Eva Janebová’s vision of a Czech hub of expertise in international education dates back several years and evolved in discussions with committed colleagues such as Jakub Tesař and Don Sparling, as well as others from the University of Minnesota, the Netherlands and Australia. Together with the Mestenhauser family, these colleagues have enthusiastically supported the vision of extending the legacy of Josef A. Mestenhauser in the Czech Republic. In 2019, in partnership with Christopher Medalis, it became a reality with the support of Rector Miller from Palacký University and the decision to host an Institute in the heart of Europe that aims to build the capacities of Czech universities in internationalisation.
We are a fast growing team from different parts of the country and with different experiences and backgrounds. We are united in the endeavour of supporting academia to fully embrace the potential of international collaboration and diversity in developing our classrooms and campuses, our careers and lives. We welcome anyone who shares our vision to join us!
Eva Janebová, Ph.D. leads the Institute for Excellence in Internationalization (IEI) Project at Palacký University. Her qualifications and experience were gained from Charles University, Columbia University, and the University of Minnesota where she was the very first Mestenhauser Fellow in 2018. In her 20 years working in international education Eva has focused on curriculum development and quality assurance, and has served as academic advisor to the Council for International Education Exchange and the Czech Ministry of Education. Her recent academic work includes ‘Mapping the Dimensions of Inclusive Internationalization’ (with Christopher Johnstone) in Inequalities in Study Abroad edited by Suzan Kommers and Krishna Bista, and is the author of "The Challenge of Culture" in Mestenhauser and the Possibilities of International Education forthcoming from Routledge in 2022, and co-author of one of ACA Think Piece on Inclusive Internationalisation (2022) with Christopher Johnostone and Christopher Medalis.
Christopher Medalis, Ph.D. serves as the Senior International Advisor at the Institute of Excellence in Internationalisation project as well as an international education global programmes and strategy expert currently based in New York City. He has more than 25 years of experience leading strategic international education initiatives, advancing university internationalisation, and managing grant programmes and academic exchanges on behalf of governments, universities, foundations, and corporations. He currently is Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont, USA. As a consultant, he most recently served SIT as Special Advisor to the President on Student Affairs, and before that as Senior International Advisor in the International Office of Palacký University in Olomouc, the Czech Republic.
Jana Ter-Akopow Čemusová serves as an Intercultural Communication Expert for IEI. Jana is an international educator with extensive experience in teaching intercultural communication and skills, higher education pedagogy and leadership training for university students and employees. Her experience includes 20 years in the field of international education, specifically in study abroad, experiential learning through internships, and intercultural competency development. In 2019, she joined the EUSA Academic Internships as a Director of its Prague office, after working for more than a decade as a Center Director and lecturer at CIEE Prague. Jana holds Master’s degrees in both Cultural Anthropology and Education from Charles University. She spent one academic year as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Kansas, is a member of the Academic Board of the Architectural Institute of Prague and serves as a Senior Associate in Arnost Lustig Foundation. Her primary interest is in intercultural communication, personal leadership and experiential learning.
Petra Key serves as an International Curriculum Expert for IEI. Petra is an international educator with experience in language instruction, teaching intercultural communication and skills, and higher education pedagogy, both as a teacher and as a teacher trainer. She has experience with learner-centered, goal-oriented, experiential and intercultural pedagogies. During her engagement with CIEE Prague as the Academic Director, she oversaw the transformation of CIEE’s 50+ courses into an asynchronous online mode and he adoption of the Canvas LMS system for online learning, while training, consulting and supporting the school’s faculty. She is interested in culture and its effect on communication, cognition and language, and particularly, in their interplay in intercultural contexts.
Ing. Veronika Knichalová is a highly skilled project administrator, graduating in Regional Development and European Integration at the Prague University of Economics and Business. From 2009 she has worked as a project manager in the Project Service Division of Palacký University in Olomouc, initially in the Education for Competitiveness Operational Programme (2007-2013 programming period) where she administered more than 20 projects. Currently she administers projects under the Research, Development and Education Operational Programme, together with projects from the Erasmus+ programme, in particular Key Action 2 - Strategic Partnerships.
Mgr. Jana Odevzdaná serves as a Training and Consultancies Administrator for IEI. Jana teaches Czech for foreigners, and she has been a language teacher for many years. She also has participated in many International projects for CPIC (Center for support of Integracion of Foreigners) and Slovo 21 (Next door family and others projects) in Prague, Brno, and Olomouc. Jana worked abroad in 2015-16 as a teacher for the Czechs and Slovaks communities in Argentina in South America – for DZS (Czech National Agency for Internacional Educacion and Research). She also passed on her rich experience in a course for teachers as a part of in-service teacher training at KVIC (Regional facility for further education of teachers).
Maike Leidecker serves as the Professional Learning Community Coordinator in the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project: Mitigating COVID Together. She holds an M. A. degree from Potsdam University and Freie University Berlin. Maike is an experienced international education administrator having served in multiple roles in intercultural exchange and study abroad, including as Prague Director of the American Institute For Foreign Study. She has extensive study and work experience in the USA and UK, with accomplishments as intercultural communicator and project manager.
Lenka Nosková graduated from the ‘Teaching Czech and English at Lower Secondary Schools’ program at Palacký University in 2018. Currently, she is working on her doctorate at the Faculty of Education in literature teaching, and her research focuses on innovative pedagogies to support the development of reading literacy and imagination. Lenka also teaches in the Faculty, on English and Children’s Literature, and is involved in organizing social and educational events for Czech and international audiences. Lenka’s role in IEI is to support the coordination of activities with international partners.