Director & Faculty

Our academic faculty is specially chosen among teachers and researchers in some of the world’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, the London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, New York University, University of California, Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca, and Pompeu Fabra. In 2015 our teaching staff in Oxford and Cambridge alone consisted of 28 Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, making Oxbridge one of the biggest employers of Rhodes Scholars in the world. 

Our creative workshop courses are taught by full-fledged professionals – acclaimed writers and poets, filmmakers, photographers, and actors – all selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students.

Led by these outstanding individuals, whose work is thoroughly evaluated after every summer, and operating in small, seminar-style classes, our courses immerse students in subjects about which they are passionate while helping them uncover the spectacular sites and cultures in which they are living.

 

La Academia de Barcelona Director

 Director, Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge returns for his seventh summer with Oxbridge Academic Programs and his sixth as Director of La Academia de Barcelona. He earned his BA in Philosophy from Harvard University and his MA in English from Middlebury College. Jorge has over fifteen years of teaching experience in three disciplines, English, History, and Spanish, in New York and California. He started his teaching career at the Darrow School in upstate New York where he taught full-time while also serving as a Dorm Parent and Assistant Activities Director. After three years at Darrow, he came to The Branson School in California where he teaches English and serves as a Class Dean. During his graduate training, he studied for a term in Oxford with Middlebury’s acclaimed Bread Loaf School of English, and he has presented scholarly papers at Columbia University and Middle Tennessee State University. 

In 2008 Jorge attended a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar at Harvard University with Helen Vendler, and in 2009 he participated in the George School Global Service Program conducted partly in the US and in Cuba. He is also a recent appointee to the Board of POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools), a Northern California organization that supports "the academic achievement, professional development, self-determination, and well-being of students, families, and adults of color in PK-12 Bay Area schools." Aside from work he enjoys traveling, attending the theater, and reading for fun.

La Academia de Barcelona Faculty

Rafael Arocha

MA Universidad de las Palamas de Gran Canaria

Rafael is a professional photographer based in Barcelona. To date he has published five collections of his work. They include "Medianoche," a prize-winner at XIV Bienal de Fotografía de Córdoba; and "No Caption," which was awarded the Private Space prize at the Fedrigoni Awards. Solo exhibitions of his work have recently been mounted in The Folio Club gallery in Barcelona, and in the Osten Gallery in Macedonia. Meanwhile his images have appeared in group exhibitions in galleries across Europe, from Derby to Madrid to Palermo. Rafael has a particular interest in harnessing photography to express abstract thought processes such as doubt, intellect, and memory.


Dr. Arianna Bucci

BA Università dell'Insubria, DEA, PhD Universitat de Barcelona

Dr. Bucci is a marine biologist. She works for Environmental Consulting Enterprises as a specialist in conservation and education. Her research focuses in particular on small-scale fisheries, IUU fishing, benthic ecology, microalgae diversity and dynamics, and biogeochemical cycles. She is also active with the Marimurtra Botanic Garden, where she helps to raise awareness about plants, their adaptations to the environment, and their habitats. Dr. Bucci is also the co-founder of "La Casa del Mar," an Environmental Interpretive Center based in Costa Brava and managed by the NGO Xatrac. The institution helps spread scientific knowledge and conservation awareness. In this role she is responsible for project design, fund raising, engagement with private stakeholders, budget management, and media communications.


Dr. Alessandro Demurtas

MA, PhD Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Dr. Demurtas is a lawyer and business consultant. He specializes in all areas of civil, criminal, and labor law. He often works as a mediator too. Dr. Demurtas is also active as a pedagogue, and currently teaches courses in security, conflict resolution, and peace negotiations at graduate level at the Instituto de Barcelona de Estudios Internacionales.


Dr. Laura Gago Gómez

BA, PhD University of Salamanca

Dr. Gomez is an Associate Professor at the University of Salamanca. She speaks eight languages, which beyond her native Spanish include, English, Italian, French, and Arabic. Dr. Gomez teaches a number of courses at the University, from sociolinguistics, to translation, to grammar intensives.


Xavier Garcia Cusco

BS, MS Universidad Pompeu Fabra Barcelona a

Xavier is an expert in cognitive science. He has published articles on a variety of topics including second language comprehension, vocabulary processing, and semantic word-knowledge integration. Xavier currently works as a researcher, clinical trial coordinator, and as a supervisor for students working on their graduate theses at the University of Barcelona.


Mireia Giné

BA, MA Universitat de Barcelona

Mireia is an expert language instructor. She is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, French, Chinese, and English. Her academic background is in philosophy and architecture.


Andrés Goldberg

BA Universidad Simón Bolívar, MA Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona

Andrés is a professional architect based in Barcelona. He divides his time between doctoral research and his professional practice. He has collaborated with architectural offices in Barcelona to develop a wide range of building and remodeling projects and to design furniture.


Albert Jornet Somoza

BA Universitat Pompeu Fabra, MA Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Albert is a doctoral researcher at the Universitat de Barcelona, where he holds a coveted FPI scholarship from the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad. His current project focuses on Hispanic literature. He has particular expertise in lyrical discourses between the 17th and the 20th centuries, the phenomena of "obscuritas" and unintelligibility, and aesthetics and ideology in poetry. Albert is a widely-published writer, and has recently released articles in journals including "Ínsula" and "Iberoamericana." He worked as an editor for "Forma," and was part of the Organizing Committee of the International Congress for Young Researchers in the Humanities. Today he sits on the Editorial Board of "452f," a literary journal.


María Lería Morillo

BA, MFA University of Seville

María is a doctoral researcher and teacher at the Universitat de Barcelona. She is based in the Paleontology Department, where she is an expert in drawing. She also holds an MFA in Fine Arts with a specialty in painting from the University of Seville. María's work has been exhibited in art galleries across Spain and the US. She is currently collaborating with a number of galleries, including Traç D’Art and Nando Argüelles.


Pilar Puig

BA Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, MA Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Universitat de Barcelona

Pilar is a professor of Human Resources at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She leads a varied career at the intersection of industry and academia, in which she combines teaching with the responsibilities of high-profile business posts. For several years she ran the internal organization of The Eat Out Group before moving on to run human resources for Primark in Spain. She is currently both a company director and the President of Spin-off Arts. Pilar holds a degree in economics as well as three master's degrees - in business, human resources, and the management of cultural heritage.


Andrés Raga Reinoso

BA Universitat de València, MA Universidad de Jaén

Andrés is a specialist in language, linguistics, and computer-assisted language learning. He studied in València and Laén, and spent a year at the Università degli studi di Pisa as an Erasmus Scholar. Since then he has worked as a language educator in schools, businesses, and universities. His many appointments include professorships in Spanish and Catalan at the Université Michel de Montaigne – Bordeaux 3, and at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de València.


Dr. Sara Rodríguez Cuadrado

BA Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, MA Universitat de Barcelona, PhD Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Dr. Rodríguez Cuadrado is a Researcher specializing in dyslexia and dyscalculia at Edge Hill University, and an Associate Tutor at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, where she supervises graduate theses. Her many areas of expertise include bilingualism, language production, language disorders, emotional processing, multisensory integration, and learning projects. Dr. Rodríguez Cuadrado is a decorated academic who was awarded postdoctoral positions to investigate the detection and treatment of learning disabilities at both the Universitat de Barcelona and the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.


Dr. Carlos Vara Sánchez

BSc Universidad de Oviedo, MSc Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, MA, PhD Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Dr. Vara gained his PhD with distinction in Humanities. His thesis investigated the philosophical and neuroscientific foundations of temporality during aesthetic perception, with a special focus on the video installations of contemporary artist Bill Viola. Dr. Vara studied biology as an undergraduate. Later he was awarded a prestigious "La Caixa" fellowship to pursue an MSc in neuroscience and then switched disciplines to a master's course on Comparative Studies of Literature, Art, and Thought. He is a member of the Research Group of the Bibliotheca Mystica et Philosophica Alois M. Haas.