Staff and Faculty


Mary Ann Letellier

Mary Ann Letellier

Doctorat, Études anglophones, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (1996)
M.A., French Literature, New York University (1985)
B.A., French Literature, Drew University (1983)

With over twenty years of experience in international education, Mary Ann has been a part of the CUPA team since 1999. As Program Director, she is dedicated to upholding the highest academic standards and encourages students to seek out rich intellectual experiences during their time in Paris. Mary Ann is the liaison between CUPA and home universities. In this capacity she communicates regularly with Study Abroad offices and academic departments to ensure that a student’s academic requirements are met. Thanks to her background in both American and French academia, Mary Ann has a unique understanding of the challenges American students might face in adapting to the French system and above all how to help them thrive.

Cécile Hermellin

Cécile Hermellin

Associate Director
D.E.S.S., Traduction audiovisuelle, Université Paris X Nanterre (2002)
D.E.A., Littérature anglaise contemporaine, Université Paris-Sorbonne (2002)

Cécile has long been fascinated with questions of interculturality, specifically as they relate to French and American academia. She first started working at CUPA in 1999 while completing a degree in translation. The knowledge of how different cultures express themselves has been paramount in her ability to help students navigate the intricacies of the French university system. Although her role at CUPA spans many aspects of a student’s life abroad, her main focus is to advise students academically and to serve as a liaison between French university faculty and CUPA.

Tary Coppola

Tary Coppola

Assistant Director for Outreach and Admissions

As the sole U.S.-based member of the team, Tary is the primary liaison for students, parents, and study abroad offices for the CUPA program. Having lived and worked in France for several years during her early adulthood, she now considers the Hexagone to be her second home. Because of this, she is eager to share her love for France and francophone culture with students of all backgrounds. Her various responsibilities include recruitment at U.S. colleges and universities and working and advising students from the very first query to the moment they step on the plane for Paris.

Linda BATTI - Student life coordinator

Linda Batti

Student Life Coordinator
Master Métiers de l'enseignement, de l'éducation et de la formation, Université de Toulon (2017)
Licence Lettres Etrangères Appliquées, Université de Toulon (2015)

Linda is originally from the South of France where she lived most of her life, before moving to Paris to experience the Parisian way of life. Passionate about the English-speaking world from a young age, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, both at L’Université de Toulon. Her travels around the world and a 2-month internship at the New York Culinary Institute reinforced her love for intercultural exchange and her desire to work in an international environment. Linda strongly believes that studying abroad is the best way to broaden one’s global awareness. In addition to delivering immersive and inclusive programming of student life activities for CUPA students, Linda also provides students with an abundance of practical support on many levels. Linda also manages CUPA’s online presence on social media and the CUPA website.


Alice Aguila

French Language and Housing Coordinator
Master Français Langue Étrangère, Université Paris Nanterre (2019)
Maitrise Études Anglophones, Université de Nice (2016)
Licence Langue, Littérature et Civilisation Étrangère, Université de Nice (2015)

Passionate about teaching since an early age, Alice first started tutoring children as a teenager and later decided to turn this passion into a career. She began her English cultural and literature studies at the university of Nice and later moved to the UK to experience living and studying abroad. After teaching French at the University of Nottingham for a year, Alice decided to combine her interest for French language and culture and her love for teaching by pursuing a Masters in Français Langue Étrangère at the university of Paris Nanterre. Since graduating in 2019, she has been teaching in a number of different institutions, helping anyone from American art students to international refugees to make progress in French. As CUPA’s French Language Coordinator, Alice and her team of French teaching interns provide students with the tools to perfect their French language skills and take full advantage of their semester from a linguistic perspective. She also teaches French languages classes during our summer program and the regular academic year.

Since April 2024, Alice manages the housing coordination and helps bring together students and host families.


Ana Sinca

Housing Coordinator
(on leave)
Master 2, Gestion et valorisation touristique du patrimoine, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2019)
Licence, Histoire de l’art, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2017)

Ana was born in Bucharest, Romania, and has lived in Paris since she was four years old. By speaking Romanian at home and learning French at school, she became perfectly bilingual and bicultural. She studied at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University where she received an undergraduate degree in art history and a Masters in Tourism Management and the Promotion of Historic Heritage at the Institut de Recherche et d’Études Supérieures du Tourisme. Her passion for sharing her love of French culture is what attracted her to CUPA. As the program’s housing coordinator, she is keenly aware that a student’s relationship with their host family will play a central role in the overall study abroad experience. With this in mind, she strives to match students with families that best suit their personalities and interests and is always happy to talk about living in a French home. Throughout the term, Ana remains in close contact with students to answer any questions they might have about life in France. In addition to coordinating CUPA’s homestays, Ana organizes the program-sponsored excursions.


Nicolas Baudouin

Nicolas Baudouin

Professor of Art History
Maîtrise d'esthétique, Université de Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne (1987)
Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures en Développement International, Institut of International Development, University of Ottowa (1983)
B.A. in Visual Arts, University of Ottowa (1982)

Originally from Canada where he studied Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa, Nicolas moved to Paris in 1986 after receiving a fellowship from the Ministère Français des Affaires étrangères to pursue a Maîtrise in Esthetics at the Université de Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne. In addition to being a professor of Art History, Nicolas is also an artist who exhibits his paintings in France and Canada. Following the advent of the Internet, Photoshop, social media, etc. he turned his attention to the digital image and is dedicated to exploring the artistic potential of this nascent field of esthetics. He is in search of a new visual language that exists somewhere between the virtual and the real.
At CUPA, Nicolas Baudouin teaches Major Movements in 19th Century French Painting during the regular academic year, as well as during the summer Program.

Christelle Taraud

Christelle Taraud

Professor of History and Methodology
Doctorat, Histoire, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne (2002)

Christelle Taraud is a historian specializing in contemporary Maghreb, with a focus on gender and sexuality issues within the colonial context.  She is a member of the Centre d’histoire du XIXe siècle, an inter-university research center based at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne and the Université de Paris-1.

At CUPA, Christelle teaches French Methodology (Orientation), Diversity in Paris: From Communities to Communitarianism? (Fall semester), and Women, Gender, and Sexuality in France (19th-21st Centuries) (Spring semester). Throughout the semester she maintains office hours to meet with students individually about any question related to methodology they might have.

Jean Phillipe Dedieu

Jean Philippe Dedieu

Professor of History and Sociology
Doctorat, Histoire et Sociologie, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (2008)

Educated at the Lycée Louis-Le-Grand, Jean-Philippe Dedieu holds a Ph.D. in History and Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). A former Fulbright Scholar at University of California, Berkeley, his research focuses on the political history and sociology of the African diaspora. In addition to contributions to Al Jazeera, The New Yorker and The New York Times, he is the author of Immigrant Voices: African Migrants in the Public Sphere in France, 1960-1995 (Paris: Klincksieck/Les Belles Lettres).
Jean Philippe teaches Postcolonial Paris for CUPA, during the Summer session, a course which examines the development of the particular, intense, and historically conflicted relationship between the French State and ethno-racial and religious minorities.


Marie Demestre

Professor of French
Doctorat, Littératures francophones, Université Rennes 2 et Faculté des Lettres d’Alexandrie (2013)
Master de recherche, Littérature mention « Humanités », Université Rennes 2 (2010)

Marie Demestre is a writer and French teacher based in Paris. Inspired by her experience in Cairo during the “Arab Spring,” she is particularly interested in the philosophical and political aspects of language as they apply to art and revolt, or to poetry and justice. In addition to teaching literature at Panthéon-Sorbonne, Marie has also taught French at New York University, the French Cultural Center of Alexandria, ASML (free media in Syria), and Ecole Polytechnique.

At CUPA, she teaches Writing the Self: Exploring Literature through the Concept of Intimacy (Fall semester) and holds office hours throughout the semester to address students’ methodology questions. During CUPA’s Summer session, Marie teaches the advanced-level French language class, which provides students with the linguistic, pragmatic, and semantic tools to live the French language through modern issues in situ.

Pierre André

Pierre André

Professor of French Literature, Culture, and Language
Doctorat, Philosophie - Littérature française, NYU (2018)

Pierre Andre received his PhD from NYU’s Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture in 2018, after specializing in 18th and 19th century French literature and philosophy. He has been living and working in Paris since 2019, teaching various courses revolving around the relationship between French (and Western) philosophy and the history of sciences, the concepts of “progress” and “modernity”, and their social, political and ecological implications.
At Cupa, he teaches « L’Instabilité de (la notion) de Nature » : Une Anthropologie du Monde Naturel, an exploration of what we now call the “anthropology of Nature”, a challenge to the old “Nature/Culture” divide to rethink our ecological paradigm.

Mehdi Derfoufi

Mehdi Derfoufi

Professor of Gender and Media studies
Doctorat, Études cinématographiques, Université Paris-Est (2012)

Before becoming an academic, Mehdi Derfoufi spent over 15 years as a curator for the cinema and for festivals, and as an editor and journalist.  He is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, Gender and Postcolonial theory and Media Studies at the University of Paris 8, and researcher at CEMTI (Centre d’Études sur les Médias et l’Internationalisation). He is also a visiting professor at the École d’Art de Lausanne (Switzerland). In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of Racisme et jeu vidéo (Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, 2021).
At CUPA, he teaches a Gender and media studies course that examines the discourses and representations of gender, class and race in the Media (cinema, video games, television, etc.).

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