountain College in 2010, and has also served as the Spanish Language Director at our domestic program. This will be Chema’s fifth year with the Academy, and he is very excited to be in Granada as a Program Director.
Alba Medialdea, Resident Director
Alba has been working with American students in Granada since 2010. She previously worked as a Spanish teaching Assistant at Occidental College in California. During the school year, she works with our partner, IES Abroad, as the Student Affairs and Internship Coordinator. She is responsible for managing co-curricular activities and creating customized integration opportunities for the intercultural development of students. She also manages student housing, medical issues and emergencies.
Alba holds a M.A and a B.A. in Translation and Interpreting Studies. She graduated from the University of Granada in 2008 and complemented her curriculum studying abroad in China, Poland and the United Kingdom. Alba also has teaching experience at different schools in Spain and has attended courses in Emotional Intelligence and Art Therapy. She currently lives in Granada.
Dr. Javier Martínez de Velasco, IES Center Director
Dr. Javier Martínez de Velasco has been the Director of the IES Abroad Granada Center since its foundation in 2005. He previously served for three years as Director of the IES Center in Madrid. Originally from Galicia in Northwestern Spain, Javier has a B.A. in Linguistics and Comparative Literature from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and a Ph.D. in International Theatre from the University of Kansas. Before returning to Spain, Javier was a Professor in the Spanish Department and in the William O. Douglas Honors College of Central Washington University. At the IES Center in Granada, Javier has worked with over 3,000 students from highly-selective US colleges and universities who are studying in Spain for either a semester or a year. Javier has worked with the MIL Summer Academy in Granada since 2015.
Javier enjoys sailing and traveling the world, and is particularly passionate about theater, which he continues to teach.