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With a strategic mix of professional and academic qualifications, our diverse and global faculty aims to contribute to the development of solutions for the industry sectors it serves through applied research activities. Led by faculty expertise, students are also exposed to the research process through diverse curricular and co-curricular activities that demonstrates their investigative and analytic abilities developed during their student journey.
Dean César Ritz Colleges and Culinary Arts Academy, Le Bouveret & Brig
Ms. Tanja Florenthal joined César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in 2010, as a faculty member and went on to become the Head of Curriculum. She was appointed Dean at Le Bouveret in 2012 and Brig in 2019. She graduated from Cornell University with a BSc, and holds an MBA and an MA in Education. She has extensive international experience in the hospitality industry and education. She has worked in hotel and hospitality management schools in the United States, Thailand, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, and is a member of the Cornell Hotel Association.
Assistant Dean, Le Bouveret
Ms. Sylvana Navarro holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University. With her background in banquets and events, food & beverage, as well as human resources, she has over 15 years of industry experience. She has worked at the Evian Resort and with renowned hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Starwood, Hilton, and Movenpick.
Head of Research faculty, Brig
Dr. Evelina Gillard has worked at the Kempinski Headquarters, in a real-estate investment firm, as well as in banking, automobile, and luxury services. She holds a PhD in Human Resource Management and a Master in International Business Administration from the University of Geneva. Dr. Evelina teaches Business Start up, Hospitality Leadership, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management.
Undergraduate Program Manager, Brig
Dr. Jorge Arnanz began his career working for international hotels and travel companies, before starting his own business as a restaurant owner. Since 2015, he has been teaching Hospitality, Tourism, and Management at undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds two BA degrees in Tourism and Education respectively, an MA and a PhD in Tourism Management.
Dr. Alessandro Cavelzani has been a practicing psychotherapist for the past 15 years and is member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis. He got his PsyD. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Relational Psychoanalysis at the Italian Institute of Relational Psychoanalysis SIPRE in Milan, Italy and his PhD. in Psychology of Communication at IULM University in Milan, Italy. As an active researcher, Alessandro continues to publish papers focusing on leadership.
After a successful, 20-year international career in travel, tourism, and hospitality, Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas worked as Undergraduate Programs Director at Boston University. With a PhD in Management, a PGCertHE, and a PGCert in Commercial Law, he brings years of teaching, research, and field experience to our students.
Dr. Eleonora Cattaneo holds a BA from Bristol University, an MBA from SDA Bocconi, and a PhD from the Università di Pavia. Her research interests are in Luxury Branding, Luxury Experiences and Brand Relaunches. Before joining César Ritz Colleges, she directed the MA program in Luxury Brand Management at Regent's University in London, and prior to that, she taught at SDA Bocconi. She has been visiting professor at EM Lyon, the Helsinki School of Economics, LIUC Università di Castellanza, and Università della Svizzera Italiana.
Dr. Olga Larina has over 10 years of teaching experience. She holds a PhD in World Economy and International Economic Relations from the Kyiv National Economic University, writing her thesis on the international competitiveness of regions, with a focus on the development of intellectual capital. With a strong background in economics, she teaches Strategic Hotel Management, Economics, and Public Policy.
With experience in education and research, as well as in social entrepreneurship, Dr. Paola Ossola holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior Studies in Tourism from the University of Pavia, a master's degree in Managerial Economics, and a bachelor's degree in International Management. She currently teaches International Tourism Management, Hospitality Marketing, and Service Operations Management.
Roberto Medda holds a PhD in Law from the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy). An expert in constitutional, administrative, and comparative law, Dr. Medda has conducted research in the United Kingdom (University of Southampton), France (Université Grenoble Alpes), and Switzerland (Swiss Institute of Comparative Law) on various topics, including urban governance and freedom of information regulations.
Dr. Andreea Antonescu has over 15 years of academic experience as researcher and lecturer in Romania, France, Switzerland, and China. She holds a PhD in Tourism Studies from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and two master's degrees from the University of Grenoble (France). Her studies and research have been supported by public institutions and her work has been published in French and English in prestigious international journals and magazines. Outside of academia, she has worked in international settings such as the International Labour Office (UN, Geneva), and in the area of tourism and hospitality in consulting, luxury hotels and restaurants, and travel agencies.
Dr. Giuseppina Menconi holds a PhD in Computational Chemistry from the University of Durham and a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Piemonte Orientale. She worked in investment banking in London for several years before joining Cesar Ritz Colleges. She obtained a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby and is a TEDx speaker.
Senior Teaching Faculty
Ms. Anastasiia Burakovskikh holds a master's degree in Wine Business from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bourgogne, and bachelor's degrees from St. Petersburg State University in Economics and Finance and from Pierre Mendès France University. With her expertise in wine training and marketing, she teaches Wine and Food Pairing, Beverage & Mixology, Wine & Beverage Management, and Food Trends.
Ms. Aurélie Bourcart holds a PGD in Higher Education from the University of Derby and a Federal Certificate in Tourism. She specializes in Events Management and Languages. She worked as a Cabin Crew Member for Swiss Airlines before moving into sales for an Italian cruising company. Continuing to develop her skills in Virtual Event Management, she is certified as Professional by the Virtual Events Institute.
Originally from Birmingham, England, Ms. Beverly Gould has been living in Switzerland for 13 years. After more than 28 years in the IT and Banking industry, she changed careers to deliver lectures in Business Writing and Information Systems at César Ritz Colleges, Le Bouveret. She also teaches in private language schools in the Valais and Vaud regions of Switzerland.
Ms. Christine Lambrigger graduated from Institute St. Ursula in Brig with a Paedagogische Matura degree. Following her studies, Ms. Lambrigger accumulated teaching experience by working in a number of different schools. In January 2005, she joined Cesar Ritz Colleges as a Language Instructor, teaching German from Beginner to Advanced levels.
Ms. Delphine Genin joined César Ritz Colleges in 2019 as a lecturer in Business Plan, Marketing, and Ethics, before taking the position of Learning Consultant Specialist. As a business consultant and graduate of ESCP Management School, she has a deep understanding of entrepreneurship. Thanks to her expertise in neurosciences and metacognition, she brings creativity and innovation to her classes.
With 17 years of experience covering all operational roles within hospitality, Mr. Erik Pravica has a passion for the industry. Ranging from Singapore to Thailand to Switzerland, his extensive experience has given him an acute understanding of the importance of a positive attitude on the road to success. This notion has become central to each of his classes.
After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in the USA, Ms. Loren Granger became a chef. Her career shifted from the kitchen into hygiene and sanitation, then on to Logistics and Sales with Food & Beverage companies. She has been with César Ritz Colleges since 2014 where she teaches culinary theory classes. She holds a PGD in Education from the University of Derby.
Ms. Lynda Pasmore's career in food product development and communications involved working for the British government and manufacturers of food and white goods. Moving into training and education enabled her to work in various international markets, before focusing on formal education. She holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, a Certificate in Human Nutrition, from the University of Lausanne, and a PGCE, awarded by the University of Hertfordshire.
After finishing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Ms. Marie-Louise Jordaan began a career in Computer Science. After moving to Switzerland in 2003, she continued her international studies in Business Management and Economics through the Open University while teaching at two prestigious international schools. She holds a BA in Psychology, as well as HED and BEd degrees.
Mr. Neil German holds a Bachelor in Psychology, a Teaching Certificate in Education, a Master in Counselling Psychology, and a Psychoanalytic Diploma from the Jung Institute in Zurich. With over 35 years of education in the field of psychology, he has been lecturing at Webster University in Geneva since 2000 and at Cesar Ritz Colleges in Le Bouveret since 2004.
Ms. Sandra Bandelier holds a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management from Bournemouth University and is a Certified Hospitality Education Instructor. She has a been lecturer at César Ritz Colleges for over 16 years, teaching Hotel Business Management. She was Senior Executive at Starwood and Hilton, leading Marketing and Sales, Finance, and Operations teams across Asia, North America, and Europe.
Senior Teaching Faculty
Ms. Sarah Gonçalves began lecturing in 2004, before being offered a position with a social department service, in which she was responsible for internal audits, team coaching, and follow-up training. In 2011, she moved to Switzerland, working as an International Program Assistant and as a lecturer. She has been teaching Language and Communication at César Ritz Colleges since 2014.
Ms. Sofia Rodrigues has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Instituto Superior de Novas Profissões and is a PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University. She has worked in Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, Event Planning, and for various airlines. She is the Founder and CEO of HBL, an auditing company specialized in training and career development in the service industry.
Ms. Tania Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Pretoria and a PGCE in Education from the Kingston University. With her expertise in sciences and mathematics and over 12 years of teaching experience, she teaches Sustainable Science for Hospitality, Business Mathematics for Hospitality, Quantitative Analysis for Hospitality Business, and Health & Nutrition.
Beginning her career in the field of the Philosophy of Sciences, Ms. Virginia Meza went on to study French Language and Literature, and finally Psychology at the University of Lausanne. Throughout the years, she has taught different subjects surrounding Hospitality and Culinary Arts, has coordinated student groups, and was in charge of the student theatre club.
Mr. Yuriy Barabantsev obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Economics, holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby. His career in education began in 2001, focusing on delivering courses related to Finance and Statistics in the U.S, France, and now in Switzerland.
INTERNSHIP & CAREER COACH
Ms. Alyaa Fathi has been working for over seven years in the hospitality & event management sectors in the Gulf region & Europe. She holds an MBA from the American University in Switzerland and is certified in Train the Trainer, Event Management & Wedding Planning. Her professional experience has covered fields such as international enrolment and student recruitment in higher education, and Catering & Sales for five-star properties such as the Four Seasons in Milan, Marriot Hotel in Doha, and launched soft & grand opening Fairmont Hotel in UAE.
Internship & career coach
Mr. Paulo Pereira holds a Bachelor in Literature, Culture, and Languages (Portuguese and German) as well as two PGcerts in Teaching. His professional experience extends over the fields of Education and Customer Service for Portuguese Airlines. He also spent 5 years working as a multi-operational employee at the Royal Caribbean International.
Head of Career Services
Ms. Ruth Knöpfel began her career in Food & Beverage Management in the hotel industry in Canada, before moving on to teach Food & Beverage at a college in Canada. Her teaching career brought her to Switzerland in 1992. She's been working with Swiss Education Group ever since, taking on roles in teaching, operation management and career services over the last 30 years.
Internship & Career Coach
Following her work as a receptionist in Portugal, Ms. Sara Caetano moved into training and education. Since 2019, she has been teaching Personal Development, Introduction to Tourism Industry, and Career Management. She holds a B.Sc. in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and a PGD in Management of Touristic Destinations. She is in the process of completing a master's degree in Education.