The Catholic University of America


Faculty and Staff 

 Rome Center Staff

Claudio Betti, Ph.D.

Acting Director

Dr. Claudio Betti joined the Rome Center staff in July 2015.  Dr. Betti obtained a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature, and a Ph.D. in History from Università La Sapienza in Rome.  Dr. Betti has previously worked as a professor in the Department of Political Science at the Università di Roma, Advisor to the Italian Minister of International Cooperation and Integration, and Visiting Professor of Conflict Resolution and Peace Management at the Pontificia Facoltà Teologica San Bonaventura - Europa 2000.  He has been invited to speak at universities, governmental organizations, and non-profits around the world, including Princeton University, Notre Dame University, the U.K. Foreign Office, and the World Peace Forum.  More about Dr. Betti’s research can be found in his book, Colonies and Missions in Eastern Africa (1999).  In addition to his work at the Rome Center, Dr. Betti also serves, in a voluntary capacity as the Assistant to the President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, an organization dedicated to promoting peace and assisting the poor and which currently maintains more than 60,000 members across 73 countries. 

Alessia Noro

Assistant Director for Students Affairs

Ms. Alessia Noro joined the Rome Center team in September 2015.  Alessia maintains a degree in Philosophy from the Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Italy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy of Art from Università La Sapienza in Rome.  She also studied for one year at La Sorbonne University in Paris with an international scholarship.  Alessia is fluent in Italian, English and French.  Her previous employment includes work with IES Abroad in Rome as a Resident Assistant and Italian Student Companion as well as a career in marketing and public relations at various agencies in Rome.


Jeannette Dimaano

Residence Assistant

Ms. Jeannette Dimaano joined the Rome Center team in January 2018.  Jeannette was previously employed at Arcadia University’s Center for Italian Studies as a Student Life Assistant. Jeannette possesses a degree in Political Science from Università degli Studi Roma Tre. Jeannette is fluent in Italian, English, and Tagalog. She volunteered for the Italian Red Cross for 3 years assisting the poor and the homeless. In her spare time, Jeannette enjoys taking pictures, discovering good restaurants, and exploring the hidden depths of her city.


Ugo Spadavecchia


Mr. Ugo Spadavecchia joined the Rome Center in September 2015. Ugo has significant experience as a mechanic, electrician, and gardener. In fact, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to open a petrol station before he began working at the Rome Center. Ugo's favorite part of working at the Rome Center is the opportunity to work in a dynamic, bilingual environment. In his free time, Ugo enjoys playing bass guitar and oil painting. 


Rome Chaplain

The Reverend Anthony Ekpo

Fr Anthony completed his seminary formation at the Holy Spirit Seminary, Brisbane, and was ordained in 2011 for the Diocese of Umuahia in Nigeria. He served as an Assistant Priest at Surfers Paradise Parish, Gold Coast, Australia and, later on, as the Pastoral Assistant to the Archbishop of Brisbane as well as an Assistant Priest at the Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane. He is an Alumnus of Australian Catholic University.




Rome Center Faculty

Andrew J. Boyd

Instructor of Theology

Andrew (A.J.) Boyd moved to Rome in 2009 as a Russell Berrie Fellow in Interreligious Studies, from the Seattle area. After completing his License in Ecumenism and Dialogue, he was invited to begin teaching courses in theology for various study abroad programs and the Pontifical Beda College. He has also taught short term courses through the Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas, and with the sabbatical program of the North American College. His teaching areas include Ecclesiology, Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue, New Testament, the Papacy, Patristics, and Rome itself. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation. 

Crispin Corrado, Ph.D.

Instructor of Art History

Crispin Corrado is a classical archaeologist specializing in Roman art, who received her Ph.D. at Brown University, and an M.A. in Art History and B.A. in Classics from the University of Chicago. She has fieldwork experience at Pompeii, and has worked in a curatorial capacity in the departments of ancient art at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Vatican Museums. While working at these institutions, she assisted in the creation and implementation of exhibitions of ancient art, co-authored catalogs, wrote articles and presented guest lectures. Her major research interests include Roman wall painting, sculpture, and domestic architecture, and her publications include an article on Roman wall painting published in the Rivista di Studi Pompeiani, and a 2013 monograph on the commemorative funerary practices of the Romans during the imperial period, entitled Merry and Jovial: Reconsidering the Effigies Immortalis and the Commemoration of Roman Boys. Her current book projects include a student-oriented guide to the ancient city of Rome, and a monograph on Roman imperial villas. She currently teaches courses related to ancient Rome at several study abroad institutions in Rome, and serves as the Academic Director for the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, the international organization dedicated to issues related to the loss and destruction of art and cultural artifacts. She is also the founder and an acting officer of the Rome Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Marina Kavalirek

CUArchitecture Program

A native of Austria Marina Kavalirek graduated in Architecture from Die Technische Universität, Vienna in 1998 and is a member of the Architecture Chamber of Baden Wurttemberg, Stuttgart, Germany. She moved to Rome in 1997 where she began her architectural career. She worked for Massimillano Fuksas on the Vienna Twin Towers and with King & Roselli on the ES-Hotel in Rome. Kavalirek is one of the three founding members of “Arcult” a partnership of architects in Rome guiding visiting architects and scholars for modern and contemporary sites in Rome. She has written guide books and given lectures to professionals and students studying in Rome. From 2007-2010 she taught for Penn State University as an adjunct Professor in the Sede di Roma program in Landscape Architecture. Since 2009 she has coordinated the Spring and Summer architecture programs in Rome for Catholic University. Kavalirek has travelled extensively in Europe and has led research and study tours throughout Italy.

Milena Locatelli, Ph.D.

Instructor of English Literature

Dr. Locatelli graduated in acting from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Rome), and in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". She holds a Ph.D. in Modern Languages and Literature (English and Spanish) from the University of Pisa in 2005, with a dissertation on the theatre of Federico García Lorca (The Theatre of Federico García Lorca in Spain and Italy: An Analysis of the International Reception). From 2005 to 2008 Dr. Locatelli was Professor of Spanish literature at the University of Pescara, where she taught courses on the Semiotics of Theatre, The Analysis of the Literary Text, Theatre and Poetry in the 20th century, and Cinema and Literature. Since 2005, she has taught Italian language and culture at the American Academy in Rome, as well as at the Rome campus of Iowa State University of Science and Technology and the Embassy of Ireland to the Holy See. Since 2009, she has been teaching British and American Literature at the Catholic University of America in Rome, as well as a course on "The City of Rome" at St. John's University. Alongside her teaching duties, she participates regularly in conferences, and continues to publish articles, essays and papers in several European magazines and reviews.

Jan Bentz, Ph.D.

Instructor of Philosophy

Professor Bentz was born and raised in Germany and graduated high school in St. Louis, Missouri after studying as a foreign exchange student. Professor Bentz holds a doctorate in Philosophy (Dr. Phil) from the Roman Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Master’s in Sacred Art, architecture, and Liturgy and a Master’s in Church and Religious studies. His fields of expertise include Philosophy, History of Philosophy, and History of Art. Prof. Bentz teaches Philosophy of Art (Aesthetics) for The Catholic University of America, History of Medieval Philosophy at Christendom College and Apologetics for IES study abroad. Prof. Bentz was previously active in journalism and worked as a producer for EWTN TV in English and German. His occasional present news contributions include articles in Inside the Vatican and the Jüdische Rundschau. Prof. Bentz also works as a docent tour guide in Rome and the Vatican.