Spring 2016: Faculty and Staff

The Rome-Istanbul Study Abroad program benefits from the participation of many faculty and staff – from Minneapolis, Rome and Istanbul.


(1) Ozayr Saloojee (University of Minnesota) is an Associate Professor in the  School  of Architecture, and is affiliate faculty in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Minnesota.  Ozayr has traveled extensively to Turkey since the start of the program and has research interests in Islamic Art and Architecture (particularly the work of the Ottoman architect Sinan, as well as in “contested terrains” – complex urban landscapes and their various architectural, design, policy, social and cultural systems. He teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in the School of Architecture.  For the study abroad, he teaches the drawing class in Rome and both the seminar and studio in Istanbul. He came to Minnesota via Canada, via Johannesburg, South Africa (where he was born and raised).

(2) Brad Agee (University of Minnesota) is a Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Brad has taught in the undergraduate program for many years and is also an accomplished landscape architect with his own practice.  He was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the program and has been an advocate for developing global and civic minded citizens in the College of Design through study abroad.  He is particularly interested in graphic representation, landscape architectural history, spatial perception, and the evolving definition of public and private space.

(3) Vince DeBritto (University of Minnesota) Vincent has worked a graphic designer and intern architect in California and London, England. As a professional landscape architect, he has received a national honor award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, citations from the Government Services Administration, and numerous awards from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his design work. He teaches an undergraduate course in sustainability, the Design Duluth studio, and the Cities on Water study abroad program.

(4) Dr. Paolo Alei (Rome) is also a guest lecturer for our course in Rome. He studied both at University of Rome “La Sapienza” and John Cabot University, Rome, where he earned his BA in art history. He received his M.A from Columbia University, New York, where he specialized in Renaissance painting, and his PhD from Oxford University in Renaissance art. In the last ten years, he has taught several courses on Renaissance and Baroque art in various American academic programs in Rome. More recently, he has published on Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio and he is now working on Michelangelo.  Paolo helps us better understand the urban spaces of Rome, lecturing on the Michelangelo’s Campidoglio, Bernini in the Piazza Navona and on the historical and intellectual connections between Rome and Istanbul.

(5)  Maria Gabriele (Istanbul). Maria deals with the day-to-day running of the center and is our first point of contact for all-things Istanbul.  She helps oversee the smooth running of our program in Istanbul. A native of Connecticut, Maria worked for many year’s in ACCENT’s Rome Office before coming to Istanbul in 2014.

(6) Dr. Hande Dizdaroglu  (Istanbul) is an ACCENT Istanbul program coordinator, and also serves as the “Survival Turkish” language instructor for our students.  Hande also helps coordinate and organize cultural events for students and faculty.

(7) Kursad Dmr  (Istanbul) is an ACCENT Istanbul program coordinator, and also serves as a Housing Coordinator and assists with Cultural Programming at the Istanbul Center.  Kursad recently joined ACCENT, and along with Maria and Hande – forms the core of our Istanbul staff and faculty.

(8) Dr. Tuna Kuyucu (Istanbul) is an an urban sociologist teaching at Boğaziçi University. Tuna achieved his PhD at Washington University in 2009 and his B.A from Boğaziçi University. His research interests include urban sociology, social theory and ethnic conflict

(9) Dr. Zafer Yenal (Istanbul) is an Associate Professor and Sociologist teaching at Boğaziçi University, where he serves as the Chair of the Department. Safer achieved his PhD at Binghamton University in 2000 and his B.A from Middle East Technical University. His research interests includeSociology of consumption, sociology of food, rural sociology, historical sociology

(10) Gencer Emiroglu  (Istanbul) is a maritime and sea historian, as well as an avid sailor and outdoorsman.  He has a degree in Experiential Learning and has joined our group of Istanbul based faculty, leading field visits to the Belgrade forest and lecturing on the water infrastructure and naval history of Istanbul.

In addition to our core faculty and guest lecturers, we will also be hosting several other researchers, academics, professionals and designers as part of the curriculum.  In Istanbul, these include faculty from Kadir Has University (Dr. Mehmet Alper, Historic Preservation), Boğazici University (Dr. Tuna Kuyuçu and Dr. Zafer Yenal), Sabancı University (Murat Germen, Photography and Visual Arts), as well as Faculty from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and Istanbul Technical University.  We will also be drawing on our network of contacts from the Istanbul design community – including architects and landscape architects from offices such as Tanablioğlu, Erginoğlu & Çalişlar, Emre Arolat, Superpool and Autoban.

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