Meet the Staff

We're always available to offer outstanding support and encouragement to each student from the first contact to the final transcript. Counselors and advisors are on hand to help students with problems and to organize extra-curricular activities. The entire staff has an open-door policy and take pride in living up to the Greek tradition of hospitality.


Alexis Phylactopoulos

Alexis Phylactopoulos


Alexis Phylactopoulos is responsible for the overall direction, operation, and development of the International Center for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies (DIKEMES) and College Year in Athens. Mr. Phylactopoulos (Mr. Phyl) earned his first degree from the Law School of the University of Athens and his post-graduate degrees from Princeton University (The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs), and the University of Cambridge (Wolfson College). In his professional career, he first served as a diplomat for the Greek government in Washington, D.C. (1976–1981), where he directed the Greek Embassy’s Press and Information Service. He subsequently served in the same capacity in Mexico City (1981–1984). Upon returning to Athens, he served as Director of External Relations at the Federation of Greek Industries. He assumed the Directorship of College Year in Athens in 1986.

Elina Sinopoulou

Elina Sinopoulou

Assistant to the President
  Elina studied Mass Media and Communication at the National University of Athens and at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where she received an M.A. in Communication.
She has worked  in publications and electronic media since 1998. In her most recent job she was the Editorial Coordinator of the Greek Edition of National Geographic. Elina joined CYA in 2016.


Theoni Scourta

Theoni Scourta

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Theoni Scourta was born in Patras, Greece. She is an art historian with research interest in contemporary art. She received an M.A. from California State University, Los Angeles in Art History and another M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Indianapolis. She has taught for more than 25 years both in the US and in Greece. She served as advisor to the head of the Greek EPP-ED delegation to European Parliament in Brussels for 5 years, after which she returned to Athens to head the academic department of AKTO Art & Design College. She joined the CYA administration in spring 2013.

Maria  Tsahas

Maria Tsahas

Registrar - Fundraising Officer

Maria Tshahas was born in Ikaria, Greece but grew up in Northwest Indiana. She received an MS Ed from Indiana University Northwest. She taught in the US before moving back to Greece in 1999 and started working at the University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus as an Admissions Officer and Registrar. She joined CYA in 2014.

Georgia  Katsarou

Georgia Katsarou


Georgia Katsarou joined CYA in 2006 and is responsible for all library activities. She received her B.S. in Librarianship in 2001 from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens and her M.S. in 2005 from the University of Aberystwyth. In 2015 she was trained on Managing Archival Photographs through distance learning by the Archives Association of British Columbia.

Angelos Papadopoulos

Angelos Papadopoulos

Academic Advisor

Dr. Angelos Papadopoulos holds a BSc in Archaeology from the University of Bournemouth and an MA in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.He has been involved in a number of research projects in Greece, Cyprus and the UK, while working on museum exhibitions, excavations and various publications. Dr. Papadopoulos teaches art history and archaeology courses at CYA.
As Academic Advisor his duties include:

  • helping students make changes to their academic program during the drop/add period
  • helping students create a plan of action to address academic difficulties
  • clarifying academic policies
  • keeping track of the advisees’ academic progress


Peggy Myresiotou

Peggy Myresiotou

Vice President of Administration

Peggy Myresiotou was born in Athens. After studying business administration and travel & tourism, she worked as an accredited travel agent in New York City for 15 years. Returning to Greece in 1991, she served as Human Resources assistant for a U.S. multinational corporation and subsequently as assistant to the managing director of a Greek bank. Ms. Myresiotou joined CYA in November 2003.

Popi Triantafyllidi

Popi Triantafyllidi

Strategic Planning Manager

Popi Triantafyllidou was born in Athens. She received her B.S. in Business Administration specializing in Management and Computer Programming. She joined College Year in Athens / DIKEMES in 2011, with over 20 years of experience in multinational environments.

Jennifer  Holland

Jennifer Holland

Student Services

Jennifer Holland assists students at the front desk and organizes students` social activities and events. Born in New York, she is a CYA alumna. Ms. Holland joined the staff in 1999 and now lives in Athens with her daughter Anais. She is currently working on a Masters in counseling.

Evgenia  Ghizas

Evgenia Ghizas

Project Administrative Assistant

Anthi Papageorgiou

Staff Assistant
Anthi studied Mass Media and Communication at the National University of Athens. She worked for several years in polling companies as administrative assistant and as an editor of various news websites. Anthi joined CYA in 2013.

Student Affairs

Nadia  Meliniotis

Nadia Meliniotis

Executive Director of Student Affairs

Nadia Meliniotis is in charge of Student Affairs. After completing the German High School in Athens, she attended Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations. She received her Master’s Degree at La Verne University (Athens branch) in Counseling Education/Education–Special Emphasis. Mrs. Meliniotis joined CYA in 1989 and deals with students’ welfare, concentrating on the interpersonal, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, recreational, and health aspects.

Housing / Food

Popi  Baloglu

Popi Baloglu

Director of Housing and Catering

Popi Baloglu supervises the dining room and is responsible for the general maintenance of the CYA apartments. A Greek who was born in Istanbul, Ms. Baloglu also lived in South Africa and the United States. She studied engineering drafting and worked as a draftsman for eight years. She came to Greece and joined CYA in 1988.

Kallia Alexandridi

Kallia Alexandridi

Housing & Catering Assistant

Michalis Alexandridis

Michalis Alexandridis


Educational Travel & Short-Term Programs

Vasso Matrakouka

Vasso Matrakouka

Short Term Programs Coordinator

Vasso Matrakouka was born in Athens and studied travel and tourism. She also has  a B.A. in Human Communication from the University of Indianapolis. After working in tourism in Greece and Europe, Vasso joined CYA in 2011 where she is responsible for coordinating field trips and 3rd party customized programs.

Vassilis Karavassilis

Vassilis Karavassilis

Short Term Programs Assistant
Vassilis was born in New York, USA, and holds a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management  from the Technological Institute of Thessaloniki.  He has experience in the travel and tourism industry working for tour operators and hotels. Before joining CYA in 2015 he worked for Delice Hotel Apartments where he held the position of reservations executive for 10 years.


Maria  Malliou

Maria Malliou

Financial Officer

Maria Malliou joined the DIKEMES/CYA family in 1995 as an accountant and currently deals with financial affairs. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where she lived before her family moved to Athens. In 1996 Ms. Malliou received her B.A. from the Pireaus Technical Institute Accounting Department.

Vana Bica


Media Lab

Sofia Stavropoulou

Sofia Stavropoulou

Social Media Coordinator

Sofia Stavropoulou was born in Greece and studied Painting and Printmaking in Scotland, at the Glasgow School of Art. Sofia coordinates CYA’s social media outlets. As a part of the CYA MediaLab team, she is interested in sharing all the fantastic things that happen at CYA.

Maria Makripoulias

Maria Makripoulias

Digital Content Coordinator
Maria Makripoulias joined CYA's Media Lab team in 2016. She is from Melbourne Australia and studied Law with Arts majors in Sociology, Advanced Modern Greek, and Literature at La Trobe University, Victoria. Maria is also a qualified English Language Educator who is fascinated by both Greek and English language. She loves writing and is passionate about communicating and sharing CYA stories around the globe.

US Administration

Katie  Sievers

Katie Sievers

Associate Director of Campus Relations

Katie Sievers is a strong believer in the benefits of studying abroad. While studying English, Gender Studies, and Studio Art at the University of Notre Dame, she backpacked around Australia and New Zealand and studied abroad in London. She joined CYA’s team after graduating in the summer of 2015, and her favorite part of her North-American-based role is working with excited CYA students as they prepare for their Greek adventures.

In addition to her role as Associate Director of Campus Relations, she oversees all operations at our North American Office.

Alexia Lingaas

Alexia Lingaas

Senior Coordinator of Campus Relations
 Alexia Lingaas is a strong advocate for international education and studying abroad. While pursuing her Bachelor's in International Affairs at Northeastern University, Alexia had the opportunity to study abroad in Greece, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Morocco. Following her abroad experiences, Alexia pursued her Masters in International Higher Education also at Northeastern. She joined CYA in 2016 and is responsible for CYA's outreach efforts at US Colleges and Universities.
Grace Twardy

Grace Twardy

Student and Campus Relations Coordinator
Grace Twardy has joined our NAO team as Student and Campus Relations Coordinator. Based at the Cambridge office, Grace will assist with advising students who express interest in CYA’s programs and will provide support to our outreach efforts on U.S. campuses. Grace holds a Bachelor’s in Global Studies and Spanish from Providence College, and has studied abroad in Nicaragua, Tijuana, and Seville. 
Lauren Chow

Lauren Chow

Administrative Support Coordinator
Lauren Chow joined the CYA team in January 2017. She is a graduate of Carleton College, where she had the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs in Kyoto and Dubai. Prior to joining CYA, she taught English in rural Malaysia for 2 years as part of the Fulbright program. Lauren is passionate about the transformative power of study abroad, and is so excited to be a part of making those experiences happen for CYA students.
Erica Huffman

Erica Huffman

Director of Alumni Relations

Erica Huffman (CYA ’93) is a native of Portland, OR, and graduated from Whitman College in 1995 with a degree in History. She has traveled to Australia, Fiji, American Samoa, Turkey, throughout Europe and the former USSR and has lived abroad in New Zealand, Guatemala, and Athens. She joined CYA staff in Athens in 1997 and later transferred to the North American Office where she has held several positions.  Currently she is Director of Alumni Relations and is responsible for the Class Agent Program, updating and tracking alumni information, the alumni newsletter THE OWL, reaching out to alumni and organizing alumni events.

Maria Marakas

Bursar and Manager of the North American Office

Campus Representatives

Katy Nave

Katy Nave

Katy Nave is a Spring '15 CYA alum and graduated from Southwestern University in the Fall of 2015 with a BFA in Studio Art. She is excited to advocate for CYA as a Campus Representative and to share stories about the benefits of studying in Greece.
Angelica Sisson

Angelica Sisson

Angelica Sisson graduated in 2017 from the Catholic University of America where she studied Greek and Latin. While at CUA she worked in the Office of Admission, which led her to have a passion for discussing different aspects of education with potential students. As a campus representative she is able to connect that passion with her passion for Athens and the College Year in Athens program, which she studied abroad with in 2015.