Invited Speakers

Dr. Marino Protti

He is the keynote speaker in the Opening Ceremony of the III International Conference on Higher Education. The title of his conference is "Capturing a large earthquake in the near field: an excellent example of international academic cooperation."

PhD. in Geophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz. USA (1994).

Marino Protti studies subduction processes that generate large earthquakes. He has focused his studies in the subduction segment of the Middle American Trench under the Nicoya peninsula in NW Costa Rica. There he contributed to build up a dense geodynamic monitoring network to record pre-, co- and post-seismic deformation associated to the Nicoya, September 5th, 2012 earthquake. In 1994 he descended to 4100 m below the sea level at the Middle American Trench, on board the submersible Alvin. He also took part, in 1996, of an ocean drilling leg off Nicoya peninsula. In 2013 he joined a WISSARD expedition to Antarctica where he contributed to the installation of seismic arrays and serviced a GPS network for tracking the Willams glacier movement.

Dr. Protti was Director of the Costa Rica Volcanological and Seismological Observatory at Universidad Nacional from 1986 to 1988 and from 1997 to 2002. He has organized more than 10 international workshops and scientific meeting in Costa Rica and abroad. He was awarded in 1996 with the National Price in Science Clodomiro Picado Twight and in 2002 with the Roberto Brenes Mesén Price to academic excellence by the National University.


Dr. Marino Protti

Arlene Jackson

Arlene Jackson is the Director for International Education at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Her role at AASCU is to develop and implement national programs and activities that expand and enrich the internationalization of the 400+ AASCU member institutions. Arlene has over 35 years experience in the field of international education. She worked at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency as an independent contractor for its educational and cultural exchange programs, theInstitute of International Education (IIE), Fairleigh Dickinson University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ms. Jackson currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Development (USAID/HED); The Academic Advisory Board for the London-based Foundation for Education (FIE); the Virginia Council for International Education (VaCie); and the NAFSA: Association of International Educators' Board, effective January, 2014.

Ms. Jackson participated in the Fulbright IEA Program-Japan. Additionally, she has traveled extensively for AASCU, the Department of Education and Department of State to conduct workshops and give presentations on international education throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Arlene has a BA and MA degree in International Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She did additional graduate work in International Development at Columbia University's Teacher College, and has a certificate from the Harvard School of Education Management Seminar for University Administrators (MDP). She is an honorary visiting Professor at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.


Dr. Helmut Lötzerich

Biologist and PHD studies. Institute of Morphology (Prof. Dr. C. Stang-Voss) University of Cologne, Germany

In 1988, he got theToyota Award for Excellent Scientific Research. Also, he got the Van Aaken Award for Excellent Research in Sports Medicine in 1992.

He was the Deputy Head of the Institute of Morphology and Tumor Research (Prof. Dr. Dr. H. Michna) and Deputy Head of the Institute of Outdoor Sports an Environmental Science (Prof. Dr. R. Roth), University of Cologne. He is the Scientific Director of the Health Center, University of Cologne.

Fields of research: exercise and immune system, exercise and cancer, prevention of cancer, diagnosis and performance of athletes, cycling.


Dr. Tonya Muro

Director of School Outreach and Educational Partnerships (SOEP), AFS Intercultural Programs USA, New York.

Master of Arts, (International Educational Development), Columbia University, Teachers College New York. Doctor of Education, (International Educational Development) Columbia University, Teachers College New York.

Awarded US Fulbright, NSEP Boren and Spencer Foundation Research Fellowships for case study research in Tanzania; Member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society.

Served as interim “Monitoring & Evaluation Officer” at Femina-Health Information Project (HIP) in Dar es Salaam - a multimedia HIV/AIDS communication initiative for evaluation of secondary school health curriculum to be piloted in Zanzibar.

Seasoned international education professional with more than 10 years’ experience in teaching, grant-writing, program development and management, curriculum development, teacher training, working with technology/media, and marketing skills who is looking for meaningful employment as a faculty member, or in a directorial/project management level with international development organization.


Dr. José Antonio Rodriguez Naranjo

BSc and PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Granada, Spain

Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Mendoza in Argentina. Professor, Department of Didactics of Experimental Sciences. He has taught university undergraduate and graduate teaching in the area of Science Education from 1990 to the present. Member of the research group "Science Education and Sustainable Development". Author of 17 scientific articles in prestigious international journals and 5 national magazines. Co-author of 3 books and author of 8 book chapters. Author of numerous contributions to national and international congresses. He has participated as a researcher in a total of 12 research projects funded by public funds related to the area of instruction.


Dra. RocĂ­o Sáenz Madrigal

Costa Rican medical, public health specialist

Dr. Saenz currently serves as the Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund and Director of the Board of the institution. She served as Minister of Health in Costa Rica in the period 2002-2006, as well as Coordinating Minister of Social Governing Council during 2004-2006. As Minister of Health and Coordinator of the Social Cabinet, she was responsible to support the monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), coordinating the first progress report, to be counterparty to projects aimed at children with UNICEF. By the end of 2005, she led the drafting of a new General Health Law, to include related to bioethics, professional regulation, sexual and reproductive health, funding for research processes, use of genomic health, a structural system new chapters health and others. From 1990 to date as a team member of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) responds to emergencies and disasters in the Red Water Safety Plans in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Saenz has worked as an academic in undergraduate and graduate programs of the School of Medicine and School of Public Health at the University of Costa Rica and the National University. She was a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Congress on Higher Education in 2010 and 2012.


Dra. Fuensanta Hernández Pina

Professor of Research Methods and Diagnosis in Education, University of Murcia, Spain

Her research interests are related to the quality of teaching and learning in higher education, skills, language acquisition. Dr. Hernandez Pina participates as an evaluator on several scientific journal committees. Since June 2009 she is editor of the Journal of Educational Research (JER). Her publications relate to the acquisition of language, approaches to learning, self-regulated learning, learning styles, assessment centers, programs and learning, research methodology, data analysis, quality, competence, etc.


Elia Arce

Internationally known artist and cultural activist working in a wide variety of media including performance, experimental theater, film/video, writing, spoken word and installation

Since 1986, she has been creating, writing and directing experimental theatre works-in collaboration with HIV positive immigrants in Houston, breast cancer workers in Washington DC, house-keeping staff in Banff, Canada and the homeless of L.A.'s Skid Row. In 1993 she created her first full-length solo performance: "I Have So Many Stitches That Sometimes I Dream That I'm Sick". In 1995/96 she toured nationally and internationally with her second solo "Stretching My Skin Until It Rips Whole". Her newest solo work "First Woman on the Moon" was featured at the First International Latino Theatre Festival in Los Angeles and at the First Performance Art Festival in Chile. She is the recipient of the J. Paul Getty Individual Artist Award, The Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Durfee Foundation and a 1999 nominee for the Herb Alpert/CalArts Award in Theater. She won the American Masterpiece Award in 2010 and, in the same year, a Fulbright to teach at UNA. A dual citizen of Costa Rica and the United States, Arce is based in Joshua Tree in the California desert.